YOUR first graded assignment is an exercise in giving instructions. We're going to work on a kind of instruction you're already familiar with: recipes. In using the standard recipe format, take advantage of several elements of technical writing:
- Use white space.
- Use headings and subheadings.
- Put instructions in lists: both bulleted and numbered.
- Start every instruction with an imperative verb.
- Put instructions in the proper order — first things first!
- Break down the process into logical and manageable steps. If a step covers too little or too much, your readers will get bored or confused.
- Use pictures and videos when possible.
II. Before and after
We are taking recipes from Cooking in Old Creole Days, and the Creole Cookery Book. These are old recipes that are in straight paragraph format. On our main web site, we've left the recipes in their original format:
Five eggs, the four yolks and one whole one, one gill of cream, one half-pint of milk, one ounce of sifted sugar, one quarter of a pound of lump sugar, just moistened with cold water, then boiled to a light golden color, poured into a mold. When the caramel is set, then pour in custard, tie down with foolscap paper and steam very gently for an hour and a half. When cooked it should be buried in ice until required for use. The eggs, cream, sugar and milk should all be well beaten together.
We've started a companion site, the Louisiana
Anthology Cookbook, where we're putting the recipes
in modern format:
III. Your Assignment Step by Step
- Sign up for a Gmail account if you haven't already. (It's free! This is a good time to create an email name that sounds professional.)
- Send me your Gmail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) so I
can authorize you to add your recipes to the Louisiana
Anthology Cookbook. Blogger will send you an email
with the steps to add you as an editor.
- Accept the invitation to join the cooking blog and
- Pick 5 recipes from EITHER
in Old Créole Days. I've made a separate
file that indicates which recipes have already been
taken. If you know some French, you can pick some of the
French-language recipes. If you have a favorite Louisiana
recipe, you can use it for one of your five recipes. OR
- The Creole
Cookery Book. We still haven't finished
preparing this book, but it's far enough along for us to
use. Try to pick the available recipes on the first book
first. Here is the separate
file for the list of recipes.
- Click on New Post.
- Put the name of your first recipe in the Post Title. Put the
recipe in the text section.
- Follow the blog format. The next tip works fine for some people, but brings in some excess HTML for others. I'm not quite sure why! [The easiest way is to copy the an earlier recipe. Delete the text of the recipe and fill in your new text.]
- WARNING: DON'T COMPOSE IN WORD
& PASTE INTO BLOGGER. Word creates
particularly bad code.
- Stay as close to the original text as you can. Define unusual terms (a gill is 1/2 cup, for example)
- List the ingredients in an unordered (bulleted) list. Put
the quantity then the ingredient (1 cup of milk, for example)
- List the preparation steps in an ordered (numbered) list. Remember to strike a balance in the amount of material in an individual step.
- Normal text for the lists
- Subheadings for the Ingredients and Directions
- Minor Heading for any subdivisions below that.
- Sign the bottom.
- Prepared by [your name].
- Put the date you post the recipe.
- Leave Louisiana Anthology link as it is.
- Update the link to Cooking in Old Creole Days to to directly to your recipe. Click on the link in the Table of Contents, then copy the link out of the address bar. Replace the original link in your recipe.
- Leave the text right aligned.
- Repeat the above steps for your four other recipes. Each recipe should be in a separate post.
- Choose one of the recipes and prepare it, taking pictures as you go. It you can't afford it or don't have a place to prepare it, go to the store and take pictures of the ingredients.
- Insert the images into the recipes. Make them medium or
small and make them align to the right.
- Let me know if you have any problems.
- When you finish, send me the links to your five recipes.