Power Tools for Technical Communication: Headings Practice

In this lab, you add headings to a technical document:
  1. Copy the text below this box, and paste it into your preferred word-processing software.

  2. Add the following title and headings at the appropriate points in the text and at the appropriate levels (use first, second-, and third-level headings):

    Fracture pattern
    Mineral appearance
    How to Identify Different Types of Minerals

  3. You are welcome to use other fonts or other typographical effects, but bold on these headings works just fine.

  4. Put your name, Headings Practice: Print, and the date on this document, and either print it out or show it on screen to your instructor, or send it be e-mail attachment to your instructor.

The art of identifying minerals is not an exact science and making educated guesses in part of the fun, so don't get discouraged. The more you collect minerals; the easier it gets. A mineral's appearance is the best way of to identify what kind of mineral you have found. If you have never seen a mineral, find a picture of the type of mineral you want to collect in a rock magazine or a mineral book. Magazines and books help to identify how minerals look. I recommend subscribing to a magazine such as Rocks and Minerals, or The Rockhound's Handbook, for more information about minerals.

One of the best ways to identify a mineral is by the way it looks. Appearance refers to the visual form that a specific mineral is known to possess. Each mineral has distinct visual characteristics. The three most common characteristics are, (a) habit (shape) and (b) fracture pattern, and (c) color [1:37].

Habit (shape) is the distinct form that a mineral molds into during the heat and temperature process. Several terms define mineral shapes. The term "prismatic" is a common term that defines the shape of quartz crystal, halite, and garnets. A prismatic form is a mineral that has either 3,4,6,8, or 12 sides. Each side has a parallel edge [2:23]. The term prism refers to the mineral's ability to reflect light. If you hold quartz crystal or halite up to the sun at just the right angle, you can see the colors of the rainbow inside the mineral.

Some minerals leave a characteristic pattern when broken, and such conditions are known as a fracture pattern [1:37]. The elevations, depressions, and unevenness helps to determine what kind of fracture pattern a mineral possesses. Two terms that describe fracture patterns are: (a) conchoidal, and (b) uneven or irregular.

The term "color" refers to the visual hue of a mineral. One of the easiest methods to identify a mineral is by color. Minerals encased in a rock matrix have distorted color, and for this reason, a mineral with a pure color is hard to find [1:37]. Knowing the most common color of the mineral you want to collect helps make your quest easier.

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