Technical writing activities for high school students

This brings communicative writing and peer review into the science classroom. Use the questions such as the following to guide the discussion: How are these different?

types of technical writing

Pass out copies of the Analyzing Technical Instructionsand ask students to analyze their instructions and record their observations on the handout. Writing activities are a sure way to assess and enhance students' science literacy.

I require my students to do the same, giving them a list of criteria for the notebook at the start of the school year Figure 1, p.

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For homework, ask students to continue drafting their outlines using the Notetaker. To assess lab reports, I use a fairly simple rubric see "On the web".

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Pass out copies or share an overhead transparency of the Visually Drafting Your Instructions sheet. Discuss the differences between the genres of different types of writing: literature, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, narrative, journalism pieces, pieces written in popular magazines, comic books, and others.

However, the benchmark of success in scientific research is still publication in a peer-reviewed journal, so I have students write lab reports that model journal articles. Sometimes my students use technical writing to communicate their lab experiences, just as practicing scientists do.

On a sheet of chart paper, make a list of the top five effective and top five ineffective things students noticed about the instructions.

Technical writing workbook

For example, how to use a stapler and how to replace staples when cartridge is empty. Pass out copies or share an overhead transparency of the Visually Drafting Your Instructions sheet. Explain that students will write their own instructions for the item, so they should bring items that do not already have written instructions. Spend more time with this topic, asking students to create a rubric determining what makes technical documents effective or ineffective. The next two sections--the materials and methods section and the data and analysis of results section--already exist in the lab notebook and merely need to be reported. I remind students to refer to the list, and as the school year progresses, they learn how to keep a professional notebook. Arrange the class in groups of two to four students each, and give each group a set of instructions from those that you gathered. What parts were difficult or hard to use?

I created this list by asking professionals about what they keep in their notebooks. How do these types of writing work toward different purposes?

Explain that students will write their own instructions for the item, so they should bring items that do not already have written instructions.

Technical writing and communication skills pdf

I give students a copy before they write their first reports, and I assess their reports with copious comments about each section at the bottom of the rubric. Ask students to bring one common household item to the next class session. Students should bring printed copies of Notetaker outlines to next session. I give students a handout that describes each section of the lab report and models how the report should look see "On the web". Hang this paper on the wall in the classroom for reference during the next three class sessions. If the class meets in a computer classroom, share the links to instructions included in the Resources section. How helpful were they?
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How to Teach Technical Writing: 7 Steps (with Pictures)