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lesson8commentary - and purpose is crucial before the...

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Lesson 8 Commentary Review of the Reading Assignment Definitions are a crucial technique used in almost all kinds of technical communication. Parenthetical definitions are brief clarifying comments placed unobtrusively within a sentence. Sentence definitions, more formal one- or two-sentence clarifications, follow this formulation: item = category + distinguishing characteristics An extended definition is a long, detailed clarification using such techniques as graphics, exemplification, partition, principle of operation, comparison and contrast, analogy, negation, etymology, and history of the term. Definitions may be used in a text, a marginal gloss, a hyperlink, a footnote, a glossary, or an appendix. Descriptions of objects, mechanisms, and processes are central to technical communication, even though they rarely constitute entire documents. As with any kind of writing, an analysis of the audience
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Unformatted text preview: and purpose is crucial before the writer begins. Most descriptions of an object or mechanism have a three-part structure: a general introduction, a part-by-part description, and a conclusion. The general introduction describes what the item is, what it does, what it looks like, how it works, and what its principal parts are. The part-by-part description treats each major part as if it were itself a mechanism. In general, the sequence of the part-by-part description reflects the way the item works or is used. The conclusion summarizes the whole description, usually by describing how the parts work in concert. A process description is similar to an object or mechanism description, except that steps replace parts....
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