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Writing Around the World        Chapter 1   Basic Principles of  Intercultural Writing
What is Culture?
Surface Cultural Elements Surface cultural elements are those aspects of culture  that we can easily see, such as: Art ...
Deep Cultural Elements Deep cultural elements are those aspects of culture  that we can not easily see, such as: Attitud...
Writing Style Deep cultural elements affect the writing style  generally valued in each culture Cultural elements such a...
Writer Responsible (WR) Writing               Style Usually associated with Western cultures (the U.S., Canada, and   Wes...
Reader Responsible (RR) Writing                   Style Usually associated with non-Western cultures (many Asian, African...
Ethos, Logos, and Pathos Writer responsible cultures think logos (logic) is most  persuasive Reader responsible cultures...
Sources and Citation Ancient texts/ lore (non-Western cultures) vs. current  and quantifiable references (Western culture...
Coherence Based on individual interpretation Parallel progression – clear and explicit connection  between sentences and...
Sentence Cohesion The smaller connections between sentences and ideas  (transitions) WR: Sentences link directly to one ...
Style Writer Responsible   Explicit, clear, accumulative, concise, responsive to a reader’s    needs   Do not overwrite...
Views of the “Other” Writing             Style WR audiences tend to think that RR writing is circular,  illogical, cliché...
Important Points It’s important to understand your own preferences for writing  style, realizing that it may be a mix of ...
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McCool Chapter 1

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McCool Chapter 1

  1. 1. Writing Around the World Chapter 1 Basic Principles of Intercultural Writing
  2. 2. What is Culture?
  3. 3. Surface Cultural Elements Surface cultural elements are those aspects of culture that we can easily see, such as: Art Food Dress Music Holidays
  4. 4. Deep Cultural Elements Deep cultural elements are those aspects of culture that we can not easily see, such as: Attitudes Beliefs Norms Values Concepts
  5. 5. Writing Style Deep cultural elements affect the writing style generally valued in each culture Cultural elements such as the following inform writing style:  Concepts of politeness  Concepts of time  Power and relationships  Methods of argument  Concepts of respect  Many others
  6. 6. Writer Responsible (WR) Writing Style Usually associated with Western cultures (the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe) Values:  Clarity  Concision  Actions  Practicality  Logic  Stating the obvious Responsibilities:  Attract and maintain reader interest  Guide the reader through the text with overlapping organization
  7. 7. Reader Responsible (RR) Writing Style Usually associated with non-Western cultures (many Asian, African, and South American cultures) Values:  Flowery, ornate prose  Subjects over actions  Theory  Inductive Reasoning  Indirect statements  Proverbs and sayings  Metaphor Responsibilities:  Provide rich detail and context  Loose connections between ideas so the reader can interpret meaning
  8. 8. Ethos, Logos, and Pathos Writer responsible cultures think logos (logic) is most persuasive Reader responsible cultures think ethos (credibility) and pathos (emotion) are more important
  9. 9. Sources and Citation Ancient texts/ lore (non-Western cultures) vs. current and quantifiable references (Western cultures) Some cultures do not cite sources Many non-Western cultures use maxims, proverbs, sayings, famous quotes People in other countries may not have access to current sources as we do in databases, etc.
  10. 10. Coherence Based on individual interpretation Parallel progression – clear and explicit connection between sentences and ideas; topic remains the same Sequential progression – topics of sentences are different from one another; connection may seem disrupted Extended parallel progression – introduction and conclusion are consistent but the body is non- sequential
  11. 11. Sentence Cohesion The smaller connections between sentences and ideas (transitions) WR: Sentences link directly to one another through the use of transition words RR: Sentences are related but different with no clear transitions
  12. 12. Style Writer Responsible  Explicit, clear, accumulative, concise, responsive to a reader’s needs  Do not overwrite, and do not use qualifiers, extra details, or clichés  Based on the idea of equality and the “general” reader Reader Responsible  Flowery, detailed, thought-provoking, repetitious, varied vocabulary and sentence-structures  Based on the idea that not all readers are the same, and they need to be challenged
  13. 13. Views of the “Other” Writing Style WR audiences tend to think that RR writing is circular, illogical, cliché, vague, indecisive, and confusing RR audiences tend to think that WR writing is bold, abrupt, rude, or disrespectful
  14. 14. Important Points It’s important to understand your own preferences for writing style, realizing that it may be a mix of the two Remember that there are individual preferences within every culture Neither style is “right” or “wrong” Since communication also involves receiving messages, it is important to be able to effectively understand WR and RR messages without negative judgment For communication in a global workplace, it will be beneficial to learn how to write both ways

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