The instructions include all of the sections required. • Introduction (10 pts): The introduction identifies the document’s audience in terms of its knowledge and need for the instructions. It tells what the instructions will allow readers to do and provides an overview of the steps. It gives the audience a sense of how long the task will take, where it should be performed, and provides cautions or warnings when need. • Text of the Steps (20 pts): The instructions have 10 or more steps. The steps use imperative mood. Each step is a specific action. • Design (20 pts): The document has a clear hierarchy of headings. The steps are numbered throughout. There is an appropriate amount of white space. It makes effective use of the four basic design principles (contrast, alignment, proximity, repetition). Design features, such as fonts, font sizes, and forms of emphasis are applied consistently. The overall design is clear and consistent. • Illustrations (20 pts): There are at least two illustrations. The illustrations are effective, each serving a functional purpose (meaning, it helps the reader better comprehend the task at hand). It is not merely used for decorative purpose. The illustrations are appropriately documented, displayed, and labeled. • Style (10 pts): The instructions are written as active voice commands. Headings and numbered/bulleted items are in parallel form. The second person (you) is used. • Mechanics (10 pts): Spelling, APA documentation, grammar, and punctuation are correct.
Assignment 3: Instructions ENGL2338: Technical Writing Department of English University of Texas at Arlington Assignment Overview Instructions are among the most common types of document in technical writing. Instructions are everywhere informing readers how to make, assemble, or create something. You may have followed instructions on how to log onto a computer at work, to download and use an App on your smart phone, or to make a gourmet dinner at home following recipes. It is likely that you will create them often in your career if not as a formal document then at least in a variety of informal written and oral communications. Keep in mind the differences among instructions, process descriptions, and procedures: • Instructions inform readers how to assemble, make, create something or perform a specific task. • Process descriptions tell how something works (for example, how a drug works to relieve symptoms of seasonal allergies). While instructions are about how to use something, descriptions are about how that thing works (e.g., how to take a prescription drug vs. how that drug works in the human body). • Procedures are standardized ways of doing things in organizations. For this assignment, you should focus on creating clearly written, well designed, and effectively illustrated instructions. Assignment Guidelines Choose a Technical or Scientific Topic. Begin by reviewing Gurak & Lannon, Chapter 13: Instructions and Procedures. You will choose your own topic for this assignment. In order to give you the practice in technical writing, your must choose a technical or scientific topic. Ideally, a topic requiring a series of steps for assembly or various specific tasks to complete is best. A topic relevant to nursing may be a good idea, but such a topic is not required. Consider your hobbies and interests or various topics you know well. Choose a topic involving 10 or more steps. The following are just a few examples of instructions projects from previous classes: • Setting Up a Small Network in Your Home or Office • Building and Hosting Your Own Web site • Detailing Your Car • Creating a Backyard Butterfly Garden • Designing and Installing a Solar Heating System in Your Home • Helping Parents Apply First Aid • Assembling a Skateboard • Grooming a Horse • How to Change an Electrical Outlet 2 • How to Bid an Acoustical Ceiling Project • How to Sew an A-Line Skirt Write to a Specific Audience. You must specify an audience for your instructions. In most instances, your audience should be a novice audience—someone who has never performed the task before. Sample audiences for the instructions mentioned above include home computer owners, gardeners, small business owners, and parents. Acknowledge all Sources. If you use any sources for your instructions, acknowledge your sources on an APA references page and include this page with your instructions (see Gurak & Lannon, Appendix A: Documentation Sources). If you use or adapt illustrations from another source, place the source directly below each illustration. Warning Against Copying Instructions! You should write the instructions yourself.
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