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Writing Instructions
Instructions are written step by step. These steps should be numbered. (Photo courtesy of lili.chin at Flickr.)

Writing Instructions

A written instruction is usually a direction or order. 'Take out your books', 'Underline the key words', 'Take the dog for a walk', 'Shut the door!' - you will be very familiar with instructions. Sometimes instructions need to be much longer than just one sentence, however. If you are telling someone how to do something a bit complicated, you might write it down in a set of instructions.

See how well you know the difference between instructions and other types of writing by trying this English quiz.

  1. Which of the following is true?
    4 - Instructions can be spoken or written
  2. Which of these would NOT make a good title for instructions?
    3 - Instructions will always tell you what you will achieve if you follow them
  3. Instructions should have a list of .......
    1 -
  4. Instructions are written step by step. These steps should be .......
    3 -
  5. Instructions are written using what type of verbs?
    2 - Imperative verbs are sometimes called 'bossy' verbs
  6. Diagrams or photos help by .......
    2 -
  7. Which of the following is NOT an example of an instruction?
    1 - 'Whisk', 'fold' and 'don't run' are examples of imperative (bossy) verbs. 'Wash your hands before you begin' would be an instruction
  8. Which of these connectives should be used in a set of instructions?
    4 - Your instructions should be written using 'time connectives', such as 'first', 'next', 'then' and 'finally', to emphasise the correct order for following the steps
  9. Which of the following set of instructions is in the correct order?
    1 - Using connectives would improve these instructions: First, turn on the tap. Then soap your hands. Next, rinse your hands...
  10. Many types of writing use instructions. Which of these does NOT use instructions?
    3 -

Author: Sheri Smith

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