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DescriptionWeek 8: Discussion – Brainstorming Instruction Topics and
Identifying Strategies
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This week’s reading in Chapter 5.4 details a number of strategies for making complex
information accessible and understandable to a non-specialist audience:

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Defining unfamiliar terms
Comparing to familiar things
Elaborating the process
Providing description
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Reviewing theoretical background
Providing examples and applications
Shorter sentences and paragraphs
The “in-other-words” technique
Posing rhetorical questions
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Explaining the importance or significance
Providing illustration
Providing historical background
Providing the human perspective
Stronger transitions


Your writing assignment this week will ask you to create a set of written and visual
instructions for a healthcare-related task that you are highly familiar and comfortable
with, written specifically for a nonspecialist reader. For this discussion, brainstorm a list
of 3 possible tasks that you might want to write your instructions on.

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Share your list of possible instructions tasks with the class.
Discuss 2-3 of the strategies above that you think would be
useful in completing your instructions this week. Explain
why.
Be sure to define or describe the strategies in your own words
so it’s clear that you understand what the strategy is all
about.
Guide from the instructor
If I were to write an instruction guide for this assignment, I’d choose something medically
important, but simple enough to teach in 5-7 steps. Since I’m an English expert and not a
medical one, I think I’d choose one of these simple tasks to create instructions for:



How to Properly Brush Teeth Using a Electric Toothbrush
How to Prevent Infection on Small Cuts Using Over-the-counter Ointments
How to Stay Hydrated During the Hot Summer Season
As for what methods of articulating technical information I’d choose to use, I’d consider
providing historical background information, and also explaining the importance of the
task. For providing background info, I’d discuss the difficulty or dangers of improperly
doing the task in the past (for example, when infections weren’t understood, carefully
leaning cuts wasn’t known to be a safety measure). As far as explaining the importance,
this would be useful because I could make clear the benefits of my chosen task early in
the instructions, which would help convince readers that they should follow my steps to
get those benefits:)
Submitting a text entry box or a file upload

Available May 8 at 12am – Jul 16 at 11:59pm
Instructions are important documents in the real world. In healthcare environments, they
provide essential information to coworkers and patients, structuring the way people do
their jobs and take care of their family members. Having correct and detailed instructions
can help ensure everyone does the same thing for the same task, providing consistency.
They can also show people performing tasks how to do so safely and effectively.
Unfortunately, instructions are often the worst-written documents we encounter: they
miss steps, fail to orient the reader to important tools or concepts, assume too much or
explain too much, and generally confuse a reader who is already unfamiliar with the
task.
Writing instructions is harder than it seems, but more important than we assume.
For this assignment, you will produce a set of written and visual instructions for
a healthcare-related task that you are highly familiar and comfortable with.
For readers are nonspecialists. For example, your instructions could be designed for a
novice nurse who hasn’t yet developed a competence in the task at hand, or for a family
member who must help care for a patient at home. You decide what nonspecialist
audience to address.
Your instructions must include both text and visuals, and it should allow nonspecialist
users to move successfully through your selected step-by-step process.
Your final instructions should:


Be 250 – 500 words
Include 5-7 individual steps


Include 5-7 accompanying images, created yourself or sourced online.
You should not be copying your steps from a source—these should be your
own steps to complete a task.
Utilize clear document design that makes effective use of headings, bullets,
lists, body text, and image placement.

Some tips:

Choose a healthcare-related task you are very familiar with so that you can
write your instructions in your own words.

Pick something manageable that can be completed in 5-7 steps but complex
enough to require all the steps.
Your instructions can be designed either as an infographic or a document.
Search “free infographic maker” online to find a number of possible tools.
Cite any images you sourced online in References section at the end of your
instructions. Here’s a resource on citing images found onlineLinks to an
external site..


Optional: Get ahead! Receive specialized writing feedback by submitting your paper for
review.

Click here to begin the review process.Links to an external site.
Rubric
ENG 311 Writing Assignment – Writing Instructions
ENG 311 Writing Assignment – Writing Instructions
Criteria
This criterion is
linked to a
Learning
OutcomeMechanics
(25%)
Spelling,
punctuation, and
grammar are
correct. Both
sentence and
paragraph
structures conform
to current
conventions.
This criterion is
linked to a
Learning
OutcomeStructure
and Organization
(25%)
Submission meets
minimum length
and does not
exceed the
maximum length as
assigned. Work
shows logical flow
from one topic to
the next; transitions
are used.
Ratings
Pts
25 to
>20.0 pts
Exemplary
(25%)
Meets all
guidelines
with no errors.
20 to >15.0 pts
Accomplished
(20%)
Meets all
guidelines;
contains minor
errors.
15 to >7.0 pts
Acceptable
(15%)
Meets some of
the guidelines;
contains minor
errors.
7 to >0.0 pts
Inadequate
(7%)
Does not
meet the
guidelines
0 pts
No
Submission
25 to
>20.0 pts
Exemplary
(25%)
Meets all
guidelines
with no errors.
20 to >15.0 pts
Accomplished
(20%)
Meets all
guidelines;
contains minor
errors.
15 to >7.0 pts
Acceptable
(15%)
Meets some of
the guidelines;
contains minor
errors.
7 to >0.0 pts
Inadequate
(7%)
Does not
meet the
guidelines
0 pts
No
Submission
25 pts
25 pts
ENG 311 Writing Assignment – Writing Instructions
Criteria
This criterion is
linked to a
Learning
OutcomeSteps
(25%)
The essay contains
the minimum
required number of
steps to needed
complete the
chosen task as
indicated by the
assignment prompt.
The steps follow a
logical order and
success of the
chosen task seems
reasonable if
followed.
Ratings
25 to
>20.0 pts
Exemplary
(25%)
Meets all
guidelines
with no errors.
20 to >15.0 pts
Accomplished
(20%)
Meets all
guidelines;
contains minor
errors.
15 to >7.0 pts
Acceptable
(15%)
Meets some of
the guidelines;
contains minor
errors.
Pts
7 to >0.0 pts
Inadequate
(7%)
Does not
meet the
guidelines
0 pts
No
Submission
25 pts
ENG 311 Writing Assignment – Writing Instructions
Criteria
This criterion is
linked to a
Learning
OutcomeImages
(25%)
The essay contains
the minimum
required number of
images per the
assignment prompt.
The images
correspond
appropriately to the
essay topic and the
related steps or
steps.
Total Points: 100
PreviousNext
Ratings
25 to
>20.0 pts
Exemplary
(25%)
Meets all
guidelines
with no errors.
20 to >14.0 pts
Accomplished
(20%)
Meets all
guidelines;
contains minor
errors.
14 to >7.0 pts
Acceptable
(15%)
Meets some of
the guidelines;
contains minor
errors.
Pts
7 to >0.0 pts
Inadequate
(7%)
Does not
meet the
guidelines
0 pts
No
Submission
25 pts

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