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Writing Style

Writing Style

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Writing Style

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  1. Writing Style Week 11 Technical Communication Fall 2003, DAHMEN

  2. Audience Analysis Write core document Develop Graphics Give oral briefing Continue Research Write full draft Begin Research Review and Revise Review and Revise Review and Revise Edit Killingsworth, J. (1996). Information in Action: A guide to Technical Communication. MA: Allyn and Bacon, 153. Deliver

  3. Guidelines for Open and Active Style • Fluency • Less formal than most academic writing • Avoid jargon, misspelling, French interference • Focus on what is said • Parallelism in construction • Voice • Use ‘you’ when addressing user • Use ‘we’ when connecting writer/speaker with user/audience (esp. in training materials) • Use ‘we’ with multiple authors • Consider purpose of document (report versus directions) • Science still may use passive voice

  4. Voice and Agents • Who is doing what? • Avoid passive construction • Connect agents to actions • Use of passive can: • Confuse who does what • Lead to ethical problems/blurs responsibility

  5. Exercise 5.1 Original: After tubes C and D are connected, the user should insert parts A and B. • After connecting tubes C and D, insert parts A and B. • After you connect tubes C and D, insert parts A and B.

  6. Once the possibility of nonpoint source pollution was established (Craig, Watterford, 1991), the question of toxicity could easily be confirmed. Once Craig and Watterford (1991) established the possibility of nonpoint source pollution, they (or others or we) were easily able to confirm the question of toxicity. (We) easily confirmed the question of toxicity after Craig and Watterford (1991) established the possibility of nonpoint source pollution.

  7. If the work order had been clearer, the omissions in the January job would not have led to such as unacceptable fulfillment of the contract. If (our boss) had made the work order clearer, (we) would not have omitted important aspects of the January job, which to such as unacceptable fulfillment of the contract. (We) could have fulfilled the contract more adequately for the January job if (Mr Smith) had made the work order clearer.

  8. One must always turn off the electricity before opening the back of the machine. Always turn off the electricity before opening the back of the machine. Remember to turn off the electricity before opening the back of the machine. You must off the electricity before opening the back of the machine.

  9. The cause of such infections has been located in the improper handling of bandages during the earliest stages of dressing the wound. We know that such infections are often caused by the improper handling of bandages during the earliest stages of dressing the wound. Handling bandages improperly during the earliest stages of dressing the wound often causes such infections.

  10. If the user is concerned about security, the PROTECT option can be activated from a network mode. If you are concerned about security, activate the PROTECT option from a network mode. If we are concerned about security, we can activate the PROTECT option from a network mode.

  11. Following activation of the PROTECT option, operation can proceed as usual. After activating the PROTECT option, you can proceed as usual. After you activate the PROTECT option, you can proceed as usual. After we activate the PROTECT option, we can proceed as usual.

  12. It was found that the report had been misfiled, and the neglect to pay the contractors was therefore identified. We found that the report had been misfiled and so we found that the contractors had not been paid. The report had been misfiled and so we found that (we) hadn’t paid the contractors. Once (she) found that John misfiled the report, (she) found that (he) hadn’t paid the contractors.

  13. The structure of the yeast cell has been known for many years. The structure was verified by applying the usual dye test. Then the dissection was begun. (We) have known the of the yeast cell for many years and (we) verified its structure by applying the usual dye test. Then (we) began the dissection. (They) verified the structure of the yeast cell, which had been known for many years, by applying the usual dye test before beginning the dissection.

  14. The user should beware of overusing the test format. Overuse can lead to errors in data delivery. If such errors should appear, the networking capability is to be disabled. Don’t overuse the test format as overuse can lead to errors in data delivery. If you see such errors, disable the network. It the test format is overused, errors can occur in data delivery, which requires disabling the network. Be careful not to overuse the test format as this can lead to errors in data delivery. If you see such errors, disable the network.

  15. Additional Strategies… • Use jargon/technical language carefully • Avoid pompous/disrespectful language • Construct internally consistent lists • Construct parallel sentences

  16. Exercise 5.3 Having now complete the task of the annual review, we are in a strong position to recommend an impressive salary increment of 3.1% for every employee if he has served the company for a period of one year or more. • After completing our annual review, we recommend that every employee who has worked for one or more years receive a 3.1% raise. • The annual review completed, we recommend a 3.1% salary increase for all employees who have worked for one year or more.

  17. No one should complain about the makeup of the committee. We’ve got the required Black, Hispanic and female members. The committee has a diverse membership; our members include African-Americans, Hispanics and women. We have a diverse committee made up of women, African-Americans and Hispanics.

  18. Our group interfaced with group C and got sufficient input to realize our objective of cooperating on certain selected projects to be determined at a later date. We met with group C and we decided to cooperate on several future projects. After meeting with group C, we received enough input to determine that we would be able to work together on several projects we will identify in the near future.

  19. The user should always enter his name into the identification slot provided in the opening screen of the user interface. Enter your name in the ID field on the opening screen. Users should always enter their name in the ID field on the opening screen.

  20. Our group worked well together, thanks to the housekeeping talents of Ms. Berry and the passionate commitment of our Italian colleague, Mr. Santini. We worked well together, especially because of the help of both Ms. Berry and Mr. Santini. Ms. Berry’s cleaning help and Mr. Santini’s passion for the job both helped our group work well.

  21. It is now apparent that sufficient attention has been paid to the problem of employee tardiness to have concluded that lateness due to family illness and emergencies far exceeds the usual unpromptness occasioned by such unplanned exigencies. We have studies the problem of employees being late and it seems that there tardiness exceeds generally accepted levels. Our employees seem to be late to work due to family illness and emergencies more often than acceptable.

  22. We should soon be able to open the Asian branch of the research lab and, thanks to the Korean work ethic, we ought to be able to commit more funds to research than overhead. If we have success with our team in Korea, once the Asian branch of the research branch opens, we ought to be able to commit more funds to research than overhead. We should soon be able to open the Asian branch of the research. If our Korean partners work hard, we ought to be able to commit more funds to research than overhead.

  23. Every man in this operation should now see the merit in our plan, which reduces the number of man hours required for each job and adjusts the profit margins to a higher than acceptable figure. The merit of our plan should be obvious as it reduces the time needed for each job and improves our profit margins. With the implementation of our plan, each job will require less man hours and our profit margins will surpass expectations.

  24. Exercise 5.4 Cooperation is essential among our partners. It is necessary for them to be warned of the consequences of choosing independence over company welfare. • Since we need cooperation, we should warn our employees about the consequences of choosing independence over company welfare. • Our partners should be warned about the consequences of choosing independence over company welfare since we need cooperation with them.

  25. There are four problems new users encounter: difficulty reading the user interface, they are unable to recover from errors, impatience with the machine, and failing to read the instructions New users encounter four problems: Difficulty in reading the user interface Inability to recover from errors Impatience with the machine Failure to read the instructions

  26. The exerciser should, upon completion of the first step, move quickly to the second one. After you complete the first step during exercise, move quickly to the second. The exerciser should, after completing the first step, should move quickly to the second one.

  27. The meal is usually ingested before feeding the young. That is a sign of the age-structured hierarchy among the mountain lions. Because of the age-structured hierarchy among the mountain lions, the older ones eat before they feed the young.

  28. Our findings suggest that either runoff from agricultural lands is a bigger problem than heretofore thought, or it is only one of many unidentified sources of river pollution, some of which have not been identified. Our findings suggest that either agricultural runoff is a bigger problem that we though or it is only one of many unidentified sources of river pollution.

  29. Cell division occurs just at the point when the lipocytes are expanding. They are expanding due to the internal heat increases. Cell division occurs just at the point when the lipocytes expand due to increases in internal heat.

  30. Users don’t have to sit around and wait for the computer to finish its calculations. By choosing the ‘quit’ command, the user can leave the station. The computer will keep working if it is not actually switched off. If you do not want to wait for the computer to finish its calculations., choose the ‘quite’ command. As long as you leave the computer on, it will keep working even if you leave.

  31. The replacement of the workers in Cell C must b accomplished if the managers are going to achieve their goals. Productivity is lacking in that cell. Due to lack of productivity in Cell C, managers should replace the workers there. To achieve their goals, managers must replace the workers in Cell C. This is because of the workers’ lack of productivity.

  32. The replacement of the workers in Cell C must b accomplished if the managers are going to achieve their goals. Productivity is lacking in that cell. Due to lack of productivity in Cell C, managers should replace the workers there. To achieve their goals, managers must replace the workers in Cell C. This is because of the workers’ lack of productivity.

  33. I recommend that you use the resources developed in the 1994 fiscal year. That way, expenses for the project can be covered and pressure on resources will be relieved consequently. You should use the resources developed in fiscal year 1994 so we can cover expenses and relieve pressure on resources.

  34. Action Oriented-Writing • Use effective modifiers • Write coherently • Position information for emphasis and coherence • Reduce wordiness