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Suggested pseudocode conventions for functions along with some examples.


No standard for pseudocode syntax exists. However, there are some commonly followed conventions to help make pseudocode written by one programmer easily understood by another programmer. The following describes a method for using pseudocode for functions that would be understood by programmers. Five concepts are:

  • Use a beginning phrase word to start the function
  • Use a communication phrase word to identify the items being passed into the function
  • Use indentation to show the action part of the function
  • Use a communication phrase word to identify the items being passed out of the function
  • Use an ending phrase word to end the function
  • Use a calling phrase word to direct your program to use a fucntion

The following is a suggested outline of function phrase words:

Item/Purpose Starting Phrase Word Ending Phrase Word
Beginning Function N/A
Communication In Pass In: none
Action N/A N/A
Communication Out Pass Out: none
Ending N/A Endfunction
Calling a Function Call: none


Here are some examples showing functions defined in pseudocode using our conventions as described above.

Pseudocode: function with no parameter passing

Function clear monitor Pass In: nothingDirect the operating system to clear the monitor Pass Out: nothingEndfunction

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Pseudocode: function with parameter passing

Function delay program so you can see the monitor Pass In: integer representing tenths of a secondUsing the operating system delay the program Pass Out: nothingEndfunction

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Pseudocode: function main calling the clear monitor function

Function main Pass In: nothingDoing some lines of code Call: clear monitorDoing some lines of code Pass Out: value zero to the operating systemEndfunction

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phrase word
Words used to make pseudocode logic clear to any reader.

Questions & Answers

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Source:  OpenStax, Programming fundamentals - a modular structured approach using c++. OpenStax CNX. Jan 10, 2013 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10621/1.22
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