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AIR FORCE EFFECTIVE WRITING

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  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 skillthat can be improved through practice.

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

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

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

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

  9. CAMS AFOATS 1 Class Recipe for Success #2: ORGANIZEDOrganize your writing so the readercan effectively follow the argumentor point your trying to getacross.

  10. CAMS AFOATS 1 Class Recipe for Success #3: CLEARWrite clearly. Make every wordcount.

  11. CAMS AFOATS 1 Class Recipe for Success #4: UNDERSTOOD/APPROPRIATEUnderstand your readers and theirneeds. Understand the reader’sexpectations of you. Give them appropriate material.

  12. CAMS AFOATS 1 Class Recipe for Success #5: SUPPORTEDAdequately support your positionwith 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 (e-mails, 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. Drafting the Body:Functions Of Transitions • External transitions (ET) are typically • phrases or sentences located at the end of a paragraph • designed to guide reader between paragraphs

  28. Example: External Transition 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…

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

  30. Example: Internal Transition 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.

  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. Word Doubling • Don’t 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”

  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 Choicesref: The Tongue and Quill • Easily Confused Words (T&Q p.44) • than/then • accept/except • there/their/they’re • its/it’s • 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! It’s 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