Re: introducing steps

Subject: Re: introducing steps
From: Laura Lemay <lemay -at- lauralemay -dot- com>
To: Becca <becca_price -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 07:19:44 -0700


FWIW, I've worked in companies where the procedural style could be any of these things:

To flibber the foobar:
1. ..
2. ....
3.

To flibber the foobar, use these steps: (sometimes, "...use the following steps.")
1. ..
2. ....
3.


FLIBBERING THE FOOBAR
1. ..
2. ....
3.


So I am loathe to say that any of these are "correct" or that any should be used "always" or "never." It's editorial style. My personal preference these days in the absence of a style guide is to remove as much introductory text as possible, because people just don't read it.

Laura



On Oct 18, 2011, at 7:07 AM, Gene Kim-Eng wrote:

> Generally speaking, anytime anyone says "never" do something in a document I wouldn't give the adminishment much credibility. Almost every seemingly bad idea is the right thing to do somewhere.
>
> In this particilar case, my response is that "follow these steps" is ALMOST always unnecessary and your teach is wrong MOST of the time.
>
> Gene Kim-Eng
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Becca" <becca_price -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Sent: Monday, October 17, 2011 5:47 PM
> Subject: introducing steps
>
>
> I'm taking a class in technical writing. My teacher says never to introduce a series of steps with an infinitive (To install Sigil) but to use an independent clause ("To install Sigil, follow these steps:" or words to that effect. To me, the clause "follow these steps" is imlied by the fact that steps follow. Still, it's the teacher, so I have to follow her style.
>
> Is there a more graceful way to introduce steps? how do yo do it? I'm pretty much coming up dry.
>
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Follow-Ups:

References:
introducing steps: From: Becca
Re: introducing steps: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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