Drafting Instructions--Introductions

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  • 1. Opening / introduction
    Drafting Instructions
  • 2. Title Page
    Be descriptive
    Reader should have a clear idea about tutorial just by reading the title
    Think about YouTube and other searches
    Creative titles are “creative” but may not make it easier for user to know by reading title what the tutorial covers
  • 3. Introduction
    Establish the context,
    Purpose, and
    Organization of the instructions.
  • 4. Introduction
    Plan the introduction to your instructions carefully.
    Indicate specific tasks or procedure to be explained as well as the scope of coverage (what won’t be covered).
    Indicate what the audience needs in terms of knowledge and background to understand the instructions.
    Give a general idea of the procedure and what it accomplishes.
    Indicate the conditions when these instructions should (or should not) be used.
    Give an overview of the contents of the instructions.
  • 5. Prerequisites
    Technical background or theory.
    What knowledge or skills does user need before beginning
    background related to the procedure.
    To really understand what you’re doing, you may need some background on topic.
  • 6. Requirements: Equipment & supplies
    Include a list of the things you need to gather before you start the procedure.
    equipment, the tools you use in the procedure (such as mixing bowls, spoons, bread pans, hammers, drills, and saws) and
    supplies, the things that are consumed in the procedure (such as wood, paint, oil, flour, and nails).
    typically listed either in a simple vertical list or in a two-column list.
    Use the two-column list if you need to add some specifications to some or all of the items—for example, brand names, sizes, amounts, types, model numbers, and so on.
  • 7. Dangers, Cautions, Notes
    Alert readers to the possibility of ruining their equipment, screwing up the procedure, and hurting themselves.
    emphasize key points or exceptions. For these situations, you use special notices—note, warning, caution, and danger notices.
    Warn user
    physical, (can they get harmed physically)
    personal safety (will they need to protect personal information)
    Property safety (will they need to protect software or other personal belongings)
  • 8. Examples of Instruction Introductions
    http://www.prismnet.com/~hcexres/textbook/instrxx2c.html — good text example; gives you sense of introduction
    http://bf.memphis.edu/spectrum/introduction.php — very good and detailed introduction; provides quite a bit of background
  • 9. Examples
    Simple Staining
    Photoshop Pop-Art
  • 10. Sources
    McMurrey, David A. Online Technical Writing: Online Textbook — Contents