What is Instructional Writing?
Instructional writing or instruction text are simplified guides on how to specifically carry out activities or specific tasks. You may simply refer to instructional texts as ‘How Tos’.
It could be as simple and brief as a road instructional signage, or as long as a programming guide.
They are written in simple and specific terms making use of persuasive verbs like; fix, nail, pour, stir, mix, put, blend, whisk, close, and transitional words like; afterwards, followed by, next, and.
The language needs to be simple for easy comprehension. At the same time brief and direct or specific to instruct the reader on what to do next.
This could be a baking recipe guide, a cooking guide, a hair styling guide, weight loss guide, keto menu guide, coding guide, design guide, a how to write guide.
Instructional writing can be written in words, with pictures, with pictures and words or simply designed as an infographics.
Step by Step Guide to Writing Instructions
- Ensure to have a good knowledge of the topic or subject matter you intend to instruct on. Carry out a thorough research on it to close up any knowledge gap.
- Write making use of index numbers or bullet points to separate each of the steps.
- Use persuasive/instructional verbs
- Make use on transitional verbs to denote progress or the progression or progressive steps.
- Use demonstrative photos if applicable or possible. Pictures paint vivid pictures of a process.
- A heading or title of what instruction it is.
- A brief introduction of the subject matter.
- Add highlights to warnings, precautions or cautions where applicable.
- Add extra details for more clarity where necessary.
- Split complex tasks or activities into simple concise procedures.
- A concise and clear text to indicate that the task is completed.
- The last but not the least is verification. Verify the written instructions to confirm if a total or complete novice on the subject matter can complete the task successfully by following your instructions.
Example of an Instructional Writing
Let me explain further what an instructional text looks like with an example to simplify this as much as possible. Let’s take the below cake baking procedure as an example. Observe that it has a heading, a brief introduction, list of requirements to perform the action and then a step by step instructional guide.
Step by Step Guide to Baking a 6 Inches Vanilla Cake
A vanilla cake is one of the most preferred deserts in the western countries. Below is a fictitious recipe but with steps to bake and achieve a sweet vanilla cake;
List of items required: Baking flour, sugar (preferably granulated sugar), butter, eggs, browning (optional), flavours (vanilla flavour and any other preferred flavours), a mixer, baking oven, heat protectant gloves, baking pan, weighing scale, and measuring spoons.
Simplified Procedure: Phase 1:
Step 1: Weigh out 600grams of flour.
Step 2: Weigh out 400grams of sugar
Step 3: Weigh out 500grams butter.
Step 4: Get your cake mixer of 5 litres.
Step 5: Pour the measured sugar.
Step 6: Pour the butter.
Step 7: Plug the mixer to an electric source .
Step 8: Switch on the mixer to mix and cream the butter and sugar till you attain a creamy consistency. (If you don’t have a mixer, use a bowl, plastic or stainless and mix using a wooden stick as mixer, stir continuously in a clockwise direction for 15mins till a creamy consistency is attained).
Step 9: Add your flavours e.g 2 tablespoons of liquid vanilla flavour.
Step 10: Add whisked egg of 400grams.
Step 11: Add colouring (browning if you desire)
Step 12: Add 1 teaspoon of nutmeg .
Step 13: Add 1/4 tablespoon of mixed spice.
Step 14: Then pour in your flour and mix again with the mixer.
Step 15: Cream your cake pan (to avoid having your cake stuck in the pan when baked)
Step 16: Then pour in in your batter into the pan.
Step 17: Put on your oven (electric, gas or improvised) and set temperature to 80°C and time of 60 minutes.
Step 18: Allow the oven to heat up for about 10 minutes or till it attains the desired temperature.
Step 19: Carry the pan with the batter and carefully place it inside the heated oven.
Step 20: Then close back the oven.
Step 21: After 60 minutes, open the oven door wearing a thick glove to prevent heat burns, bring out your ready baked vanilla cake.
Step 22: Turn the pan upside down to let out the cake into a tray or cake board.
Step 23: Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then enjoy your cake at will with a desired drink.
An instructional writing requires easy but special techniques. You can successfully write or develop a working instructional writing or text with the above guide.
However, if you wish to learn more on the topic or have instructions of your product or service written and designed for you, The Writer’s Corner would always be unhesitant to receive your requests through any of our active contact channels; phone numbers: +234 706 2906 996 , +234 802 9154 151. Or send an email to us @ email@example.com