A Little Tech Writing Advice

This Lunar Baboon comic is a set of instructions. Instructions are common in technical writing.

Look at the second panel. He numbered the instruction. That’s good. But…

He used the future tense! The context of instructions is customary behavior, and for customary behavior, use the present tense, even if it hasn’t happened yet. Instructions should also be in the imperative, so he really should have said, “First, get a wand.” (The first panel describes a single event, so the future is okay here.)

The rest is good, but I have a quibble. In the next-to-last panel he should have said, “…someone who enjoys…” but that’s for another lesson.