This assignment asks that you select a technical object and write a description of its looks, features, and functions. In completing this assignment, you will learn how to define and describe a technical object to someone who has little knowledge with it.
When selecting a technical object there are some objects that are not allowed for this assignment. These included: smartphones, pocket calculators, video game console or controllers, and fitness trackers due to the internet having easily available technical specifications of these items. You are not to copy/paste and cite someone else’s technical specifications of an object. That is not the point of this assignment. Rather, you are to conduct the measurements yourself and conduct light research.
You will choose your own topic (with exception of the not allowed technical objects listed in the previous section) for this assignment. The subject of your description must be a technical object (e.g., clock radio, stapler, tongs, scissors, blender, food processor, etc). Because you must accurately describe an object in at least 500 words, do not pick something too simple such as a paper clip. Choose a topic that is complex but manageable. Once you have identified a technical object, research it. Take time to learn about what the parts are called, and how the parts work. This might require you to read background information or otherwise inform yourself about the topic.
Audience and Content Requirements
Your primary audience would be someone who has little experience with the object that you are describing (e.g., if you select a stapler, then you need to imagine an audience of people who have little experience with the object, perhaps children).
Regardless of the object, your final paper should be at least 500 words; you must include ALL of the following contents in your description (given in order of how the content should appear in your paper):
- Introduction (DO NOT label the introduction “introduction” per APA guidelines)
- Orient your audience by providing a one-sentence definition of the object (first sentence)
- Preview its various parts (2-3 sentences)
- Discuss its uses and functions (1-2 sentences)
- Preview the content of your description (1 sentence)
- Detailed Description of the Object
- Describe each part of the object in detail, including its dimensions, materials, principles(s) of operation, function, and relation other parts (2-3 paragraphs)
- Use the present tense
- When introducing a new concept or term, you do need to provide a brief definition for a non-technical audience, e.g.:
- “The bezel, or outer ring connecting to the lugs, allows the wearer to set a different time zone”
- You will notice in this sentence the definition for the term “bezel” is a subordinate clause and is not its own separate sentence. You can also use parenthesis for definitions in the same sentence.
- Re-state the major use(s) and function(s) of the object to solicit the audience’s support or awareness of the object
Document Design and Illustrations
Give careful thought to illustrations and design elements:
- Use headings and sub-headings throughout the document. Mark the body and conclusion of your document with headings (again, do not mark the introduction per APA guidelines). Use sub-headings to indicate the beginning of each part/component of the object you are describing.
- Do not write large chunks of text without headings and sub-headings
- Single-space the text
- You must include at least two illustrations.
- You may create your own, use illustrations from other sources or adapt illustrations from other sources.
- Make sure you provide source information for all illustrations immediately below each illustration using APA guidelines (see lesson 2.4 for more information).
- Apply as many of the four basic design principles as possible (Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity) to enhance the reader’s orientation and understanding of the document.
- Use serif and sans-serif typefaces for the header and body;
- Use up to two complementary colors;
- Place like content in proximity to each other; and,
- Make sure all of the elements have alignment.
- Design your document for consistency (grid patterns, margins, justification, white space, indentation, font style and size). Review pages 128-131 in the course textbook
- Keep in mind that your purpose is to describe the object yourself, not rely upon external sources to do the work for you. (Inclusion of cited manufacture specifications will result in a 20-point deduction).
- Minimum word requirement: 500 words
- Make sure to include URLs for citations, as needed