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Effective writing
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Effective writing
Dr. Vijayakumar, K. P.
DLIS, University of Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram “ 695 034Page 2

Types of Writing
Expressive writing
Expository writing
Persuasive writing
Technical writingPage 3

Technical Writing
TW is an important part of many peopleâ„¢s
everyday work life. It can take up as much
as 20 percent of a typical workweek.
Naturally, employees must strive to write
well.Page 4

Types of documents produced in TW
Journal articles
Monographs/ handbooks
User manuals
Course materialsPage 5

Seven Câ„¢s related to effective writing
Be clear:
Have a definite purpose for writing.
Be bold and connect the points quickly.
2. Be complete:
include all necessary facts and
background information to support the
message you are communicating.Page 6

Seven Câ„¢s related to effective
3. Be concise:
Keep in mind the readerâ„¢s knowledge of the
subject and their time constraints.
Convey the information as quickly as possible.
4. Be creative:
Use different formats (instead of straight
narrative) to communicate your message.
Eg:. Q & A format, graphic, idea lists, etc. Page 7

Seven Câ„¢s related to effective
5. Be considerate:
Keep your readerâ„¢s needs in mind as you
Ask yourself,â„¢ Why should my reader
spend time reading this?â„¢
Make it worthwhile for them to do so! Page 8

Seven Câ„¢s related to effective
6. Be correct:
Check all your information to ensure that they
are accurate and timely.
Double- check your spelling, punctuation and
Proof read it before you send it.
7. Be credible:
Strive to present yourself from a position of
reliability and competence.
Write to reinforce your message and make it
more believable. Page 9

Stages in Writing
1. Prewriting (25% of the time)
Preparation of outline
2. Writing (25% of the time)
Preparation of draft
3. Rewriting (50% of the time)
Correcting, adding, deleting, realigning,
editing etc.Page 10

Techniques of preparing of an article
Questions to be answered
Why was the work done?
What was done?
What was found?
What is the significance of the result?
What are the most important
conclusions?Page 11

Organization of the contents
Details of the author
Abstract and key words
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Methodology/procedure of study
4.3 Results
Tables, IllustrationsPage 12

Organization of the contents¦
4.4 Discussion
4.5 Conclusion
5. Acknowledgements
6. Appendices
7. ReferencesPage 13

Details of contents
-- short, simple, explicit
-- include major keywords in the title
-- 150 “ 250 words
Body of the paper
-- Introduction, Methodology,
Results, Discussion,
ConclusionPage 14

Details of contents¦
Textual matter should be divided into
sections using sub-headings.
Headings & sub-headings can be
numbered to show hierarchy.
Eg: Section 5 can be sub-divided
as 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5
5.1 into 5.1.1, 5.1.2Page 15

Details of contents¦
4. Acknowledgements
To those who have guided, assisted,
sponsored or financed the study.
5. Appendices
Materials which are not so essential
but at the same time support the paper are
given at the end of the paper as appendix
or appendices.Page 16

Details of contents¦
6. Citations or References
Sources which need to be cited are
given at the end of the paper.
The most important point is that the
references have to be linked with the body
of the text. Two methods are commonly
followed for this. Page 17

Details of contents¦
Author-date system (Harvard System)
In this method, the cited reference is
indicated in the body at the appropriate
location by giving the name of the author
and the year of publication within
parentheses. Eg:
Bibliometrics is defined as the application of
mathematical and statistical principles in
scientific communication (Pritchard, 1969).Page 18

Details of contents¦
In this method, the references are given at
the end in the alphabetical order of the
ii. Numerical system (Vancouver system)
Here, the references are linked with the
text using numbers as superscript. Eg:
Pritchard defines bibliometrics as the
application ¦¦ communication
5.Page 19

Details of contents¦
The references are given at the end in
numerical order.
Tables and figures:
Tables and figures have to be
numbered sequentially and suitably
captioned. In other words, they should be
self-explanatory. They also should be
indicated in the body of the text.Page 20

Style of presentation -- Tips
Use simple, declarative sentences.
Give proper attention to syntax.
Avoid clichés, hackneyed phrases.
Avoid redundancy.
Use present tense, whenever you mention
something which is widely accepted.
Use active voice instead of passive voice. Page 21

Style of presentation “ Tips¦
Give proper attention to singular-plural.
Be cautious in giving punctuation marks.
Eg: Woman without her man is a savage.
Woman, without her man, is a savage.
Woman “ without her, man is a savage.
Louis XIV, declares Voltaire, is a traitor.
Louis XIV declares, Voltaire is a traitor.Page 22

Tools for good writing
-- General dictionaries
-- Subject dictionaries
-- GlossariesPage 23

Tools for good writing¦
2. Thesauri
-- Language thesauri
Rogetâ„¢s Thesaurus
Longmans Thesaurus
-- Subject thesauri
Thesaurus of Engineering and
Scientific Terms (TEST)Page 24

Tools for good writing¦
Style Manuals
Manuals which prescribe the norms to be
followed in the preparation of different
types of documents.
Eg: Journal articles, theses, reportsPage 25

Style Manuals¦
A Style Manual consists of rules or guidelines that a
publisher observes to ensure clear and consistent
presentation of written material.
Editorial style concerns uniform use of such elements as:
-- punctuation and abbreviations
-- construction of tables
-- selection of headings
-- citation of references
-- presentation of statistics, and
-- many other elements that are a part of a
manuscript.Page 26

Style manuals
1. Chicago Manual of Style, 15
Chicago: University of Chicago, 1993.
2.Publication Manual of the American
Psychological Association, 5th ed.
Washington: American
Psychological Association, 2001.
3. MLA Handbook for Writers of
Research papers. Modern
Languages Association.Page 27

Style manuals¦
4. Aravinda Chandra and Saxena, T. P.
Style manual for writing theses,
dissertations and papers in Social
Sciences. New Delhi: Metropolitan, 1979.
5. Council of Biology Editors Style Manual:
a guide for authors, editors and
publishers in the Biological Sciences, 4
ed. Page 28

Chicago Manual of Style
The Chicago Manual of Style (abbreviated in
writing as CMS or CMOS) is a style guide for
American English published since 1906 by the
University of Chicago Press.
Its 15 editions have prescribed writing and
citation styles widely used in publishing.
The CMS deals with aspects of editorial practice,
from American English grammar and usage to
document preparation.Page 29

Chicago Manual of Style -- Contents
1 The Parts of a Published Work
2 Manuscript Preparation and Manuscript Editing
3 Proofs
4 Rights and Permissions BY WILLIAM S. STRONG
5 Grammar and Usage BY BRYAN A. GARNER
6 Punctuation
7 Spelling, Distinctive Treatment of Words, and
CompoundsPage 30

Chicago Manual of Style “ Contents¦
8 Names and Terms
9 Numbers
10 Foreign Languages
11 Quotations and Dialogue
12 Illustrations and Captions
13 Tables
14 Mathematics in Type
15 AbbreviationsPage 31

Chicago Manual of Style “ Contents¦
16 Documentation I: Basic Patterns
17 Documentation II: Specific Content
18 Indexes
Appendix A: Design and Production“Basic Procedures and
Appendix B: The Publishing Process for Books and Journal
IndexPage 32

Publication Manual of the American Psychological
It is the is the style manual of choice in
Psychology, Sociology, Business, Economics,
Nursing, Social Work, Law and other disciplines.
It provides clear guidance on grammar, the
mechanics of writing, and APA Style.
The Publication Manual offers an authoritative
and easy-to-use reference and citation system
and comprehensive coverage of the treatment of
numbers, metrication, statistical and
mathematical data, tables, and figures for use in
writing, reports, or presentations.Page 33

APA Style Manual
It also provides guidelines on how to choose
text, tables, or figures to present data
Guidelines for writing cover letters for
submitting articles for publication, plus a sample
Expanded guidelines on the retention of raw
New advice on establishing written agreements
for the use of shared data
New information on the responsibilities of co-
authorsPage 34

APA Style Guide to Electronic
This Guide contains:
Elements to Include in References to Electronic Sources
Understanding a URL
Using the Archival Copy or Version of Record
Example References
Journal Articles
-- Article with DOI assigned
-- Article with no DOI assigned
-- Preprint version of article
-- In-press article, retrieved from institutional or personal Web
-- Manuscript in preparation, retrieved from institutional or
personal Web sitePage 35

APA Style Guide to Electronic
Electronic Books
Dissertations and Theses
Curriculum and Course MaterialPage 36

APA Style Guide to Electronic
Book Reviews and Journal Article
Reference Materials
Raw Data
Computer Programs, Software, and
Programming Languages
Gray LiteraturePage 37

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research
MLA style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts
and using the English language in writing.
MLA style also provides writers with a system for
referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in
their essays and Works Cited pages.
Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by
demonstrating accountability to their source material.
Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers
from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or
accidental uncredited use of source material by other
writers.Page 38

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research
If you are asked to use MLA format, be sure to
1. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research
Papers (6th edition).
2. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly
Publishing (2nd edition).
The MLA Handbook is available in most writing
labs and reference libraries; it is also widely
available in bookstores, libraries, and at the MLA
web site. Page 39

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research
General Guidelines
Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard,
white 8.5 x 11- inch paper,
Double-space the text of your paper, and use a legible font
like Times Roman. The font size should be 12 pt.
Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation
marks (unless otherwise instructed by your instructor).
Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
Indent the first line of a paragraph one half-inch (five spaces
or press tab once) from the left margin.Page 40

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research
Create a header that numbers all pages
consecutively in the upper right-hand corner,
one-half inch from the top and flush with the
right margin. (Note: Your instructor may ask that
you omit the number on your first page. Always
follow your instructor's guidelines.)
Use either italics or underlining throughout your
essay for the titles of longer works and, only
when absolutely necessary, providing emphasis.
If you have any endnotes, include them on a
separate page before your Works Cited page.Page 41

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research
Formatting the First Page of Your Paper
Do not make a title page for your paper unless
specifically requested.
In the upper left-hand corner of the first page,
list your name, your instructor's name, the
course, and the date. Again, be sure to use
double-spaced text.
Double space again and center the title. Don't
underline your title or put it in quotation marks;
write the title in Title Case, not in all capital
letters. Page 42

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research
Use quotation marks and underlining or italics when referring
to other works in your title, just as you would in your text, e.g.,
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Morality Play
Human Weariness in "After Apple Picking"
Double space between the title and the first line of the text.
Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes
your last name, followed by a space with a page number;
number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4,
etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin.
(Note: Your instructor or other readers may ask that you omit
last name/page number header on your first page. Always
follow their guidelines.)Page 43

MLA Citation Style
Okuda, Michael, and Denis Okuda. Star Trek
Chronology: The History of the Future. New
York: Pocket, 1993.
Journal Article
Wilcox, Rhonda V. Shifting roles and Synthetic
Women in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Studies in Popular Culture 13.2 (1991):53-65.Page 44

MLA Citation Style¦
Article in a book
James, Nancy E. Two sides of Paradise: The Eden
Myth According to Kirk and Spock. Spectrum of the
Fantastic. Ed. Donald Palumbo. Westport:
Greenwood, 1988. 219-223.
Lynch, Tim. DSN Trials and Tribble-ations Review.
Psi Phi: Bradleyâ„¢s Science Fiction Club.1996.
Bradley University. 8 Oct. 1997 <http://www.bradley.
edu/campusorg/psiphi/DS9/ep/503r.html>.Page 45

Tools for good writing¦
Writerâ„¢s Manuals
These are the guidelines given by various
agencies or authors giving the guidelines to be
followed for bringing out various publications.
Eg: Chandler, Harry E. Technical writers
handbook. Ohio: American Society for Metals,
Day, Robert A. How to write and publish a
scientific paper. New Delhi: Vikas, 1992. Page 46

Reference Management Software
The reference management system can be
manual, electronic or a combination of
Manual reference management systems
involve recording of reference details of
articles on index cards and filing them in a
catalogue cabinet.
Electronic management systems are
specialized software for the purpose. Page 47

Reference Management Software¦
Reference management software
packages usually maintain a backend
database of reference details and provide
a user interface which facilitates in
searching and rendering of references in
the desired style.
Functions of reference management
software include:
-- input references from a variety of
sources like bibliographic databasesPage 48

Reference Management Software¦
-- search, edit, sort and share references
-- render references in a variety of formats
-- select references to incorporate them in
a word-processed document and
format them automatically, and
-- store links to documents or copies of
them within database.Page 49

Commercial Software
-- EndNote (
-- Reference Manager (
-- ProCite (
Open Source
-- Aigaion (
-- Pubs Online (
-- refBASE ( 50

Chandler, Harry E. Technical writers
handbook. Ohio: American Society for
Metals, 1983.
Day, Robert A. How to write and publish
a scientific paper. New Delhi: Vikas,

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