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Feb 12

Page history last edited by Jared 9 years, 3 months ago

Project 2 Technical Writer's Workshop


We will split into groups of three or four, where you will work to review the projects from your own group.  

You will need to provide:

  1. one phase of feedback using the checklist on page 596,
  2. one phase of more generative written feedback, working with the author
  3. begin planning user-testing 




Use the "Writer's Guide: Revising Instructions" checklist to review your Peers Projects initially.

(Handout provided)


Phase TWO:  Written Feedback Analyzing and Improving



A) Does the Introduction section do the following:


  1. Explain what the how-to covers for an audience who might not fully understand the process under review
  2. Argue for why a casual viewer might be interested in this procedure
  3. Indicate how easy/difficult the process is and/or what specialized knowledge is necessary/useful



B) Does the introduction apply the basic strategies and tone for 'serious' or 'lighthearted' instruction sets discussed in WikiHow's tutorial?   If so, is it doing so effectively?


C) Does the introduction answers the "questions reader's asks" (see p. 573)?


If necessary, spend some time (10 minutes or so) co-authoring any needed improvements.

D) Does the superstructure seem complete, or is there a section that should be added? (See p. 574, andWikiHow's superstructure or "Standard Order of Sections")  Consider in particular whether "warning" or "safety" sections should be included.


Ensure the author knows how to add sections on Wikihow if applicable, and what resources from the textbook or website to use when drafting.

E) If applicable, comment on whether the description of equipment is clearly explaining equipment.  Are there images?  Should there be?

F) In the main section, the "Steps" or "Directions" section, does the author "Write Each Direction for Rapid Comprehension and Immediate Use" (see p. 582 and consider each of the four criteria)


If necessary, help the writer edit one step for the 'active voice', concision, and imperative mood.  


G) In the main section, the "Steps" or "Directions" section, does the author "Help Locate the Next Step Quickly" (see p. 582 and consider each of the four criteria)


If necessary, help the writer edit one step for improved usability, detail, and imperative mood.  



H)  Do the images or graphics enhance the: 

  • (1) usefulness of the instruction set?  How?
  • (2) persuasiveness, and of the instruction set?  How?
  • (3) content?  How so?

 (See Anderson p. 340 for comments on each consideration)


Phase Three: Pre-planning your User Test 

As a group, preview our upcoming reading (Chapter 18), and discuss what a usability test is, and what one tends to look like.  Then look over the consent form and "Writer's Guide" on p. 390 -391.  As a group, make a note about each of the following:

  1. what should be each author's goals for a test?
  2. who should the test readers be (both the ideal readers and accessible readers)?
  3. how might each member create and conduct their test?
  4. will you need consent forms for next class?


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