Business writing week 5 | English homework help

User Manual Project:


You will choose a product for which you will create a User Manual “page” (1-3 pages).

Below are several steps to help you with the process.

Do not choose a TV that one simply turns on and shuts off, and moves volume and channel up and downJ

Consider any items that has do’s and don’t or requires that operating steps have an order or the process is altered (Warning Steps). Perhaps a Vacuum cleaning and include changing the bag or empting the dust container, or an espresso maker that you cannot unscrew the water tank during operation, or a printer and include changing the ink cartridge.


To write a user manual, take these steps:

Summary – What the product is; what it does.

Product Description – What the product consists of.

Operating Instructions – How to use the produce.

Trouble Shooting – How to remedy a problem.

View the articles at:


To begin this assignment, use the following questions:

Analyzing Technical Instructions

Choose a written technical instructions page from a produce of your choice. Analyze your set of instructions for the following items. Take notes as you consider (The following are NOT for handing in, but to help you focus and develop your manual):


1. Audience Who is the audience for the instructions? How do you know?

2. Purpose What are the instructions helping the audience do or create?

3. Rate Instructions—Easy vs. Difficult Are these instructions easy for the audience to use? Why or Why not?

4. Effective vs. Ineffective Elements Identify both good and bad parts of instructions.

5. Visual Appeal How does the set of instructions look? What about its the look and design that is effective or ineffective for the audience?

6. Language What kind of language does the document use? Is it appropriate for the audience? Give examples.

Next, consider this rubric to generate your instructions:

Technical Instructions Rubric






Highly Effective

Somewhat Effective

Usable, but with Some Trouble



Instructions make it clear who should and should not use these instructions and how the instructions will meet audience’s needs.

Instructions include some acknowledgement of who the audience is and their needs for using these instructions.

Audience is not clear, and instructions seem very general and vague.

No attention to directing instructions to a specific audience.


Purpose of instructions is very clear and audience knows what they will be able to do after reading the document. Includes an introduction and table of contents.

Purpose is somewhat clear, but not outlined well for the audience. May include a weak introduction and incomplete table of contents.

Purpose is not clear at all. Document just starts with instructions and no purpose clarification.

No attention to purpose of document.

Use of Images

Well-labeled pictures accompany the instructions. The images make the instructions clear and easy to follow.

Well-labeled pictures accompany the instructions.

Some pictures are included with the instructions, but they are not clear, well-labeled, or connected to the text.

No pictures are included in the instructions. The document includes text only.

Visual Design

Instructions are very well organized into major sections with clear labels and a table of contents.

Instructions are well-organized into major sections that are labeled.

Instructions are organized into sections.

Instructions are poorly organized or have no clear organization at all.


Instructions include all necessary information and pictures, including any contact information for help and troubleshooting.

Instructions include information needed to complete the task.

Instructions may be missing some steps or the steps are not clear.

Instructions are incomplete and offer no help for the user.



As you consider the instruction manual (sheet) you will compose, consider this:

Technical Instructions Planning Sheet

 Share your item and plans for writing instructions with your partner. After you explain your basic ideas, your partner will help you plan your document by asking you the following questions. Your partner will write down your responses as you talk and then give you the notes, which you can use to get started on your instructions.

1. Who will be the audience for your instructions? Why are these readers the best audience?

2. How will you have to tailor your instructions for this audience? What language will you have to use?

3. How long will your instructions be? How many different parts will you have to explain for your audience? List the parts.

4. Will you need to include pictures or diagrams in your instructions? How many pictures will you need? What will those look like? Why are these important?

5. How might your finished instructions look? Will they be 1-page long or more? Will it look like a book or a pamphlet? How else might it look?

Visually Drafting Your Instructions

 It’s time to start envisioning what your instructions will look like. Using your item and your planning worksheet notes, you will now create what technical writers call mockups or rough drafts.

Use some scratch paper to brainstorm visually the different parts your instructions will have.

Think back to the structure and design of the instructions you have viewed for suggestions for your work. For example, you may want to include a brief introduction, a description of warnings about the object, a list of the parts needed, and different lists of instructions or diagrams of the object and how to use it. Use text boxes to insert any graphics you can include. Use MS Draw, or free clip art, or photos you took to insert into your instructions.


Sample list for note taking:




Sketch of parts

How to ….

(Modified from NTCE’s Read, Write, Think, 2007).



Now, for your final copy for submission, generate a “user manual” in MS Word. This manual should be 1-3 pages and contain all the info that a reader needs to know to operate the item of your choice. 

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