Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chapters 8 and 9

Make your sentences, paragraphs and subsections useful and if need be, persuasive for your readers.  That's the point of chapters 8 and 9 in Anderson's Technical Writing Text.

These chapters really get down to the blow by blow execution of writing.  The major theme is keeping things simple.  Readers typically like the point early and then to have the details later.  By getting the point early in a paragraph or section, they can use what follows to answer questions they had about the major point.  Sentences should also be kept simple and flow logically.  A simple sentence is direct, assertive, and concise. There are exceptions to the call for directness, but this is usually a persuasive tool used to address negatives.  Sentences should also flow from one to the next without major changes in subject without giving the reader a heads up.

For larger groupings, the emphasis is on headings.  Headings should accurately cover the subject matter in their section, and follow an hierarchy that lets the reader connect concepts to a larger theme.  The arrangement of headings is crucial.  They can follow an ordered format, a cause and effect format, a pros and cons, etc.  The format is determined by the objective of the writing.

The use organization in sections, and intelligent choices in sentence structure and words used can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your writing.

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