instructions process document project


Engineers need to know how to effectively communicate a step-by-step process and to describe physical objects in a technical manner. The ability to write good instructions and process documents is a basic engineering skill that will be important for more complex engineering documents, such as proposals or technical papers in your specific field.


We are writing a short instructions/process document in order to:

1. Become familiar with the content and conventions of engineering instructions and process documentation

2. Learn the standards and methods of effective document design

3. Learn how to use word processing tools to develop a visually-appealing and effective technical document


As part of our preparation for this assignment, we read the chapter in our text concerning instructions, procedures, and policies. In the coming weeks we will look at the chapter dealing with document design, and we’ll also review websites devoted to document design and the word processing tools used to create effective technical documents.

Assignment Task:

Develop a short document providing the reader with formal instructions for accomplishing a specific task. Alternatively, you may document a process comprised of steps-to-completion that requires limited or no user interaction. Your instructions/process should be considered as a separate, formal, stand-alone document and not as letter format, memo format, or as an addendum to some other document.

Your best example and guideline for this assignment is Case Document 10-1A in the Tebeaux and Dragga text.

You should also study closely the Checklist for Developing Instructions/Procedures near the end of Chapter 10 of our text.

Remember: This Case Document should be used only as guidelines for document design and format conventions. While this example report deals with a lab procedure, your own original work does not need to be an experiment that could be reproduced in the lab. Any technical process will be fine, especially one closely aligned with your interests.

Some possible topics include how to:

  • Build a simple homemade radio
  • Build a mousetrap car
  • Create a mobile phone ringtone
  • Replace skateboard bearings
  • Build a periscope
  • Cary out the electrolysis of copper
  • Build a model suspension bridge

General Guidelines:

Your instructions should

  1. Be technical or mechanical in content and nature. Recipes for food preparation have conventions all their own and are not acceptable for this assignment
  2. Be original content authored by you, not material copied from the Internet or another source
  3. Include at least a few illustrations to demonstrate the process
  4. Use headers, bold font, italics, bullet lists, white space, etc. for emphasis and to provide reader guidance and focus
  5. Include appropriate cautions and warnings
  6. Generally follow the conventions of good document design that we’ve read about in our class

Remember, these are only suggestions. You may choose your own instructions/process topic, but make sure your idea is focused and limited enough for a short project. How to build a mousetrap car is within the scope of this assignment; how to build the space shuttle is not.


Here’s what to do next:

1. Think of possible topics and do some quick research on each. Which topic is the most interesting? Which topic has the most helpful and credible resources on the Web or in the library?

2. Determine a topic that you’re interested in and then do some additional research. For this assignment, you may use any credible resource you find on the Web or elsewhere (later on, we will be using peer-reviewed library resources almost exclusively).

3. Submit your completed document to the appropriate Assignments section on Canvas by the due date listed on this assignment.

Be sure to carefully follow the guidelines we’ve looked at in our text and on the web. The following site is particularly helpful for this assignment, and you should follow the methods and conventions outlined here and in our text.

Process Document/Instructions:

Clean Up Your Mess: A Guide to Visual Design for Everyone (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Video Tutorials from New Jersey Institute of Technology:

ENG 352 Technical Writing – 35 – Instructions and Process Descriptions (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.ENG 352 Technical Writing - 35 - Instructions and Process Descriptions


There are no specific guidelines for document length, as some projects will need to be longer than others. Just make sure that you follow the guidelines for document format that we’ve looked at in our text and on the Web.


This assignment must be posted to Canvas’s Assignment area for this specific assignment. Your work may be in either PDF or Word format. Do not use Apple Pages format for this assignment, as Canvas cannot display that type of file.

Due Date:

See the Canvas due date on this assignment. Late papers will not be accepted.

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