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Writing and Editing for Compliance. Carol Burton , Director of the SACS Review Western Carolina University [email protected] Brian Gastle , Associate Professor of English Western Carolina University [email protected] http://www.wcu.edu/sacs/. Overview: Form Follows Function.

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writing and editing for compliance

Writing and Editing for Compliance

Carol Burton, Director of the SACS Review

Western Carolina University

[email protected]

Brian Gastle, Associate Professor of English

Western Carolina University

[email protected]

http://www.wcu.edu/sacs/

overview form follows function
Overview:Form Follows Function
  • Focus on the Writing Issues involved in preparing SACS reports
  • Recognize that Form is not separate from Content
  • Overview of Writing Process
    • Preparing to Write Reports
    • Writing and Editing Reports
    • Final Report Preparation
before you begin composing
Before You Begin Composing
  • Envision a final format
    • Allows you to set a goal
    • May change as you develop product
  • Take a technology inventory
    • Will inform both print and online decisions
    • Will inform who will be working on the project (especially writers/editors)
  • What method of composition will allow you to reach that goal
before you begin composing5
Before You Begin Composing
  • Determine who will be working on what part and when (schedule)
    • Buy-In and Input:
      • Authors
      • Editors
      • Reviewers
      • Tech/IT
    • Importance of budget, release time, and/or “count towards”
writing issues
Writing Issues
  • Style Sheet
    • Format
    • Rhetorical Strategies
  • Training Session
    • For writers and editors
    • Online vs. Print
  • Document Preparation
style sheet
Style Sheet
  • Defines Formatting and Writing (style) issues
    • Can start with a common style (MLA, APA, etc.) but should modify for these reports
  • Terms and Abbreviations
  • Make widely available
  • Organize a training session for writers and editors
style sheet common issues
Style Sheet – Common Issues
  • Names, Titles, and Programs
  • List Item Syntax
  • Illustration Refs
  • Document Design/layout
  • Headings
  • Subordination/indentation
training writers editors and reviewers
Training Writers, Editors, and Reviewers
  • Conduct a brief writing workshop for writers, editors, and reviewers
    • Reviewers can provide good editorial feedback as well as content feedback
  • Discuss Style Sheet
    • This can be an “excuse” so it doesn’t look like you are trying to teach them how to write (which you are)
  • Use Style Sheet as excuse to talk about some basic rhetorical strategies
basic training professional rhetoric

Basic Training: Professional Rhetoric

Clear

Accurate

Concise

Accessible

(CACA!?!?)

active and passive voice
Active and Passive Voice

Active voice: subject does the verb; the subject performs the action expressed in the verb; the subject acts.

  • Passive voice: verb does the subject; the subject receives the action expressed in the verb; the subject is acted upon.
  • Prefer Active
    • Shorter (therefore clearer) sentences
    • Implies authority and forcefulness
active passive examples
Active/Passive Examples
  • Periodic surveys of students have been conducted by the University to assess student learning.
  • The University conducts periodic surveys of students to assess student learning.
  • Al curriculum changes are approved by the faculty.
  • The faculty approve all curriculum changes.
  • Since the last review was performed by SACS, not all of the procedures required were implemented by the Provost.
  • The Provost did not implement all of the procedures SACS required during the last review
expletive construction
Expletive construction
  • Expletive sentences use “filler” words that don’t add meaning
  • Makes sentences needlessly longer
  • Usually begins
    • “There is/are . . .”
    • “It is . . .”
  • Focus on the “real” subject of the sentence
expletive examples
Expletive Examples
  • There are several programs designed to provide academic support to students.
  • Several programs provide academic support to students.
  • It is common for over twenty faculty to attend these training seminars.
  • Over twenty faculty commonly attend these training seminars.
  • There has been a decrease in the number of students enrolled in our training sessions
  • The number of students enrolled in our training sessions has decreased.
  • The use of in-class demonstrations has resulted in a dramatic increase in enrollment.
  • In-class demonstrations have increased enrollment dramatically.
nominalizations
Nominalizations
  • Turning a verb or an adjective into a noun
  • Nominalizations increase sentence length (therefore decreasing readability)
  • Focus on the “real” verb in the sentence
nominalization examples
Nominalization Examples
  • Budget cuts constitute a threat to faculty development programs.
  • Budget cuts threaten faculty development programs.
  • The University conducts periodic surveys of students to assess student learning.
  • The University periodically surveys students to assess student learning.
other rhetorical issues
Other Rhetorical Issues
  • Report Length
  • Jargon
  • Brevity/conciseness
  • Online and print versions
    • Must be the same
    • Online rhetoric similar to technical documentation rhetoric
  • Importance of Formatting and Layout
    • This IS a rhetorical issue
    • Use SACS standard as a guide for sections within a report
document preparation putting it all together
Document Preparation:Putting it all together
  • Making print = online
  • Preparing prefatory material
  • Final checking of print version
    • The impotence of proofreading
  • Making it look good
  • Printing issues

importance

slide20

Thank You

Brian Gastle

Associate Professor, English

Western Carolina University

[email protected]

Carol Burton

Director of the SACS Review

Western Carolina University

[email protected]

http://www.wcu.edu/sacs/

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