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Rhetorical Analysis Of A Manual

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Rhetorical Analysis:

Quick Start Guide of an MP10 MP3 Player


The audience of the Quick Start Guide (QSG) is going to be composed of men and women who have purchased the mp3 player or received it as a gift. The owners of an MP10 mp3 player may or may not have experience using an mp3 player, and even if they do, the experience may not be with this exact model. One way the designers of the QSG allow for a wider audience is by providing a Spanish alternative to the English side. The reader of this guide needs thorough instructions and diagrams in order to begin operating the MP10 as quickly as possible. For this reason, the instructions are laid out in numerical order to introduce the user to the different features and options that are available. These instructions correlate with diagrams of the MP10. Callout boxes point out the buttons and their functions to allow the user of the QSG to use as much or as little of the guide as they desire. One can assume that because of varying levels of technological knowledge, a user of the guide would want to be informed on all of the capabilities the MP10 possesses. The reader may ask a question like; What is possible with this expensive mp3 player? In turn, the designers of the QSG have to display the functions of the MP10 without turning the guide into a complete owner's manual. The user of the guide wants to use a feature of the MP10 as quick as possible, and probably doesn't want to read that much in order to do so. Therefore, the readers' design preferences include solid diagrams, distinct headings, and comprehensive directions without being overly long.


The overall purpose of the QSG is to inform the reader how to use the MP10. The designer of the guide had to display each of the potential functions of the player and provide the short, yet complete instructions associated to performing each task. A QSG is exactly what the title suggests, a brief way of introducing the MP10 to a user. It is not an all-inclusive owner's manual, but a guide with the intent of allowing the user to find their specific function in one of the bolded headings and follow the instructions to perform the task. Knowing that most buyers of electronic equipment want to get their purchase home as soon as possible and put it to use is the issue that generated the QSG. Most people want to avoid the hassle of having to read a large instruction booklet to use something; they simply want to power it up and use it without much thought. Excitement ensues after making a purchase, especially if it is going to be used for recreational purposes. Thus, the designers of the QSG provided a fast way for readers to begin use of their MP10. The QSG's main purpose is included in the title of the product and that is simply to be quick.


Readers of the QSG use the document for one of seven different functions. However, when the owner of the MP10 first uses the guide it will probably be for only one single use. It may be to listen to mp3's, the FM radio, transfer music, or record voice messages. Whatever the intended function, the QSG will aid the user in finding the instructions. The guide may be read from beginning to end, but the document's purpose is to move the user to an end, and quickly. Most users of the MP10 purchase the device for the portable and efficient mp3's. So, the owners of the MP10 probably read the guide first at home while sitting at a computer or desk. Regardless, there are many other scenarios in which the guide may be read. Some of the possible places the QSG may be read are at work, at the gym, at home, or on a walk. The QSG is designed to be small and concise so it can be used anywhere. The QSG is small for a reason, so it is easily transportable and easy to access on the fly.


The overall legibility of the print in the QSG will depend on the age of the reader and the vision he/she possesses. A younger audience with strong vision can read the small print and comprehend the language and diagrams relatively easily. An older audience, or those with vision problems may not be able to read the print or distinguish the parts of the MP10 in the manual without a magnifying lens. This is a problem for some owners of the MP10 because without sufficient aid, the manual is difficult to read. Designing a larger QSG with larger typefaces would allow a higher percentage of users to read the manual without an aid.

Visibility of Illustrations

One problem associated with the QSG is the small illustrations. The illustrations of the MP10 are undersized and with



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