Find details that are significant». It began: Effective march 30 we will be migrating our end user order entry and supplies referral processing to a new telemarketing center. I finally figured out that they had a new 800 number and that the end user was. Any organization that wont take the trouble to be both clear and personal in its writing will lose friends, customers and money. Let me put it another way for business executives: a shortfall will be experienced in anticipated profitability». «The bulletin goes on to say that for future cost avoidance, productivity has been enhanced. That seems to mean the product will be free — all costs have been avoided. Next the bulletin assures the customer that the system is delivered with functionality.
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Dont make your man assert, aver and expostulate just to avoid repeating he said, and please — plagiarism please! . — dont write he smiled or he grinned. Ive never fishing heard anybody smile. The readers eye skips over he said anyway, so its not worth a lot of fuss. If you crave variety, choose synonyms that catch the shifting nature of the conversation. He pointed out, he explained, he replied, he added — these all carry a particular meaning. But dont use he added if the man is merely averring and not putting a postscript on what he just said». If you are describing a beach, dont write that the shore was scattered with rocks or that occasionally a seagull flew over. Shores have a tendency to be scattered with rocks and to be flown over by seagulls. Eliminate every such fact that is a known attribute: dont tell us that the sea had waves and the sand was white.
«I cant overstate how much easier it is for readers to process a sentence if you start with but when youre shifting direction. Or, conversely, how much harder it is if they must wait until the end to realize that you have shifted. Many of us were taught that no sentence should begin with but. If thats what you learned, unlearn it — theres no stronger word at the start». «The living thesis room looked as if an atomic bomb had gone off there, writes the novice writer, describing what he saw on Sunday morning after a party that got out of hand». «Surprisingly often a difficult problem in a sentence can be solved by simply getting rid of it. Unfortunately, this solution is usually the last one that occurs to writers in a jam». «Try not to use words like surprisingly, predictably and of course, which put a value on a fact before the reader encounters the fact.
So are adjectives and other parts of speech: effortlessly easy, slightly spartan, totally flabbergasted. The beauty of flabbergasted is that it implies an astonishment that is total; I cant picture someone being partly flabbergasted». «Dont be kind of bold. «There is no minimum length for a sentence thats acceptable in the eyes of God». «Readers are annoyed by your reminder that this was a comical moment. They are also robbed of the pleasure of finding it funny on their own. Humor is best achieved by understatement, and theres nothing subtle about an exclamation point».
On, writing, become
Scott) to help put them in motion. Many verbs also carry in their imagery or in their sound a suggestion of what they mean: glitter, dazzle, twirl, beguile, scatter, swagger, poke, pamper, vex. Probably no other language has such a vast supply of verbs so bright with color. Dont choose one that is dull or merely serviceable. Make active verbs activate your sentences, and try to avoid the kind that need an appended preposition to complete their work. Dont set up a business that you can start or launch. Dont say that the president of the company stepped down.
Did he get fired? «you will clutter your sentence and annoy the reader if you choose a verb that has a specific meaning and then add an adverb that carries the same meaning. Dont tell us that the radio blared loudly; blare connotes loudness. Dont write that someone clenched his teeth tightly; theres no other way to clench teeth. Again and again in careless writing, strong verbs are weakened by redundant adverbs.
I dont much like the phrase, but the bottom line is that its here to stay». Its the difference between, say, printout and input. A printout is a specific object that a computer emits. Before the advent of computers it wasnt needed; now. But it has stayed where it belongs.
Not so with input, which was coined to describe the information thats fed to a computer. Our input is sought on every subject, from diets to philosophical discourse (Id like your input on whether God really exists. Its a truism, but what makes it a truism is that its true». «They push the sentence forward and give it momentum. Active verbs push hard; passive verbs tug fitfully. Active verbs also enable us to visualize an activity because they require a pronoun (he or a noun (the boy or a person (Mrs.
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When an Air Force missile crashed, it impacted with the ground prematurely». «If you have any doubt of what a word means, look. Learn its etymology and notice what curious branches its original root has put forth. See if it has any meanings you didnt know it had. Master the small gradations between words that seem to be synonyms. Whats the difference between cajole, wheedle, blandish and coax? Get yourself a dictionary of synonyms». As every businessman knows, business the bottom line is the one that matters. If someone says, The bottom line is that we just cant work together, we know what he means.
Perhaps the writer has used a word incorrectly by not taking the trouble to look. He or she may marketing think sanguine and sanguinary mean the same thing, but the difference is a bloody big one. The reader can only infer (speaking of big differences) what the writer is trying to imply». «Even before john dean, people and businesses had stopped saying now. They were saying currently (all our operators are currently busy or at the present time, or presently (which means soon). Yet the idea can always be expressed by now to mean the immediate moment (Now I can see him or by today to mean the historical present (Today prices are high or simply by the verb to be (It is raining). Theres no need to say, at the present time we are experiencing precipitation». «When the Digital Equipment Corporation eliminated 3,000 jobs its statement didnt mention layoffs; those were involuntary methodologies.
not understand certain parts. Slides from csce 488 on oral presentations written by roger kieckhafer, revised by Sharad Seth and Stephen Scott ( ppt ) If you know of any other references on writing and presenting well, notify me and I'll list them here. «Perhaps a sentence is so excessively cluttered that the reader, hacking through the verbiage, simply doesnt know what it means. Perhaps a sentence has been so shoddily constructed that the reader could read it in several ways. Perhaps the writer has switched pronouns in mid-sentence, or has switched tenses, so the reader loses track of who is talking or when the action took place. Perhaps Sentence b is not a logical sequel to Sentence A; the writer, in whose head the connection is clear, hasnt bothered to provide the missing link.
Slides from csce 488 on written presentations written by roger kieckhafer, revised by Sharad Seth and Stephen Scott ( ppt ). Other books on writing, but not specific to technical writing, include. The Chicago manual of Style : The Essential guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers (14th Edition) by john, grossman. Of Chicago Press, 1993. Elements of Style (3rd metamorphosis Edition) by Strunk and White. Bacon Publishers, 1995, on Writing Well: The Classic guide to Writing Nonfiction (6th, edition) by, william Zinsser. Plagiarism, unl, cse department's Policy on Academic Integrity. Slides from csce 488 on plagiarism written by roger kieckhafer, revised by Sharad Seth and Stephen Scott ( ppt ).
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Tips on Presenting Technical Material, written Presentation, how not to Write a paper by Oded Goldreich ( pdf ). Hints on Writing Technical Papers and making Presentations by victor. Li, ieee transactions on Education, 42(2 134-137, may 1999. Research Issues in Distributed Systems from. Steve goddard 's, csce 855 Class, gives excellent tips on thinking critically, presenting technical material, performing experiments, and interpreting results. Pdf version, postScript version. Also see his, generic Paper Outline. How to, have your Abstract Rejected by, umum mary-Claire van leunen and Richard Lipton.