A Properly Formatted and Structured Letter to Santa

Receiving a formatted structured letter to Santa

Document Title: Letter to Santa
Document ID: 54738
Document Version: 1
Page 1 of 1

 

Dear Santa,

Technical writers are like elves. We sit at our workbenches, crafting informative yet simple documents for our customers that shine like Christmas ornaments. I’m sure that when customers open our documents, their faces light up like kids on Christmas morning. Right?

I’ve been producing documents all year from my workbench (cubicle), and I’m jumping at the opportunity to ask you and your elves for rewards for my hard work. So here goes:

  1. An iPad 4. Just to see if my mobile documents look even more inviting and beautiful than they do on an iPad 2.
  2. A gift certificate for a spa manicure. If my fingers have to work hard typing documents all year, they need to feel invigorated and look nice. I want nail polish that matches the branding of the documents I write.
  3. Milk and cookies left in my cube, so I know my technical writing is appreciated. Since my request must be specific, I want chocolate peanut butter cookies with a tall, chilled glass of vanilla almond milk. I’m sure you’ll have some to share.

Because my documents must be concise (no more than a page), I must stop at three wishes and plan my letter’s content strategy. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed by the length and refuse to grant my wish as you cast the letter into the “NAUGHTY” pile in disgust. Some considerations:

  1. Other than you, Santa, who is my target audience for this letter? The elves? Mrs. Claus? Do reindeer read?
  2. Does the format and presentation of my letter engage you and show that my wishes are simple to grant?
  3. What is the appropriate delivery format? Do you prefer a printable PDF? Or do the elves want it submitted in HTML format as a link from Twitter? Do I need to turn my letter into a wiki?
  4. For the PDF, is the file size small enough to fit on your overflowing hard drive with everyone else’s letters?

And, of course, before sending my letter, I will proofread it six times. Maybe seven. If you or the elves find a typo, then I would be a bad technical writer for 2012 and receive the technical writer’s equivalent of coal: a red pen to correct my letter for next year.

Happy Holidays!

 

Lea Goldstein

Lea Goldstein is a discriminating member of the technical communication community who debuts as a guest contributor on TechWhirl with a properly formatted and structured Letter to Santa.

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