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Select a process that is important in your field of study – whether it is a natural, human-controlled, or entirely mechanistic activity – and describe it to a reader who is unfamiliar with the process and wishes to learn more about it. You’ll need to describe the process using written text and at least one visual. Technical descriptions are not a set of instructions. Instructions are written to help users do: technical descriptions are meant to help readers understand. Technical descriptions can be found in promotional or educational materials.

Selecting a process. Select a process that is important to your discipline – it could be a natural process such as the formation of petroleum beneath the earth’s surface, a humanly-controlled procedure like cutting out and piecing together a garment pattern, or a mechanistic activity such as one phase in the manufacture of a product.


Drafting the description. We’ll discuss how (a) to organize your process into phases, (b) to decide what level of detail about the process to include, (c) to organize the description coherently and logically, (d) to format the visual(s) and text effectively, and (e) to test the accuracy of the description by having a revision partner critique your draft.


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