How to create and read instruction manuals
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How to Create and read Instruction Manuals. Student Objectives. Analyze technical instructions to learn what makes them effective or ineffective for an audience. Analyze and describe the audience for a set of instructions, noting what that audience needs from that document.

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How to Create and read Instruction Manuals

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How to Create and read Instruction Manuals

Student Objectives

  • Analyze technical instructions to learn what makes them effective or ineffective for an audience.

  • Analyze and describe the audience for a set of instructions, noting what that audience needs from that document.

  • Use document and audience analysis, drafting, peer response/user feedback, and revision to create effective technical instructions.

  • Reflect on their writing process, noting how this assignment will be useful to them in future writing.

What are Instructional Manuals?

  • When did you last read a manual?

  • From your own experience, how helpful were they?

  • What parts were difficult?

  • What did you do if you had trouble understanding the instructions? Or, what did you do if your product stopped working properly?

  • Write your answers on a piece of paper and be prepared to share out.

Effective and Ineffective

Analyzing Technical Instructions

  • Analyzing Technical Instructions

  • You will see a set of technical instructions. As a group, analyze your set of instructions for the following items. Take notes as you discuss.

  • 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.

Effective vs. Ineffective

  • Share out your answers for each of the manuals.

  • Which one was more effective than the other?

  • What made them effective?

  • What made them difficult?

  • What could you have done better if you were in charge of writing a manual?

Writing Instructional Manuals

  • technical writing tips


Small Group Activity

  • In your group you will be creating instructions for one of the following tasks:

  • How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich

  • How to ride a bicycle

  • How to download a song from your iPod

  • Include 3 trouble shooting tips

  • You have 10 min. to create your directions:

  • *Remember*

  • Create detailed chronological order directions that ANYONE can follow

Homework (Individual Assignment)

  • Put the following on Your Desk

    • The Manual of one product that you use on a regular basis

    • The Planning Sheet and the Visually Drafting Sheet

    • The Product Manual Rubric AND your Poster Board

  • You will be creating a small product manual poster Due: Tuesday

  • Remember to include:

    • visuals

    • 10 trouble shooting tips

    • Chronological detailed step by step instructions


  • Along with the product manual poster, you will create a short power point about your favorite food recipe. (slide count is up to you)

  • Write the recipe and its steps.

    • Include 5 trouble shooting tips in case someone makes a mistake while cooking, or if they are not able to find an ingredient.

  • Include a video or photos of yourself following the recipe

  • Bring your final product to class to share!

  • Tips:

    • Watch your favorite cooking show on TV or youtube

    • Notice how they break things down step by step and see if they include trouble shooting techniques in case you do something wrong or don’t have an ingredient.

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