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Writing Mechanics

Purposes for Writing

Getting Started
Why do we write? o To narrate or tell a story o To describe someone or something o To explain or inform o To persuade Provide adult learners the opportunity to write for each of these purposes and develop diverse writing skills.

Audience
The audience for a piece writing is also important to consider when getting started. Your adult learner should consider you his or her audience. If your learner is working to develop writing skills for the GED test or post-secondary education. In these areas, your learners audience will be professionals, like instructors. Targeting writing for this audience will help your learner to develop his or her formal writing skills.

Style - Formal vs. Informal


The level of formality in writing is determined by characteristics like word choice and sentence structure. Formal style emphasizes accurate content and information. It follows the conventions of usage, spelling and punctuation. The tone is polite and not breezy or careless. A formal style is appropriate for business, professional, and school writing including the GED essay. (GED Connection Language Arts Writing & Reading. 2002. Pg. 78) It is very likely that your adult learner will need to develop his or her formal writing skills.

Style - Informal
Informal style is similar to spoken language and may contain contractions or very casual language. And informal style is used for personal writing or for business communication between equals or close associates. (GED Connection Language Arts Writing & Reading. 2002. Pg. 78) Informal writing is different from the abbreviated style of writing that is common in emails or texts. Your adult learner may also need to develop informal writing skills.

Activities
What are some writing activities that your adult learner can do support developing writing skills for the four common purposes?

To narrate or tell a story


Explain a time when you taught another person something. Include what you taught the person; the steps you took to teach the topic; and how you know the person learned what he or she needed to learn.

To describe someone or something


To describe someone or something Describe a time when you had to face a fear. Include what you had to do; why you were fearful; how you conquered your fear; whether or not you were successful; and how you felt after the experience.

To explain or inform
To explain or inform Write an essay explaining why your tutoring program is important and how it is helping you to meet your goals.

To persuade
To persuade Write an essay to persuade lawmakers to provide funding to adult education programs, like your tutoring program. Include information about why you are participating; the goals you have met; how the program is helping you; and what you intend to do when you graduate from the program.