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The Insider's Guide to Technical Writing by Krista Van Laan

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In the Beginning: Creating an Outline

All of the bits and pieces of information you’ve collected to date are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When you dump the whole box onto a table, you know the whole picture is there—you just have to organize the pieces to see it.

Creating an outline for your document is a lot like starting on a jigsaw puzzle: different people start in different ways. Some connect all the edge pieces first; others group the pieces by identifiable colors and patterns and build sections.

A book typically has a beginning and end with some kind of progression in the middle. Online documentation, including help, has a tree of information that connects in multiple ways and on many different levels. Online information must be tracked ...

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