I divided this bibliography into categories.† I believe this organization would be more useful to you than simply an alphabetical list (by author) of some of the literature I used.


Table of Contents

Bibliography. 1

General Writing. 1

Internet Resources. 2

Rewriting/Revising/Editing. 3

Indexing. 3

Miscellaneous. 3

Interviewing/Information Gathering. 3



General Writing


Beckley, John L.† The Power of Little Words.† 1984.† Fairfield, N.J.: The Economics Press.† ISBN: 0-910187-02-9.† When you write use the same simple but effective words that you use for speaking.† Your writing will be much more understandable.

Blake, Gary & Robert W. Bly.† The Elements of Technical Writing.† 1993.† New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.† ISBN:† 0-02-511446-8.

Bremer, Michael.† Untechnical Writing.† 1999.† Concord, Ca: UnTechnical Press.† ISBN: 0-9669949-0-6.

Brockmann, R. John.† Writing Better Computer User Documentation from Paper to Hypertext.† 1990.† New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.† ISBN:† 0-471-62259-1 or 0-471-62260-5 (paperback).† Presents summaries of research in documentation.

Campbell, Nancy J.† Writing Effective Policies and Procedures A Step-by-Step Resource for Clear Communication.1998.† New York: American Management Association (AMACOM).† ISBN: 0-8144-7960-X.† Very good reference.

Cohen, Gerald & Donald H. Cunningham.† Creating Technical Manuals.† 1984, New York: McGraw-Hill.† ISBN: 0-07-011584-2

Dowis, Richard.† How to Make Your Writing Reader-Friendly.† 1990.† White Hall, Virginia: Betterway Publications, Inc.† ISBN:† 1-55870-148-6

Flesch, Rudolph.† How to Make Sense.† 1954.† New York: Harper & Brothers.† (Pre-ISBN).† Library of Congress catalog number:† 54-6012.† This is an excellent book on the common sense philosophy of writing.

Hargis, G. Michelle Carey, and others.† Developing Quality Technical Information, 2nd Edition.† 2004.† New Jersey: Prentice Hall (IBM Press).† ISBN: 0-13-147749-8.†

Howard, V.A. & J.H.Barton.† Thinking on Paper.† 1986.† New York: William Morrow and Company.† ISBN: 0-688-04873-0.† Presents the concept that writing consists of two different kinds of activities: thinking on paper and communication.† We worry about communicating when we should be at the stage of thinking on paper.

Howell, James F. and Dean Memering.† Brief Handbook for Writers 2nd edition.† 1989.†† Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.† ISBN:† 0-13-082363-5.

Joseph, Albert.† Put It in Writing! 1998. New York: McGraw-Hill.† ISBN: 0-07-039308-7† This is a superb book!† I highly recommend it for improving your writing skills.

Lyons, Chopeta C., "Ten Tips for Talking to Artists" in Intercom The Magazine of the Society for Technical Communications, Volume 51 Issue 7, July/August, 2004.† Page 11.

Microsoft Corporation.† †The Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications. 1995.† Redmond, Washington: Microsoft Press.† ISBN:1-55615-939-0.† Useful when you need to know whether to say "mouses", "mice", "meese" or "moose".† Also lists common acronyms, and helps with selection of phrases.

Minister of Supply and Services, Government of Canada. Plain Language Clear and Simple.† 1991.† Ottawa, Canada: Minister of Supply and Services, Government of Canada.† ISBN:† 0-660-14185-X.

Price, Jonathan.† Put That in Writing.† 1984. New York: Viking Penguin, Inc.† ISBN: 0-670-79149-0.† An excellent guide, which discusses many forms of writing for business.† The book suggests reorganizing blocks of text using white space, headings, etc.†

Pressfield, Steven.† The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle.† 2002.† New York, N.Y.: Rugged Land.† ISBN: 1-59071-003-7.† Good discussion about Resistance (to doing the work) and how to overcome that Resistance.

Saltzman, Joel.† If You Can Talk, You Can Write.† 1993.† New York, N.Y.: Warner Books.† ISBN:† 0-446-39507-2.† Although this book focuses mostly on writing fiction, there are good points in it for the documentation writer.† Mainly, donít strive for perfection as you begin writing: just write!

Schoff Gretchen Holstein & Patricia A. Robinson.† Writing and Designing Technical Manuals, 2nd Edition.† 1991.† Chelsea, Michigan: Lewis Publishers, Inc.† ISBN: 0-87371-421-0

Slatkin, Elizabeth.† How to Write a Manual.† 1991. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press.† ISBN:0-89815-430-8.

Weiss, Edmond H.† The Writing System for Engineers and Scientists.† 1982.† Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:† Prentice-Hall. ISBN:† 0-13-971606-8.

Weiss, Edmond H.† How to Write Usable User Documentation.† 1991.† Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.† ISBN: 0-89774-639-2.†

Wieringa, Douglas, Christopher Moore & Valerie Barnes.† Procedure Writing Principles and Practices.† 1998.† Columbus, Ohio: Battelle Press.† ISBN: 1-57477-052-7.† An excellent manual if you have to create any kind of complex step-by-step procedures.


Internet Resources

http://www.blm.gov/nhp/NPR/pe_toc.html Plain Language writing guidelines from the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management.† I recommend you spend a bit of time looking over the material on this website.†

http://www.askoxford.com/betterwriting/plainenglish/ presents some tips for writing in plain English (an English-centric view of "plain language").† This is from Oxford Dictionaries.

http://www.units.muohio.edu/mcs/suppctr/lis/mcisdocumentation/readabledocs/index.shtml is from Miami University.† They have some good tips for specifying commands to computers at: http://www.units.muohio.edu/mcs/suppctr/lis/mcisdocumentation/readabledocs/topic4.shtml

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/ is a good Frequently Asked Questions website from the Chicago Manual of Style.† Note the categories on the left side of the page.



Hargis, G. Michelle Carey, and others.† Developing Quality Technical Information, 2nd Edition.† 2004.† New Jersey: Prentice Hall (IBM Press).† ISBN: 0-13-147749-8.† This is an excellent book for revising your writing.

Venolia, Jan.† Rewrite Right!† 1987.† Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press.† ISBN:† 0-89815-202-X.

Plain Language Action Network.† http://www.plainlanguage.gov/


Bonura, Larry S.† The Art of Indexing.† 1994.† New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.† ISBN:† 0-471-01449-4.

Borko, Harold & Charles L. Bernier.† Indexing Concepts and Methods.† 1978.† New York: Academic Press.† ISBN: 0-12-118660-1.


Adobe Systems Inc.† Adobe Acrobat 4.0 Classroom in a Book.† 1999.† San Jose, California: Adobe Systems Inc.†† ISBN:† 1-56830-476-5

Adobe Systems Inc.† Electronic Publishing Guide. 1998.† San Jose, California: Adobe Systems Inc.†† ISBN:† 1-56830-469-2.

Kruchten, Philippe.† The Rational Unified Process an Introduction, Third Edition.† 2004.† (Copyright by Pearson Education) Boston: Addison-Wesley.† ISBN:† 0-321-19770-4.


Interviewing/Information Gathering

Metzler, Ken. Creative Interviewing 2nd Edition.† 1989.† Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.† ISBN:† 0-13-189747-0

Quay, John.† Diagnostic Interviewing for Consultants and Auditors.† 1986.† Columbus, Ohio: Quay Associates.† ISBN: 0-9616062-0-7.


TIP:† Keep in mind that almost any library that you are affiliated with will be able to get you almost any book.† If a desired book is not available ask your librarian to arrange for an Inter-Library Loan.† Before going to the librarian with your request, you should have the Title and Author of the book.† Any other information will be of benefit also.† This includes Publisher, year of publication, ISBN identification number.† But donít be shy, the librarian can help you find things just from part of the authorís name or the title.†

You can get information about almost any book by searching the US Library of Congress catalog; itís online at: http://www.loc.gov/catalog/





Resources for Writing Great User Documents: Home

(c) 2006 Igetitnow! Training, Inc.