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Troy University Troy, AL 36082 Trio - Student Support Services.

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1 Troy University Troy, AL 36082 Trio - Student Support Services

2 1. To review the content of the educational video entitled “Effective Writing Skills.” 2. To help students distinguish between “writing” and “good writing.” 3. To define the three (3) categories of Rules -- Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics -- as they relate to “structurally sound” writing. 4. To present eleven (11) principles that impact writing Style

3  Writing – definition: “a means of communicating with others”  Good writing – “a valuable skill that will benefit you in any profession”

4 Three Categories ofRules that make Writing Structurally Sound... Grammar Usage Mechanics

5  GRAMMAR -- (Rules that structure language) – The English language has many rules that you must follow to communicate in Standard American English (SAE).

6  USAGE – The rules that designate how language should be presented in writing / Formal or literary English with clearly constructed sentences, that require the following:  ◦ No slang or contractions ◦ Complete sentences (no fragments) – An Independent clause is required. ◦ No use of subordinating conjunctions such as “So” or “And” to start sentences

7  MECHANICS—The rules that establish how words should appear on paper. ◦ The first word in a sentence is capitalized. ◦ Correct punctuation marks should be used to denote type of sentence. Indent paragraphs.

8 ... that Impact Writing Style:  Active Voice vs. Passive Voice  Parallel Construction  Sentence Patterns  Positive Statements  Word Selection  Connotation vs. Denotation  Modifiers  Relation of Ideas  Metaphors and Similes  Clichés  Content

9  Active voice (write in this voice because it makes sentences more powerful and assertive). Put the agent of the action first in the sentence. Example: Julie drove the car.  Passive voice (uses a form of “to be” and distances the subject from the action or identifies the agent of an action at the end of a sentence.  Example: The car was driven by Julie.

10  Parallel structure or Construction – Adds clarity to sentences and helps reduce awkwardness of sentences.  It requires pairing similar grammatical forms.  Useful when comparing/contrasting ideas because it adds balance to sentences.  Uses correlative conjunctions such as either or, but also, and also may require repeating certain words in a sentence to add clarity. Examples: 1) Riding a jet ski is more exciting than hiking in the mountains. 2) Charlamagne was not only wise, but ambitious and courageous.

11  Sentence Patterns -- Use a variety of sentence patterns to add interest to sentence and develop writing styles.

12  Positive Statements -- Couch words in the affirmative phrasing when possible.

13  Word Selection (Word Choice) – Use the most appropriate word that suits tone, fits the rhetorical situation (audience, purpose, genre, etc.) and appeals to readers senses (create imagery)

14  Connotation versus Denotation (meaning) – Connotations (the underlying implied meaning); Denotation (definition of a word)

15  Use of Modifiers -- use modifiers as needed, but not to excess. All word do not need a modifier. Use verbs that evoke sensory details and that are precise. Do not engage in wordiness.

16  Relation of Ideas (Cohesion/Coherence/Logic) -- Use transitions (connectives) to help readers follow your writing. Also, punctuation can help support reading logic.

17  Metaphors and Similes (figures of speech/figurative language) -- Appeal to the imagination and help readers visualize. Similes use like or as to creative a comparison relationship between different elements. Metaphor does not use like or as, but directly compares two unlike elements

18  Cliches (Overused Expressions and colloquialisms) -- An expression so overused it is worn out and trite. They lack originality. Examples: (1) That’s easier said than done. (2)She was older, but wiser. (3) To make a long story short, she was green with envy.

19  Content (Substance) – Try not to be redundant/empty in your writing.  Add substance.  Avoid deadwood in writing.  Stay focused on your theme.  Be straightforward and succinct (to the point).

20  Once you understand basic rules of grammar, usage and mechanics, you can concentrate on style.  Principles of Style (principles of good writing) -- Generalizations about what good writers do, but not necessarily about rules

21 Educational Video NetworkEducational Video Network, Inc. 2005

22  SSS hopes this presentation has given you some useful information.  Feel free to suggest any other topics that you would like to see presented. Stop in the Office located in 109 Shackelford Hall Annex or Phone: 334-670-5985.  Have a great learning experience here at Troy University.

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