Technical Writing, September 17, 2013


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Technical Writing, September 17, 2013

  1. 1. TODAY 1) Checking in with Dr. Anderson 2) Instructions: keys 3) Activity: More Paper Planes and the power of folding 4) Swap! 5) Share! 6) Homework
  2. 2. Anderson 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.
  3. 3. Instructions-The keys 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.
  4. 4. 1. You’re here to instruct.
  5. 5. 2. Less is more.
  6. 6. 3. But too little is too late.
  7. 7. 4. Illustrations are your friend.
  8. 8. 5. The 3 Cs: consistent, concise, careful.
  9. 9. 6. Build in some redundancy.
  10. 10. Basically… … 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.
  11. 11. 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. :)
  12. 12. Activity 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.
  13. 13. Then… 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.
  14. 14. Now… 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.
  15. 15. Now … 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.
  16. 16. And now… 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 better? 4.The final test: how do they both fly?
  17. 17. 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 projects.