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Instructions on the major assignments

Assignment 2 is DUE IN CLASS on Friday, September 28. There is no rewrite for this assignment. Late work is penalized 10% per day.

Assignment 2: Technical Definitions, Description and Explanation or Instructions

  • This assignment has five parts for a total of 100 total points:
    • Audience analysis: 10 points
    • Process description: 30 points
    • Visualizing test for colleagues: 10 points
    • Statement of how audience analysis & visualizing test were utilized: 5 points
    • Explanation/Instructions: 40 points
    • Complete packaging: 5 points

This assignment builds over the course of three weeks, and much of it must be done during class. You will get into groups of six to seven, and everyone will stay in his or her group for both group activities.

  • Audience analysis: In class on Friday, September 7 determine all group members' background information and levels of familiarity with your topic.

    Take notes on:
    • Your group members'
      • Majors, year in school, and professional experience.
      • Knowledge of your terms.
      • Attitudes or opinions about your topic
      • Experience with or observations of your process.
    • What they value when reading technical descriptions.

    Keep a copy of your notes for inclusion in the final package.

  • Process description:

    By classtime on Wednesday, September 19, describe in about 300 words, double-spaced, third-person, a process that is used in your major field of study. For example, you might describe how to do a lab procedure used in your chemistry class or how to build a compost station. (As an example, Dr. Perry will describe how paper is made.) Spelling and grammar count for this assignment, but for now the format is open.

    Write the description with your audience in mind, considering what you learn in the audience analysis conducted in class. Print out the description. Bring it to class on Wednesday, September 19. You won't turn it in that day. You will read your process description to the group you were in for the audience analysis. (See Visualizing test below.) Edit the description according to the feedback your group gives you and keep a copy in your computer. You will expand it later based on the feedback you obtained.

  • Visualizing test:

Obtain your group members' interpretation of your description during the in-class visualizing exercise on September 19, when you will also draw your interpretation of your colleagues' descriptions. You should label with the drawer's name each drawing done for you and sign each drawing you do for others. Use your colleagues' drawings as feedback to determine how much more information and clarification you should include in your explanation or instructions.

Keep your colleagues' drawings of your description for packaging.

  • Statement of how audience analysis & visualizing test were used:

Write a short paragraph describing how you used the audience analysis to craft the description and explanation/instructions as well as how you used the feedback from the visualizing test to clarify your description.

  • Explanation or instructions:

    By class-time on Friday, September 28, correct, edit, and then expand your description into an explanation or into instructions, using the ABC format for explanations or instructions. The explanation/instructions should:

    1. Be labeled as to whether it is an explanation or instructions.
    2. Have a descriptive title
    3. Include at least one graphic illustrating the process
      • You may draw the illustration yourself.
      • You may use a graphic from another source, including the Web, but give a citation to the source.
    4. Be typed and double-spaced.
    5. Be about 400 words.*

The four things due in class on Friday, September 28 are:

(1) a printout of your explanation/instructions (400 words)* with a graphic illustrating your process.

(2) a printout of your corrected/ edited description with a logical title (300 words).*

(3) your group members' signed visualizations of your description.

(4) your legible notes on your audience analysis.

(5) your statement on your use of the audience analysis and visualizing test.


Put your name on all pages and staple them together.


IF YOU CANNOT BE IN CLASS ON Friday, September 28 and have a documented, excused absence, you may get full credit if you:

  • Turn it in early to Dr. Perry, or
  • You may have one day's extension for every day of excused absence. In that case, turn in the typed portions of Assignment 2 via Canvas as an MS Word document and with the file name yourlastname2. Turn in (to Dr. Perry or a TA) your paper documents, along with your excused-absence documentation, if not already submitted.

IF YOU MISSED ANY OF THE IN-CLASS ACTIVITIES, you can get partial credit by turning in by class-time, Friday, September 28 what you were able to complete.