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Assignment: Instructions
ENG 3100, Fall 2016
October 20, 2016
Not all of you will be given the task of marketing a particular product or designing instructions for the assembly
of physical goods. However, at some pointwhether formally or informallyyou will likely be called upon to
compose a set of instructions for your peers or for an external audience. These instructions might involve how to
complete a particular task within the content-management-system your organization uses. Or it might involve
setting up expectations for a particularly large collaborative project. In this project, we will look at how
composing even a simple set of instructions can be a challenging and intensive task.
Your Task
Your assignment is to write a set of chronological technical instructions for a product. You will need to start at
the earliest possible action and include every action, no matter how obvious it might seem to you. Note that you
need to determine the age range of your audience.
You will also need to conduct a usability test on the directions you create. A usability test typically asks a
willing participant to attempt to use the documentation while being observed. In this way you will be able to
determine where your directions might fall short or require clarification. Part of the final submission for this
project will involve completing a brief usability report that describes the results of your test and what changes
you have made as a result.
You will be given two identical bags of materials (fifteen Lego pieces), so you can create a product with one set
and have someone test the instructions with the other. These pieces may not match in color, but are duplicates in
size. Thus, if you have two square pieces in one set, you will also have two square pieces in the other set. You
may use the parts as creatively as you wish, but please do not label the parts (draw dots, write letters/numbers,
To succeed you will need to:
Complete an audience analysis sheet
Write an introduction that provides a description of the product/mechanism (defines and describes parts
used), offers an overview of the task, defines the background/requirements of the user, states why the
audience will find this product useful, and lists the materials needed.
Write step-by-step actions (sequential instructions), using no more than two graphics with the
Include any necessary warnings.
Conduct a usability test (specific guidelines will be provided separately) and report your results.
Your instructions may include a glossary, a product history, and/or a trouble-shooting guide. Feel free to
be creative.
Reflective Group Evaluation Memo (one page)
Much like the Synthesis Presentations, your Reflective Memo for this task should focus on discussing your
contributions to the overall project. You should also informally assess your team-mates and describe how your
actions build upon the work that others are completing as well. This is meant to serve both as a method for
accountability and as a way to synthesize what youve gained from this project.
Groups should assign tasks to each member: the group leader will manage the project and contribute to the
writing. Other individual members may contribute to the writing, create graphics, edit the document, create
document layouts, or coordinate a usability test (a separate prompt will be provided).

By and large the formatting of your instructions is up to your groupdetermined in part with your
audience analysis.
Include your audience analysis sheet with the final draft of your instructions.
Language should be accurate, precise and clear. Your audience is a single person completing an entire
Organize your information in a logical way and use headings and bullets (or numbers).
Remember that someone will be reading these instructions while performing a task, so the instructions
should be easy to read and follow.
Since you will be working as a group, your instructions should be composed collaboratively.
Use present tense, second-person pronouns, imperatives, actively voice, parallel structure, and genderneutral language.
Create a set of instructions for a Lego creation of your design.
Analyze your audience when considering how to compose your instructions
Conduct a usability test (there will be a separate prompt for this)
Submit a Reflective Group Evaluation Memo with the Final Draft.
You also must return lego bricks to successfully complete the project.
Due Dates
Draft of Instructions:
Draft of Instructions and Usability:
Portfolio Draft:

Tuesday, November 1
Tuesday, November 22
Due with ePortfolio

Group One
1. Lindsey
2. Parker
3. Addison
4. Max

Group Four
1. Dillon
2. Brandon
3. Robin
4. Jalen

Group Two
1. Fernando
2. Raegan
3. Brandon
4. Andrew

Group Five
1. Savannah
2. Ben
3. Paul
4. Brevin

Group Three
1. Matthew
2. Carson
3. Stirling
4. Jacob


Audience Analysis Sheet
Audience Identity and Needs
Primary audience

(name, title)

Secondary audience

(client, employer, other)

Purpose of document

(inform, persuade, other)

Intended use of document

Prior knowledge about this topic
Additional information needed

(performs a task, solve a problem, other)

(knows nothing, a few details, other)
(background, only bare facts, other)

Probable questions

Audiences Probable
Attitude toward topic
Probable objections
Probable attitude toward this writer

(indifferent, skeptical, other)

(cost, time, none, others)
(intimidated,, hostile, receptive, other)

Organizational climate
Persons most affected by document
Probable reaction to document
Risk of alienating anyone
Audiences level of
Educational background
Knowledge of subject
Type of background information
needed to understand subject
Cultural considerations
Audience expectations

(cautious, impatient, other)

(resistance, approval , anger, guilt, other)

Assignment Assessment Rubric

Contextual Content:
Does the document provide a
description of the
product/design? Be creative!
Does the document define the
background or requirements of
the user?
Does the document list the
materials needed and are they
included in the bag?
Does the document define and
describe parts?
Does the document list any
Is there an overview of the task?
Instructions Content:
Does the document list step-bystep directions that are chunked
appropriately and ordered
Does the document contain a
maximum of two graphics
created by a software program or
digital camera?
Is the graphic readily
understandable to the user?
Me chanics and Tone:
Is the document free from
grammatical and mechanical
Does the language follow
convention: present tense,
gender-neutral, second-person
pronouns, imperatives, active
voice, and parallel structure?
Does the document use
headings/bullets/numbers for
easy readability?
Me mo and Supplementary Docs:
Does the memo describe the
documents purpose and define
the audience, highlighting
particular group decisions that
were made based on the
Is a completed audience analysis
sheet included with the
instructions? Is it thoughtfully
Is there a completed informal
usability test report included with
the instructions? Does it describe
your testing scenario and discuss
what changes are necessary?

Needs Work