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STCE I

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL


COMMUNICATION IN ENGLISH
INTRODUCTION

kE,mju:nI`keISn

What is it ?

COMMUNICATION:
(noun, uncountable)
a) the process of giving information
or of making emotions or ideas
known to someone;
b) the process of speaking or writing
to someone to exchange information
or ideas.
Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2002

COMMUNICATIONS:
(noun, plural)
a) a system for sending
information;
b) a transport system for taking
people or goods from one
place to another.
Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2002

COMMUNICATION:

The activity of communicating;


the
activity
of
conveying
information
WORDWEB5.00

COMMUNICATIONS:
The discipline that studies the
principles
of
transmitting
information and the methods by
which it is delivered (as print or
radio or television etc.)
WORDWEB5.00

the way to
understanding, harmony
and justice
++++++++
COMMUNICATION

a source of conflicts and


hatred

COMMUNIS (Latin):
to create an agreement
to be related to
to be connected to

COMMUNICATION

a complex fundamental component


of
human existence

HOW MUCH
COMMUNICATION IN A
NORMAL DAY?
A CASE STUDY

COMMUNICATION TODAY:
- Main dimension in our
existence
- Numerous types of
communication
- Sometimes we are not aware
that we are communicating

FEATURES
OF
COMMUNICATION

Any process of communication


three sides:
1) externalized communication (whatever
can be seen, verbal or non-verbal)
2) metacommunication
(what can be understood beyond words)
3) intracommunication (communication
of each of us inside ourselves)

COMMUNICATION
There is a context for
communication
Communication is a dynamic
process it has evolution
An irreversible process

FORMS OF COMMUNICATION
CLASSIFYING CRITERIA:
1) by the way the message is conveyed

2) by the way people are involved in


communication
3) by the relationships established among
individuals in communication

1. By the way the message is


conveyed:
a) DIRECT COMMUNICATION - message
conveyed by primary means (words,
gestures, mimicry)
b) INDIRECT COMMUNICATION - by
means of printed paper, electronic, wire,
optic fibre, waves etc.

2. By the way people are involved


in communication:
INTRAPERSONAL COMMUNICATION
(with oneself)
INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION
(in groups)
MASS COMMUNICATION
(for the general public, with specific means)

3. By the relationships
established among individuals in
communication:
ASCENDING COMMUNICATION
(from lower levels to higher levels)
DESCENDING COMMUNICATION
(from top to bottom levels)
HORIZONTAL COMMUNICATION
(among peers)

FEATURES
OF
SCIENTIFIC
AND
TECHNICAL
COMMUNICATION

direct or indirect
intra- or
interpersonal
(sometimes even
mass oriented)
ascending,
descending,
horizontal

THE ELEMENTS OF THE


COMMUNICATION PROCESS

EMITTER

Code
Channel
Message

RECEIVER

Feedback
Barriers

In a CODE: how much ?!


1 verbal language: ..%?
2 nonverbal language (gestures, body
language, distance, appearance, social
behaviour): ..%?
3 paraverbal language (tone of the voice,
speed, way of stressing some words,
pauses etc.): ..%?

Answer:

In a CODE:
1 verbal language: 7%
2 nonverbal language: 55%
3 paraverbal language: 38%

CHANNELS
OF
COMMUNICATION

Informal Semi-formal Formal

BARRIERS IN COMMUNICATION
LINGUISTIC
Level of language
proficiency/stress/emotion/anxiety/prejudice
OF CONCEPTION
False assumptions/routine/lack of interest
ENVIRONMENTAL
Physical/moral fear
TECHNICAL
Static/poor connections

DOING AWAY WITH BARRIERS


6 QUESTIONS
1 WHY?
2 WHO?
3 WHERE?
4 WHEN?
5 WHAT?
6 HOW?

The golden rule


of the 6 Cs
in communication
Always be:
CLEAR
CONCISE
COURTEOUS
CONSTRUCTIVE
CORRECT
COMPLETE

STCE II.A
ACCURACY OF
LINGUISTIC SUPPORT
IN
SCIENTIFIC AND
TECHNICAL
COMMUNICATION

MAIN POINTS COVERED


1 SYNTAX - WORD ORDER
MAIN RULES
2 MORPHOLOGY - THE
ENGLISH VERB GENERAL
PRESENTATION

1. Why WORD ORDER IN


ENGLISH ?
Apply what you already know about word
order in English to the sentence parts
below in order to obtain a correct sentence:
A
BOOK
NEW
HE
ABOUT
ELECTRICAL
ENGINEERING
IS
WRITING

Result:
He is writing a new book about
electrical engineering.

Why is word order compulsory in


English then?
El scrie o carte noua despre electrotehnica.
O carte noua despre electrotehnica scrie el.
Despre electrotehnica scrie el o carte noua.
O carte noua scrie el despre electrotehnica.

Basic Word Order Rule:

1+2+3+4+5+6+7
Sb
(Tom

Pr

DO

IO

OM OP

OT

gives a flower to Mary kindly in the study daily. )

Also:
Good Tom gives a red flower to beautiful Mary kindly
in the cosy study every day.

Exceptions to the rule


1) 1+ Frequency Adverbs + 2+3etc
e.g. He never/always gives a flower to Mary
2) 1+2+4+3+5
e.g. He gives Mary a flower (keep 4 short)

3) 7+1+2+3+4+5+6 (keep 7 short)


e.g. Every day he gives a flower to Mary.

Word Order for


COMPOUND PREDICATES

Subject + Predicate Auxiliary +


Freq Adv + Predicate Verb +
Examples:
I will always look for interesting scientific
books.
He has never written such a long article before.
They had repeatedly tried to communicate with
their scientific supervisor, but

Inverted Word Order


interrogative
sentences;
2. conditional clauses
without if;
3. declarative
sentences which begin
with negative or
restrictive words such
as never, rarely,
scarcely, hardly ever,
and not only.
1.

Sentence
types:

WORD ORDER IN QUESTIONS


it depends on type of response:
1 Yes or No response:
Verb(V) - subject(S) - predicate components(PC)
e.g.: Do you specialize in Electrical Engineering? Yes, I do.
2 - a specific piece of information an object:
Question word(QW) - verb(V) - subject(S) - predicate
components(PC)
e.g.: What are you doing this evening? Nothing special.
3 the subject:
Question word(QW) - verb(V)
e.g.: Who helps you with these measurements? Tom does.
What helps you to understand the explanation? My
previous knowledge of the topic does.

2.THE ENGLISH VERB GENERAL


PRESENTATION
Grammatical categories used:

TENSE When? (in time) present, past,


future
ASPECT How ? (completion) simple,
progressive, perfect, perfect continuous
VOICE Focus on? (doer or victim)
active, passive
MOOD - What kind of facts? (real,
imaginary, wishes) indicative, subjunctive,
conditional

A PRESENTATION OF
THE TENSES
OF THE INDICATIVE
MOOD

A - The 3 Simple Aspect Tenses


Indicative mood:
The simple aspect marks the time area of
action/state (present, past or future)
3 Simple aspect tenses:
A1 = Present Simple Tense I am, I have
A2 = Past Simple Tense I was, they had
A3 = Future Simple Tense You will be, he will
have

The 3 Simple Aspect Tenses


----------- ----------]--------------x -------------|------- ?-------->
A2
Now
Tomorrow
A1
A3

Legend:
----------- ----------] = past time area
--------------x -------------|------- ?--------> = present time area
A1
A3

B The 3 Progressive Aspect Tenses


(contrasting with the Simple aspect) Indicative mood:
Progressive aspect general definition:
Action/(state) going on at/around moment of
speech A (1,2,3)
General formula of the Progressive aspect
tenses
BE + Verb+ing
variable vb

mark of progressive

----------- ----------]--------------x -------------|------- ?-------->


~~~~
~~~~
~~~~
B2
B1
B3

B1 Present Progressive Tense I am


Verb+ing
B2 Past Progressive Tense I was
Verb+ing
B3 Future Progressive Tense I will be
Verb+ing

C. - The 3 Perfect Aspect Tenses (contrasting


with the Simple aspect) - Indicative mood:
---(-------- ----------]--(------------x -------------|--(----- ?-------->
C2
C1
C3

Perfect aspect general definition:


Action/state that has taken place BEFORE moment A
(1, 2, 3), but which is RELEVANT/INTERESTING for
the message communicated AT the moment A (1, 2, 3)
General formula of the Perfect aspect tenses
HAVE + Verb 3
variable vb
mark of perfect

The Perfect Aspect Tenses


C1 Present Perfect Tense I have
+Verb3
C2 Past Perfect Tense I had + Verb3
C3 Future Perfect Tense I will have +
Verb3

The 3 Perfect Progressive Aspect Tenses


(contrasting with the simple perfect
aspect) - Indicative mood:

---(-------- ----------]--(------------x -------------|--(----- ?-------->


~~~~
~~~~
~~~~
D2
D1
D3

Perfect Progressive Aspect


General Definition:
Action/state that has taken place BEFORE
moment A (1, 2, 3), which is
RELEVANT/INTERESTING for the message
communicated AT the moment A (1, 2, 3)
BUT which is more DYNAMIC/INTENSE than
the simple perfect aspect.
General formula of the Perfect progressive
aspect tenses
HAVE + been Verb+ing
variable verb

mark of perfect progressive

The Perfect Progressive Tenses


D1 Present Perfect Progressive Tense
I have + been Verb+ing
D2 Past Perfect Progressive Tense I
had + been Verb+ing
D3 Future Perfect Progressive Tense I
will have+ been Verb+ing

The 13th tense of the Indicative


Mood?!
Name: Future in the Past
Required by: sequence of tense rule
Position on time diagram: see
------(------ ----- -----]-----------x -------------|------- ?-------->
C2/D2 A2 ?!
Now
Tomorrow
A1
A3

= Future in the Past (Sbj + WOULD + Verb)

When Do We Use Future in the Past?


Compare:
I. The manager says that :( Main
Clause Predicate tense from sphere of
present tenses)
he is happy with our work
(simultaneous action in the
subordinate clause)
he considered some promotions
yesterday (past tense for action before
present)
he will let us know about his
decision tomorrow (future tense for
action after present)

II. Yesterday the manager said that:


(Main Clause Predicate from sphere
of past tenses)
he was happy with our work
(simultaneous action in the
subordinate clause)
he had considered some
promotions the day before (past
perfect tense for action before then)
he would let us know about his
decision the next day (future in the
past tense for action after then)

THE PASSIVE VOICE


ACTIVE voice: (focus on doer)
The engineer checks the measurement device.
Doer
victim
Gram & logical
Direct Obj
Subject
versus

PASSIVE voice: (focus on victim)


The measurement device is checked by the engineer.
victim
Agent object
Gram subject
still Doer
But not Logical Subject
still Logical Subject

The Passive Voice


- general formula

BE + Verb 3

TENSES THAT CAN BE USED IN


THE PASSIVE
---(-------- ----------]--(------------x -------------|--(----- ?-------->
~~~~
~~~~
~~~~
Simple present It is done
Simple past It was done
Simple future It will be done
Present progressive It is being done
Past progressive It was being done
(Future progressive rarely used It will be being done)
Present perfect It has been done
Past perfect It had been done
Future perfect It will have been done

STCE II.B
ACCURACY OF
LINGUISTIC SUPPORT
IN SCIENTIFIC AND
TECHNICAL
COMMUNICATION

MAIN GRAMMAR POINTS


MORPHOLOGY
Nouns, Articles, Determiners,
Pronouns, Adjectives, Adverbs,
Numerals, Conjunctions,
Prepositions
Avoiding frequent/common mistakes

NOUNS
Nouns name a person, a place, a thing or an idea
and are often preceded by an article (a, an, the)
IMPORTANT NOUN CHARACTERISTICS

1. gender (manager; manageress)


2. number (phenomenon; phenomena)
3. countability (air; devices)

FEATURES OF NOUNS
1.

A noun is often preceded by a determiner,


which can be an article, a demonstrative or
possessive adjective, or a quantifier.
2. A noun can be described, or modified, by
adjectives.
3. Nouns can be replaced by pronouns.
4. Since nouns functioning as subjects can be
singular or plural, their corresponding verbs
must agree in number.
5. Proper nouns are capitalized and have
special article usage rules.

EXAMPLES
1.

The/That/Their/All the ventilation system


has just been mounted in the plant.
2.
New interesting discoveries are being made
on the planet.
3. Mr Brown is our supervisor. He is a capable
professor.
4.
The laptop on this desk is mine, while the
other laptops belong to the lab.
5.
Albert Einsteins portrait hangs on the
council room wall.

NOUN GENDER
Marked: an author vs an authoress
Not marked: an engineer; a teacher

TIP!
One way of avoiding gender bias:
A person called and they did not leave their name.
TIP!
Keep the gender of a noun in mind when choosing
a pronoun to replace or refer to it:
Isaac Newton (masculine = HE)
Marie Curie (feminine = SHE)
the result (neuter = IT)

NUMBER OF NOUNS
1. The plural of most words is formed by adding s to the singular
form of the noun:
lake, lakes; shade, shades; the Browns
2. For common nouns ending in ch (soft), s, sh, x, and z, add es:
coaches , glasses, pushes, boxes, quizzes
3. For numerical figures, add an s, no apostrophe:
1820s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s
4. Irregular plurals:
man, men; person, people; foot, feet;
5. Some Latin or Greek plurals:
nucleus = nuclei; thesis = theses; index = indices,indexes
TIP!
Spelling: boy boys; study - studies

NUMERICAL EXPRESSIONS
1) usually singular:
Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money.
One-half of the faculty is retiring this
summer.
2) can be plural if the individuals within
a numerical group are acting
individually:
One-half of the faculty have doctorates.
Fifty percent of the students have voted
already.

NOUNS WHICH FORM THE PLURAL


IN A DIFFERENT WAY
2, , n

pieces of
bits of
items of

+
advice; information; knowledge;
evidence; news; equipment
ACCEPTABLE
a molecule of carbon dioxide; a piece of equipment
*UNACCEPTABLE
*a carbon dioxide; *an equipment

COUNTABILITY
COUNTABLE NOUNS

both a singular and a plural form a


system, two systems

they name anything (or anyone) that you


can count

a countable noun can be made plural


and attached to a plural verb in a sentence
a system is; two systems are

UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS
do not have a plural form iron, air
refer to something that you could (or
would) not usually count
always take a singular verb in a sentence
the air is pure

Categories of Uncountable Nouns


Abstract

Material

Generic

Non-Plurals
with - s

advice
help
information
knowledge
trouble
work
enjoyment
fun
recreation
relaxation

meat
rice
bread
cake
coffee
ice cream
water
oil
grass
hair

fruit
wildlife
equipment
machinery
furniture
mail
luggage
jewelry
clothing
money

mathematics
economics
physics
civics
ethics
mumps
measles
news
tennis
(other games)

QUANTIFIERS WITH COUNTABLES


AND UNCOUNTABLES
UNCTBLS
e.g. coffee
MUCH

CTBLS
e.g. boys
MANY

LITTLE

FEW

(+)

A LITTLE

A FEW

NOUN CASE
Subject Case
The scientist identified a new method last year. (he)
Object Case
The taxi drove the expert to the airport. (him)
Possessive Case
The baggage handlers lost the sales agents suitcase.
(his)

TIPS!
The engineers (sg) patent vs The
engineers (pl) patent
But also:
a days effort; the committees
decision; the countrys beauties; the
companys policy;

!!! For nonanimate possessors:


the X of Y e.g. the length of the wire

WORD FORMATION
This is the longest word in English:

ANTI-DIS-ESTABLISH-MENT-ARIAN-ISM

***
ROOT:

attention

PREFIXES: inattention
SUFFIXES: attentional

Latin Prefixes and Their Meaning:


ab
(away) abrupt, absent, absolve
ad
(to) adverb, advertisement, afflict
in
(not) incapable, indecisive, intolerable
inter
(between, among) intercept, interdependent, interprovincial
intra
(within) intramural, intrapersonal, intraprovincial
pre
(before) prefabricate, preface, prefer
post
(after) postpone, postscript, postwar

Examples of Suffixes
Noun Formation

-ment -ness -al


-tion -

entertainment
happiness
approval
information

NOUN MODIFIERS
1)
More than 750 metric tons of lead ingots were
examined by the quality control inspectors that
circle the base of the tower.

2)
More than 750 metric tons of lead ingots
that circle the base of the tower were examined by
the quality control inspectors.
3) The quality control inspectors examined more
than 750 metric tons of lead ingots that circle the
base of the tower .

TYPES OF ARTICLES
Type of
article

Singular

Plural

Indefinite

A(n)

, Some

Definite

The

The

Generic Usage of Nouns


Examples:
An engine can be very useful.
Engines can be very useful
BUT:
*The engines can be very useful.(*wrong)

A OR AN ?

"A" goes before all words that begin with consonants:


a factory
One exception: Use "an" before unsounded h:
an honest error

"An" goes before all words that begin with vowels:


an orbit
Two exceptions: When u makes the same sound as
the y in you, or o makes the same sound as w in won,
then a is used - (before semi-vowels)
a union
a word

Determiners those little words that


precede and modify nouns
Predeterminers:
multipliers (double, twice, four/five times . . . .);
fractional expressions (one-third, three-quarters, etc.);
the words both, half, and all;
intensifiers ( quite, rather, and such).
Determiners:
articles (a, an, the, zero article);
demonstrative adjectives (this, those);
possessive adjectives (my, their);
relative pronouns (which, what);
indefinite determiners (some, any);
genitive constructions (the engineers).
Postdeterminers:
numerals ordinal numbers (first, second, next, last);
numerals cardinal numbers (one, two, three);
quantifiers (few, many, other).

DETERMINATION PATTERN
AN EXAMPLE

(I met) all my first six new British friends.


predet determ

postdet

adjs

noun

KINDS OF PRONOUNS
Comments in examples
-

Personal (I, you)


Demonstrative (this,
that)
Indefinite
(somebody/all/each/every/s
ome/none/one)
Relative (who, which,
that)
Reflexive (myself,
ourselves)
Intensive ( myself,
himself)
Interrogative (who,
which, that)
Reciprocal (each other,
one another)

This is a new car. It is my car. It is all mine!


- personal
This book is well-written. That is incredible!
- demonstrative
Everyone is wondering if any is left. indefinite
The worker who/that enters is Tom. The
book which/that he is reading is new.
relative
Students who cheat on this quiz are only
hurting themselves. reflexive
I myself don't know the answer. intensive
What is that? Which do you prefer?
interrogative
Tim and Tom borrowed each other's ideas.
The scientists in this lab often use one
another's equipment. (more than 2 people) reciprocal

What Is An Adjective?
An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun by describing,
identifying, or quantifying words. An adjective usually
precedes the noun or the pronoun which it modifies.
COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES

POSITIVE

COMPARATIVE

SUPERLATIVE

rich

richer

richest

lovely

lovelier

loveliest

beautiful

more beautiful most beautiful

Irregular Comparative and


Superlative Forms
POSITIVE

COMPARATIVE

SUPERLATIVE

Good

Better

Best

Bad

Worse

Worst

Little

Less

Least

Much
Many
Some

More

Most

Far

Farther/further

Farthest/furthest

ORDER OF ADJECTIVES

Determiner

Observation

Physical Description

Size

beautiful

Shape

Age

old

Origin

Material

Qualifier

Noun

touring

car

Color

Italian

Adjectives That Do Not Form the


Comparative
absolute
adequate
chief
complete
devoid
entire
fatal
final
ideal

impossible
inevitable
irrevocable
main
manifest
minor
paramount
perpetual
preferable

principal
stationary
sufficient
unanimous
unavoidable
unbroken
unique
universal
whole

Kinds of Adverbs
Adverbs of Manner
The rotor was moving
slowly.
Adverbs of Place
She has worked for that
company all her life.
She still works there
now.
Adverbs of Frequency
He takes the boat to the
mainland every day.
They often go by
themselves.

Adverbs of Time
She tries to get ready
before dark.
It's starting to get dark
now.
She finished answering
her e-mails first.
She left early.
Adverbs of Purpose
Tom drives the boat
slowly to avoid hitting the
rocks.
Ann shops in several
stores to get the best buys.

Adverbs can modify:


a verb: The mechanic quickly fixed the valve.
an adj: The boldly spoken words had a negative
effect on the audience.
another adverb: We urged him to solve the
problem more expeditiously.
a sentence: Fortunately, this time the experiment
worked.
TIP!
Adverb modifying an adjective:
Examples:
- a theoretically impossible method
- a hardly believable story

What is the Difference between


Adjectives and Adverbs?
Adjectives answer the
questions:

Adverbs answer the


questions:

Which?
What kind of?
How many?

How?
When?
Where?
Why?

NUMBERS AND NUMERALS


Check spelling and
pronunciation

12 =
21st =
43 =
50th =
103, 369, 002 =

MEASUREMENT UNITS
USEFUL RESOURCES
http://ts.nist.gov/WeightsAndMeasures/
Publications/appxc.cfm = tables of
measurement units
http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/dictJ.
html = dictionary of measurement units

THE DECALOGUE OF NUMERAL WRITING


1)

Spell out numbers that can be expressed in one or two words


and use figures for other numbers: six million dollars; after 126
days
2) Days and Years: 12 December 1965
3) Time of Day: 8:00 A.M.
4) Page and Division of Books: page 30; chapter 6
5) Decimals and Percentages: a 2.7 average; 13 1/4 percent
6) Consistency in enumeration: 115 feet by 90 feet
7) Adjacent numbers should be written in a combination of
numerals and words: 64 two-body calculations
8) Qualifiers (about, approximately, of order of) should not
be used with exact numbers: Approximately 17 of the samples (it is
ridiculous)
9) In general, use arabic numerals instead of words in scientific
and technical writing for both cardinal and ordinal numbers: 3
subroutines
10. Use the comma (,) to indicate the decimal point and use an initial
zero (0) for numbers less than 1,0: 31,3; 0,414

Prepositions express
relationships, such as :
Direction - to, into, across, toward
Location - at, in, on, under, over, beside,
among, by, between, through
Time - before, after, during, until, since
Figurative Location - for, against, with

Words Commonly Used As


Prepositions
about
along
beside
during
near
past
under

inside
around
beyond
excepting
off
round
until

since
at
but
for
on
through
up

above
before
by
from
onto
throughout
upon

across
behind
concerning
in
out
till
with

after
beneath
despite
into
outside
to
within

Prepositional Phrases (Two or More


Words)
according to
apart from
because of
except for
in lieu of
on account of
with regard to

in spite of
as regards
by reason of
in case of
in regard to
up to
with the exception of

along with
as to
due to
in front of
instead of
with reference to

Needlessly Long Prepositional Phrases


(Replace By )
At the present time (now)
In order that (so)
In reference to (about, or regarding)
In the interim (meanwhile)
In the near future (soon)
In the event that (if)
In the course of (during)
In the process of (during or in)
With the exception of (except for)

CONJUNCTIONS
Conjunctions connect sentences, clauses, phrases, or
words.
TYPES OF CONJUNCTIONS
(each associated with its own linking and punctuation
pattern):
Coordinating conjunctions and, but, or, yet, for, nor,
so
Correlative conjunctions both...and, either...or, as...as
Subordinating conjunctions - after, if, because, in order
that
Conjunctive adverbs however, moreover, nevertheless.

STCE II.C
ACCURACY OF
LINGUISTIC SUPPORT
IN SCIENTIFIC AND
TECHNICAL
COMMUNICATION

MAIN GRAMMAR POINTS


SYNTAX
Sentences, Clauses, Punctuation
Avoiding frequent mistakes

Basic Patterns and Elements


of the Sentence
A quick review of the fundamentals of
the sentence
THE SENTENCE PATTERNS

1 - Subject + Verb
- composed of a subject and a verb, without a
direct object or subject complement;
- it uses an intransitive verb (requiring no
direct object):
e.g.
All amplitude-modulation (AM) receivers
work in the same way.

2 - Subject + Linking Verb +


Subject Complement
- uses

the linking verb, any form of the


verb to be without an action verb

e.g.
The chain reaction is the basis of
nuclear power.

3 - Subject + Verb + Direct


Object
- uses the direct object
e.g.
Silicon conducts electricity in an
unusual way.

4 - Subject + Verb + Indirect Object +


Direct Object
(the loose type of sentence)*
- uses indirect object and direct object
e.g.

I am writing her about a number of problems that I have


had with my word processor.
* While the periodic type of sentence postpones the

Subj + Pred + pattern by some other components.


e.g.
Making sure that I am in possession of all the necessary
elements, I am writing to her about a number of problems
that I have had with my word processor.

5 - Subject + Verb + Direct Object +


Object Complement
- The sentence pattern using the [direct
object] and object complement is not
common but worth knowing.
e.g.
The plant shutdown left the entire area an
economic disaster.

6 - Passive Voice Pattern


- an important and often controversial
construction;
- it reverses the subject and object and,
in some cases, deletes the subject.

e.g.
The valves used in engine start are
controlled by a computer.

SENTENCE TYPES
Classifications are based on the number of
independent and dependent clauses a sentence
contains.

Sentences can be: simple, compound, or


complex

An independent
clause forms a
complete sentence
on its own.

A dependent clause
needs another clause to
make a complete
sentence.

I - Simple Sentence
- contains subject and a verb and no other
independent or dependent clause
- consists of a single independent clause
e.g.
One of the tubes is attached to the manometer
part of the instrument indicating the pressure of
the air within the recipient.

II - Compound Sentence
- made up of two or more independent clauses
joined by a coordinating conjunction (and, or, nor,
but, yet, for) and a comma, an adverbial
conjunction and a semicolon, or a semicolon;
- must be simple sentences.
e.g.
Some designers work together; others prefer to work
individually.

Ways of Joining Compound Sentences


- with a comma and a coordinating conjunction:
They have become more interested in the topic, but the
field is still unexplored.
- with a comma and a correlative conjunction:
Either each tissue is alive, or they are dead.
- with a semicolon:
He tried to find an equation for this; he failed in this effort.
- with a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb:
It is clear that this solution will not work; indeed, 10% of
cases failed.

III - Complex Sentence


- contains at least one dependent clause (a noun,
adjective, or adverb clause) and no more than
one independent clause
- the most important information in a complex
sentence should be expressed in the independent
clause
e.g.
After the accountant added up all the sales, she
discovered that the bolts and nuts stand was 50
punds short.

IV - Complex-Compound Sentence
- made of two or more independent clauses and
contains at least one dependent clause
e.g.
The systolic pressure is the pressure of the blood as a
result of the contraction of the ventricles, and the
diastolic pressure is the pressure when the ventricles are
at rest.

PHRASES AND CLAUSES


Groups of words that act as a unit and
perform a single function within a sentence
Phrases - may have a partial subject or verb but not both

e.g.
Electricity has to do with those physical phenomena
involving electrical charges and their effects when in
motion and when at rest.
Clauses - a dependent clause has both a subject and a verb (but it is
not a complete sentence)

e.g.
Electricity manifests itself as a force of attraction, when two
oppositely charged bodies are brought close to one
another.

TYPES OF PHRASES
A - PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES

- composed of a preposition and its object


- shows relationships involving time,
direction, or space

e.g.
The current leads to the field coils and
into an external circuit.

TYPES OF PHRASES
B - APPOSITIVES
- a word or phrase that renames a noun or pronoun
- adds information about a noun but in a way
different than adjectives do
e.g.
An upper air inversion, a layer of stable air, is usually
present over large areas of the tradewinds as a
hurricane develops.

TYPES OF PHRASES
C - PARTICIPIAL PHRASES

- a group of words acting as an adjective and


modifying a noun or pronoun
- a participle is the -ed or -ing form of a verb
e.g.
The Eagle Generator uses a 6-pole, shunt-wound
generator designed to reach maximum power at
20 mph.

TYPES OF CLAUSES
classified from the point of view of the morphology part they
substitute

a - Gerunds and Gerund Phrases


- a single word with -ing accompanied by
its objects, complements, and modifiers
- it is a group of words acting as noun
e.g.
The splitting of an atom produces a great
amount of energy.

TYPES OF CLAUSES
b - Adjective Clauses
- almost a complete sentence but not quite
- it functions the same way a single-word
adjective does
- adds more information to our
understanding of a noun
e.g.
The company holds many patents on its wind energy
systems, such as the slow-speed generator whose
performance curve matches that of the propeller.

TYPES OF CLAUSES

c - Adverb Clauses
- also nearly a complete sentence

- it functions like an adverb does by explaining the


how, when, where, and why of the discussion
- usually contains a subordinating conjunction, a
subject, a complete verb and any other related
phrases or clauses
e.g.
As long as the wind speed is sufficient, the electrical
energy will be continuously generated.

TYPES OF CLAUSES
d - Noun Clauses

- a group of words used as a noun


- introduced by a relative pronoun
- can play any of the functions a noun plays
e.g.
Estimates indicate that 20 million Americans
owned hand-held calculators by 1974.

REMARK: COORDINATED ELEMENTS

Many of the sentence


elements described can
be "coordinated"; that is,
they can be doubled,
tripled, or even
quadrupled and linked
with coordinating
conjunctions such as and
and or.

Examples of coordinated sentence


elements and their coordinating
conjunctions:

1 - In 1800, Volta constructed


and experimented with the
voltaic pile, the predecessor
of the modern battery. (two
verb phrases)
2 - Heat exchangers may be so
designed that chemical
reactions or energy-generation
processes can be carried out
in them. (two noun phrases)

THE COMPLEX SENTENCE


STRUCTURE
1 - The Main Clause
- must contain a tensed verb and a subject
- in complex sentences, the independent clause is the
main clause
- do not have a fixed place in the order of complex
sentences - they may begin the sentence, come in
the middle or end the sentence
- should contain the most important information in
the sentence
e.g.
Since the sun and Earth are embedded in the galaxy, it is
difficult for us to obtain an overall view of the galaxy.

TYPES OF CLAUSES
Independent Clauses
Dependent Clauses

INDEPENDENT CLAUSES
- can stand alone as sentences
- to be independent, a clause must contain a verb
and a subject and it should not begin with a
subordinating word or phrase
- a sentence must contain at least one
independent clause
e.g.
Although the pace of technological innovation
has been impressively alert, whether the
materials will make an impact on commerce
remains unclear.

DEPENDENT CLAUSES
- contains

a subject and a
predicate, but because
they are introduced by a
subordinating word they
do not express a complete
thought and cannot stand
alone as a sentence
- they must always be
accompanied by at least
one independent clause
- three kinds of dependent
clauses:
- noun clauses, adjective
clauses, and adverbial
clauses

e.g.
1 - You must formulate a
sound thesis sentence
before you can write a
good essay.
2 - I bought a new battery
so that my car would
start on cold days.
3 - No grades will be
assigned until all work
is completed.

Connecting Dependent and Independent


Clauses
1. By Coordinating Conjunctions (7):
and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet
e.g.
He studied for the Physics test, but it was hard to
concentrate.
2. By Independent Marker Word:
also, consequently, furthermore, however,
moreover, nevertheless, therefore
e.g.
He studied for the Physics test, however, it was hard
to concentrate.

Sentence Types Classified by Purpose


1 - Declarative
Sentences (make
statements and
present information)
2 - Interrogative
Sentences (ask
questions)
3 - Imperative Sentences
(request or demand
that action be
performed)

e.g.
1 Manufacturers
produce 100 million
such parts annually.
2 What was this plant
like 50 years ago?
3 Do not touch the
glass!

TIPS

IN SENTENCE WRITING

WAYS OF IMPROVING SENTENCE CLARITY

A - Go from old to new information


B - Do not interrupt the main clause with a
subordinate
C - Use the active voice
D - Use parallel constructions
E - Avoid strings of adjectives
F - Choose action verbs over forms of be
G - Avoid unclear pronoun references

SENTENCE CLARITY - EXAMPLES


A - Every semester after final exams are over, I'm faced with the
problem of what to do with books of lecture notes (new
information). They (old) might be useful some day, but they just
keep piling up on my bookcase (new).
B - Because of the growing use of computers to store and process
corporate information, industrial spying is increasing rapidly.
C - The committee decided to postpone the vote.
D - In Florida, where the threat of hurricanes is an annual event, we
learned that it is important (1) to become aware of the warning
signs, (2) to know what precautions to take, and (3) to decide
when to seek shelter.
E - This report explains our projects to stimulate growth in
investments.
F - Television news reporting differs from that of newspapers in
that television, unlike newspapers, can provide instantaneous
coverage of events as they happen.
G - Laura worked in a chemical lab last summer; industrial
management may be her career choice.

IDENTIFYING AND AVOIDING


COMMON ERRORS IN SENTENCE WRITING
SOME ADVICE
FOR THE REVISION STAGE AT SENTENCE LEVEL

1 - don't be afraid to combine sentences differently, if it


serves your purpose
2 - eliminate useless words that make the understanding of
the sentence more difficult
e.g.
Original Form
After reviewing the research and in light of the relevant information
found within the context of the conclusions, we feel that there is
definite need for some additional research to more specifically pinpoint
our advertising and marketing strategies. (38 words)
Revised Form

The conclusions of previous research suggest that we need more


research to pinpoint our advertising and marketing strategies.
(18 words)

Attention to Modifiers!
Restrictive
(essential to the meaning

vs

Non-restrictive
(supply additional information)

of the sentence)

a) My sister who lives in America is an engineer.


vs
b) My sister, who lives in America, is an engineer.
How many sisters in each case?
(a: more than one sister; b: one sister only)

Attention to Choppy Sentences!


TIP! Improve them as follows:
- combine short related sentences by making some
elements dependent clauses or phrases in order to
develop more effective sentences (Adaptive optics is an
electronic feedback mechanism capable of correcting
for the distorting effects of the earth's atmosphere and
thus allowing much sharper images of astronomical
objects.)
- combine sentences with conjunctions - (Some TV shows
satirize contemporary politicians, but viewers do not
always find this amusing.)
- link sentences through subordination (The campus
parking problem is getting worse because the
university is not building any new garages.)

NINE WAYS OF COMBINING SENTENCES - 1


1. -ING Phrases - Present Participle Phrases
The man counted his change. The man smiled at the clerk.
Carefully counting his change, the man smiled at the clerk.
The man, carefully counting his change, smiled at the clerk.
2. -ED Phrases - Past Participle Phrases
The woman decided to celebrate the results. The woman was
pleased.
Pleased with the results, the woman decided to celebrate.
The woman, pleased with the results, decided to celebrate.
3. Prepositional Phrases
We go over the river. We go through the woods.
Over the river and through the woods we go.

NINE WAYS OF COMBINING SENTENCES - 2


4. Renaming Phrases - Appositives
My car is small. My car is a rusted. My car is a pile
of junk.
My car, a rusted pile of junk, is small.
5. Who and That Clauses -- Relative Clauses
with Essential Info
Things are made from metal. Metal can rust.
Things that can rust are made from metal.

NINE WAYS OF COMBINING SENTENCES - 3


6. Who and Which Clauses - Relative Clauses with Nonessential Info
The new semester starts in January. We are looking forward
to the new semester.
We are looking forward to next semester, which begins in
January.
7. -Ing Substitution Clauses - Noun Clauses
If you talk out loud to yourself, people will wonder about
you.
Talking out loud to nobody makes people wonder about you.

NINE WAYS OF COMBINING SENTENCES - 4


8. That Substitution Clauses - Noun Clauses
He passed the course with an A. I was not surprised that he
passed the course.
That he passed the course with an A did not surprise me.

9. How-what-when-where-why Substitution Clauses


Noun Clauses
He passed the course with an A. I wondered how he passed the
course.
I was surprised that he passed with an A.
How he passed the course with an A surprised me.

Mind the Run-ons, Comma Splices and Fused


Sentences!
(compound sentences that are not punctuated correctly)
RULES FOR PUNCTUATING
COMPOUND SENTENCES CORRECTLY

1. Join the two independent clauses with one of the


coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, or, nor, so,
yet), and use a comma before the connecting word:
He enjoys walking through the country, and he often
goes backpacking on his vacations.
2 - When you do not have a connecting word, use a
semicolon (;):
He often watched TV when there were only reruns; she
preferred to read instead.

Do not interrupt sentence structure!


Do not place a modifier between subject and
predicate or between predicate and direct object!
e.g.
Weak
Inventors unlocked more than a century ago the
secrets of turning the sun's rays into mechanical
power.
Improved
Inventors unlocked the secrets of turning the sun's
rays into mechanical power more than a century
ago.

Observe Parallelism
(the principle that parts of a sentence that are the same in
function should be the same in structure)

e.g.
Unacceptable
The comparison will cover
possible mechanisms of change [noun phrase]
how the fissures widen because of regional tectonic stress
[noun clause]
are there changes in permeability from increased
microcracking? [question]
Acceptable
The comparison will cover
possible mechanisms of change [noun phrase]
fissure widening from regional tectonic stress [noun
phrase]
permeability from increased microcracking [noun phrase]

SENTENCE FRAGMENTS
- A sentence fragment is missing a subject, a verb,
or both, but is punctuated as if it were a complete
sentence
- Fragments are incomplete sentences
- Have become disconnected from the main clause
- One of the easiest ways to correct them is to
remove the period between the fragment and the
main clause
e.g.

Fragment: I need to find a new roommate. Because


the one I have now isn't working out too well.
Possible Revision: I need to find a new roommate
because the one I have now isn't working out too
well.

HOW TO ADD SENTENCE VARIETY TO THE TEXT


TEN SUGGESTIONS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Vary the rhythm by alternating short and long sentences.


Vary sentence openings.
Avoid repetition by using pronouns.
Prefer participle to the verb to be.
Turn a sentence into a prepositional phrase.
Do not write too many sentences with the same pattern.
Vary the rhythm by adding transitional words at the beginning
of some sentences.
8. Avoid stringing several clauses that would be easier to read and
understand if they were broken up into separate clauses.
9.
Avoid sentences that contain more information than the reader
can easily follow. Instead, divide such sentences into more
manageable pieces.
10. Be consistent in your choice of mood.

HOW TO ADD SENTENCE VARIETY TO THE TEXT


EXAMPLES - A
1 - What makes a good bluesman? Maybe, just maybe, it's all
in a stately name. B.B. King. Freddie King. Albert King.
It's no coincidence that they're the royalty of their genre.
2 - Sitting next to David at the Super Bowl was a tremendous
coincidence. But the biggest coincidence that day happened
when David and I ended up sitting next to each other at the
Super Bowl.
3 - The experiment failed because of Murphy's Law, which
states that if something can go wrong, it will.
4 - Surprised to get a phone call from his sister, Alec was
happy to hear her voice again.
5 - Under pressure to cut its budget, the university has
eliminated funding for important programs. (prepositional
phrase, independent clause)

HOW TO ADD SENTENCE VARIETY TO THE TEXT


EXAMPLES - B
6 - When the TV newscaster reported the story of the
explosion, the room fell silent.
7 - Consequently, they had to observe those rules.
8 - We must accept the facts. It is also important to interpret
them correctly.
9 - Researchers interested in speech synthesis and automatic
recognition need to find rules that improve intelligibility of
speech. Consequently, they need to study psychological
determinants more closely.
10 - Read the instructions carefully [imperative] and assemble
the equipment completely [imperative] before beginning the
procedure.

AVOID OVERUSED PHRASES


(or the gap between what one writes and what one
really thinks)
"It can be shown" = Somebody said they did this, but I can't
duplicate their results. I can't even find the reference, or else I
would have cited that instead.
"It has long been known" = I don't know the original
reference.
"Although there are no definite answers to these
questions..." = My experiment failed, but I still want to get
published.
"Typical results are shown" = Either means the only results
are shown or the best results are shown.
"It is believed that..." = I think this (and either no one agrees
with me or else I didn't consult anyone).
"Additional work will be required to elucidate the
mechanism" = I don't have a clue what is going on and I'm not
going to be the one to figure it out. etc.

Summary of Punctuation Marks - 1


MARK

NAME

EXAMPLE

Full stop

I study in Romania.

comma

Semi-colon

Colon

I can speak
German, English
and Russian.
I hate waking up
early; my friend
adores it.

You will need the


following: some
paper, a pencil, a
pen and a stapler.

Summary of Punctuation Marks - 2


MARK

NAME

Hyphen

__

Dash

Question mark

Exclamation
mark

EXAMPLE
He had something of a
couldn't-care-less
attitude to life.
In each country -- Egypt,
India and China -- we
were able to
communicate in English.
Where is the nearest
bank, please?
"Help!" he cried. "I can't
swim!"

Summary of Punctuation Marks - 3


MARK

NAME

EXAMPLE

Slash

Please press your


browser's
Refresh/Reload button.

Quotation marks

I think I got it right,


she said.

Ellipsis

Apostrophe

That is Toms car.

This is the best school


in which I have ever
studied.

STCE III.A
WRITTEN
COMMUNICATION THE TOOLS

MAIN POINTS
Paragraph Structure
Paragraph Types
Characteristics of Effective
Technical Communication
Elements of style
Level of formality
Avoiding biased language

PARTS OF A PARAGRAPH
A paragraph consists of several sentences
that are grouped together.
This group of sentences together discuss one
main subject.

1. Topic Sentence
(topic and controlling idea)
2. Supporting Details
3. (Closing Sentence)

Topic Sentence
- the first sentence in a paragraph;
-

the most general sentence in a paragraph =


there are not many details in the sentence,
but
- this sentence introduces an overall idea that
you want to discuss later in the paragraph;
- consists of the topic and the controlling idea;
e.g.
There are three reasons why Canada is one of
the best countries in the world.

Examples of Controlling Ideas


Reasons for
Causes of//effects of
Steps for//procedure for
Advantages of//disadvantages
of
Ways to//methods of
Sections/parts/kinds/types of
Characteristics of
Problems of
Precautions for
Changes to
etc.

Tip for paragraph unity!


All the sentences in a
paragraph
should
be
consistent
with
the
controlling idea !

Supporting Details
- come after the topic sentence, making up the body
of a paragraph;
- give details to develop and support the main idea
of the paragraph;
- consist of: supporting facts, details, and
examples.
e.g.
There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries
in the world. First, Canada has an excellent health care system.
All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable
price. Second, Canada has a high standard of education. Students
are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to
continue studying at university. Finally, Canada's cities are clean
and efficiently managed. Canadian cities have many parks and
lots of space for people to live.

Closing Sentence
- the last sentence in a paragraph;
- restates the main idea of your
paragraph using different words.
e.g.
As a result, Canada is a
desirable place to live.

PREWRITING PARAGRAPHS
Tip!
Think carefully and
organize your ideas for
your paragraph before
you begin writing!

Think carefully about what you are


going to write!

Ask
yourself:
(checklist)

What question am I going to answer in


this paragraph or essay? How can I
best answer this question? What is the
most important part of my answer?
How can I make an introductory
sentence (or thesis statement) from the
most important part of my answer?
What facts or ideas can I use to
support my introductory sentence?
How can I make this paragraph or
essay interesting? Do I need more facts
on this topic? Where can I find more
facts on this topic?

Prewriting Tips contd.


- Write out your answers to the questions in
the checklist.
- Collect facts related to your paragraph or
essay topic.
- Write down your own ideas.
- Find the main idea of your paragraph or
essay.
- Organize your facts and ideas in a way that
develops your main idea.

CRITERIA IN EVALUATING PARAGRAPH WRITING


4

Main/Topic Idea
Sentence

Main/Topic idea
sentence is clear,
correctly placed, and is
restated in the closing
sentence.

Main/Topic idea
sentence is either
unclear or incorrectly
placed, and is restated
in the closing sentence.

Main/Topic idea
sentence is unclear
and incorrectly
placed, and is
restated in the
closing sentence.

Main/Topic idea
sentence is unclear
and incorrectly
placed, and is not
restated in the
closing sentence.

____

Supporting Detail
Sentence(s)

Paragraph(s) have three


or more supporting
detail sentences that
relate back to the main
idea.

Paragraph(s) have two


supporting detail
sentences that relate
back to the main idea.

Paragraph(s) have
one supporting detail
sentence that relate
back to the main
idea.

Paragraph(s) have
no supporting detail
sentences that relate
back to the main
idea.

____

Elaborating Detail
Sentence(s)

Each supporting detail


sentence has three or
more elaborating detail
sentences.

Each supporting detail


sentence has at least
two elaborating detail
sentences.

Each supporting
detail sentence has
one elaborating
detail sentence.

Each supporting
detail sentence has
no elaborating detail
sentence.

____

Legible handwriting,
typing, or printing.

Marginally legible
handwriting, typing, or
printing.

Writing is not
legible in places.

Writing is not
legible.

____

Paragraph has no errors


in punctuation,
capitalization, and
spelling.

Paragraph has one or


two punctuation,
capitalization, and
spelling errors.

Paragraph has three


to five punctuation,
capitalization, and
spelling errors.

Paragraph has six or


more punctuation,
capitalization, and
spelling errors.

____

Legibility

Mechanics and
Grammar

Total---->

____

Paragraph Coherence
- makes the paragraph easily understandable to a
reader;
- by logical bridges and verbal bridges.
Logical bridges
- The same idea of a topic is carried over from sentence to
sentence
- Successive sentences can be constructed in parallel form
Verbal bridges
- Key words can be repeated in several sentences
- Synonymous words can be repeated in several sentences
- Pronouns can refer to nouns in previous sentences
- Transition words can be used to link ideas from different
sentences

Paragraph Development
- the topic should be discussed fully
and adequately;
- a paragraph should have at least
six eight sentences.

Some Methods to Make Sure Your Paragraph Is


Well-developed:
(use them in accordance with the type of paragraph)
- Analyze the topic
- Describe the topic
- Compare and contrast
- Evaluate causes and reasons
- Examine effects and consequences
- Define terms in the paragraph
- Use examples and illustrations
- Cite data (facts, statistics, evidence, details, and
others)
- Examine testimony (what other people say such as
quotes and paraphrases)
- Offer a chronology of an event (time segments)

WHEN TO START A NEW


PARAGRAPH?

- When you begin a new idea or point.


- To contrast information or ideas.
- When your readers need a pause.
- When you are ending your
introduction or starting your
conclusion.

Transitions and Signposts


Transitions:
- one or several sentences that "transition" from
one idea to the next
- can be used at the end of most paragraphs to
help the paragraphs flow one into the next
Signposts:
- internal aids to assist readers
- consist of several sentences or a paragraph
outlining what the text has covered and where
the text will be going

More Tips in Paragraph Writing!


- Include about three typed paragraphs on each page
- Paragraphs length should not be very different
- The page should look quite balanced (paragraph of
approx. same size)
- If you have several very short paragraphs, think
about whether they are really parts of a larger
paragraph - and can be combined - or you can add
details to support each point and thus make each
into a more fully developed paragraph

Tips for an Advanced Writer


Some useful
PRINCIPLES
to remember when you
write a paragraph

a. Orient your reader to the


subject
- Whenever you introduce a new idea, your readers
will appreciate definitions, examples and
comparisons with things they already know.
- They will feel more comfortable with your new
information if they have a familiar reference to
hang on to.
- Three ways to do this: with orienting words and
phrases, by letting the old amplify the new, and
by adding explanatory words and phrases,
where necessary.

b. Tie your ideas together

Use CONNECTIVES !

c. Take it easy through technically


dense passages
A passage can be made more
digestible just by breaking it
up into shorter, active
sentences and inserting some
plain-English words.

d. Arrange your ideas in a logical


sequence
EXAMPLES OF LOGICAL SEQUENCES
A TEMPORAL SEQUENCE: for emphasizing the
time relations among things or events;
A SPATIAL SEQUENCE: when you want your reader
to see the way different aspects of your subject are spatially
interrelated or lie in contrast;
INCREASING COMPLEXITY: a sequence that leads
your readers gently into a complex subject;
DECREASING ORDER OF IMPORTANCE: when
you want to tell your readers that something new has
happened and why they should be interested - then fill them
in on the details;

Types of Paragraphs
(modes of paragraph development)

Exemplification
Sequence
Choice
Description
Comparison and
contrast
Explanation

Evaluation
Cause and effect
Classification and
division
Definition
Analysis
Enumeration

Definition Paragraph
- Words that can help you to write a
good definition paragraph:

1. "is defined as"


2. "is a kind of"

Classification Paragraph
- it groups things or ideas into specific categories.
Helper Words
is a kind of
can be divided into
is a type of
falls under
belongs to
is a part of
fits into
is grouped with
is related to
is associated with

Description Paragraph
- it discusses about what a person, place, or thing is like;
- sometimes, you may describe where a place is located.
Properties

Measurement

Analogy

Location

size

length

is like

in

colour

width

resembles

above

shape

mass/weight

below

purpose

speed

beside
near
north/east/south/west

Compare and Contrast Paragraph


(about the similarities and differences between two or more
people, places, things, or ideas)
Similarities
is similar to
both
also
too
as well
Differences
on the other hand
however
but
in contrast
differs from
while
unlike

Sequence Paragraph
Order

- describes a
series of
events or a
process in
some sort of
order;
- usually, this
order is
based on
time

first, second,
in the beginning
before
then
after
finally
at last
subsequently
Time

recently
previousy
afterwards
when
after

Choice Paragraph
- choose which object, idea, or action you prefer;
- give your opinion on a choice of actions or
events.
Point of View
in my opinion
belief
idea
understanding
I think that
I consider

Personal Opinion
like/dislike
hope
feel

Explanation Paragraph
- explain how or why something happens;
- explore causes and effects of certain events

Cause
because
since
as a result of
is due to

Effect
therefore
thus
consequently
hence
it follows that
if . . . then

Evaluation Paragraph
- make judgments about people, ideas, and possible actions;
- make your evaluation based on certain criteria that you develop;
- state your evaluation or recommendation and then support it by
referring to your criteria.

Criteria for Evaluation


good / bad
correct / incorrect
moral / immoral
right / wrong
important / trivial
Recommendation
suggest
recommend
advise

Cause and Effect


- when you are tracking the development of one
situation or event out of another;
- attempt to show how events are influenced by or
caused by others--the linkage of causation.

e.g.
Global climate change resulting from the accumulation of greenhouse gases,
for example, is likely to have significant health effects, both direct and
indirect. An average global temperature rise of 3-4C, predicted for the
year 2100 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will greatly
increase the number of days in the United States with temperatures over
38C (100F), with a resulting sharp rise in heat-related mortality. Deaths
would occur primarily from heat strokes, heart attacks, and cerebral strokes.
The very young, poor, and elderly, as well as those with chronic
cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, are most at risk. During the twoweek heat wave of July 1993 in the eastern United States, 84 people died in
Philadelphia alone as a result of the higher temperatures.

Exemplification
- to provide instances that clarify the topic
statement.

e.g.
Vitamins and minerals can be added to enrich
(replace nutrients lost in processing) or fortify (add
nutrients not normally present) foods to improve
their nutritional quality. Breads and cereals are
usually enriched with some B vitamins and iron.
Common examples of fortification include the
addition of vitamin D to milk, vitamin A to
margarine, vitamin C to fruit drinks, calcium to
orange juice, and iodide to table salt.

CHARACTERISTICS OF
EFFECTIVE TECHNICAL
COMMUNICATION
Accuracy: stylistically and technically
Clarity: written in simple, direct sentences
Conciseness: use of a minimum of words to
express the basic idea and does not digress
from the point being made
Coherence: it develops its subject matter in
an easy-to-follow line of thinking
Appropriateness: to its purpose and audience

Advice Concerning the Scientific and


Technical Writing Style
- Be direct and forceful.

- Focus on action and actors.


- Write each sentence so it is lively and easy to
read.
- Write each sentence so it works together.
harmoniously with those that surround it.
- Do not contradict yourself.
- Be grammatical.

Six Things to Avoid


1. Avoid overusing expletives at the
beginning of sentences
Wordy: There are four rules that should be
observed: ... (8 words)

Concise: Four rules should be observed:


... (5 words)

2. Avoid overusing noun forms of


verbs
Wordy: The function of this department is the
collection of accounts. (10 words)
Concise: This department collects accounts.
(4 words)

3. Avoid unnecessary infinitive


phrases

Wordy: The duty of a clerk is to check all


incoming mail and to record it.
(15 words)

Concise: A clerk checks and records all


incoming mail. (8 words)

4. Avoid circumlocutions in
favor of direct expressions
Wordy: At this/that point in time ...
(2/4 words)
Concise: Now/then ... (1 word)

5. Avoid ornate language


Weak
This peak is theorized to be resultant from two
competing effects: driving force and velocity.
Improved
This peak is believed to result from two
competing effects: driving force and velocity.

6. Avoid Vague Language


Weak
The team detected above-normal
radioactivity levels at Station 6.

Improved
The team detected above-normal
radioactivity levels of 2.4 106 d/m betagamma at Station 6.

The Continuum of Formality Levels


Examples
Formal (Written to an unknown audience): I am applying
for the receptionist position advertised in the local paper. I am
an excellent candidate for the job because of my significant
secretarial experience, good language skills, and sense of
organization.
Semi-formal (Written to a well-known individual): I am
applying for the receptionist position that is currently open in
the company. As you are aware, I have worked as a temporary
employee with your company in this position before. As such,
I not only have experience and knowledge of this position, but
also already understand the company's needs and requirements
for this job.
Informal (Incorrect): Hi! I read in the paper that youre
looking for a receptionist. I think Im good for that job because
I've done stuff like it in the past, am good with words, and am
incredibly well organized.

Formality Tip!
in academic paragraphs certain kinds of
expressions are not allowed:

e.g.
- never contractions such as don't or
aren't
- always write out the words in full, for
instance, is not and will not

Biased Language
- avoid language that could be interpreted as
biased on the basis of sex, age, physical ability
or ethnic or racial identity;
- use terminology that treats a disability or an
illness neutrally rather than negatively;
- use language that is inclusive and avoids
unintended stereotypes, and refer to people
and groups using labels they prefer.

Biased Language
Examples
Unacceptable
Paraplegic James Alton competes in marathons with
other crippled racers who train in wheelchairs.
Acceptable
James Alton, an attorney whose legs were paralyzed
in an automobile accident, competes in marathons with
other disabled racers who train in wheelchairs.
Original: policeman and policewoman
Alternative: police officer

STCE III.B
WRITTEN
COMMUNICATION THE PROCESS

WRITING AS PROCESS
VS

WRITING AS PRODUCT
FLUENCY
VS
ACCURACY

KEEPING THE BALANCE

COMPARISON BETWEEN FOCUSES


IN PROCESS AND PRODUCT WRITING
Process writing

text as a resource for comparison


ideas as starting point
more than one draft
more global, focus on purpose, theme, text type, i.e., reader is emphasized
collaborative
emphasis on creative process

Product writing

imitates model text


organization of ideas more important than ideas themselves
one draft
features highlighted including controlled practice of those features
individual
emphasis on end product

FLUENCY VS ACCURACY
Keep the balance
Fluency
1)
focus on meaning
2)
use of implicit learning
3)
risk-taking
Accuracy
1) focus on form
2) use of explicit knowledge
3) care

Writing Is Genre-based
- Focus on Discourse
Writing is socially situated
People write for real audiences and
purposes, meeting discourse expectations
(generating authentic products: articles,
advertisements, messages etc.)
Genre: text template (structure, components,
type of vocabulary, style, level of formality)

TYPES OF GENRES AND CORRESPONDING


SPECIFIC TEXT TYPES
Expository
a genre of writing that informs, describes, or explains with text types that include:
autobiography, biography, descriptive, essay, informational report, and media article
Narrative
a genre of writing that entertains or tells a story with text types that include: adventure,
fairy tale, fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, personal narrative, realistic fiction, and
science fiction
Persuasive
a genre of writing that attempts to convince readers to embrace a particular point of
view with text types that include: advertisement, editorial, essay, political cartoon,
pro/con, and review
Procedural
a genre of writing that explains the instructions or directions for completing a task with
text types that include: experiment, how to, and recipe
Transactional
a genre of writing that serves as a communication of ideas and information between
individuals with text types that include: blog, business letter, friendly email, friendly
letter, interview, invitation, and postcard

THE PROCESS OF WRITING


MAIN STEPS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

considering the audience


collecting the material
planning the text
outlining
structuring
drafting
editing
proof reading

Consider the Audience


KEY QUESTIONS
1)
What is the purpose of this writing
in this particular situation?
2)
Who is the audience?
3)
What is the writing expected to
achieve?

GETTING TO KNOW MORE ABOUT


YOUR AUDIENCE!

Tips!

gather as much information as


possible about the people reading your
document;

your audience may consist of


different people who may have
different needs and expectations;

you may have a complex


audience in all the stages of your
document's lifecycle - the development
stage, the reading stage, and the action
stage.

Consider Your Audience's Attitudes Toward


Both You and the Subject Matter
Advice:
- If your audience views you as an expert, in some
situations you may not need to offer lengthy
explanations for your conclusions or
recommendations.
- If the audience does not know you or does not
consider you an expert, the document should
include extensive explanations of your
conclusions and recommendations to create trust.

DETERMINE YOUR
AUDIENCE'S NEEDS!

Assess their expertise and their


purpose in reading the
document!

TYPES OF READERS
RECOGNIZED BY EFFECTIVE TECHNICAL WRITING
according to different levels of expertise
- Experts

(No need to give extensive background or define key technical


terms or acronyms; do not just present a concept to an expert. Also
explain its parts and processes in detail),
- Technicians (Keep introductions and background information brief;
when appropriate, reduce information to instructions on how to perform
a procedure or diagnose and fix a problem; keep sections and overall
instructions as short as possible; use graphs and tables),
- Managers (In general, present information in order of importance;
emphasize information that will aid in making decisions; segment
information to allow easy reading of parts of the document; use graphs to
summarize information; explain any unfamiliar terms),
- Lay Persons (Avoid jargon; explain difficult technical terms),
- Mixed Audiences ( Include a glossary of terms; provide a summary in
more understandable language).

Adjust the:
- Organization of text (organization,
introductions, equations and mathematical
models, graphics, technical terms);
- Density of information (rate at which
information is presented to the reader, level of
detail);
- Points of emphasis

in order to meet the


audiences purpose
and level of expertise.

COLLECTING MATERIAL
- Any source is valuable

- Anticipate possible questions


- Store material in appropriate form:
files, tables, quotations (mention
source)
- Do not hesitate to ask for
information

PLANNING AND
OUTLINING
Tips!
- Work out a general plan first,
- Then make the more specific
outline.

The PLANNING Stage of the Writing Process


Important - the purpose, content, and general
structure of the paper are established then.
STEPS IN PLANNING

- carefully analyze the assignment


- think about a preliminary title ( you may change
it later)
- give a thought to the audience and purpose for
your writing
- brainstorm in order to generate main
points/ideas
- develop a first outline (= a schematic or
preliminary plan)

BRAINSTORMING

- strategy for exploring ideas


- relies upon the free expression of thoughts
- e.g. mind maps

OUTLINING
- serves as a writing aid,
- provides the subject headings of the paper,
- effectively reduces and orders the source
materials,
- will force you to: organize the material,
develop a point of view, establish the scope of
the document, sequence topics and develop a
writing strategy.

An Example of Outline
TITLE
General
Problem
Background

Method
Results

Effective Outlines
FOUR MAIN COMPONENTS

1 - PARALLELISM
How Do I Accomplish This?
- Each heading and subheading should
preserve parallel structure.
- If the first heading is a noun, the second
heading should be a noun.
Examples:
1. Choose Desired Colleges
2. Prepare Application

2 - COORDINATION
How Do I Accomplish This?

- All the information contained in Heading 1


should have the same significance as the
information contained in Heading 2.
- The same goes for the subheadings (which
should be less significant than the headings).
Examples:
1. Visit and evaluate college campuses
2. Visit and evaluate college websites
3. Note important statistics
4. Look for interesting classes

3 - SUBORDINATION
How Do I Accomplish This?

- The information in
the headings
should be more
general,
while
- the information in
the subheadings
should be more
specific.

Examples:
1. Describe an
Influential Person
in Your Life
2. Favorite High
School Teacher
3. Grandparent

4 - DIVISION

How Do I Accomplish This?


- Each heading should be divided into two or
more parts.

Examples:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Compile Resume
List Relevant Coursework
List Work Experience
List Volunteer Experience

THE FORMAL OUTLINE


- develop a numbering system to
accompany the topics;
- the process of creating and sequencing
the topics is a critical stage in developing
your document, because the resulting
plan determines the document's internal
logic and order.

STRUCTURING AND DRAFTING


The Personalized Core of the
Writing Process
A paradox : the time spent on this
step will be likely inversely proportional
to the amount of time spent in the
planning and outlining stages.

DRAFTING Tips!
- The main purpose of a first draft is to sketch out ideas in
writing,
- Marginal notes or comments in the text (e.g., "add
median response time," "need figures," or "check
maximum values") allow you to keep your ideas flowing,
- You do not need to write the document in the order of
your outline,
- If you get stuck on a section or get writers block with
a certain part of the draft, skip it and move on to the
next section; return to it later once youve had time
away from that difficult section,
- If you arent happy with parts of your draft, U
regardless youll have the opportunity to return to it
later and revise. Nobody evaluates your first draft, only
your final: consider it a rehearsal.

DRAFTING
Some Good Advice to Remember
- Begin to implement
organizational strategies on a
paragraph level in your draft,
- A paragraph should have a
prominent and accurate topic
sentence near the beginning that
establishes the main idea of the
paragraph, and the
organizational strategy used to
back up that idea,
- An effective strategy is to write
all of the topic sentences of a
section first, then begin filling in
each individual paragraph,

- Pay attention to transitions


points at which we move
between ideas,
- Focus on openings and
closings of sections and
paragraphs to establish
coherence,
- But most importantly, get it
done: the first draft is really a
starting point, not a finishing
one, so do not labour over ever
single word or sentence. Youll
have lots of time to do that in
the revision and editing stage of
the writing process.

EDITING AND PROOF READING


- review the document carefully for

correctness,
- as you edit your document, however,
continue to improve accuracy, clarity,
conciseness, coherence and appropriateness,
- remember that no matter how sound your
document may be technically, your credibility
will be undermined by errors in sentence
construction or grammar, word choice, usage,
punctuation, mechanics, or spelling.

Some Ways to Improve Your Text


- Make your paragraphs
coherent. If necessary,
rearrange sentences for
better paragraph flow
and logic.
- Use the active voice
whenever the passive
voice is not clearly more
appropriate.
- Eliminate unnecessary
words and phrases.
- Simplify your sentences.
- Break long sentences
into manageable units.

- Condense repetitious or
closely related material.
- Look for ways to combine
or delete words and
sentences that repeat
information.
- Avoid redundant
information.
- Be specific. Replace vague
phrases and words with
more descriptive ones.
- Use words accurately.

PROOF-READING
The Final Touch
Look for mistakes of the following types and
correct them:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

style inappropriate for the audience


lack of parallelism
any sentence fragments
references without pronouns
wrong tense choice
misused modifiers
spelling mistakes
punctuation mistakes

VISUAL AIDS
What Type Is Appropriate to What Type of
Information
- Tables of data - difficult to follow, too many figures.
- Line graphs - to replace tables and to demonstrate how
something has changed over a period of time.
- Bar graphs ( histograms) - show frequency distribution
mainly used for comparison. The variables are generally
shown on the x-axis and the frequency on the y-axis.
- Pie graphs - show parts of a whole and makes it clear
how percentages relate to each other within a whole.
- Three-dimensional plots - connect three variables
together.
- Flowcharts - to illustrate a series of steps in a procedure,
decision, or other "stepwise" process.

STCE III.C
WRITTEN
COMMUNICATION
- TEXT TYPES
TECHNICAL
CORRESPONDENCE
(LETTERS, MEMOS, EMAIL MESSAGES)

LETTERS

When/Why Are Letters Still Used?

Personal letters - share feelings and information


among friends and family,
Social notes relay an invitation or refuse one,
Letters expressing gratitude, congratulations, or
condolences,
Letters of opinion, sent to newspapers, businesses,
and the media,
Letters as statements, requiring original signature
Etc.

Letter Writing Conventions

Appropriate style using a level of formality of


language (formal, neutral, informal) that is
suitable for your audience and kind of writing.
Appropriate layout the correct positioning on
the page of openings and closings.
Appropriate order of information the
information in a letter is usually ordered in this
sequence:
1.

Explain

why

you

are

writing

2. Outline the situation (first generally, then in more


detail)

3. Request or mention action or follow-up

Letter Openings
and Matching Closings

- Dear Mr/Ms Brown

- Yours sincerely//Best regards (U.S.A.)

- Dear Sir/Madam

- Yours faithfully//Best regards (U.S.A.)


- I am writing to

- I look forward to receiving

RULES FOR WRITING FORMAL LETTERS IN


ENGLISH
1) Your Address
The return address should be written in the top righthand corner of the letter.
2) The Address of the person you are writing to
The inside address should be written on the left,
starting below your address.
3) Date
You can write this on the right or the left on the line
after the address you are writing to. Write the month
as a word.

CONTENT OF A FORMAL LETTER


1. First paragraph
The first paragraph should be short and state the
purpose of the letter - to make an enquiry,
complain, request something, etc.
2. The paragraph or paragraphs in the middle of
the letter should contain the relevant information
behind the writing of the letter. Keep the
information to the essentials and concentrate on
organizing it in a clear and logical manner.
3. Last Paragraph
The last paragraph of a formal letter should state
what action you expect the recipient to take - to
refund, send you information, etc.

Abbreviations Used in Letter Writing


asap = as soon as possible
cc = carbon copy (when you send a copy of a letter to
more than one person, you use this abbreviation to let
them know)
enc. = enclosure (when you include other papers with
your letter)
pp = per procurationem (A Latin phrase meaning that
you are signing the letter on somebody else's behalf; if
they are not there to sign it themselves, etc)
ps = postscript (when you want to add something after
you've finished and signed it)
pto (informal) = please turn over (to make sure that the
other person knows the letter continues on the other side
of the page)
RSVP = please reply

STYLE IN LETTER WRITING

Tips!

State the main purpose, or subject matter right


away
Keep the paragraphs of most letters short
Compartmentalize the contents of your letter
Provide topic indicators at the beginning of
paragraphs
List or itemize whenever possible in a letter
Place important information strategically in letters
- in the first and last lines of paragraphs as they
tend to be read and remembered better
Avoid pompous, inflated, legal-sounding phrasing
Give your letter an "action ending" whenever
appropriate

MEMOS
Letters and Memos a Comparison

Both - communicate information


and
are commonly used in the world of
professional writing,
but

Features of Memos
Memos are almost always used within an
organization
Memos are usually unceremonious in style
Memos are normally used for non-sensitive
communication (communication to which the reader
will not have an emotional reaction)
Memos are short and to-the-point
Memos have a direct style
Memos do not have a salutation
Memos do not have a complimentary closing
Memos have a specific format, that is very different
from a letter

Sample Memo Format


Company Name
Company Address
Date of Memo
To:
Recipient of memo
From: Writer of memo
Subject: Title of memo

Memos Written in Engineering


MAIN PURPOSES

to make requests,
to communicate reports,
to require information,
to make announcements,
to outline policies,
to transmit meeting minutes.

MEMO WRITING

Tips!
get to the point in the first paragraph - the first sentence,
if possible,
skip a line between paragraphs,
keep the sentence lengths and paragraph lengths
relatively short (sentences should average fewer than
twenty words and paragraphs should average fewer than
seven lines),
keep the total memo length to under one page, if
possible,
space your memo on the page so that it does not crowd
the top,
final paragraphs of memos that make requests or
announcements should tell readers what you want them
to do or what you will do for them.

Memo Body

organize the topics of the memo in order


of importance, with the key statements
first and the details further on;
the memo should normally begin with a
brief summary statement, in one or two
sentences, identifying the key topic and
the scope of the memo;
start with the old information and work
carefully towards the new.

ADVICE CONCERNING MEMO WRITING

avoid sophisticated language/jargon


stay lucid and amiable
neutral tone (or positive)
clear structure/paragraphs
list attachments
no niceties
fill in the header
job of final paragraph: to specify action to be
taken & deadlines

E-mail Messages
TIPS IN WRITING FORMAL E-MAIL MESSAGES
Be sure to include a meaningful subject line; this
helps clarify what your message is about and may also
help the recipient prioritize reading your email;
Just like a written letter, be sure to open your email
with a greeting like Dear Dr. Jones, or Ms. Smith;
Use standard spelling, punctuation, and
capitalization;
Write clear, short paragraphs and be direct and to
the point; professionals and academics alike see their
email accounts as business. Don't write unnecessarily
long emails or otherwise waste the recipient's time;
Be friendly and cordial, but don't try to joke around
(jokes and witty remarks may be inappropriate);
Do not write in a sloppy manner.

General Advice About E-mail


Message Writing
Prefer the familiar word to the far-fetched.

Prefer the concrete word to the abstract.


Prefer the single word to the circumlocution.
Prefer the short word to the long.

EFFECTIVE EMAILS

Think before you write; Analyze your readers'


needs;
Verba volant, scripta manent (what you write
remains there, as words do);
Keep your message concise. Remember that the
screen only shows about half of a hard-copy page;
Take the time to proofread your document before
you sent it.

Mistakes to Avoid When Writing


Emails
Forgetting about the importance of
etiquette

Assuming people have time to read your


entire message

Lacking a clear request


Not re-reading before you hit 'send'

Common Transitional Words and Phrases


by type of relationship
cause and effect:
consequently, therefore,
accordingly, as a result,
because, for this reason,
hence, thus
sequence:
furthermore, in
addition, moreover,
first, second, third,
finally, again, also, and,
besides, further, in the
first place, last, likewise,
next, then, too

comparison or contrast:
similarly, also, in the same
way, likewise, although, at the
same time, but, conversely,
even so, however, in contrast,
nevertheless, nonetheless,
notwithstanding, on the
contrary, otherwise, still, yet
example: for example, for
instance, in fact, indeed, of
course, specifically, that is, to
illustrate
purpose: for this purpose, for
this reason, to this end, with
this object

STCE III.D
WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
- TEXT TYPES
REPORTS

TWO ATTEMPTS TO DEFINE REPORTS


A report is an
objective description of
something that is happening,
has happened or may
happen.

a)

b) A report is
communication of
information or advice, from
a person who has collected
and studied the facts, to a
person who has asked for
the report because he needs
it for a specific purpose.

Emerson, F. (1987): Technical


Writing, Houghton Mifflin
Stanton, N. (1982):
Company, Boston.
Communication, Macmillan.

MORE ABOUT REPORTS


standard documents in all organizations,
documents that transmit the results of a
factual inquiry to other parties who have a
professional interest in it,
may include: results, expert opinions,
laboratory tests, policy issues, trips, and
administrative details - anything of
importance to the professional organization.

TYPES OF REPORTS AND PURPOSES


INTERNAL
OR
EXTERNAL
internal report
often takes the
form of a memo
they depend on the
audience
Interor
Intra-company

INFORMAL OR FORMAL
informal reports:
- circulate within the local
environment
- generally not written about
externally funded research
- are often short and concern
administrative and policy issues
or perform the function of
keeping others informed about
your work
formal reports:
- are generally tightly structured
and extensively reviewed before
they are released

TYPES OF REPORTS
USED IN
SCIENTIFIC
AND
TECHNICAL
COMMUNICATION

LABORATORY REPORTS
MEMORANDUM
To: B. Renner, Manager, Boiler Group
From: D. Hein, Analytical Group
Date: 2/19/93
Subject: Analysis of VCGx-Boiler Cleaning
Solution

Objective
Experiment
Results

LONGER LAB REPORTS


TYPICAL COMPONENTS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Title Page
Abstract
Methods and Materials
Experimental Procedure
Results
Discussion
Conclusion
References
Appendices

Research Reports
present the results of formal investigations
into the properties, behavior, structures, and
principles of material and conceptual entities,
a rigorously formatted document that
follows a conventional structure,
contain a standard set of elements that
include
front matter
body
end matter

RESEARCH REPORT
Detailed Structure
Table of contents
List of figures
Section 1 -
(research objectives)
Section 2 -
(the theoretical basis)
Section 3 -
Experimental procedure
Sections 4/5/6/ -
Results
Discussion
Conclusions

DESIGN and FEASIBILITY Reports


describe one or more design solutions to a
specific problem and determine if the proposed
solution is practical and feasible,
preferably, more than one solution is offered, in
which case the report compares the various
designs and determines which option is best,
are crucial for decision making and product
development in almost any technical
organization,
document an engineer's thinking through a
solution to a problem, a description of the
solution, and the reasons why that solution
should be implemented.

ELEMENTS OF DESIGN AND

FEASIBILITY REPORTS - 1
1. An abstract that concludes with a short
summary of the recommended design.
2. An introduction that presents the context of
the situation and then gives a clear and
concise statement of the problem to solved.
3. A list of design criteria, in order of
importance with the most important first.
They establish the standards by which it
possible to determine whether a specific
design is successful and to decide intelligently
among competing designs.

ELEMENTS OF DESIGN AND


FEASIBILITY REPORTS - 2
4. Descriptions of possible implementations. A design
report will often describe only one possible
implementation. A feasibility report will often present
several possible designs.
5. A recommendation with a comparison of alternatives.
Feasibility reports usually present one (or sometimes
two) recommendations and argue for the
recommended solution by showing how it best meets
the stated criteria. Graphic devices, such as a table
listing how each implementation meets each design
criterion, are very effective in summarizing the reasons
for the specific design recommendation.

ELEMENTS OF DESIGN AND


FEASIBILITY REPORTS - 3
6. Elaboration of design. Design reports
and feasibility reports often then give a
more detailed description of the
recommended design.
7. Conclusion with recommendations for
further actions and a listing of issues
that must be resolved before the design
can be implemented.

PROGRESS Reports
Main objectives of progress reports are
project monitoring and accountability.
The typical progress report:
- gives some summary of the project goal,
- states the progress made toward that goal
during the reporting period,
- discusses significant costs and scheduling issues,
- lists future objectives to be carried out.
Progress reports are prepared at intervals, often
specified in the initial project proposal.

Format of Progress Reports


1. Front matter. Project title, funding source,
contract number, funding period, report
date, research organization, and funded
staff.
2. Body. Project summary (work done, work
in progress, and work to be done),
overview, report of progress, problems
(cost or schedule issues), future work.
3. End matter. References, attachments.

TRIP Reports
a common part of organizational
communication,
generally follow the format of a
memorandum,
addressed to one or more members of a
group of associates,
should include:
- the reason for the trip,
- what was found, and
- one or more conclusions.

EXAMPLE
Of A Trip Report Structure

Memo type heading


Purpose statement
Topics
Header
Recommendations
Distribution list

MAIN PARTS OF ANY REPORT


A Standard Format
1 - a front matter section - orients the
reader to the main purpose and content
of the report,
2 - a report body - the factual content
of the report,
3 - a section of end matter - contains
various references and secondary
material.

Table of Contents
AUTHOR GUIDE TO
WRITING AND EDITING
TECHNICAL REPORTS

ELEMENTS OF A TECHNICAL REPORT


1. Front Matter
Cover Page
Notice and Signature Page
Table of Contents Pages
Abstracts, Forewords, Prefaces, and Acknowledgements

2. Body Matter Text


Summary (or Executive Summary)
Introduction
Methods, Assumptions, and Procedures
Results and Discussions
Conclusions
Recommendations
References

3. Back Matter
Appendices
Bibliography
Lists of Acronyms

Report Writing
TIPS!

Front Matter
the "envelope" of your document,
introduces the reader to the body of the
document,
helps the reader to understand a document's
who, what, why, where, and how - the author,
problem, argument, organization, and method,
tells the reader what your topic and purpose
are, how your material is arranged, and where
to locate items of interest.

TYPICAL ELEMENTS CONTAINED IN THE FRONT


MATTER OF VARIOUS DOCUMENTS
(y=yes; n=no; s=sometimes)
Front matter
Report

Article

Proposal

Memo

Title

Abstract

Executive
summary

List figures

List tables

List terms

Acknowledge
ments

Title and Title Page


Begin every technical document with a clear and specific
title.
Prospective readers may judge whether your document
will be worth their time just be reading the title.
Long formal documents have a separate title page.
For shorter documents, a title page is optional, or
unnecessary, depending on the specific context and
conventions in your field.
A title page should include:
- the title,
- the author(s),
- their affiliation (if appropriate), and
- the date,
- additional information (a specific grant or project
number).

SAMPLE TITLE AND INTRODUCTION

Information Systems Report

A NEW PROCEDURE FOR


ENSURING DATA
INTEGRITY IN FLIGHT
RESERVATION
SYSTEMS

Table of Contents
Documents longer than ten pages
use a table of contents to help the
reader move around in the
material.
Tables of contents are widely used
in reports.

BODY
Procedure
purpose - to allow a reader of the report to reproduce
the experiment or data collection process.
should be written in narrative form, with illustrations
of all test setups and procedures included within the
text.
organize the material to follow the actual sequence of
events.
separate each group of actions into one or more
paragraphs, and describe each discrete action in one or
more sentences.
list all materials and apparatus used in the procedures
in sufficient detail so that a reader could reproduce the
experiment.

The ABSTRACT
Summarizes four essential aspects of the report:
a) the purpose of the experiment (sometimes
expressed as the purpose of the report),
b) key findings,
c) significance,
d) major conclusions.
Often includes a brief reference to theory or
methodology.
The information should clearly enable readers to
decide whether they need to read your whole
report.
The abstract should be one paragraph of 100-200
words

RESULTS
describe all appropriate information produced
by the research procedures.
simply present data and estimates of their
accuracy.
extensive use of graphs and figures to present
data effectively.
order information by its importance to your
audience's purpose in reading the document.
state all significant findings in the text,
referring to tables and graphs displaying them.

DISCUSSION
The most important part of your report, because
here you show that you understand the experiment
beyond the simple level of completing it.
Explain in the discussion section of your
document information presented in the results
chapter, commenting on significant data produced
by the study.
This part focuses on a question of understanding
"What is the significance or meaning of the
results?"
To answer this question, use both aspects of discussion:
a) Analysis
b) Interpretation.

The DISCUSSION
a) Analysis:
What do the results
indicate clearly? What
have you found?
Explain what you know
with certainty based on
your results and draw
conclusions.

b) Interpretation:
What is the significance
of the results? What
ambiguities exist? What
questions might we
raise?
Find logical explanations
for problems in the data.

DISCUSSION FOCUS STRATEGIES


i) Compare expected results with those obtained.
ii) Analyze experimental error.
iii) Explain your results in terms of theoretical issues.
iv) Relate results to your experimental objective(s).
v) Compare your results to similar investigations.
vi) Analyze the strengths and limitations of your
experimental design.

CONCLUSIONS
- Should summarize all essential information
necessary for your audience's purpose.
- In your conclusions:
Relate your findings to the general
problem and any specific objectives posed
in your introduction.
Summarize clearly what the report does
and does not demonstrate.
Include specific recommendations for
action or for further research.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Include appropriate and specific
recommendations to the document audience
as part of your conclusion.
In feasibility and recommendation reports as a separate section preceding the
conclusions.
Separate each specific recommendation.
Present recommendations in bulleted or
numbered lists.
Organize recommendations either in the
order of importance or in the logical order of
development.

STCE III.E
WRITTEN
COMMUNICATION
- TEXT TYPES ABSTRACTS

Motto :

Life should be as simple as


possible, but not one bit
simpler.
Attributed to Albert Einstein

The same is true for


abstracts

Writing a Smashing Abstract Takes


Practice!
Barry Costa-Pierce
University of California
Irvine, CA

An Abstract is the most important part of a


scientific paper. It not only summarizes the
salient aspects of the paper but also lures a
reader into reading it!
It is likely the majority of people who read your
paper would only read the Abstract.
If you want to attract more people to read your
article, it is the Abstract that will do it.

Abstract vs Paper

Writing a good abstract is more complicated than


writing a research paper. In a way, the abstract is the
opposite of the research paper.
In the abstract, you are trying to condense the content
of your thoughts. In the paper, you stretch them.
The abstract is normally written after the paper is
completed, whereas it is reviewed prior to the paper.
You use your expertise, ideas, and precise language to
make a good abstract.
By submitting your abstract, you are trying to
persuade your readers in 3 to 5 minutes that you are
going to present something unique and valuable in
the paper .

ABSTRACT
Various Definitions
1. An abstract is a brief summary of a research
article, thesis, review, conference proceeding or any
in-depth analysis of a particular subject or discipline,
and is often used to help the reader quickly ascertain
the paper's purpose. When used, an abstract always
appears at the beginning of a manuscript, acting as
the point-of-entry for any given scientific paper or
patent application. Abstraction and indexing services
are available for a number of academic disciplines,
aimed at compiling a body of literature for that
particular subject.

ABSTRACT Various Definitions


2. Your abstract format is your appearance, your
abstracts style is your mint fresh breath, your
abstracts content is your mind and your abstracts
conclusion is your soul.
3. An abstract is a condensed version of the
manuscript, which highlights the major points
covered, concisely describes its content and scope, and
reviews its material in abbreviated form. It is usually
the first section read and sets the tone of the paper for
the reviewer. It must be concise and easy to read and
must cover the important points of the paper.

ABSTRACT Various Definitions


4. The abstract is the reader's first
encounter with your paper, and is the
chief means by which scientists decide
which research reports to read in their
entirety. The abstract should provide a
brief summary of the findings of the
paper and should be a stand-alone
document that can be understood
without reading the paper.

ABSTRACT DEFINING ELEMENTS

- An abstract is a self-contained, short, and


powerful statement that describes a larger
work.
- Components vary according to discipline.
- An abstract is not a review, nor does it
evaluate the work being abstracted.
- While it contains key words found in the
larger work, the abstract is an original
document rather than an excerpted
passage.

THE ABSTRACT IN THE SCIENTIFIC


LITERATURE
GENERAL - 1
May act as a stand-alone entity in lieu of the paper as well
Is used by many organizations as the basis for selecting
research that is proposed for presentation in the form of a
poster, podium/lecture, or workshop presentation at an
academic conference.
Many publications have a required style for abstracts; the
"Guidelines for Authors" provided by the publisher will
provide specific instructions. Stay within the publishers
guidelines, or your manuscript might be rejected.
Most literature database search engines index abstracts
only, as opposed to providing the entire text of the paper.

GENERAL - 2

- Full-texts of scientific papers must often be


purchased because of copyright and/or publisher
fees, and therefore the abstract is a significant
selling point for the reprint or electronic version of
the full-text.
- Can convey the main results and conclusions of
a scientific article, but the full text article must be
consulted for details of the methodology, the full
experimental results, and a critical discussion of the
interpretations and conclusions. Consulting the
abstract alone is inadequate for scholarship and may
lead to inappropriate decisions.

GENERAL - 3
consists of the Title of the study and the body of the abstract.
abstract length varies by discipline and publisher
requirements.
typical length ranges from 100 to 500 words, but very rarely
more than a page.
must be single spaced.
may or may not have the section title of "abstract" explicitly
listed as an antecedent to content.
it is usually the first section read and sets the tone of the
paper forthe reviewer. It must be concise and easy to read.
they are typically sectioned logically as an overview of what
appears in the paper (e.g. any one of the following:
Background, Introduction, Objectives, Methods, Results,
Conclusions).

GENERAL - 4
In journal articles, research papers, published patent
applications and patents, an abstract is placed prior
to the introduction.
Often set apart from the body of the text, sometimes
with different line justification from the rest of the
article.
Main use: selection and indexing.
Abstracts allow readers who may be interested in the
longer work to quickly decide whether it is worth
their time to read it. Also, many online databases use
abstracts to index larger works. Therefore, abstracts
should contain keywords and phrases that allow for
easy searching.

GENERAL - 5
An abstract allows one to sieve through
large amounts of papers for ones in which
the researcher can have more confidence
that they will be relevant to his research.
Abstracts help one decide which papers
might be relevant to his or her own
research or what
papers they are
interested in reading in depth.

The Relationship Between the


Readership and the Abstract Text
- Considering your audience and their needs will help
you to determine what should be included in your
abstract.
- Ask yourself:
Why would another researcher be interested in this
research?
What are the most important aspects of the research?
What should a reader be sure to know about the research?
What information will the reader have to have in order to
understand the most important aspects?
What are the main points from each section of your report?
- Summarize each section in one sentence, if possible.

How to Write an Abstract


Philip Koopman, Carnegie Mellon University
October, 1997
http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~koopman/essays/abstract.html

Abstract
Because on-line search databases typically contain only
abstracts, it is vital to write a complete but concise
description of your work to entice potential readers into
obtaining a copy of the full paper. This article describes how
to write a good computer architecture abstract for both
conference and journal papers. Writers should follow a
checklist consisting of: motivation, problem statement,
approach, results, and conclusions. Following this checklist
should increase the chance of people taking the time to
obtain and read your complete paper.

CHECKLIST TO GET A
GOOD ABSTRACT

Motivation
Problem
Approach
Results
Conclusions

Motivation:
Why do we care about the problem and the
results?
If the problem isn't obviously "interesting" it might
be better to put motivation first; but if your work is
incremental progress on a problem that is widely
recognized as important, then it is probably better to
put the problem statement first to indicate which
piece of the larger problem you are breaking off to
work on.
This section should include the importance of
your work, the difficulty of the area, and the impact
it might have if successful.

Problem Statement
What problem are you trying to solve?
What is the scope of your work (a generalized
approach, or for a specific situation)?
Be careful not to use too much jargon.
In some cases it is appropriate to put the problem
statement before the motivation, but usually this
only works if most readers already understand why
the problem is important.

Approach
How did you go about solving or making
progress on the problem?
Did you use simulation, analytic models,
prototype construction, or analysis of field data for
an actual product?
What was the extent of your work (did you look at
one application program or a hundred programs in
twenty different programming languages?)
What important variables did you control, ignore,
or measure?

Results
What is the answer?
Specifically, most good computer architecture
papers conclude that something is so many percent
faster, cheaper, smaller, or otherwise better than
something else.
Put the result there, in numbers. Avoid vague,
hand-waving results such as "very", "small", or
"significant." If you must be vague, you are only
given license to do so when you can talk about
orders-of-magnitude improvement. There is a
tension here in that you should not provide numbers
that can be easily misinterpreted, but on the other
hand you don't have room for all the warnings.

Conclusions
What are the implications of your answer?
Is it going to change the world (unlikely),
be a significant "win", or simply serve as a
road sign indicating that this path is a waste of
time (all of the previous results are useful).
Are your results general, potentially
generalizable, or specific to a particular case?

KEYWORDS - Purposes
1 - They are used to
facilitate
keyword
index searches, which
are greatly reduced in
importance now that
on-line abstract text
searching is commonly
used.

2 - They are used to assign


papers
to
review
committees or editors,
which can be extremely
important to your fate
(So make sure that the
keywords you pick make
assigning your paper to a
review category obvious ).

Abstract Parts
Body
Title
tells the reader : WHAT
The title of your abstract
you did, WHY you did it,
HOW you did it, WHAT
should be the same as the
you found, and WHAT it
title of your scientific
means.
paper.
should briefly state:

the purpose of the


research (introduction),
how the problem was
studied (methods),
the principal findings
(results),
what the findings mean
(discussion
and
conclusion).

ABSTRACT WRITING IN A NUTSHELL


1. Identify the major objectives and conclusions.
2. Identify phrases with keywords in the methods section.
3. Identify the major results from the discussion or results
section.
4. Assemble the above information into a single paragraph.
5. State your hypothesis or method used in the first sentence.
6. Omit background information, literature review, and
detailed description of methods.
7. Remove extra words and phrases.
8. Revise the paragraph so that the abstract conveys only the
essential information.
9. Check to see if it meets the guidelines of the targeted
journal.
10. Give the abstract to a colleague (preferably one who is not
familiar with your work) and ask him/her whether it makes
sense.

People write abstracts:


when submitting articles to journals,
especially online journals
when applying for research grants
when writing a book proposal
when completing the PhD dissertation or
MA thesis
when writing a proposal for a conference
paper
when writing a proposal for a book chapter

When is it better to write the abstract?

Before the paper, while the paper is being


written or after the paper has been written?
Basic requirement: you should know all the
facts that you want to write about, so if this
condition is fulfilled you can write it at any
of those moments.

Types of Abstracts
(different aims, so they have different components
and styles)

Descriptive
abstracts

Informative
abstracts

Descriptive Abstracts
A descriptive abstract indicates the type of
information found in the work.
It makes no judgments about the work, nor does it
provide results or conclusions of the research.
It does incorporate key words found in the text
and may include the purpose, methods, and scope
of the research.
Essentially, the descriptive abstract describes the
work being abstracted.
Descriptive abstracts are usually very short - 100
words or less.

Descriptive Abstracts Features


tell readers what information the report,
article, or paper contains.
include the purpose, methods, and scope of
the report, article, or paper.
do not provide results, conclusions, or
recommendations.
introduce the subject to readers, who must
then read the report, article, or paper to find
out the author's results, conclusions, or
recommendations.

Informative Abstracts
The majority of abstracts are informative. While they still
do not critique or evaluate a work, they do more than
describe it.
A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work
itself. That is, the writer presents and explains all the main
arguments and the important results and evidence in the
complete article/paper/book.
Includes the information that can be found in a descriptive
abstract (purpose, methods, scope) but also includes the
results and conclusions of the research and the
recommendations of the author.
The length varies according to discipline, but an
informative abstract is rarely more than 10% of the length
of the entire work. In the case of a longer work, it may be
much less.

Informative Abstracts Features


communicate specific information from the report,
article, or paper.
include the purpose, methods, and scope of the
report, article, or paper.
provide the report, article, or paper's results,
conclusions, and recommendations.
are short - from a paragraph to a page or two,
depending upon the length of the original work
being abstracted. Usually informative abstracts are
10% or less of the length of the original piece.
allow readers to decide whether they want to read
the report, article, or paper.

Flexibility vs Standardization
The format of your abstract will depend on the
work being abstracted.
An abstract of a scientific research paper will
contain elements not found in an abstract of a
literature article, and vice versa.
However, all abstracts share several mandatory
components, and there are also some optional
parts that you can decide to include or not.

Key Process Elements to Remember


1.

Reason(s) for writing:


What is the importance of the research? Why would a reader be
interested in the larger work?

2.

Problem:

What problem does this work attempt to solve? What is the scope of
the project? What is the main argument/thesis/claim?

3.

Methodology:

An abstract of a scientific work may include specific models or


approaches used in the larger study. Other abstracts may describe
the types of evidence used in the research.

4.

Results:

Again, an abstract of a scientific work may include specific data


that indicate the results of the project. Other abstracts may discuss
the findings in a more general way.

5.

Implications:
What changes should be implemented as a result of the findings of
the work? How does this work add to the body of knowledge on the
topic?

All abstracts necessarily include:


1. The full citation of the source preceding
the abstract.
2. The most important information first.
3. The same level of language found in the
original, including technical language.
4. Key words and phrases that quickly
identify the content and focus of the
work.
5. Clear, concise, and powerful language.

Abstracts may (flexibility)


include:
1. The thesis of the work in the first
sentence.
2. The background that places the work in
the larger body of literature.
3. The same chronological structure of the
original work.

In an abstract the author should


not:
1. refer extensively to other works.
2. add information not contained in
the original work.
3. define terms.

Writing a RESEARCH ABSTRACT


Is it that difficult?
How is it possible to condense months of
work into 300 to 400 words?
Nevertheless, creating a well-written
abstract is a skill that can be learned.

TIPS !
The biggest mistake in writing an
Abstract is to mention that such and such
"will be discussed". The Abstract is not a
place for hesitating; rather it is a succinct
summary of the exact details of your
findings. The most important data and
findings are contained in it, NOT left out.

More Tips!

Start out the Abstract by telling exactly what


you did and how you did it. Focus on the
rationale and ideas of the study and why it is
important in the first two sentences.
In the next few lines, focus on the materials
and methods, and the data generated from the
study. Tell the reader how the data were
collected, compiled, and state statistical
significance(s). Mention any new tools
developed.
Avoid using bibliographic references in the
Abstract unless they are absolutely essential to
understanding the scholarship or results of the
study.

Tips contd
The end of the Abstract is just as important as
the beginning. This is where you want to hook
the reader into examining into your paper! In
addition, the concluding lines of the Abstract
should lead into the first paragraph of the
introduction without repeating what has been
said. State the implications of your studies to
the field of scholarship in which you are
working.

Basic Rules for Writing


Effective Abstracts
The first rule of writing abstracts is
to know the rules!
e.g.
Organizers of scientific meetings set
explicit limits on the length abstracts.

The Process of Abstract Writing in Steps


1) Reread the article, paper, or report with
the goal of abstracting in mind.
Look specifically for these main parts of the
article, paper, or report: purpose, methods, scope,
results, conclusions, and recommendation.
Use the headings, outline heads, and table of
contents as a guide to writing your abstract.
If you are writing an abstract about another
person's article, paper, or report, the introduction
and the summary are good places to begin. These
areas generally cover what the article emphasizes.

The Process of Abstract Writing in Steps


2) After you have finished rereading the
article, paper, or report, write a rough
draft without looking back at what you
are abstracting.
Do not merely copy key sentences from the
article, paper, or report: you'll put in too
much or too little information.
Do not rely on the way material was
phrased in the article, paper, or report:
summarize information in a new way.

The Process of Abstract Writing in Steps


3) Revise your rough draft to:
correct weaknesses in organization.
improve transitions from point to point.
drop unnecessary information.
add important information you left out.
eliminate wordiness.
fix errors in grammar, spelling, and
punctuation.

Abstract Sections - Analysis

Title and Author Information,


Introduction,
Methods,
Results,
Conclusions.

Title and Author Information:


The title should summarize the abstract and
convince the reviewers that the topic is
important, relevant, and innovative.
Write out 6 to 10 key words found in the
abstract and string them into various sentences.
Once you have a sentence that adequately
conveys the meaning of the work, try to
condense the title yet still convey the essential
message.
Following the title, the names of all authors
and their institutional affiliations are listed.

Introduction
Usually consists of several sentences outlining
the question addressed by the research.
Make the first sentence of the introduction as
interesting and dramatic as possible.
If space permits, provide a concise review of
what is known about the problem addressed by
the research, what remains unknown, and how
your research project fills the knowledge gaps.
The final sentence of the introduction describes
the purpose of the study or the study's a priori
hypothesis.

Methods
This is the most difficult section of the
abstract to write.
It must be scaled down sufficiently to allow
the entire abstract to fit into the box, but at
the same time it must be detailed enough to
judge the validity of the work.
Finally, the statistical methods used to
analyze the data are described.

Results
This section begins with a description of the
experiment.
Next, list the frequencies of the most important
outcome variables. If possible, present
comparisons of the outcome variables between
various sublots within the study.
Numerical results should include standard
deviations or 95% confidence limits and the
level of statistical significance. If the results are
not statistically significant, present the power
of your study (beta-error rate) to detect a
difference.

Conclusion
State concisely what can be concluded and its
implications.
The conclusions must be supported by the data
presented in the abstract; never present
unsubstantiated personal opinion.
If there is room, address the generalizability of
the results to other areas than that studied and
the weaknesses of the study.

Scientific Abstract CHECKLIST


Due date for abstract is ____________

Number of copies needed ____________


Presenting author is listed as first author
Presenting author meets eligibility requirements for the
meeting
Author affiliations are listed
Abstract clearly organized into Introduction, Methods,
Results, and Conclusions
The conclusions are supported by data presented in the
abstract
Completed abstract meets word limit requirements or fits
into formatting box
Abstract printed with correct font size and style (if
stipulated)
Abstract has been reviewed by others for content, style,
grammar, and spelling

Stylistic Considerations
The abstract should be one paragraph and should not
exceed the word limit.
The sequence of sentences is ordered in a logical fashion.
It is important to be descriptive but concise write only
what is essential, using no more words than necessary to
convey meaning.
Edit it closely to be sure it meets the Four C's of abstract
writing:
Complete - it covers the major parts of the project.
Concise - it contains no excess wordiness or unnecessary
information.
Clear - it is readable, well organized, and not too jargon-laden.
Cohesive - it flows smoothly between the parts.

Some things to avoid:


Including too much introductory
material
Using too much jargon
Not using complete sentences
Not giving the reader sufficient
context and completeness

Qualities of a Good/Effective Abstract


uses one (or more) well developed paragraphs: these are
unified, coherent, concise, and able to stand alone.
uses an introduction/body/conclusion structure which
presents the article, paper, or report's purpose, results,
conclusions, and recommendations in that order.
follows strictly the chronology of the article, paper, or
report.
provides logical connections (or transitions) between the
information included.
adds no new information, but simply summarizes the
report.
is understandable to a wide audience.
mainly uses passive verbs to downplay the author and
emphasize the information.

STCE III.F
WRITTEN
COMMUNICATION
- TEXT TYPES SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES
AND PAPERS

SCIENTIFIC PAPERS GENERAL/1


A well-written scientific article/paper:
explains the scientist's motivation for doing an
experiment, the experimental design and
execution, and the meaning of the results;
is written in a style that is very clear and concise;
its purpose is to inform the readership or audience
of other scientists about an important issue and to
document the particular approach used to
investigate that issue.

SCIENTIFIC PAPERS GENERAL/2


A standard format is frequently used;

It allows a researcher to present information


clearly and concisely;
It is important to understand the differences
between sections and to put information in the
appropriate location.

TYPES OF RESEARCH PAPERS


1. Argumentative research paper - An important
goal of the argumentative research paper is
persuasion, which means the topic chosen should
be debatable or controversial.
2. Analytical research paper - begins with the
author asking a question; is often an exercise in
exploration and evaluation.

GOOD ORGANIZATION
IS THE KEY TO GOOD WRITING
An effective way to proceed in writing a

scientific paper is to answer the following


four questions:
1. What is the problem? Your answer is the
Introduction.
2. How did you study the problem? Your answer is
the Materials and Methods.
3. What did you find? Your answer is the Results.
4. What do these findings mean? Your answer is the
Discussion.

A Common Scientific Article Format


Title: gives information about the research presented
Author: gives contact information for the researchers
Abstract: the experimental question, the general methods
and the major findings and implications of the
experiments
Introduction: central experimental question and
important background information
Materials and Methods: experimental procedures and
reagents
Results: data are presented
Discussion: a model or idea they feel best fits their data
References: existing knowledge, and previous findings

Title
the most often encountered part of any paper and therefore
has great importance in the success of the paper;
abstracting and indexing services will utilize the title;
all words in the title should be chosen with great care, and
their association with other words in the title carefully
managed;
a good title = the fewest possible words that adequately
describe the contents of the paper;
many journals limit titles to 10 to 12 words;
it becomes necessary to employ effective syntax (word
order) and avoid waste words such as "Investigations on"
and "Observations on;
should never contain abbreviations and jargon;
a label and not a sentence.

Author
authors should be listed in order of

importance to the experiments,


with the most important being the first or
senior author,
followed in order by the next most
significant contributors to the project,
the sequencing of authors on a published
paper should be decided, unanimously,
before the research is started.

ABSTRACT - should contain all


information necessary for the reader to
determine:

(1) what the


objectives of the
study were;
(2) how the
study was done;

(3) what results were


obtained;
(4) the significance of
the results.

INTRODUCTION

a)
b)
c)
d)

should:
present the nature and scope of the problem studies,
review the pertinent literature pertaining to the problem,
state the general method of the investigation,
state the major observations of the study.
is organized to move from general information to specific
information.
background must be summarized succinctly.
emphasize your specific contribution to the topic.
last sentences of the introduction should be a statement
of objectives and a statement of hypotheses - a good
transition to the next section, Methods.

Materials and Methods


Extremely important to the credibility of the work
All experimental procedures and reagents must
be described in detail sufficient for another
researcher to reproduce the findings
Precise descriptions of quantities used,
measurements required and temperatures
observed likewise must be given
Mention relevant ethical considerations. If you
used human subjects, did they consent to
participate?

RESULTS
This section presents the
results of the experiment but
does not attempt to interpret
their meaning.

Results More Tips!


Be selective in deciding what type of information
to include/omit
Do not present the raw data that you collected,
Summarize the data with text, tables and/or
figures
Do not include the same data in both a table and
a figure
You must refer in the text to each figure or table
you include in your paper
Avoid using figures that show too many variables
or trends at once, because they can be hard to
understand

Discussion
present a model or idea you feel best fits the data
highlight the most significant results, but do not
just repeat what you have written in the Results
section
answer these questions:
- How do these results relate to the original question?
- Do the data support the hypothesis? Are the results
consistent with what other investigators have
reported?
- If the results were unexpected, try to explain why. Is
there another way to interpret your results?
- Would further research be necessary to answer the
questions raised by the results?
- How do the results fit into the big picture?
end with a one-sentence summary of your
conclusions

References
The paper should use only significant,
published references.
Check all parts of every reference against the
original publication.
Never cite citations from other works.
Obtain and study carefully every citation used
in a publication.
The specific citation style to be used is
specific to the journal being published in and
is given in the Instructions to the Authors.

Think of the READERSHIP First


Engineers face the same problem as all of
us:
- How do we discuss about what we do in
ways that are useful to others?
- How can you get to know the readers
needs more concretely?

You might try to create a

REPRESENTATIVE READER,
one you should describe in
detail.

Detailed Guidelines for Writing


in Scientific Style

PUNCTUATION
ITALICS AND BOLD
FONTS AND SYMBOLS
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
HEADINGS, PARAGRAPH STYLES, AND
LISTS
NUMBERS AND STATISTICS
USE OF WORDS
GRAMMAR
FLOW OF IDEAS
STYLE FOR CITED PUBLICATIONS

PUNCTUATION - 1
Insert a comma wherever there would be a slight
pause between words or phrases in the spoken
sentence.
Insert a semicolon between two parts of a
sentence.
Use a colon to introduce an explanation or an
example of something: here is an example.
Avoid excessive use of parentheses ( ) .
Use brackets [ ] for material inserted into a
quotation and ellipsis (three dots) for material
omitted: According to Smith (2008), few such
[descriptive] studies were done before 1997.

PUNCTUATION - 2
Use double quotation marks (") for
quotations.
Use Title Case (initial upper-case letters
for words of four or more letters) in:
the title and subheadings of your article;
titles of journals;
titles of books or articles in the text, but not in
the reference list;
references to sections of the article (in the
Methods section; see Results; in Figure 1; in
Table 2; see Appendix 3; in Chapter 4).

ITALICS AND BOLD


Use italics for emphasis and bold for strong
emphasis.
Put the title of a paper, book, or journal in
italics in the body of the text. In the
reference list, titles of papers are in normal
case.
Put headings in BOLD UPPER CASE.
Do not use italics for foreign words and
abbreviations common in scientific English,
such as ad lib, per se, et al., via, ad hoc,
post hoc, a priori, a posteriori.

FONTS AND SYMBOLS


Keep the fonts shown in the template of
the article you are writing: (Times New
Roman for the body of the text, and Arial
(PCs) or Helvetica (older Macs) for
the headings and subheadings).
You may use Insert/Symbol from the
menu bar of Microsoft programs.

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS - 1


An abbreviation or acronym (short name) is
justified only if the full expression is excessively
long or if the abbreviation is well known to all
researchers in the discipline. Even so, an easily
understood short form of the expression that avoids
abbreviations or acronyms is preferable.
If you must use an abbreviation, define it in
parentheses the first time you use it: for example,
body mass index (BMI).
Use vs (versus) and et al. (and others) inside or
outside parentheses without defining them.

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS - 2


- Use Note: instead of N.B.
(note well).
- Use abbreviations
without explanation for
the following terms in the
Summary, but define
them in the Methods:
standard deviation (SD),
95% confidence interval
(95%CI), 95% confidence
limits (95%CL).

- Note the lack of

periods in acronyms
and the lack of
apostrophes in their
plurals: ACSM, APA,
IQ, IQs.
- Use no periods or
spaces in abbreviations
of countries: US, UK,
NZ.

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS - 3

Use the following International System


abbreviations for units of measurement , e.g. :
meter m
millisecond ms
gram g
second s
kilogram kg
minute min
mole mol
hour h
liter L (not l)
day d
milliliter ml
week wk

Never add an "s" to the above abbreviations.

HEADINGS, PARAGRAPH STYLES,


AND LISTS
Use the heading, subheading, font, and
paragraph styles appropriate for the
publication you intend you submit your
article to, for instance:
TITLE OF DOCUMENT
Optional subtitle 14-pt Arial
HEADING 11-pt arial
Subheading 11-pt Arial
Sub-subheading 11-pt Arial
First paragraph 11-pt Times New
Roman...

NUMBERS AND STATISTICS - 1


Use tilde (~) to mean approximately equal to.
Numbers beginning a sentence must be spelled.
Rewrite a sentence so you do not start it with
numbers greater than ninety-nine.
Note: one, two, three nine, 10, 11, 12
Exceptions: a 2-m tape measure; 3 million.
Put a space between numbers and units: for
example, 75 kg. Exception: 75%.
Note: 0.32, not .32.

NUMBERS AND STATISTICS - 2


Use the appropriate number of digits: two significant
digits for standard deviations (one digit if the standard
deviation is for a descriptive statistic like height or
weight, or if precision is not important); two decimal
places for correlations, two significant digits for
percentages. Examples: 73 5; r = 0.45; r = 0.08;
16%; 1.3%; 0.013%.
If it is more convenient to show p values than
confidence limits, show the exact p value to one
significant digit (for p < 0.1) or two decimal places
(for p > 0.10). Do not use p < 0.05 or p > 0.05.
Examples: p = 0.03; p = 0.007; p = 0.09; p = 0.74.
(The exact p value is important for anyone using your
data to calculate confidence limits or using your data
in a meta-analysis.)

NUMBERS AND STATISTICS - 3


Interpret the magnitudes of outcomes in a
qualitative way, using both your experience
of the magnitudes that matter in this area of
human endeavor and also any published
scales of magnitudes.
You must interpret the observed effects and
the confidence limits. For example, you
might have to say that you observed a
moderate effect, but that the true value of
the effect could be anything between trivial
and very strong.

USE OF WORDS - 1
Use a spelling checker.
Make sure you use words according to the precise
meaning understood by the average person.
Ideally, you would check whether every word
could be deleted or replaced by a better one.
Aim for economy: because instead of based on
the fact that; for or to instead of for the purpose of.
Aim for precision: patient or student instead of
subject; concentration or frequency instead of
level.
Do not generalize unnecessarily. For example, do
not use some if you know of only one instance.

USE OF WORDS - 2
This on its own is known as an ambiguous antecedent.
Use instead this test or this problem .
Avoid hype (hyperbole). Words like very and
extremely are usually unnecessary.
Note these singular and plural forms: criterion,
criteria; datum, data; medium, media; phenomenon,
phenomena.
Keep jargon (technical terms) to a minimum. Explain
any that you have to use.
Avoid the so-called non-human agent. For example,
use the authors concluded that rather than the study
concluded that .
Avoid colloquialisms, such as steer clear of.

USE OF WORDS - 3
While sounds more modern than whilst.
Avoid as such. Poor: The SCAT is a reliable test
of state anxiety. As such, it is suitable for
experimental studies. Better: The SCAT is a
reliable test of state anxiety; it is therefore
suitable for experimental studies.
Avoid her, his and any other sexist language, even
if the subjects are clearly of one gender.
Give each concept in your paper a descriptive
name. Never use terms like approach 1,
approach 2, or our approach.

GRAMMAR - 1
Make sure you write well-formed sentences, and keep
their structure simple.
Use the first person (I or we tested six runners )
rather than the passive voice (Six runners were
tested ). Similarly, say Smith reported instead of
reported by Smith.
With comparatives (more than, less than), the than
may need to be than that of or than with or than by
etc. to clarify the meaning. Similarly, similar to may
need to be similar to that of. Examples: The measure
was more valid than that of Smith et al. (1994). We
experienced fewer problems with the revised instrument
than with the published version. The method was similar
to that of an earlier study.

GRAMMAR - 2
Do not use a long string of qualifiers in front of a
noun: a modified test of cognitive function is better
than a modified cognitive-function test.
Avoid grammatically questionable formal cliches,
such as: Based on these results, it is concluded
that and The results showed that
Use the past tense to report results. Use the
present tense to discuss them. We found that;
Smith (1989) reported a similar result. A simple
explanation of these findings is that

GRAMMAR - 3
Mind the following rules:
Which or that? Simple rule: Which always follows a
comma (and a pause), but that never does. This study,
which cost $10,000, was a success. The study that cost
$10,000 was a success.
Owing to or due to? Simple rule: Owing to always has
a comma, due to never does. The data were lost,
owing to computer malfunction. The loss of data was
due to computer malfunction.
An adverb is placed usually after the verb. Placing it
before the verb produces a split infinitive. For
example, to boldly go is acceptable if you are
emphasizing go, but if the emphasis is on boldly, to go
boldly is better.

FLOW OF IDEAS - 1
Focus your thoughts by writing the summary first,
even for articles that don't require one.
Three ways to help get your ideas in a sensible
sequence are to make an outline in the form of
headings, to put the draft aside for days or weeks,
and to get others to comment on the drafts.
The first sentence of a paragraph usually sets
the topic for that paragraph. Do not have any
unlinked ideas in the same paragraph.
A paragraph must consist of more than one
sentence.
Try to make the ideas within each section flow
together.

FLOW OF IDEAS - 2
Do not put things in the wrong section or
subsection. Skim the finished document to
make sure.
When appropriate, keep the order of ideas
the same in different sections of the article.
Check that you do not contradict or repeat
yourself in different sections of the article.
Aim for simplicity: many readers are less
knowledgeable than writers.

STYLE FOR CITED PUBLICATIONS


Cite references consistently in the style
required by the publisher.
Avoid plagiarism, by citing all the authors
whose opinions you have used in the
bibliography.
Tip!
One useful way to avoid making errors in this
regard is to read a section from your source, then
restate in writing what you remember of the main
points. You would then cite the source of that
information in the text.

How Personal Should the Scientific


Paper Be?
If you put people into your writing, you will not only
create a closer link with your readers, but you will also
make your message easier for them to understand.
What is impersonal writing? It means simply that your
writing has no people in it. Experiments are done.
Results get interpreted. Decisions are made. No one
makes them.
It has entered our culture as a way to create an image
of objectivity really?
Impersonal writing is also a way to obscure who is
actually responsible for an act.
The bureaucratic language known as officialese or
governmentese is an omnipresent dialect that seems to
be designed to intimidate the reader with an image of
inflexible authority.

SOME SPECIFIC
SIGNS OF BUREAUCRATIC
LANGUAGE
THAT KEEP PEOPLE AT A DISTANCE

Ask yourself if your writing:


is excessively formal
is impersonal and sophisticated
avoids responsibility and accountability
is anonymous
overuses acronyms and jargon
seems to be written from the writer's, not
the readers' point of view

Pleading for a More Personal Style in


Scientific Writing
1. The most important reason for making your writing
more personal is that it makes it more
understandable. Impersonal writing is simply less
informative.
2. We leave people out when we write about them,
simply because we have been trained to leave
them out.
3. When you read scientific and technical writing that
has no people in it, you usually have trouble
understanding it, because its author had to
deliberately use an indirect and circumspect style
and to leave the people out.

PERSONAL or IMPERSONAL Style ? Examples


IMPERSONAL: Assembly of
the final amplifier stage is not
difficult if all the steps are
followed. After mounting the
tuning coil and capacitor on the
board, the assembly is secured
in the fixture so the remaining
parts can be soldered to the
board. Then the amplifier
components are removed from
their plastic bag and placed
with their numbered sides up on
the table next to the fixture. As
each numbered part is called
for, its leads are trimmed to the
specified length and soldered to
the bottom side of the board in
the location indicated in the
diagram.

PERSONAL (SECOND
PERSON): You will not have
any trouble assembling the final
amplifier stage, if you follow all
the steps carefully. After you
mount the tuning coil and
capacitor on the board, secure
the assembly in the fixture so
you can solder the remaining
parts to the board. Remove the
amplifier components from
their plastic bag and place them
with their numbered sides up on
the table next to the fixture. As
each step asks you for a
numbered part, trim its leads to
the specified length and solder
it to the bottom side of the
board where the diagram shows
you.

The personal version is much


easier to understand, because
you identify with the people
mentioned.
Therefore :
Remember to personalize the
text of your paper wherever
possible!

A CHECKLIST FOR PAPER WRITING/1


1. WORD-LEVEL CHECK

CIRCLE ANY INFLATED WORDS OR


INCOMPREHENSIBLE JARGON THAT
YOU CAN REPLACE WITH
EVERYDAY EQUIVALENTS.
CIRCLE ANY TECHNICAL TERMS
THAT NEED EXPLANATION, OR
THAT YOU CAN REPLACE WITH
EVERYDAY EQUIVALENTS.

A CHECKLIST FOR PAPER WRITING/2


2. SENTENCE-LEVEL CHECK
MARK ABSTRACT NOUNS WITH YOUR GREEN
HIGHLIGHTER; ELIMINATE THE UNNECESSARY
ONES.
MARK THE PASSIVE VERBS WITH YOUR PINK
HIGHLIGHTER; REPLACE AT LEAST HALF WITH
ACTIVE VERBS.
MARK ALL PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES AND
STRINGS OF ADJECTIVES WITH YOUR YELLOW
HIGHLIGHTER; REPLACE AS MANY AS YOU CAN
WITH DEPENDENT CLAUSES.
MARK ALL PERSONAL NOUNS WITH YOUR BLUE
HIGHLIGHTER. IF TOO FEW SHOW UP, ADD SOME
PEOPLE TO YOUR WRITING.

A CHECKLIST FOR PAPER WRITING/3


3. PARAGRAPH- AND SECTION-LEVEL
CHECK
IS THERE ENOUGH ORIENTING
MATERIAL?
ARE IDEAS CONNECTED TOGETHER TO
MAKE EACH PARAGRAPH A LOGICAL
UNIT?
ARE IDEAS ARRANGED IN THE RIGHT
LOGICAL SEQUENCE FOR THE SUBJECT?
ARE TECHNICAL DETAILS SPREAD OUT
AND ADEQUATELY EXPLAINED?

A CHECKLIST FOR PAPER WRITING/4


4. OVERALL ORGANIZATION CHECK
ARE YOUR RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS PLAINLY STATED
AND PLACED WHERE ANYONE CAN EASILY FIND THEM?
ARE THE "WHAT" AND "WHY" EXPLAINED IN YOUR
OPENING PARAGRAPHS?
IS INTRODUCTORY AND HISTORICAL MATERIAL ARRANGED
TO SUPPORT THE NEW DEVELOPMENTS?
ARE DETAILS ARRANGED IN DESCENDING ORDER OF
IMPORTANCE?
HAVE YOU ANSWERED THE QUESTION "SO WHAT?" AT THE
END?
ARE YOUR ILLUSTRATIONS AND THEIR CAPTIONS SELFCONTAINED AND INFORMATIVE?
HAVE YOU MADE YOUR WRITING EASY TO READ BY
BREAKING IT UP INTO SMALL UNITS, EACH WITH AN
INFORMATIVE HEADING?

STCE IV.A
ORAL
COMMUNICATION
PRESENTING A PAPER
IN A CONFERENCE

Warning!
If presentations are not of
the highest caliber in both
content and delivery,
communication is fl awed
and
science is neither properly
served nor facilitated.

A good presentation is a
combination of WHAT you say
and HOW you say it
1. WHAT TO SAY - the process of
transposing the written paper into
an oral presentation
2. HOW TO SAY - delivery and
other concerns

Main Points
in Making an Oral Presentation
formulate a strategy for the specific audience
develop a flexible, flowing structure
combined prepared material with an enhancing,
not distracting, presentation style
supplement the presentation with confident,
informed responses to questions and challenge

Oral Presentations - General/1


an important means of communicating
scientific information
in the course of their scientific career,
scientists generally progress from entrance
poster presentations, to short oral presentations
and to longer invited lectures
it is often used to present experimental
findings at colleges and universities and at
scientific meetings
it is important to gain experience with the
presentation requirements.

Oral Presentations - General/2


Oral presentations can be: (depending upon
their explicit and implicit purposes and the
delivery situation)
a) formal
b) informal
An oral presentation can be based on:
a) a design review, proposal,
b) a conference
c) a paper
An effective oral presentation:
a) is carefully planned with the objectives in
mind
b) pays close attention to the demands of the
audience

The Challenge of Making


Oral Presentations
Giving a presentation has become one of
the key methods of communicating in
our modern professional environment.
SO:
If you are good at giving a presentation
you will stand out from your colleagues.
You will be noticed and gain greater
respect.

MAKING ORAL PRESENTATIONS


- DONTS
leave the preparation until the last
minute
disregard the importance of the words,
the graphics and of the materials used for
the presentation they all work together to
create the most effective communication
vehicle possible

BASIC OBJECTIVES OF THIS COURSE


Understand more about
how to effectively
prepare your presentation
so that your audience
will clearly understand
your most important
points.
Understand the pitfalls
that most people fall into
when putting their
presentation slides
together so that you
will not make the same
mistakes.

Learn about ways of


structuring your
presentation, so that you
can get a format that will
make your presentation
more powerful.
Learn how to construct a
successful presentation.
Learn about how to grab
your audiences
attention.
Become confident of
which presentation
strategies to use and why.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WRITTEN


AND ORAL COMMUNICATION/1

Written Documents
Publication permits potentially
unlimited audience over time and place.
Oral Presentations
Audience generally limited to time and place
of delivery.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WRITTEN AND


ORAL COMMUNICATION/2

Written Documents
No direct audience interaction.
Oral Presentations
High level of audience interaction is
possible.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
WRITTEN AND ORAL
COMMUNICATION/3
Written Documents
Refined argumentative structure.

Oral Presentations
Simple presentation of main points.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
WRITTEN AND ORAL
COMMUNICATION/4
Written Documents
Large volume of detailed
information can be communicated.

Oral Presentations
Limited information transfer.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
WRITTEN AND ORAL
COMMUNICATION/5
Written Documents
Precise syntax and diction.

Oral Presentations
Conversational syntax and diction.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
WRITTEN AND ORAL
COMMUNICATION/6

Written Documents
Emphasis on text.

Oral Presentations
Emphasis on visuals.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
WRITTEN AND ORAL
COMMUNICATION/7
Written Documents
Reader controls pace of presentation

Oral Presentations
Speaker controls pace of presentation

Making Oral Presentations - Basic Tips

do not just present to your audience, but rather


guide them through your presentation
being clear is particularly important if the audience
cannot ask questions during the talk
keep it simple (otherwise you risk losing your
audience's attention)
repeat key insights (periodically remind listeners
about the overall structure of your presentation and
how the information fits together)
leave your audience with a clear picture of the gist
of your contribution
make them want to read your paper (allude to
information in the paper that cannot be covered
adequately in the presentation )

Matters of Style
Style in writing:
Choice of words, length and structure of
sentences.
The tone, or attitude you express toward your
audience.

Style in delivering oral presentations:


Defined by the same characteristics as above.
Plus: many nonverbal cues (can enhance or
detract from the presentation. They will vary
with the audience, topic and context).

Enhancing the Delivery Style - Guidelines


Use a variety of sentence lengths.
Avoid excessively long, complex sentences, as listeners
may have difficulty following your ideas.
Avoid overuse of abstract, polysyllabic words. Instead, use
concrete language that your audience can visualize.
Avoid overuse of jargon, unless you are sure that your
audience will be readily familiar with all specialized terms.
Use sentences that follow natural speech patterns.
Use short, active voice sentences.
Avoid memorizing the presentation verbatim - doing so
will likely result in a presentation that sounds as though you
are reading rather than talking to the audience.

Conversational Style in Oral Presentations


Use a formal but conversational tone (no slang or
colloquial language)
It is the most effective style
Characteristics:
short sentences
concrete language
speech that suggests to your audience that you are
really talking to them.
To get your point across by having a conversation with
the audience, you will likely use a natural,
conversational style.
Compose for the Ear, not for the Eye (simple words,
simple sentences, markers, repetition, images, personal
language)

Method(s) of Preparing for the Talk


Possibilities for preparation and delivery (choose the
one(s) that best suit your comfort level with public
speaking and with your topic):
Write a script, practice it, keep it around for quickreference during your talk.
Set up an outline of your talk, practise with it, bring it for
reference.
Set up cue cards, practice with them, use them during your
talk.
Write a script and read from it (Problems: there is little or

no eye contact or interaction with the audience and the


delivery tends toward a dull monotone one that either puts
listeners off or is hard to understand).

TURNING WRITTEN PAPER INTO ORAL


COMMUNICATION KEY POINTS/1
Well-organized presentations
typically follow a simple
structure comprising three
parts.
To communicate the
importance of the research, it
is necessary:
to introduce the
content of the presentation
(part 1), then to deliver the
body (part 2)
and
to close the talk with
final remarks and conclusions
(part 3).

When the presentation is


short, of less than 20 min, do
not spend much time on the
introduction. Just make it
short and proceed with the
main content of the talk.
For longer presentations, it is
advisable to divide the
material into well-structured
pieces consisting of a few
slides and to close each
section of the talk with an
interim conclusion.

TURNING WRITTEN PAPER INTO ORAL


COMMUNICATION KEY POINTS/2
We remember best what is highlighted well and
what is presented at the end of the talk.
So: create the residual message, repeat it
several times and conclude with it (this should
be the main message you want the audience to
take away from your presentation).

TURNING WRITTEN PAPER INTO ORAL


COMMUNICATION KEY POINTS/3
Do not try to say everything you know on the topic.
In preparing your presentation - try to clearly define
the scope of the talk and to choose which results
should be included from an enormous set of data.
The only criterion - present those results which
support the final conclusions.
Do not intend to say everything you know about the
topic or to present all the results obtained within a
project.
Speakers should respect the audience and the
organizers, so keep the length of the talk
strictly as announced in the agenda.

TURNING WRITTEN PAPER INTO ORAL


COMMUNICATION KEY POINTS/ 4

- Estimate that one slide on average will need


around 1.5 min, unless some slides are very
important and need more detailed explanations.
- Slides should not to be overcrowded.
- Prepare your slides so that what is written can
be read by the audience.
- Limit the data presented to only the most
important.
- Do not put too much text on one slide.
- Do not read the text to your audience word by
word, just rephrase it and/or highlight the most
important parts of the text.

Stages in Creating an Oral Presentation


Preparation of What to Say - The audience
needs to have four basic questions answered:
1. Why should I pay attention to you when I can
think about more interesting things?
2. Now that I am listening, why should I care
about this issue?
3. I agree with the significance of the topic, but
how are you justifying your ideas?
4. So, now that I am convinced, what do you want
from me?

Connect with Your Audience


(the major task of the first minute of your talk)
Before you present,
consider carefully
who your audience
will be and ask:
What do they know?
What will interest
them?

Options (for beginning):


Present your topic as an
interesting problem or
question that needs to be
resolved.
Ask your audience a
thought provoking
question that your
presentation will answer.
Offer a brief story or
anecdote that leads into
your topic.

Speaking to a Multicultural Audience


- audiences may be composed of individuals from several
countries.
- you want any audience, international or domestic, to
respond positively to your presentation.
- you will need to do research to understand how people
from other cultures will likely interpret what you say &
how you say it etc.
- the visual aids you use may also have to be changed, as
symbols in one culture may have an entirely different
meaning in another.
- understanding the ethnic profile of your listeners is
perhaps even more important than correctly discerning
their knowledge of your topic and their interest level.

Steps in Creating an Oral Presentation


Time
and
Focus

Know how long do


you have
Fit into that time (it is
easy to run overtime)
The only way to stay
in time is to be
ruthlessly selective

What is essential to
include?
Think of the talk as a
kind of verbal abstract:
you want to give a clear
picture of the project,
but you won't be able to
go into much technical
detail.
What is the central point
you want to make?
Make it early, clearly
and often.

Steps in Creating an Oral Presentation


Organization General Tips

place your topic in context; provide an outline


provide organization of the presentation
organize the body of the presentation logically & easy
to follow (from the simple to the complex )
when appropriate, plan ways to encourage audience
participation
conclude on a high note - include an overall summary
and proposed actions or options
incorporate visual aids effectively
prepare for contingencies - think about what might
happen and prepare (what if the overhead bulb blows
out; what if the audience is more prepared than you
expected; what if there is an unexpected question)

Steps in Creating an Oral Presentation


Organization Some Good Old Advice

1. "Tell 'em what you're going to tell


'em,

2. then tell 'em,

3. and then tell 'em what you told


'em."

1. "Tell 'em what you're going to


tell 'em
- first, you need to provide a clear introduction,
which prepares us for a central section and is
concluded by some kind of summary.

- the introduction needs to :


1.
2.
3.

Prompt interest
Make the purpose of the talk (and project) clear
Provide an overview of the whole talk

A Good Introduction - Example


The first sentence prompts interest.
The third establishes the purpose.
The last sentence provides an overview of the talk.

If you have ever had an ultrasound, perhaps because you


were pregnant or had appendicitis, you will have noticed
that reading an ultrasound image is a lot like watching a
black and white TV without cable: the image is grey and
buried in falling snow. No wonder it requires an expert to
read them. Our design project is to develop a prototype for
part of an ultrasound imaging device that plays a
significant role in the quality of the image. The part is
called a transducer. I will explain the role of this small but
important part, and then explain how our project will
contribute to improving current ultrasound technology.

2. telling

'em = The Body of the Talk

Key strategies:
1) Follow the order set out by the Intro. The midsection
of the talk needs to develop the points made in the
opening, in order. That way, the audience can follow
easily.
2) Provide clear "road signs" = phrases that signal the
transitions from one point to another in the talk and
help the listener to understand where you are in the
talk.
3) Write your talk in full or write detailed notes.
4) Explain any technical aspect of your topic very clearly
and understandably. Do not race through complex,
technical material - slow down and explain it carefully so
that we can understand it.

3. telling 'em what you told 'em


= The Conclusion

An Effective Conclusion :
- should provide a concise "take away" message
summarize, set final image, provide closure;
- should avoid cliches;
- does not just present data or summarized results
and leaves the audience to draw its own
conclusions;
- you have had much more time to work with
your information than your audience; share your
insights and understanding and tell them what
you have concluded from your work.

Structuring a Presentation TIPS!


Use a framework of:

a clear thesis = the initial statement of the point


of view that you have developed in response to
the topic
motivating introduction = captivate
audience
body of the oral presentation = the argument
and evidence which are presented to support this
point of view
strong conclusion = the summary of the
arguments and the restatement of the overall
point of view that has been developed

Structuring a Presentation - The Mechanics/1


BEGINNING
orient the audience; explain why it is important; set the tone
establish a relationship between the speaker and the
audience; establish credibility
avoid weak introductions such as apologies or (bad) jokes
use attention grabbers to capture your audience's interest
Some ideas are:
* a startling fact
* a pertinent question (make it friendly, avoid risky ones, give listeners
time to think)
* an interesting statistic
* a dramatic visual aid

opening statement (can you put it in one sentence?)


explain how you have structured the material and the issues
you will discuss

Structuring a presentation - The Mechanics/2

MIDDLE THE BODY OF THE TALK


prioritize topics and allocate time accordingly
stick to only 3-5 main points
have a well thought pattern (examples:
problem/solution, chronological, cause and
effect, topical)
give the main points or arguments; make any
sub-points clear
develop the points; where possible - break up
the information with visuals, questions etc.
emphasize important points

BODY - ALTERNATIVE FORMATS FOR


PRESENTING INFORMATION

MULTIPLE FORMATS
THAT CAN BE USED WITHIN PRESENTATIONS

rhetorical - questions and answers


logical progression - indicate steps e.g. A then B then C
time series - order information from beginning to end, earlier to
later, and so on
compare and contrast - use same structure to compare
different events, individuals or situations
problems and solutions; do not present problems without
working toward some recommended action
simple to complex - use successive building blocks to
communicate complex processes or concepts
deductive reasoning - moving from general principles or
values to specific applications or examples
inductive reasoning - from specific applications/examples to
reach general principles or conclusions

Structuring a Presentation - The Mechanics/3


END CONCLUSION
Review, highlight and emphasize - key points, benefits,
recommendations
Draw conclusions - where are we? ... what does all of this
mean? ... what's the next step?
Give a clear summary of the main points and a statement of
your final position
You can:
- summarize (go back over high points of what you have
discussed),
- conclude (state some logical conclusion based on what you
have presented),
- provide some last thought (end with some final interesting
point but general enough not to require elaboration),
- prompt the audience for questions and concerns.

Structuring a presentation - The Mechanics/4


1.
2.
3.

4.
5.

6.

Write out the presentation in rough, just like a first


draft of a written report.
Review the draft. You will find things that are
irrelevant or superfluous - delete them.
Check if the story is consistent and flows smoothly. If
there are things you cannot easily express, possibly
because of doubt about your understanding, it is better
to leave them unsaid.
Never read from a script.
Do not have the talk written out in detail as a prompt
sheet - the chances are you will not locate the thing
you want to say amongst all the other text.
You should know most of what you want to say.

VISUAL AIDS - ROLES

to significantly improve the


interest of a presentation
to reinforce and clarify, not to
overwhelm audience

Good Visuals - Features/1

Visible - You have to be able to see it to


believe it
Visuals should be legible to most distant
viewer
Minimum legibility standards: one inch
letter height on screen per 30 feet
viewing distance
Limit number of words per line

Good Visuals - Features/2

3 to 4 per line optimal - 6 to 7 maximum


Limit number of lines per visual
Add variety - colour for emphasis, new
background for new topic, change
sequence of eye scanning (horizontal,
vertical, diagonal) with design

Good Visuals - Features/3


Clear - Instantly recognizable in context to your
verbal message:
Focus on one idea per visual
Use color to focus on key information
Directly relate to communication objective
Add impact or tone to message
Simple:
Eliminate extraneous information and clutter
Visually simplify using design, color, or overlay

Effective Visuals Have:


1. A Clear Concise Message
2. Landscape Format and Consistent
Border
3. Good Brightness and Contrast
4. Letters at Least 20 pt. font
5. Clear, Simple Font
6. 1-2 Minutes per slide

Presentation Evaluation Form


___1. Introduction: Did the introduction capture your interest; was
necessary background given; was a clear purpose conveyed?
___2. Organization: Was there a clear organization; were
transitions between sections clear and effective; did the
organization lead to a clear conclusion?
___3. Content: Did the author support the points; was the
supporting material relevant, up to date?
___4. Visual Aids: Were visual aids used effectively and
appropriately, carefully prepared?
___5. Conclusion: Were key points reinforced; was a sense of
closure provided; if appropriate, was a course of action proposed?
___6. Delivery: Was the speaker natural, enthusiastic; did s/he
speak clearly; were appropriate gestures, posture, expressions
used?
___7. Discussion: Were questions answered accurately, clearly,
effectively?
___8. Overall Rating General Comments

After the Oral Presentation


Ways in which you can learn from your oral
presentations:

Reflect on what made your presentation


successful and what detracted from it.
ask for feedback from fellow engineers.
Use this feedback to improve future oral
presentations.
Identify areas of improvement and focus on
each of them in turn.

STCE IV.B
ORAL
COMMUNICATION
PARTICIPATING
IN TECHNICAL
DISCUSSIONS AND
MEETINGS

Meeting Slogan:

The Main Thing Is


To Keep The Main Thing
The Main Thing

Why still meetings today...


... and not phone or email?
If:
- you keep it brief,
- focus on the issue at hand, and
- concentrate on reaching a workable conclusion,
then
- scheduling a 15-minute meeting can be a lot
more effective than three e-mails or two missed
phone calls and a paper report!

Statistics on Meetings Frequency


Meeting frequency is actually increasing.
Today's professionals are attending more and more
meetings.
Forty-six percent of respondents to a recent survey
reported they attend more meetings today than
they did one year ago.
With business moving faster than ever, meetings
are how we stay informed.

Considering the amount of time we are spending,


and will continue to spend in meetings, it is
evident we need to take control of our meetings.

Meetings - General/1
In a meeting, two or more people come
together for the purpose of discussing a
(usually) predetermined topic such as
business or community event planning, often
in a formal setting.
In addition to coming together physically,
communication lines and equipment can also
be set up to have a discussion between people
at different locations, e.g. a conference call
or an e-meeting.

Meetings - General/2
In organizations, meetings are an
important vehicle for human
communication.

They are so common in organizations, that


many take them for granted and forget that,
unless properly planned and executed,
meetings can be a terrible waste of precious
resources.

The Group in a Meeting


A group:
two or more individuals connected to each
other by social relationships;
they interact and influence each other;
develops a number of dynamic processes
(different from a random collection of
individuals);
these processes include: norms, roles,
relations, development, need to belong, social
influence, and effects on behaviour.

Meeting - Written
Documents
the agenda - tells
participants what topics will be
discussed at the meeting
the minutes - record what
actually occurred

Points on a Typical Agenda May Include:

Welcome/open
meeting
Support for absence
Approve minutes of
the previous meeting
Matters arising from
the previous meeting

A list of specific points to


be discussed this
section is where the bulk
of the discussion in the
meeting usually takes
place
Any other business
allowing a participant to
raise another point for
discussion
Arrange/announce
details of next meeting
Close meeting

Various Types of Meetings


1. Status Meetings, generally Leader-led, which
are about reporting by one-way
communication.
2. Work Meetings, which produce a product or
intangible result such as a decision.
3. Staff meeting -- typically a meeting between
a manager and those that report to the
manager (possibly indirectly).
4. Team meeting -- a meeting among colleagues
working on various aspects of a team project.
etc.

Academic Conferences - Are They Meetings?

Yes:
- provide an important channel for exchange of
information between researchers
- work is presented in the form of short, concise
presentations lasting about 10 to 30 minutes,
usually including discussion
- panel discussions and roundtables on various
issues may be part of the conference
- a large meeting will usually be called a
conference, while a smaller is termed a workshop

Meeting Structure
I - Introductions
II - Reviewing Past Business

III - Beginning the Meeting


IV - Discussing Items

V - Finishing the Meeting

I - Introductions

Opening the Meeting


Welcoming and Introducing Participants
Stating the Principal Objectives of a
Meeting
Giving Apologies for Someone Who is
Absent

II - Reviewing Past Business


Reading the Minutes (notes) of the
Last Meeting

Dealing with Recent Developments

III - Beginning the Meeting


Introducing the Agenda
Allocating Roles (secretary,
participants)

Agreeing on the Ground Rules for


the Meeting (contributions, timing,
decision-making, etc.)

IV - Discussing Items
Introducing the First Item on the
Agenda

Closing an Item
Next Item
Giving Control to the Next Participant

V - Finishing the Meeting


Summarizing
Finishing Up

Suggesting and Agreeing on Time, Date


and Place for the Next Meeting
Thanking Participants for Attending
Closing the Meeting

Basic Meeting Guidelines/1


1. Only hold a meeting if necessary.
2. All meetings must have clear objectives.
3. Invite a neutral facilitator to sensitive
meetings.
4. All meetings must have an agenda which
includes:
topics for discussion
presenter or discussion leader for each topic
time allotment for each topic

Basic Meeting Guidelines/2


Meeting information needs to be circulated to
everyone prior to the meeting. Make sure to include:
meeting objectives
meeting agenda
location/date/time
background information
assigned items for preparation

Meetings must start precisely on time so as not to


punish those who are punctual. This also sets the
stage for how serious you are about making the
meeting effective.
Meeting participants must:
arrive on time
be well-prepared
be concise and to the point
participate in a constructive manner

Basic Meeting Guidelines/3


Meeting notes must be recorded and made part of
the organizations meeting information archives.
The decisions made by the group must be
documented.
Assigned action items must be documented, and
the host, or an appropriate participant, must be
appointed to follow-up on the completion of all
action items.
Meeting effectiveness must be reviewed at the
end of each meeting and suggested improvements
applied to the next meeting.

Meeting Management - Tips and Language

An Effective Meeting Facilitator:


- sets a positive, productive tone for interaction
among the meeting participants
- reviews the goals, or anticipated outcomes,
and the agenda
- helps group members stay focused and
productive
- keeps participants on track
- ensures the accomplishment of expected,
desired results from the meeting

Chairpersons Language Examples - 1

Opening the Meeting


Good
morning/afternoon,
everyone.
If we are all here, let's
. . . get started (OR)
start the meeting.
(OR)
. . . start.

Welcoming and Introducing


Participants
Please join me in
welcoming (name of
participant)
We're pleased to welcome
(name of participant)
It's a pleasure to welcome
(name of participant)
I'd like to introduce (name
of participant)
I don't think you've met
(name of participant)

Chairpersons Language Examples - 2


Stating the Main Objectives of a Meeting
We're here today to
Our aim is to ...
I've called this meeting in order to ...
By the end of this meeting, I'd like to have ...
Giving Apologies for Someone Who is Absent
I'm afraid.. (name of participant) can't be with us today.
She is in ...
I have received apologies for the absence of (name of
participant), who is in (place)
Reading the Minutes (Notes) of the Last Meeting
First let's go over the report from the last meeting, which
was held on (date)
Here are the minutes from our last meeting, which was
on (date)

Chairpersons Language Examples - 3


Dealing with Recent Developments
Joe, can you tell us how the XYZ project is progressing?
Bob, how is the XYZ project coming along?
Dan, have you completed the report on the new accounting
package?
Has everyone received a copy of the MYC Foundation
report on current marketing trends?
Moving Forward
So, if there is nothing else we need to discuss, let's move on
to today's agenda
Shall we get down to business?
Is there any other business?
If there are no further developments, I'd like to move on to
today's topic

Chairpersons Language Examples - 4


Introducing the Agenda
Have you all received a copy of the agenda?
There are three items on the agenda. First
Shall we take the points in this order?
If you don't mind, I'd like to ... go in order (OR)
skip item 1 and move on to item 3.
I suggest we take item 2 last.
Allocating Roles (secretary, participants)
(name of participant) has agreed to take the minutes.
(name of participant) has kindly agreed to give us a
report on this matter.
(name of participant), would you mind taking notes
today?

Chairpersons Language Examples - 5


Agreeing on the Ground Rules for the Meeting
(contributions, timing, decision-making, etc.)
We will hear a short report on each point first, followed
by a discussion round the table.
I suggest we go round the table first.
The meeting is due to finish at...
We'll have to keep each item to ten minutes. Otherwise
we'll never get through.
We may need to vote on item 5, if we can't get a
unanimous decision.
Introducing the First Item on the Agenda
So, let's start with
Shall we start with
So, the first item on the agenda is
Paul, would you like to kick off?
Mark, would you like to introduce this item?

Chairpersons Language Examples - 6


Closing an Item
I think that covers the
first item.
Shall we leave that item?
If nobody has anything
else to add,

Giving Control to the


Next Participant
I'd like to hand over to
Des, who is going to lead
the next point.
Right, Dora, over to you.

Next Item
Let's move onto the next
item
The next item on the
agenda is
Now we come to the
question of.

Summarizing
Before we close, let me
just summarize the main
points.
To sum up, ...
In brief,
Shall I go over the main
points?

Chairpersons Language Examples - 7

Keeping the Meeting On Target (time, relevance,


decisions)
We're running short of time.
Well, that seems to be all the time we have today.
Please be brief.
I'm afraid that's outside the scope of this meeting.
Let's get back on track, why don't we?
Why don't we return to the main focus of today's
meeting?
We'll have to leave that to another time.
We're beginning to lose sight of the main point.
Keep to the point, please.
I think we'd better leave that for another meeting.
Are we ready to make a decision?

Chairpersons Language Examples - 8


Finishing Up
Right, it looks as though
we've covered the main
items.
Is there any other business?
Suggesting and Agreeing
on Time, Date and Place
for the Next Meeting
Can we fix the next meeting,
please?
So, the next meeting will be
on... (day), the . . . (date) of
.... (month) at ...
What about the following
Wednesday? How is that?
So, see you all then.

Thanking Participants
for Attending
I'd like to thank
Marianne and Jeremy for
coming over from
London.
Thank you all for
attending.
Thanks for your
participation.
Closing the Meeting
The meeting is closed.
I declare the meeting
closed.

PARTICIPATING IN MEETINGS

Best Attitude - 7 messages of a good


speaker:
1
2
3
4

- I will not waste your time.


- I know who you are and why you came.
- I am well organized.
- I will deliver my speech in an interesting,
conversational way.
5 - I know my subject.
6 - Here are my most important points.
7 - I am finished.

PARTICIPATING IN MEETINGS LANGUAGE - 1


ENTERING A DISCUSSION
Id like to say something about
I want to say something about
Let me say something about
Id like to make a comment about ...
Id like to make a point about
I have a point to make about
May I make a point here? I think
May I say something here? I believe
Can I say something? In my opinion
Can I add something? It seems to me that
Can I point out something? The fact is
Can I make a comment? It is true that

PARTICIPATING IN MEETINGS LANGUAGE - 2


STATING A FACT
It is a fact that ...
The fact is that ...
I know for a fact that
Surely, everyone knows that
It has been proven that
STATING AN OPINION
In my opinion,
From my point of view,
If you ask me,
As I see it,
It seems to me,
As far as Im concerned,

PARTICIPATING IN MEETINGS LANGUAGE - 3


STATING A STRONG OPINION
I definitely think that
I firmly believe that
I certainly believe that
I really think that
I am convinced that
STATING A WEAK OPINION
I tend to think that
Im inclined to think that
I would think that
I suppose that
It seems to me that
I could be wrong, but

PARTICIPATING IN MEETINGS LANGUAGE - 4


ASKING FOR AN OPINION
Id like to know your opinion about this.
Id like to hear your views on this.
What do you think?
Whats your opinion?
Whats your view on this?
Whats your position?
How do you see this?
SHOWING AGREEMENT
Thats a good point.
Good idea.
I agree.
I think so too.
Thats right.

PARTICIPATING IN MEETINGS LANGUAGE - 5


STRONG AGREEMENT

I agree with you entirely.


I totally agree (with you).
I completely agree (with you).
I absolutely agree (with you).
WEAK OR PARTIAL AGREEMENT

I tend to agree (with you).


I agree (with you) in principle, but
I agree (with you) in part, but
Well, you could be right.

PARTICIPATING IN MEETINGS LANGUAGE - 6


SHOWING DISAGREEMENT
Im sorry, but I cant agree.
Im afraid I cant agree.
Im sorry, but I disagree.
Im afraid I disagree.
With all due respect,
Your point is well-taken, but
I have my own thoughts about that.
SIGNALLING A QUESTION
Id like to ask you a question. How much ...
Ive got a question for you. Who is ...
I need to know something. How many ...
Do you mind if I ask a question?

PARTICIPATING IN MEETINGS LANGUAGE - 7


CHECKING FOR UNDERSTANDING
So in other words, you think
Basically, what you are saying is
If I understand you right, you think
Correct me if Im wrong, but do you mean that ?
When you say , do you mean that ?
SIMPLIFYING YOUR WORDS
What Im trying to say is
What Im getting at is
What I mean is
Put simply
The bottom line is

PARTICIPATING IN MEETINGS LANGUAGE - 8


ASKING FOR CLARIFICATION
Im afraid I dont follow you.
Im sorry, but I dont see your point.
Im afraid I dont understand.
Could you be more specific?
INTERRUPTING
Excuse me, but may I ask something?
Excuse me, but may I remind you of something?
Excuse me for interrupting, but
May I add one thing?
May I interrupt?

PARTICIPATING IN MEETINGS LANGUAGE - 9


BLOCKING
Just a moment, please.
Let me finish, please.
Let me make my point first.
Id like to say this first.
MAKING A PROPOSAL
I propose that we should
I suggest that we should
I say we should
Maybe we should
OPPOSING A PROPOSAL
Im sorry, but I cant support the proposal.
Im afraid that doesnt sound very good to me.
With all due respect, that sounds like a bad idea to me.

PARTICIPATING IN MEETINGS LANGUAGE - 10


GETTING THE CHAIRPERSON'S ATTENTION

May I have a word?


If I may, I think ...
COMMENTING

That's interesting.
I never thought about it that way before.
Good point!
I get your point.
I see what you mean.
REQUESTING INFORMATION

Please, could you...


I'd like you to...
Would you mind ...
I wonder if you could ...

PARTICIPATING IN MEETINGS LANGUAGE - 11

CORRECTING INFORMATION
Sorry, I think you misunderstood what I said.
Sorry, that's not quite right.
I'm afraid you don't understand what I'm saying.
That's not quite what I had in mind.
That's not what I meant.
ASKING FOR REPETITION
I didn't catch that. Could you repeat that, please?
I missed that. Could you say it again, please?
Could you run that by me one more time?

Optimizing the Chances for Success


Useful Tips for the CHAIRPERSON
Keep meetings as short as possible, by spending
more time in preparation and consultation ahead of
the meeting (meetings tend to fail in direct proportion
to the length of time they go on for. The effective
attention span of most individuals is about 45 minutes).
Restrict the number of tasks (meetings tend to fail in
direct proportion to the number and variety of tasks
that they address).
Limit the number of participants (meetings tend to
fail in direct proportion to the number of people
attending. When three people meet there are three
pairs of relationships, when four people meet there are
seven pairs and when ten people meet there are fortyfive pairs of relationships).

Optimizing the Chances for Success


Useful Tips for the PARTICIPANTS
Never be a:
Monopolizer - They interrupt often, ramble and
repeat because they enjoy hearing themselves
speak.
Distracter - They seek attention. To get it, they will
often bring up irrelevant topics that waste time.
Sniper - They resort to stage whispered,
contemptuous comments to challenge your
authority by switching attention from you to
them.
Skeptic - They criticize everything you or others
say.

Meetings and Intercultural Differences


Visiting a foreign culture can be confusing for
even the most fearless traveller.
Be informed A useful resource (covers all of the
essentials of conducting business globally) is

http://www.executiveplanet.com/
Simply select your destination country you will
receive an overview of cultural do's and taboos,
suitable etiquette and advice on appropriate
professional behaviour in specific areas of the
world.

Body Language in Meetings


Body language signals that you might observe
among your meeting partners include:
- Resistance or disagreement (a negative posture,
with an impassive or slightly hostile expression,
arms folded as if to form a barrier and legs crossed
with the person leaning back)
- A neutral and open attitude (a neutral/slightly
friendly facial expression and an upright/slightly
forward leaning seating position; a mixture of gentle
nods and shakes of the head, as you make your key
points)

Four Main Aspects of Body


Language
1. what to do with your eyes,
2. what your facial expressions indicate,
3. the positioning and movement of your body
and limbs,
4. your hand gestures.
TIP!
Control yours and take into
consideration the feedback you
receive from the others it may
make the difference!

STCE IV.C
ORAL
COMMUNICATION
MAKING AN ORAL
PRESENTATION

Motto:

Its not what you say,


its the way you say it!

The Purpose of an Oral


Presentation:
To do what a written document
cannot do:

to make a human connection


between your material and your
audience.

This course is about


HOW TO SAY IT
When you make an oral presentation:

1) remember the tips on What to


say?
&
2) see what follows: ?!

How Do Oral Presentations Differ


from Written Forms of
Communication?
It is obvious: oral presentations differ
from written communication in that you
are talking rather than writing.
Two critical points of influence on how you
prepare and deliver your presentations.
If you understand them, you will soon
make an excellent presenter!

1 - There is no written record


there is no complete written record for your
audience to consult - you talk; they (hopefully)
listen;
this means that simple, direct presentations are
best: otherwise you risk losing your audience's
attention;
remind them periodically about the overall
structure of your presentation, and how the
information fits together;
don't just present to your audience, but rather
guide them through your presentation.

2 - You Must Understand and Use


Non-verbal Communication

you are delivering your message in person, and


in front of other people;
your message will not simply be what you are
saying, but how you are saying it;
you must take into account the fact that that your
voice, posture, hand gestures, use of eye
contact, and overall appearance are all sending
their own messages, and they have to fit with
what you are saying;
people pay more attention to how you present
than what you present.

BODY LANGUAGE
AND

NON-VERBAL
COMMUNICATION

body language =
the lay term for
nonverbal communication

Non-verbal Communication - Dictionary Definitions


1. The process of sending
and receiving wordless
messages by means of facial
expressions, gaze, gestures,
postures, and tones of voice.
2. Also included are
grooming habits and body
positioning in space.
3. Nonverbal
communication forms
include all expressive signs,
signals and cues (audio,
visual, tactile, chemical, etc.)
which are used to send and
receive messages - apart
from manual sign language
and speech.

A good source of
explanations:
The NONVERBAL
DICTIONARY of
GESTURES, SIGNS &
BODY LANGUAGE
CUES
http://members.aol.com/no
nverbal2/diction1.htm

Components of Non-verbal
Communication

A system consisting of a range of features


often used together to aid expression.

The combination of these features is often a


subconscious choice made by native speakers or
even sub-groups/sub-cultures within a language
group.

Can either reassure our audience and


therefore reinforce our spoken message, or
detract from our credibility and in so doing
dramatically reduce our effectiveness.

The Main Components of the System

Kinesics (body language) Body motions such as shrugs, foot


tapping, eye movements, facial expressions, and gestures
Proxemics (proximity) Use of space to signal privacy or
attraction
Haptics Touch
Oculesics Eye contact
Chronemics Use of time
Olfactics Smell
Vocalics Tone of voice, timbre, volume, speed
Sound symbols Grunting, mmm, er, ah, uh-huh, mumbling
Silence Pausing, waiting
Posture Position of the body
Adornment Clothing, jewellery, hairstyle
Locomotion Walking, running, staggering, limping

Most Important Items for Oral


Presentations
body language
(particularly facial expressions and gestures),
eye contact,
proximity
and
posture
They have a role in:
conveying meaning,
avoiding misunderstandings
and
fitting in with the audiences culture.

Body Language Guidelines - 1


- dress appropriately; your appearance is part
of your (non-verbal) message.
- make eye contact with various people in your
audience, but do not look at any one person for
too long.
- to keep yourself on track, use cue cards with
a few key words instead of a complete text; this
will allow you to maintain audience eye
contact.
- speak naturally, clearly, and in your regular
voice.

Body Language Guidelines - 2


- leave your hands free so that you can
emphasize points naturally.
- when using slides, do not turn your back to
your audience to read the screen.
- do not shift your weight back and forth from
leg to leg, or pace.
- be enthusiastic about your topic, but not
unnaturally so.

Body Language Guidelines - 3


- try to enjoy the experience; people can
sense this and it is contagious.
- know your topic well; you will be (and will
appear) more relaxed.
- when using a podium, lectern or table,
periodically move out from behind it to
remove the barrier between you and your
audience.

Body Language Guidelines - 4


- Try to adopt a relaxed posture, but not so
relaxed that you look sloppy or unprofessional.
- Avoid nervous gestures, such as waving hands
around, clicking pens, or swinging a pointer.
- Hold your hands loosely crossed in front of
you, with one hand holding your cue cards, and
occasionally make a gesture with the other, to
avoid looking too stiff.

DELIVERING YOUR
PRESENTATION
Three Key Aspects to Consider:

1. Space

- Know the room and the


resources.

DELIVERING YOUR PRESENTATION


Three Key Aspects to Consider:

2. Physical Presence

a)
b)
c)
d)

- Display self-confidence.
- You should: not fidget; not hold papers that
rustle or pens that click, or the change in your
pocket that clinks; become comfortable with
your own gestural style.
- 4 TIPS:
You are not the focus, your topic is
Decide how much you like to move - moderately
Find somewhere to put your hands - use them to
stress key ideas
Find focus points - e.g. neutral faces in the
audience

DELIVERING YOUR PRESENTATION

Three Key Aspects to Consider:

3. Vocal Presence

a wide variety of vocal style is possible


the important thing is your comfort
being comfortable means you can sound
natural and calm (even if you are not)

Vocal Presence - Useful Advice


slow down it helps the audience to
comprehend your talk.
choose vocal emphasis to avoid monotony loud/soft, high/low, fast/slow are used in
English to gain emphasis and variety.
practise to avoid um, ah, like - These words
occur most at transitions from one idea to
another, so the better you know your talk, the
better you can control verbal tics.
practise important words to avoid
embarrassment due to mispronunciation.

Main PROBLEM Areas


in Oral Presentations
Timing - do some rehearsal, write a script, or
find some other way to get the timing just right.
Volume - speak loud enough so that all of your
audience can hear you; find some way to practice
speaking a little louder in the days before the oral
presentation.
Pacing, speed - speak a bit more slowly and
deliberately than you do in normal conversation.
Slow down, take it easy, be clear.
Gestures and posture - Watch out for nervous
hands flying all over the place; avoid leaning
against the wall.

Develop Your Own Presentation


STYLE
AS:
- communication is
both intellectual and
emotional,
- organizing your
ideas is one part of
the task.
BUT
- the other part is:
to gain and maintain
attention.

BASIC TECHNIQUES TO
MAINTAIN ATTENTION

- convey "controlled
enthusiasm" for your subject the audience will forgive a lot if
the speaker is enthusiastic;
- pay attention to: posture, tone;
- your audience will mirror your
attitude - radiate confidence; but
- do not confuse enthusiasm with
loudness; try to convey a range
of emotions.

Avoiding to Distract the Audience and Drawing


Them Away From the Message

This is a sensitive issue, as some of the disturbing


factors are personal or "part of who we are."
Examples:

- physical mannerisms
- voice tone
WAYS OF KEEPING THEM UNDER CONTROL
provide variety (speed and pitch of voice),
novelty and uniqueness at times,
speak clearly do not shout or whisper,
position yourself to enhance rapport with the
audience,
look at your audience in random rotating order.

REFINING YOUR ORAL PRESENTATION STYLE


TIPS

1// Assuming an Appropriate Presentation Persona:


- When you deliver a formal presentation, you are
performing as in a play in front of an audience.
- You do not want to become something artificial
when you talk.
- You do want to play the part of a speaker. The
role you are playing is you, but it is not the same
you as we see in informal settings.
- This is a PERSONA that should look and feel
quite natural, but also be elevated from the everyday
person .

REFINING YOUR ORAL PRESENTATION STYLE


TIPS Contd

2// Show Mastery


- Showing that you have mastery over your
material gives your listeners confidence in you and sets
them at ease.
- This can be as simple as showing that you are
able to operate the equipment.
- Another way to show you are confident in your
material is humour. It can lighten dry technical talks &
can be an effective way to draw parallels with points
you are trying to make, if relevant.
- Even short verbal asides, rhetorical questions or
anecdotes can be effective ways to draw parallels with
points you are trying to make.

Off-the-cuff Presentations - Basic Advice


1// Buy yourself a
little time
2// Write out some
quick notes
(audience, purpose,
message)
3// Get ready for it
(breathe deeply)

4// Use visualization


and positive self-talk)
5// Consider it an
opportunity, not a
punishment
6// Be yourself,
whatever that means
7// Do not panic

How to Control Nervousness


"People are afraid of
public speaking... In fact,
most say that it's their
number one fear. Death,
apparently, only comes
second."
Jerry Seinfeld

the sweaty palms,

the butterflies in the stomach


We are afraid that we:
- may be judged by all those people, and judged
badly
- may feel like fools
- might make mistakes and loose our way
- will be completely humiliated
- will never be as good as _________ (fill in the
blank)
- will not be liked and that:
They won't get what
we are trying to say!

Techniques People Use for Coping With This


Fright:
your audience understands your nervousness;
they know what you are feeling and will forgive
it; similarly they will forgive honest mistakes
nervousness is usually invisible; most speakers
who describe themselves as nervous appear
confident and calm to the audience
be yourself; let the real you come through; relax
begin in your comfort zone; practice with
friends; share your fears with friends
concentrate on the message
begin with a slow, well-prepared introduction;
have a confident and clear conclusion
most important: be prepared and practise

Remember How to Deal With Anxiety!


* On the day, arrive early and greet people as they walk in
and have a chat. This breaks the ice and creates a nice relaxed
atmosphere.
* If you are feeling nervous, do not call attention to it. Your
audience probably will not even notice.
* Nerves can cause us to 'babble' and our ideas to race. Do not
be afraid to take a pause ... slow down ... take a breath. If you
become confused and momentarily lose your thread, do not
panic. Calmly check your cue cards and continue.
* One experienced speaker recommends having the first four
minutes or so 'hot-wired' - so well rehearsed that you know
every word and gesture for the first few minutes.

* To make your nerves work for you, you need to


focus on just about anything other than yourself.

The Audience May Fall Asleep


Public speaking arenas are designed to do just that:
dim lights, cushy chairs, not having to open their mouths
- a perfect invitation to catch up on those zzzs.

How Do You Cope With This? Suggested Ways:


Ask rhetorical questions
Maintain eye contact for a second or two with as many
people as possible
Be challenging
Change the pace of your delivery
Change the volume of your voice

Oral Presentation Delivery - CHECKLIST


1. Did you introduce yourself to your audience?
2. Did you avoid reading too much from your
notes?
3. Did you look comfortable and relaxed?
4. Did you display any nervous gestures, such as
hand-waving or pen-clicking?
5. Did you look and sound interested and
enthusiastic ?
6. Was your voice loud enough to be heard?
7. Did you speak too quickly or too slowly?
8. Were there any words you had problems
pronouncing?

On the Day of the Presentation:


arrive early to make sure that the room,
equipment and layout suit your needs. This
will allow you time to make any necessary
changes.
check that your projector is clearly
focussed on the screen and that your body
does not block anyones view of them.
warm up your voice by talking out loud
and do some relaxation exercises such as
deep breathing.

During an Oral Presentation:

greet the audience;


wait for the audience to focus their attention
on you before you start;
state the topic clearly;
give an outline of what you will cover;
use your visual aids to indicate the main
ideas as you progress through the
presentation;
look at your audience and establish eye
contact with most people at some stage of
your presentation;

During an Oral Presentation (contd):


face the audience as you speak and take care not to
turn your body away from them;
use your voice by changing volume, pitch and by
using pauses to indicate to your audience that you
are moving on to a new point. Vary your intonation
for statements, questions and emphasis;
summarize the main points in your conclusion,
suggest future questions or research directions that
could be taken in relation to the topic;
hand out material either before or after the
presentation so that you do not lose your audiences
attention.

Finally ...

Enjoy yourself!
The audience will be
on your side and want
to hear what you have
to say !