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AIR FORCE EFFECTIVE WRITING. AF Effective Writing Writing Fundamentals –Writing Philosophy –Recipe for Effective Writing Writing as a Process –Planning.

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Presentation on theme: "AIR FORCE EFFECTIVE WRITING. AF Effective Writing Writing Fundamentals –Writing Philosophy –Recipe for Effective Writing Writing as a Process –Planning."— Presentation transcript:

1 AIR FORCE EFFECTIVE WRITING

2 AF Effective Writing Writing Fundamentals –Writing Philosophy –Recipe for Effective Writing Writing as a Process –Planning Stage –Drafting Stage –Common Errors

3 Philosophy Writing effectively is an important leadership skill that can be improved through practice.

4 Philosophy Writing effectively is an important leadership skill that can be improved through practice.

5 Philosophy Writing effectively is an important leadership skill that can be improved through practice.

6 Recipe for Success AFOATS CAMS 1 Class EFFECTIVE WRITING TAKES FOCUS

7 Recipe for Success AFOATS CAMS 1 Class F=Focused O=Organized C=Clear U=Understood/Appropriate S=Supported

8 Recipe for Success AFOATS CAMS 1 Class #1: FOCUSED Address the issue, the whole issue, and nothing but the issue. Answer the burning questions a reader may have.

9 Recipe for Success AFOATS CAMS 1 Class #2: ORGANIZED Organize your writing so the reader can effectively follow the argument or point your trying to get across.

10 Recipe for Success AFOATS CAMS 1 Class #3: CLEAR Write clearly. Make every word count.

11 Recipe for Success AFOATS CAMS 1 Class #4: UNDERSTOOD/APPROPRIATE Understand your readers and their needs. Understand the readers expectations of you. Give them appropriate material.

12 Recipe for Success AFOATS CAMS 1 Class #5: SUPPORTED Adequately support your position with relevant information.

13 Recipe for Success FOCUS will give you results…

14 Planning to write Planning Stage includes: –Analyzing purpose –Analyzing audience –Organizing –Outlining

15 Analyze your Purpose Multiple purposes: –to direct, to inform, to persuade, or to inspire In all situations, get clear on your purpose, then communicate it clearly!

16 Analyze your Audience At AFROTC: –Level of formality? (point of view, tone) –Appropriate amount/quality of support? –Other expectations? (page length, format) In your job: –Background, education and rank? –Existing beliefs, views and attitude? –What expectations (if any) do they have of you?

17 Audience Expectations: Point of View (POV) 1st person and 2nd person narrative: –Uses the pronoun I to denote the writer –Uses the pronoun you to denote the reader –Common in informal writing ( s, memos) 3rd person narrative: –Uses he/she or they to denote who is written about –Common in formal or academic writing At AFROTC: –Requirements: 1 & 2 PPOV required five places Purpose Statement, Overview, two Topic Sentence(s) and Closure Statement

18 Organizing Pick organizational pattern –Topical –Chronological –Spatial or Geographical –Reason (Position/ Support) –Cause/effect –Problem/solution

19 Organizing Get your information together –Brainstorm –Research –Personal experience –Talk to the experts

20 Outlining Outline Information – Introduction – Body – Conclusion

21 Outlining Arrange concepts/material visually –Show flow of main points or logic –Ensure nothing is left out Format/level of detail may vary Rework as needed

22 Drafting Writing structure Editing/Rewriting

23 Drafting: Writing Sentences and Paragraphs Focus on writing structure: – Introduction Purpose Statement Overview – Body Main Points – Conclusion Closure Statement POC Information

24 Drafting the Introduction Purpose Statement (PS) – Specifically states purpose – Sets tone or theme Overview (OV) –Clearly presents main points –Previews paragraph sequence –Ties main points to purpose

25 Drafting the Body The body...typically consists of one or more paragraphs …addresses main points in same order as overview Things to consider: –Paragraph construction –Transitions

26 Drafting the Body: Paragraph Construction Each paragraph should have one main point, captured in a Topic Sentence (TS) –TS should be the first sentence of the paragraph –Use key words from the Overview Supporting Ideas (SI) –Prove, clarify, illustrate, develop main point –Provide specifics to support a generality

27 External transitions (ET) are typically –phrases or sentences located at the end of a paragraph –designed to guide reader between paragraphs Drafting the Body: Functions Of Transitions

28 Project CARE proved successful for a variety of reasons. The project enabled the base population to identify much-needed work in the local community…. Project CARE team leaders matched these needs with base residents having the right skills to lead team members and complete specific projects. Although our project provided benefits to the local community, the project was not without cost. A large factor in any project is cost. The material to support the project… Example: External Transition

29 Internal transitions (IT) are typically –words showing relationship between ideas –designed to guide reader within paragraphs and sentences –use as needed to enhance flow of paragraph do not overuse internal transitions in a 1-page letter Drafting the Body: Functions Of Transitions

30 A good, solid paragraph has two to three distinct parts: a main idea, support ideas and transitions. First, the main idea should be specific and be found in the topic sentence. Next, you must remember to properly back your main idea through development of supporting ideas. Finally, use transitions, both internal and external, as necessary to ensure your paragraph flows smoothly. Example: Internal Transition

31 Chronological or sequential first… second... third... meanwhile later afterwards finally Spatial next to in front of beside between behind to the left/right Logical however furthermore as a result because in fact yet

32 Drafting the Conclusion Closure Statement (CL) –Relates back to purpose –Give sense of completeness POC Information –Rank, Name, Duty Title and Phone Number

33 The first rule of editing… Edit with fresh eyes

34 Rewriting and Editing When time permits, rewrite/edit in multiple steps – Big picture and flow – Paragraph structure – Sentences, phrases, and words Always edit, but tailor process to time allotted

35 Common Errors in Writing Word Doubling Extra Sentences/Phrases Incorrect Word Choice Passive Voice

36 Dont use word pairs unless both add significant value Draft: We must comply with the standards and criteria for controlling and reducing environmental pollution Better: We must comply with the standards for reducing environmental pollution Word Doubling

37 Extra Sentences /Phrases Each sentence should support your claim –Keep yourself and your reader focused (Answer nothing but the question…) Avoid unnecessary words or expressions –Using big words when small ones work circumvent vs. avoid –Using big phrases when single words work for the purpose of vs. to

38 Incorrect Word Choices ref: The Tongue and Quill Easily Confused Words (T&Q p.44) –than/then –accept/except –there/their/theyre –its/its Subject-Verb Agreement (T&Q p.75) –plural subjects take plural verbs Pronoun reference (T&Q p.77) – its versus their

39 Passive vs Active Voice Passive voice is sometimes appropriate –Tolerated, sometimes expected, (mostly in formal writing) –Sometimes used to soften bad news, or when the actor is unknown, unimportant or better left unnamed If unsure, ask your instructor for guidance The need for formality is not an excuse for muddy, unclear writing – Formal writing can still be clear

40 Keep in mind... Write in plain English Vary sentence and paragraph structure for emphasis Repeat key words for emphasis Be concise, but support main ideas Write logically When in doubt, ask your instructor for guidance on specific assignments!

41 … and remember Writing is important! Its hard work. There are no short cuts. Everyone can improve and will improve with practice. Resources are available to help.

42 Summary Writing Fundamentals –Writing Philosophy –Recipe for Effective Writing Writing as a Process –Planning Stage –Drafting Stage –Common Errors

43 It is not good to know more unless we do more with what we already know. ~ R.K. Bergethon


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