DLE 105 TECHNICAL ENGLISH II

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					     DLE 105
TECHNICAL ENGLISH II

      HABIBAH ISMAIL
     habibah@kliuc.edu.my
WRITING INSTRUCTION

        -Instruction
  -Awareness of audience
    -Details on language
        WRITING INSTRUCTION
CONTENTS
1) Introduction
2) Instruction
3) Awareness of audience
4) Details on language
INTRODUCTION
INSTRUCTION
                            GENERAL
Process and procedure

•Procedure: a total operation or a complete set of actions that results in
some desired outcome.

•Process: a series of individual steps within the procedure that is followed to
achieve the outcome.

•Difference: We must follow a process in order to complete a procedure.

•Similarity: Both terms mean a way to get something done.
• People are reminded how to perform task
  through procedures.
• Describing a process/procedure needs technical
  writing skills.
• Two types of procedure:
  i.  A procedure that instructs or directs(e.g. Instruction
      manual)
  ii. A procedure that explains or analyses
      “how something works or happens”
      no need to recreate the process
                        Instruction
   Instruction explains ‘how to do something”
       E.g.: how to make paper, how to operate a machine, how to
        change flat tyre etc.


•The purpose of instruction is to clarify steps in
so that the reader can recreate the steps and
get the results or outcome planned.
•Readers needs to obey the step by step
instruction to accomplish the end result.
• In engineering, this type of procedure (instruction) is very
  common and it is sometimes called operating procedure.
• Because processes or procedures are so common in
  engineering, engineers often write them.
• E.g. write instructions to write a software manual for
  computer users on how to run a program. Instruction for
  complex equipment like reservoir or wastewater treatment.
  You may even have to instruct the public on the safety
  precautions for using a high-voltage dust blower that your
  company manufactures.
• Risk of badly written instructions:
   – lf the software manual is disorganised users of the program may waste
     valuable time searching for command.
   – If the instructions on how to operate the equipment are unclear, they
     may fail to function or, worse still, get damaged.
   – If the safety precautions for your company’s high-voltage dust blower
     are ambiguous, someone could get injured.


• Instructions must be written well so that money, time, and
  health will not be jeopardised.
         Troubleshooting Instruction

• The purpose of instruction is to clarify steps so
  that the reader can recreate the steps and get
  the results or outcome planned; in this case
  the expected outcome is to overcome a
  certain problem.
• Review on examples:
  how to make paper, how to operate a
  machine, how to change flat tyre & how to
  run a computer programme
         Example of (troubleshooting)
                 instruction
How to change a flat tyre:

Step-by-step process or procedure for changing a tyre:
1. Loosen the nuts on the wheel.
2. Raise the car with a jack.
3. Remove the nuts and take off the wheel.
4. Fix the spare tyre.
5. Replace the nuts.
6. Lower the car to the ground.
7. Tighten the nuts. (Make sure they are completely
tightened)
8. Drive away.
                   VIDEO
• See video
• http://www.castrol.com/castrol/genericarticle
  .do?categoryId=8264013&contentId=6003180
AWARENESS OF AUDIENCE
• Be aware of the audience. Always ask questions like:
  "Who read my process explanation?”
  "What do my equipment operator or users know about my
  equipment?”
• Audience have different needs and require different
  information from a procedure. In fact, it is said that “nowhere
  is the difference between personality-based preferences for
  information more important than in the writing of
  procedures” (Sides, 1999)
• Knowing the audience well will prevent writers from including
  irrelevant information in the procedure they are writing.
• For instance, you decided to explain how to change a flat tyre.
   – lf the audience is inexperienced, you need to explain the process in
     detail or be very specific. We assume the audience knows very little or
     nothing about the process
   – If the audience is experienced, your explanation of the process might
     be simple and precise because they need only an overview and a
     general sense of what they are going to do.
• For operating procedures, the typical audience are the technicians
  who operate equipment. This audience varies, depending on the
  type of equipment and how detailed the procedures need to be
• For example, some technicians are high school graduates who have
  been through training programmes, while others have college
  degrees or various levels of technical knowledge.
• It is, therefore very important to know what types of audience we
  are writing or describing the process or procedure for.
• Remember, it is the audience that determines how engineers write
  the procedures and the language they use.
DETAILS ON LANGUAGE
       DETAILS ON LANGUAGE
• Content
• Language and vocabulary
                             Content
• Contents: 5 key factors to know when writing the content for
  the procedure (instruction):
   – Goal
      • Must know why the procedure is written.
   – Expected result
      • If it is troubleshooting instruction expected result is solving the
         problem.
   – Actions to perform
      • Actions must be doable and complete
   – Dangers/cautions
      • *see next slide
   – Common mistakes
      • Anticipate typical mistakes and ways to correct them.
    Dangers/cautions
• The following are headings that have widely accepted meaning in
  highlighting dangers/cautions in a procedure:


 – Danger: reserved for steps in a procedure that could lead to serious injury
   or loss of life if readers do not have any prior experience using this
   equipment.
   "Those who never have the experience of operating this machine, should
   first read the instructions in the manual to avoid any accidents”
o   Warnings: used for steps that could result in damage to the product if the
    procedures are not followed accurately
    “Keep it out of reach of children.“

o   Caution: applied to steps where faulty results could occur if the reader does not
    follow the procedure strictly
    "Do not install the Adapter in your PC until you are instructed to do so in Step 2 or
    the Adapter will not install properly”

o   Note: used to alert readers to potential problems.
    “Some differences might occur in the result due to several factors like temperature,
    .... and so forth”

o   Advice: reserved for making suggestions that would facilitate the reader’s work.
    "Close supervision by an expert is recommended in the procedure execution”
          Language and vocabulary
a. grammar
    i.   Tenses
    ii.  Conditional
    iii. Recommendation and Advice
    iv. Parallelism
    b. Vocabulary
    i.   Use simple words
    ii.  Define new and Unfamiliar terms
    iii. Use consistent terminology
    iv. Use customer terminology
    v.   Use powerful action verbs
    vi. Use connectives
    vii. Use modals
a. grammar
    i.  Tenses
        While present tense is usually correct in        technical     writing,     there
        are notable exceptions. Use future tense         when      describing   activities
        that the company or a customer has yet           to perform. Use past tense
        when discussing completed activities, or actions done during         analyses or
        inspections.
        Tenses to avoid: past perfect and future perfect

   i.   Conditional
        Conditional should be used to describe a hypothetical situation       or     even
        warnings.
        Example :
        1. If the cover fails to close under these conditions, consequences   will
        include...
   iii.   Recommendation and Advice
          Procedures may include advice and recommendation to
          users. The following are some examples:
          a-You should click the Refresh button if ........ ....
          b- It is a good idea to activate the machine promptly.


   iv.    Parallelism

          The sentences for all steps in a procedure need to be parallel or consistent.          For
example, look at the example of a procedure in mixing                 concrete. All steps begin with
command verbs or imperative. You              cannot mix a command verb (which is in the base
form ) with verbs in the other form like participle, progressive or in the singular present
          tense.
          E.g.:      1) Dampen entire inside of mixer drum and drain.
                     2) Add coarse aggregate, some of the mixing water, and solution to the
          mixer
                     3) Start mixer.
Vocabulary
i.Use simple words
         use direct and simple words instead of long and pretentious       words
as the former deliver more value.
         E.g.:
         Use buy instead of procure
         Use conditions instead of parameters

i.Define new and unfamiliar terms

        Especially true for a process meant to give instructions.
          Examples:
          i) When explaining how a car braking system works, you need       to
explain what slave cylinder is; otherwise the reader would         not know which
tool is being discussed and thus to understand how the car braking system works.
   vi.   Use consistent terminology
         Use the same term for words (with same meaning) that are repeatedly     used
   throughout the procedure.
         E.g.: the words envelop, enfold and encompass have the same    meaning.Use only
   one word.

   vii.  Use powerful action verbs
         If you want procedure to be read and used, focus on specific actions.    Use
powerful not weak action verbs. Follow this tip:
         ° Use verbs, not nouns.
         Use verbs whenever possible. Do not turn them into as verbs are stronger     than
nouns.
         E.g.:
         Write “:Remove (Verb) any concrete stuck in the mixer using a scoop”
         Not "Removal (Noun) of any concrete stuck in mixer using a scoop is
         required"
viii. Use bullets/numbered steps or use connectives
      Especially useful when you write steps of a procedure   (instruction):
      E.g.:
      The steps are as follows:
      1.
      2.
      3.

    The following are steps to download the sony AMC Mobile through WEB
download:
    Step 1:…
    Step 2:…
    Step 3:…
If you don’t plan to use these, then you need connective to show the sequence.
E.g.:

      To start of: The first step/stage is…, …begins with,
      Sequencing: After this, the next step, second, later
      Ending: Eventually, lastly, finally, in the last stage.

ix.   Use modals
      Modals are used extensively in procedure writing. Different        modals
indicate different functions:
      Strong command: Shall, must. Will
      Strong prohibition: Must not, cannot, may not
      Weak suggestion: Should, can, may, alternatively
            The following summarizes the do’s and don’ts of word choice              in
       procedure:
Do’s                                            Don’ts

1. Use the most simple words appropriate to     1. Do not use weak phrases such as ”at a
the intent of the statement.                    minimum”, "be able to", ”capable of” and ”not
                                                limited to”.
2. Define and explain new words or materials,   2. Do not use words or terms that allow readers
strange, unfamiliar and highly technical        an option on the extent that the procedure is to
words.                                          be satisfied such as "may”, "if required”, "if
                                                possible”, ”as appropriate”, and "perhaps".
3. Use powerful verbs to show action            3. Do not use generalities where numbers are
                                                really required such as ”large”, ”some”, "tall”,
                                                ”rapid”, "timely”, "many” or "close”.
4. Use appropriate modals to indicate           4. Do not use fuzzy words that have relative
functions. Use imperatives correctly and be     meanings such as ”easy”, "normal”, "good”,
consistent. Remember shall "prescribes", will   ”adequate” or "effective”.
”describes”, must and must not "constrain”,
and should ”suggests”.
5.  Use    linkers   for   sequencing    and
connections.
THANK YOU
• *All slides in this presentation are adapted
  from Noorzan Mohd Noor et al.
  (2010)Technical English Skills.

				
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