writing a technical document is ensuring it will be readily understood by readers. Your ability to explain complex topics in simply language is essential, but the organization of your writing is also crucial. Readers should be able to find information they are looking for quickly and readily identify where one section ends and another begins. Here are some simple tips that will help you improve the organization and usability of your technical document.">

Is My Writing Clearly Organized?

One of your top priorities when writing a technical document is ensuring it will be readily understood by readers. Your ability to explain complex topics in simply language is essential, but the organization of your writing is also crucial. Readers should be able to find information they are looking for quickly and readily identify where one section ends and another begins. Here are some simple tips that will help you improve the organization and usability of your technical document.

Include a table of contents: A table of contents is a very effective organizational tool. Readers will be able to quickly see what is contained in the document and how the information is divided. Include all of the major sections and subsections and page numbers for each.

Refer to other sections when appropriate: Often, some of the information contained in a technical document may require knowledge of another process or theory to be fully understood. If the relevant information has already been covered in another part of the document, there is no need to repeat it. However, you might put a note in brackets that tells the reader to refer to a certain page or section. This is a useful organization tool that will help the reader better understand the topic being discussed.

Use bullets and numbered lists: Bulleted lists are a good way to present a list of important facts. They attract the reader's attention and present the information in an easy-to-digest manner. Numbered lists are useful if you are describing a process. Breaking it down into steps and numbering each one is an easy way to make the information more accessible for your readers.

Use larger and/or bolded text for headings and subheadings: If all the text in your document is the same, it can make it more difficult for readers to locate sections and subsections because the reader's eyes will not be drawn to any specific area of the page. Use larger font and bolded text for headings to effectively break your document into distinct sections and help your readers locate desired information more quickly.


Last Updated: 05/05/2014