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Pre-Writing: Planning

1. Read the questions carefully to understand what you are being asked to do.
2. Listen actively. Keep your purpose for listening in mind by referring to questions.
3. During the first reading jot down notes on significant devices of the passage based on the
4. During the second reading, check to see if your jottings from the first reading are
supported by the entire passage.
5. Give the answer the question asks for.
6. Write your answers in complete sentences
7. Use your summary writing skills. A long answer is not necessarily a better answer.
1. A main idea should not be a purpose. It should read:
"The main idea of the passage is that..." NOT "The main idea of the passage is to tell..."
2. When commenting on the effectiveness of a device used by the writer, you are to tell how the
use of the device helps the writer to achieve his purpose for writing.
Weak Answer: "The writer uses a metaphor to describe the beauty of the sunset and how night
fell." or "The writer uses a metaphor to bring his point across."
Better Answer: "The writer uses a metaphor to convey his admiration for the magnificent sunset
and to show how suddenly night fell upon the landscape."
1. Check your responses against the questions on the exam to ensure that you have
answered all the parts of each question with exactly what has been asked.
2. Edit your work to get rid of grammatical errors, expression errors and unclear sentences.

MODULE 1: Language Strategies

When you read a passage or hear some form of verbal communication, there are linguistic
features which make an impression on you. This is so because the words, graphs and symbols
chosen and their arrangements are telling you something about the writers/speakers purpose
and context.
The use of various linguistic, grammatical, punctuations and features to convey the overall
purpose of the speaker/writer are referred to as language strategies.
In assessing the language strategy of a speaker/writer or in devising strategies of your own, you
may want to consider the following:
The Linguistic Features
These refer to the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary that the writer uses to convey his intended
message. Consider what the use of each of the following might mean:

Type of language used: spoken or written, formal or informal, personal or impersonal,

standard or creole?

The vocabulary used: prosaic or florid, simple or stilted, slang or formal, repetition of key
words and phrases?

The phrasing and sentence structure: simple or complex, economical or verbose, direct or

Connotative or Denotative use of language: words used emotively - to convey arouse

feelings, to suggest; words used referentially - to emphasize or state factual content;
words which seem to primarily about conveying facts but which are really intended to
arouse emotions.

Significant use of punctuation marks- eg. pause marks such as full stops, question signs,
exclamation marks and suspension dots.

Lay-out of the page- use of banner headlines, newspaper (column) or broad-sheet lay-out,
advertising-copy layout, verse-lay-out, portrait or landscape lay-out.

Typographical features- use of font sizes, bold face, capitals, spacing, indentation,
italic/roman type.

Use of pictures and graphics - help make written concepts plain; reinforce concepts; help
to stimulate for younger readers.

Function and Purpose of the Language

Identifying the type of writing (discourse) will help you determine its function. Consider if it is
narrative, expository, descriptive, dramatic, argumentative?

The Context of the Language

Every time language is used to communicate meaning it takes place within a particular set of
circumstances referred to as the context of use. The context influences the way language is used
and it includes:

the subject matter or content to be communicated

the purpose for the communication

the writer`s/speaker`s awareness of her relationship to the audience

the way the writer/speaker wishes or expects the audience to respond

Selecting Your Target Audience

To communicate effectively with your intended target audience, you must have a `sense` of that
audience. You need to know what they are like and what their expectations are. Here are some

The age of the speaker/narrator and the effect on the audience/reader/listener receiving
the communication

The status or social background of the audience

The knowledge background of the audience - how much or little do they know of the
topic being communicated and the level of their interest.

The presence or absence of an emotional connection between speaker/writer and intended

audience - is it hostile, indifferent, cordial, intimate?

The size of the audience being addressed - inter-personal or group communication?

The degree to which the communication is intended to be public, private or intimate.

CAPE'S Characteristics of English Creole Languages - PART 3


English Creole (EC) has words that do not resemble words in Caribbean Standard English (CSE)
even though they share the same meaning. For example:
1. Pickney and Child
2. Nyam and Eat
3. Bazodi and Confused
4. Nose-hole and Nostril
5. Eye-water and Tears
EC and CSE have shared words that signify different parts of speech. For example:
1. Stink (adj.) and Stink (n, v)
2. Over (v, prep, adv.) and Over (prep, adv)
3. Sweet (adj., v, n) and Sweet (adj., n)
EC and CSE share words that though they resemble, have different meanings. For example:

1. Miserable = Ill-tempered and Miserable = Wretched

2. Ignorant = Ill-tempered and Ignorant = lacking in knowledge

CAPE'S Characteristics of English Creole Languages - PART 2 (PHONOLOGY)

Characteristics of Phonology (English Creole vs Caribbean Standard English)

English Creole uses:

1. No voiced consonant clusters at the end of words, for example, -nd is replaced by -n, as in
han, san. Whereas CSE uses voiced clusters at the end of words, for example, -nd, as in hand,
2. No voiceless consonant clusters at the end of words, for example, -st is replaced by -s, as in
tes, wris; similarly -ft is replaced by -f, for example as in lef. Whereas in CSE, voiceless
consonant clusters occur at the end of words, for example, -st, as in test, wrist; -ft, as in left.
3. No voiceless-voiced consonant clusters at the end of words, for example, -sed is replaced by -s
as in miss; -ghed becomes gh in words like laugh; -ped > p, as in leap. Whereas CSE makes use
of voiceless-voiced consonant cluster at the end of words, for example: -st, as in test, wrist, -ft,
as in left.

4. No voiced 'th' sound at the beginning of words or syllables; a 'd' sound instead, for example in
dey, dem, la.der. Whereas CSE uses the voiced 'th' sound at the beginning of words or
syllables, for example, in they, them and there.
5. No voiceless 'th' sound at the end of words or syllables; a 't'; or 'f' sound instead, for example,
in fift/fif, wit/wif. Whereas in CSE the voiceless 'th' sound occurs at the end of words or
syllables, for example in fifth and with.

CAPE'S Characteristics of English Creole Languages - PART 1 (GRAMMAR)

Characteristics of Grammar (English Creoles vs. Caribbean Standard English)

English Creole uses:

1. Unlimited count nouns with generic meaning, for example, woman sweet. Whereas Caribbean
Standard English (CSE) pluralizes count nouns with generic meaning, for example, women are
2. Unmarked action verbs with past time reference, for example, him kiss mi and run weh.
Whereas in CSE action verbs with past time references are marked, for example, he kissed me
and ran away.
3. Preverbal markers to indicate time for example, ben/bin/wen/did (past marker), go (future
marker), a (marker of continuous and habitual), does (marker of habitual). Whereas CSE uses
auxiliaries and suffixes, for example did/-ed (past), will/shall (future), -ing (continuous), simple
present tense forms (cook, cooks)

4. Subject- adjective structures, for example, mi nice, di street wet. Whereas CSE uses Subjectcopula-adjective structures, for example, I am nice, the street is wet.
5. Subject-verb word order in question formation, together with rising intonation, for example,
you done wash di clothes? Whereas CSE inverts the subject and auxiliary in question formation
together with rising intonation, for example, have you finished washing the clothes?
6. Front-focusing of different parts of the sentence for emphasis, tired a tired, is di chicken he
burn. Whereas CSE has pitch-emphasized parts, for example, I am tired, he burned the chicken.

Language (Dialectal) Variation

Language Variation or Dialectal Variation, refers to changes in language due to various
influences. These include, social, geographic, individual and group factors.
This refers to the variety of language characteristic of a particualar group of people in a given
speech community (country) or region. For example one may refer to a Caribbean dialect as
there are certain vocabulary items and sentence structures that Caribbean countries have in

There is no definition of creole that is accepted by all. The meaning of the word 'creole' has
changed considerably over the years. However, it is normally used to refer to a dialect or
language which results from contact between the language of a colonizing people and the
language of a colonized people. In the Caribbean, Creole languages are as a result of contact
between English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch (languages of the colonizers) and West
African languages (languages of the colonized).
Patois is a word of French origin which translates most closely, in French, to mean 'gibbrish'. It
was a word used to describe how foreign and strange Creole languages sounded to the speakers
of European languages. Patois is used to refer to a geographical dialect which differs from the
standard language spoken in a given country. In Jamaica, for example, the word patois is used to
refer to the English based creole spoken. Patois carries the usual negative associations and lack
of prestige which characterize non-standard, rural or regional dialects.
StandardVariety (Example: English, French).
This is the variety of language or dialect that is used for formal, official and education purposes.
It is also used as an instrument for mass education and communication causing it to

acquire greater prestige and uniformity. (Creoles have been observed to lack uniformity as a
result of not being standardized.) Most Caribbean countries have a Eurpoean language as its
standard variety for formal, official purposes and a Creole language for informal communication
amongst native, family and friends. The notable exception is Haiti where the French Creole was
made an official language alongside French.
This is a popular, fashionable use of words and phrases which may be either old words given
new meaning or completely new words. In the same way that fashion changes, so do slang
expressions. Slang is a normal part of everyday speech but may not be acceptable in certain
formal settings. When used in formal writing, in particular, these expressions should be put in
inverted commas (For e.g, 'wicked'- Jamaican slang for good/amazing, 'off the chain'-American
slang for exciting/good).
Foreign English
This refers to varieties of the English language spoken by persons not from ones country.

Rasta English
This refers to a special variety of English indegenous to Jamaica, spoken by a religious group of
persons called Rastafarians. This variety diffrentiates itself from standard and non-standard
English by use of different, specialized vocabulary items. The psychology of 'no contradiction'
extends to all aspects of a Rastafarian's life, including language. Hence because it sounds
contradictory for oppress -/up-res/ to mean held down in life, Rastafarians refer to this verb as
downpress. Likewise instead of participation -/part-icipation/ to mean being fully involved they
refer to this noun as fullticipation. The language is also characterized by use of 'I' to signify
positivity and the importance of the individual in relation to another, so instead of 'You and I',
Rasta would refer to us as 'I and I' to signify that we are both equal in importance. Irie, refers to
a good vibe and Ital food refers to food considered good for the body (i.e, Vegetarian based

Language Registers
Register refers to the perceived attitude and level of formality associated with a variety of
language. The relationship between the writer's attitude and the variety chosen is very important
in the study of written language. In face to face speech, the listener can easily interpret the
attitude of the speaker by examining the speaker's tone of voice, facial expressions and overall
body language. This is not possible in writing. The writer has to use speacialized features of
discourse to convey or mask attitudes. It is then the reader's reponsibility to correctly interpret
the writer's attitude, tone and level of formality. Language Registers range on a scale from
most formal to most informal. The five levels identified have been given specialized names by
Linguists; frozen, formal, consultative, casual and intimate.
1. Frozen: This is where the use of language is fixed and relatively static. The national pledge,
anthem, school creeds and The Lord's Prayer are examples of a frozen register. In essence it is
language that does not require any feedback.
Example: "All visitors are invited to proceed upstairs immediately."
2. Formal: This describes language used in official and ceremonial settings. For example in
court, in a business meeting, at a swearing in ceremony, in an interview or in a classroom etc.

The language used in these settings is comparatively rigid and has a set, agreed upon vocabulary
that is well documented. In other words, the language used is often of a standard variety.
Example: "Would everyone please proceed upstairs at once?"
3. Consultative: This describes language used for the purpose of seeking assistance as is
suggested by the word 'consult'. It also describes the language used between a superior and
subordinate. In both cases one person is deemed as more knowledgeable and having greater
expertise and the other person is the beneficiary of such knowledge and expertise. The language
dynamism between lawyer/client, doctor/patient, employer/employee and teacher/student are
examples of this type of register.
Example: "Would you all please go upstairs right away?"
4. Casual/Informal: This describes language used between friends. It is often very relaxed and
focused on just getting the information out. Slangs are quite often used in these instances.
Example: "Come on upstairs now."
5. Intimate: This is used to describe language used between persons who share a close
relationship or bond. This register would take into account certain terms of endearment, slangs or
expressions whose meaning is shared with a small subset of persons. For example lovers having
special terms of endearment, mothers giving pet names to their children based on some character
trait and best friends formulating slangs based on some shared past experience.
Example: "Come up nuh/ Unu naa go up?/ Unu naa forward?"

Linguistic Features of Jamaican Creole (Patois)


Jamaican Creole is considered a language like any other for two basic reasons:
1. It possesses the characteristic features of a language
2. It performs the functions of a language.
Below is a brief outline of some of these linguistic features:

PHONOLOGY: the sound system of a language. Patois has a sound system independent of

Jamaican Creole does not use the 'th' sound but substitutes with two other sounds: the 't'
sounds as in 'tik' for the English 'thick' and the 'd' sounds as in 'dem' for the English

Jamaican Creole does not pronounce the 'h' sound at the beginning of English words.
Therefore English 'hour' becomes 'our'. Similarly there is the tendency to hyper-correct
and pronounce the 'h' sound at the beginning of words that do not require it, therefore
English 'egg' becomes 'hegg' and 'exam' becomes 'hexam' and so on.

LEXICON: the vocabulary of a language. Although the lexical items of Patois are English
based, many are used in non-English ways.

Some Patois words that appear to be similar to English words do not carry the same
meaning, e.g. 'Ignorant' in Patois means easily angered, very upset and not lacking
knowledge (which is the English definition). Another example is 'Belly' that in patois can
refer to pregnancy.

Some English words are compounded to create nouns not present in English for example
'Foot bottom' for the sole of the feet and 'Eye water' for tears.

Some Creole words are formed by reduplication (base words are repeated to form new
words). For example friedi friedi to mean fearful or timid, chati chati to mean talks
excessively or out of turn.

Some Creole words are adopted from other non-English languages, eg, maroon-Spanish,
pikni-Portuguese, unu, (you plural) -Igbo

GRAMMAR: rules governing the correct use of language

Pluralization is signaled by the addition of the 'dem' after the noun eg. The people dem.
Or to emphasize the numerical marker- 'de two book dem'.

Possession is not signaled, as in English, with the apostrophe 's' suffix but by the word 'fi'
as in 'A fi mi handout'

Zero Copular construction. A Copular links the subject to the predicate. It is derived from
the verb 'to be'. Creole can have a zero copular structure eg. Jane sick for Mary is sick in
Englich or Jane de home for Jane is at home.

SYNTAX: the proper agreement of words in a sentence

Patois mainly uses syntax to highlight certain elements within a sentence while English
often uses pronunciation by verbally stressing that which is to be emphasized. For
example Creole: Is Susan eat di chicken? versus English Susan ate the chicken? Creole:
Is di chicken Susan eat ? versus Susan ate the chicken?

Forms & Context of Communication

Speaking & Writing (MODULE 3)
There are TWO (2) major forms of communication verbal and non-verbal communication.
I. Verbal Communication
This form of communication is characterized by the use of oral and written language. In this
form of communication words are used to bring across a certain message. There are two main
ways in which human beings communicate verbally, that is, through speech and writing.
Reading, writing, speaking and listening are the four ways in which we use this verbal
communication. Each of these is a skill, and effective use of each is necessary for
communication to take place.

Your notes, for instance, are in a written format. However until it is read and interpreted by an
audience/ receiver (you, the student) no communication has taken place. In addition to this, the
entire process is incomplete unless some feedback, in the form of presentations/periodic
tests/assignments, is provided.
For communication to take place, both writing and reading skills must be employed. Similarly,
speech communication does not end with speaking. For communication to effectively take place,
the receiver/audience must employ listening skills.
It is important, then, for us to be able to not only write and speak effectively, but also to read and
listen effectively.
II. Non-Verbal Communication
This form of communication relies on elements other than speech and writing. Non-verbal
communication is equal in importance to verbal communication. According to Leathers (1992),
non-verbal communication is the use of interacting sets of visual, vocal, and invisible
communications systems to convey and interpret meaning.
Non-verbal actions often tell a different story from the one we are telling with words. For
example, if you are making an apology to someone for a wrong done with a smirk on your face,
the person may not believe that you are serious and genuinely apologetic. Some major categories
that fall under non-verbal communication are paralanguage/vocalic, Space/proxemics,
objects/artifacts, posture & movement, time and the senses. These basic elements of non-verbal
communication may be used to enhance communicative behaviours and can have a significant
impact on your total message.
The use of volume, tone, rate, pitch, and quality of voice to give dimension and meaning to
words. This is also referred to as paralanguage as the voice surrounds the words. For example
you raise your pitch at the end of a sentence to indicate that you have completed a thought.

This is the use of space to communicate. For example if someone comes to sit next to you in the
library when the whole table is empty it can communicate a range of things about
relations/interests/personality types.
Artifacts are those items, such as jewelry, clothing or a vehicle that may communicate something
about the type of person you are. If a male wears extremely tight pants or shaves his eyebrows, it
may communicate something about him to others.

This includes posture, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact. Waving, smiling, gazing at
someone, or slumping at your desk, are all instances of movement. Movement communicates
The way you use time, or chronemics, can communicate attitude or status. For instance, one may
show/communicate respect by being early for an appointment or job interview. Conversely, lack
of respect may be communicated by turning up half-an-hour late for a class.
Finally, messages can be sent through the five senses taste, touch, smell etcetera.

Functions of non-verbal communication

There are also six (6) functions of non-verbal communication. That is, we use non-verbal
communication for six main reasons:
i. Substituting is where we use non-verbal communication to replace verbal communication.
Waving goodbye instead of saying it out loud is one example of this.
ii. Reinforcement. We also use non-verbal communication to reinforce or complement our
verbal communication. Pounding your hand onto a table when arguing may reinforce whatever
point youre making.
iii. Regulating. The regulating function of non-verbal communication is used mostly in
conversation to control the flow of messages. Raising your hand to answer or ask a question in
class helps to regulate the communication going on in the room.
iv. Contradiction. Sometimes we use non-verbal communication to contradict our verbal
communication. The most common example of this is using vocalic sarcasm when you say one
thing, but your tone of voice says the opposite.
v. Manage Impressions. We often manage impressions through the use of non-verbal
communication. The way we dress, for example, often coincides with the impression we want
others to have of us.

vi. Establish Relationships. Finally, we use non-verbal communication to establish

relationships. The wearing of a wedding band is a non-verbal indication that the person is

The Context of Communication

As stated earlier, the context of communication is its environment. Context is particularly
important in choosing the types of verbal and non-verbal communication we use every day. A
doctor does not wear short pants and slippers at the clinic; this would be inappropriate. A lawyer
may choose to speak in simple language to a client while using more complex language to a
colleague. A hip-hop star covers himself in bling and speaks a version of English that is not
standard when addressing his fans. All of these are examples of how communication context
influences form of communication.
When deciding on which form of communication to use, always ask yourself these questions:
* Who am I communicating with?
* What is the attitude of my audience?
* Where is this communication act taking place?
Usually, communication contexts occur along a scale from formal to informal. Formal contexts
require certain types of communication and communicative behaviours; informal contexts
require others. A conversation between employer and employee, for example, is not the same as
one between friends, even if the subject matter under discussion is the same.
Basically, a formal situation is one where behaviour is dictated by social norms and patterns, and
an informal situation is one where there are no constraints on behaviour and communication.

Communication Settings

1. Intrapersonal
This means communicating within yourself. When you think, daydream and solve problems that
is seen as intrapersonal communication. Hunger, pain and pleasure are said to be physical
feedback mechanisms.
2. Interpersonal

This form of communication refers to the interactions of two or more people. All communication
involving other people and oneself is seen as interpersonal. It is characterized by oneself being in
direct contact with one other person or a few other people. Interviews, conversations and
intimate communication are all examples of this type of communication.
3. Small Group
This form of communication is characterized by leadership, a somewhat equal sharing of ideas,
peer pressure, roles and norms, and focus on a common goal, usually in face-to-face interaction.
The small group is one of the most important communication settings. Examples of small groups
include the family, interview teams, roommates, workgroups, legislative subcommittees and
military and business groups.
4. Public Communication
This occurs where one person talks to several others and is the dominant focus of the
communication in a public setting. It is characterized by having a speaker and an audience. Here,
the speaker is the primary sender of messages, while others function primarily as receivers of
those messages. The number of the audience is not important here.
5. Mass Communication
This occurs where a message needs help to get from point A to point B from its source/sender
to its destination/receiver. Some form of mechanism is needed to connect the sender to the
receivers. These include print (newspapers or magazines), electrical (radio, television or video),
or electronic (computer modems). There is usually some delay in sending and receiving. There
is also some delay in the feedback, if any, that the sender gets from the receiver.
6. Organizational Communication
This is a very specialized area that focuses on interpersonal, small-group, public and mass
communication as they interact in a complex, multi-group setting. It is especially important to
business, government, and educational institutions. It accounts for what happens to messages as
they travel up, down and around a large collection of individuals.
7. Intercultural Communication
Otherwise known as cross-cultural communication, it describes what happens when the sender of
a message is from a different cultural background than the intended receiver. It may be found in
any other context of communication whenever one individual speaks to another individual from

another country. It is important to take into consideration the differences in cultures in order to
ensure successful cross-cultural communication.

Literary devices commonly used in Paper 1B -Listening comprehension

This paper consists of FOUR questions. You will be given 5 minutes to read through the
questions in this paper. The examiner will then read to you an extract from a piece of
communication. You will be given 20 minutes to respond in writing to the questions. The
extract will be read twice. You will be allowed to make notes while you listen to the extract.
Write down these questions on Havana & proceed to the clip:
1. State the MAIN idea of the extract in ONE sentence of no more than 20 words. (3 marks)

2. Identify FOUR details about Havana which support the claim that 'the years have taken toll on
its architectural riches'. (4 marks)
3a. Identify TWO literary devices used in this extract. (2 marks)
3b. Give ONE example of EACH literary device you have identified in 3a. (2 marks)
4. State FOUR details of the physical setting presented in this extract. (4 marks)

The two widely differing elements are contrasted using a common value to convey further
information about one or both elements. The differences between them often intensify either
their positive or negative qualities. They frequently will be opposites. For example the warmth of
the Caribbean with the cold winter of the United States (comparison point temperature).
Contrasts also can be metaphorical.

Irony is the contrast between what is expected or what appears to be and what actually is. For
example, A clumsy ballet dancer.
Verbal Irony (sarcasm is the tone of voice/writing)
The contrast between what is said and what is actually meant. For example, He did an excellent
job of making a mess.
Irony of Situation
This refers to a happening that is the opposite of what is expected or intended. For Example: The
wedding of a son causes a marital breakdown for the parents.

Compares by stating the element is the item of comparison e.g. The lawyers claws were out and
he would not stop until they drew blood,
Extends a metaphor to compare a situation or particularly to explain a complex item by using a
familiar item to structure the explanation. E.g. Exam preparation is like baking a cake all the
ingredients must be used and preparations thorough before baking. Firstly the ingredients: study
which is lightened with periods of recreation, physical health, managing stress. (The analogy
would continue for several paragraphs even)
Compares two unlike objects using like, as, resembles, looked as though etc. e.g. His exam
worries even after the event were as if a rat was gnawing at his brain.
Compares non-human, inanimate elements OR abstract concepts to using HUMAN qualities e.g.
The building stared down at him daring him to enter OR Justice is never kindly but it is
ruthlessly fair. If the qualities are not human then the comparison is a metaphor e.g. A beast of a
Making reference to familiar classical, biblical, historical or other well known cultural events.
For example: Writers often allude to Anansi-like cunning.


Exaggerates qualities of an element or an overstatement (sometimes for comedic effect). For
Example: I am so hungry I could eat a cow.
Uses repetition of either words, phrases or even a whole sentence. For Example: What if I do not
make it, what if I cannot pass, what if I fail?


Alliteration The repetition of initial consonant sounds barely blowing by
Assonance The repetition of similar vowel sounds- grows below grounds
Onomatopoeia - the word sounds like the sound- the hooting of the owls, the drip of water.

Evaluating Reliability and Validity

In evaluating sources there are two elements reliability and validity. For a data source to be
accurate and credible high levels of reliability and validity is the aim. Both elements are equal in
importance in judging the accuracy and credibility of a source.
Reliability Can the source provide the data?
For a source to be reliable we must evaluate the ability of the source to provide the information.
We are looking at the question Is it likely that this source can provide this data? The major
concern is therefore authority. To evaluate authority we can look at several aspects of the data

1. Author - Is the author an expert in the field? What qualifications does he/she have? For
example an article on a website about HIV+ written by medical doctor might have more
authority than one written by someone without qualification.
2. Professional standards. Does the author have certain professional standards? The
example of a doctor immediately comes to mind. Similarly academic writers who are
published in academic journals or books have to conform to standards and have their
work checked by other academics. Journalists mostly operate within a professional
approach especially large international newspapers such as the New York Times or the
Guardian (UK) Authority can mean expertise.
3. Publisher Is the publisher reputable? Academic publishers need to maintain their
reputation for accurate factual information so they also have editors to ensure a high
standard. Other publishers such as newspapers, magazines etc need to avoid legal action
for libel (telling lies about someone) so also should be careful to print the truth.
4. Organisation or Institution If the data is from an organisation, for example the United
Nations, we need to evaluate their reputation and their role or responsibilities. For
example statistics on the economy from the East Caribbean Central Bank would come
from a highly reliable source as the bank use the statistics to conduct the very important
business of issuing bank notes and controlling the money supply in the region.
5. Research method Could the research method chosen generate the data necessary? For
example in researching teen pregnancy would carrying out an interview of an expert
generate the data needed or would questionnaires of teens be a better choice.
Validity Is the data true?
A source could have high levels of reliability, for example, academic research published in an
academic journal by the leading expert in the field however the data may have a low level of
validity in that it might be very out of date. Equally it may be possible that a source might not be
considered highly reliable for example an internet site which does not have the name of the
author, organisation who maintains the site etc however the data is still true or valid. In
evaluating validity we need to look at accuracy and bias.
To evaluate accuracy we need to look at several aspects of the data:
1. Currency When was the data published or gathered? Could the information be out of
date? For example statistics on rates of HIV+ infection will need to be up to date to be
2. Relevance Does the information relate to the circumstances you are applying it to? For
example, will research carried out in the United States apply to the Caribbean?
3. Data collection Was the data collected by reliable methods? Was it accurately

4. Sample size Was the sample size large enough for generalisation to be accurate? For
example if a newspaper article has only interviewed one person in a large crowd can we
assume that all the points of view are represented? Similarly with social research the
sample size is vital to judging whether the data is representative of the population as a
5. Replicable Do other sources have similar information? Would another similar piece of
research have the same result? This is particularly relevant to sources such as the internet
which lack references. To evaluate bias we can look at:
Representation Does the sample include all the variables within the population such as age,
gender, social class, religion, education level which might affect response? Even with a large
sample if the sample is not representative then bias in the data will occur.
Cultural bias Has the data been collected by someone of the same or a different culture. For
example, an Western researcher may misinterpret a non-Western culture and be biased due to
racism or other factors. Similarly when researching within ones own culture, being subject to the
same values and beliefs as the subjects may cause one not to question certain responses. For
example: when evaluating religion or other beliefs.
Political bias Is the data being presented from either a right wing or a left wing perspective.
The conservative agenda (e.g. free market economics, personal liberty above all other rights and
fundamental religious views) will differ from the liberal agenda (e.g. some control of the market
for social gain, social control for the good of society, religious tolerance for different views).
Social bias Aspects such as gender, race, age and social class may affect the presentation of
data. For example a womens perspective on sexual equality may differ from a mans views.
Faulty research methods Even the best academic researchers can make mistakes and
inexperienced researchers such as a student may have issues with poorly designed and executed
questionnaires and interviews. Mistakes within the research method inadvertently cause bias.
This is why academic research is reviewed by several other academics to evaluate the
methodology and avoid bias in the conclusions or faulty conclusions.
Aim of the source in presenting the data The reason for the data being presented will have an
effect on bias. For example a Government might present certain statistics on economic
performance if they are favourable and might avoid others. Whilst the data is valid, there might
still be bias in that other relevant information is not present. If the sources aim is persuasive
again there may be bias. For example: commercial sites wishing to sell products.

Evaluating Types of Discourse/Rhetorical Modes

Hello Students please be reminded of the reading for the next class which is on Analyzing
Discourse Types. Please see below:
1. Cape Communication Studies (McDermott) pg 46-52; 74-83
2. Writing in English (Section 3) Chps 8-11
In your reading you are to look for:
a. The Definition of 'Discourse'
b. The Definition of 'Main Idea'
c. The motives for choosing a particular type of discourse
d. The differences between the different types of discourse: description, narration, exposition,
persuasion, and argumentation.
Technical/Scientific Writing vs. Artistic Writing
There are two (2) major Prose discourse types - Technical/Scientific Writing and Artistic Writing.
Below is how the two differ:
Technical Writing
1. Objective
2. Scientific data, figures & statistics
3. Precise language
4. Denotative/Concrete words
5. Neutral Tone

Artistic Writing
Opinions, Biases
Figurative Language
Connotative Words
Affective Tone

There are at least five (5) modes of rhetoric that may utilize either one or a combination of
technical and artistic writing depending on the topic, purpose for writing, and audience.
Rhetoric is simply defined as the art of influencing the thought and conduct of an audience.It
also refers to the specialized literary uses of language and the ability to use language effectively
in communication.
Types of Discourse/Rhetoric
The main purpose of this type of discourse is to explain or describe some concept, person or
setting, thought to be unfamiliar, to the audience. Descriptive writing uses various
organizational/spatial strategies. For example in describing a house on a hill, a writer may start
describing what it looks like starting from the base of the hill upwards (ground view). Another
writer may start by describing how it looks from the skies going downwards to the base of the
hill (aerial view).

The main purpose and distinguishing factor of this writing is to explain some concept according
to a given time sequence. For example, The first thing Tory did when she arrived in the beautiful
island of Jamaica was to take a dip in the beautiful azure ocean of the North Coast. Afterwards,
she went to the infamous jerk restaurant, 'Scotchies', for some delicious jerk chicken, festival
and roast corn. She then ordered two glasses of refreshing red stripe beer, which she savored as
she rocked to the irie music fluting in the island breeze. As the sun was about to set, she
contacted a reliable tour company and went for a relaxing drive along the sea coast
culminating in a tour of the alluring fern gully which covered with miles of the most gorgeous
indegenious ferns.
The main purpose of exposition is to define, inform, teach or explain some concept. As such, the
expectation of expository writing is for it to be objective, precise and neutral (free from bias and
prejudice). In otherwords, it mostly uses technical/scientific writing. Writers also employ a
combination of varied organizational strategies in expostion, depending on their topic, audience
and purpose for writing. These may include, cause and effect, comparison/contrast, definition,
description/illustration, etc.
The main purpose of this type of writing is to convince or influence readers to accept a particular
point of view. Persuasive writing does this by mainly appealing to readers' emotions. In this type
of writing you may find the use of emotive words, repitition, figurative language, opinions,
biases etc. In otherwords, this type of writing relies heavily on artistic writing.
The main purpose of this type of writing is to convince or influence readers to accept a particular
point of view. Argumentative writing does this by appealing to readers' logic. Readers expect a
strong piece of argumentative writing to be as objective and neutral as possible, and to convince
them by presenting them with statistical/scientific data, quotes, facts and other information that
can be tested/substantiated. In other words, this type of writing relies heavily on
technical/scientific writing.