ADVANCE TECHNICAL WRITING
WRTG 393 students,
Writing assignment #1 will be an instruction manual.
Instruction manuals explain to readers how to operate something or make something. Helpful
resources on how to write an instruction manual include the following:
“Instructions, procedures, and policies,” a chapter from Tebeaux and Dragga in
Jerz’s literacy page features a fine set of tips on writing instructions. Please click here to
view the site.
David McMurrey has a very helpful website on writing instructions. Please click here to
view the webpage.
Wikibooks has an excellent guide to writing instructions. Please click here to view the
The instruction manual will include the following sections or features:
Overview or Introduction with necessary background information such as time needed,
skill ability, relevance, context, stage setting, etc.
Equipment and materials needed (as appropriate)
Definitions (as appropriate)
o provide a graphic for steps of the instructions that need a graphic
o at least three graphics should be original
o graphics borrowed from other sources need to be cited in APA format
o all graphics should be labeled
Warnings or statements of caution (as appropriate)
Page numbers for all pages of the manual
In addition, please note that the manual should be single-spaced.
Overall, chapter 10 from Tebeaux and Dragga should be read thoroughly as you begin this
assignment. Different types of instructions call for different strategies. The chapter from
Tebeaux and Dragga is an excellent resource in guiding your approach.Other helpful guides on writing instructions:
The Tech Writing Handbook by Dozuki, which is one of the resources listed in our class,
has the following:
o an appendix that provides tips in writing instructions and incorporating graphics
o chapter 6, “Photographing the process.”
o chapter 7, “Using Other Visuals.”
The Mayfield Handbook, which is also one of the resources listed in our class, features
excellent tips on writing instructions.
o Section 2.8.3 of the handbook, Instructions and Procedures, will be particularly
Examples of instruction manuals for you to look at:
o an example of an instruction manual on setting up a VPN
o a video instruction on swimming. Note how the author lists the equipment and
then proceeds to mention the steps involved. The video is over 10 minutes long.
You might just take a look at the first couple of minutes to see how he lists the
equipment and then proceeds to the steps.
There is no minimum or maximum number of words for this assignment. Your goal is to write
coherent, well designed instructions for a user.
The instructor will post the due date. Keep in mind that this will be a draft. It can be a very rough
draft or incomplete draft if you do not have a polished product yet.
You will receive comments from the instructor on this assignment. You will submit a final draft
of the assignment into the assignment folder after receiving comments on your first draft.