Presentation on theme: "NOTES TO ANDERSON, CHAPTERS 10 & 11 PROFESSIONAL WRITING."— Presentation transcript:
NOTES TO ANDERSON, CHAPTERS 10 & 11 PROFESSIONAL WRITING
INTRODUCTIONS Anderson highlights seven points about introductions 1. Give your readers a reason to pay attention 2. State your main point 3. Tell your readers what to expect 4. Encourage openness to your message 5. Provide necessary background information 6. Include a summary unless your communication is very short 7. Adjust the length of your beginning to your readers’ needs
INTRODUCTIONS Anderson highlights seven points about introductions 1. Give your readers a reason to pay attention Use your intro to persuade the reader to keep reading Make sure your intro provides an answer to the reader’s question “Why should I read this?” Be sure to Announce your topic Tell your readers how they will benefit from the information you are providing
INTRODUCTIONS Anderson highlights seven points about introductions 1. Give your readers a reason to pay attention Two ways to highlight reader benefits Refer to your reader’s request or needs (if appropriate) Offer to help your readers solve a problem Establish a problem-solving relationship Tell your readers the problem you will help them solve Tell your readers what you have done toward solving the problem Tell your readers how your communication will help them as they perform their part of your joint problem-solving effort (Carefully not to overdo this part—you don’t want the intro to become too long)
INTRODUCTIONS Anderson highlights seven points about introductions 2. State your main point Why? You help your readers find what they most want or need. You increase the likelihood that your readers will actually read your main point instead of putting your communication aside before they get to it. You provide your readers with a context for viewing the details that follow.
INTRODUCTIONS Anderson highlights seven points about introductions 3. Tell your readers what to expect Provide a preview of the organization: “Our study has identified two potential problems...” “After a brief description of the problem, we compare two possible strategies that might reduce the risks...” Indicate the scope of your discussion: “This report focuses specifically on the economic risks and does not attempt to address legal or regulatory risks.”
INTRODUCTIONS Anderson highlights seven points about introductions 4. Encourage openness to your message Remember that readers respond moment-by-moment so you want to encourage openness to your message Why might readers resist your message? It contains bad news for them It contains ideas or recommendations that will be unwelcome to them They distrust, resent or compete with you, your department, or organization They might be skeptical of your knowledge and/or expertise They might be suspicious of your motives
INTRODUCTIONS Anderson highlights seven points about introductions 4. Encourage openness to your message Strategies for encouraging openness Present yourself as a partner, not as a critic or competitor Delay the presentation of your main point Work early on to establish your credibility
INTRODUCTIONS Anderson highlights seven points about introductions 5. Provide necessary background information Readers might need to understand your method of analysis or other assumptions Readers might need to understand specialized terminology Readers might need background information on the topic itself— how did we get here? Be careful, though. The only background information that belongs in the introduction is whatever is absolutely necessary to understand the focus of the text and your main point
INTRODUCTIONS Anderson highlights seven points about introductions 6. Include a summary unless your communication is very short In certain kinds of documents, you might want to include an “executive summary” with your text Such summaries are common in business and technical writing and not so common in other types of writing
INTRODUCTIONS Anderson highlights seven points about introductions 7. Adjust the length of your beginning to your readers’ needs There is no rule that tells how long the beginning should be. A good, reader-centered beginning may require only a phrase or may take several pages. You need to give your readers only the information they don’t already know. Just be sure they know the following: The reason they should read the communication (guideline 1) The main point of the communication (guideline 2) The organization and scope of the communication (guideline 3) The background information they need in order to understand and use the communication (guideline 5) If you have given your readers all this information—and have encouraged them to receive your message openly (guideline 4)—then you have written a good beginning, regardless of how long or short it is.
CONCLUSIONS Think of the conclusion Not just as an ending But as a transition—it leads readers out of your communication and back into the larger stream of their activities As providing you with the opportunity to help readers by answering the question, “What should I do now?”
CONCLUSIONS To decide what you want your conclusion to do, ask yourself What do I want my readers to think, feel, and do as they finish this communication? What kind of ending might my readers be expecting? How important is it that I satisfy those expectations?
CONCLUSIONS And then decide on the appropriate strategy 1. After you’ve made your last point, stop 2. Repeat your main point 3. Summarize your key points 4. Refer to a goal stated earlier in your communication 5. Focus on a key feeling 6. Tell your readers how to get assistance or more information 7. Tell your readers what to do next 8. Identify any further study that is needed 9. Follow applicable social conventions
CONCLUSIONS Some appropriate strategies 1. After you’ve made your last point, stop Some communications don’t require conclusions. Some common ones are Proposals Formal reports (which might end with recommendations for example) Instructions If your communication does not require a conclusion, then you don’t need to write one
CONCLUSIONS Some appropriate strategies 2. Repeat your main point Endings are points of emphasis Repeat your main point if you are concerned readers might have forgotten it Also repeat it if it helps the reader know what to do next
CONCLUSIONS Some appropriate strategies 3. Summarize your key points Summarize your key points if you are concerned that your reader has forgotten them (i.e. long communications) Summarize your key points if the argument is long and complex Summarize your key points if it helps the reader know what to do next
CONCLUSIONS Some appropriate strategies 4. Refer to a goal stated earlier in your communication This strategy is similar to restating your main idea and to summarizing your key points The key to all three of these strategies is the “rounding-back” of the conclusion—the return to words, ideas stated at the beginning as a way of signaling to the reader a return and the possibility of closure Literary critics often refer to this quality as giving the reader “a sense of ending”
CONCLUSIONS And then decide on the appropriate strategy 5. Focus on a key feeling Keep in mind that pathos might be key to your persuasion You might want to leave readers with a feeling and not just with facts Minimally, all communications attempt to communicate some “feeling” to readers, even if it is only the feeling of comfort in the authority of the writer (a feeling that is very close to what we have been calling “ethos”)
CONCLUSIONS Some appropriate strategies 6. Tell your readers how to get assistance or more information Some communications end with an offer of help If you have any questions about this matter, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 7. Tell your readers what to do next Some communications end by telling readers exactly what to do next After you have administered the survey in both classes, please return to me the completed responses (along with any blanks). 8. Identify any further study that is needed Some communications end by identifying the next question needing study While the data suggests a strong correlation between feeder institution and performance on the WPE, a wider study is needed.
CONCLUSIONS Some appropriate strategies 9. Follow applicable social conventions Remember that every communication is governed by Purpose Audience Conventions (or Genre) Writers need to pay attention to local conventions or risk alienating readers. Minimally, these conventions might be social (certain kinds of gestures that are expected (expressions of thanks, offers of help, and so on).