Technical Definition and Description

This assignment asks you to select a product or process and write a description of it. It’s a good idea to select something with which you are already familiar, so you can focus on learning how to write the description rather than focusing on both learning how to write the description and learning about the product or process. There are two different kinds of technical descriptions to consider. Choose whichever one is appropriate, depending on your topic.

A product description explains the features of a specific device, like a scientific instrument or computer program. Possible topics include devices that are specific to your field, or devices you use in everyday life:

• Manual grass clippers

• Fuel cell

• Battery

• Catalytic converter

• Manual can opener

• A computer or video game

• A specific car model

A process description explains how a complex event occurs, including a mechanical process (i.e. how donuts are made) or natural event (i.e. how lightning is produced). You can choose a process that is specific to your field, or one that people may be curious about:

• How a specific drug works

• How steel is made

• How fuel cells work

• How a computer compiles and executes a program

• How a microwave works

• How food products are irradiated


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