During a workshop, I begged the question about what was being taught about writing versus what is required for scholastic writing.
First and foremost, who is our target audience? While watching several recent science talk shows regarding current problems with communicating the interest people should have with science, the common message heard is that few people understand the terminology.
Terminology in Biology and human physiology was difficult. In order to understand the terms for medical purposes, I had to understand the etymology (origin of parts of the words). Ten weeks is too short a time to do this effectively, especially when your major is in technology.
“You just have to pass.” That’s not acceptable for me. However, I also understand that I have to know what my learning style is and that took several years for me to explore and understand. It’s okay. I was still able to discover that so I could continue the path of understanding what my audience will need.
Who is my audience? It depends. If my audience is in the health industry, then I have to understand their terminology. Furthermore, they have to understand my terminology and the largest problem with technology is, we all sound like we’re talking Greek. It’s boring. It’s uninspiring.
If there are several people out there who are still fascinated by the concept of two monitors (imagine what it must be like for them to see four or more), if they believe that shortcut keys are magical acts performed by people in technology, if they still don’t understand the difference between a URL field and a search engine field–how can we capture our audiences’ attention to fascinate them enough into the computer science field?
White Papers have their place with their specific audiences in mind. Investors and recruiters are not the right audiences. In all writing for all things, we are taught that we have 30 seconds to capture the attention of our audience. “Everybody,” is not our audience. It doesn’t work that way. I’ve learned this the hard way.