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研究生:薛志萍
研究生(外文):Farrah Chih-ping, Hsueh
論文名稱:使用者說明書格式之研究
論文名稱(外文):A Study of the Format of User''s Manuals
指導教授:許洪坤許洪坤引用關係
指導教授(外文):Joseph H. Hsu
學位類別:碩士
校院名稱:輔仁大學
系所名稱:語言學研究所
學門:人文學門
學類:語言學類
論文種類:學術論文
論文出版年:2002
畢業學年度:90
語文別:英文
論文頁數:113
中文關鍵詞:使用者說明書閱讀理解技術文件技術文件編輯整體結構層次內容結構層次
外文關鍵詞:User''s manualReading comprehensionTechnical writingTtechnical writerSuperstructure levelMicrostructure level
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中文摘要
隨著日新月異的科技發展,在日常生活中我們常有機會學習使用各式各樣的新產品。閱讀產品說明書本來應該是學習使用新產品的主要方式, 但直接詢問他人卻是大多數人所慣用的一種學習方式, 除了方便之外, 還有另一個原因促使詢問他人成為多數人學習使用新產品的方式: 因為他們看不懂產品說明書(user’s manual)!本研究主要是探討一般的使用者(ordinary users)因說明書的可讀性(readability)所產生的閱讀問題(reading problem), 進而建立一套寫作格式(format)讓說明書易讀易懂。本研究從兩方面探討說明書可讀性, 一是使用者的閱讀風格, 一是文本結構。前者旨在是瞭解使用者的閱讀習慣和特性, 後者則以文本結構如何影響使用者的理解為研究重點。
本研究使用的分析資料有兩種: 一是使用者的閱讀特性, 此項資料是以問卷與個別訪談(interview)進行採集; 另一為說明書的文本結構, 此項資料則蒐集真實的產品說明書來進行分析。研究結果顯現:
1. 使用者多採跳讀的方式(skipping strategy)閱讀說明書, 他們通常只讀自己想看的部份而非完整讀完整本說明書。
2. 技術文件編輯(technical writer)若是在整體結構上(superstructure level)或是內容上(microstructure level)刪略了某些資訊, 則會影響使用者的理解。
3. 易讀易懂的說明書應有完整且重複性的整體結構(complete and recursive superstructure), 該整體結構包括: 導覽(orientation), 動作指令(instruction)及動作狀態(working states)。
4. 為確保使用者所收到的資訊意義是單一正確的(the singleness of intended meaning), 技術文件編輯應利用圖示(visual aids)和連貫標示(cohesive devices)以製造多重資訊來源(redundancy)和連貫性(cohesion)。
藉由本研究的結果, 我們可以瞭解文本的何種特性有助於提升使用者的理解, 以及架構出易讀易懂的說明書。同時也讓我們瞭解技術文件編輯應如何與使用者互動進而達成有效的指導。
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study is to investigate ordinary users’ reading problems resulted from the readability of user’s manuals, with an attempt to suggest a format that makes a manual more friendly and easy to read. Two aspects affecting the composition of manuals are examined: real users’ readership and textual structures. The former focus on understanding what kinds of reading styles users have, and the latter intends to explore how textual structures affect users’ comprehension.
There are two kinds of data for analysis in this study: users’ reading characteristics and real user’s manuals. Thus I used different methods to gather data. For users’ reading characteristics, I used interview and questionnaire. As for real user’s manuals, I collect the ones with different types of appliances. The results are summarized as follows:
(1) Upon reading user’s manuals, users tend to take skipping strategy. They usually go straight to the desired information instead of going through the whole manual.
(2) If a technical writer omits some information either at superstructure level or at microstructure level, the absence of certain information will impede users’ understanding.
(3) A Friendly manual should be composed with complete and recursive superstructures: orientation, instruction, and working states.
(4) To ensure the singleness of the intended meaning accurately conveyed to users, a writer should employ visual aids and cohesive devices to create redundancy and cohesion.
The results of the study enable us to know the kinds of textual properties that will enhance users’ understanding and contribute to the composition of a good manual. Meanwhile, it reveals how a technical writer should interact with users in the text as an effective guide.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHNESE ABSTRACT i
ENGLISH ABSTRACT ii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS vi
LIST OF COMPARISONS vii
LIST OF EXAMPLES vii
LIST OF FIGURES vii
LIST OF TABLES viii
CHAPTER ONE: INTROCDUCTION
1.1 Rationale 1
1.2 Motivation 2
1.3 Objectives 3
1.4 The Scope of This Study 4
1.5 Significance 4
1.6 The Outline of This Thesis 5
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 Introduction 7
2.2 Literature Review 7
2.2.1 Review on Readability 7
2.2.1.1 Readability vs. Readability Measures 7
2.2.1.2 Implications for the Readability of User’s Manuals 9
2.2.2 Review on Reading Comprehension
2.2.2.1 Schema Theory 10
2.2.2.2 Meyer Model and Kintsch & van Dijk Model 11
2.2.2.3 Implications for the Format of User’s Manuals 11
2.2.3 Review on Technical Writing
2.2.3.1 The Definition of Technical Writing 12
2.2.3.2 The Style of Technical Writing 13
2.2.3.3 Audience Analysis 14
2.2.3.4 Information Types in Technical Writing 15
2.2.4 Review on Studies on Comprehension and Technical Writing
2.2.4.1 Horning’s Study(1993) 16
2.2.4.2 Yen’s Study(1992) 17
2.2.4.3 Gribbons’s Study(1992) 17
2.2.4.4 Implications for the Format of User’s Manuals 18
2.3 Theoretical Framework
2.3.1 Superstructure Level 19
2.3.1.1 The Notion of Superstructure 19
2.3.1.2 Superstructures and Comprehension 19
2.3.2 Information Retrieval System 20
2.3.3 Superstructure of User’s Manuals 21
2.3.4 Microstructure Level 24
2.3.4.1 Psycholinguistic Redundancy 24
2.3.4.2 Cohesion in User’s Manual s 26
2.3.5 Outline of Theoretical Framework 29
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
3.1 Introduction to the Research Design 30
3.2 Data Collection 31
3.2.1 Collection of Authentic User’s Manuals 31
3.2.2 Collection of Users’ Response to the Format 31
3.3 Questionnaire Design
3.3.1 Questionnaire in Part I 32
3.3.2 Questionnaire in Part II 33
3.4 Subjects 34
3.5 Procedure 34
3.6 Criterion for Valid Questionnaire 35
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS & DISCUSSION
4.1 Introduction 36
4.2 Audience Analysis 37
4.2.1 Readability of User’s Manuals 35
4.2.2 User’s Reading Style 40
4.2.3 Problems That Users Frequently Encounter When Reading User’s Manuals
43
4.2.4 Real Users’ Readership 51
4.3 Textual Analysis
4.3.1 Superstructure of User’s Manuals 52
4.3.2 The Quantity of Information and Users’ Reading Interest 58
4.4 Redundancy and Cohesion
4.4.1 A Picture Worth A Thousand Words 63
4.4.2 Cohesion in User’s Manuals 68
4.5 Textual Structure and Users’ Comprehension 73
4.6 Summary 74
CHAPTER FIVE: THE FORMAT OF USER’S MANUALS
5.1 The Components Constituting the Superstructure 76
5.1.1 Orientation 76
5.1.2 Instruction 77
5.1.3 Working States 79
5.1.4 The Hierarchically Order of the Three Components 80
5.1.5 The Recursive Superstructure 84
5.2 Redundancy & Cohesion at Microstructure Level 87
5.3 Summary 89
CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSION
6.1 Summary of This Study 90
6.2 Implications 92
6.3 Suggestion for Further Studies 93
BIBLIOGRAPHY 85
APPENDIX 102
Questionnaire 103
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