RE: Resources for learning Structured Writing?

Subject: RE: Resources for learning Structured Writing?
From: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:13:21 +0000

Okay, I love the recommendations so far (thanks, Stuart and Robert), but I need to be more specific about what I'm looking for. Apologies for not doing so.

I'm looking for resources for a non-technical team, first off. Tech writers but not familiar yet with DITA or XML.

I want a resource that teaches structured writing *outside of* any tagging environment, so no DTDs or EDDs, no DITA or XML, no DocBook or S1000D, nothing along these lines.

I'm looking for a resource that focuses exclusively on structured writing as it comes out of the Information Mapping tradition -- that was developed in the late 60's, long before even the PC let alone the current environment. (It's my understanding that DITA, and I believe also S1000D, were developed in response to IM.)

If I remember right, IM provides 7 topic types, versus the primary 3 in DITA, so I want to see what the IM ones have to offer.

I have not been able to find a source that instructs in structured writing a la Information Mapping. The IM professional company offers materials and primarily courses, but I don't want to go that route just yet. I want a team of junior writers (and some senior writers) who have not yet been exposed to DITA or XML to learn the skill of structured writing *first* (out of IM, remember, not DITA-dependent), so that once they have a general mastery of the art, *then* they have a base to learn DITA and XML and get ready for a transition if it is to happen. But even if there is no transition, I would like them to have that skill regardless.

I'm surprised there is no dedicated resource for this, as far as I can tell. All I see are the older articles by R. Horn and his 2 or 3 books but nothing contemporary that's tutorial, even though I realize that if this was developed in the 60's, maybe you don't need a modern book. But I have yet to find anything relevant.

I hope that's a bit clearer on the goal. Thanks!


On Friday, October 17, 2014 4:37 PM, Steve Janoff wrote:


In following up on the recent thread regarding migration to DITA: it became clear that whether or not one migrates to DITA, learning the skill of structured writing is a good idea.

Therefore: Does anyone know of any good resources for learning this skill?

Also, are there any good resources that would guide one in teaching this skill to a department of writers with no experience in the art?

Thank you so much. I have not been able to find a single book on it (via Amazon).

I appreciate any and all thoughts and inputs.



Read about how Georgia System Operation Corporation improved teamwork, communication, and efficiency using Doc-To-Help |


You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @


Resources for learning Structured Writing?: From: Janoff, Steven

Previous by Author: Resources for learning Structured Writing?
Next by Author: RE: Resources for learning Structured Writing?
Previous by Thread: Re: Resources for learning Structured Writing?
Next by Thread: Re: Resources for learning Structured Writing?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads