Special Techniques of Technical Writing : Special Techniques of Technical Writing 1.Definition
Of a Mechanism
Of a Process Definition : Definition A definition answers the question, “What is it?”
A definition is necessary because
-a word or concept sometimes has more than one meaning.
-a term is being used in a special way.
A definition should be complete enough to eliminate items that do not belong.
A good definition should include the general classification of a term plus the specific characteristic that differentiate the term from other members of its class. Type of Definition : Type of Definition Logical definition
Definition by negation
Definition by description
Definition by metaphor
Definition by quotation Logical definition : Logical definition A logical definition distinguishes an item from others like it.
A beret is a cap that is flat, round, and usually made of felt.
Plague is a disease that is a persistent epidemic.
A friend is a person to whom we feel close. Definition by negation : Definition by negation Definition by negation says what something is not.
FM radio is the opposite of AM.
Chinese is not all like English.
A friend won’t let you down. Operational Definition : Operational Definition Operational definition tells how something works or what it is used for.
A rolling pin is for flattening dough.
A Dutch door lets the outside air in but keeps animals out.
A friend will be there when you need her. Definition by Description : Definition by Description Definition by description mentions some of the observable attributes of an item.
A penguin is a bird with short wings and webbed feet.
A clarinet is a long, black woodwind instrument with a flare at the end.
A friend is someone who really talks to you. Definition by Metaphor : Definition by Metaphor Definition by metaphor compares one thing to another.
War is hell.
The Midwest is America’s breadbasket.
A friend is one’s greatest treasure. Definition by Quotation : Definition by Quotation Definition by quotation uses the well-put words of others to define:
“Old men are children for a second time.” -Aristophanes
“Ambition, the soldier’s virtue.” - Shakespeare
“A fool at forty is a fool indeed.”- Edward Young Definition and your Audience : Definition and your Audience Respect your readers.
Do not confuse them with undefined terms.
Suit definition to particular audiences. Definition Formula : Definition Formula Term = Class + Characteristic
Ex: Chemical energy is potential energy that is stored in gasoline, food, and oil
Term= chemical energy
Class = potential energy
Characteristic =( that is) stored in gasoline, food, and oil.
Ex: Mechanical energy is energy related to the movement of objects.
Term =mechanical energy
Class = energy
characteristic =( that is )related to the movement of objects.
The characteristics often appear as a relative clause beginning with which, that, who, or where. Note: : Note: Definition require the present simple tense and the verb to be.
The definite article, the, is usually not used with the term being defined because definitions are general statements. Classification : Classification The act or process of classifying
The act of distributing things into classes or categories of the same type.
involves grouping things together (on the basis of similarities) and dividing them (according to differences). Classification : Classification A classification includes:
-A general class
-A specific item or items
-A basis for classification (frequently not stated)
-All matter (general class) may be classified as either solid, liquid, or gas (specific items). Classifying from General to Specific : Classifying from General to Specific All matter may be
classified as either
solid, liquid, or gas.
Solids may be
further divided into
amorphous. Classifying from Specific to General : Classifying from Specific to General Rubber, wood, glass, iron, cotton, and sand are all classified as solids. Slide 17: Jupiter can be classed as a Jovian planet because of its size and its average density. Indeed Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and one of the brightest objects in the sky, having attained a magnitude of -2.5, more than a full magnitude brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. Jupiter's brightness results from its great size of course but also from its high reflectivity: it reflects about 44 percent of the light it receives. The size and composition of Jupiter's interior are open to much speculation. Some astronomers picture the interior as having a radius of over 30,000 miles and as possibly being composed of liquid hydrogen. The core is small and dense and may contain iron silicates. The other Jovian characteristic of the planet is its density. Even though its diameter is only 11 times that of the Earth, its total volume is 11 X 11 X 11, or over a thousand times that of Earth. In this example, the writer argues that Jupiter should be categorized as a "Jovian"-type planet. This is one type of classification; in the other, you divide a collection of things into categories, or types. Note : Note A classification is like an upside-down tree.
The passive form is used frequently in sentence of classification.
Scientists classify mercury as a metal. (active)
Mercury is classified as a metal. (passive)
The present simple tense is the commonly used tense in science writing because it express universals. Description of a Mechanism : explains the arrangement and shape of an object in space. Such a description may involve movement, complex motions are better handled with the process description. Typically, the parts of mechanism description answer the following questions in order:
What is it?
What is its function?
What does it look like?
How does it work?
What are its principal parts? Description of a Mechanism Example of mechanism description : Example of mechanism description Game boy advance The Game Boy Advance SP (figure 1) is a portable gaming machine. The Game Boy Advance SP evolved from the Game Boy, introduced in 1989. It was the most successful video game system ever developed. The Game Boy Advance SP is approximately 3.3 inches long, 3.25 inches wide, and .96 inches thick and weighs approximately 5 ounces. The Game Boy Advance SP consists of a variety of different materials such as plastic, glass, and metal. The Game Boy Advance SP consists of seven visible parts: color LCD screen, multi-function buttons, game insertion bay, start button, power button, case, and flip-top lid. Example of mechanism description : Example of mechanism description Color LCD Screen
The color LCD screen is the primary gaming area. It is a 2.9-inch (diagonal) glass TFT color LCD screen. It can display more than 32,000 colors, and has a resolution of 240 by 160 pixels.
The multi-function buttons, made of plastic, are the operator inputs for the game. The multi-function buttons are for menu selections and game piece movement.
Game Insertion Bay
The game insertion bay, located in the front bottom of the case, is where the operator inserts the game cartridges.
The start button is made of plastic. This button will to start game play when it is pressed.
The power button, located on the left side of the case, is made of plastic. This button will apply power to the Game Boy Advance SP. The game that has been inserted in the game insertion bay will automatically load when the power button is put into the on position.
The case consists of two separate pieces of hinged plastic. One part is the flip-top lid (described below) and the other part is the housing for the electronics, buttons, and batteries.
The plastic flip-top lid houses the color LCD screen. Open the flip-top lid for game play or close it to protect the color LCD screen when not in use. Description of a Process : Description of a Process explains the arrangement of a sequence in chronological order. In organization, it is similar to description of a mechanism, except that the "part-by-part" becomes step by step:
Process description includes sequence, instruction and procedure; however, only instruct if you expect your reader to perform the process you describe. The description of a process is usually done in steps. : The description of a process is usually done in steps. Example :
Brushing your teeth
Take toothbrush and toothpaste to a sink
Unwrap any packaging
Apply toothpaste to toothbrush bristles
Apply toothbrush (with paste) to teeth, brushing vigorously, but not enough to feel undue pain
Turn on water in sink
Repeat as needed Description of a process : Description of a process An explanation of how something works is a description of a process, It is important to include only essential information in an explanation. Non-essential information draws the reader's attention away from the explanation, causing confusion. How a fire extinguisher works : How a fire extinguisher works A fire extinguisher works much like a spray can. The fire extinguisher is a cylinder that contains water or some fire retardant material. Also inside the extinguisher is a second, smaller cylinder about the size and shape of a test tube. This small cylinder holds carbon dioxide gas that is under very high pressure. Finally, the extinguisher contains a long tube that runs from the nozzle at the top to the bottom of the larger cylinder, something like a straw in a glass.
When the handle on the fire extinguisher is pressed, a valve on the top of the interior cylinder opens, allowing the carbon dioxide gas to fill the upper portion of the extinguisher. This causes the extinguisher to be pressurized like a can of soda that has been shaken. The water or fire retardant material is forced down by the pressurized gas and goes up through the straw-like tube and out the nozzle.
The material squirting out of the fire extinguisher smothers the source of the fire, depriving it of oxygen, causing the fire to go out. Report in Technical Writing : Report in Technical Writing The end…
Reported by: Boyter Carrillo Slide 27: Thank you…