Technical Writing Sample Assignment About User Manual

User guides and reference manuals technical writing examples. Canary 1000 Installation and User Guide 104-page manual for the company's digital Through-The-Earth radio system that enables voice and data communications link through solid obstructions such as rock, soil and concrete. As sole technical writer for a remote-only client, developed. Instruction sets are common technical documents for many disciplines and occupations. Employees read instructions to learn how to assemble a product or complete a procedure. Supervisors write out company policies that often serve as instruction sets. Customers read instructions for using a product. UnTechnical Writing teaches the mechanics of writing about technical subjects for non-technical audiences, while his The User Manual Manual discusses how. Writing Instructions. One of the most common and one of the most important uses of technical writing is instructions—those step-by-step explanations of how to do things: assemble something, operate something, repair something, or do routine maintenance on something. Tutoring Guide for Technical Writing: User Manuals The Assignment in General A user manual remains one of the largest documents a technical writer can create. A user manual serves to inform or teach a user how to use a product or perform a task. A tutor should not confuse liter-ary and language skills with documentation skills.

  1. Sample Technical Writing Documents
  2. Technical Writing Instruction Manual
  3. Technical Writing Assignment Ideas
  4. Writing Technical Manual Examples


ASSIGNMENT:Write a set ofinstructions on how to use a computer or other application of 500-600 words (see below).At least two screen captures or images must beincorporated into your text (you may add more if necessary).Please provide APA citations in a referencelist documenting the screen captures you use. If you like, you can also includeillustrations you create yourself in power point, cad, paint, with a digital camera etc. The use of textboxes and arrows may be necessary as well to label various components within anillustration.

Asusual, write in the clear and concise style characteristic ofgood technical writing and in a language and tone appropriate to youraudience and purpose.

TOPICS:You should pick something you are interested in in school, job, etc. you might illustrate how to complete a computer based application – choosesomething that most students in our course probably don’t know how to do suchas:

  1. Step-by-step instructions with visuals on anything related to school or career
  2. Manipulating visuals in word
  3. Creating diagrams/charts in word
  4. Searching LCC’s online library databases.
  5. Registering for classes at LCC.
  6. Using other applications in word such as tables, inserting pictures, changing page lay-outs, how to rename files, how to create folders and file things in word, how to cut-and-paste text, etc.
  7. How to create an APA citation from a webpage that you locate on the web.
  8. How to make a pdf file using free software.
  9. Creating a power point with visuals.
  10. Using various ANGEL applications – posting to the discussion board, uploading to a dropbox, finding your grade, etc.
  11. Entering your preferred email in starport.
  12. How to publish to the web using free web services, etc.
  13. Using any other software-pick something students might want to know how to do.
  14. Be sure to provide step-by-step instructions.

Some important notes about this assignment—please readcarefully:

ØYou need to describe aprocedure that you are familiar with.Again,I want you to look into your experience as a student or current job forideas.Look for material that isactually needed so the document has a practical purpose.What I do not want is for you to prepareinstructions for an activity that has been well documented. In the end, youshould be able to cover the “how to” in such a way that your reader (anon-technical person) will be able to carry out the steps in a systematic way (pages539-545).

ØReadability: Stepsshould be written in logical order using active voice.This process should allow the user theability to complete each step after reading it one time.

Technical writing instruction manual

üUse headings asappropriate & in LOGICAL ORDER.

üUse bold, italics,font sizes as appropriate and in a consistent manner.

üBe generous with margins & allow white space for visuals.

These instructions can be used to help in yourcurrent job or in an anticipated job.Keep in mind that this assignment could be a sample of creating what youcan do and could be used in a job portfolio in the future.

FORMAT:Use the format shown onthe samples in ANGEL. You can use a memo format if you like.

Yourmemo should have the following elements:


ØTheory or principles of operation—how does it work?

ØList of equipment and materials needed

ØNecessary prior knowledgeand/or skills of the user

ØMajor steps

ØHazard notices (preview here—actual notices are in the appropriatestep with symbol)

vCaution—prevent possible mistakes

vWarning—alert user to potential hazard

ØRequired steps (body of memo)--how-to instructions—in logicalorder

vuse numbered steps--one instruction each with at the most twoor three closely related instructions

vuse familiar, direct language and avoid jargon

Sample Technical Writing Documents

vbe accurate

vNOTE:use visuals as appropriate—musthave at least one

vNOTE:use hazard notices in stepswhere indicated

vTips and troubleshootingprocedures

Irobot roomba pro elite user manual. ØGlossary (definitionsand terms)

ØConclusion—close your memo

Instruction sets are common technical documents for many disciplines and occupations. Employees read instructions to learn how to assemble a product or complete a procedure. Supervisors write out company policies that often serve as instruction sets. Customers read instructions for using a product. For this assignment, you will develop a set of instructions advising users how to perform a specific task.

Before you begin to write, consider the rhetorical situation for your instructions. Use the planning worksheet to help you determine the purpose, audience, context, and content for your instructions.

Choosing a Topic

Your instructions should help users to perform any kind of task that requires several steps or stages. Your task should also be something that students can perform in class (feel free to bring in materials). Here are some topic ideas (don’t be limited by them):

  • How to iron a shirt
  • How to add another component (CD-ROM, hard drive, sound card, etc.) to your computer
  • How to juggle
  • How to craft an object using Legos
  • How to use a particular tool or piece of laboratory equipment

How to Choose a Great Topic:

Choose something with which you are very familiar. It can be something related to your field of study, or something related to a more general audience.

Choose an audience who, ideally, has never performed this task before.

Choose a task with an appropriate level of difficulty–neither too easy nor too hard to explain in the space allotted. Your instruction set will be at least 3 pages, single-spaced, with both text and visuals.

Choose a task that can be performed in our classroom (we will be conducting usability tests).

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Note: I will need to approve all topics (in order to ensure that you have selected a topic of appropriate size and scope).

Specific Requirements


Depending on the nature of your task, you may wish to include most, if not all, of the following content:

Introduction or Background Information. Here you’ll provide your reader with the following information, as applicable:

  • ·an overview of the steps needed to complete the task
  • ·definitions of terms or concepts they need to know before they proceed
  • ·cautions or warnings that apply to the task as a whole
  • ·a sense of how long the task should take
  • ·where readers should perform the task (ie. in a well ventilated area outside on a flat surface, etc…)

List of Materials or Ingredients Needed.

Visuals.Include diagrams, drawings, photographs, figures, and/or tables. Each visual should be numbered, labeled and titled. Also include captions and/or legends where necessary. Visuals should give a sense of scale and orientation.

List of Steps, in Chronological Order. Remember to:

  • ·Use the “imperative mood” or “imperative voice.”
  • ·Phrase each step clearly and concisely.
  • ·Provide “feedback” that informs the reader what will happen after they complete each step.
  • ·Include warnings or cautions before readers will encounter problems.
  • ·Break long lists into sections with appropriate sub-headings.
  • ·Make sure sub-headings and steps are phrased in parallel form.

Troubleshooting Tips, if appropriate.

Glossary of Key Terms and Definitions, if appropriate.


Instructions are normally in a chronological order. If there is no necessary chronological order for your instructions, then choose another rationale for the organization. For example, you could move from more to least important tasks, from general to specialized tasks, from most to least common tasks, and so on.

Format and Design

Your format and design should include:

A clear hierarchy of headings and subheadings.

Well-chosen fonts. For print documents, sans-serif fonts are usually best for headings; serif fonts are best for body text. (For online documents, the reverse is true.)

Numbered lists and bulleted lists, where appropriate. Know the difference. Make sure bullets and numbering are consistently formatted. Do not number or bullet lists with fewer than two items.

The right amount of white space–neither too much nor too little.

Effective use of alignment and proximity. Centered alignment may make it harder for users to skim headings and sub-headings; left alignment or indentations can be more effective for this. Visuals should be placed close to the text referring to them.

Effective use of contrast. Too much contrast means that nothing stands out; too little makes it hard for users to find what they need. Consider emphasizing elements like headings, key words, and warnings.

Consistency in design features. Decide which fonts, font sizes, and forms of emphasis you will use and apply them consistently.

Note: Length should be at least 3 pages single-spaced.

Evaluation Criteria

Audience Accommodation: The instructions are appropriate for the intended audience. They’re written from a user-centered, rather than system-centered, perspective and in the imperative mood. They anticipate the user’s questions, difficulties, and needs.

Content: The instructions include all of the information needed to complete the task at hand. Background information, warnings, and definitions are included where appropriate.

Organization: The instructions are organized logically. Items within numbered lists are organized chronologically. Sub-sections are clearly marked with headings.

Technical Writing Instruction Manual

Format and Design: The instructions include each of the format features listed above. The overall design is clear and consistent. The instructions use fonts, white space, contrast, alignment, headings and sub-headings appropriately and consistently.

Technical Writing Assignment Ideas

Style: The instructions effectively create a professional ethos. The tone is effective for the audience.Instructions are written as active voice commands. Headings and numbered and bulleted items are in parallel form (that is, they use similar grammatical structures for each item in a list and for the text of headings). The document is free from typographical or grammatical errors.

Writing Technical Manual Examples

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