The Instructions Project

Your goal in this assignment is to write a set of instructions on how to use a computer or any other computer application. Your instructions you should not exceed five pages of text. Your goal is to make it very easy for the potential users to be able to implement your instructions without any difficulty. Use a good combination of text and images to help users visualize what you are asking them to do. Your images should not be too big, but they should be consistent in size. Please provide APA citations in a reference list documenting the screen captures you use, particularly if the shots are taken from a source that is not yours. If you like, you can also include illustrations you create yourself in PowerPoint, cad, paint, with a digital camera etc. The use of text boxes and arrows may be necessary as well to label various components within an illustration (see the section of our textbook on writing definitions, descriptions, and instructions for more information on writing instructions. Also, review the PowerPoint I posted on blackboard on how to write instructions). Guidelines Writing: First, identify a specific purpose and audience for this assignment (who should not be your instructor) and then write in a clear and concise style characteristic of good technical writing and in a language and tone appropriate to your audience and purpose. Topics: You should pick something you are interested in (i.e. school, job, etc.) and you might illustrate how to complete a computer-based application – choose something that most students in our course probably don’t know how to do such as: 1. Step-by-step instructions with visuals on anything related to school or career 2. Manipulating visuals in Word 3. Creating diagrams/charts in Word 4. Searching UHD’s online library databases. 5. Registering for classes at UHD. 6. Using other applications in Word such as tables, inserting pictures, changing page lay-outs, how to rename files, how to create folders and file things in Word, how to cut-and-paste text, etc. 7. How to create an APA citation from a webpage that you locate on the web. 8. How to make a pdf file using free software. 9. Creating a PowerPoint with visuals. 10. Creating an e-mail account. 11. How to publish to the web using free web services, etc. Some important notes about this assignment—please read carefully: a. You need to describe a procedure that you are familiar with. Again, I want you to look into your experience as a student or current job for ideas. Look for material that is actually needed so the document has a practical purpose. What I do not want is for you to prepare instructions for an activity that has been well documented. In the end, you should be able to cover the ―how to‖ in such a way that your reader (a non-technical person) will be able to carry out the steps in a systematic way. b. Readability: Steps should be written in logical order using active voice. This process should allow the user the ability to complete each step after reading it one time. For example: Use headings as appropriate & in LOGICAL ORDER. Use bold, italics, font sizes as appropriate and in a consistent manner. Be generous with margins & allow white space for visuals. Important: Your instructions project should have the following elements: 1. Introduction/overview. 2. Theory or principles of operation—how does it work? 3. List of equipment and materials needed 4. Necessary prior knowledge and/or skills of the user 5. Major steps and procedures 6. Hazard notices (preview here—actual notices are in the appropriate step with symbol) Caution—prevent possible mistakes Warning—alert user to potential hazard 7. Required steps (body of memo)–how-to instructions—in logical order use numbered steps–one instruction each with at the most two or three closely related instructions use familiar, direct language and avoid jargon be accurate NOTE: use visuals as appropriate—must have at least one NOTE: use hazard notices in steps where indicated Tips and troubleshooting procedures Glossary (definitions and terms) Conclusion—close your memo

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