Planning & Preparing for Instruction Writing Discussion


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To help you prepare for instruction writing, this assignment will ask you to articulate the various components of your instruction writing project. Although instruction writing seems to be an easy task, making instructions appear easy is part of this genre’s difficulty. For example, how does a company include relevant text for instructions and warnings on a limited amount of space, such as a mousetrap? Technical writers must be able to balance multiple constraints: reader/consumer’s attention, limited space, and task-orientated writing that prevents as much risk as possible.

This assignment will ask you to submit a sample graphic and caption to this graphic to help you prepare for the graphics you will need to include in the upcoming instruction writing project.


Part I: Defining the Scope of your Project (10 points)

To help you think about this assignment, review the assignment at the end of this module called “Mod 3: Instruction Writing to help you understand the scope of this assignment.

As a group or even as an individual, generate ideas and decisions about what you want to do for this assignment.

Once you have generated some ideas about your project, respond to the following prompts:

  • What is the objective of your instructions? (This answer might be obvious, but articulating your objective can help keep you focused on your project, similar to any other writing project.)
  • Who do you imagine completing the specific tasks of your instructions? (Be as specific as possible. Drill down on demographic information such as age, background, and educational level. However, be careful to not make stereotypical assumptions about your audience either.)
  • Is there any risk that you need to account for and warn the user/audience in your instructions?
  • What materials and equipment will a user need to complete your instructions?

Part II: Developing Graphics (5 points)

For this part of the assignment, include a sample graphic with a caption. Use an image or a screenshot that you might use for your instructions. In fact, you may want to get feedback on how a graphic would look like for your instructions. Most likely, you will use screenshots to help you develop graphics for your project. To help extend on these graphics, you will want to review from Markel and Selber, pages 301 through 315. For additional approaches for including a caption, please review this webpage: “Resources: Captions and Attributions.”

Requirements and Grading

There is no word limit for this assignment, but be as comprehensive as possible in responding to the questions above. Include a sample graphic and a caption that you have developed.

If you are working in a group, then only one member needs to submit for the group. Make sure to include all names of the group members on the submission.

You do not need to respond to peers in this discussion. Please go to the next discussion for instructions on how to respond to peers’ writing.

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