Re: introducing steps

Subject: Re: introducing steps
From: Becca <becca_price -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Michael West <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2011 08:52:36 -0700 (PDT)

This is actually the compromise my teacher and I have settled on: each procedure will be introduced with a level 4 header,which is basically body font + bold. (I like the touch of omitting the colon - thanks for that nicety) .  What this means is that some level 2 and level 3 headers will be followed by a level 4 header with no intervening text, which I have been told is a no-no, but visually it will work.  Each step is, in itself, a complete sentence.

I have no problem with starting procedures with an independent clause if I could figure out a way to do it without excess verbiage and that will sound good. I'm open to ideas!


----- Original Message -----
> From: Michael West <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Cc:
> Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 6:31 PM
> Subject: Re: introducing steps
> In instructional writing, less is usually more. My preference is to use a
> heading, rather than body text, to introduce a list of instructions. This
> gives the instruction set greater visibility on the page for the
> skim-reader. I would even recommend using a consistent, distinct heading
> style rather than hierarchical headings for instruction sets, so that they
> can be more easily spotted by page flippers. (You don't think people
> actually READ your stuff, do you?)  Ensure that only instructions and their
> illustrative graphics appear under these headings; use "see"
> references in
> instructions to point readers elsewhere for discussions, descriptions or
> explanations.
> If you create the heading -
> To install Sigil
> - (without the colon, please note) you can then omit any introductory clause
> and simply list the instructions without violating any traditional rules of
> grammar. Remember that some readers - the most attentive ones, in fact - are
> distracted by what they recognise as grammatical errors, and there is no
> benefit in annoying them.
> There is nothing "ungraceful" about the traditional requirement for an
> independent clause when introducing a list made up of independent clauses.
> Dependent clauses should not just be left with their arses hanging out. The
> bare infinitive, end-punctuated with a colon, is a sentence fragment - a
> clear violation of classical English grammar, though it is often seen in the
> wild. On this point, your teacher stands on firmer ground than you.

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:


Re: introducing steps: From: Michael West

Previous by Author: introducing steps
Next by Author: Word 7 fields don't update
Previous by Thread: RE: introducing steps
Next by Thread: Re: introducing steps

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads