writing instruction technical writing
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Project 3: Instructions Choose a Task Select a task that you know how to do well so that you can share your own expertise. You need not choose a difficult task or something that requires specialized skills and knowledge, but your topic should be a task for which someone might reasonably seek instructions. Do not submit a recipe. Write Instructions The audience for your instructions is people who have never completed this particular task. If any prior knowledge or skills are required to successfully complete the task, state that clearly in your introduction. Include these elements:
• Title • Introduction • List of supplies needed • Numbered steps (Each step should describe ONE action, expressed as a command, or
imperative sentence.) • Safety information (This may be placed at the beginning of the document or with the
relevant step. Use design features like images, colors, or bold text to call attention to safety information.)
Include Graphics Incorporate images that help your reader better understand the steps in the process of completing your task. Place each image close to the words that describe the relevant step. You may create your own images, such as charts, diagrams, or photographs, or find appropriate images on the web. Cite the source of any image that you do not create yourself.
Perform a Usability Test When you are familiar with a process, it can be difficult to predict what others will find difficult or confusing. After writing a draft of your instructions, give them to another person to follow and complete the task. If possible, watch them complete the task and at the end, ask them questions about their experience. Use this feedback to revise your document for usability.
Grading Criteria The specific rubric for evaluating this project is on page 2 of this document. Use it as a checklist for evaluating your own work before you submit it to be graded.
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Category & Points Possible
Title and Introduction
• Title begins with “How to” or a gerund • Title clearly identifies task described • Introduction explains purpose of task and skills required • Parts, tools, and supplies are listed completely
• Steps are numbered • Each step defines a single task • Steps are written in imperative mood (command voice) • Steps are concise • Comments, notes, or examples are included with relevant
steps • Feedback statements help reader assess progress • Conclusion, if necessary, provides follow-up advice or
• Intended audience is clear • Instructions are appropriate for audience’s skill level and
knowledge • Technical terms are defined • Safety warnings are prominently displayed
• Uses effective typefaces, type sizes, line spacing and margins
• Uses white space effectively • Uses style and design features consistently • Employs graphics that assist reader in completing task • Placement of graphics corresponds with relevant text
• Clear and correct sentence structure • Free of errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation
Project 3: Instructions
Choose a Task
Perform a Usability Test