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Language Is The Skin Of The Soul Final

  1. 1. “Language is the Skin of the Soul” -- Positive Immigration Messaging that Achieves Results Angelo A. Paparelli, Esq. Managing Partner, Paparelli & Partners LLP, Irvine, CA and New York, NY 949-955-5555 “Language is the Skin of the Soul” - Fernando Lázaro Carreter
  2. 2. Write to Persuade Know Your Audience Introduce Your Purpose Use an Explicit Structure Follow a Logical Sequence Offer Small, Easily Digested Pieces of Information “Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.” – Jules Renard
  3. 3. Write for Clarity Explain grounds of eligibility using basic language Cover officer’s internal checklist Put claim in perspective and context “Clarity. Clarity. Clarity. When you become hopelessly mired in a sentence, it is best to start fresh.quot; - Strunk & White
  4. 4. Write for Clarity Start from the beginning Don’t assume knowledge of your institution’s lexicon Example: CalTech is not a University Penn State is a private institution “The secret of becoming a writer is to write, write and keep on writing.” – Ken MacLeod
  5. 5. Write for Impact Get them to feel and think Dear Consular Officer, I hope you are well and enjoying the challenges that come with the territory. I’m writing you to provide a quality assurance opportunity and a chance to help in facilitating true love (which, as Shakespeare wrote, is often turbulent [“The course of true love never did run smooth.” – Lysander, A Midsummer Night’s Dream]). The prolonged delay in security clearance has prevented this spouse from obtaining a visa. The couple is heartbroken over the long separation. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but a broken heart to me seems an emergency. Regards, Angelo A. Paparelli
  6. 6. Immigration Writing Tips Write more like National Geographic than the Harvard Law Review “My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers when you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip.quot; – Elmore Leonard
  7. 7. Immigration Writing Tips Know Your Purpose Think like Steven Covey – “Begin with the end in mind” Know in advance what you’re trying to accomplish quot;I always know the ending; that’s where I start.quot; - Toni Morrison
  8. 8. Immigration Writing Tips Brainstorm before you compose by free associating all of your thoughts and putting them down in paper or digital form “[Writing] begins as a private excitement of the mind.quot; - E. L. Doctorow
  9. 9. Immigration Writing Tips Grab the reader’s attention, Briefly say what you want (the “ask”), Jump in with proof of eligibility, Summarize, and Restate the “ask” at the end. ASK EXPLAIN SUMMARIZE ASK “Writing is long periods of thinking and short periods of writing.” - Ernest Hemingway
  10. 10. Immigration Writing Tips Write in easily digested chunks with captions, bullets and numbered points aplenty “I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.” - James Michener
  11. 11. Immigration Writing Tips Structure your paragraphs logically and persuasively: Use short, simple sentences Begin with a topic sentence Sequencing length and format of later sentences “Stitch” paragraphs with connecting words or phrases End with emphasis “Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of [her] thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.” - Henry David Thoreau
  12. 12. Immigration Writing Tips Persuade with visuals “One picture is worth ten thousand words.” - Chinese proverb
  13. 13. Immigration Writing Tips Enliven your writing with action verbs Use the active voice rather than stupefying your reader with the passive voice Example: “Flicka jumped over the gates” rather than “the gates were jumped over by Flicka” “Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.” - Mark Twain
  14. 14. Immigration Writing Tips Vary your sentence length and structure Delete unnecessary words Don’t repeat yourself, unless for emphasis “I love revision. Where else can spilled milk be turned into ice cream?” - Katherine Patterson
  15. 15. Immigration Writing Tips Don’t use too many adverbs (using words like “clearly” or “obviously” will generally weaken your argument) Use parentheses to enclose subordinate or distinct thoughts Place modifiers near the word to be modified quot;Confident writers have the courage to speak plainly; to let their thoughts shine rather than their vocabulary.quot; -Ralph Keyes
  16. 16. Immigration Writing Tips Do not abbreviate a possessive NO: “the Department of State’s (“DOS”)” regulation YES: “the regulation of the Department of State (“DOS”)” Encircle phrases appropriately, e.g., with parentheses or commas (always in pairs) “There is nothing more useful and splendid than a dictionary as a plaything for children five years and older, [and] for good writers up to their hundredth year.” - Gabriel García Márquez
  17. 17. Immigration Writing Tips Don’t Use Instead Use Have Maintains Possesses Retains Enjoys Has achieved Have to Should Need to Must You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you've got something to say. - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  18. 18. Immigration Writing Tips PROOFREAD With your eyes not just with your spellchecker quot;Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.” - Author Unknown
  19. 19. Immigration Writing Tips EDIT, EDIT, EDIT Wait a while – then EDIT AGAIN quot;The best writing is rewriting.quot; - E.B. White
  20. 20. Immigration Writing Resources Send an email requesting a list of Angelo’s writing resources to “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way. - Ernest Hemingway
  21. 21. The Petition SUPPORTING COVER LETTER USCIS FORMS DOCUMENTS I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead. -- Mark Twain
  22. 22. Introduce Your Institution “Caltech, formally referred to as the California Institute of Technology, is submitting this petition on behalf of...” Briefly highlight the distinguished nature of your institution – this will add to the credibility of your petition “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” - Nathaniel Hawthorne
  23. 23. The Petition – Cover Letter “As described in detail below, Dr. Smith’s track record of achievements has been recognized and acclaimed by leading authorities worldwide.” Introduce your purpose Be modest in presenting the beneficiary’s outstanding qualifications – examiners generally appreciate this approach “I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.” -Peter De Vries
  24. 24. The Petition – Cover Letter Use Organized, Small Pieces of Information Include table of supporting letter writers with: 1. Writer’s Name 2. Professional Qualifications 3. Compelling Quotes from Letter “Believe one who has proved it. Believe an expert” - Virgil
  25. 25. The Petition – Cover Letter Cover the Adjudicator’s Checklist 8 C.F.R. §204.5(i)(3)(i)(D) 8 C.F.R. §204.5(i)(3)(i)(B) 8 C.F.R. §204.5(i)(3)(i)(A) “The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.” - Edwin Schlossbe
  26. 26. The Petition – USCIS Forms Never leave an answer blank – use “N/A” or “None” Toronto Ontario Canada None “ ‘[F]alsely make’ means to prepare . . . an application or document . . . in reckless disregard of the fact that [it] . . . fails to state a fact which is material to the purpose for which it was submitted.” - Immigration and Nationality Act § 274C(f)
  27. 27. The Petition – USCIS Forms Give a short answer and use “See Attached” Project Manager 2 2 2 2 2 2 Responsible for researching new scientific developments in Environmental and Natural Resources. Please see attached Petitioner’s letter of support for additional job description. “Incorporate by reference v. to include language from another document or elsewhere in a document by reference rather than repeat it.” - Defined in
  28. 28. The Petition – USCIS Forms Never sign a petition unless you are sure the information is correct and all questions are answered “Look before you leap.” - Aesop
  29. 29. The Petition – Supporting Evidence Explain each document’s relevance Use tabs to organize documents referenced in index “What is written without effort is read without pleasure” - Samuel Johnson
  30. 30. Immigration Messaging Internal & External Communications Should Offer Positive Messages: “Reading [and writing] make . . . immigrants of us all [and] take us away from home, but, most important, [they] find . . . homes for us everywhere.” - Hazel Rochman
  31. 31. Immigration Branding Do Your Corporate Clients Communicate Clearly the Importance of Supporting Immigration Law Sponsorship to Current & New Employees? How Do You Communicate the Message? How Can You Improve the Message? “Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.” - John F. Kennedy
  32. 32. Questions?