Repeating instructions

Subject: Repeating instructions
From: Philip Sharman <sharman -at- WOWMEDIA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 15:18:55 -0600

I'm writing a set of procedures to tell an installer how to set up some
equipment, which consists of two systems. 95% of the steps for the two
systems are identical, but there are some differences.

Should I...

1) Give both sets of procedures in full.
2) Give the first set of procedures in full. Then say, "Do the second
setup like the first with these changes ..."
3) Give both sets of procedures in full, but flag somehow the items that
4) Combine them both into one set of procedures and every so often say,
"For System A, do this. For System B, do that."

(The installer will be setting up one system right after another. The
procedures for one system takes up about a page and a half.)

I've found, when I've been following instructions in situations like this,
that solution #1 irks me because it makes me wonder what's different and
what's the same. I end up reading carefully things I already know how to
do. But another writer thinks it is clearer to repeat it all.

Any opinions?

Philip Sharman
<sharman -at- wowmedia -dot- com>

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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