Project Three: The Instruction Set

Make a Death Star Pumpkin Step 15Bullet2.jpgRationale

Technical professionals are often required to provide instructions on how to perform processes or use technologies for both general audiences and colleagues. Instruction sets are often composed as support materials with projects and also by support staff (for instance, an IT head) for the use of their colleagues.

For Project 3 you will be asked to contribute an instruction to the open-source knowledge base wikiHow; given the way this knowledge base is used, you will be writing your description for a general audience.

Invention

I would advise that you first study the online knowledge base that you will be contributing to; the existing protocols and commonplaces of that base will influence the instruction set you will compose (e.g., it will not be one already covered) as well as your strategies for composition (e.g., successful and unsuccessful instruction sets will provide positive and negative examples for you learn from). As part of this assignment you will add or submit your document to the base you have chosen as well as provide a version of the same on our course wiki.

In addition to to your actual instruction set, you will write a brief memo describing the topic chosen and its appropriateness.

Composition

Your design of the entry will likely follow the standards and/or requirements of the open source knowledge base we have chosen. Length will likely be dependent on what instruction set you choose to compose. Unlike Wikipedia, our base for Project 1, wikiHow is a newer site and less ground has been covered. Iterations of this project in former classes have produced entries on such disparate topics as trapping small animalsfolding paper roses, and “war driving.” If you have difficulty generating a topic, you might benefit from consulting wikiHow’s page of requested topics.

Evaluation

Your final draft of Project 3 will be evaluated in accordance with the following criteria:

  1. Instructions provided are appropriate for the chosen knowledge base.
  2. Instruction set shows familiarity with audience and is strategically adapted to same.
  3. Entry provides useful information to the knowledge base chosen.
  4. Document conforms to standards of technical prose.
  5. Memo reflects competent rhetorical strategy.

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