Technical writing

Technical writing

Writing Assignment #1 Set of Instructions

Summary of the Assignment:

 Task: In this assignment, you will write a set of instructions that explain to a user how to operate a device, how to make something, or how to accomplish a task.

 Length: There is no minimum or maximum word count. However, your instructions must have 25 or more steps. More information on the number of steps is provided

below.

 Graphics: You must include graphics, ideally one for each main step. o at least 10 graphics should be integrated into your set of instructions o at least four graphics should be original o graphics borrowed from other sources need to be cited in APA format o all graphics should be labeled

Brief Description and Strategies to Follow:

Please keep in mind the following principles when writing this assignment:

 You must have at least 25 steps. This does not mean that you need 25 main steps. Some steps can be nested under other steps. More information on this strategy is given in the

resources provided in the class on writing steps for instructions.

 Each step is to be numbered and is to begin with an imperative verb, as the resources in the class indicate.

 If you are writing about a piece of equipment, you must be specific about the brand and type. Some examples are as follows:

o If you write about changing oil in a car, you cannot write a general set of instructions on how to change oil in any car. You must write about how to change

oil in a specific car (e.g., a 2010 Chevrolet Silverado).

 This will involve showing the reader exactly where the jack is, what type of oil to use, what size of wrench to use when loosening the bolt, etc.

o If you write about changing a tire in a car, you cannot write a general set of instructions on how to change a tire in any car. You must write about how to

change a tire in a specific car (e.g., a 2011 Scion XB).

 This will involve showing the reader exactly where the jack is, how to use the jack for the car, where the spare tire is, what size of lug wrench to use

when loosening the lug nuts, etc.

o If you write about how to use a digital voice recorder, you cannot write a general set of instructions on how to use any digital voice recorder. You must write about

how to use a specific digital voice recorder (e.g., a Panasonic RR-US490).

 This will involve taking pictures of the device, showing exactly where the record and play buttons are, etc.

 Ideally, every step will include a picture or graphic to help the reader follow the instructions.

Sections to Include in Your Set of Instructions:

The set of instructions will include the following sections:

 Title Page

 Overview or Introduction with necessary background information such as time needed, skill ability, relevance, context, stage setting, etc.

 Equipment and materials needed o Your instructions will be written to a non-technical lay audience. Please list all

equipment or materials needed for an audience of this nature.

 Definitions o Your instructions will be written to a non-technical lay audience. Please define

any terms as appropriate for an audience of this nature.

 Instructions o number all of the main steps, as the resources for the class indicate o provide a graphic for steps of the instructions that need a graphic

 ideally, all graphics will be original. The requirement for the assignment is that you have four original graphics.

 graphics borrowed from other sources need to be cited in APA format  all graphics should be labeled

o Warnings or statements of caution (as appropriate) should be integrated throughout the set of instructions.

Overall, chapter 10 from Tebeaux and Dragga should be read thoroughly as you begin this

assignment. Different types of instructions call for different strategies. The chapter from

Tebeaux and Dragga is an excellent resource in guiding your approach.

Helpful Guides and Resources:

 The Tech Writing Handbook by Dozuki, which is one of the resources listed in our class, has the following:

o an appendix that provides tips in writing instructions and incorporating graphics into instructions.

o chapter 6, “Photographing the process.” o chapter 7, “Using Other Visuals.”

 The Mayfield Handbook, which is also one of the resources listed in our class, features excellent tips on writing instructions.

o Section 2.8.3 of the handbook, Instructions and Procedures, will be particularly helpful.

 Some sample sets of instructions written by previous students in WRTG 393 are provided in our class in LEO.

Due Date:

Your instructor will notify you of the due date. You will write a first draft, your instructor will

comment on the first draft, and you will submit a second draft using the comments as your guide.


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