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Entrance Into the World of Scholars The Walden University Writing Center Staff.

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1 Entrance Into the World of Scholars The Walden University Writing Center Staff

2 An Overview Written Communication in an Asynchronous Setting: What is expected? What is appropriate to expect from others? Viewing written correspondence as the intersection of audience, purpose, and tone. etiquette, discussion post etiquette, cyber civility, and modeling excellence.

3 Take a Minute to Reflect Be honest with yourself. Have you ever: 1.Compared yourself to a classmate based on what he or she wrote in a discussion post? 2.Made an assumption about a classmate based on what he or she wrote in a discussion post? 3.Discredited a classmate’s discussion post because of the quality of the writing? 4.Experienced any of the above in the workplace when reading s, memos, and so forth?

4 What would you do if… You read this on a discussion thread: The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power. All one sentence!

5 “We are pleased to announce winners of the fourth Bad Writing Contest, sponsored by the scholarly journal Philosophy and Literature. Judith Butler, a Guggenheim Fellowship-winning professor of rhetoric and comparative literature at the University of California at Berkeley, admired as perhaps `one of the ten smartest people on the planet,’ wrote the sentence that captured the contest's first prize. Professor Butler's first-prize sentence appears in ‘Further Reflections on the Conversations of Our Time,’ an article in the scholarly journal Diacritics (1997).” Is that what you thought about the author?

6 What would you do if… You were assigned to write a persuasive group paper about insects and one of your teammates contributed this: The country of Alvania has a problem. That problem, specifically, is the lack of laws governing insect cruelty in Alvania. Several groups of activists have banned together to pass laws so that crickets and cockroaches no longer have to suffer at the hands of the heartless, emotionless Alvanian people. Evidence exists that suggests that the young boys and girls in Alvania suffer mental illness because of the way their parents slaughter and consume insects. The point is that killing and eating insects in Alvania is an injustice. Citation? Inflammatory language

7 What would you do if… You received this message: “ We are getting less than 40 hours of work from a large number of our EMPLOYEES. As managers, you either do not know what your EMPLOYEES are doing or you do not CARE. In either case, you have a problem and you will fix it or I will replace you. NEVER in my career have I allowed a team which worked for me to think they had a 40-hour job. I have allowed YOU to create a culture which is permitting this. NO LONGER. You have two weeks. Tick Tock!” (Delves, 2001)

8 What do These Examples Show? Colleague Morale Matters The previous quote was from Neal Patterson, chairman of the board, chief executive officer and co-founder of Cerner Corporation. After the was released, company stock plummeted 22% as analysts questioned the impact on company morale.

9 What do These Examples Show? Present Yourself Well Pay attention to how your words will be received based on word choice and the evidence you present Pay attention to how your words come together to form a coherent thought Pay attention to how your words come together to reflect a strong understanding of written English.

10 What do These Examples Show? Be Courteous The golden rule still works; do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Pay attention to your emotional reaction and present a civil tone even when you do not agree with the content of a post or message. Be aware of your audience, purpose, and tone to create a culture of communication excellence.

11 Asynchronisity Most of the communication you will have while here at Walden and in the professional world will be asynchronous, meaning that it does not happen in real time. Unlike a traditional classroom environment (e.g., raising your hand, classroom discussion), your written self will represent you as a Walden student

12 Asynchronous Etiquette Most asynchronous communication you have comes in the form of and discussion posts. Exceptions exist, but the following information can enhance the quality of asynchronous written communication and help facilitate online discussion.

13 Subject Lines Rock! Good subject lines are arrows to the message that you are sending: All important information should be available in the subject line. People are less likely to lose the . People are less likely to ignore it.

14 Use Salutations In initial electronic communication, use salutations to ease into back and forth electronic conversations. RE: Request to attend conference No can do. - B RE: Request to attend conference Hi, Maria. Sorry... We just don’t have money in the budget right now. - Betty

15 Reply vs. Reply All Questions to ask when you choose Reply All: Does everyone need to know? Do I want everyone to know? Could this message upset anyone on the original ? Who is my audience for this piece of communication?

16 Be Concise Using an economy of words is essential. Paragraphs vs. Bullet Points Before we get started with the project, we need to make sure that we nominate a team leader (I am willing to volunteer), create a calendar of timelines and due dates, set up our group work space on eCollege, and set up an appointment with the Writing Center. Before we get started with the project, we need to: - Nominate a team leader - Create a calendar of timelines and due dates - Set up our group work space on eCollege - Set up an appointment with the Writing Center.

17 Be Concise Having read your message, the reader should know exactly what you need and should want to do what you’ve asked. –Is the purpose of the message in your opening paragraph or line? –Do you ask your reader for a specific action? –Does your reader understand your time limitations?

18 Punctuation and Spelling Use proper punctuation and correct spelling Typos or run-on sentences could convey that the sender sent the in haste Your recipient may wonder why he or she should take time for a detailed response if you as the sender did not take time composing the message.

19 Avoid Acronyms Unless you are positive everyone reading your message knows all of the acronyms, avoid their overuse. TO: Jim G.; Kris P.; Ernesto E.; Velma Q.; Susana R.; Enrico A.; Robin R. RE: IMF needs a Q-RET before the ASC3 is filed with a PET All: Received your IMF. Did you talk to the folks in Q-RET about first getting a DERT? The new REM in PET will need you to fill out an ASC3 if you are going to pursue TXMX certification. Thx.

20 Avoid Curt Be concise but not clipped. One boss lost her star employee based on a two-word she sent to him following a major presentation that stated simply: Good job The employee felt it was a sarcastic jab, and he started sending out resumes. The issue was cleared up in an exit interview. His boss said later that she lost a lot of money by omitting one exclamation mark.

21 Avoid Emotional Responses Compose in Haste; Regret in Leisure Avoid immediately sending an or posting a response to a discussion thread that you composed while angry.

22 Avoid Emotional Responses s are not the place to express anger. Do not send an that you would not read out loud to the person if they were standing in front of you. If an is questionable, save to your draft folder and return to it later.

23 Passive Aggressiveness Passive aggressiveness is easy to spot in asynchronous communication. Your initial response to a school colleague’s writing or a work colleague’s might be sarcastic, but jokes and tone are often misunderstood in an asynchronous environment.

24 Passive Aggressiveness Passive Aggressive Direct Our deadline is tomorrow and someone needs to edit and post our work to eCollege. I know I sent out an about this last week, but, apparently, it seems it might not have been read? Our deadline is tomorrow, and Jane, I know you volunteered to edit and post our work to eCollege. Will you still be able to meet this deadline?

25 Patience is a Virtue is a form of mail. We do not assume an immediate response when we put a letter in the mail, but we get impatient while waiting for a response to an .

26 BUT Responding to a discussion, contributing to a team assignment, providing peer commentary or review, communicating with your faculty or capstone chair, and many other forms of academic and professional communication requires attention to deadlines. In addition, such communication requires attention to word choice, grammar, and etiquette, so set aside time for proofreading your s before sending.

27 CAPS LOCK Using all caps looks like yelling. Don’t do it. –Even if you feel like yelling (actually, especially if you feel like yelling).

28 Non-Walden Real Life Example AS OF THIS POINT I HAVE NOT RECEIVED A RESPONSE FROM ANYONE. THE DIRECTORS WERE BUSY MISSING THE FORECAST BY 200 HOURS YESTERDAY SO THEY DID NOT HAVE TIME TO RESPOND. BEFORE I SEND THE DAILY REPORT I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU 4 HOURS TO REVIEW THE NUMBERS YOURSELF. I AM SPENDING A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF TIME ON THESE REPORTS AND I DO NOT INTEND FOR IT TO BE WASTED IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE SAID BUT I WILL SAY IT ANYWAY - PROFITABILITY IS A FUNCTION OF YOUR JOB RESPONSIBILITY Thanks, Sam

29 Walden Real Life Example To: I HAVE TRIED to schedule an appt. NO open times through April!!!! No white spots to sign up! On waiting list but that is not really helpful.....WHY can't i sign up??????????? I ned a DISSERTATION EDITOR. I need March 15, March 22, or March 29 or last resort, April 12. WHat is going on that I don't see any white spots for me to sign up for an appt??????????????????????????????

30 Answer and Anticipate As a recipient of these types of s, try to recognize patterns and answer preemptively. –Send an acknowledging the receipt No matter the delivery, respond to s using proper etiquette.

31 Ignoring is an Answer Avoiding an is one way to deal with contact that is not professional. By not replying to an , you are indicating that you do not want to communicate your response. All econversations end.

32 as Mail What do you do to letters addressed to “Dear Occupant”? Personalize the response. Remind yourself that this is communication between you and another person.

33 Discussion Posts Similar rules apply to discussion posts: Be concise Use proper spelling and punctuation Avoid acronyms, curt and passive aggressive phrasing, and caps lock Treat your discussion post like a minipaper.

34 Posts: Objective, Scholarly Voice Write smoothly –“Devices that are often found in creative writing – for example: setting up ambiguity, inserting the unexpected, omitting the expected, and suddenly shifting the topic, tense, or person – can confuse or disturb readers of scientific prose” (APA, 2010, p. 65). Write concisely –“Say only what needs to be said. The author who is frugal with words…writes a more readable manuscript…Short words and short sentences are easier to comprehend than are long ones” (APA, 2010, p. 67). Write objectively –“Precision is essential in scientific writing; when you refer to a person or persons, choose words that are accurate, clear, and free from bias…For example, using man to refer to all human beings is simply not as accurate as the phrase women and men” (APA, 2010, p. 71).

35 Posts: Objective, Scholarly Voice Just as in course papers, avoid contractions and colloquialisms Do not include feeling words (e.g., feel, believe) don’tdo not “write up”“write”

36 Posts: Evidence Use information from your sources to enhance your initial posts and responses Ask yourself if using personal experience is appropriate for the prompt

37 Best Practice Suggestions Elementary Principles of ecomposition: In messages, keep paragraphs short. Make the paragraph the unit of composition (the paragraph is the house for one idea to live in). Use the active voice. Omit unnecessary words. Put statements in positive form. Use definite, specific, concrete language.

38 Questions Thanks for joining us this evening! Use the Question box to ask for clarification For more information on scholarly voice and academic communication, see

39 Resources Walden Library: Residencies: Center for Research Support:

40 Contact Information: the Writing Center anytime at


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