How many words make a technical writer?

Alice BRODBECK – Boris DURUPT – Marie PINQUIER

M2 CDMM 2017/2018 – Université Paris 7 Paris Diderot

Abstract

Technical writing has undergone drastic changes from its early beginnings to the advent of the Internet, adapting to all the technological innovations that punctuated the century since its conception. One of the most important changes being that technical writers do not spend as much time writing as was formerly expected of their profession. Instead, companies ask them to broaden their working scope from writing to taking care of whole documentation systems. Technical writers have gradually become technical communicators, mastering various skills – including but not limited
to writing.
However, the job title has not evolved as quickly as the profession: there seems to be a discrepancy between label and reality, which could be the explanation to a lack of recognition for technical communicators in Europe.
In light of this observation, we conducted a survey on 40 French technical communication experts and analyzed the existing literature on the topic. Our objective: find out why “technical writer” has become a catch-all term of technical communication.
Our journey starts at the origins of technical writing, continues with an overview of the profession’s representation in Europe and provides an analysis of the gaps between technical writers and technical communicators.

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Technical communication for migrant illiterates

Soraya BEKKOUCHE, Léa BUTEL, Lucie PETIT

Paris Diderot University, July 20th 2018

Abstract

International migration has existed throughout human history, but has
taken a new weight in today’s world with the impact of globalisation and
what is often referred to as the “refugee crisis”. The aim of this paper is
not to discuss the motives or the impact of migration but to observe how
language and literacy barriers compound the difficulties met by vulnerable
populations in modern information-oriented societies, and how these
issues are addressed by the many organizations that fight to improve the
situation of migrants.
Here, we address how barriers to information access worsen refugees’
situations and identify technical-communication-related issues in how
information is delivered as of today. Is there a case for technical
communication in ensuring the respect of human rights?

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