Good Instructions Guidelines


Guidelines for Writing Good Instructions


  • Are the steps presented in the order in which they are performed?
  • Is the first step really the first task that someone in the audience needs to do?
  • Should a long or complex step be broken into smaller parts?
  • Are all hidden steps made explicit?


  • Is each step written as an overt command (beginning with an action verb)?
  • Are all steps easy to find and visually distinct?
    • List format?
    • Bullets or numbers needed?
  • Is each step precise and complete enough to be followed?
    • Includes needed details?
    • Excludes irrelevant text?
  • Are common problems covered?
    • Safety/danger warnings?
    • Troubleshooting tips?