Problems in Materials Written by Non-writers

Many organizations involve the development engineers to prepare documentation for various reasons—because of limited resources, time constraints, or probably because they don’t understand the importance of documentation. Some of them feel that the engineers know the product/application better than anyone else, so it is better if they create the documents.

Example: The following are some of the prize-winning entries for the Worst Technical Writing Contest held by Metamor Documentation Solutions.

  • Warning label on the side of a cash register:  Before disconnecting, disconnect the connecting connector.
  • The text found in a reference manual of a manufacturing software: To add a part, use Add a Part. Note that you cannot delete a part using Add a Part. To delete a part, use Delete a part.

The trouble with writing is that there are no hard and fast rules or any magic formulae that make it an easy step-by-step task. The truth is, inspite of referring to style guides and procedures to create manuals, you have to re-conceive the rules every time you write because every occasion has its own specific set of requirements and problems. In such situations, the SMEs cannot make a right decision.

Some of the problems in materials written by non-writers are as follows:

Not Communicating What is Required: Click here for details

Lack of Audience Analysis: Click here for details.

Poor Presentation: The most common errors the information presented by untrained technical writers are:

  • Long and complicated sentences, even if they are grammatically correct.
  • Use of lengthy, crammed, and dense paragraphs:
    • When the information should be in a bulleted or numbered list.
    • Where a labeled figure or illustration would have explained the information.
    • Where a table would have done more justice to the job.
    • Lack of white space.
    • Lack of consistency. It is an important factor as it helps to avoid confusion

Poor Organization

The document may be complete and accurate, but it is useless if the users cannot find what they need, when they need it. This happens because the information is not organized properly. The most common errors in organization of information are:

    • Steps are not organized in logical order.
    • Inability to identify between essential and optional information/content.
    • Information not organized in logical and sequential flow.
    • Inappropriate navigational aids, which do not help the users in nding the required topic easily.
    • Section headings not used to logically separate information.
    • Unclear and vague heading (not appropriate to the text it deals about).
    • Sections not describing an idea or concept.

It is extremely easy to recognize a poorly written and badly organized documentation. But, it is equally difficult to prevent it, unless it is done properly.


Why Marriages Fail?

Marriage is the strongest and the most sincere commitment you make in a relationship. Two people with completely different ideas, hobbies and walks of life come together with the hope of spending rest of their lives in each other’s company.

Living together means a lot of adjustment on micro level that romantic books/movies and courtship period do not prepare you for. There is a lot adjustments when sharing a bedroom/bathroom/bed, eating habits, sleeping habits, varied friends, entertainment habits and type, work timing, commitment, in-laws, and the list goes on. Life can get very complicated when you have to adjust to all these new things.

In an Indian family, especially in an arranged marriage, the woman has to suddenly make so many adjustments. So having a happily functional marriage requires a lot of thought, effort, compromise, and hard work by both the spouses. The woman has to make the adjustments adapting to the new environment and changes.

The man has to make the adjustments by sharing things, time, and space with another person, that is, his wife. He also has to ensure that his wife feels comfortable, respected, and secure. This will make the wife feel safe with him. She slowly starts to trust her husband, then respect him for his support and help, and eventually fall in love with him. If the support, care, help, and respect fron the husband is missing right from the start of the marriage, the basic foundation of the marriage just cannot be formed.

Hence, it is true to say that this tender relationship called marriage is a union of mind and soul, tied by flimsy strings of love, trust, respect, and intimacy. Even if one string snaps out, the relation can go for a toss. Unfortunately, even if you have a loving relationship now, there is no guarantee that it will last the test of time even in the near future.

A healthy marriage requires a lot of work and patience from both the spouses. However hard one spouse tries to make the marriage work, it will not, if both the parties do not put in similar effort. If you are the only person trying and making all the compromises, the relationship is really not worth it. In that case, it is true to say that your spouse is not worth all the effort you are taking. Small misunderstandings and innocent mistakes can soon build into a mountain and the relationship starts dying.

“Happy marriage begins when we marry the ones we love and blossom when we love the ones we marry.” Tom Mullen

Marriage is meant to be enjoyed and not endured. But the fact still remains that today, many marriages are just thriving on endurance. Hence, it is important to take heed of the marriage problem signs as soon as possible.

Some of the common issues are:

  1.  Marrying for the wrong reason
  2. No commitment:
  3. No respect for spouse:
  4. Bloated ego:
  5. Lack of communication
  6. Poor listening skills
  7. Excess Responsibilities
  8. I don’t care attitude (indifference)
  9. Taking each other for granted
  10. Lack of love and affection
  11. Lack of I­n­­t­i­mac­y­
  12. Still feeling “I, me, myself”
  13. Having unrealistic expectations
  14. Not fighting fairly
  15. Playing the blame game

A relationship can survive most things if both people involved in it are committed to the other person and act with respect toward the other. It helps to survive the death of parents, being childless, career changes, layoffs, further education, lack of finance, and/or lack of luxury.

People often feel that marriage brings security in a relationship. It is probably because marriage is registered, legalized. Usually when there is a sense of security, people feel that there is no need to further work on it to improve it. The same happens with marriage as well.

Try to work on these issues and have a happy marriage. After all, you have one life and it is better it you enjoy your life and let the other enjoy their lives to the fullest!