ASSIGNMENT: Draft of Informative Handout
ASSIGNMENT: DRAFT OF INFORMATIVE HANDOUT
For this part of the project, you will create an informative handout for your non-profit organization. Often, technical writers are asked to break down information for non-professionals in manageable, focused pieces. You are to create a one-page handout that uses visual cues, rather than lots of text, to convey information to your audience.
The primary way you will do this is by creating an infographic. An informative graphic doesn’t merely decorate—it conveys important information. Infographics include graphs, tables, and diagrams to name a few types. Informative graphics do not only convey information, but they use color, layout, and other design principles to convey as much of an understanding of the information as possible.
Here are some examples of successful handouts designed around infographics:
Infographic One (Links to an external site.)
Infographic Two (Links to an external site.)
***NOTE THAT THESE INFOGRAPHICS HAVE JUST ENOUGH INFORMATION TO STAND ALONE. AVOID INCLUDING TOO MUCH MORE INFORMATION, LIKE THIS (Links to an external site.), OR TOO LITTLE INFORMATION, LIKE THIS (Links to an external site.).***
Design Concepts to Use in the Handout
Notice that these handouts use a variety of techniques to visually organize information.
- Alignment & Proximity: Make sure your graphics are logically arranged on the page.
- Repetition: Use colors, shapes, and fonts in repetition to create consistency in your handout.
- Fonts: Use sans serif fonts for labels in tight spaces. Use serif fonts for large titles or labels.
- Symbols: Use symbols to represent major ideas in your handout.
- Color: Use contrasting colors to distinguish text from backgrounds. Also be aware of colors when choosing fonts and text box backgrounds. Make sure your text can easily be read by your audience.
- Text Spacing and Grouping Techniques: These include rules, boxes, screens, marginal glosses, and pull quotes.
One of the goals of the handout part of the project is to convey information using BOTH text and graphics. This is an English class, so of course, we’re concerned with the text. But the graphics are just as important for drawing your audience in and clarifying difficult information.
Drafting the Handout
There are several ways to approach making the handout. Choose one of the following methods for making your handout.
1. Use Piktochart, an online tool. This method creates lovely infographics using online software. You do have to create an account, but you can create the infographic for free. Here is the link for Piktochart: http://piktochart.com/ (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
2. Use Microsoft Word SmartArt. This method is best if you are more comfortable working with Microsoft Word than online applications. Here are instructions for using SmartArt: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/create-a-smartart-graphic-HA001205867.aspx?CTT=5&origin=HA010039537 (Links to an external site.)
3. Use Google Drawings. This method is for people who like using Google Docs and like storing their work online in the Google Apps suite. A note for future reference: this method is also good if you are working with a team, as you can allow members of the team to edit the infographic in real time. Here is the link to instructions for using Google Draw: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/177123?hl=en&ref_topic=1361611 (Links to an external site.)
4. Use one of many, many other web services. The following are other web services students have successfully used in the past. You’re welcome to try any of these you like.
https://infogr.am/ (Links to an external site.)
https://www.canva.com/create/infographics/ (Links to an external site.)
https://venngage.com/ (Links to an external site.)
Requirements for Handout
Your draft handout should meet the following criteria:
1. The handout should be no more than one page, letter or legal size.
2. It should identify the non-profit somewhere on the page.
3. The purpose of the handout should be clear, either through the handout title or through a short introduction. Information should be focused on a single topic. You should use information from your researched memo, but you will likely not be able to use all of it, so choose carefully.
4. The handout should be driven by graphics–text should be explanatory, short, and well chunked for meaning.
4. All information should be cited using MLA or another citation scheme. References should be unobtrusive, and complete bibliographic information should be included at the bottom of the handout (it is okay if the bibliography ONLY spills onto another page).
5. Graphics should follow the design principles discussed above and should be designed to clearly convey information.