Deliverables: Technical Instruction Set

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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.

Purpose

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.

Instructions

Researching the topic—gain a thorough understanding of your subject by spending some time doing research on the task you are instructing on

do background research using the web (wisely) and the library databases

make sure your sources are quality sources (Wikipedia is not a quality source; neither are nonprofessional blogs)

make observations

ask experts

collect visuals

complete the audience analysis chart

review professional examples

Constructing the Document

put yourself in the shoes of your readers (whoever you determine this is)

use simple words and limit the amount of jargon

define any words that might not be familiar to your readers

keep sentences short, within breathing length

use the command, or imperative, style (verb first) for any instructional sets

keep it simple and do not over-explain basic steps or concepts

use a functional and attractive page layout

use graphics that reinforce the written text

Designing your document—as stated in our textbook, do some preliminary research to figure out the best way to visually present your material to your target audience.

use an introduction that(length depends on the complexity of the task and your readers’ knowledge, but are typically very brief)

states the purpose

states the importance of the task

describes the necessary technical ability/difficulty

identifies the time required to completion (as a guideline)

motivates the reader (if they need motivation)

Use the body to explain the steps

use sequentially ordered steps

state one action at a time

keep the steps concise

number the steps

add comments, notes, or examples as necessary

provide feedback as necessary

refer to the graphics

include and set apart any warnings or safetyinformation using appropriate symbols

use icons carefully

use images carefully

use white space wisely (single-space or double-space needs to be considered as it relates to document design)

signal the conclusion by offering a closing that tells the readers that they are finished with the task in any of these ways:

signal completion of the task

describe the finished product

offer trouble-shooting advice

Formatting the Document

APA Format

1 inch margins

2-3 pages of material plus

o 1 APA cover page that includes the following

Running header with abbreviated title and page number

a telling title (specific and precise)

your name

institution affiliate

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

purpose statement at the bottom of the cover page (see page 18 in your text, “Purpose of Your Document” and “Primary and Secondary Purposes,” 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, & Endnotes

Editing for Accuracy, Readability, Usability—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.

Proofreading—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.

Ideas/Suggestions

Some student topics have included the following (NOTE: these examples are tired and overused—choose something fresh instead):

how to change an IV dressing

how to give a subcutaneous injection

how to perform CPR

how to change the oil in a car

how to perform the IDEXX Heartworm test

how to install anti-virus software

how to use a microscope or telescope

Rubric

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.

Submission

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

Assessment Item

5 points each

Meets all requirement

Meets some requirement

Does not meet requirement

Major Elements Included

Clear & Limiting Title(telling title)

Appropriate level of Detail and Technicality (based on your audiences own knowledge of the product or process)

Visuals that assist in understanding (must have a purpose)

A Clear Descriptive Sequence (spatial, functional, or chronological)

Introduction

• states the purpose

• states the importance of the task

• describes the necessary technical ability/difficulty

• identifies the time required to completion (as a guideline)

• motivates the reader (if they need motivation)

Body

• uses sequentially ordered steps

• states one action at a time

• keeps the steps concise

number the steps

• adds comments, notes, or examples as necessary

• provides feedback as necessary

• refers to the graphics

• includes and set apart any warnings or safetyinformation using appropriate symbols

• uses icons carefully

• uses images carefully

• uses white space wisely (single-space or double-space needs to be considered as it relates to document design)

Conclusion

• signals completion of the task

• describes the finished product as necessary

• offers trouble-shooting advice as necessary

Tone and Style

• purpose statement lists specific audience

• language is correct for audience (not high in tone nor elementary in understanding)

• is objective

Mechanics

Grammatically Correct

Spelling is Correct

Word Choice is Correct

Sentences are not convoluted

Precision

clear, concise, and to the point without excess verbiage(words)

not excessive in length nor excessively short

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 documents—particularly instructions where the smallest mistake can mean a law suit, injury, or death.

Item:

Deliberate and Considered Answer:

Type of Audience:

• Expert

• Novice

• Non-expert

Name this audience:

Audience Background:

• Knowledge

• Experience

• Training

Audience Needs:

• What do they need to know about the topic?

• What might they want to know about the topic?

• What might they already know about the topic?

Writer:

• 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?

• Definitions of key terms

• Descriptions of tools

• Background information

• Examples

• Graphics/charts/visuals

Design: What design items might you incorporate to help your reader understand the material?

• Shorter sentences

• Chunking information

• Headings

• Subheadings

• Warnings

• Bold text

• Lists

• graphics

• white-space

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