On writing skills

Posted on 2008-03-26 18:04:25

A year ago around this time of the year, I just started writing my master’s thesis. One of the frequent comments I got from my supervisors was that my writing was too terse, that I was not explaining things well enough, and that the average (CompSci master student) reader would not be able to understand my writing. I was forced to rewrite chapter 4 about half a dozen times before it was at an acceptable level.

Now, a year later, I’m writing a tutorial for Caesar IV’s (quite complex) scenario editor. After having written 18 pages covering the easier parts of scenario editing, I wrote the last set of pages on the advanced topic of scripting events using C#. In the few days since its publication, multiple people have complimented me on my ability to explain things clearly and in an easily understandable way.

I wonder, have my writing skills improved so much over the past year, or am I just not made for writing academic stuff? Or perhaps my main writing strength is in explaining complex technical concepts to non-technical people?