UNIT 03 -recommendation report

  1. Understand the role of audience and purpose in technical descriptions
  2. Appreciate the requirement for objectivity in technical descriptions
  3. Recognize the main components of a technical description
  4. Write a product and/or process description

Who is my audience for this description? How familiar are they with the object, process, or mechanism I am describing?

What exactly do I want my readers to know?
Why do they need to know it?

Always keep your audience and purpose in mind throughout the writing process. These two factors will help you answer many of the questions you will have regarding the length, shape, depth, and scope of your description.


A description can be mainly subjective (based on feeling) or objective (based on fact).

Subjective descriptions use sensory and judgmental expressions such as “The weather was miserable” or "the room was terribly messy.” In contrast, objective descriptions present an impartial view, filtering out personal impressions and focusing on details any viewer could observe. Except in cases of marketing material, descriptions should be objective. Even positive claims made in marketing material (for example, “reliable,” “rugged,” and so on) should be based on objective and verifiable evidence.

One way to maintain objectivity when writing descriptions is to provide details that are visual, not emotional. Ask yourself what any observer would recognize or what a camera would record.

A second way to maintain objectivity is to use precise and informative language. For instance, specify location and position, exact measurements, wrights, and dimensions, instead of using inexact and subjective words like large, long, and near.


Part of all physical descriptions, a spatial sequence answers these questions. What does it do? What does it look like? What parts and materials is it made of? Use this sequence when you want readers to visualize a static item or mechanism at rest (an office interior, the Statue of Liberty, a plot of land, a chainsaw, or a computer keyboard). Can readers best visualize this item from front to rear, left to right, top to bottom? What logical part do the parts create?

Any item or process usually has its own logic of organization, based on 1) the way it appears as a static object, 2) the way its parts operate in order, 3) the way its parts are assembled. As a writer, you can describe these relationships, respectively, in spatial, functional, or chronological sequence.


The functional sequence answers this question: How does it work? It is best used in describing a mechanism in action, such as a 35-milimeter camera, a nuclear warhead, a smoke detector, a car’s cruise control system. The logic of the item is reflected by the order in which its parts function.


A chronological sequence answers these questions: How is it assembled? How does it work? How does it happen? Use the chronological sequence for an item that is best visualized in terms of its order of assembly (such as a piece of furniture, a tent, or a prehung window or door unit).

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