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Organizing your writing ......

Organization is a communication tool .
Organization is for the reader ..
Techniques of organizing .......
Patterns of paragraph order .

The logical pattern ......
The psychological pattern

The chronological pattern ...
It's a matter of judgment ..............
Writing (or dictating) the communication ..

Try dictating .......
While you write or dictate .......

A bit of counsel ......
Evaluating (appraising) the writing ......

Appraising is reviewing, not editing ......
Benefits of appraising ....
On-the-job vs. workshop appraisals .....

Techniques for appraising .............
Revising or rewriting .....

Let's define terms .....
Why edit? .......
Tips on editing ...
What to rewrite ...

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Unit 3–The Language of Writing.....

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36-50

Language principles—an overview

verview ............

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For clarity ...................................

Use everyday words ..........
Avoid “COIK” language and technical terms
Use specific words ...

Use words economically.
For conciseness ...................

Reduce weighty sentence parts .....
Shorten prepositional phrases .....
Avoid doublets ................
Avoid overuse of the passive voice ....

Avoid roundabout construction ........
For appropriate tone .....................

Write for your reader ............
Choose words the reader will understand .....
Be human .....

Keep on an even keel .....

Handle with care ................. What our neighbors are doing ..............

Pago 46 46

Unit 4-Effective paragraphs ............................ 50-64

Getting started—the opening paragraph .....

Identify the incoming correspondence ....
Contribute something to the message
Set the tone .......
Look for the silver lining .............
Don't waste time .....

Checklist for the opening paragraph ......
Paragraph development ....
Paragraph length ........

Be careful
Paragraph linkage ......

Connectives .......
The art of stopping—the closing paragraph ....

A summary ..........
No sugar paragraphs ....................
A word of warning ....

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Sentence principles ............
Avoid the too-full sentence ...

When is a sentence too long? .
Use more periods ...,
Put qualifying information into another sentence
Itemize ... ...........................
Economize on words .............

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What we gain ....

How to compress ..
Keep related words together ....

Subjects and verbs ....
Verbs and objects ..........

Modifiers and referents .......
Put parallel ideas in parallel form..

The guiding principle ....
Match like forms of words ......
Match like groups of words ..
Match larger units ...........

Signals for similarity
Link your ideas

The tying words ....
Words that show relationship ....
Pitfalls ..
Other links .......

Punctuation ......
Punctuate for meaning ..........

The modern way .............
How we use punctuation marks ....
Four main rules ...

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Unit 6–And now what? ......

...............93-102 “Courtesy in Correspondence” ........................... 94

Bibliography ..........

... 103-106 Introduction

Why Writing Workshops?

Our communication problem

More and more, we are having to rely on written communications to carry out our internal operations and to help taxpayers understand and comply with the tax laws. If these written communications are to do the job expected of them, they must be as complete, clear, and uncomplicated as we can make them.

Many of our letters and other written communications measure up to these standards. But far too many do a better job of recording information than of communicating it. They result in corrected memorandums, reports and procedures and costly repeat correspondence. Worse, they fall short of giving taxpayers the kind of service and consideration we want them to have.

The aim of the workshops is to help everyone involved in the writing process—managers, supervisors, and professional employees—deal with this communication problem; agree on standards to be used in writing and reviewing; and increase their confidence and skill in turning out documents that meet those standards.

In a larger sense, the workshops represent still another way the Service is tackling the many-faceted problem of:

• giving taxpayers better and more courteous service

• using manpower resources more effectively
• helping employees develop skills they need to reach their career

goals

What kind of course is this?

First, what it is not. It is not a course in English grammar aimed mainly at helping you write documents that meet exacting grammatical standards. For writing may be correct—may obey all the rules of grammar—and still fall short of accomplishing its purpose. It is not a crash program that results in instant writing improvement. The improvement you begin in the writing workshop must be continued back on the job. Indeed, that's where the hard work must be done.

Rather, it is a course aimed at helping you do a better job of communicating with another person when you have to rely on the written instead of the spoken word.

Since the emphasis is on communicating effectively, writing (the message itself) is not dealt with in isolation. It is considered in terms of who gets it and what it is expected to accomplishThe Receiver and The Purpose.

How the course is taught

Since this is a workshop course, lectures are kept to a minimum. Most of the time is devoted to activities. The course, and each session, has three main ingredients: Theory – the theory (concepts) behind the principles and prac

tices taught Practice – purposeful practice in applying these principles (not

rules) Criticism – criticism (appraisal) of IRS letters, memorandums,

reports, etc., and of paragraphs and sentences ex

cerpted from them All three are essential. The last two are particularly important. For they require the experienced writer (1) to identify those language and work habits he has developed over the years which stand in the way of effective communication and (2) to start the job of replacing them with more effective habits. Practice on actual letters and memorandums, taken from the files of offices around the country, gives him a chance to apply the principles to the kind of writing he has to do back on the job.

You may want to read pages 7, 8, and 9 of Effective Revenue Writing 2; there the author, Dr. Linton, does an excellent job of explaining the reason for this practical approach to improving writing skill.

About the Study Guide

The Study Guide contains no startling breakthroughs or "firsts” in how to improve writing. In it you will find no magic tricks to improve your writing overnight. Nor will you find in it as comprehensive a coverage of the subject of writing as can be found in the books on writing now in the bookstores and libraries. (See Bibliography.)

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