RE: introducing steps

Subject: RE: introducing steps
From: "Janoff, Steve" <sjanoff -at- illumina -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 22:12:19 +0000

I haven't read the whole thread, but I'm picturing that somewhere there is a building full of tech writers with a sign on the first-floor landing that says, "To get to the second floor, follow these steps -->"


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+sjanoff=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+sjanoff=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Bill Swallow
Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:06 PM
To: Becca
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: introducing steps

Steps imply a process. A process implies a need. A need implies a topic. To introduce a process within a topic in support of a need is, well, redundant.

But style is style. As a technical writer you'll learn to adhere to many different styles in order to earn a paycheck. In this case, you'll need to do so to earn a good grade. ;-)

>From my experiences, findings, and lessons learned in real life, an intro like "To do x, follow these steps" is pointless and just adds to the word count while adding zero value to the documentation. But, others will disagree due to some cited style convention they picked up along the way. It's all well and good. I personally prefer to keep things brief and to the point.

On Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 8:47 PM, Becca <becca_price -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
> 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.
>
> Thanks
>
> Becca

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Follow-Ups:

References:
introducing steps: From: Becca
Re: introducing steps: From: Bill Swallow

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