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!

-becca



----- 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.
>
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Re: introducing steps: From: Michael West

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