Time: 50 minutes
Instructor Preparation: Review Chapter 6 of Technical Communication; Bring in several products/items that students will practice writing a description of; bring in measuring tape.
Student Preparation: Read Chapter 6 of Technical Communication; 2 examples of product descriptions they found since the last class.
Purpose: To encourage critical awareness of the audiences of product descriptions found in print and web sources and to demonstrate important details in product writing.

Discussion (10-15 minutes)

What is a product description?
Where do we find product descriptions?
Who writes them?
What are the principles of product description writing?

Product Description Examples and Analysis (15-20 minutes)

First, show examples of locations of product descriptions from

  • Amazon
  • Netflix
  • Real Estate
  • Carpet
  • Chapstick

Show 2 examples of product description with class and help them analyze what is contained in each one. (One good, one bad example.)

Then ask each student to share one of their examples within groups. (10 minutes)

Writing Practice Activity (10-15 minutes)

(Activity option #1) Bring a few objects and have students practice writing a description that will be placed on a website or Amazon seller page.

(Activity option #2) Take students outside to a tree that has a placard with the species and genus. Have them write a technical description of the tree for a nursery interested in purchasing that tree.

  • Encourage students to use their sense as much as possible to describe the objects.
  • Hand out measuring tape for taking measurements of objects.

Debrief (10 minutes)

Have a few students read their examples out loud. Then discuss the process of writing this description.

  • How did you begin writing?
  • Did you do anything to learn more?
  • What was your focus on as you drafted?