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Chapter 10. Procedures

When instructions are needed, procedural documents are created. Whether you provide a one-page set of instructions on how to fill out a dental form or a complex manual on how to manipulate a software program, all effective procedures share four design elements:

1. Attention to audience. Instructional documents begin with the intended audience. Will the audience be specialists familiar with the language of the procedure? Or will the audience be non-specialists requiring more explanation and definition of terms? Will the audience be hostile, indifferent, or receptive to the procedure? What will be the best tone for you to employ? Such questions answered at the invention stage of the writing process will enable you to make initial planning decisions before writing the text.


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