Tip 76: Writing in Active Voice

Do I ALWAYS have to write in active voice? No, you don’t! Although writing in active voice is generally preferable, sometimes passive voice is the better choice, or maybe even the only choice. When you write in active voice, the subject of the sentence accomplishes the action: The technician checked the equipment for leaks. The…

usability engineering

Usability Engineering for User Documents

What is usability engineering? Usability engineering is based on cognitive research and the psychology of human behavior. Usability engineering for documentation reduces comprehension errors and therefore improves performance. What are user documents? Policies, standards, guidelines, processes, and procedures are all behavior-enabling (user) document types. These documents are written for users, not for readers. Users have…

Procedure Manual Development

How Consistently Designed Procedures Can Save Lives, Time, and Money

How Consistently Designed Procedures Can Save Lives, Time, and Money What is a Procedure? Procedures are a series of steps followed in a regular, definite order, and most people complete the steps of multiple procedures every day. Whether they’re written down or internalized, procedures are organizational tools that help people safely and accurately complete tasks.…

Tip 75: Only

Choose your placement of the word ‘only’ very carefully; its placement can change the meaning of your sentence. The word ‘only’ should be placed immediately before the word or phrase it modifies. Examples: Only Meg said that she was hungry. Meaning: Meg alone said that she was hungry. Meg only said that she was hungry.…