With structured writing, rules specify the structure of a document. Frequently, technical writers use software to make sure that a document conforms to the rules. For example, a technical writer can use an XML editor.
Most 'structured writing' is only partly-structured writing. With structured writing, the high-level structure is specified. However, usually, low-level structure is not specified.
Usually, structured writing does not specify the permitted sentence structures. For example, the following sentences have the same meaning:
- Give the accident report to your manager.
- Give your manager the accident report.
If a technical writer is permitted to use both structures, then a document has no specified structure for the sentences.
For a document to be fully structured, the permitted terms and the permitted sentence structures must be specified.