TC Myths

All technical communication myths in place.

These myths have been identified, but they do not have a complete description, yet.

If you’d like to contribute to an unfinished myth, go to that myth topic and leave a comment.

If you don’t see your favorite myth listed here or on the home page, add a new myth.

  1. Audiences are static
  2. Avoid repetition
  3. Be careful about having a blog, because all employers will read it
  4. Design doesn't matter
  5. Different floats should be numbered independently
  6. Documentation review can wait (until after more important tasks)
  7. Everyone will need to move over to the DITA XML standard
  8. Foreign language terms should be italicized
  9. If we put our manuals on the web, we'll lose Support revenues
  10. If we put out manuals on the Web, our competitors will have an advantage over us
  11. It is better to omit information about any product limitations from technical documents
  12. It is better to put all technical information about a product into one document
  13. Minimalism means using as little text as possible
  14. Myths aren't always false
  15. Never use citations as nouns
  16. On an Agile project, you'll save time by doing the documentation last
  17. Only key features of the product need documentation
  18. Paper structure is rigid
  19. Print layouts don't work on screen
  20. Product features must be listed in order of importance
  21. Programmers can't write
  22. Providing documentation in English is sufficient
  23. Readers don't use the table of contents, they just search
  24. Sans serif fonts are always more legible online
  25. Sentences should be kept short
  26. Single-sourcing means publishing your print documents online
  27. Single-sourcing success just requires the right tool or technology
  28. Software products are documented like hardware products
  29. Technical Authors want to write too much
  30. Technical documentation is an insignificant part of product development
  31. Technical writers are not necessary because the SMEs can write
  32. Technical writers are not necessary during the product development phase
  33. Technical writers are not paid well
  34. Technical writers just write
  35. Technical writers only write about highly technical, scientific, technological, medical, or systematic topics
  36. Technical writers should type quickly
  37. Technical writers write only user manuals
  38. Technical writing academics are disconnected with the profession
  39. Technical writing has a very rigid structure
  40. Technical writing is just listing product features
  41. Technical writing must be objective
  42. The passive voice is to be avoided
  43. There is no career growth for a technical writer
  44. Today’s younger generation doesn't read
  45. Two columns are better than one
  46. Usability testing is prohibitively expensive and difficult
  47. We can design away the need for a user manual and online Help
  48. Writers can't code
  49. Writing happens as fast as reading
  50. You must have a bachelor's degree to become a technical writer
  51. You need a high command of English
  52. You need inspiration to write
  53. You need technical writing samples to get a job in technical writing