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Creating America
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Return to book index Chapter 21 : Changes in American Life
Writing About History: Technical Writing

Assignment: Your assignment is to write a technical document on an invention, system, or organization developed between 1860 and 1900. This description should identify the sequence of activities needed to design a system, operate a tool, or explain the bylaws of an organization.

  • Skim Chapter 20, "An Industrial Society" and Chapter 21, "Changes in American Life". Look for a technology, an invention, or an organization that transformed the nation. Choose one that interests you the most.
  • Research your topic, looking for information that shows steps in a process and how parts relate to a whole. Also find visual aids, such as diagrams and charts, that you can use in your document. Remember that you will need to find information on your topic shortly after it was invented or developed.
  • Use the Internet or the library to find more information about your topic. Use available databases and electronic encyclopedias with links to the World Wide Web for information. Visit the Research Links for Creating America at
  • Look for ways to connect the parts of your process to the whole. Also, look for ways to divide your information into manageable chunks for your reader.