Using the Extended Definition Paper to Teach Organization Academic Article uri icon


  • Audience and definition are the two foundation concepts of technical writing, for all technical writing is, in a broad sense, definition. Reports that classify, partition, analyze, describe, illustrate, compare, and contrast essentially define a concept or problem. Thus, classification, partition, description, illustration, comparison, and contrast represent seven of fifteen devices which can be used to expand definitions. The expanded definition, as a beginning assignment (after audience analysis), can show how these same devices are embedded in the major ways of organizing information for reports, technical descriptions, process analyses, and instructions topics later introduced in the course. Furthermore, developing content about these specific devices helps students to catalogue mentally information about a subject and to organize and present this information precisely.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Technical Writing and Communication

author list (cited authors)

  • Tebeaux, E.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Tebeaux, Elizabeth

publication date

  • January 1980