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Types and Stages of Effective Writing

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Welcome back. Dear friends, we are discussing Effective Writing and in that context, we are now going to discuss the second part of our lecture entitled principles of effective writing. As you remember in the first part we talked about the different sorts of writer that we are and we also talked about the different limitations the different nuances. Here we shall confine ourselves to talking about the essentials; I mean the requirements that can make us effective writers. Now, we shall here also focus on some of the examples and you must pay attention to the different stages types and essentials. And the examples that have been provided will be quite helpful, to make you think about how you can also become an effective writer by applying these tricks and by applying these guidelines. So, let us first talk about the different types of writing, now there can be as I said earlier, different sorts of writing depending upon the situation, circumstances, organizations and institutions. But let us for our benefit try to categorize them into three types; first is business writing and this business writing we have been practicing every day whether in our organizations in our day to day lives.And then also sometimes when situations so arise as you have to respond to a complaint letter or you have to make a deal or you may have to write a report. So, these business writings usually can have different types. And we shall discuss when we come to explain business writing in detail, how it actually talks about reports, memos, talks about reports of all categories. It also talks about letters, applications, it may also talk about technical descriptions, proposals and all depending upon the time factor we shall be discussing them in detail. The next type that I will be focusing in this course is about academic writing. So, we you are not confined simply to business writing; you also have to many of you might be thinking of writing something in terms of making yourself heard making yourself being recognized academically. So, you may have to from time to time write papers, articles also journal articles or sometimes some reports such as thesis reports, sometimes synopsis, sometimes executive summaries and all. And then if time permits we shall also be talking about creative writing in some of the lectures. So, having understood the different types of writing, let us now come to understand what actually; because all these writings though they may differ in terms of their nomenclatures but, at the same time you must understand that we must know and we must understand what actually are the various stages. In the previous lecture we talked about we actually talked about in previous in the previous lecture, we talked about how you can think of becoming a writer and how you can start. But then, when you start writing when you start writing specifically you also have to think of whether writing has certain stages. Of course because every writing will have some stages and all these writings will also have some essential components. So, we shall be talking about the various stages to tell you briefly, there are in all writings there are only three stages; the first stage is pre writing, the second stage is writing and the third stage is post writing or we may also call it rewriting maybe we can call it revising as well. So, we shall be discussing but, before that let us try to understand what actually are the essentials of effective writing. Now, here you can look in this look at this graph where there are several components you cannot discuss we cannot cover all the components here.But then, we have to focus our attention towards some of the most important and one of the one of the most preferable components of effective writing. The first is organization you remember as I said in the previous lecture, that all writings are not alike all writings are different in terms of layout in terms of organization. So, when we talk about any particular writing, every writing will have different layout, different structuring or organization we shall be discussing that. Then, when we come to the other nuances of effective writing your writing can be effective only when it has got a sort of brevity; because as we said earlier that all of us have the problem of time. All of us want to perform our task in less amount of time and we want to do more in less amount of time. So, we shall be thinking of how we can make our writing brief, how we can make our writing to the point specific and then we shall also be thinking about clarity. Many of us who think of writing something, we are actually we come across some deadlocks some disturbances, some impediments and that do not make us effective in terms of bringing clarity. Unless and until our writing is clear it will not benefit the readers. And then we shall also be talking about unity, coherence and order. When you write something, you are actually writing for a specific purpose. And in order to meet that specific purpose your writing should have a unity and not only unity but it has to have a sort of coherence. And then order we shall also be talking about how we can bring order into our writing and then comes the question of language or style. Do not you think that the language of a CV and the language of a report are different the language of a complaint letter and the language of an adjustment letter is different. The language of a creative writing and the language of say an argumentative peace or argumentative writing; say for example, thesis writing is different. And when we have considered all this what actually comes to our understanding or our thought is whether our writing is correct or not. Because when we talk about language you might be thinking of words, but you also have to understand and realize that your writing has to be correct. When we talk of correction, we also have to think about grammatical correctness that we shall also be discussing. So, having understood the components the first is the first stage of writing is pre writing; as I said earlier first you have to decide why are you writing. So, when you have decided why you are writing; why you are writing. You are writing to make somebody understand or make somebody realize make somebody buy a product if you are in business or make somebody understand your line of thinking when you are writing argumentatively. So, the first stage is pre writing what should be done in pre writing, what is to be done in pre writing?In pre writing, the first is that you will be thinking of how to begin what sort of writing. It is what should be the title how the title how after the title you should initiate when you initiate, what should the first sentence or even before that even before you write you also might be thinking. Suppose if you are going to write something and which is with a specific purpose for submitting a report or suppose you are going to submit a CV. Now, you are going to think where you will you get the information is it not. So, you might be thinking of the information, so gathering the material that is your first requirement. And when you gather the material from different sources; I mean from different reliable sources then you think of writing. So, when you start writing then all the nuances of writing come before you, the nuances of writing include the beginning because every writing will have a beginning, every writing will have a start a sort of development. And then finally, you also will have a sort of end or conclusion. Now, during this entire process you also have to take into consideration how you can make use of beginning, developing, paragraph, sentences, structures and then how you are going to present that information. Because even you are writing but in a way you are trying to convince the other party, convince your readers. So, unless and until your reader unless and until your reader understands, there is no you know your aim of writing gets defeated. So, the entire writing process includes all these things. And then finally, re-writing; now what is this re writing? The re writing is a sort of writing where you get time to revise you know one writer has gone to the extent of saying that people should spend 25 percent of their time in pre writing. And then after 25 percent of time being spent in pre writing, they should go they should spend 25 percent of their time just in writing and then they should also spend time; I mean 45 percent of time should be spent in re-writing. Because, when you rewrite it is actually the last stage though, but it is the most important of all stages all writers they spend more and more time while they revise their documents. Because when you are going to revise you are actually going to give your document the final shape. So, 45 per cent of your time should be spent in rewriting my dear friends. Now, when you have decided, when you; when you come to pre arrange or when you come to pre write your material; the first is of arrangement. As we discussed earlier arrangement of the organization is important.Improper arrangement; suppose you started writing a document and you are not able to arrange it; because you will create a sort of outline whatever way you are writing whatever document you are going to craft. But then, when you are going to arrange you have to think how you should serve the matter. You know, this is just like serving a dish as to what should be given first know and even when even before that you should think how in which dish or in which plate it should be served. So, the very first attraction lies in the way you have structured it. So, improper arrangement breaks the readers enthusiasm and you know your main purpose what you are going to achieve is, you are actually going to achieve a purpose you are going to create a sort of goodwill. Ultimately, unless and until there is a cooperation between you and the reader the matter or the written material will not meet its desired purpose.And then, you also have to follow a proper order and in one after another know. So, how you will order it because this order by order; I mean sequencing of the entire material know, providing order to any material that actually keeps your reader intact the reader is induced, the reader is induced to read it. So, you have to make not only your document attractive, but then you also have to make your document salubrious; I mean it has to be interesting in a way. And then finally, when you are going to order it by order I mean preferring preference of one thing over another, what should come first, what should come next. When you provide that then you will find that your writing becomes not only attractive, your writing becomes attractive to an extent that writers actually are stuck into it writers are involved into it. So, your main purpose as a writer of any document is to involve your reader. Now, you can have a look at one of the beautiful lines which I have taken from one essay by Satyajit Ray and the essay is titled film making. Now, look at how the author how he goes to describe how he goes to narrate an experience and he says. Of the many questions that, I have been asked by interviewers over the last 10 years or so, two have occured more frequently than others. So, in the very first sentence he attracts the readers he actually tells the readers, only the name Satyajit Ray is so powerful that it attracts but then what he says becomes more attractive. So, in the very first sentence he attracts and when he attracts, when he puts something in the first sentence then what we will do the corresponding sentence is they actually should cohere, which I have called coherence know; it should actually cohere it should provide a sort of coherence know it should cohere, it should provide a sort of blending. So, earlier he says two have occurred more frequently and you will find that when he says two; he says over the last ten years or so two have occurred more frequently two he says two; two have occurred more frequently and then he says now when he says two how he is going to cohere it. The first is, so he keeps the reader in check; the first is how and why I came to writing?Now, see the first is how and why I came into films this has generally asked in the knowledge that I had started my career in advertising, as a graphic designer. To the questioner the transition probably seemed too abrupt too arbitrary. How does one design soap wrappings one day and set the contours of a celluloid saga the next day? Now, what I intend to convince you here is, that when you are writing a paragraph what you should work is how you are going to make the entire paragraph talk about something I mean single thing. That is what I mean by confine by bringing the unity. And having said that, having talked about the arrangement now let us realize as I said earlier that you have to cater to your readers. You have earlier seen how Satyajit Ray also in his paragraph is creating a sort of you know at atmosphere, where he wants his reader to understand that the writer is with the reader.Cultivate a you attitude; I mean whether you are working for business or you are working for something else or you are trying to achieve a particular effect you must think most of the time about your readers. So, cater yourself to the interest of the readers and while you cater to your readers, please be conscious that you must always avoid a language which is not biased. Biased in terms of; biased in terms of gender, biased in terms of culture; do not say something that hurts a person, sometimes a person maybe from a different culture as I have been saying. So, make your language or go for a language that works go for a language that is neutral, but at the same time a language that involves and how can you do that? Because you do not know who your readers are and as I have said in the previous lecture you have to anticipate about your readers. So, when you anticipate about your readers think of yourself being in the position of your readers. So, it is always better to put yourself in other person’s shoes and then you will only understand that you have to work in such a manner or write in such a manner that you achieve a sort of simplicity. Here we are reminded of one very good line by Ben Franklin who says to be good, it ought to have a tendency to benefit the reader and in contemporary times in a business world and in all in all the times it has been whether you are teaching, suppose you are a teacher you must while you are planning a lecture while you while you are writing something you must see that it benefits the person on the other side, I mean your readers. So, in order to make something good, you must create a sort of tendency so that it benefits your readers and how can it become so? There are so many things as I said the first is whatever document you are going to write my dear friends, you actually have to be very brief who has got the time today to read your long document. Who has actually got the patience, who has got actually a lot of persistence to continue, unless and until your writing is very involving no one will be induced to read that.So, what you should do is, you should try to provide more information in less words; it has already been said that brevity is the soul of wit. To put it into other words you must try to make your document concise; I mean short and how can you do that. Because you know when you are going to write a very long sentence or a very long paragraph, people actually get disinterested very soon. Nowadays, if people are lacking in something it is patience no one has got the patience times have changed my dear friends and you must also change yourself with the changing times. So, what must be achieved is brevity when you are going to write. Here are some examples I have not only provided some examples but I am actually trying to show you how these long sentences can be made effective by making it short without any loss of meaning. Look at the first sentence, sesquipedalian sentences and paragraphs most often act as impediments to the writers intended meaning. You will find the sentences not only long, but the choice of words also is very difficult very complicated. Language is a game of complexities and complications, but language is also a game of creating ease and satisfaction. All you can do is, you can revise it and write a sentence without any loss of meaning by saying long sentences and paragraphs hamper the writers intended meaning. So, if you write like this my dear friend, nobody will say that your writing is difficult everyone will feel better with this sort of writing. You can also have a look at the other sentence I have given four or five sentence I am going to read one or two rest you can yourself read and you can understand. The present course on writing is designed to address the issues of functional writing for those aspiring young professionals who plan to earn their livelihood in corporate sector. Now, see, I have written a long sentence but then what actually I mean by this long sentence is nothing more than what I say in the revised version. If you simply cut the sentence, if you make the sentence short and go for the short expressions because at times you will find that there are many expressions which are just repetitions and which are needless. If I say the present course on writing is designed for corporate professionals you understand the meaning, do not you understand my dear friends you understand the meaning even when I make a sentence as short as anything like this. Now, let us also have a look at the other sentence, there are many words that are useless that can be eliminated through revision that is carefully done through revision that is carefully done. Now here, you can simply because here you find that the sentence is not only long but some of the words are very difficult. So, you have actually to make your sentence start with a verb when you start with a verb sentence becomes more fresh sentence becomes more effective revise carefully to delete the use of unnecessary words that is what I exactly meant. And this is why what I say is, in order to make your document to become readable all you need to do is you need to make it brief, you need to make it to the point. Otherwise what will happen you will actually confuse the readers and not only will you confuse the readers you will actually impose upon your readers so many words which actually mean, but at the same time tired the mind of the readers. Next is you also need to achieve clarity and how can you get clarity? Because clarity in any document clarity about the piece of information all you know that you actually want to convince your readers or you want to explain, you want to describe, you want to instruct, you also want to tell advise whatsoever, but then if the entire matter is not clear what will happen?Lack of clarity about the aim of writing defeats the purpose of writing. So, if you are not if you are not sure about sure of the clarity, then naturally the document will not become readable, the document will actually be very confusing. So, what can be done in order to achieve this effect? Unnecessary use of indirect language, sometimes many people have got a fancy for using big expressions, big phrases, words that sound high words that are very pleasing to ears. But when you come to know its meaning it is very difficult also because you do not know the meaning. So, how to know the meaning and as I have been saying that no reader always sits with a dictionary or a thesaurus my dear friend. So, as writers what you must do is, you must intend to express and not to impress. So, expression is more important but expression in such a manner that it is not only expression, but it is actually the expression of meaning. For example, here in the sentence that I have taken for you, the apathy of the masses towards forest conservation has initiated a spree of discussions. Now, you will find here the message is not clear, why? Because, there are so many words which are written which are not only about discussions, but they are also about difficult words. People’s indifference towards forest conservation has given rise to many discussions. So, if you plan like this I think your written document will become more important will become clear. In order to make your written document effective, you must go by you must adapt the formula which is called KISS; which means Keep it Simple and Short there are so many examples given here which will help you. Sometimes what people do is, they actually load their sentences with unnecessary noun clusters, they actually create a noun effect. And the best one my dear friends is to bring or to create your sentences in such a manner that what you really want to say is expressed in the very first instance. For example, here you can have a look at the first sentence.It is our suggestion that you do not attempt to move forward until you seek and obtain approval of the plan from the team leader prior to beginning the project. You may tell me that all these words which have been used are very easy. Then where is the problem? My dear friends, the problem is not only with the words the problem is actually the length of the sentence. So, by the time a person goes to the end of the sentence he forgets what the sentence means. So, it is better and now what we can do is, we can actually we can start with a verb. For example, we suggest that you should seek prior approval of the plan before undertaking the project and the sentence becomes very meaningful. So, always remember this KISS formula, which says keep your matter always simple, keep your matter short and simple keep it simple and short. You can take the other example also which is here at the in the last sentence. You can read it at your own leisure as well as at your own pleasure and will have many such opportunities where we can talk about. But then, what actually remains to be discussed importantly is, to bring unity, coherence and order as we talked about when we were talking about the paragraph from Satyajit Rays on film making. Here you can also find how to achieve unity coherence and order when you start a sentence. And if you start a sentence in one tense, please continue with the tense mood and voice.The beginning body and bottom line by bottom line I mean conclusion requires proper connection. So, suppose somebody started a sentence in one tense, one mood and one voice and the next sentence is in a different voice in a different tense. So, what will happen? There will be no proper connection. So, in order to maintain coherence what you need to do is, you actually can ensure coherence by ensuring controlling ideas; I mean single controlling ideas not only in a sentence. But in a paragraph that is why the rules for paragraph formation is that in one paragraph you have to talk only about one idea and only then your paragraph will become effective. And that is why you will find that the paragraphs are just transitions they actually provide relief to the eyes of the readers. Now, you can find here one paragraph which I have taken from an from one website, which says India’s rich natural landscape has long been the refuge of birds all over the world. And there is no better way to enjoy the vibrant bird culture of India than by undertaking bird watching tours in India. My dear friends, you will find the writer in order to make his reader glued to this paragraph uses not only the simple language, but he provides a sort of coherence. He also provides a sort of order as he says such tours he also provides a sort of connection between one sentence. And the other by saying such tours will allow you to enjoy the magnificent landscapes, where these birds make their dwelling as well as the sights and sounds of the birds themselves.Now, keeping that into consideration, you can also think about how to order. Because when you are going for a paragraph or when you are going for a sentence you need to understand that your sentence should be based on a sort of ordering. Unless and until that order is the reader will not be induced reader cannot be induced into reading your document. So, this ordering can either be chronological by chronology I mean it can be made into a sequence of time, it also can be spacial, it can it can also explain you know the space, it can also follow one ordering as to from general to particular and from the particular to the vice versa. When you need to write a paper when you need to write a report you will find when you are explaining either you start with the conclusion and then you go to the introduction or you are following introduction. And then you are discussing and then you are going to the conclusion and then you are going to the recommendation we shall discuss these things when we go to the section and report writing and all. And then you can also create your sentences or your paragraph on the basis of comparison contrast as well as cause and effect. Here given below is a sentence which has been written in a very chronological way and you will find the reader is kept glued to it when the writer says July and august this year the main monsoon months where the wettest India has seen in 25 years. And then he says countrywide rainfall in two months has been 10 percent above normal and the highest rather since 1994 met records reveal. So, when you provide this logical ordering next the next thing is, language and as I have been saying about language that you should not sacrifice your language my dear friends. Because, language plays a major role when you are writing any documents and when you are going to write any documents see to it that the language should not be imposing the language should not tire the mind of the readers having said. All this you should keep one thing in mind that as a writer of any specific documents.My dear friends, what is the most important apart from all these things is to ensure grammatical correctness ah. Since we are having a paucity of time you can yourself read this slide and can practice; we shall be discussing further in the days to come when we shall be talking about the style of a particular document, when we reach that section. Till then keep thinking, keep revising, keep planning to write better and effective documents. Thank you very much, have a nice day.