Technical Writing

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Pulling the plug

    Communications from DMN
    DMN Communications
    1 Mar 2015 | 5:45 am
    There’s no easy way to say this, so we’ll be blunt. On March 31, 2015 DMN Communications will cease to be. This blog, our website, our Twitter account, and everything else related to the company will go dark. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Things around here have been relatively quiet for the last couple of years. In that time, it wasn’t that we went back to operating in stealth mode. We weren’t operating at all. A lot of it has to do with both of us drifting away from technical communication. Over the last two or three years, a lot has changed in…
  • How to Write Error Messages

    Technical Writing Tips
    Ivan Walsh
    23 Feb 2015 | 12:27 pm
    These guidelines will help you write error messages that are easy to update and useful for customers. If you think about it, error messages are the first line of customer support. If written poorly, error messages increase technical support costs. They also frustrate customers, lose sales, and reflects poorly on your software, app, or website. Errors are a fact of software development. Every site has 404 errors. Every software has bugs, known issues, and glitches. Once we accept that, we can begin to help customers use our software, and help them get around the issues they encounter. If you…
  • Deep Data Dive into Supporting Developers

    Just Write Click
    annegentle
    31 Jan 2015 | 11:49 pm
    Here at Rackspace, we watch several sources to determine if a developer is having trouble with Rackspace Cloud services, many of which are based on OpenStack. We even have a notification tool, aptly named peril, that offers an aggregation of the many sites where developers may seek help. I’ve been on the Rackspace developer experience team since the very early days when we started supporting developers at the code level a few years ago. We monitor stackoverflow.com, serverfault.com, and superuser.com for questions tagged with Rackspace, rackspace-cloud, fog, cloudfiles, jclouds, pyrax,…
  • Proof-reading Checklist for Technical Documents

    Technical Writing Tips
    Ivan Walsh
    19 Feb 2015 | 1:28 pm
    Is there anything worse than sending out an important document and then, just when it’s gone, finding a typo? Always leave some time to check your documents before you send them out. Here’s a checklist to get you started. Proof-reading Checklist Select the entire document – CTRL+A – then click the Language option at the bottomrof the screen. It might say English (United States). Mark the selected text as the language it should be set to. Click Set as Default. Press F7 to start the spellchecker. In the spelling results, click ignore all to ignore the same issue…
  • Is it possible for Technical Authors to write content more quickly?

    Cherryleaf Blog for Technical Authors & Content Strategists
    Ellis Pratt
    12 Feb 2015 | 4:18 am
    Approximately 50% of a Technical Author’s day is spent writing. However, when Technical Publications teams look for efficiencies, they tend to focus on the 50% of time spent on non-writing... [[ For the full article, see http://www.cherryleaf.com/blog.htm]]
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    ffeathers

  • Learn about API technical writing in Washington DC

    Sarah Maddox
    20 Feb 2015 | 11:16 am
    Are you a technical writer in or around Washington DC? On Friday March 20th, I’m running a full-day workshop on API technical writing. It’s free, and you’re very welcome to attend. There’s free food too! The workshop is happening under the auspices of the the STC Washington, DC – Baltimore Chapter. The content is the same as that of the workshop I ran in Mountain View in January, with a few updates based on feedback from participants. API stands for Application Programming Interface. Developers use APIs to make apps that communicate with other apps and…
  • Delete or remove?

    Sarah Maddox
    13 Feb 2015 | 11:21 pm
    What’s the difference between delete and remove? When should you use the word “delete” on a user interface or in a document, and when “remove”? Here’s an explanation that makes sense to me. Use “delete” when you’re getting rid of the thing entirely – when it’s disappearing from the data store. Use “remove” when you’re subtracting it from a group or a list, but it remains available in the data store. An example is the model of users and groups. Let’s say the user arthurdent belongs to two groups:…
  • Introduction to API tech writing – upcoming webinar

    Sarah Maddox
    31 Jan 2015 | 11:27 am
    On Wednesday February 11th, US EST (that’s Thursday here in Australia), I’m presenting a webinar about API technical writing. It’s the first in a series on API technical writing from the Society for Technical Communication. I’d love it if you could join me online. The role of API technical writer is exciting, rewarding, and challenging. I’ve been working as a full-time API writer for 18 months now, and I love it! APIs are a hot topic in our field, and technical writers with the skills to document them are in high demand. Many technical writers are keen to know…
  • Talking of technical communicators who write books

    Sarah Maddox
    25 Jan 2015 | 1:04 pm
    Many technical writers do other types of writing too. This week I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting one of them in person. Cynthia Chin-Lee is a manager in information development at Oracle, and also the author of a number of books. She made me a present of two of them – such a generous gesture. One of the books Cynthia gave me is Amelia to Zora, Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World. Cynthia is the author, and the illustrations are by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy. Each page is about a woman who’s done amazing, beautiful, world-changing things with her life. Cynthia has…
  • API explorers – play with a REST API the easy way

    Sarah Maddox
    24 Jan 2015 | 6:07 pm
    To communicate with a REST API (or other web service API), you need to construct a request, send it over HTTP or HTTPS, then receive and parse the response. When creating an app, you do all that with code. But what if you just want to take a look around the API to see what it offers, before diving into the code? API explorers are your friend. I’ve been putting together some information for a workshop on API technical writing. It’s been a rewarding exercise, because it’s made me think in a structured, educational way about what I do every day. A section of the workshop deals…
 
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    Just Write Click

  • State of the Migration to Sphinx/RST

    annegentle
    23 Feb 2015 | 6:02 am
    I wanted to document the migration journey while we are in the middle of it. Last week the OpenStack Super User site did a great article about the migration, How you can help with the documentation site refresh. We talked about the reasons for it: enable more contributors, offer simpler markup, be more Pythonic. And more Pythonic we are. Let’s dig into what’s going on with the migration, what we’ve learned, and what we still have to learn. Migration process We’re nearly done with patches to review converted End User Guide files, but just a few Admin User Guide files…
  • Deep Data Dive into Supporting Developers

    annegentle
    31 Jan 2015 | 11:49 pm
    Here at Rackspace, we watch several sources to determine if a developer is having trouble with Rackspace Cloud services, many of which are based on OpenStack. We even have a notification tool, aptly named peril, that offers an aggregation of the many sites where developers may seek help. I’ve been on the Rackspace developer experience team since the very early days when we started supporting developers at the code level a few years ago. We monitor stackoverflow.com, serverfault.com, and superuser.com for questions tagged with Rackspace, rackspace-cloud, fog, cloudfiles, jclouds, pyrax,…
  • API Archaeology: Complexity and sizing of an interface

    annegentle
    12 Jan 2015 | 6:06 pm
    For both OpenStack and Rackspace cloud APIs, we use WADL, Web Application Description Language, to build an API reference listing for all REST API calls. In a previous post I discuss how the reference pages at http://developer.openstack.org/api-ref.html are made with WADL source and a Maven plugin, clouddocs-maven-plugin. You can see the output for the Rackspace API reference page at http://api.rackspace.com, built with the same tool chain but different branding through CSS. I can discuss the tooling decision process in another post, but let’s talk about ongoing upkeep and…
  • How to get started writing API docs

    annegentle
    30 Dec 2014 | 11:17 am
    I know a lot of people who want to consume awesome API docs. Let’s talk about what it takes to get started writing them. I’m not talking about completing your API docs. I’m talking about just getting started, what does it take? For API documentation especially REST APIs, I’d advocate a reference-first approach. Like the couch to 5K program for running, let’s start API documentation on your couch. You look under your coffee table and find your shoes. You pull them on (make sure you have wrinkle-free socks!) and lace them up. You’re ready!   Please write…
  • Hackathons of Late

    annegentle
    22 Dec 2014 | 5:09 pm
    I’ve participated in a few hackathons in the past year, since I’ve been working on a team of developer advocates at Rackspace. I wanted to chronicle some of my experiences with a few goals in mind: recording memories for myself, letting others get ideas for the wide range of hackathons, and chronicling the wide variety of types of hackathons and outcomes of hackathons. For a bit of context, I’m female, have a family and weekend obligations that include sports practices, and I’m a generation-Xer if that gives you a sense of my age (with a range). I’ve definitely…
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    The Content Wrangler

  • “What Software Do We Need?” Is The Wrong First Question

    Scott Abel
    3 Mar 2015 | 1:53 pm
    Scott AbelBy Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler As a content strategy consultant, I’m often called upon by brands seeking to find ways to solve complex content challenges. Far too often, they start off their quest for a solution by asking the wrong first question: “What software do we need?” This is the wrong first question for a wide variety of reasons. The most important reason is that software products are tools, not content solutions, no matter what software company marketing mavens would like you to believe. Tools help content professionals solve content challenges and…
  • [Slide Deck] How To Use Neuroscience To Create Memorable Presentations

    Scott Abel
    18 Dec 2014 | 11:50 am
    Did you know that audiences forget 90% of what you present? That is significant. To make matters worse, the 10% people remember differs between members of your audience. So how can you control the 10% they remember? In the past decade, brain imaging technology has dramatically increased our understanding of the brain. We now know more about the way our brains process information and ultimately remember it. Take a peek at this slide deck, part of a presentation by neuroscience maven Dr. Carmen Simon of RexiMedia to discover how you can begin to apply principles from cognitive neuroscience…
  • [Slide Deck] Clear and Simple: Lower Your Content Costs with Global English

    Scott Abel
    10 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    If you missed The Content Wrangler Virtual Summit on Advanced Technical Communication Practices, you’re in luck. You can watch the recordings on-demand, whenever you like. This session was delivered by Matthew Kaul and Greg Adams of AdamsKaul.com. In this webinar, Matt and Greg explain what Global English is and who it benefits. The duo will also introduce you to some Global English techniques that you can implement immediately. And, they examine several case studies of companies who have implemented Global English—and have experienced dramatic results. Slide deck: Clear and…
  • [Slide Deck] The ROI of Intelligent Content

    Scott Abel
    9 Dec 2014 | 6:30 am
    If you missed The Content Wrangler Virtual Summit on Advanced Technical Communication Practices, you’re in luck. You can watch the recordings on-demand, whenever you like. This session was delivered by Mark Lewis, Quark. You CAN prove the savings possible from moving your unstructured content to intelligent content. The benefits are measurable. Intelligent content combined with a content management system can facilitate savings and improvements in content development, translation, regulations, governance, multi-channel publishing, and quality. In this session, Mark Lewis discusses…
  • [Slide Deck] The Future of Technical Communication is Marketing

    Scott Abel
    8 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    If you missed The Content Wrangler Virtual Summit on Advanced Technical Communication Practices, you’re in luck. You can watch the recordings on-demand, whenever you like. This session was delivered by Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler. Once a prospect buys a product or service, the content they interact with is no longer familiar. The instructions provided don’t look, feel, or sound anything like the marketing and sales materials that introduced them to your brand. Neither does the service contract, the warranty, the customer support website, the product documentation, nor…
 
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    I Came, I Saw, I Learned...

  • Camtasia Studio: Animations Made Easy

    IconLogic
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:27 am
    by Kevin Siegel    When I teach Camtasia, one of the activities that garners the largest "that's cool" factor is how easy it is to animate any object. During class, we not only animate an object, we get it to grow and rotate while it's flying around the screen. Sound awesome? Here's how to do it: Insert an object onto the Camtasia stage (you can animate anything... in the image below I've added a rectangle callout, added a bit of text and positioned it in the middle of the stage).  Extend the playtime for the object so it sticks around…
  • IconLogic Teams with eLearning Brothers

    IconLogic
    2 Mar 2015 | 8:28 am
    IconLogic and the eLearning Brothers have joined forces to bring you the very best in training and eLearning assets.Beginning today, when you complete any of the following IconLogic classes you will receive a free one-year paid subscription to the eLearning Brothers eLearning Templates (a $499 value). Adobe Captivate Beginner Adobe Captivate Advanced Articulate Storyline Beginner Articulate Storyline Advanced Free Sample PacksComplete any of IconLogic's 3-hour eLearning mini courses and you'll receive a free sample pack of eLearning assets from the eLearning Brothers.
  • eLearning: Creating a Self-Video with Adobe Video Express

    IconLogic
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:21 am
    by Jennie Ruby  Adobe Presenter Video Express is a new version of the video software that comes with Adobe Presenter 10. With it you can record a video of both you and your computer screen at the same time. When you open it from the Presenter ribbon within PowerPoint, you can create a video of yourself and your PowerPoint slides. Once you have recorded your video, you can then edit the project to show either your face, the computer screen, or both. Its intent is to allow you to record yourself presenting your slides just as you would to a live audience. Tips for Improving Your…
  • Social Media: Creating a LinkedIn Summary That Gets You Noticed

    IconLogic
    25 Feb 2015 | 9:23 am
    by Sally Cox   There is an art to creating a strong LinkedIn profile. One of the most powerful assets in your LinkedIn profile is the Summary. Most people put minimal thought into it, but honestly, it's a golden opportunity to make yourself shine. Tips to Creating a Stronger Profile Be clear on your objective before you begin. What do you want recruiters and prospective employers to gain from reading your summary? How do you want them to feel? Gather your content. Put everything in place so you can begin to write the summation. List your greatest accomplishments, and a…
  • Adobe Captivate: The Cure for Blurry Zoom Destinations

    IconLogic
    24 Feb 2015 | 7:17 am
    by Kevin Siegel      Zoom Areas are typically used to emphasize an important area of a slide background. They are especially useful if you want your learner to automatically get closer to a specific area of the screen.To insert a Zoom Area, click Objects on the Main Toolbar and choose Zoom Area. Zoom Areas consist of two parts: the area of a background that you want to highlight (Zoom Source) and where the zoomed area of the background will appear (Zoom Destination). In the image below, I have positioned and resized the Zoom Source over…
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    I'd Rather Be Writing

  • How to create a help API

    Tom Johnson
    4 Mar 2015 | 12:20 am
    In my last post in this series, I talked about static site generators as a platform for help. In this post, I want to explore Help APIs, which is actually something in part enabled by static site generators. To put things in context, the web is sort of a giant API. Each browser functions as Continue Reading »
  • Static site generators start to replace web publishing platforms like WordPress

    Tom Johnson
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:16 am
    In the previous post in this series on innovation, I highlighted some web tools worth exploring for help systems. In this post, I want to dive into one of the latest trends with web tools: static site generators. The Rise and fall of web publishing platforms For the past 10 years, web publishing platforms with Continue Reading »
  • Some web tools worth using in help solutions

    Tom Johnson
    26 Feb 2015 | 1:17 pm
    In the previous post in this series, I argued that piggybacking onto the innovation of the web requires us to use the same web platforms that web developers create, support, and maintain. In this post, I want to mention a few web technologies worth checking out. jQuery jQuery is a JavaScript library that provides functionality Continue Reading »
  • Piggybacking onto the innovation of the web

    Tom Johnson
    24 Feb 2015 | 8:28 am
    In the previous post in this series, I looked at the five major technological innovations of the past decade and asked how tech comm plugs into each of them. In this post, I want to explore ways to piggyback onto the innovation of the web. Challenges in hacking A few months back, I was exploring Continue Reading »
  • Microsoft and the last 5 great technological innovations

    Tom Johnson
    19 Feb 2015 | 9:50 pm
    I recently came across an interesting article by Jason Calicanis called Microsoft is interesting again — very. It talks about why Microsoft has lost out on the last 5 major technical innovations, and how they are poised to make a comeback. Calicanis writes: Microsoft has been largely dead to Silicon Valley because for the past Continue Reading »
 
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    Scriptorium Publishing

  • Buyer’s guide to CCMS evaluation and selection (premium)

    Sarah O'Keefe
    2 Mar 2015 | 5:33 am
    “What CCMS should we buy?” It’s a common question with no easy answer. This article provides a roadmap for CCMS evaluation and selection. First, a few definitions. A CCMS (component content management system) is different from a CMS (content management system). You … Continue reading → The post Buyer’s guide to CCMS evaluation and selection (premium) appeared first on Scriptorium Publishing.
  • How fast food can help your content strategy

    Alan Pringle
    23 Feb 2015 | 5:40 am
    These days, I generally avoid fast food, but it’s hard to pass up good French fries every now and then. Look beyond those yummy fries, and you can learn some valuable lessons that apply to content strategy. A consistent—yet location-tailored—experience … Continue reading → The post How fast food can help your content strategy appeared first on Scriptorium Publishing.
  • Taking the DITA troubleshooting topic for a spin

    Carlos Evia
    16 Feb 2015 | 5:30 am
    This guest post is by Carlos Evia, Ph.D., the director of Professional and Technical Writing at Virginia Tech. The DITA Troubleshooting topic is one of the “new” features in version 1.3 of the standard. However, troubleshooting has been around the … Continue reading → The post Taking the DITA troubleshooting topic for a spin appeared first on Scriptorium Publishing.
  • Conditional content in DITA (premium)

    Sarah O'Keefe
    9 Feb 2015 | 5:30 am
    This post provides an overview of techniques you can use to handle conditional content in DITA. The need for complex conditions is a common reason organizations choose DITA as their content model. As conditional requirements get more complex, the basic … Continue reading → The post Conditional content in DITA (premium) appeared first on Scriptorium Publishing.
  • The talent deficit in content strategy

    Sarah O'Keefe
    2 Feb 2015 | 5:30 am
    Content strategy is taking hold across numerous organizations. Bad content is riskier and riskier because of the transparency and accountability in today’s social media–driven world. But now, we have a new problem: a talent deficit in content strategy. Our industry … Continue reading → The post The talent deficit in content strategy appeared first on Scriptorium Publishing.
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    CyberText Newsletter

  • Word: Macro to run multiple wildcard find and replace routines

    Rhonda
    2 Mar 2015 | 1:30 pm
    After some digging around, I’ve found a way to save myself hours of running separate find and replace routines using wildcards in Microsoft Word. The routines I commonly use already save me time, but now I’ve got one macro that runs them all at once — currently 110 of them that are just for replacing an ordinary space with a non-breaking space! I didn’t write the macro — that honor goes to Microsoft Word MVPs Graham Mayor who wrote the initial macro, and Doug Robbins who helped me tweak it to do what I wanted it to do. Details are…
  • Word: Wildcard replace transposes characters when track changes is on

    Rhonda
    25 Feb 2015 | 1:30 pm
    A bug in Microsoft Word has had me baffled for several hours and at various times in the past. I thought it was me. But it’s not –it’s Word, and it’s a bug that’s been around since at least 2006. Microsoft have never bothered to fix it (I use Word 2010 and 2013 and it’s evident in both those versions). What happens? When you do a Wildcard find/replace in Word AND you have track changes turned on, the replace action transposes/reverses the items you want to replace! For example, I have numeric values followed by their units of measure (e.g. 90 km) and I want…
  • Webpage in Chrome won’t print in color on Brother MFC-9120CN

    Rhonda
    22 Feb 2015 | 1:30 pm
    This information applies to Brother MFC-9120CN printers and Google Chrome, and a situation where no matter how many times you select to print in color via Chrome, the webpage only prints in black and white. After some experimenting I figured out why my pages wouldn’t print in color. I have my printer set to print in ‘mono’ (black and white/grayscale) by default to save on using expensive color cartridges when they aren’t required for many print jobs. If I need to print in color, I change that setting in the printer properties. But in Google Chrome, you can’t…
  • Finding accurate bibliographic details for a References list

    Rhonda
    18 Feb 2015 | 1:30 pm
    References. The bane of anyone writing a document that cites information from others. Gathering all the required bibliographic data for a reference can be painful, as well as formatting it according to the ‘house’ style. However, one way to shortcut the process is to use a (free) internet service that searches out the information for you AND formats it to your house style, or close to your house style. All you need are a few words of the title, perhaps an author name, and the name of such a service. The instructions below show how to use the WorldCat service to grab the complete…
  • Dust — the enemy of computers

    Rhonda
    15 Feb 2015 | 1:30 pm
    I had to take my server in for a RAM upgrade, which meant disconnecting it and preparing it for travel inside the car. One of the things I wanted the PC Guru guys to do was give the server a good clean too. But as I already had it disconnected on the bench, I figured I’d spend a bit of time getting rid of the excess dust so that their clean was targeted at all the inside bits that I either can’t reach or am not confident about cleaning. One thing I discovered some time back is that the inside of my server stays remarkably dust free. Not so behind the door! The first time I took…
 
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    Communications from DMN

  • Pulling the plug

    DMN Communications
    1 Mar 2015 | 5:45 am
    There’s no easy way to say this, so we’ll be blunt. On March 31, 2015 DMN Communications will cease to be. This blog, our website, our Twitter account, and everything else related to the company will go dark. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Things around here have been relatively quiet for the last couple of years. In that time, it wasn’t that we went back to operating in stealth mode. We weren’t operating at all. A lot of it has to do with both of us drifting away from technical communication. Over the last two or three years, a lot has changed in…
  • Taking your skills in a different direction

    Scott Nesbitt
    24 Feb 2015 | 6:02 am
    (Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, here and appears in this space via a Creative Commons license) Believe it or not, you’re more than just a technical writer. You have other skills, too. You might not even be aware of them. Some of those skills relate to writing. Others, you’ve developed as part of your career. One way you can diversify your career is do something with those skills. Like what? Read on to find a few suggestions. Coaching I can’t think of any aspiring technical writer, or even an experienced one, who doesn’t need a bit of coaching.
  • A look at three open source alternatives to Google Analytics

    Scott Nesbitt
    13 Feb 2015 | 6:09 am
    (Note: This post was originally published on October 23, 2014 at Opensource.com and appears here via a Creative Commons license) If you have a website or an online business, collecting data on where your visitors or customers come from, where they land on your site, and where they leave is vital. Why? Having that information can help you better target your products and services, and beef up the pages that are turning people away. The way to gather that kind of information is with a web analytics tool. Many people and businesses (of all sizes) turn to Google Analytics. But if you want to keep…
  • Tips for quickly building your online presence

    Scott Nesbitt
    5 Feb 2015 | 6:12 am
    (Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, here and appears in this space via a Creative Commons license) In 2014, someone who was just embarking on a new career asked me for advice about establishing an online presence for his freelance work – a website, a blog, a social media footprint. The problem is that the person in question thought he needed to get everything out on that web at once for your presence to be effective. That’s not an uncommon perception. But it’s the wrong one to have. Your online presence doesn’t need to spring fully-blown as if from…
  • Three resources for outsourcing your tasks

    Scott Nesbitt
    22 Jan 2015 | 5:52 am
    (Note: This post was originally published here and appears in this space via a Creative Commons license) Time. Few of us have a lot of it. Especially busy freelance technical writers. There are always little (or not-so-little) tasks that we don’t always have the time to tackle. Or, maybe, we don’t have the skills to tackle those tasks quickly and efficiently. Sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet and pay someone to do that work for you. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been doing that every so often. The (small) sums I’ve spent have been worth it. They’ve freed up a little…
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    Core Dump 2.0

  • Ebook Development Resources

    Keith
    4 Mar 2015 | 1:52 am
    A few years ago I wrote an article for techwhirl.com about ebook resources. That’s a bit dated now, and one of these days, I will update it, but in the meantime, here’s an article summarizing some more up-to-date resources. Webinars and tutorials are available in numerous places. In each case, the resources below have several service areas. For my purposes here, I am going to focus on resources for ebook developers. eBOUND Canada is a publisher service organization that has a tidy treasure trove of webinars and tutorials. One of my favourites is EPUB3: When and How by industry…
  • The Last of the Typewriter Men

    Keith
    2 Mar 2015 | 1:30 am
    Here’s a paean to a vanishing breed – the typewriter repairman. Yes, there are a few left, but you might have to travel to New York to find one. On a recent bleak, winter afternoon in the Flatiron District Paul Schweitzer was once again hard at work, trying to breathe life into a black, jazz-age Underwood typewriter. Behind his spectacles was a furrowed brow and behind that was a tangle of keys, steel, carrying cases and filing cabinets of rollers, spools, levers and keys, a morgue of mechanical guts. To Schweitzer’s right, his son, Justin, performed a surgery of sorts on an IBM…
  • The Tragedy of Canada’s census

    Keith
    1 Mar 2015 | 1:25 am
    In 2010, the Harper government, in a fit of ideological insanity, decided that the census would no longer be mandatory. Now the chickens are coming home to roost, as provincial governments, cities, non-profit organizations, and corporations are finding that they lack crucial, up-to-date information about the makeup of our country. Here’s the kicker, though: This new survey, the one that provides less data than the one before it and has left academics, government officials, demographers, social planners and businesspeople wondering how to calculate exactly how many people live in Canada, and…
  • Whither democracy?

    Keith
    26 Feb 2015 | 3:42 am
    SF author, Charles Stross, has been working on some near-future SF recently and thinking a lot about what could happen in the next twenty five years or so. He’s not optimistic. Start at the beginning, work your way through his train of thought, and see how you feel. We’re living in an era of increasing automation. And it’s trivially clear that the adoption of automation privileges capital over labour (because capital can be substituted for labour, and the profit from its deployment thereby accrues to capital rather than being shared evenly across society). A side-effect of…
  • The Canadian government’s war on science

    Keith
    25 Feb 2015 | 1:31 am
    I knew it was bad, but the extent of the current Canadian government’s war on science is appalling.  John Dupuis, Science Librarian at Steacie Science & Engineering Library, York University, Toronto, has done us all favour by compiling what he calls a “brief chronology” of our government’s ideological hate campaign against evidence-based decision making. I wish it was brief; sadly, it’s not. As is occasionally my habit, I have pulled together a chronology of sorts. It is a chronology of all the various cuts, insults, muzzlings and cancellations that I’ve…
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    EServer TC Library: Recent Additions

  • The Essentials: Technical Communication’s Value Proposition

    1 Mar 2015 | 12:54 pm
    STC defines technical communicator to the Bureau of Labor Statistics as follows: “Develop and design instructional and informational tools needed to assure safe, appropri­ate and effective use of science and technology, intellectual property, and manufactured products and services. Combine multi-media knowledge and strong communication skills with tech­nical expertise to educate across the en­tire spectrum of users’ abilities, techni­cal experience, and visual and auditory capabilities.” Technical communicators increase the corporate bottom line by increasing sales, streamlining…
  • Making Content Flexible with Responsive Design

    1 Mar 2015 | 12:53 pm
    Technical communicators strive to provide high-quality content to users when and where they need it. With responsive design it is now possible to create content that automatically adjusts to the device. Bleiel, Nicky
  • Suggestions for Tweeting About Your Technical Docs

    1 Mar 2015 | 12:52 pm
    So, your technical communications group wants to jump into social media. How does your group start? What do you tweet about? Here is a short set of guidelines, certainly not exhaustive, but something to get you going. Grissino, Ann-Marie
  • Apply Empathy Within Your Organization

    1 Mar 2015 | 12:51 pm
    Each organization exists for a purpose: to bring something to the world, make it available to people, and enable those people to capitalize upon it. Many organizations exist to also make
 a profit. Whether for profit or not, all organizations seek to sustain themselves, so they can continue bringing their things to the world. Within each organization, there is usually a healthy awareness of the purpose, as well as a focus on being sustainably successful. Young, Indi
  • The Essentials: Handy Editing Resources

    1 Mar 2015 | 12:40 pm
    This edition of The Essentials features some of my favorite editing resources. I’ve amassed and updated this list over the years; I believe one of the first versions was shared in my “Cool Tools for Tech Writers” talk at the 2007 STC Summit in Minneapolis. Now I use it in my tech writing classes. This isn’t the entire list—and I’m sure you have a few favorites of your own that aren’t here—but I think you’ll find something useful to add to your toolkit. Please add your own favorites to the list at Intercom Online (http://intercom.stc.org/). Bleiel, Nicky
 
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    Technical Writing Tips

  • What is a Statement in C#?

    Ivan Walsh
    25 Feb 2015 | 11:36 am
    In C#, statements express the actions that a program takes. Common actions include Declaring variables Assigning values Calling methods Looping through collections Branching to another block of code The order in which statements are executed in a program is called the flow of control or flow of execution. This may vary every time that a program is run, depending on how the program reacts to input that it receives at run time. A statement consist of one of the following: Single line of code that ends in a semicolon or Series of single-line statements in a block A statement block is enclosed in…
  • How to Write Error Messages

    Ivan Walsh
    23 Feb 2015 | 12:27 pm
    These guidelines will help you write error messages that are easy to update and useful for customers. If you think about it, error messages are the first line of customer support. If written poorly, error messages increase technical support costs. They also frustrate customers, lose sales, and reflects poorly on your software, app, or website. Errors are a fact of software development. Every site has 404 errors. Every software has bugs, known issues, and glitches. Once we accept that, we can begin to help customers use our software, and help them get around the issues they encounter. If you…
  • C#: how to write Hello World

    Ivan Walsh
    23 Feb 2015 | 11:32 am
    The “Hello, World” program is traditionally used to introduce a programming language. Here it is in C#: using System; class Hello static void Main() { Console.WriteLine(“Hello, World”); What’s the file extension? C# source files typically have the file extension .cs. How to compile? You can compile the program with the Microsoft C# compiler using the command line: csc hello.cs What does the Using directive do? The “Hello, World” program starts with a using directive that references the System namespace. What does a Namespace do? Namespaces Organize C# programs and…
  • How to write Release Notes

    Ivan Walsh
    22 Feb 2015 | 8:03 am
    Introduce the release notes with text such as the following: These release notes provide information about the documentation for <your product> <version number>. You can download release notes templates here. About This Release Next, describe what’s included in the release, especially if it’s quite detailed, for example: This release is a full version of the <your product> <version number>. It can coexist on the same computer with earlier point releases of the product starting from Version X.x.x. Identify where you can find the software to download. Where…
  • Proof-reading Checklist for Technical Documents

    Ivan Walsh
    19 Feb 2015 | 1:28 pm
    Is there anything worse than sending out an important document and then, just when it’s gone, finding a typo? Always leave some time to check your documents before you send them out. Here’s a checklist to get you started. Proof-reading Checklist Select the entire document – CTRL+A – then click the Language option at the bottomrof the screen. It might say English (United States). Mark the selected text as the language it should be set to. Click Set as Default. Press F7 to start the spellchecker. In the spelling results, click ignore all to ignore the same issue…
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    I Came, I Saw, I Learned...

  • Camtasia Studio: Animations Made Easy

    IconLogic
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:27 am
    by Kevin Siegel    When I teach Camtasia, one of the activities that garners the largest "that's cool" factor is how easy it is to animate any object. During class, we not only animate an object, we get it to grow and rotate while it's flying around the screen. Sound awesome? Here's how to do it: Insert an object onto the Camtasia stage (you can animate anything... in the image below I've added a rectangle callout, added a bit of text and positioned it in the middle of the stage).  Extend the playtime for the object so it sticks around for a bit (right-click…
  • IconLogic Teams with eLearning Brothers

    IconLogic
    2 Mar 2015 | 8:28 am
    IconLogic and the eLearning Brothers have joined forces to bring you the very best in training and eLearning assets.Beginning today, when you complete any of the following IconLogic classes you will receive a free one-year paid subscription to the eLearning Brothers eLearning Templates (a $499 value). Adobe Captivate Beginner Adobe Captivate Advanced Articulate Storyline Beginner Articulate Storyline Advanced Free Sample PacksComplete any of IconLogic's 3-hour eLearning mini courses and you'll receive a free sample pack of eLearning assets from the eLearning Brothers.
  • eLearning: Creating a Self-Video with Adobe Video Express

    IconLogic
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:21 am
    by Jennie Ruby  Adobe Presenter Video Express is a new version of the video software that comes with Adobe Presenter 10. With it you can record a video of both you and your computer screen at the same time. When you open it from the Presenter ribbon within PowerPoint, you can create a video of yourself and your PowerPoint slides. Once you have recorded your video, you can then edit the project to show either your face, the computer screen, or both. Its intent is to allow you to record yourself presenting your slides just as you would to a live audience. Tips for Improving Your Videos  Set…
  • Social Media: Creating a LinkedIn Summary That Gets You Noticed

    IconLogic
    25 Feb 2015 | 9:23 am
    by Sally Cox   There is an art to creating a strong LinkedIn profile. One of the most powerful assets in your LinkedIn profile is the Summary. Most people put minimal thought into it, but honestly, it's a golden opportunity to make yourself shine. Tips to Creating a Stronger Profile Be clear on your objective before you begin. What do you want recruiters and prospective employers to gain from reading your summary? How do you want them to feel? Gather your content. Put everything in place so you can begin to write the summation. List your greatest accomplishments, and a sentence about…
  • Adobe Captivate: The Cure for Blurry Zoom Destinations

    IconLogic
    24 Feb 2015 | 7:17 am
    by Kevin Siegel      Zoom Areas are typically used to emphasize an important area of a slide background. They are especially useful if you want your learner to automatically get closer to a specific area of the screen.To insert a Zoom Area, click Objects on the Main Toolbar and choose Zoom Area. Zoom Areas consist of two parts: the area of a background that you want to highlight (Zoom Source) and where the zoomed area of the background will appear (Zoom Destination). In the image below, I have positioned and resized the Zoom Source over the area of the slide background that I want to…
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    Technical Writing ToolBox

  • STC Webinar Recording- Higher Education in Technical Communication

    Gurpreet Singh
    15 Feb 2015 | 10:36 am
    I recently conducted a webinar on Higher Education in Technical Communication for STC India Management SIG. You can view the Youtube video recording of the session on this blog post. I would love to hear your feedback regarding this session. Is it exciting? Is it boring? Would you like to attend my next webinar? Please leave […]
  • Webinar – Higher Education in Technical Communication

    Gurpreet Singh
    20 Jan 2015 | 11:14 am
    I am conducting a webinar titled “Higher Education in Technical Communication”  for STC India Management SIG. Please register if you are interested in learning more about higher education opportunities in technical writing. Registration link: http://www.stc-india.org/events/webinar-jan-31-2015-higher-education-in-technical-communication/ Filed under: Presentation, STC, Toronto Tagged: Education, Technical communication, Technical writing
  • Youtube Webinar Recording- API Documentation

    Gurpreet Singh
    13 Oct 2014 | 4:44 pm
    I recently conducted a webinar on API documentation for STC India Management SIG. You can view the Youtube video recording of the session on this blog post. I would love to hear your feedback regarding this session. Is it exciting? Is it boring? Would you like to attend my next webinar? Please leave a comment […]
  • Webinar on API Documentation for STC India Management SIG

    Gurpreet Singh
    25 Sep 2014 | 11:32 am
    I am conducting a webinar on API documentation for STC India Management SIG. Please register if you are interested in learning more API documentation. Registration link: http://www.stc-india.org/events/webinar-api-documentation/ Filed under: Elements of Technical Writing Tagged: Application Programming Interface, careercast, Communication, Management SIG, stc
  • Top 10 Best Jobs in 2013

    Gurpreet Singh
    14 Mar 2014 | 1:09 pm
    In my last blog post, I talked about the 60th best job in 2013- Technical Writing. But what about the top 10 best jobs in 2013? Comcast released a list of top 200 different jobs in the U.S based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook. The data for this report […]
 
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    Wylie Communications, Inc.

  • Writing in the right direction

    Ann Wylie
    28 Feb 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Create written communication guidelinesEver wish you had a reference tool you could hand off to new team members to answer the question, “How do we write around here?”Write it right Writing guidelines get your writers and reviewers on the same page — literally.How about a resource you could use to show serial offenders how to fix label headlines, passive voice or leads that are more likely to get readers to take a nap than to take action?Wouldn’t you love to present a document that helps you tell your approvers, “While I personally would love to press…
  • Captivate your audience

    Ann Wylie
    21 Feb 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Three ways to make your copy more creative“Nobody ever sold anybody anything by boring them to death.”— David OgilvyOgilvy was right.If you want someone to buy what you’re selling — whether you’re pitching products and services or positions and ideas — you must first engage them.Draw them in Want to grab reader attention? Make Your Copy More Creative.And nothing engages audience members quite so well as creative material. Creative elements get attention, communicate more clearly and enhance credibility. They paint pictures in your audience members’…
  • Lists with benefits

    Ann Wylie
    14 Feb 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Make them parallel, verb-basedWhen Mr. Wylie’s Writing Tips had a hip replacement recently, he had to take a break from grocery shopping. I went searching for my new BFF, an online grocery delivery service.I found Envoy, which turned out to offer grocery delivery and a writing workshop in one.Lost weekends You had me at “Save 80 hours a year.”Envoy does a great job of expressing its benefits. My favorite: “You’ll save 80 hours a year.” You mean I can avoid two work weeks of selecting the perfect rutabaga and standing in line with the almond milk each year?
  • The best of Times

    Ann Wylie
    7 Feb 2015 | 9:00 pm
    The U.S. newspaper of record runs 33% feature leadsNew York’s Grey Lady isn’t so gray any more. Topping one-third of its stories with feature leads, The New York Times covers the world in living color.Lead by example The New York Times grabs reader attention with concrete, creative, provocative leads — aka feature leads — such as description, juicy details and examples.We analyzed 87 stories in the Dec. 15, 2014, edition of the Times. (We skipped the sports pages and one-paragraph stories.) Reporters started 29 of those pieces with feature leads.Feature leads grab…
  • Balance and Power

    Ann Wylie
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Win our February writing contestThe sound your’re hearing in that Oscar Wilde quote is called balance. Also known as parallelism, balance works because of the rub between similarity and difference.On balance Parallelism gets its power from the friction between similarity and difference. Image by Viewminder: http://bit.ly/1i9etyOBalance draws reader attention to the most important parts of your message, with passages like:“… my head in the rainclouds, my heart in the sky.” — Donna Tartt, novelist, in The Goldfinch“Nefertiti is a face without a queen;…
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    Techpanorma.com

  • ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Live Streaming Video, Quick updated Score & Commentary Apps

    Happy Raj
    22 Feb 2015 | 8:56 am
    The Cricket fever has begun with the ICC Cricket World cup 2015 and some of fans have already taken their holidays from the jobs for watching big matches live on TV. Yes, of course, not everyone can afford to go to New Zealand and Australia, but can watch live battle of cricket at the home. This post is especially written for those fans, who don’t want to miss any match or inning while working in offices. Yes, it can be possible through your Smartphone. Here, we are going to share some fantastic Cricket apps, which would make this cricket season more exciting and enjoyable. The fans who are…
  • Beats By Dre vs Sennheiser vs Bose: Which Headphone should you buy?

    Happy Raj
    21 Feb 2015 | 1:51 am
    A must have requirement of the daily commuters and the passionate music lovers is a good quality headphone. The daily commuters who are travelling long distances on public transport always prefer to listen to their favorite tracks along the way. The only thing that actually stops them from enjoying their playlist is the high decibel noises and chaotic sounds of the surroundings. It has always been a major problem when you want to listen to the music on the go. Even at private spaces, the user may encounter a lot of disturbances from sounds like television, someone talking over the phone etc.
  • Top 10 Latest Soccer or Football Android Games, Apps and Live Score Apps

    Happy Raj
    14 Feb 2015 | 4:45 am
    Soccer more commonly known as football is one of the most popular sport all over the world. There are numerous sports played globally like hockey, baseball, cricket etc., but there is nothing that can beat the craze of football amongst the people. There are millions of football fans worldwide who love watching their favorite football teams playing and competing with their opponents. Some gaming freaks even love to play their favorite football games on their Android smartphones. Recommended : Best Ultimate Gadgets(Tech Gifts) for  Everyone under  $50, $80, $100 One major problem that arises…
  • Cool Gadgets(Tech Gifts) You can Buy on Amazon in $50-$100

    Happy Raj
    9 Feb 2015 | 11:21 am
    We got lots of queries from the students and techno geeks of US & Europe, who are looking for best gadgets on Amazon under 50$ to $100. Here, we explored and found several quality gadgets, on which you can spend your dollars without making stress on mind. The amount is not very much so you can give these devices as tech gifts to friends and family members. If you are really willing to buy a gadget around 50$-100$, then you must read this post very carefully. 1. Amazon Fire TV Price : $84 Must Visit : The best health and  Fitness wearable Gadgets  If you are really panicked with your old…
  • Download Red Bull Racers for Computer(win 7/8/10) and Mac Free

    Happy Raj
    5 Feb 2015 | 2:32 am
    Red Bull Racing is a thrilling and exciting racing game that is a treat to play for all the racing freaks worldwide. Red Bull Racers is a completely action packed racing game as the users will experience breath taking car races and car crashes in the game. It is a featured rich racing game developed by Red Bull Media House that features many speedy high Jinks and consequent wrecks. The basic objective of the game is to race around the circuit trying to defeat the fellow racers. Also, you have to make sure that while overtaking your opponents, you do not crash with their vehicles or any other…
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    CodenRead

  • Android Heating Issues: Causes and How to Avoid

    codeadmin
    12 Feb 2015 | 5:24 am
    We are becoming more and more dependent on our smartphones and tablets, as they seem to become an universal device that you can use to access the information that is so important nowadays. This isn’t a bad thing, but when you depend so much on a single piece, you have to be responsible with it, […] The post Android Heating Issues: Causes and How to Avoid appeared first on CodenRead.
  • PHP Developers, Take Note: Zend Server 8 Arrives On The Amazon Cloud

    Siva Sankar
    11 Feb 2015 | 4:16 am
    Zend Technologies today is announcing the arrival of the latest version of the Zend Server application platform on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace. That should come as good news to developers who work in PHP and prefer to run their applications on the biggest public cloud around. Zend Server 8 is a PHP application […] The post PHP Developers, Take Note: Zend Server 8 Arrives On The Amazon Cloud appeared first on CodenRead.
  • Make Your SIte Mobile Friendly for Your Users

    Siva Sankar
    10 Feb 2015 | 6:02 pm
    For the last few months the PHP Classes and JS Classes site have been improved to provide a better user experience for users accessing it using mobile devices. In the past, the users were inquired about the importance to make the site mobile friendly. Very few users expressed interest in that. The fact is that […] The post Make Your SIte Mobile Friendly for Your Users appeared first on CodenRead.
  • CONSIDERING DRUPAL AS A CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

    Siva Sankar
    10 Feb 2015 | 3:56 am
    To explain content management and content management systems (CMSs), Elizabeth Black writes: “Web Content Management is the discipline of collecting, organizing, categorizing and structuring information that is to be delivered on a Web site. Content management systems support a distributed content model by separating the content from the presentation and giving the content provider an […] The post CONSIDERING DRUPAL AS A CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM appeared first on CodenRead.
  • Google Will Pay You $7.50 For Referring Google Apps To Businesses

    codeadmin
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:49 pm
    Mobile apps ecosystem has grown in the past couple of years to become lucrative business for app developers and platform owners. Such has been the craze for applications these days, that you have educational courses based on coding and app development especially for Android. People centered around the business have made a lot of money […] The post Google Will Pay You $7.50 For Referring Google Apps To Businesses appeared first on CodenRead.
 
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    Tech Ranger

  • Download and Install Snapchat for PC Windows 7/8/8.1/ Laptops

    Srikanth Yangali
    3 Mar 2015 | 3:38 am
    Here I have come up with the Downloading and installing procedures of the Snapchat application to be used on your PC/ Desktop/ Computer. Snapchat is an android application, which is used to converse with each other, share their photos and videos. Snapchat is alike to top social applications like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp. But this application has got some special features in it which is making this application popular. Snapchat is available in the Google Playstore for those who are using Android platforms in their smartphones. Snapchat was developed by Snapchat Inc in 2012 and…
  • Download Youwave For Windows PC

    Bharath Sirikonda
    3 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    The world now is talking about the new software called as Youwave which is one of the product of Android. This Youwave is an android emulator which helps in downloading the other latest softwares in the market. This android software is not free like the other softwares of Android and it will cost if a user wants to use it for the longer run. Though, one can use this software for a trail version for a period of two weeks or 14 days. After completing the period of trail version, one has to buy if one has to use this software for the longer period. This facility is a speed breaker if one wants…
  • Download Bluestacks for PC Windows 7/8/8.1 free

    Bharath Sirikonda
    3 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    Bluetacks App Player is the product of Bluestacks Company which is designed to enable Android applications to run especially on Windows PCs, Macintosh computers and televisions. The Bluestack company was founded in the year 2009 by Rosen Sharma, who is the former CTO at McAfee and also a board member of Cloud.com. Bluestacks is the software that is very much useful for downloading and installing the online messengers like WhatsApp, Wechat and many others. Without this software, it is impossible to download and install blustacks(though some other methods are also surfacing on the net).
  • Download and Install WeChat for Samsung mobile Phones

    VR
    2 Mar 2015 | 1:30 am
    WeChat is a great application that allows us to communicate with others through instant messaging services and calls. One of the biggest advantages of this application is that it is free, so we should not spend a single penny to communicate. We should note that in order for this application to work need to be online. Having a 3g, 4g or be connected to a WI-fi network, it is mandatory to use WeChat connection. The WeChat application supports several cellular models, in this case we will tell you a little about WeChat for Samsung. This mobile phone brand has now introduced a series of smart…
  • Download HIKE for pc/windows 7/8/8.1 for free – Install Hike for PC

    Bharath Sirikonda
    2 Mar 2015 | 1:30 am
    After WhatsApp which is a worldwide used online messenger, it is the Hike that is used most in India where the local stickers are being the highlight of this application where people use this app to chat with their close and loved ones. Like WhatsApp people are now trying to download and install Hike Messenger for Windows 7 or Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 or in their PC. Hike has some extra features than WhatsApp where you can send upto 100MB videos which is not possible with WhatsApp. Other than sending messages with Hike, you can send files in the form of pdf / zip / Doc, videos with high MB,…
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    Dissertation India

  • The memos for a successful PhD interview

    Kalpesh
    4 Mar 2015 | 2:57 am
    PhD questions are and have to be tricky and that is what makes the achievement what it is.  Amazing in true sense of the word and certainly not meant for the faint hearted. It is necessary for the interviewers to ascertain your capability to live up to the herculean challenge that a PhD is. There is no key to guaranteed success in a PhD interview but surely there are means and ways by which one can make the journey smooth and the target achievable. The Do’s of a PhD interview Create your own branding and so that you are  remembered for achievements that go beyond your academic skills…
  • What determines the duration the PhD would take to complete?

    Kalpesh
    27 Feb 2015 | 12:50 am
    The time of completion of the PhD programme could be affected by various factors: We often hear that typically a PhD programme would take minimum of three years to complete. Very few people actually complete it in exactly three years. Some even take up to four years. Completion within this time span is also on the condition of full participation by the candidate. With certainty one cannot predict the exact amount of time a PhD programme would take to complete. This is so because the course doing classes, research experiences, clearing papers and assignments and doing dissertation. These tasks…
  • Getting Published In a High Impact Factor Journal

    Kalpesh
    26 Feb 2015 | 12:47 am
    The impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to recent articles published in science and social science journals. It is now frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field, with journals with higher impact factors deemed to be more important than those with lower ones. Most researchers aspire to get published in high impact factor journals. Getting published in a high impact factor journal indicates the quality of the research as well as the expertise of the author. The race to get published in such…
  • Are there ways to deal with a tough PhD supervisor?

    Kalpesh
    25 Feb 2015 | 12:50 am
    A lot of students are seen struggling with difficult PhD supervisors. They go through incidents when the supervisor yells at them, makes them feel stupid or sometimes even out rightly rejects their work. Well, quitting your PhD may not be the only solution here. There are alternatives to deal with this. People come in varied flavours, there are further narrowed varieties in the category of difficult people, and one kind would be hostile and aggressive and may even come up to using harsh words. On the other side, there may be people who are nice but rarely follow through their commitments.
  • How to structure your PhD research proposal

    Kalpesh
    22 Feb 2015 | 10:06 pm
    The PhD admission dates in Indian universities are approaching fast. To undertake a PhD, you need to ensure to prepare your PhD proposal in a way which gets approved in the first go. A PhD research proposal is required by the universities to check the feasibility of your research and whether they have the required resources to assist you with it. It can always be changed later which is why you need not worry about attaining perfectionism. However, you must take care to structure it properly and format it as per the university guidelines to avoid rejection. The structure of a PhD research…
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