Informative Assignment

Due sunday at 10:00pm EST.
englishwriting
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Informative Essay Assignment
The purpose of the Informative Essay assignment is to choose a job or task that you know how to do and then write 3 full pages Informative Essay teaching the reader how to do that job or task. You will follow the organization techniques explained in Unit 6

Here are the details:
1. Read the Lecture Notes in Unit 6. You may also find the information in Chapter 10.5 in our text on Process Analysis helpful. The lecture notes will really be the most important to read in writing this assignment. However, here is a link to that chapter that you may look at in addition to the lecture notes:

10.5 Process Analysis

2. Choose your topic, that is, the job or task you want to teach. As the notes explain, this should be a job or task that you already know how to do, and it should be something you can do well. You may ask your instructor for advice if you have a difficult time finding a job or task to write on. Also, think at this point about your audience (reader). Will your reader need any knowledge or experience to do this job or task, or will you write these instructions for a general reader where no experience is required to perform the job.

3. Plan your outline to organize this essay. Unit 6 notes offer advice on this organization process. Be sure to include an introductory paragraph that has the four main points presented in the lecture notes (again, while your introduction has those main points, they don’t have to be in the order given in the lecture notes).

4. Write the essay. It will need to be at least 3 full pages long. You will use the MLA formatting that you used in previous essays from Units 3, 4, and 5

5. Be sure to include a title for your essay.

6. After writing the essay, be sure to take the time to read it several times for revision and editing. It would be helpful to have at least one other person proofread it as well before submitting the assignment.
Informative Writing (Part 1)
to inform is a very important aspect of college writing, and it carries over to life in general. Informative Writing mainly involves taking the knowledge you have and passing it on to others. There are several aspects of informative writing that you will probably be doing throughout your college career, but we are going to only focus on one for the next assignment.

Your Unit 6 assignment will involve writing an informative essay where you teach the reader how to do something. The specifics of this assignment will be explained on the assignment page in Unit 6, but the main idea with this essay is to Pick a Job or Task That You Know How to do and Then Write an Essay Teaching the Reader How to do That Job or Task.

The first point with this assignment is to pick something you are good at, something you feel competent in. One concern instructors sometimes hear from students at this point is “What if I am not good at anything?” The answer to this concern is that everyone is good at something. It is just a matter of looking at your life and finding what those things are. If necessary, you may contact your instructor so that he or she can help you find tasks in your everyday life that could be used for this essay.

Just as some examples, instructors at EGCC have had students write on how to do a mechanical procedure such as changing the oil in a vehicle, making a recipe, being a successful student, making a craft, etc. One student years back even managed to write a long essay on how to brush and floss one’s teeth.

After deciding what job or task to write on and teach the reader, you now have to decide how to organize this essay. An informative essay that teaches a reader how to do a process needs to have a tightly focused outline. The reason for this type of outline is that people can become easily confused when following instructions. The tight outlined structure will allow the reader to follow the steps of the process.

To demonstrate how this works, let’s suppose we are going to write an informative essay on how to install a new car stereo. The first task is to brainstorm what we need to teach our readers about this process. The writer might come up with the following items: getting the tools and supplies, removing the old radio, installing speakers, wiring, installing a new stereo in the dashboard. The writer thinks about installing extra amplifiers and other accessories to the system but then decides not to get into amplifiers and other equipment in this essay; the writer sees those extras being too much for this one essay and better suited for a separate essay.

Here is what the outline for the essay might look like:

I. Introduction- Later on this page, there will be a separate breakdown of what needs to be in the introduction of this type of essay.

II. Getting the supplies- In this section of the essay, the writer explains to the reader what tools and supplies will be needed for the job and where to get those tools and supplies. It might be one paragraph or it could be several.

III. Removing the old radio- Here the writer spends time explaining how to remove the old radio from the dashboard.

IV. Speakers- Now the writer explains how to mount and install the new speakers. Again, it might be one paragraph or it could be several.

V. Installing New Stereo in the Dashboard- In this section, the writer goes into detail on how to install and mount the new stereo.

VI. Conclusion- Finally the writer wraps up the essay. The conclusion may explain what will happen if the reader is successful, or the writer may explain what to do if there are problems. What happens in the conclusion depends upon the topic and your preferences.

As you can see, the reader can progress through the instructions step by step. The topics and procedures do not jump around; everything has a place.

In the above outline, it shows there is an introduction, but it did not give what makes up the introduction. Now we will see what points need to be in the introduction:

The Introduction in an informative essay can help determine the success of the whole essay. Here are the elements your instructor will be looking for in your introduction. There are four elements, but in your introduction, they do not necessarily have to be in this order.
I. Introduction
A. Identify the process being described. Right upfront in the introduction, let the reader know what they will be learning in the essay. This is just a courtesy to your readers to allow them to see if the material in the essay will be useful to them.

B. Identify the audience for the essay and their skill level. It is extremely important to know who your audience is and what their skill levels are. In your introduction, you let the readers know who this targeted audience is. By identifying the audience, you are limiting what you are responsible for teaching your readers. Here is an example the instructor writing this page once faced in audience identification with this type of essay while in college:

When I was in school, I once had an assignment where we had to find a set of poorly written instructions. We then had to rewrite the instructions the way we thought they should be written. I found a set of instructions in an auto service manual that explained how to change rear shock absorbers on an early 1970’s Chevy. The instructions were four steps: 1. Raise rear of the car and remove rear tires, 2. Remove shock absorber lower mounting bolt, 3. Remove two upper mounting bolts, 4. Remove shock absorber from the lower mounting plate, 5. Install new shock absorber using the reverse of these instructions. I felt much more detail needed to be given such as making sure the car was safely in the air. Also, problems such as reaching the two upper mounting bolts might occur, so I went into detail when I rewrote the instructions and explained all of these points. My instructions ended up being four pages instead of 5 simple steps. In the end, both instructions were equally good because both of us identified our audience. My audience was someone who could change their oil and could identify hand tools. The audience for the service manual was someone who is experienced with cars. Although my instructions were detailed and good for the inexperienced mechanic, an experienced mechanic would not need nor want a whole page explaining how to safely get a car into the air; the professional mechanic would know that.

You may identify your audience as whomever you want. Just make sure you make them inexperienced enough to get the minimum page length for the assignment.

C. Explain the purpose of the instructions. This is kind of the attention grabber. You are showing readers why they might want to follow these instructions. Here is an example from the instructor writing this page:

Several years ago, I had a student write a wonderful essay on how to make homemade sauerkraut. It was a great essay, so detailed. However, one area of improvement was on this point in the introduction. My question was why would I want to go through all this work and effort to make homemade sauerkraut? It is not like it is very expensive or rare. I asked the student this question, and he replied that the taste of homemade is so much better. Also that it is healthier, and there is the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself. I told him to improve the essay, add these details to the introduction of the essay to convince the reader these are good instructions to follow.

D. Signposting- In a sentence or two, let the reader know the major points of the essay. In the stereo example above, my signposting might look like this: By learning how to gather the supplies, remove the old radio, install the speakers, do the wiring and install the new stereo, you will successfully learn how to install a new stereo in your vehicle to enjoy the pleasant sounds of music as you drive.

The Lecture Notes on the next page will offer some of the techniques and skills for effectively conveying your information to the readers. There is a real skill needed for being able to take the knowledge that you have and being able to effectively convey that knowledge to someone else. However, there are certain techniques that we can follow to make this process easier.
Informative Essay Assignment
The purpose of the Informative Essay assignment is to choose a job or task that you know how to do and then write 3 full pages Informative Essay teaching the reader how to do that job or task. You will follow the organization techniques explained in Unit 6

Here are the details:
1. Read the Lecture Notes in Unit 6. You may also find the information in Chapter 10.5 in our text on Process Analysis helpful. The lecture notes will really be the most important to read in writing this assignment. However, here is a link to that chapter that you may look at in addition to the lecture notes:

10.5 Process Analysis

2. Choose your topic, that is, the job or task you want to teach. As the notes explain, this should be a job or task that you already know how to do, and it should be something you can do well. You may ask your instructor for advice if you have a difficult time finding a job or task to write on. Also, think at this point about your audience (reader). Will your reader need any knowledge or experience to do this job or task, or will you write these instructions for a general reader where no experience is required to perform the job.

3. Plan your outline to organize this essay. Unit 6 notes offer advice on this organization process. Be sure to include an introductory paragraph that has the four main points presented in the lecture notes (again, while your introduction has those main points, they don’t have to be in the order given in the lecture notes).

4. Write the essay. It will need to be at least 3 full pages long. You will use the MLA formatting that you used in previous essays from Units 3, 4, and 5

5. Be sure to include a title for your essay.

6. After writing the essay, be sure to take the time to read it several times for revision and editing. It would be helpful to have at least one other person proofread it as well before submitting the assignment.

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