Writing Process Instructions and Directions

Process instructions and directions are some of the most common kinds of writing for IT professionals. This course covers writing an introduction to a set of instructions, managing safety warnings, formatting and presenting individual steps, analyzing the audience and situation, working with visuals, and developing a troubleshooting section.
Course info
Rating
(82)
Level
Beginner
Updated
Aug 15, 2014
Duration
1h 28m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Rating
(82)
Level
Beginner
Updated
Aug 15, 2014
Duration
1h 28m
Description

Process instructions and directions are some of the most common kinds of writing for IT professionals, whether they’re incidental responses to things like email queries or full-fledged manuals. This course covers writing an introduction to a set of instructions, managing safety warnings, formatting and presenting individual steps, analyzing the audience and situation, working with visuals, and developing a troubleshooting section.

About the author
About the author

Alan Ackmann teaches business and technical writing in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse Department at DePaul University in Chicago, IL, where he lives with his wife and two children.

More from the author
Storytelling to Engage and Motivate
Beginner
1h 2m
Jun 4, 2019
More courses by Alan Ackmann
Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Drafting the Body to Process Instructions
Hi. This is Alan Ackmann and you're watching Drafting the Body to Process Instructions, part of the Pluralsight library. This is the second of three modules that will take you through developing a full- fledged set of process instructions, beginning with the idea of organization. Organizing a document is basically the process of helping a reader figure out where they're going and in some kinds of technical writing, that can get a little complicated. There are usually a wide variety of routes you could take through a document's organization. Both routes that you enable through design as well as routes that readers will make up as they go. All those options can become very unsettling, as well as highly contextualized. In a case of process instructions though, we get a bit of a chance to relax. The body of a set of process instructions has one of the most straightforward and direct systems of organization in all of technical writing as well as one of the most linear because it is built around a system of numbered sequential steps. The organization usually goes like this. Step One: Do this thing first. Step Two: Do this thing second. Step Three: Do this thing third. Sequence isn't only the dominant principle of organization, it's arguably the only one and certainly the most useful. Yes, you're going to have the occasional meaningful image as well as interspersed warnings or cautions, but the main organization is still the sequential steps. Even within this larger architecture though, there are several concepts to keep in mind so let's go through them now.