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Writing Checklist

Copied from Summary of Technical Writing One - Google Developers

Writing good documentation is an iterative process. I recommend cross-referecing the basics with your document. Afterwards, consider moving towards the intermediate and miscellaneous sections.


  • Use terms consistently.
  • Avoid ambiguous pronouns.
  • Prefer active voice to passive voice.
  • Pick specific verbs over vague ones.
  • Focus each sentence on a single idea.
  • Convert some long sentences to lists.
  • Eliminate unneeded words.
  • Use a numbered list when ordering is important and a bulleted list when ordering is irrelevant.
  • Keep list items parallel.
  • Start numbered list items with imperative words.
  • Introduce lists and tables appropriately.
  • Create great opening sentences that establish a paragraph's central point.
  • Focus each paragraph on a single topic.
  • Determine what your audience needs to learn.
  • Fit documentation to your audience.
  • Establish your document's key points at the start of the document.


  • Adopt a style guide.
  • Think like your audience.
  • Read documents out loud (to yourself).
  • Return to documents well after you've written the draft.
  • Find a good peer editor.
  • Outline a document. Alternatively, write free form and then organize.
  • Introduce a document's scope and any prerequisites.
  • Prefer task-based headings.
  • Disclose information progressively (in some situations).
  • Consider writing the caption before creating the illustration.
  • Constrain the amount of information in a single drawing.
  • Focus the reader's attention on the relevant part of a picture or diagram by describing the takeaway in the caption or by adding a visual cue to the picture.
  • Create concise sample code that is easy to understand.
  • Keep code comments short, but prefer clarity over brevity.
  • Avoid writing comments about obvious code.
  • Focus your commenting energy on anything non-intuitive in the code.
  • Provide not only examples but also anti-examples.
  • Provide code samples that demonstrate a range of complexity.
  • Make a practice of continuous revision.
  • Provide different documentation types for different categories of users.
  • Compare and contrast with something that readers are already familiar with.
  • In tutorials, reinforce concepts with examples.
  • In tutorials, note problems that readers may encounter.
  • Replace "the attacker" with "threat actor"
  • Don't refer to yourself in first person; Use company's name.
  • The company is an entity. Use they to refer to the company