Beginning of Class Writing: Anderson, Excerpt on Instructions

For today’s beginning of class writing, write a summary memo on your reading of the excerpt on instructions from Anderson’s Technical Communication (Anderson, “Writing Reader-Centered Instructions” excerpt, instructions-bw) during the first ten minutes of class. Who are you designing instructions for? What components do effective instructions need? How might you employ these techniques on your team’s owner’s manual?

7 thoughts on “Beginning of Class Writing: Anderson, Excerpt on Instructions

  1. Mereoni

    To: Professor Jason Ellis
    From: Mereoni Rabukawaqa
    Date: 23 November, 2015
    Subject: Anderson, Excerpt on Instructions

    Today’s reading, ‘Writing Reader-Centred Instructions’ provides a guideline on how to write instructions regardless of who the audience is or how long the instructions are. The main focus of it is how to write effectively write instructions that are both concise and informative.
    As with anything, before beginning it is important to plan. Planning means researching the subject of the instructions to find out what it’s main function is and how to use it. It also includes organizing the information based on questions the audience may have and planning graphics and page designs. Having a general course of action and an idea of how you want the final product to look will help focus your attention into what needs to be written into an instruction manual and what layout would be most effective.
    When writing instructions we should focus on answering a few main questions – what are the instructions helping the reader do, is there something special to be done to be able to use the instructions effectively, what parts are needed to use the instructions, what is the function and how do you operate the subject of the instructions, and how can the audience fix problems that may arise. From these questions we can create the “superstructure” for the instructions, in essence – a table of contents. The categories would include the introduction, a description of the equipment, a list of the materials and equipment needed, directions, and troubleshooting. It is also very important to include any safety warnings ahead of time for the sake of liability.
    Producing an instruction manual is a task that takes effort and time but when it is done well it can properly serve the audience by being informative and thorough.

  2. George Gordon

    To: Jason W. Ellis
    From: George Gordon
    Subject: “Writing Reader-Centered Instructions”
    Date: November 23rd, 2015

    This article discusses how to properly write instructions for an audience. You should take into consideration that all audiences need similar types of information such as, answering basic questions and writing the instructions as simple as possible. When writing instructions you need to treat it just like any other assignment with planning, design, and revising. Your instructions should be properly organized, be optimized for safety, and need to be written for the correct audience(s). We are recommended to write in second person, as opposed to first or third as that can confuse the readers. Using visuals can also be a big help when writing instructions to help people understand better or visualize the steps. Lastly, they bring up a troubleshooting section to help people who may have made mistakes or for unexpected occurrences.

  3. Naveeda Akhtar

    TO: Professor Jason Ellis

    FROM: Naveeda Akhtar

    DATE: November 23, 2015

    SUBJECT: Excerpt on Instructions

    The instructions should be directed towards a specific audience, mainly people that you want to inform about the product. If the reader does not have any prior knowledge then they should always be encouraged to seek help or acquire such knowledge (contact information can be disclosed at the bottom). Effective instructions help readers to perform a procedure correctly and efficiently. It should have a step by step guideline for completing the instructions, and help readers to find their place in case they lose that spot while putting the instructions into effect. Organizing the directions in chronological order, creating graphics, and having proper page design are important to include in order to have effective instructions. I will try to employ these techniques on my team`s owner`s manual by making sure that the directions are in chronological order and are easy to follow. Also, I will implement these techniques by making sure that all graphics are visually appealing and catches the audience` eye. Last but not least, I will make sure that the pages are designed to be simple and informative but not overcrowded to ensure that the readers understand the information, as well as process it, to the best of their capability.

  4. simone216

    TO: Dr. Jason Ellis
    FROM: Anika Aarons
    DATE: November 23, 2015
    SUBJECT: “Anderson, Excerpt on Instructions”
    In this article “Writing Reader- Centered Instructions”, provides a guideline to structuring a set of instructions, and the format it should follow, as well as questions from the reader. The article goes on to define that the superstructure for instructions should consist of an introduction, description of the equipment, a list of material and equipment needed, directions, and troubleshooting. A general set of what readers generally expect to look for when reading over instructions. When building an instruction manual, you must first define your communication goal overall for the manual for which you want the direction to go, must be reader centered meaning being created to be useful for others, conducting research, planning of organization and graphics/design. Then most importantly the drafting/revising process, making sure everything is clear and straight forward. Focusing on the readers, the instructions should be aligned in a step by step format, allowing the reader to take their time progressively. Also, be sure to ensure safety precautions in set of instructions for the reader if needed, as well as table of contents for direction.

  5. Yulduz Saidinova

    TO: Dr. Jason W. Ellis

    FROM: Yulduz Saidinova

    DATE: November 23, 2015

    SUBJECT: “Anderson, Excerpt on Instructions”

    In this article writer talks about writing reader centered instructions. Instructions can be different when it comes to length or its complexity. But the no matter who is the audience is they all need or want similar information. Instruction should be informative and easy to understand. First of all we have to plan how to write instruction. After we plan we have to organize our information. While we planning and organizing we can add not only written information we can also put there pictures how to set up product. In my opinion graphic pictures are much easier because i don’t really like to read instruction when i am setting up and product. Most of the time readers will have few questions while they read the instructions. There are six versions of question that readers ask: how the instruction helps, is there anything special needs to be known, which kind of parts i need if i’m working with equipment, which kind of material or tool needs to be used, what exactly i need to do and how do i fix if something not working well. We have to be able to answer these questions with our instruction manual. While we writing instructions we have to have introduction which includes subject, purpose of the procedure, intended reader, scope, organization, convention, safety and so on. After intro we need description of the equipment. Also we have to include List of material and equipment needed and directions. We also need to troubleshoot. Because for the readers it would be easy to correct mistakes or unexpected results. Overall this article is very helpful when it comes to our project. For our owners manual part of the project now we have some ideas from this reading.

  6. valentina

    TO: Dr. Jason Ellis

    FROM: Valentina Pineda

    DATE: November 18, 2015

    SUBJECT: “ Writing Reader-Centered Instructions” summary

    The article assigned for today is a complete guide on how to properly write an instruction manual. It establishes that writing these instructions in a reader centered approach is fundamental for the successful use of the manual designed. In our project 2, we are required to write an instruction manual on how to use the vintage computer TI 99/4A by Texas Instruments. So our audience would be the public who are interested in buying a home computer for the first time and need basic instructions on how to operate their machine. In order to have effective instructions the article states that there must be 5 essential components. These are the following: an Introduction, a description of the equipment, a list of material and equipment needed, directions and troubleshooting sections. In your introduction you should be able to inform the reader what the will be instructed to do and if there are any special directions for them to understand your guide. In the description of the equipment you should tell the reader how many parts your machine has and the initial things you will need for basic setup. Then you will move on to a more detailed list of materials and equipment needed for the assemble and set up of the machine. Once the three first steps are explained you can move on to the directions in which you will explain exactly how to set up the home computer. Last but not least, there is a troubleshooting section in which you will explain what to do if something isn’t working correctly as instructed. We will use these techniques when writing our owner’s manual as our guide and list of things to include, we will also make sure we are aware of our audience and create the proper instructions.

  7. ThaerT

    TO: Dr. Jason Ellis

    FROM: Thaer Tayeh

    DATE: December 12, 2015

    SUBJECT: “ Writing Reader-Centered Instructions” summary

    In the article, “Writing Reader-Centered instructions”, the author gives us a guide to writing a proper instruction manual. When writing a manual you need to keep in mind that the instructions are clear and well informed enough for any audience to read. Your instructions should answer any questions a reader might have. As with any part of a project, instructions need to be well planned out. Prior to writing the instructions, research the product you are writing the instructions on, organize the information so the steps are easy to follow, and ad images for visual aid. I would employ these techniques to my own manual by first making sure I have all the information needed to document the product, it’s functions, and it’s connections if any. I would then organize my manual into step by step instructions with clear images so the instructions are easy to follow.

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