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Assignment: To create a set of technical instructions that are no more than three (3) and no less than two (2) pages of technical instructions in MS Word describing either of the following:
1. a set of operating instructions
2. a set of assembly instructions
3. a set of procedural instructions
You may wish to save this document as a pdf file for format stability.
To gain valuable practice in constructing a set of instructions for a specific audience using the knowledge you have gained through studying the materials associated with this and previous units. These include Research, Page Design, Audience Analysis, Ethical Considerations, Defining and Describing, Editing, Instructional Procedure.
Researching the topicâ€”gain a thorough understanding of your subject by spending some time doing research on the task you are instructing on
â€¢ do background research using the web (wisely) and the library databases
â€¢ make sure your sources are quality sources (Wikipedia is not a quality source; neither are nonprofessional blogs)
â€¢ make observations
â€¢ ask experts
â€¢ collect visuals
â€¢ complete the audience analysis chart
â€¢ review professional exles
Constructing the Document
â€¢ put yourself in the shoes of your readers (whoever you determine this is)
â€¢ use simple words and limit the amount of jargon
â€¢ define any words that might not be familiar to your readers
â€¢ keep sentences short, within breathing length
â€¢ use the command, or imperative, style (verb first) for any instructional sets
â€¢ keep it simple and do not over-explain basic steps or concepts
â€¢ use a functional and attractive page layout
â€¢ use graphics that reinforce the written text
Designing your documentâ€”as stated in our textbook, do some preliminary research to figure out the best way to visually present your material to your target audience.
â€¢ use an introduction that(length depends on the complexity of the task and your readersâ€™ knowledge, but are typically very brief)
â–ª states the purpose
â–ª states the importance of the task
â–ª describes the necessary technical ability/difficulty
â–ª identifies the time required to completion (as a guideline)
â–ª motivates the reader (if they need motivation)
â€¢ Use the body to explain the steps
â–ª use sequentially ordered steps
â–ª state one action at a time
â–ª keep the steps concise
â–ª number the steps
â–ª add comments, notes, or exles as necessary
â–ª provide feedback as necessary
â–ª refer to the graphics
â–ª include and set apart any warnings or safetyinformation using appropriate symbols
â–ª use icons carefully
â–ª use images carefully
â–ª use white space wisely (single-space or double-space needs to be considered as it relates to document design)
â€¢ signal the conclusion by offering a closing that tells the readers that they are finished with the task in any of these ways:
â–ª signal completion of the task
â–ª describe the finished product
â–ª offer trouble-shooting advice
Formatting the Document
â€¢ APA Format
â€¢ 1 inch margins
â€¢ 2-3 pages of material plus
o 1 APA cover page that includes the following
â–ª Running header with abbreviated title and page number
â–ª a telling title (specific and precise)
â–ª your name
â–ª institution affiliate
â–ª purpose statement at the bottom of the cover page (see page 18 in your text, â€œPurpose of Your Documentâ€ and â€œPrimary and Secondary Purposes,â€ for more info on writing a good purpose statement)
o A separate APA reference page
o Appendices A (Audience Analysis Chart)
o Appendices B (Usability Survey)
Including appendices gives you practice in adding required or important detailed material to your documents that would otherwise be distracting in the body of your document. See this reference for additional information: Dealing with Tables, Appendices, Footnotes, #038; Endnotes
Editing for Accuracy, Readability, Usabilityâ€”user-test your document by letting someone else read it for clarity and understanding. Have them complete the table on page 466 of your textbook, a basic usability survey.
Proofreadingâ€”as always, proofread for grammatical correctness, and all items above related to document design and readability. NOTE: the new head of the Department of Education sent out back-to-back tweets recently. Both had misspelled words. She was harshly called-out for it.
Some student topics have included the following (NOTE: these exles are tired and overusedâ€”choose something fresh instead):
â€¢ how to change an IV dressing
â€¢ how to give a subcutaneous injection
â€¢ how to perform CPR
â€¢ how to change the oil in a car
â€¢ how to perform the IDEXX Heartworm test
â€¢ how to install anti-virus software
â€¢ how to use a microscope or telescope
This item is not so much a method for me to assess your deliverable as it is a checklist for you to use while constructing it. See the complete rubric in a separate table further in this document.
Submit the Word or PDF document (pdf holds its format better when uploading) to Black Board using the drop box portal in the DELIVERABLES module (located on the left-hand column of the course page).
Assessment Rubric for A-3: Instruction Set
5 points each
Meets all requirement
Meets some requirement
Does not meet requirement
Major Elements Included
â€¢ Clear #038; Limiting Title(telling title)
â€¢ Appropriate level of Detail and Technicality (based on your audiences own knowledge of the product or process)
â€¢ Visuals that assist in understanding (must have a purpose)
â€¢ A Clear Descriptive Sequence (spatial, functional, or chronological)
â€¢ states the purpose
â€¢ states the importance of the task
â€¢ describes the necessary technical ability/difficulty
â€¢ identifies the time required to completion (as a guideline)
â€¢ motivates the reader (if they need motivation)
â€¢ uses sequentially ordered steps
â€¢ states one action at a time
â€¢ keeps the steps concise
â€¢ number the steps
â€¢ adds comments, notes, or exles as necessary
â€¢ provides feedback as necessary
â€¢ refers to the graphics
â€¢ includes and set apart any warnings or safetyinformation using appropriate symbols
â€¢ uses icons carefully
â€¢ uses images carefully
â€¢ uses white space wisely (single-space or double-space needs to be considered as it relates to document design)
â€¢ signals completion of the task
â€¢ describes the finished product as necessary
â€¢ offers trouble-shooting advice as necessary
Tone and Style
â€¢ purpose statement lists specific audience
â€¢ language is correct for audience (not high in tone nor elementary in understanding)
â€¢ is objective
â€¢ Grammatically Correct
â€¢ Spelling is Correct
â€¢ Word Choice is Correct
â€¢ Sentences are not convoluted
â€¢ clear, concise, and to the point without excess verbiage(words)
â€¢ not excessive in length nor excessively short
â€¢ does not give information the audience does not need or want
AUDIENCE ANALYSIS CHART
Aside from purpose, audience is perhaps the most important consideration in planning, writing, reviewing and distributing a technical document. Lack of audience analysis is one of the root causes of most of the problems you find in professional and technical documentsâ€”particularly instructions where the smallest mistake can mean a law suit, injury, or death.
Deliberate and Considered Answer:
Type of Audience:
Name this audience:
â€¢ What do they need to know about the topic?
â€¢ What might they want to know about the topic?
â€¢ What might they already know about the topic?
â€¢ What do you think they need to know over and above what is already listed in the Needs category?
Adaptations: What additional information do your readers need to know in order to understand the information?
â€¢ Definitions of key terms
â€¢ Descriptions of tools
â€¢ Background information
Design: What design items might you incorporate to help your reader understand the material?
â€¢ Shorter sentences
â€¢ Chunking information
â€¢ Bold text
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