Technical Object Description


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Assignment Overview

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.

Assignment Guidelines

You will choose your own topic for this assignment. However, the subject of your description should be a technical object (e.g., fitness tracker, flash drive, wrench, clock radio, calculator, smart phone, game console, stapler, etc.). Because you must accurately describe an object in at

least 650 words, do not pick something too simple (such as a paper clip). Choose a topic that is complex and manageable. Once you have identified a technical object, research it. Take time to learn about what the parts are called and how they work. This might require you to read background information or otherwise inform yourself about the topic.

Audience and Content

Your primary audience would be someone who has little experience with the object that you are describing. Regardless of the object, your final paper should be at least 650 words; you must include all of the following contents in your description:

Introduction.

• Orient your audience by providing a one-sentence definition of the object.

• Preview its various parts.

• Discuss its uses and functions.

• Preview the content of your description.

Detailed Description of the Object.

• Describe each part of the object in detail, including its dimensions, materials, principle(s) of operation, function, and relation to other parts.

• Use the present tense.

• When introducing a new concept or terminology, make sure to explain it for a non-technical audience.

Conclusion.

• Re-state the major use(s) and function(s) of the object to solicit the audience’s support or awareness.

Document Design and Illustrations

Give careful thought to illustrations and design elements:

Use headings and sub-headings throughout the document. Mark the introduction, body, and conclusion of your document with headings; and use sub-headings to indicate the beginning of each part/component of the objective you are describing. DO NOT just throw large chunks of text together without clearly identifying each part.

• 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. (For example, for any photos you took: “Source: photo by author.” For any illustrations from other sources: “Source: web site (or other resource listed here).”

• Apply as many of the four basic design principles as possible (Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity).

• Design your document for consistency (grid patterns, margins, justification, white space, indentation, font style and size).

• Design your document for navigation and emphasis (headings, color, shading, boldface, italic, and underlining, bulleted and numbered lists).

• In addition to following all the instructions regarding assignment 4, please pay special attention to “Document Design” when completing this assignment. Like your “Instructions” document, your Technical Object Description should reflect your attention to “audience” in both content and design. In addition to reading on “Descriptions,” review on using visuals and designing user-friendly documents. In addition to providing your audience with useful, accurate information, your document should also be visually pleasing to the audience. Also, don’t forget you are not writing a “commercial” for a particular object; you are writing an objective, detailed description of the object.

Warning Against Copying Descriptions!

You should write the descriptions yourself. DO NOT simply copy descriptions you found elsewhere and cite the source. If you do, SafeAssign will detect and report the exact words, phrases, and sentences that are copied and will show the original sources. We have been working with SafeAssign for many years and we know that it is an effective and reliable tool in detecting plagiarism. In addition, it is NOT acceptable to copy existing descriptions and then cite the sources. This is not the idea of this assignment. The idea is that YOU will write a technical object description—this maybe something that you are familiar with, or something that you have learned and can express in your own words. You are still allowed to consult secondary sources, if necessary. But do make sure that you are writing the descriptions yourself.

If you transcribe (copy) descriptions you found elsewhere, you cannot get a 60 or above on this assignment, even if you cite the sources in APA. If more than 30% of your paper is copied from other sources, your assignment will receive a 0, even if the sources are properly documented in APA. If portions (or the entirety) of your paper are copied from other sources without proper APA documentation, your assignment will receive a 0, and the plagiarism case will be reported to UTA Office of Student Conduct.

Evaluation Rubrics

Completeness (10 pts): The description includes all of the sections required.

Terminology (10 pts): The description uses correct terminology and effectively explain the terminology to a non-technical audience.

Introduction (10 pts): The introduction orients the audience by providing a one sentence

definition of the object. It previews the object’s various parts, discusses the object’s uses and functions. It also previews the content of the description.

Detailed Description of the Object (20 pts): The body of the document describes each part of the object in detail, including its dimensions, materials, principle(s) of operation, function, and relation to other parts. It uses the present tense. It explains new concepts or terminology for a non-technical audience.

Conclusion (10 pts): The conclusion re-states the major use(s) and function(s) of the object to solicit the audience’s support or awareness.

Design (10 pts): Effective use of the design principles (contrast, alignment, proximity, and repetition). Design features, such as fonts, font sizes, and forms of emphasis are applied consistently. The overall design is clear and consistent.

Illustrations (10 pts): There are at least two illustrations. The illustrations are effective, each serving a functional purpose (meaning, it helps the reader better comprehend the task at hand). It is not merely used for decorative purpose. The illustrations are appropriately documented, displayed, and labeled.

Style (10 pts): Present tense is used throughout. Headings are in parallel form. Numbered/bulleted items, if used, are in parallel form. Paragraphs are unified—each paragraph has a single focus, begins with a topic sentence, and develops around a single idea.

Mechanics (10 pts): Spelling, APA documentation, grammar, and punctuation are correct. Minimum word requirement is met.

 
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