To learn how to Build a forceful style. Choose between active and passive voice. Make your writing tight and concise. Vary sentence patterns. Use the right tone. Revising Sentences and Paragraphs
Start by answering these questions: What’s “good” style? Are there rules I should follow? What should I look for when I revise sentences? What should I look for when I revise paragraphs? How does organizational culture affect style? Revising Sentences and Paragraphs
To Create Good Style • Use friendly, conversational words. • Avoid contractions, slang, and even minor grammatical lapses. • Edit your writing to sound confident, even in uncomfortable situations. • Allow for some individual variation—use your own “voice.”
Half Truths About Style • None of the following is necessarily true—decide what is appropriate based on audience and discourse community: • Write what “sounds” good. • Never use I. • Use big words.
Get a clean page or screen. Try WIRMI (What I really mean is) Read the draft aloud to someone. Ask someone else to read it to you. Read widely and a lot. Use the techniques on the next slide. To Improve Style
To Revise Sentences • Use active verbs most of the time. • Use strong verbs. • Tighten your writing. • Vary sentence length and structure. • Use parallel structure. • Put your readers in your sentences.
To Revise Paragraphs • Begin most paragraphs with topic sentences. • Use transitions to link ideas. • e.g., and, but, however, for example, after, moreover.
To Deal with Poor Style at Work • Use the techniques in this module. • Help your boss (or co-worker) learn about writing. • Recognize that style may serve purposes other than communication. • Ask if people truly like the standard.