Writing Effective Instructions

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Intro to Instructions for basic tech writing courses.

Intro to Instructions for basic tech writing courses.

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  • 1. Writing Effective Instructions Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 2. Challenges Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 3. What do we always do first? Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 4. Audience Analysis Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 5. Do a task analysis. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 6. What do they need to know? What do they want to know? Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 7. Instruct at the correct level (Basic overview or detailed instruction?) Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 8. How to access your blog interface: Novice User • with your computer turned on, open the Web browser. • locate browser button on desktop • double-click it • wait for browser to open • enter URL for your control page • press enter • etc etc. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 9. Same for Experienced User: • Open browser • Enter URL for control panel • Click on “New Entry” Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 10. Use very specific action verbs. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 11. Be sure you say what you mean. • Place the thingie? • Slide it into place? • Click it into place? Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 12. Maintain Parallel Structure Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 13. Right: 1. Click the left button. 2. Slide the lever over until the bunny turns blue. 3. Turn the ignition key. 4. Blast off. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 14. Right: 1. Click the left button. 2. Slide the lever over until the bunny turns blue. 3. Turn the ignition key. 4. Blast off. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 15. Wrong: 1. First, you click on the left button. 2. After you do that, then you’ll want to slide the lever all the way over. 3. When the lever is all the way over, the bunny will turn blue. After that, turn the ignition key. 4. Congratulations! Blast off! Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 16. Don’t overload the audience • People can digest a limited amount of info • Consider audience attention spans Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 17. Give just enough info to get them to the next step. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 18. Make it easy to follow. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 19. Superstructure • Introduction • Description of equipment • List of materials or equipment needed • Directions • Troubleshooting Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 20. Use appropriate organization • Chronological order • Numbered list format • Descriptions • Checklists • Question lists Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 21. Use plenty of graphics. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 22. and pay attention to their quality. Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 23. Design attractive pages / screens Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 24. Don’t make an instruction unit more than one screen long Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • 25. Test it. If it’s not usable, it’s no good. Saturday, September 25, 2010