THE COMMON ELEMENTS OF DESCRIPTION

THE COMMON ELEMENTS OF DESCRIPTION

Regardless of the audience or purpose, all the descriptions you write should follow a general form: start with an overview, and add necessary details Gordon). For most descriptions, you should the following:

• Define the mechanism or process

• Explain its function or end goal.

• Name its sub parts.

• Give relevant details:

For mechanisms – size, shape, weight, material, method of attachment.

For processes quality or quantity of action, and effect of action. Explain the significance of the mechanism or process, if necessary. Read over the following description of a part (of a computer printer) and the accompanying annotations to see how the author explains the
part. Notice that the author starts with a definition and then adds details.

The paper advancement panel is a row of three buttons in a plastic rectangle. It allows the user to advance the paper out of the printer and to align the paper before printing. The panel is 3 inches long by 2 inches wide. It contains three %-inch by V2-inchsquare buttons that control the paper advancement. These paper advancement buttons are the on-line, line feed, and form feed buttons. The on-line button controls the power to the form feed and line feed buttons. When the on-line button is on, it allows the printer to print. When the on-line button is off, the user can activate the form feed and the line feed buttons. Tbe form feed advances the paper one full page; the line feed advances only one line ara time.

A description of a process works the same way. In the following example, the writer starts with a definition of the end goal of the process and then explains the steps and the significance

The quality chlick determines if the drawing is good enough to use. The qu?Jity control (QC) person inspects the drawing for proper standard drafting techniques and for adherence to company standards. He or she also determines whether the drawing has all the necessary information to manufacture the part. If no errors are found, the QC person signs off on the drawing, then sends it to manufacturing.