Transcript of "Technical Writing, September 17, 2013"
1) Checking in with Dr. Anderson
2) Instructions: keys
3) Activity: More Paper Planes and the power of
I want to give us a quick chance to check in with the
Anderson readings. For the most part, I hope these
readings have made good sense and that it seems self-
evident why we’re reading what we’re reading and in
what order. Today I want to look specifically at pages
232-3, guidelines 1 and 2.
You’ve read and heard a great deal about making
directions for today’s class, so before we get into an
activity (following our airplane motif from last class),
I want to walk you through what I call “the Big Six”
rules of instructions.
… when you create instructions, you have one goal
above all others: manage to get your audience (the
person about to do the task) to complete whatever
you’re instructing the person to do.
It’s a deceptively simple rhetorical situation.
Activity: we keep foldin’
I want you to form five groups. You can have as many or as
few members as you want, just so there are five groups and
no one is all alone.
Once you’ve formed your groups, look up at me as if to say
“Dr. Phill, we’re ready to move on.”
Or, you know, just say that. :)
On the course website, there’s a link to today’s
PowerPoint and some extra info. On that page, there
are five links– one for each group.
At your link, you will find directions for folding a
paper airplane. I want you to go, read, and fold.
When you finish, I want you to re-write the directions on a
single sheet of paper in your team’s color.
You will then bundle that instruction sheet with another
sheet, and you will trade it to the group sitting to your left.
Before you start the next step, I want you to bring
what you feel is the best example of your plane up to
the table in the front and put your group number
somewhere on one of the wings.
… make the other team’s plane, based on their instructions.
This time, unlike last time, if you get into trouble you may ask the
group for an explanation or for further help, but if you do, make a
note on their instructions as to when and what you needed to talk
to them about.
When you finish, bring your version of that plane to the front,
with your group’s number on one of the wings. Leave the
directions with any comments you made under the plane.
Come back, get your original plane and the plane the other group
made from your directions.
Test it four ways:
1.Do they look the same? If not, what differences do you see?
2. Does it appear they followed your directions?
3.Do you see places you went wrong, or places you might have done
4.The final test: how do they both fly?
Fold, fold, fold
Hopefully the papercraftness is helping you to better
understand the permutations and particulars of directions.
For next class, I want you to bring scissors (assuming you
have some), a glue stick or some other glue related product,
and to print the file linked from the schedule page. This will
be our last experience folding and writing directions from
folding. :) From there, you’ll be writing instructions for your
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