Monday, April 25, 2005

What's up? Doc!

The most recent lecture in my Human Computer Interaction course included a section on Documentation.   A basis for either electronic or paper documentation is a clean, crisp writing style.  Almost anyone can achieve such a style with practice and some help.  A major resource for effective writing is Strunk and White's,  The Element's of Style.  This short book is a must in your library.  I've had a copy for years. (The cover price on mine reads $1.95, so it has been a while.)   There is a new (fourth) edition of the book with an additional author (Roger Angell) and it sales for $7.95 at Amazon. (Amazon's Better Together deal pairs William Zinsser's book, On Writing Well, which is another classic.)

Best of all, if you would like to browse before you buy, there is an on-line version of Strunk and White that is available here.  In addition, samples from Zinsser's book are available here.  If you like either or both, I would get them for your bookshelf.  Using them, while not turning you into a novelist, will definitely improve the clarity, crispness and readability of your prose.   Highly recommended.   Later!