Lesson 1, Topic 1
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3.4 Write / Present / Sign Texts For A Range Of Communicative Contexts – US119465

ryanrori June 19, 2020

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1 Write / Sign For A Specified Audience & Purpose

Meaning of words:

Narrative Writing:

Purpose: to entertain

Writing a narrative composition appeals to one of mans basic instincts, to share stories. A narrative essay re-creates an experience for a central purpose: usually to reveal an insight about the action of the people involved.  A narrative should have a central focus, but it is not always necessary to express the focus in a thesis sentence early in the essay; at times you will want to get right to the action. A narrative should be based on personal experience.

Examples: Story (personal, true, imaginative), Fable, Myth, Poem, Play, Biography

Cues words in prompt:

  • Tell about a time when . . .
  • Write a story. . .
  • Write a poem . . .

First Steps Framework:

     1. Orientation

  • Who, when, where
  1. Events that lead to a complication or problem
  • Sequence of important events
  • Details that enhance story development
  1. Complication or problem
  • Real-life complication or problems for main characters
  • Other minor complications or problems
  1. Resolution
  • Complication or problem solved in a satisfactory way

Key Features:

  • Strong story line
  • Defined characters
  • Details enhance plot, setting, characters, and events
  • Descriptive language
  • Effective dialogue
  • Organisation supports plot development
  • Pacing builds suspense
  • Past, present, or future tense
  • Strong voice

5 Tips.

  • Beware of the narrative distance between when the events happened and the telling of them. How much time has passed? How has the viewpoint character changed? What other events have occurred since? Why is the character telling the story? Why now?
  • Consider how trustworthy your character is. Are they reliable? This will affect what things the viewpoint character mentions and how they tell the story.
  • Avoid too many “I” s. This can be difficult to manage, but if the narrator talks more about others than about his/herself it’s possible.
  • Don’t restrict yourself to the seven kinds of story described above, if you think of another way to tell your story.

 

Activity 1Write a story about an experience that was particularly significant for you. Think about your experiences. Ask yourself these questions for idea gathering: Why is this experience important for me? What details are necessary for me to re-create the experience in an engaging and interesting way? What will the point of sharing this story be? Aim for an essay of 500 to 1000 words.

 

Discursive Writing:

Purpose

  • What is its purpose?
  • Who is it for?
  • How will it be used?
  • What kind of writing is therefore appropriate?

The purpose of discursive writing is to thoroughly cover the ground. It is an act of learning. It is a process which exercises all the mental skills for learning new information and for thinking deeply and carefully about important or difficult ideas: observation, analysis, classification, analogy, verbalisation and memory.

Text level

  • Layout
  • Structure/organisation
  • Sequence

Title may be a question – e.g. Should human cloning be legalised?

Statement of the issue, perhaps followed by preview of main arguments on each side; then arguments for, including supporting evidence; then arguments against, including supporting evidence; finally, a conclusion, which comes down on one side of the argument, including clinching evidence. Alternatively, the text could proceed through argument and counter-argument, through a series of points.

Sentence level

  • Viewpoint (first/third person, etc)
  • Prevailing tense
  • Active/passive voice
  • Typical sentence structure and length
  • Typical cohesion devices

Third person/perhaps first person in conclusion

Present tense

Mostly active voice; passive used when identity of agent is not relevant – e.g. It has been argued that…

Connectives relate to logic – e.g. as a result, alternatively, however, for example
Rhetorical questions may appear – e.g. What can be said to those who argue that… ? But is it right that… ?

Phrases that introduce evidence – e.g. This view is supported by the fact that… As evidence of this, we can see that…

Paragraphs linked by phrases that aid argument and counter-argument – e.g. There are those who argue that… But, some may say,… From these arguments it is clear that…
Conclusion may be introduced by phrases such as In conclusion… Weighing up all these arguments, I… What conclusion can be drawn from… ?

Word level

  • Stock words and phrases
  • Specialised or typical vocabulary
  • Elaborate/plain vocabulary choices

Adjectives and adverbs will be used, since value judgements are likely to be involved language of logic mixed with language of rhetoric –e.g. Therefore, it is obvious to all…

Planning a discursive essay:

  • Provide an interesting introduction.
  • Provide a clear indication of your position, your stance in relation to the topic.
  • Present all your arguments, with supporting evidence.
  • Indicate in a single paragraph, that there is another side to this argument, with some idea of the points likely to be made for the views which are opposite to your own.
  • Reiterate (state again) your position and conclude your essay.

 Reflective Writing:

Reflective writing is largely concerned with looking back – but with a view to the future. It can be seen as a journal of your personal growth.

To be effective and constructive, reflective writing needs to go beyond description of events and your own associated feelings. You need to:

  • step back, explore and analyse your own role in the experience
  • consider the different perspectives of other people involved
  • make connections with relevant theories, supporting your ideas by reference to literature and research
  • consider legal and organisational implications
  • show awareness of social and political influences
  • show what you have learned from the process

Because reflective writing involves personal analysis of personal experience and feelings, it is acceptable to use the “first person” – i.e. to describe what “I did” and how “I felt.) However, the style should not be too informal and the tone not conversational.

What?

– is the purpose of returning to this situation?

    • exactly happened, in your own words?
    • did you see? did you do?
    • was your reaction?
    • did other people do, e.g. colleague, child?
    • do you see as the key aspects of the situation?

So what?

    • were you trying to achieve?
    • were the reasons for the way you responded?
    • beliefs and values influenced your actions?
    • assumptions did you make?
    • were your feelings at that time?
    • are your feelings now? Are there differences? Why?
    • “good” emerged from the situation e.g. for self, others?
    • troubles you, if anything?
    • were your experiences in comparison to your colleagues, etc?
    • were the feelings of others involved? How do you know?
    • are the main reasons for feeling differently from your colleagues, etc.?
    • knowledge did or should have informed you?

Now what?

    • are the implications for you, others involved?
    • needs to happen to alter the situation?
    • happens if you decide not to alter anything?
    • might you do differently if faced with a similar situation again?
    • would the consequences of alternative actions for yourself, others be?
    • information do you need to face a similar situation?
    • are the best ways of getting further information about the situation should it arise again?

Reflective writing example:

During Summer Semester 2003 in my Health and P.E. course, I had the opportunity to prepare and teach a health lesson on the topic of self-esteem. The lesson was geared toward first-grade students and focused on ways they could be special to others. I was able to present my lesson for a small group of classmates. This experience has helped me see the importance of planning when preparing a lesson. I have included a copy of the lesson plan as evidence.

Effective teaching requires careful planning. There also needs to be a lot of time, energy, and creativity put into planning in order for teachers to be able to plan learning experiences that encourage students to be successful in their learning. Teachers must have a clear focus on what they want the students to learn and how they plan to address key points.

After selecting my lesson, one of my first steps was to research the topic. I spent some time on the computer researching information on the Internet about self-esteem in younger children. I also looked at lesson plans from other teachers to see how they may have taught the same type of lesson. This helped me to see creative ways that I could adapt my lesson and make it more interesting and understandable to my students. After doing my research, I went back and reviewed my lesson again to see where I could make some changes. I chose to adapt my lesson plan by focusing on the aspect that you are special because you are a gift to others. I felt that by making these changes the learning experience would be more meaningful to my students.

The actual teaching experience allowed me to see the ways careful preparation of a lesson can be helpful. For example, when I explained to students that they could be a gift to others by their actions and gave some examples, they were able to make appropriate responses. Some students responded that they could help others by sharing, while others suggested that they could do things such as clean their rooms to be a gift.

Anytime I am given the chance to develop my skills as a teacher, it is a learning experience. I found this experience to be extremely valuable because it gave me the opportunity not only to plan a lesson, but also to teach it. Teaching helped me to see that being prepared is very important when addressing students. My background research of the topic helped me when students needed an alternative way to understand the concept. For instance, from my research I learned that students understand best when examples are given. My ability to provide examples helped students to better understand the concept of giving to make others happy. As an educator, it is my goal to create lessons that are adapted to reflect the different learning styles of my students.

 Argumentative Writing    

Activity 2:
  • Go over all the reading material again.
  • Identify the main topics covered by the arguments that you have read about your issue when preparing for your essay. This is so that you have a list of different topics for your paragraphs such as the topics in the essays on marine parks and childcare . You might also want to go back and look at the page on sorting arguments into topics and paragraphs.
  • Now use the topics that you have identified in step 2 as your group headings for organising your research notes (the notes from your reading)
  • a)Go over the reading material again and look for the main arguments that concern each of these topics.
  • Divide these arguments into those that are for your issue and those that are against your issue in a table like the one below. Remember to:

i       keep your notes brief

ii        do not write the argument down word for word. Paraphrase it or use note form. This way you will avoid plagiarism when you come to write the actual essay.

Example table for your notes:

 

Topic: health arguments about <your issue >
Arguments for <your issue > Arguments against <your issue >
  • Make a decision about what your main premise will be.
  • Now draft a detailed plan for your essay. In this plan note down the information that you will put in each paragraph. Remember, just use note form – not complete sentences (Otherwise your plan will be nearly as big as your essay!)
  • Begin writing a draft of the body of your essay.
  • When you have written a draft of the body of your text check the following things:
  • do your paragraphs present arguments that oppose your main premise as debatable and possibly not true?
  • do your paragraphs present arguments that support your main premise as non-debatable or as facts?
  • have you clearly marked the place where you shift from the opposing arguments to the supporting arguments with a contrasting connective (such as “however”)?
  • Have you used connectives, pronouns and referencing words (such as “this” or “these” to make your paragraph cohesive?
  • Draft your introduction. You might want to go back and look carefully at the introduction to the essay on marine parks and the model introduction about republicanism.
  • Draft your conclusion. You might want to go back and look carefully at the conclusion to the essay on marine parks and the model conclusion about childcare.
  • Check your draft introduction and conclusion against the models. Redraft if necessary.

 

  • Now that you have a complete draft of your essay check it again for the following things:
  • Does it conform to the model texts?
  • Does it provide strong support for your main premise?
  • Can you make the text more cohesive?
  • Are your verbs correct?
  • Is every sentence a complete sentence – does it have a subject and a verb?
  • Is your spelling correct? (Use the spelling checker on your word processing programme and also read for spelling errors that the spelling checker doesn’t pick up.)
  • Is your punctuation correct?
  • Have you plagiarised? If you have plagiarised, rewrite that part of your text or indicate that you have copied from another text by using quotation marks and citing the source of the text eg. (Mansell, 1993)
  • Check the final draft and write a cover sheet.

 

Descriptive Writing:

The ability to describe something convincingly will serve a writer well in any kind of essay situation. The most important thing to remember is that your job as writer is to show, not tell. If you say that the tree is beautiful, your readers are put on the defensive: “Wait a minute,” they think. “We’ll be the judge of that! Show us a beautiful tree and we’ll believe.” Do not rely, then, on adjectives that attempt to characterise a thing’s attributes. Lovely, exciting, interesting – these are all useful adjectives in casual speech or when we’re pointing to something that is lovely, etc., but in careful writing they don’t do much for us; in fact, they sound hollow.

Let nouns and verbs do the work of description for you. With nouns, your readers will see; with verbs, they will feel. In the following paragraph, taken from George Orwell’s famous anti-imperialist essay, “Shooting an Elephant,” see how the act of shooting the elephant delivers immense emotional impact. What adjectives would you expect to find in a paragraph about an elephant? big? grey? loud? enormous? Do you find them here? Watch the verbs, instead. Notice, too, another truth about description: when time is fleeting, slow down the prose.

When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick–one never does when a shot goes home–but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd. In that instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the bullet to get there, a mysterious, terrible change had come over the elephant. He neither stirred nor fell, but every line of his body had altered.

He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the bullet had paralysed him without knocking him down. At last, after what seemed a long time–it might have been five seconds, I dare say–he sagged flabbily to his knees. His mouth slobbered. An enormous senility seemed to have settled upon him. One could have imagined him thousands of years old. I fired again into the same spot.

At the second shot he did not collapse but climbed with desperate slowness to his feet and stood weakly upright, with legs sagging and head drooping. I fired a third time. That was the shot that did for him. You could see the agony of it jolt his whole body and knock the last remnant of strength from his legs. But in falling he seemed for a moment to rise, for as his hind legs collapsed beneath him he seemed to tower upward like a huge rock toppling, his trunk reaching skyward like a tree. He trumpeted, for the first and only time. And then down he came, his belly towards me, with a crash that seemed to shake the ground even where I lay.

Do not forget that the business of the essay is to make a point. In his essay, Orwell succeeds in portraying the horrors of an imperialist state, showing how the relationship between the oppressed Burmese and the British oppressor is de-humanizing to both. When writing a narrative, it is easy to get caught up in the telling of the story and forget that, eventually, our reader is going to ask So What?  — there had better be an answer.

When essays are called descriptive, it usually means just descriptive; without argument, interpretation or evaluation.

The results of a questionnaire survey are descriptive. They provide a statistical picture of the subject surveyed. We want questionnaire results to be descriptive, but in an essay we want more. We want the student’s explanation of the facts.

Essays are descriptive and uncritical when they present facts and ideas with little argument or interpretation. Theory, argument and critical evaluation are related. An essay that shows the theory behind the facts is critical, not descriptive. Without an analysis of theory it is not possible to evaluate a person’s views. If a critical essay carefully provides the textual evidence for the argument it makes, it is called well supported, not descriptive.

 

Expository Writing:

The writer is trying to interpret the subject for the reader. The following outline can be used to plan your expository writing:

  • Purposes – WHY? – Have a point.
  • To entertain – engage the reader
  • To explain – to make clear; understandable
  • To persuade – to convince the reader to see a particular point of view.
  • Types of Support
  • Examples – something that represents qualities of others in its group or kind
  • Recall – use of experience
  • Memory
  • Observation
  • Research – use of sources
  • Anecdotes – short, interesting stories
  • Definition – meanings of words
  • Statistics – numbers
  • Facts – something known to be true

 

III.     Testing Support (Examples)

  • Relevant – directly relates to the topic
  • Representative – a number of occurrences; enough to prove point
  • Organisation
  • Chronological order – ordering the events as they happened
  • Division/Classification
  • Compare/Contrast
  • Cause/Effect

 

Transactional writing:

Transactional writing is writing to get things done, to inform or persuade a particular audience to understand or do something.

In the workplace, such writing takes the form of letters, memos, abstracts, summaries, proposals, reports, and planning documents of all kinds.

Business Correspondence:

Common Components and Formats

The following is concerned with the mechanical and physical details of business letters.

 Heading.

The heading contains the writer’s address and the date of the letter. The writer’s name is not included and only a date is needed in headings on letterhead stationery.

 Inside address.

The inside address shows the name and address of the recipient of the letter.

The salutation.

The salutation directly addresses the recipient of the letter.

 Subject or reference line.

As shown in the order letter, the subject line replaces the salutation or is included with it. The subject line announces the main business of the letter.

Body of the letter.

The actual message of course is contained in the body of the letter, the paragraphs between the salutation and the complimentary close.

Complimentary close.

The “Sincerely yours” element of the business letter is called the complimentary close. Other common ones are “Yours sincerely,” “Cordially,” “Respectfully,” or “Respectfully yours.”

Signature block.

Usually, you type your name four lines below the complimentary close, and sign your name in between. Whenever possible, include your title or the name of the position you hold just below your name.

Style in Business Correspondence

Writing business letters and memos differs in certain important ways from writing reports.

State the main business, purpose, or subject matter right away. Let the reader know from the very first sentence what your letter is about.

If you are responding to a letter, identify that letter by its subject and date in the first paragraph or sentence. Busy recipients who write many letters themselves may not remember their letters to you. To avoid problems, identify the date and subject of the letter to which you respond:

 

     Dear Mr. Stout:        I am writing in response to your September 1, 20XX letter in which you      describe problems that you’ve had with one of our chainsaws. I regret      that you’ve suffered this inconvenience and expense and….

 

Keep the paragraphs of most business letters short. Business letters are not read the same way as articles, reports, or books. Usually, they are read rapidly.

To enable the recipient to read your letters more rapidly and to comprehend and remember the important facts or ideas, create relatively short paragraphs of between three and eight lines long. In business letters, paragraphs that are made up of only a single sentence are common and perfectly acceptable.

“Compartmentalise” the contents of your letter. When you “compartmentalise” the contents of a business letter, you place each different segment of the discussion — each different topic of the letter — in its own paragraph. If you were writing a complaint letter concerning problems with the system unit of your personal computer, you might have these paragraphs:

  • A description of the problems you’ve had with it
  • The ineffective repair jobs you’ve had
  • The compensation you think you deserve and why

Study each paragraph of your letter for its purpose, content, or function. When you locate a paragraph that does more than one thing, consider splitting it into two paragraphs. If you discover two short separate paragraphs that do the same thing, consider joining them into one.

List or itemise whenever possible in a business letter. Listing spreads out the text of the letter, making it easier to pick up the important points rapidly. Lists can be handled in several ways, as explained in the section on lists.

Place important information strategically in business letters. Information in the first and last lines of paragraphs tends to be read and remembered better. Information buried in the middle of long paragraphs is easily overlooked or forgotten.

 

Problem:  In July I will graduate from the University of Pretoria with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. Over the past four years in which I have pursued this degree, I have worked as a lab assistant for Dr. Alison Laszlo and have been active in two related organisations, the Student Dietetic Association and the South African Home Economics Association. In my nutritional biochemistry and food science labs, I have written many technical reports and scientific papers. I have also been serving as a diet aide at St. David’s Hospital in Lawrence the past year and a half. (The job calls for a technical writer; let’s emphasise that first, then mention the rest!) Revision: In my education at the University of Pretoria, I have had substantial experience writing technical reports and scientific papers. Most of these reports and papers have been in the field of nutrition and dietetics in which I will be receiving my Bachelor of Science degree this July. During my four years at the University I have also handled plenty of paperwork as a lab assistant for Dr. Alison Laszlo, as a member of two related organisations, the Student Dietetic Association and the South African Home Economics Association, and as a diet aide as St. David’s Hospital in Lawrence in the past year and a half.

 

Find positive ways to express bad news in your business letters. Often, business letters must convey bad news: a broken computer keyboard cannot be replaced, or an individual cannot be hired. Such bad news can be conveyed in a tactful way.

 

Problem:  Because of the amount of information you request in your letter, I simply cannot help you without seriously disrupting my work schedule.

Revision:  In your letter you ask for a good amount of information which I would like to help you locate. Because of my work commitments, however, I am going to be able to answer only a few of the questions….

Focus on the recipient’s needs, purposes, or interests instead of your own. Avoid a self-centred letter focusing on your own concerns rather than those of the recipient.

Problem:  I am writing you about a change in our pricing policy that will save our company time and money. In an operation like ours, it costs us a great amount of labour time (and thus expense) to scrape and rinse our used tableware when it comes back from large parties. Also, we have incurred great expense on replacement of linens that have been ruined by stains that could have been soaked promptly after the party and saved.

Revision: I am writing to inform you of a new policy that we are beginning, effective September 1, 20XX, that will enable us to serve your large party needs more often and without delay. In an operation like ours in which we supply for parties of up to 500, turn-around time is critical; unscraped and unrinsed tableware causes us delays in clean-up time and, more importantly, less frequent and less prompt service to you the customer. Also, linens ruined by stains that could have been avoided by immediate soaking after the party cause you to have to pay more in rental fees.

Avoid pompous, inflated, legal-sounding phrasing. Watch out for puffed-up, important-sounding language. This kind of language may seem business-like at first; it’s actually ridiculous. Of course, such phrasing is apparently necessary in legal documents; but why use it in other writing situations? When you write a business letter, picture yourself as a plain-talking, common-sense, down-to-earth person (but avoid slang).

Give your business letter an “action ending” whenever appropriate. An “action-ending” makes clear what the writer of the letter expects the recipient to do and when. Ineffective conclusions to business letters often end with rather limp, noncommittal statements such as “Hope to hear from you soon” or “Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

As soon as you approve this plan, I’ll begin contacting sales representatives at once to  arrange for purchase and delivery of the microcomputers. May I expect to hear from you within the week? I am free after 14:00 on most days. Can we set up an appointment to discuss my background and this position further?  I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

 Electronic Texts

 Write a meaningful subject line.

Recipients scan the subject line in order to decide whether to open, forward, file, or trash a message. Remember — your message is not the only one in your recipient’s mailbox.

Subject: “Important! Read Immediately!!
What is important to you may not be important to your reader.
[I have my e-mail filter set to trash e-mail messages with more than one exclamation mark in the subject line. Anyone who shouts at me is being abusive, trying to sell me something, or both. –DGJ]
Subject: “Meeting
The purpose of this e-mail might be a routine request for a meeting, the announcement of a last-minute rescheduling, or a summary of yesterday’s meeting. There’s no way to know without opening the message, so this subject line is hardly useful.
Subject: “Question about Meeting
Fractionally better — provided that the recipient recognises your name and remembers what the two of you last discussed.
Subject: “Do we need a larger room for meeting next Fri?
The above revision actually asks the question. Specific details will encourage recipients to respond quickly.

 Keep the message focused and readable.

 Focused:

  • Some people receive hundreds of messages a day, so the last thing they want to see is a four-page manifesto with figurative language and irrelevant details. Keep it simple!

Readable:

  • Use standard capitalisation and spelling, especially when your message asks your recipient to do work for you.
  • Skip lines between paragraphs.
  • Avoid fancy typefaces. Don’t depend upon bold font or large size to communicate information — many people’s e-mail readers only display plain text.
  • Don’t type in all-caps. Online, typing in all-caps conventionally represents shouting.

 

Avoid attachments.

Put your information in the body of your e-mail whenever possible. Attachments

  • are increasingly dangerous carriers of viruses
  • take time to download
  • take up needless space on your recipient’s computer, and
  • don’t always translate correctly (especially for people who might read their e-mail on portable devices).

Identify yourself clearly. 

When contacting someone (especially someone you do not know), always include your name, occupation, and any other important identification information in the first few sentences. Remember: Your message is not the only one in your receiver’s in box.

Proofread.

If you are asking someone else to do work for you, take the time to make your message look professional.

Don’t assume privacy.

Don’t send anything over e-mail that you wouldn’t want posted – with your name attached – on a public bulletin board.

Respond Promptly.

If you want to appear professional and courteous, make yourself available to your online correspondents.

Multi-media presentations:

The term “multimedia” is generally associated with computers and videos, but it simply refers to a project created using more than one expressive form (or medium). With the introduction of the personal computer, the tools of multimedia have been put into many more people’s hands. Many simple, intuitive and inexpensive software programmes are now available that allow even children to combine words, pictures, sounds, animation and video into much more persuasive, powerful and empowering communication vehicles. With the Internet becoming so pervasive, they can now publish and share their work with millions of people around the world.

1.1  The Purpose For Writing / Signing, The Target Audience & The Context Are Clear In Relation To The Learning Task Or Activity.

Understanding your audience and their needs is a key factor in creating useful workplace documents. It is important to do the following:

  • Gather information about your target audience and their level of education.
  • Gather information about their motivators such as security, ethics, prestige fears and health.
  • Gather information about their preferences in reading.

As you think about your audience, you should consider what the purpose of your writing will be and what the reader will do with the information you provide.

The Writer’s Purpose

The writer’s purpose changes with the audience and the message itself.

The following are some of the most common purposes of on-the-job writing:

  • To convey information, either background information or updated information
  • To provide the basis for decision making
  • To describe a process or procedure
  • To propose solutions or alternatives
  • To explain how to do something
  • To explain, justify, or argue for a particular course of action
  • To compare similarities
  • To contrast differences
  • To clarify a technical, scientific, or legal idea
  • To describe something that happened
  • To explain why something happened
  • To present the results of a particular course of action
  • To define technical/scientific/specialised terminology
  • To describe a problem and/or solution
  • To predict future trends or events

The Reader’s Purpose

Once you have determined what you want the reader to do with the information you present, you have completed half of the purpose task. The other part requires you to work from a different angle: figuring out why your reader might read what you have written. Some of the most common purposes for reading on the job include the following:

  • To gain information necessary for the reader’s job performance
  • To gain information to be used in a meeting, presentation, or written document
  • To gain information for general knowledge (who’s doing what? what’s happening?)
  • To determine the quality of the product, service, or course of action described
  • To evaluate the progress on a project
  • To determine the feasibility of the product, service, or course of action described
  • To determine the costs of the product, service, or course of action described
  • To understand a problem and its potential solutions
  • To see how ideas fit together
  • To understand how individual company projects contribute to corporate goals
  • To understand the company’s plans for the future

Target audience

 Magazine and book publishers have always realised the necessity of keeping their target audiences in mind with every article, book or issue they produce. They’re businesses, after all, and readers are their customers.

 As a writer, do you do the same? Do you even know who your target audience is? Taking the time to define and get to know the potential readers of your work can make the world of difference in the level of success you can achieve in your writing career. Here’s why:

  1. Knowing the kinds of readers you want to reach will provide you with a springboard for writing ideas. Children, young mothers, business executives and sports enthusiasts all have different needs, desires and interests. Look at the world through your readers’ eyes. What do they need or want to read about? You’ll never run out of ideas if you do this
  2. Identifying your target audience will enable you to focus your writing efforts. Write to inform, entertain, persuade or inspire your particular audience, and you won’t waste time on writing projects that would be of no interest to them, and of no help to your writing career.
  3. Most importantly, knowing who your readers are will help you find the right markets for reaching them. You’ll be in tune with the very magazine and book publishers who serve those market niches–and the editors will welcome fresh material that will enable them keep or increase their readership.

How do you, the writer, identify and get to know who your target audience is? I suggest starting with broad generalisations, then drilling down to more specific characteristics. Here are some ideas:

  • Start with gender and age ranges. Will your readers be mostly male or female? Young or old? Are they members of a specific race or religious belief?
  • Where do they live? What is their social or economic status? Do they rent, or own their own homes? What kinds of cars do they drive?
  • Are they employed? Self-employed? Employed but want to be self-employed?
  • High school graduates or college-educated?
  • Physically fit or physically challenged? Single or married? Do they have children?
  • What do they like to do in their spare time? Where do they shop? Do they travel? Are they physically or politically active? Do they even have spare time?
  • What do they worry about? What do they dream about? What’s important to them? What are their values?
  • When they reach for a book or magazine, what are they looking for? Information? Escape? Inspiration?

Context

The subject matter about which you are writing, along with the other people and projects that may be affected by your communication, constitute the combined content/context of your document.

In addition to the specific message or content you have to convey to the reader, you also need to see the context, the bigger picture of how your project fits into the organisation’s overall plans.

1.2 The Text-type, Style, & Register Selected Are Appropriate To Audience, Purpose & Context.

One of the most important things to keep in mind while planning a piece of writing is that it is going to be read. Always keep the audience in mind. If the audience consists of specialists it is possible to use specialist sources and use jargon without explaining every specialist term. If the audience consists of laymen, the piece of writing should be accessible: specialist terms should be avoided or explained, information should not be too dense and you should provide more background information.

Another aspect to remember is the purpose of the text. Decide whether you want to describe something, to inform someone, to explain something, to instruct someone or to persuade someone.

Writing good English is not only a matter of correct grammar and correct structure. Different words are used in different contexts and circumstances. This is called register. The words and expressions used for business purposes and scientific purposes are formal English. If you are not sure whether a word or expression is formal or informal, consult an English language dictionary!

You should also be aware that there are different styles of writing. Two of the main styles of writing are personal writing and non-personal writing. In personal writing, the writer (I or we) is emphasised. In non-personal writing, the subject of writing is emphasised.

Personal writing is used in personal letters, on application forms and memos. Non-personal writing is used in most other texts. For example, scientific texts, magazine articles and most reports. Essays and reports are often supposed to be factual and more or less objective. For that reason non-personal style is used. Compare the following pairs of sentences.

 

Personal: In this essay I will discuss inflation and unemployment in Poland.
Non-personal: Inflation and unemployment are two major problems in Poland.
 Personal: First we will talk about the labour force of Japan and about education, then we will indicate why Japan has been so successful.
Non-personal: The labour force and education are important aspects which partly explain why Japan has been so successful.
Activity 3:Do the following assignment in your workbooks

Non-personal style

As you saw in this section, the passive can be used to achieve a non-personal style. Rewrite the following sentences in non-personal style by using the passive. You may make other changes as well, but do not change the tense.

We will discuss the economic consequences of the reunification of Germany.

  1. Solving this problem is difficult if you are renovating the office.
  2. People considered him one of the best designers.
  3. Results are very important if one has invested so much money in research.
  4. People fear that the purchase tax will be increased.
  5. This thesis will consider various aspects of the UN intervention in other nations’ internal affairs.
  6. People paid no attention to those complaints.
  7. You can say that the extremely high growth rates in Asia reflected a degree of self-sufficiency.
 

1.3 Language Appropriate To Socio-cultural Sensitivities Is Selected & Used In An Appropriate Manner Without Compromising Own Values Or Arguments.

“The difference between the right word and the wrong word is the difference between lightening and a lightening bug.”

– Mark Twain

 

One of the most crucial tools required to effectively accomplish writing where multiple languages and cultures are involved is the ability to communicate ones ideas, goals, and objectives while sustaining mutual understanding and respect for each other’s customs and cultural sensitivities. To achieve this requires a competent, professional interpreter or translator who is knowledgeable of much more than merely the right word or the wrong word.

Effective Utilisation of Interpreters

Although the terms translating and interpreting are often used interchangeably, for purposes of mutual understanding and clarity, one should separate translation and interpreting into two distinct categories: translating refers to the written document and interpreting refers to verbal or oral translation.

Translating for understanding and meaning is essential. When using idioms, jargon, or slang, one can use the same words or expressions to mean different things. For example, ‘blow up,’ as used in teaching a de-mining course wouldn’t have quite the same meaning as it would in teaching a management-training course or a photography course. Similarly, some expressions do not always have direct translations. For example, the expression “When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do” translates into a culturally different version in Thai, “When in a Village of One-Eyed People, Close One Eye.” The meaning, though, is the same. However, if there is no similar expression or idiom in the target language, the utterance may simply be translated for meaning, “try to conform to your environment.”

Culture

These areas should be discussed because misunderstandings can arise from inadvertent cultural faux pas. Both sides should be aware of and show respect for each other’s cultures, customs, and traditions so as to increase the effectiveness in accomplishing the overall  objectives. There should never be a time when misunderstanding of cultural sensitivities interferes with effectively achieving objectives.

Cultural Issue

The key to any successful cross-culture relationship is mutual respect. Basically treat others as you would like to be treated.

Activity 4Find examples of phrases or words that are the same but have a totally different meaning in another language.
 

1.4  Writing / Signing Is Well-structured & Conveys Its Message Clearly.

  • Ideas: Good writing contains ideas – it conveys a message.
  • Organisation: Good writing has organisation— this means that the writing has a logical structure.
  • Voice: Good writing has its own voice – a personal tone and flavour chosen by the writer.
  • Word choice: Good writing shows a thoughtful approach to word choice – the writer uses the right vocabulary to get the message across.
  • Sentence fluency: Good writing has sentence fluency— there is a rhythm and flow to the writing that helps it convey the message.
  • Conventions: Good writing shows correct use of the conventions of written English — as the gramminator knows, these are grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalisation, and usage.
  • Presentation: Good writing looks good on the page. Good presentation means that it is ready to read! If people can’t read it, the message won’t get through!

1.5 Critical Thinking Skills Are Used As Strategies For Planning.

 Brainstorming

STEPS IN THE PROCESS:

  1. Private Writing – Write out what’s distracting you first (e.g., get rid of your mind’s clutter) to free yourself from writer’s block.
  2. Open Free writing – Make a list of everything you’re interested in writing about. View it as just a draft.
  3. Focused Free writing – Take your teacher’s assignment topic – start listing, writing and describing – TRY NOT TO STOP.
  4. Summarise
  5. Shift from journaling (Chthonian-free flowing) to summarising (Apollonian-structure)
  6. Outline – go back and outline. Respond to the books you read.
  7. Cut, Edit, Structure
  8. Move from the Personal/Informal to the Formal/General/Academic Discourse

THINGS TO CONSIDER

There is always more language – there is no reason to get blocked.

Write for 10 minutes without stopping, sum up what you have, write 5-10 more pages, list ideas.

Make a mess, then “clean it up”.  ALLOW the mess.

Move from a private audience to a public audience.

Get your ideas on to the blank page/canvas FIRST.

  1. Mind-mapping c) Spider diagram

The rules for producing Mind Maps are very simple and can be adapted to suit your personal preference.

  • Take a piece of paper and draw a rectangle in the centre of the page.

  • Inside the rectangle write the name of the topic that you want to mind map.

  • As each major idea or theme emerges from your brain draw a line radiating from the rectangle.
  • Write the name of the major idea above each line.

 

  • Don’t spend too much time writing neatly or drawing nice straight lines
    – go for SPEED not NEATNESS.
  • As each idea materialises, quickly check whether the idea is an extension of an existing idea.
    • If it is, then just continue the line.
    • If the idea is a variation of an existing idea
      then draw a branch off of the central line and label it.
  • If the idea is something totally and utterly new, then draw a brand new line from the rectangle in the centre of the page.

  • Within a short space of time your Mind Map will begin to take shape.
    Don’t be too alarmed if it looks as if a spider, with ink on its feet has crawled across the page.
  • Mind Maps are personal records of thought processes and are normally PRIVATE.
  • Once you have finished generating ideas and constructing the Mind Map you can start analysing the information shown on the mind map.

Look for linkages – pieces of information at the end of a path that can be linked together in some way. Links can be shown by labelling the common points with letters, figures or by drawing a curve between two points.

  1. Highlighting

Highlight words or phrases that might be important for your writing.

Activity 5:Explain the use of the following critical thinking skills when writing texts:
Brainstorming:
Mind-mapping:
Spider diagram:
Highlighting:
 

1.6  Writing / Signing Reflects A Clear Point Of View With Sound Reasons & Facts To Support Arguments & Logical Development Of A Clearly Articulated Premise.

 Do the following  Assessment criteria as a practical for your portfolio of evidence:

Activity 6: Write an essay that reflects both AC 1.5 and AC 1.6 (This will form part of your portfolio of evidence).

Arguments are supported with sound reasons and facts, and writing reflects a clear point of view, and shows logical development of a clearly articulated premise.

 

1.7 Research Skills Are Evident In The Way Data & Information Relevant To The Context Is Identified, Located, Selected & Synthesised For Inclusion In The Final Text.

 

Activity 7Do the following  Assessment criteria as a practical for your portfolio of evidence:

Research skills are evident in the way the data and information relevant to the context is identified, located and selected for inclusion in the final text.

Assessing information from different sources: Meaning of the words.

a) Sorting

To put things in an order or separate them into groups.

b) Categorising

Dividing things according to appearance, quality, content, etc.

c) Classifying

To divide things into groups according to type.

d) Sifting for relevance.

To identify what is suitable for a particular purpose.

e) Validity and reliability

Something is valid if it’s officially accepted or approved and reliability shows someone or somebody that can be trusted.

f) Recording

To store information for the future.

g) Reporting

To give a description of something or information about it to someone.

h) Formulating conclusions

i) Planned ending.

2 Use Language Structures & Features To Produce Coherent & Cohesive Texts For A Wide Range Of Contexts

 

2.1 Meaning Is Clearly Expressed Through The Use Of A Range Of Sentence Structures, Lengths & Types.

 

“Contrary to what some people seem to believe, simple writing is not the product of simple minds. A simple, unpretentious style has both grace and power. By not calling attention to itself, it allows the reader to focus on the message.”
–Richard Lederer and Richards Dowis, Sleeping Dogs Don’t Lay, 1999.

 

“Anyone who wishes to become a good writer should endeavour, before he allows himself to be tempted by the more showy qualities, to be direct, simple, brief, vigorous, and lucid.”

–H.W. Fowler

 

The ideal text is easy to understand. Even scientific texts are usually written in plain words. Try to keep sentences plain, clear and simple. When writing keep the following rules in mind:

Use simple language

Keep subordinate clauses short

Prefer verbs to nouns

Avoid slang

Make your text interesting  You can achieve this for example by varying the lengths of your sentences. An important statement is best emphasised in a short sentence, especially when that sentence is between two longer sentences. Do also vary the lengths of your paragraphs and avoid one sentence paragraphs.

Try using a variety of basic sentence structures. We can categorise sentences into four main types, depending on the number and type of clauses they contain:

  1. Simple (one independent clause):

We drove from Cape Town to Johannesburg in one day.

  1. Compound (more than one independent clause):

We were exhausted, but we arrived in time for my father’s birthday party.

  1. Complex (one independent clause and at least one dependent clause):

Although he is now 79 years old, he still claims to be 65.

  1. Compound-complex (more than one independent clause and at least one dependent clause):

After it was all over, my dad claimed he knew we were planning something, but we think he was really surprised.

 

Activity 8Give your own example of a simple, compound, complex and compound-complex sentence, in the space provided in your workbooks.

 

Sentences should not be too long. If you construct long sentences, it is difficult for the reader to understand what you want to say. Another disadvantage of a long sentence is that you are more likely to make mistakes. The sentence may become incoherent.

Sentences should also not be too general or too vague. In the body of your text you must avoid sentences like computers have changed our society.

Variety keeps the reader’s attention focussed on your text.

Assignment: Writing sentences

 

Activity 9Determine what the problem is with the following sentences and write down improved versions of the sentences.
  1. A hotel that handles conventions, which guarantee a good occupancy rate and generate extra business in the hotel’s restaurants, bars and shops, has several specialised people on the staff, perhaps the most important of whom are salesmen who are responsible for bringing in the business because they have contacts with groups that sponsor conventions.
  2. Conventions are held in a greater variety of places than in the past because many local authorities offer subsidies and the airline industry has grown and many hotels have convention facilities nowadays and many motels are offering the same facilities and the number of conventions in general is increasing.
  3. Some problems may be that an attendant brings wife and kids or that he brings so much expensive stuff for the convention that there aren’t enough safe places. One famous incident is when a hotel stashed video equipment in the loo.

2.2 The Use Of Paragraph Conventions & Links Between Paragraphs In Texts, Promotes Coherence & Cohesion In Writing / Signing. Their Use Is Explained With Reference To Logical Progression, Cause & Effect And / Or Contrast.

Depending on the amount of information and the length of your text you can make different paragraph structures. If you have a short or medium sized text, you are most likely to use one paragraph for each aspect. If you have a lot of information and are writing a long text, you can decide to dedicate one paragraph to each sub-point.

Before you actually start writing the paragraphs you should think of a title for each group of ideas (=each paragraph). This title should reflect the essence of the topic of the ideas. The title should then be turned into an introductory sentence with which you start the paragraph. This sentence which contains the topic of the paragraph is called the key sentence.

The last thing to do before you start writing is to decide on the order of the paragraphs. Most texts are structured as follows:

Introduction – body (middle part) – conclusion

Start by arranging the material that you want to put in the body. The body paragraphs contain the main ideas of the text. The order must be logical. For example, chronological order, climax order, from general to specific, from specific to general, or a combination. If you compare two or three aspects (e.g. the South African economy and the Zimbabwean economy) the order may not be important.

Cause/effect organisation is closely related to problem/solution because it also typically grows out of a problem. In this organisational structure, however, your readers may already know about the problem and its solutions. Now, they want you to explain how the problem occurred (“How did we get into this mess?”) and indicate what subsequent problems were created.

Most cause/effect documents follow the prescribed order: an explanation of causes leads to an explanation of effects. In a medical report, for instance, stress, poor diet, no exercise, and smoking may be presented as causes that lead to a particular effect: heart attacks.

As in problem/solution documents, you may have to reverse the order in a cause/effect document, explaining the effects before you explain the causes. In that case, you will be organising an indirect document that explains the results or effects of the situation before describing the source or cause of the problem. Such an organisational strategy is typically used when the writer does not want to accuse someone or something of causing problems until the reader is convinced of the significance or insignificance of those problems.

Cause/effect, like other organisational strategies, requires great attention to relationships between ideas. It is easy to assume that because two events happened at the same time, one of those events necessarily caused the other. One of the keys to successful cause/effect organisation, therefore, is being able to separate events and look at each one critically and in isolation before trying to link them together. Asking yourself whether cause and effect is the only possible explanation for the two events is a good way to question your logic.

Once you are certain that a cause/effect relationship exists, the following guidelines will help you organise your work:

  1. Work exclusively with accurate, thorough, up-to-date information when trying to understand and present the cause of some effect; assigning the incorrect cause for certain effects or failing to see the full ramifications of a cause is a sign of incomplete thinking and research.
  2. Recognise that cause/effect works for positive situations as well as for negative situations.
  3. Once you identify the cause, determine whether anyone or anything benefits from the praise or blame associated with it. If there is no benefit (the person who solved the problem has already been promoted or the pump that failed has already been replaced), don’t dwell on the cause; focus instead on the effects. If your readers need you to identify the source of the problem or solution, however, you will need to emphasise the causal element.
  4. 4. Be especially careful with your language in writing cause/effect documents. A tremendous difference exists between absolute relationships and probable ones, and your language will clarify the certainty of your claims.
Activity 10: Explain the use of paragraph conventions with reference to logical progression, cause and effect, and contrast.

 

PARAGRAPH CONVENTIONS
Logical progression:

 

 

 

Cause and effect:

 

 

 

Contrast:

 

 

 

2.3 The Overall Structure Of A Piece Of Writing / Signing Is Controlled & The Conclusion Is Clearly Formulated.

All pieces of writing should have some sort of structure, whether that structure is mandated by the form of writing (a sonnet, for example, has a very specific structure), or by the function (the structure of a magazine article or scientific report is created solely by the author) of the writing.  We say that the structure of any given piece of writing must be “appropriate” in that it must serve the writing’s purpose; that is, the writer of a murder mystery probably shouldn’t reveal the identity of the killer until the end of the book.  I use the word “probably” because a skilled author is certainly capable of spinning a compelling tale around nearly any structure.

The structure of a piece of writing is neither more nor less than its combined parts, each of which works in conjunction with the others to create a meaningful whole.  On a very simple level we might say that the structure of any piece of writing must involve a beginning, middle, and an end.  Such things are often called constructions or components.  Other examples of constructions include introductory paragraphs, salutations, bodies (in the case of an essay or report, for example), quotations, invocations, and expositions.  Essentially, any group of words or sentences that has an identifiable purpose and function can be considered a construction, and within any given construction there can easily exist several smaller constructions.  Words, in and of themselves, are constructions, as are phrases and sentences (call them grammatical constructions), literary devices, passages, and paragraphs.

Why is structure important?  Because it determines the “shape” of a piece of writing.  Structure determines whether or not a reader is properly guided through a report, or inspired at the end of a personal essay.  It controls the order in which a reader receives certain pieces of information.  Anyone who has seen a movie or read a book that involves flashbacks, or has noticed a recurring theme (the “good” guys in older films wore white, while the “bad guys” wore black) has seen an example of structure. 

3 Draft Own Writing / Signing & Edit To Improve Clarity & Correctness.

Activity 11: The following assignment will address  AC’s 3.1 – 3.5 in this unit standard. Do the assignment then check your own writing against all the AC’s listed below.

This is a collaborative Exercise

Work on one writing project of the following, using the pattern in a-e below.

  • A report on ways to improve your campus appearance.
  • An investigation of how Skills Development funds are spent on Learnerships.
  • A recommendation to give the youth more access to further training.
  • Suggestions for rearranging certain features of the campus library.
  • Suggestions for restructuring the public transport system in South Africa.
  • A description of the various kinds of services offered at your campus.
  1. For your chosen topic, brainstorm (solo) a list of ideas. Then, choose a partner and brainstorm together on the same topic. Be sure to note ideas that your partner offered but you had not thought of.
  2. Next, your facilitator will time you in a five-minute free-writing exercise on the topic you and your partner have selected.
  3. Based on the list you brainstormed (and possibly your free-writing), create a formal outline or list of ideas you’d want to include in a document written to an appropriate reader.
  4. Teaming with another pair of writers with a different topic, talk out your plans and problems for this writing assignment.
  5. Prepare a one-page paper describing the topic you have selected and the primary points you would want to make in a document. You may use an outline or a list of topics to show your instructor how you want to group ideas and the kinds of support you would offer.

 

Minor Problems in Drafts That Writers Should Make Every Effort to Correct

  • Occasional wordiness
  • Occasional structural weaknesses (topic sentence buried, for example)
  • Occasional (brief and minor) deviations from the main point
  • Graphics that are not quite as professional looking as they should be
  • Matters of formatting (improper use of headings, subheadings, type sizes and fonts and the like

Minor Weaknesses in Drafts That Writers Should Correct, But May Have to Abandon

  • Occasional misspellings (usually, although not always, corrected through spell checkers)
  • Occasional punctuation problems that do not affect the reader’s interpretation or understanding
  • Up-to-date information simply not available (writer must address delays in getting current information)
  • Less-than-desirable type size or font

All of these problems should be corrected, of course, but it is crucial that you be able to recognise and correct those in the first two lists.

3.1 Writing / Signing Produced Is Appropriate To Audience, Purpose & Context. Corrections Are An Improvement On The Original.

Major Problems in Drafts That Writers Must Attend to and Correct

Improper audience considerations – work written for the wrong audience, the audience’s feelings not considered, or the audience’s needs not met.

Indefensible conclusions – writer draws conclusions that are not substantiated by the information provided.

Minor Problems in Drafts That Writers Should Make Every Effort to Correct

Occasional (brief and minor) deviations from the main point

Minor Weaknesses in Drafts That Writers Should Correct, But May Have to Abandon

Up-to-date information simply not available (writer must address delays in getting current information)

3.2 Control Of Grammar, Diction / Clarity Of Sign, Sentence & Paragraph Structure Is Checked & Adapted For Consistency.

Major Problems in Drafts That Writers Must Attend to and Correct

Problems with spelling, grammar, or punctuation – reader misreads communication and is frustrated by the writer’s carelessness or lack of knowledge of standard grammar.

Minor Problems in Drafts That Writers Should Make Every Effort to Correct

Occasional structural weaknesses (topic sentence buried, for example)

Matters of formatting (improper use of headings, subheadings, type sizes and fonts, and the like)

Minor Weaknesses in Drafts That Writers Should Correct, But May Have to Abandon

Occasional misspellings (usually, although not always, corrected through spell checkers)

Occasional punctuation problems that do not affect the reader’s interpretation or understanding

Less-than-desirable type size or font

3.3 Logical Sequencing Of Ideas & Overall Unity Are Achieved Through Re-drafting.

 Major Problems in Drafts That Writers Must Attend to and Correct

Inappropriate organisation for readers’ needs and goodwill – work does not address what readers need to know first, second, and third and fails to anticipate their reactions (positive, negative, neutral) to the ideas and information presented.

Problems with graphics – clarity is compromised; writer fails to provide appropriate graphics for the reader’s needs or level of understanding or fails to explain how the reader should interpret the graphics.

Minor Problems in Drafts That Writers Should Make Every Effort to Correct

Graphics that are not quite as professional looking as they should be.

3.4 There Is Clear Evidence That Major Grammatical & Linguistic Errors Are Edited Out In Re-drafts.

Major Problems in Drafts That Writers Must Attend to and Correct

  • Unclear purpose – writer and reader miss-communicate about what the writer’s intentions are in the document; the reader concludes that the writer does not have a real purpose for writing.
  • Inaccurate, unsupported, or out-of-date information – reader bases decisions on wrong information, with the result that the reader looks foolish and the writer’s credibility is ruined.

Minor Problems in Drafts That Writers Should Make Every Effort to Correct

  • Occasional wordiness

3.5 Inappropriate Or Potentially Offensive Language Is Identified & Adapted / Removed

 Major Problems in Drafts That Writers Must Attend to and Correct

Inappropriate methods – writer constructs invalid surveys, interviews inappropriate respondents, or otherwise generates erroneous information from unreliable sources (this weakness typically demands a start-over, but some inappropriate methodology and the information it generates can occasionally be salvaged).

Inflated or deflated style – writer uses an inappropriate level of formality for the audience, uses vocabulary that is too colloquial or too pompous for the audience, or creates unclear, wordy, or tactless communications.

3.6 Experimentation With Different Layouts & Options For Presentation Is Appropriate To The Nature & Purpose Of The Task.

Document layout

You must show you understand different forms of document layout. For example, each of the following types of document uses a different layout:

  • memos
  • publicity flyers
  • screen displays
  • agendas
  • business cards
  • business letters
  • newsletters
  • minutes
  • fax header pages
  • e-mails
  • itineraries
  • reports

There are common standard layouts for most documents. The different features of layout include:

  • page size and orientation
  • paragraph format
  • margins
  • headers and footers
  • line spacing
  • fonts

The position on the page of important items in the document is also part of layout, including:

  • logos
  • headings
  • references
  • dates
  • addressee names
  • signatures

You will need to think about why commercial organisations use a standard layout for business documents. You will look at how different organisations use different layouts for the same type of document, including the following commonly used documents:

  • invoices
  • orders
  • delivery notes
  • letters
  • memos
  • advertisements
  • newspapers
  • agendas
  • minutes

Presentation techniques

It is important to present information clearly. Poorly presented information may annoy or confuse readers. A common error is not keeping to a consistent style for headings in a document. You should also think about what you want to achieve with your document and what will appeal to your readers. There are many features that you can use to help create effective documents. They include:

  • layout grids
  • templates
  • use of white space
  • titles and headings
  • fonts and sizes
  • bold and italic text
  • hanging indents
  • tables and tabs
  • upper and lower case
  • subscript and superscript
  • graphics
  • colour
  • borders and shading
  • dividing lines (rules)
  • bulleted lists
  • justification
  • columns
  • special symbols
  • headers and footers
  • charts and graphs
  • contents and indexes

You will need to know how and when to use these techniques in a document. You may need  to create a number of documents before you can use them well.

You will also need to learn to:

  • use existing information
  • create original information
  • blend existing and original information
  • combine different types of information.
  • maintain a consistent style of writing and presentation.