Brief Description and Strategies
In this assignment, you will write a technical description for a non-specialized audience. You will explain to a non-technical audience how something works. You will choose an object or a process with which you are familiar. You will describe this object or process to an audience that has little or no background of the subject.
Keep in mind that you are not writing instructions on how to do something. You wrote instructions for writing assignment #1. For writing assignment #2, if you describe a process, you may want to describe a process that does not involve direct human action. This approach will help prevent you from writing another set of instructions for this assignment. If you describe a process, you will describe an activity or phenomenon that takes place. For example, you could describe how the heart pumps blood in the human body. But you could not give instructions on how to take someone’s blood.
Your description will include graphics. The description will use visual detail in both words and images. You might consider one of the following two strategies:
1.provide one main graphic and refer to parts in the graphic when writing your technical description
2.provide many graphics, integrating each graphic as you write the various parts of the technical description
Examples of topics for this assignment include the following:
1.You are an auto mechanic. You could write a description of how spark plugs work to an audience of non-mechanics. You would not write a set of instructions on how to install spark plugs. You would describe how spark plugs work.
2.You work in technical support at a computer store. You could write a description of how a graphics card works to an audience that is not familiar with computers. You would not write a set of instructions on how to install a graphics card. You would describe how graphics cards work.
3.You are in a branch of the military. You could write a description of how a function of your unit operates to a non-military audience. You would not write a set of instructions on how to do something in the military unit. You would describe how a function or process in the military unit operates.
4.You might describe a piece of equipment that you included in your set of instructions for writing assignment #1. For example, assume that you wrote a set of instructions for writing assignment #1 on how to change oil in a car. In that set of instructions, perhaps you listed a hydraulic jack as a piece of equipment. For writing assignment #2, you could write a description of how the hydraulic jack works in lifting up a car. You would not write a set of instructions on how to jack up a car. You would describe how the jack works
Your description should answer the following questions:
1.What is the object or process? How is it defined?
2.What does the object or process do?
3.What does the object or process look like?
4.What is the object made of? (if you are describing an object and not a process)
5.How does the object or process work?
6.Why should the reader be interested in your object or process?