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ENG 102

BASIC PRINCIPLES OF GOOD WRITING

1. Brevity
It is bad manners to waste [the reader's] time. Therefore brevity first, then, clarity.

2. Clarity
It is bad manners to give [readers] needless trouble. Therefore clarity. . . . And how is
clarity to be achieved? Mainly by taking trouble and by writing to serve people rather
than to impress them.

3. Communication
The social purpose of language is communication--to inform, misinform, or otherwise
influence our fellows. . . . Communication [is] more difficult than we may think. We are
all serving life sentences of solitary confinement within our bodies; like prisoners, we
have, as it were, to tap in awkward code to our fellow men in their neighboring cells. . . .
In some modern literature there has appeared a tendency to replace communication by a
private maundering to oneself which shall inspire one's audience to maunder privately to
themselves--rather as if the author handed round a box of drugged cigarettes.

4. Emphasis
Just as the art of war largely consists of deploying the strongest forces at the most
important points, so the art of writing depends a good deal on putting the strongest words
in the most important places. . . . One of the most important things, to my mind, in
English style is word-order. For us, the most emphatic place in a clause or sentence is the
end. This is the climax; and, during the momentary pause that follows, that last word
continues, as it were, to reverberate in the readers mind. It has, in fact, the last word.

5. Honesty
As the police put it; anything you say may be used as evidence against you. If
handwriting reveals character, writing reveals it still more. You cannot fool all your
judges all the time. . . . Most style is not honest enough. Easy to say, but hard to practice.
A writer may take to long words, as young men to beards--to impress. But long words,
like long beards, are often the badge of charlatans. Or a writer may cultivate the obscure,
to seem profound. But even carefully muddied puddles are soon fathomed. Or he may
cultivate eccentricity, to seem original. But really original people do not have to think
about being original--they can no more help it than they can help breathing. They do not
need to dye their hair green.
6. Passion and Control
This, indeed, is one of the eternal paradoxes of both life and literature--that without
passion little gets done; yet, without control of that passion, its effects are largely ill or
null.

7. Reading
One learns to write by reading good books, as one learns to talk by hearing good talkers.

8. Revision
Every author's fairy godmother should provide him not only with a pen but also with a
blue pencil.

9. Sophistication and Simplicity


My point is merely that the sophisticated (ready though they may be to suppose so) do
not necessarily express themselves better than the simple--in fact, may often have much
to learn from them.

10. Sound and Rhythm


Apart from a few simple principles, the sound and rhythm of English prose seem to me
matters where both writers and readers should trust not so much to rules as to their ears.

TYPES OF COMPOSITION

There are four types of composition/essay writing. They are:

a. Narrative: A narrative essay is a kind of writing where you talk about what happened to
you or what you witnessed. It is like telling a story. A narrative essay also talks about a main
idea or a lesson learned. You may consider the following in writing a narrative essay.

Identify the experience that you want to write about. For example, your experience could
be on My First Day in School

Think about why the experience is important to you.

Spend time to remember what happened and write them down.

b. Descriptive: this is a kind of essay where you explain the physical appearance of
somebody, something, or a place. One reason for writing a descriptive essay is so that your
reader can identify what you have described once he or she sees it. For example, imagine that
you want to write a descriptive essay about your father. This means you have chosen to write
about your father's physical appearance and the way he interacts with people.
In a descriptive essay, you use a lot of adjectives. So you may describe how your father looks,
and does things that makes you love him.

When writing a descriptive essay, the best way to create a good and clear experience for your
reader is to focus on the five senses.

sight
sound
smell
touch
taste

You can consider the following point when writing a descriptive essay:

i. What or who do you want to describe?

ii. Why do you want to describe the person or thing?

iii. What qualities do you want to focus on?

iv. What sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures are important for your description?

v. What can you include to ensure that your readers gain the same thought as you?

c. Argumentative: this is the kind of essay where you have to make your reader to believe
you and support your idea or point of view. Focusing on this purpose will help you to write a
good argument.

The following are important steps to consider when writing an argumentative essay:

i. Identify your main idea or point of view. Your purpose will be to make your reader to
accept this idea or point of view.

ii. Identify your reader. To write a good argument, try to understand your readers mind. For
example, would your readers like about your opinion? Or would your readers be angry at your
point of view?

iii. Considering your readers, identify the strongest supporting points for your argument.

iv. Identify the most important opposing view. Explaining and strongly disagreeing with the
opposing view will make your reader to believe you more and give you support.

d. Expository: this is the kind of essay where you explain something with correct information
that you have, and not what you think about it.
The function of the expository essay is to explain, or inform your readers with knowledge. By
explaining a topic to the reader, you are demonstrating your own knowledge.

When writing an expository essay, we use words such as first, after, next, then and last usually
shows that one idea follows the other in an orderly manner. We also use the second-person
pronoun you.

Example of types of expository essays include:

i. Essays that described how to do something (cooking your best food, making a mouse trap,
etc.)

ii. Essays that explain experiments, scientific discoveries etc.

iii. Essays that describe a process (how the engine boat works).

iv. Essays that explain/describe a historical event.

FEATURES OF A GOOD COMPOSITION

A LEAVE OF ABSENCE LETTER

Vernon C. Legler

1615 Wilkinson Court


North Naples, FL 33963

25th June 2009


To

Ryan Heintz

General Manager,

Realtek Solutions,

United States

Dear Mr. Heintz,

I am writing this letter to inform you that I am in need of leave of absence from office for three
days starting from 26th June 2009. Since, I have a personal problem to be solved with my family,
I am unable to mention the exact reason for my absence from office.

I have transferred the work that I was dealing at the moment to Clara Samuel and she was
already in my team and she can handle that well. I am available via phone anytime.

I kindly request you to grant me leave on the above mentioned days and help me to solve my
family issues.

Thanking You,

Yours Sincerely,

Vernon C. Legler

ANOTHER EXAMPLE

From:

Jonathan Price

27th lane,

House #8,

Park Avenue,

California

To:

Mr. Robert Koch

Head Master,

All Saints School,


Park Lane,

California

22nd June 2010

Ref: Requesting for leave

Dear Mr. Koch,

Due to my wife being sick and with a small child to attend to, it is becoming difficult for me to
devote time at school and home. As you are well aware that my wife was not keeping well for
the past one month, so she had to be hospitalized.

It was with your cooperation and support that I was able to manage school and home. Now she
has come home I am finding it difficult to manage all the things together as she is still not able to
move about and need complete time and care. Though I have requested my mother-in-law to help
us out and she will be arriving within a week yet it is important to take care of her and the little
baby.

I, therefore, request you to kindly grant me leave for 6 days .i.e. from 22nd of June to 27th of June
2010. I have made arrangements for the substitute teacher to take the classes regularly and have
coached her on the work to be done with the students in my absence.

Thanking You,

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Price

MEMORANDUM (MEMO)
A short message or record used for internal communication in a business.

Once the primary form of internal written communication, memorandums (or memos) have
declined in use since the introduction of email and other forms of electronic messaging.

Examples and Observations:

"Abide by this one main rule in every memo-writing situation:

Be clear, brief, and tactful.

Because many activities are competing for their time, readers expect information to be
related as quickly and clearly as possibly. Yet be sure not to sacrifice tact and sensitivity
as you strive to achieve conciseness."
(William Sanborn Pfeiffer, Technical Writing: A Practical Approach. Prentice Hall,
2003)
How to Organize a Memo
"The following guidelines will help you structure a memo:

- Use a clear subject line.


- State your purpose in the first paragraph.
- Summarize any potential objections.
- Keep the paragraphs short.
- Use subheads between paragraph groups.
- Use bulleted and numbered lists.
- Request action."

(Mitchell Ivers, Random House Guide to Good Writing. Ballantine, 1991)

Purpose of Memos
"Memos are used within organizations to report results, instruct employees, announce
policies, disseminate information, and delegate responsibilities. Whether sent on paper, as
emails, or as attachments to emails, memos provide a record of decisions made and
actions taken. They also can play a key role in the management of many organizations
because managers use memos to inform and motivate employees. . . .

"Adequate development of your thoughts is crucial to the clarity of your message, as the
following example indicates:
o ABRUPT Be more careful on the loading dock.

o DEVELOPED To prevent accidents on the loading dock, follow these


procedures:
1. Check . . .
2. Load only . . .
3. Replace . . .

Although the abrupt version is concise, it is not as clear and specific as the developed
version. Do not assume your readers will know what you mean. Readers who are in a
hurry may misinterpret a vague memo."
(Gerald J. Alred, Charles T. Brusaw, and Walter E. Oliu, Handbook of Technical Writing,
8th ed., Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006)
Example of memo
MEMO

To: Katherine Chu, Regional Manager


From: Stephen Yu, Sales
Date: 13 September 2014
Subject: Notification of My Resignation

I am writing to inform you of my intention to resign from G & S Holdings.

I have appreciated very much my four years working for the company. The
training has been excellent and I have gained valuable experience working within
an efficient and professional team environment. In particular, I have appreciated
your personal guidance during these first years of my career.

I feel now that it is time to further develop my knowledge and skills base in a
different environment.

I would like to leave, if possible, in a month's time on Saturday, 11 October. This


will allow me to complete my current workload. I hope that this suggested
arrangement is acceptable to the company.

Once again, thank you for your support.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A MEMO

Summit Steel Company Ltd.


18, Karawn Bazar, Dhaka 1218

Interoffice Memo

Date : 15 August, 2014

To : Office Manager
From : Zahirul Islam, Purchase Officer
Reference : 216/BM

Subject : Purchase of Office Chairs

As desired, the order for the supply of 500 office chairs has been placed
with Navana Furniture Mart, 16 Jatrabari, Dhaka 1204. The chairs will be
supplied in two lots of 250 each on 26 and 30 August, 2014.
Renata Food Products Ltd.
32, Kalabagan, Dhaka 1217

Interoffice Memo

Date : 15 August, 2014

To : Marketing Officer
From : Hasan Mahmud, General Manager
Reference : 116/BC

Subject : Export of Jam and Jelly

Recently, I visited the manufacturing plants at Sonargaon and


discussed with the production managers the possibility of
increasing the production so that we can export these items to
western countries. They see no difficulty in doing so but before
they take any define initiatives in this direction, they would like
to have an estimate of the demand for our products in these
countries.

So, I request you to contact our agents quickly and let me know
the estimates by the end of September.

Gafargaon Municipal Office


Gafargaon, Mymensingh

Interoffice Memo

Date : 26 August, 2014

To : Upzila Nirbahi Officer


Gafargaon, Mymensingh
From : Kayser Ahmed Chowdhury, Mayor
Reference : 306/UNC

Subject : Request for Proper Distribution of Relief Goods

We came to know that the relief goods sent from the Prime Minister's Emergency
Fund are not being distributed properly. Instead of the real flood victims, the relief
goods are going to the influential who are not at all flood-affected.

We hope that you will direct the authority concerned to investigate into the matter
and ensure proper distribution of the relief goods.