Here are the readings from the Alred text: Handbook of Technical Writings, Ninth Edition, you’ll need to complete the Process Description and Specifications Projects:
Description p. 120
Process Explanation p. 401
Specifications p. 510
Also, based on what I saw in some of your proposals, it’s probably necessary to remind you that overly formal language designed to be impressive doesn’t really cut it in the workplace. Simple, clear language wins every time. On that subject, please read also the sections on Affectation (p. 22), Clarity (p. 68), Conciseness (p. 90), and Goobledygook (p.233).
For this assignment, after you have completed the appropriate readings, you need to identify a piece of equipment that you use, or would like to use, in the workplace. The equipment must have at least a minimal relationship to technology of one kind or another. So, for example, a computer or a measuring device or a specialized light source or a copy machine would be OK, but a pencil eraser or a floor mat or a pad of paper would not be OK.
Once you have identified the piece of equipment, you need to write a process description for how it works. Process descriptions are related to instructions, but they are not the same thing. For one thing, they are always written in 3rd person (he she it), never 2nd person (you). A process description for, say, a bicycle would begin with something like “Power is applied to the pedals, which turn a sprocket, to which a chain is attached that drives another sprocket” and so forth. Instructions, on the other hand would read “Once you have positioned yourself on the seat, push down on the pedals while keeping your balance and steering with the handlebars.” PROCESS DESCRIPTIONS TELL HOW SOMETHING WORKS, NOT HOW YOU USE IT.
There is no particular length requirement for this assignment. What IS required is precise, clear language that allows your reader to understand how this piece of equipment, whatever it is, works. The document should be illustrated if illustration will help convey the meaning of the text to your audience.
Submit as a Word file using the assignment feature of Blackboard before 9:00 AM on Tuesday March 12.
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