Eliminating Noise in Technical and Scientific Writing


In our onsite classes, we always discuss reader-centered writing; that is, writing that fully considers readers and what they want and need and how they're going to use the document. Another element of this is "noise.""Noise" can be categorized as the distractions readers face when reading.Some of these, of course, are caused by the writer and some are the result of noisy offices, working in a cube with the constant distractions of that, phones ringing, colleagues talking—you get the picture. While, as writers, we can't necessarily control our readers' physical environment, we can create a document that helps minimize those distractions to help the reader focus.

Some of these include:

• Shorter paragraphs
• Increased use of headings/subheadings
• More white space

Helping the reader get through the document quickly and easily benefits both the reader and the writer. With distraction free writing, the reader is better able to read and understand the document, and the writer, among other things, is more likely to get the message across. A win-win solution for everyone!