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Module 05

Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 by Angel

Module 05: Developing an Effective Style
Posted by: Angelita P. Oblianda
Sources: Interactive Technical Writing by P.C. Villamarzo, et al.


          Francis Bacon has said that writing makes you an exact man; Barbara Kroll says writing is a complex and ongoing process. These mean that you cannot just put pen to paper when ideas come to you. You have to follow the steps in writing (see Module 01), because it is a complex process.


What is STYLE ?

         According to Mr. Webster, it is the way in which anything is made , done, written, or spoken. People vary in their styles according to a lot of factors such as intelligence, attitude, education, values, and family background, but, an elegant and effective style in writing may be developed through constant reading and writing. Make a habit of writing down your ideas and never be satisfied with one draft only and have you written work evaluated and edited by your peers. PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE will help you develop your own remarkable style. 

                                         a. choice of words
                                         b. sentence structure
                                         c. ability to adopt to reader's knowledge and language proficiency 


         Write simple and familiar words when you write academic texts like report, abstracts, proposals, feasibility, studies, research papers, case studies and letters. 


         There are four types of sentence according to structures. (see module 04). It is advisable to use simple and familiar words, but it doesn't mean you have to use simple sentences all the time. 

        As much as possible, however, your text must not have too much of the compound -complex type for easy readability. Remember again the principle-- your readers are intelligent, but you have to adopt to their level of proficiency. Besides, your readers might be busy people  and might not have the time to decipher your difficult text.


         No two people are the same. We differ in our capabilities, talents, interest, learning styles, and strategies, and in many other characteristics. On the other hand, when you write, you have to assume that more or less, your readers are similar in some ways. For instance, all of them may be capable of understanding academic texts because of their educational background. Their ability to understand however, may vary in degree. On the other hand, you should also assume that not all of them have the necessary background that will enable them to easily understand your texts. 

         Consider also their ability to understand and use the language of your text. Some may have a superior linguistics proficiency; others may have just a limited language proficiency. This means that the language of the text is neither first nor their second language. Or, it could be possible that only their oral communication skills, not their written communication skills, have been adequately developed. It is imperative, therefore, that you place yourself in the position of your readers as you write. If you can easily understand what you have written; if you can distinguish  the main points from the subordinate ones; if you can easily summarize your text, then, you must have organized and written it well.

         Improving your style necessitates reading scientific and technical journals as often as you can to be acquainted with the words and phrases that are often used in these types of texts. You must also pay attention to how paragraphs are developed and linked to one another.

         Academic texts have three (3) important parts--introduction, body, and conclusion. 

         In the INTRODUCTION, you need to give a brief background on the topic,in the BODY, tell them all about you topic and in the CONCLUSION, simply summarize what you have stated in the body of you paper. 


1. Determine your purpose and your readers.
2. What kind of information would you like to give or share with them.
3. Remember to assume that your readers are intelligent but not as knowledgeable as you are on that particular information.
4. Choose the pattern that is best suited for your purpose of your information.
5. Focus on you language. Adapt your vocabulary and the structure of your sentences to the ability and language proficiency of your readers.

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