After watching this week’s lecture, begin thinking about what tasks and processes would be appropriate and interesting for you to write an instruction manual on for the next individual project. Possible instruction manuals should focus on your degree and career goals so that you create something relevant to your training and illustrative of your communication skills.
For this week’s Weekly Writing Assignment, write a 250-word memo addressed to Prof. Ellis with the subject line of “Instruction Manual Topic Selection.” In the body of your memo, discuss the pros and cons of three possible instruction manual topics and state which one you choose to work on for the project. Copy-and-paste your memo into a comment made to this post.
To aid in your thinking, review the links below for sample instruction manuals, and see a sample instruction manual outline at the bottom of this post.
Sample Instruction Manuals
- LEGO Instructions
- IKEA Instructions
- ASUS B550 Motherboard Instructions
- Multimeter Instructions
- Examples of Instructions and User Manuals in David McMurrey’s Online Technical Writing Textbook
- Prof. Ellis’ Skateboard Assembly
- Prof. Ellis’ Lightsaber Assembly
- Prof. Ellis’ Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Computer Assembly
Sample Instruction Manual Organization
1.0 Introduction 1.1 Purpose 1.2 Intended Audience 1.3 Scope 1.4 Organization Description 1.5 Conventions (abbreviations, left/right) 1.6 Motivation (answers the “so what” question) 1.7 Safety and Disclaimers 2.0 Description of the Equipment 2.1 Illustration of the Equipment 2.2 Description of the Equipment’s Parts 3.0 List of Materials and Equipment Needed 3.1 Illustration of the Parts Needed to Carry Out the Instructions 3.2 Tools needed 3.3 Table of the parts with description of each 4.0 Directions 4.1 Assemble the Skateboard 4.1.1 Step 1 (don’t write Step 1--write a brief statement on what the first step is) 4.1.2 Step 2 4.1.3 Step 3...Step n (write as many steps--briefly--as you can think of--you can fill this list out later) 5.0 Troubleshooting 6.0 Glossary 7.0 Reference List