Reading and Writing in Information Systems

Edited notes from the Writing Across the Curriculum workshop.

Purposes for writing in our field
  • To inform
  • To record thoughts
  • To communicate problems/solutions
  • To document ideas/work
  • To plan
Genres of writing in our field
  • Documentation – technical & user
  • Diagrams and mockups 
  • Reports
  • User manuals
  • Meeting minutes
  • Message boards
  • Blogs
  • Email
Audiences for IS writers
  • Clients
  • Users of a system
  • Other IS professionals
  • Management
  • Self
As an IS professional, what are my reading purposes
  • Learning new skills and knowledge
  • Integrating ideas from multiple sources
  • Conducting literature reviews for research
  • To better understand requirements
  • Enjoyment
Kinds of documents I read
  • Business books
  • General IS books
  • Technical books
  • Research articles
  • Web sites
  • Blogs
  • Trade publications
Strategies I use for reading
  • With blogs and message boards, I scan headings to find interesting content to read
  • With books, I tend to read in depth
  • With articles – depends on context, but often skip to parts of interest.
  • An over arching strategy I use is dedicate time slots for reading.  This is done to minimize distractions and allow better focus and comprehension of material.

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