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English effective writing by prof azhar shoaib

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English Writing Skills

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English effective writing by prof azhar shoaib

  1. 1. 1 Effective English Writing By: M. Azhar Shoaib Shah Associate Professor (English)
  2. 2. 2 Effective Writing
  3. 3. 3 Effective Writing
  4. 4. 4 Writing Skill  It is ability to convey ideas and feelings as written material from one person to another person in the most effective manner.
  5. 5. 5 Good Writing  Good writing skill is one of the keys of manager’s success.
  6. 6. 6 When do we write?  Written communication is essential when…  Permanent record is required  The information is to be circulated  Topic requires detailed explanation  The audience is widespread or large
  7. 7. 7 What we write?  Letters  Memos  Reports  Proposals  Agendas  Minutes of Meeting
  8. 8. 8 Remember that…  Writing effective business/official letters ranks among the top communicative abilities of a manager.  In your absence, your letter represents you…
  9. 9. 9 Thinking & Writing  Think before you write and always write what you think.  Clear writing means clear thinking.  Saying what we mean and meaning what we say must be in harmony for good communication.
  10. 10. 10 The ABC of good writing  “A” for Accuracy Appropriateness Attentiveness to Audience  “B” for Brevity  “C” for Clarity
  11. 11. 11 Good chefs are not born…  There is no mystery to good writing, it is a SKILL you can learn.  The more you write the more fluent your writing will be Therefore…  Write More  Read More  Put your work to others
  12. 12. 12 Getting it improved…  Get your thinking right.  Plan, Organize and Analyze.  Express your message in soundly constructed sentences.  Capable of only one interpretation.  Know your audience.
  13. 13. 13 Getting it improved (cont.)  Choose words that exactly express your ideas.  Words used shall suit the level of audience.  Match the tone of your writing to the material.  Ensure that it is grammatically correct.
  14. 14. 14  Write to communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively. Write using different forms and styles. Select vocabulary relevant to audience and purpose.  Organise information and ideas clearly using paragraphs. Use linking devices in your writing so your answer is cohesive.  Use a range of sentence structures for clarity and effect. Accurate punctuation and spelling. Getting it improved (cont.)
  15. 15. 15 Language Accuracy  Grammar  Spellings  Sentence Structure  Punctuation  Choice of words  Abbreviations
  16. 16. 16 Writing Style…  Style refers to the way in which an idea is described  Style consists of particular words a writer uses and the manner in which those words are combined into sentences paragraphs and complete messages
  17. 17. 17 Business / Official Letters  Letters are still the most indispensable form of business/ official writing  Letters will continue to be used as there are:  Contracts to sign  Good and Services to buy  Staff to appoint
  18. 18. 18 For a perfect letter…  Plan what you want to say in your letter  Write the whole letter in sequential order  Re-read the letter when you have finished  Edit the letter for corrections  Check spellings and punctuations  Letters must contain your proper address
  19. 19. 19 Memoranda  Memorandum is a form of internal correspondence written for conveying information between individual or department within an organization  It should be treated with respect both by sender and receiver
  20. 20. 20 Uses of memos…  To convey policy decision  To issue an instruction  To provide information  To put forward suggestion  To express points of view
  21. 21. 21 Proposals  A proposal is a set of plans  It should persuade readers to commit to whatever you are proposing
  22. 22. 22 Drafting a Proposal  Define the proposal  Explain its need and contribution to the company  Estimate the resources  Show how the proposal meets financial criteria  Specify who will be responsible and proposal’s time scale  Conclude with the plan of action
  23. 23. 23 Agenda  Every formal meeting needs a guide so that its business is carried forward positively in orderly manner  Agenda is like a compass that guides the meeting on a proper course
  24. 24. 24 Minutes of meeting  Meetings are held to determine actions to formulate policies or to make decisions  Minutes are true and accurate recording of the meeting proceedings
  25. 25. 25 Minutes  Title of the meeting  Names of those attended the meeting  Brief accounts of the agreements leading to decisions where resolutions, actions, the name of person to take actions shall be maintained  The agenda of the meeting is a guide to write the minutes  Minutes has to be signed by the chairman at the next meeting.
  26. 26. 26  Park Avenue Writers Meeting – 08 August 2012     Meeting called to order at 4:30 pm by meeting chair Jessalyn Boyce.  Members present:     Chair Jessalyn Boyce Grace Grayson Natalie Wilcox Jon Mitchell Luna Stanford Sierra Winchester Adam Monroe Dick Richards Nick Nicholas     Members not present:     Andrew Anderson (pre-arranged) Andrea Anderson (pre-arranged)  Reading of Agenda     Motion: To approve the agenda for 08 August 2012 Vote: Motion carried Resolved: Agenda for the meeting on 08 August 2012 approved without modification     Approval of Minutes     Motion: To approve the minutes for 01 August 2012 Vote: Motion carried Resolved: Minutes from the meeting on 01 August 2012 approved without modification     Business     Motion from Jon Mitchell: To select Luna Stanford’s manuscript for critique Vote: 6 in favor, 2 against, 1 abstain Resolved: Motion carried; Luna Stanford’s manuscript accepted for critique  Motion from Luna Stanford: To replace the meeting table using committee funds Vote: 3 in favor, 4 against Resolved: Motion failed Amendment: Nick Nicholas volunteered to repair the table at no cost  Motion from Sierra Winchester: To subscribe to Writer’s Digest using committee funds Vote: Motion carried
  27. 27. 27 MEMO  To: All Staff and Interns  From: Ana Lucily, Executive Assistant to the President  Date: July 15, 2012  Subject: Dishes in the Sink     It has come to our attention that there has been a pile of unwashed dishes that accumulates in the sink by the end of each week. It has gotten so bad that washing one’s hands in the kitchen sink becomes an uncomfortable undertaking. Therefore, we are introducing a new policy that mandates that employees wash their dishes as soon as they are done with them, keeping the sink clear for other uses.     If you do not have the time to wash your lunch container or coffee mug, leave it by your desk until you are ready to wash it. Even two or three dirty plates will encourage every person thereafter to leave their unwashed, food-stained dishes and silverware in the sink. Conversely, studies have shown that when a sink is empty, people are more likely to wash their dishes immediately.     Thank you for your cooperation!     Best,  Ana Lucily
  28. 28. 28 PROPOSAL OF SAFETY MEASURES  Situation: Outside claims adjusters who regularly inspect homes, including roofs, are trained in ladder safety and get daily hands-on experience handling and climbing ladders. In-office claims adjusters watch a ladder safety video when they are hired but receive little to no additional training thereafter. When catastrophes strike and in-office claims personnel are solicited to assist the outside claim representatives, they are inadvertently put in harm’s way due to their relative inexperience with proper ladder use.     Proposed Solution: Since all claims personnel could potentially be asked to make site inspections, each new claims adjuster should receive hands-on ladder safety training upon being hired. If called upon to assist with a catastrophe situation, in-office adjusters should be given the option of a brief refresher in ladder safety prior to being deployed.     Steps Involved:  Design and implement a new hands-on training program on ladder safety.  Purchase additional ladders for use in the training.  All current in-office claims personnel attend the new training.  Design and implement a refresher course to be conducted when catastrophes are declared.  Conduct refresher courses for existing employees as needed.     Benefits:  The new process would decrease the likelihood of a claims adjuster being involved in a serious accident, eliminating potential worker’s compensation claims, health insurance premiums, poor employee morale, and employees’ time off work.  The new training options would increase the likelihood of in-office adjusters being willing to volunteer their time when a catastrophe strikes by boosting their confidence in their ability to do so safely.     Potential Obstacles:  The time associated with designing and conducting the initial and subsequent courses (estimated 120 hours for the first year of implementation and 36 hours in subsequent years). The safety of our employees is of utmost important, so even the prevention of one injury is a priceless investment to the company. Additionally, the elimination of potential worker’s compensation and health insurance costs, as well as employee time off, would offset the time lost by the training.  The cost of additional ladders for the training (approximately $320). This is a minor cost and would also be offset, as explained above.  The time lost by employees undergoing the training (1 hour per employee plus 30-minute refresher, if applicable). This investment is miniscule when considering the value of the employees’ safety.  Determining who would conduct the training in the event of a catastrophe. Since outside claims adjusters are quite busy when a disaster hits, one potential solution might be for an experienced in-office claims adjuster to conduct the refresher course.
  29. 29. 29 Plain English language 29
  30. 30. 30 Same words each time  Always use the same word for something—Don’t change names for variety.  Use the same word pattern—Don’t change for the sake of it.  Don’t worry about being boring.  Transfer information, don’t entertain.  Use pictures and colour to reduce boredom. 30
  31. 31. 31 Write personally—use commands  When writing instructions, use commands (imperative). 31 Statement (not imperative): ‘Passengers are not permitted to open the doors. Doors may only be opened by crew members.’ Command: ‘Do not open the doors. Ask a crew member to open them for you.’
  32. 32. 32 Use active voice Quiz Point Change into active voice: The engine is started by the driver. 32
  33. 33. 33 Use active voice Quiz Point Answer This is in active voice: The driver starts the engine. 33
  34. 34. 34 Use active voice  Who is the agent?  The person doing the action.  We usually want to know who the agent is. 34
  35. 35. 35 Use active voice  Passive voice:  Object goes first.  Subject (agent) last or missing.  Reader has to mentally turn it around.  Sometimes not clear who does what. ‘The form must be signed.’ ‘The notice was posted by the manager’ 35
  36. 36. 36 Use active voice  Active voice:  Subject (agent) first—never missing  Object last  Quicker to read  Clear who does what ‘Applicants must sign the form.’ ‘The manager posted the notice.’ 36
  37. 37. 37 Reifying—when you reify, you:  Say that something inanimate is an agent. “The report forces us to consider three options” ”Checking helps you avoid mistakes” ”The picture shows how to wrap the parcel”  Do not correctly identify the agent. (Agent is not real!)  Do not communicate the sequence <Agent> <Action> <Object>. 37
  38. 38. 38 Reifying—possible cures  Refer to the author of the document. “The authors of the report force us to consider three options.”  Describe action and consequence. ”If you check, you may make fewer mistakes.”  Describe action to get information. “See the picture to find out how to wrap the parcel.”  Use an appropriate verb for the agent, such as ‘is’ or ‘contains’. 38
  39. 39. 39 When to use plain English:  When you want to give:  Information  Instructions  Warnings  academic communication 39
  40. 40. 40 Subject and verb agreement  One of the boys has arrived.  Several have gone home. 40
  41. 41. 41 Subject and verb agreement  Any, none, some, most depend on the context  Most of the money is in the bank.  Most of the crew are aboard.  Collective nouns depend on the context  The team has arrived. (as one)  The team are getting changed. (as individuals) 41
  42. 42. 42 Pronoun-antecedent agreement  The leader and the sponsor have played their parts.  My friend and brother, Ian, lent me his car for the occasion.  Everyone has his own path in life. 42
  43. 43. 43 Tense  Present tense  He eats the cake.  Past tense  He ate the cake.  Future tense  He will eat the cake. 43
  44. 44. 44 Person  First person (I, we)  I eat the cake.  Second person (you)  You eat the cake.  Eat the cake!  Third person (he, she, they, it)  She eats the cake. 44
  45. 45. 45 Parallel Construction (example)  The responsibility of the mess secretary is to maintain accounts, to look after the property of the mess and to look after the general administration of the mess.  The responsibility of the mess secretary is to maintain accounts, looking after the mess property, to call mess meeting and the general administration of the mess.
  46. 46. 46 Learn to Subordinate and Coordinate Subordination and coordination is one of the means of making clear the relationship between ideas. You should know where to use coordinate clauses and where to use subordinate clauses
  47. 47. 47 Subordinate and coordinate (example)  The soldier saw the booby trap and draw back  Seeing the trap, the soldier drew back  When the soldier saw the booby traps, he drew back
  48. 48. 48 5 Tips To Improve English Writing 1- Do not use contractions. Don’t Do not Shouldn’t Should not Can’t Cannot Wouldn't Would not Couldn’t Could not Isn’t Is not Haven’t Have not Hasn’t Has not
  49. 49. 49 5 Tips To Improve English Writing 2-Avoid There is/ There are a) There are many issues that face students at university . b) Students face many issues at university. a) There are many development projects that the UN Supports. b) The UN supports many development
  50. 50. 50 5 Tips To Improve English Writing 3-Avoid words Really,very,a lot, so . a)Many students think university is very hard. b)Many students think university is difficult. a)Bill 399 is really controversial. b) Bill 399 is controversial. a)A lot of the students live on campus. b)Many students live on campus.
  51. 51. 51 5 Tips To Improve English Writing 4-Passive vs Active Voice. a) Healthcare reforms were implemented by Obama. b) Obama implemented healthcare reforms. c) The war was won by the French. b) The French won the war. 5- Use Strong Verbs. a) He gave assistance to my friend.(weak verb) b) He assisted my friend.( strong verb). a) She made an objection.( weak verb) b) She objected.(strong verb) a) They conducted an investigation.(weak verb) b) They investigated.(strong verb)
  52. 52. 52 Writing Letters: Formal vs. Informal Informal Formal Contractions No Contraction Use of Idioms: once in blue moon No Idioms: not so often Phrasal Verbs: find out, go up No phrasal Verbs: discover , increase Imperatives: Send it soon, No imperatives :You may it send it at your early inconvenience. Very, really, totally Strongly(advice , recommend, agree) To top it all off Furthermore On top of it all Moreover Abbreviations:T.V No Abbreviations: Television interjections: Hurrah ! Alas! No interjections Common words: kids, smart Uncommon words: children ,intelligent
  53. 53. 53 Useful Email Phrases 1- Please find attached photos from the conference. Please find attached my resume. 2-I’ve forwarded photos from the conferences to you. I’m forwarding John's email to you. 3- I’ve Cc’ed Umer on this email Cc’d copied
  54. 54. 54 4-If you have any question please don’t hesitate to contact me. 5-I look forward to : Hearing from you Meeting you Your reply 6-Sign off : Kind Regards, Warm Wishes, Regards, Yours Truly. 54 Useful Email Phrases
  55. 55. 55 Conclusions Most important thing to remember when writing is to check it thoroughly. When it is completed, even when you think it is exactly what you want , read it one more time. This ‘unwritten’ rule holds true for everything you write—memos, letters, proposals and so on.
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