RE: follow the following

Subject: RE: follow the following
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 13:34:49 -0600

Rob Domaschuk wrote:

> I, like Eric, have also missed most of this thread, so the
> same apology/caveat applies. Here's what I write:
> To _____________, complete the following steps:
> I insert that action in the line; "To add a new contact name,
> complete the following steps", or "To insert a graphic frame,
> complete the following steps:"

FWIW, I think this has a nicer ring to it than "perform the following,"
"follow the following," "follow these steps," etc.

But I'm with Geoff Hart: "When in doubt, cut it out." Honestly now, what
value do the words after the comma add? Is your audience so unfamiliar
with the concept of procedures that they won't understand the purpose of
the numbered paragraphs that follow?

Pick one of these two options and use it consistently:

Option A -- heading plus lead-in subordinate clause:

Adding a Widget

To add a widget:
1. Do something.
2. Do something else.

Option B -- heading only

Adding a Widget

1. Do something.
2. Do something else.

"It's my opinion and it's very true."


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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