What is writing? Writing is the fourth of the four language skills, which are:four language skills 1. Listening 2. Speaking 3. Reading 4. Writing In our own language, writing is usually the fourth language skill that we learn.
To write clearly it is essential to understand the basic system of a language. In English this includes knowledge of grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. Vocabulary is also necessary, as is correct spelling and formatting. A writer may write for personal enjoyment or use, or for an audience of one person or more. The audience may be known (targeted) or unknown. Taking notes for study purposes is an example of writing for one's self. Blogging publicly is an example of writing for an unknown audience. A letter to a friend is an example of writing for a targeted audience. As with speaking, it is important to consider your audience when writing. There are many different styles of writing, from informal to formal.
11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing Do you sound smarter when you use big words? According to a study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, the answer is no.Applied Cognitive Psychology In fact, complex writing makes you sound small-minded. Just consider the title of the study: Consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity: problems with using long words needlessly. Wouldnt it be better to title this study something like The effect of using big words when you dont need them? To sound smart, you must stop trying to sound smart. Brilliant writing is simple writing, a relevant idea delivered clearly and directly.
11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing 1. Have something to say This makes writing easier and faster. When you have nothing to say, you are forced to write sentences that sound meaningful but deliver nothing. Read widely. Take notes. Choose your subjects wisely. Then share your information with readers. 2. Be specific Consider two sentences: I grow lots of flowers in my back yard. I grow 34 varieties of flowers in my back yard, including pink coneflowers, purple asters, yellow daylilies, Shasta daisies, and climbing clematis. Which is more interesting? Which helps you see my back yard?
3. Choose simple words Write use instead of utilize, near instead of close proximity, help instead of facilitate, for instead of in the amount of, start instead of commence. Use longer words only if your meaning is so specific no other words will do. 4. Write short sentences You should keep sentences short for the same reason you keep paragraphs short: theyre easier to read and understand. Each sentence should have one simple thought. More than that creates complexity and invites confusion.
5. Use the active voice In English, readers prefer the SVO sentence sequence: Subject, Verb, Object. This is the active voice. For example: Passive sentences bore people. 6. Keep paragraphs short Look at any newspaper and notice the short paragraphs. Thats done to make reading easier, because our brains take in information better when its broken into small chunks. In academic writing, each paragraph develops one idea and often includes many sentences. But in casual, everyday writing, the style is less formal and paragraphs may be as short as a single sentence or even a single word.
7. Eliminate fluff words Qualifying words, such as very, little, and rather, add nothing to your meaning and suck the life out of your sentences. 8. Dont ramble Rambling is a big problem for many writers.(Waffling, beating about the bush)
9. Dont be redundant or repeat yourself Also, dont keep writing the same thing over and over and over. In other words, say something once rather than several times. Because when you repeat yourself or keep writing the same thing, your readers go to sleep. 10. Dont over write This is a symptom of having too little to say or too much ego.too much ego Put your reader first. Put yourself in the background. Focus on the message.
11. Edit ruthlessly Shorten, delete, and rewrite anything that does not add to the meaning. Its okay to write in a casual style, but dont inject extra words without good reason. To make this easier, break your writing into three steps: 1) Write the entire text. 2) Set your text aside for a few minutes. 3) Return to your text fresh and edit. None of us can ever be perfect writers, and no one expects us to be. However, we can all improve our style and sound smarter by following these tips and writing naturally.
KEY WORDS Stating your opinion In my opinion,According to me, In my view,To me, From my point of view,I think It seems to me thatI believe From my perspective To my way of thinking It appears thatI suppose I realizeI understand I imagineI feel
Giving Examples For example,For instance, such asIn other words, aslike that isnamely To illustrateTo paraphrase
Comparing Similar toAs...as in commonalso Either...orIn the same way, Neither...norAt the same time Just asresemble
Contrasting However,But On the contrary, On the other hand, Differ fromNevertheless AlthoughThough OtherwiseInstead Alternatively,Even though
Generalizing Generally,Generally speaking, Overall,On the whole, In general,By and large, It seems to me thatI believe All in all,Basically, Essentially,As a rule, All things consideredFor the most part
Showing effect Therefore,As a result, Consequently,For this reason, Thus,So, therebyEventually, Hence,The reason why
Marking time First,Last Second,Lastly, Third,Then, Firstly,First of all, Secondly,Before Thirdly,After DuringWhile To begin withAt the same time SimultaneouslyAfter this / that SinceMeanwhile AfterwardsFollowing this WhenAs soon as
Adding Information FurthermoreIn addition AlsoAnd MoreoverSimilarly LikewiseAs well as BesidesToo EvenWhats more
Expressing condition IfWhether In caseUnless Provided thatSo that
Concluding To summarizeIn conclusion Lastly,Finally, To conclude with,In short,
Read this letter, and make any changes necessary to improve its style and layout as a formal letter. Bracknell 28 Woolston Drive RG12 3JB Randalls Ltd 75 Tenter Park Northampton NN4 1SW Dear Mr Randall, We havent met but I like the look of your ad in one of those computer mags I was reading recently. It might have been PC Direct. Or perhaps it was PC Plus. The thing is, as you may have guessed by now, I really need a word processor. Im writing a novel, you see, and its getting a bit much for my wife to type it up every night on my old typewriter. And then she gets fed up when I make changes and she has to retype it. So I think I should get a PC, probably something like your 386SX - now even better value than ever according to your ad! What do you think? Could you write back as soon as possible, telling me a bit more about the PCs you offer? Do you deliver? Our cars being repaired at the moment (my son had a little accident in it the other day). And by the way, Merry Christmas! All the best, Jerome Walsh
28 Woolston Drive Bracknell RG12 3JB 20th November, 2001 The Manager Randalls Ltd 75 Tenter Park Northampton NN4 1SW Dear Sir or Madam, I saw your advertisement for the PC 386SX in last weeks edition of PC Direct. Please send me further details of this model, as well as other PCs you are currently offering, with prices. Please confirm that you can deliver. Thank you for your attention. I look forward to receiving your prompt reply. Yours faithfully, Jerome Walsh
Task 1 Write a short letter to Professor Jane Barker of Oxford University, to thank her for leading the workshop you organised on self and peer assessment in the workplace. Mention that you hope to invite her back next year to talk on another aspect of staff development, (about 75 words)
Example Wick Hall School Simonstone Burnley Lancs. BB12 8HL 20th March 2002 Professor J. Barker Somerville College Oxford 0X1 2AP
Dear Professor Barker, I would like to thank you for leading the Self and Peer Assessment workshop so efficiently and enthusiastically. Your preliminary talk was quite an eye-opener for most of the staff, but several of them have told me how much they enjoyed it and the workshop activities that followed. Thank you for a most successful session. I hope you will find time to lead another staff development workshop for us next year. Yours sincerely, Edward Prendergast (Headmaster)
Informal letters The usual layout for informal letters is as follows. 1. Your address (not your name), although this may be shortened or omitted 2. The date 3. Dear + the name of the person you are writing to 4. Your letter 5. Yours/Regards/Best wishes/AII the best/Love/Lots of love 6. Your signature In an informal letter, you know the person you are writing to, and it is therefore quite correct to use slang, contractions, exclamations, direct questions and incomplete sentences. Do not use formal language.
In most lines of this letter there is one unnecessary word. It is either grammatically wrong or does not make sense. Write the unnecessary words next to the numbers on the right. Tick any lines that are correct.
Task 2 Rewrite this letter as if the Chairman of the Town Planning Committee were a friend of yours. Try to persuade him/her to take action on your behalf.
The Chairman Rugley Council Planning Committee St Annes Hall Rugley CV212ZF Dear Sir or Madam, I am writing to protest in the strongest terms about Rugley Councils consent to the planning application submitted on 13 February 2002 by the developers, Haslers. Their proposal is a purely commercial one, with no thought given to the requirements or rights of residents in the Oxley Park area. We, the Friends of Oxley Park, are determined to resist any development of this beautiful and historic park, which has offered incomparable leisure activities to generations of Rugley residents. We are not only apprehensive about the disruption to our lives during the actual construction of the proposed blocks of flats, but we are also extremely angry that the town will be losing a public amenity which it will be impossible to replace. We call upon you to reconsider your decision in the light of my remarks, bearing in mind the considerable public support for our stand. The petition handed in to the Council offices last Monday was signed by approximately five thousand people, as you are no doubt aware. The Friends of Oxley Park are considering what legal action may be taken, in the event of your refusal to consult the wishes of residents. I can only reiterate that we are bent on opposing this ill-considered, blatantly profit-seeking proposal, and will fight tooth and nail for our voice to be heard. I look forward to receiving your prompt reply. Yours faithfully, Gerald Portland Secretary, Friends of Oxley Park
Notes, messages and postcards Important points to remember when writing notes and messages: a Make sure the message is clearly communicated, b Make sure the tone is right (e.g. apologetic, friendly, business-like, etc), c Always bear in mind the person whom you are writing to. d Include all the relevant points, e Sign a personal note or message, in most cases, f Make sure you have chosen the correct register.
Write a short message for each of these situations. 1. You are planning to go to lunch but will be back by 2.30 pm. Write the note that you leave for your secretary, (up to 10 words) 2. The photocopier at work keeps jamming. Leave a note for the caretaker, asking him to arrange for it to be repaired, (up to 15 words) 3. You are a doctors receptionist. Dr Forbes wife has just rung to ask her husband to collect their children from the tennis club on the way home. Write a note for the doctor, (up to 20 words)
Answers 1. Diana - Gone to lunch, but back by Andrew 2. Mr Brown – Photocopier keeps jamming. Please arrange for repair a.s.a.p. Stephanie Bingham 3. Dr Forbes - Your wife rang. Please collect children from tennis club on your way home. Brenda
Postcards When writing postcards, remember that you do not need to write Dear... It is not usual to put your address, but some people write the place and date: Acapulco, Use the correct register. Most postcards are informal, so you can use colloquial language, contractions and exclamations. Keep formal postcards very brief and to the point. Use the same endings as for formal/informal letters. You should sign a postcard. Make sure the name and address you are writing to are correctly laid out in the space provided. Note that when you already know someone, it's quite common to omit Mr/Mrs etc. from in front of their name.
Rewrite these postcards. They contain mistakes in register, grammar and spelling. 1. My dear dentist, I am having a wunderful holliday here. I am not writting to tell you this, but because I have just reminded that I wont can come for my apointment. Ill still be here in Hawaii! I apollogise most deeply for that. Ill ring you to do a new apointment when I get back. See you then! Peter Greenaway
2. Dear my friend, I am hoping all goes well with you and your family. How strange was it that I did not heer from you at Christmas! Please will you phone me and come to lunch, if it isnt far enough to drive? Lots of love and kisses, Bettina 3. Dears Keith and Felicity, Accept my warm thanks for the honnour you have done me in invitting me to yore home. However I am obbliged to point out that I shall be otherwise engaged on the partickler date you mention. Therefore, regretfully, I must decline. Yours faithfully, Roderick Marston
Answers 1. (Dear Mr Macintosh,) I have just realised I shall still be away on holiday next week, when my appointment with you is due. Please cancel this appointment. Ill make a new one as soon as I get back. Best wishes, Peter Greenaway
2. (DearTrish,) Do hope all is well with you and your family. Was a bit surprised at not hearing from you at Christmas. Can you ring me sometime? You could come to lunch, if it isnt too far to drive. Love, Bettina 3. (Dear Keith and Felicity,) Thanks so much for your kind invitation to stay. Unfortunately Ill be at a conference that weekend, so I wont be able to come. What a pity! Thanks anyway. Have a great time! All the best, Roderick Marston
Task 3 Write to thank some friends for a wonderful couple of days you spent recently in their country farmhouse. Say what you most enjoyed about your stay.