Pedal to the Metal: How to Write About Cars and Machinery

Minden W. is a 4-Star Writer at WriterAccess.

Minden W. is a 4-Star Writer at WriterAccess.

More cars are being sold than ever. U.S. car sales in 2015 have broken yet another record with the sale of 17.5 million vehicles, surpassing the 17.3 million record established in 2000, according to The Washington Post. There are tens of thousands of machinery manufacturing companies currently participating in this $171 billion industry.

So, what happens when Felice Matteucci – (developer of the internal combustion engine), Thomas Edison – (motion picture camera, practical light bulb), Wernher von Braun – (father of rocket science), Steve Mann – (wearable computing), or even a mechanical engineer, is not at their computer creating marketing content for various automobile, computer, and tractor companies? What happens when “Bob” from the local auto manufacturing plant is not available to write copy about the components of a 362-hp 3.0-liter Biturbo V-6 for example, or the mean effective pressure and its relationship to torque?

How would an English, literature, or marketing major approach the particular language having to do with a subject matter that is perhaps outside of the writer’s daily experience or normal vernacular?

Despite the possible presentation of a complete data sheet filled with the technical information about a specific car or type of machinery meant to be incorporated into the copy, the manipulation of the information may sometimes seem like a daunting task, since at least a few of us writers do not normally work on cars and in general, may prefer to avoid subjects like math and science. Feeling intimidated about writing certain types of content is probably just a kind of psychological hindrance for the most part because the technical information is usually available to the writer for a particular assignment. It is simply a matter of applying the information or re-wording it to sell the product and to suit the needs of the client.

Writing about Phenomena

A doctor or a Ph.D. by definition is a consistent researcher who is always studying, learning, and practicing. It is not a position of stasis or the transcendence of an all-knowing entity. Assuming the researcher’s role may be a helpful approach for composing these seemingly more complicated kinds of content. In reality, however, there isn’t much figuring involved, it is simply a matter of being able to approach the material with an understanding of where it fits into the larger context, and to incorporate the technical verbiage into one’s own personal style of writing.

Obtaining a degree of comfort when writing about a certain topic has mostly to do with research.  Research is collected from several different sources, which, for the purposes of a doctoral assignment or research study, would be the scholarly or peer-reviewed types of literature, and for marketing content, reputable is sufficient. What we are looking for is ’empirical’ literature that will help us to understand the phenomena, the phenomena of cars and machinery!

Once you have decided that it’s OK to utilize a phenomenological approach for writing about mechanics and to regard them as phenomena, your study or composition can begin to reflect the phenomenological data or the experiences of others. The experiences and relative needs of others were recently discussed in terms of a selling strategy that utilizes Maslow’s Hierarchal structure of needs, in Niume. If the target audience is families, you may want to consider the experiences of families and the particular needs that must be met. For families, this may be a safety feature that protects children inside of a vehicle who may become unruly in the backseat area. Safety features then is a good area to focus your research on and begin writing about.

The lived experiences of ourselves and others, involving automobiles and machinery, can make a content writer a kind of expert or at least part of the data without actually becoming schooled or employed in the profession of a mechanical engineer or machinist. What do we ourselves look for in a car? What are your neighbor’s favorite aspects of a vehicle? What type of gadget or machine is most useful to your target?.

Can’t Take a Relationship to the Repair Shop

Perhaps the writing of a Dear Abbey kind of column sounds less daunting than writing about mechanics? Automobiles are often brought to mechanics and specialists because of the way they’ve been behaving, but these vehicles are inanimate objects with interchangeable parts, far less complex than a human being or situation. Because of the science involved, in many ways, writing about automobiles and mechanics is far more straightforward than it is explaining the behaviors behind various trends, associations, and patterns. Behavioral studies abound in research and ‘for the sake of research’ it could be argued that it is far more difficult to write content about non-mechanized topics and products.

 

Minden W has published a play titled The Fabulous Sutro and works daily as a freelance writer. Currently she is working on a novella set to be completed in 2016. She writes articles and content on a variety of topics such as home improvement, real estate, business, fashion, and music. She has professional experience writing fiction, plays, blogs, copy, website content, product descriptions, press releases, and more.

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