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Chapter 1. Understanding Technical Writing > What is Technical Writing?

What is Technical Writing?

Developed by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia about 3500 B.C., writing is a relatively recent invention, especially when we consider that human beings have been on earth approximately 50,000 years. Some scholars suggest that writing was developed to help individuals exchange goods, and so writing may also be understood as instrumental in the development of commerce. If we see writing as a technology, we begin to demystify it; that is, we begin to realize that the ability to write is a craft that can be learned.

However, many sophisticated and intelligent individuals in industry and government believe that writing is a special skill, a sort of gift magically given to some. This view of writing is very harmful because it implies that the ability to write effectively is beyond the capacity of some. It is fundamental, therefore, that you begin to see yourself as a writer.


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