English writing and editing tips for sharing development stories
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English writing and editing tips for sharing development stories

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slides for a hands-on collaborative learning workshop I've done about English writing and editing tips for an NGO focused on human rights

slides for a hands-on collaborative learning workshop I've done about English writing and editing tips for an NGO focused on human rights

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English writing and editing tips for sharing development stories English writing and editing tips for sharing development stories Presentation Transcript

  •   English  wri+ng  and  edi+ng  +ps     for  sharing  development  stories       Facilitated  by  Cobi  Smith,     Australian  Youth  Ambassador  for  Development,  Australian  Volunteers  for  Interna+onal  Development   New  Media  and  Communica+ons  Development,  AIPP  Research  and  Communica+ons  Development  Programme     Thursday  5  September  2013,  at  the  AIPP  Secretariat  in  Chiang  Mai      
  • Advice  from  six  months  of  edi1ng  AIPP  documents*.       Five  ideas  I  hope  you  remember  from  today:   1. Give  separate  messages  separate  sentences.   2. Use  direct  and  clear  language.   3. Use  ac1ve  not  passive  voice.   4. ‘The  right’  is  singular.  ‘Rights’  are  plural.   5. Explain  every  acronym  when  you  first  use  it.             *see  also:  William  Strunk  and  E.  B.  White,  The  Elements  of  Style,    4th  edi1on  (New  York:  Allyn  and  Bacon,  2000)    
  • 1.  Give  separate  messages  separate  sentences.     Avoid  long  sentences.       Example:   There  is  no  health  facility  in  the  community  and  the   nearest  hospital  is  about  11  kilometres  away  which  has   three  Kui  doctors.     BeXer:   There  is  no  health  facility  in  the  community.  The  nearest   hospital  is  about  11  kilometres  away.  Three  Kui  doctors   work  there.              
  • 2.  Use  direct  and  clear  language.       Avoid  verbs  as  nouns.       Note  that  ‘carry  out’  and  ‘undertake’  are  indicators  of  this.       Example:   Carry  out  land  tenure  reform.     BeXer:   Reform  land  tenure.    
  • 2.  Use  direct  and  clear  language.       Keep  it  simple  so  it’s  easy  to  understand.     Avoid  using  more  words  than  necessary.       Example:   Thus  it  is  her  role  to  propagate  tradi1onal  beliefs  in  order  to   maintain  the  unity  and  solidarity.     BeXer:   She  propagates  tradi1onal  beliefs  to  maintain  solidarity.  
  • 2.  Use  direct  and  clear  language.       Use  less  adjec+ves  and  adverbs.     Example:   Cambodia  has  ra1fied  important  interna1onal   human  rights  trea1es  that  are  directly  related   to  indigenous  women.     These  adjec1ves  do  not  add  to  the  sentence’s   meaning.      
  • 3.  Use  ac+ve  not  passive  voice.     Passive:   It  is  recommended  that  mobile  phone  recep1on  is   given  to  indigenous  communi1es  in  Cambodia.     14  words     Ac1ve:   AIPP  recommends  that  the  Cambodian  government   gives  indigenous  communi1es  mobile  phone   recep1on.     12  words     Which  one  is  a  stronger  call  for  change?    
  • 4.  ‘The  right’  is  singular.  ‘Rights’  are  plural.       Example:   Indigenous  women  have  the  right  to  all  levels  and   forms  of  educa1on.       BeXer:   Indigenous  women  have  rights  to  all  levels  and  forms  of   educa1on.     Example:   Every  indigenous  woman  have  rights  to  ci1zenship.     BeXer:   Every  indigenous  woman  has  the  right  to  ci1zenship.        
  • 5.  Explain  every  acronym  when  you  first  use  it.       Don’t  assume  people  share  your  understanding  of  what  the   acronym  means.       Example:   IP  advocates  face  HR  barriers  to  applying  interna1onal  law  in   Asian  countries.       Which  meaning?     Intellectual  property  (IP)  advocates  face  human  resources  (HR)   barriers  to  applying  interna1onal  law  in  Asian  countries.       Indigenous  peoples’  (IP)  advocates  face  human  rights  (HR)     barriers  to  applying  interna1onal  law  in  Asian  countries.        
  • “Isn’t  it?”  used  in  speech  is  an  indicator  an  Asian  first  language     Correct:   The  cat  is  asleep,  isn’t  it?     Example:   We  are  wri1ng  it  together,  isn’t  it?       BeXer:   We  are  wri1ng  it  together,  aren’t  we?       Example:   They  will  get  permission,  isn’t  it?       BeXer:   They  will  get  permission,  won’t  they?     Example:   She  can  go,  isn’t  it?       BeXer:   She  can  go,  can’t  she?     (bonus  idea)   J    
  • Advice  from  six  months  of  edi1ng  AIPP  documents*.       Five  ideas  I  hope  you  remember  from  today:   1. Give  separate  messages  separate  sentences.   2. Use  direct  and  clear  language.   3. Use  ac1ve  not  passive  voice.   4. ‘The  right’  is  singular.  ‘Rights’  are  plural.   5. Explain  every  acronym  when  you  first  use  it.             *see  also:  William  Strunk  and  E.  B.  White,  The  Elements  of  Style,    4th  edi1on  (New  York:  Allyn  and  Bacon,  2000)