Composing Effective Instructions

shared by tballard on October 13, 2015

Activity Summary:

This presentation and activity will introduce students to the genre of Instructions.


This presentation discusses the genre of instructions, which your students should be working on in ENGL 314. Teaching readers how to complete a process can seem like a straightforward task, but there are many rhetorical and functional considerations involved in developing a successful set of instructions. The information contained in this presentation is derived from the textbooks of Richard Johnson-Sheehan and Paul V. Anderson.

The activity at the end of this presentation requires you to bring in some mouse traps. Bring enough traps so that each student group (of 3 or 4) has one to work with. This activity can take two class periods for students to complete.

This presentation covers the following:

  • Assessing the rhetorical context of instructions
  • Organizing instructions by major and minor steps
  • Writing the introduction and conclusion
  • Wording and presenting the steps
  • Analyzing example instructions
  • Developing a set of instructions from scratch (activity)