• July 25th, 2015

Instructions!

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

 

Find a mechanism or product around your home and write instructions on how-to install or operate that item. If you are unable to do this, write instructions on how-to cook, plant, or fix something. I would like to see at least one graphic in your document. This can be a drawing, a photo, other graphic, or a table. Refer to Chapter 9 in the Pearsall textbook for guidance. On pages 127, the sink repair is a good example of what I’d like to see.
Notice how most of the sentences start with “connect” or a prepositional phrase followed by connect. In technical writing, we do not look for new words to describe the same thing. Wording consistency is paramount; therefore, use parallels and consistent terminology for this assignment. This work is supposed to be original. Do NOT copy someone’s work.
Apply methods of good document design to your paper, and ensure that you follow these guidelines.
1. Use the standard navigation methods of technical writing: title, headings, captions under the graphic, numbered steps for procedures, table numbers, page numbers, line spacing (1.5), and margins (top and bottom: 1″ and right and left: 1 ½”). If you can, please use Arial, Verdana, or Tahoma–sans serif.
2. Paragraphs should have two spaces between.
3. Use the readability standards of grammar: parallelisms, active voice, consistency, and so forth.
4. Use the term “you” to speak to instruct the reader—do not call them the user.
5. It can be a one-page document that has printing on both sides, or it can be longer.
6. Layout and content are important. Color is welcome.
7. Know your audience before your write.
8. Provide an introductory statement like a product overview, a parts list, or a welcome message.

Instructions and Manuals

When you write instructions, you act as your reader’s guide or coach. Your job is to get your reader quickly and safely through a set of tasks.

The conventional structure for instructions contains six elements:

  • Introduction (including a statement of subject, aim, intended readers, scope, organization, usage, motivation, and background)
  • Description of the equipment or object involved in the tasks (use illustrations!)
  • ·Theory of operation (explain how what the reader is trying to make or do is supposed to work)
  • List of materials and equipment needed (hardware, etc.)
  • Directions (a step by step list of tasks; only one step per entry! And use illustrations!)
  • Guide to troubleshooting

 

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