Technical writing books everyone should own

Here is a list of essential technical writing books, covering both theory and practice and written by industry professionals. Are they on your shelves?

  • Technical Communication: A Practical Approach (7th Edition) (William Pfeiffer and Kaye Adkins)
  • Technical Writing 101: A Real-World Guide to Planning and Writing Technical Content (Alan Pringle)
  • Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors (2nd Edition) (Multiple authors)
  • Technical Editing: The Practical Guide For Editors And Writers (Hewlett-Packard Press) (Judith Tarutz)
  • Effective onscreen editing: new tools for an old profession (Geoff Hart)
  • Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation (Anne Gentle)
  • Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery (JoAnn Hackos)
  • Managing Writers: A Real World Guide To Managing Technical Documentation (Richard Hamilton)
  • The Chicago Manual of Style
  • Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications (Microsoft)
  • Technical Writing Management: A Practical Guide (Steve Schwarzman)

You can buy the books here.

Also, don't forget to search online sources for books that have been released for viewing completely free of charge. For example, check out Online Technical Writing by David McMurrey. It is filled with valuable information on crafting technical documents, and has examples and guidelines for various kinds of documents.

These books cover many aspects of the day-to-day work of technical writers; style guides, management advice, documentation strategy, and more. Staying competitive in this field means keeping your skills up to date and staying abreast of changes in technology and best practices; reading is a great way to accomplish that goal.

Related: Review of Conversation and Community - The Social Web for Documentation by Anne Gentle.