Alice BRODBECK – Boris DURUPT – Marie PINQUIER
M2 CDMM 2017/2018 – Université Paris 7 Paris Diderot
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
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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