Literature/courses on technical writing


Hi :slight_smile:

Since I’m primarily a software developer I’m mostly writing developer documentation up to release-notes as part of my job. As this came basically as an add-on to my roll, I don’t really have any kind of formal education in that area. That’s something I very much would like to change.

Going back to university is probably a bit much but can you perhaps recommend books (please no articles if possible, for some reason long-form works better for me :slight_smile:) or courses focused on technical writing? As I haven’t read any books about writing yet (much less about technical writing specifically) I have no focus areas yet :slight_smile:

Thank you so much!


So, this is the book that we used (more than a few years ago) in one of the classes I took:

Designing and Writing Online Documentation by William Horton

I remember it being pretty basic, but that might be where you want to start! :slight_smile:


Check out Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors

You’ll also learn a lot from reading the IBM Style Guide. I read it so I could write a style guide for my docs, and it teaches a lot along the way.


Thank you two :slight_smile: Already ordered one of your suggestions :slight_smile:


I recently read Modern Technical Writing by Andrew Etter and I highly recommend it. It is a very brief but cogent intro to the field. The book also has a slight slant toward developer docs, so that may work well for you.

The “Modern” in the title is justified. I found the book refreshing, partly because he drops a lot of the old STC-style mentality (read the intro–he’s too polite to point the finger, but we veterans are not fooled) in favor of an approach that emphasizes hands-on learning, using simple tools, and getting the devs to contribute.

I believe this is only available as an eBook on Amazon.

Another excellent intro is Technical Writing 101 by Sara O’Keefe and Alan Pringle. Also an eBook on Amazon.


Awesome! Thank you so much!


I’m also pretty new to this field and currently reading Insider’s Guide to Technical Writing from Krista Van Laan:

I read from the reviews that the “older” people consider it too brief, but as a beginner I have gotten some useful ideas how to organize my work, choose the style, etc. And it’s very well written :wink:

Good luck!
(And also open to course-suggestions!)


Thank you :smiley: I’ve added it to my to-read list :smiley: