Manual: 3-5 pages, typed, single spaced, visual aids required
Audience level of technicality: low or lay
Sources: At least three
All sources must be documented in MLA or APA format
Relevant chapters in your textbook: ch. 19 and 20
For this assignment, you will write a manual about how to do something (instructions) or how
something works (process analysis) related to your final project (but it can be only marginally related).
For example, for instructions, you may write about how to update a computer system, install a piece
of hardware, or how to fix a broken component. For a process analysis, you can show us how a
motherboard or diesel engine works, or how the stock market works.
Think about both audience and purpose. The level of technicality you assume on the part of your
audience will make a big difference in what you elect to include in your manual. When considering
audience, remember the levels of technicality that we discussed in class. Often, students will mix levels
of technicality in their manuals, which is inappropriate. You should start with an audience analysis.
Additionally, identifying the purpose—why your audience should know about this subject—will give
your manual focus and make it manageable for you.
Deciding where to begin and end the process analysis or instructions may be a tough decision. For
example, if you were to give instructions to someone about how to drive a stick shift, would you begin
with starting the engine? Opening the car door? Attempting to put the car into gear? What would you
choose and why?
Your manual should be structured with an introduction, body, and conclusion.
It should also be divided into sub-headings.
The introduction may need to supply background (and perhaps some history) and/or a context
for your discussion. A good example of this is a cookbook. For any type of cuisine or cooking,
there are many different cookbooks to choose from. What reasons can an author give you to
choose that particular cookbook? Ease of preparing? Heart-healthy? Gourmet? Cheap? A
combination of these?
Your textbook contains a general model as well as examples for your instructions or analysis.
Although you need to have visual aids for this assignment, they should be used only when
necessary and should be directly relevant to the material. Chapter 12 in your textbook is about
designing visuals and has very helpful discussion.
As mentioned before, your manual should have an introduction (with a sense of purpose and
audience), a body, and a conclusion. Your conclusion should at very least point your audience in
the direction of additional resources on the topic.