Three course dates: 11-13 November, 13-15 November and 18-20 November 2013.
Registration is closed.
The course is given by Accent Språkservice AB.
Course instructor: Hossein Ordoubadian
Place: Room "Guanine", Department of Molecular Biology, NUS-area
In this course, you learn how native English speakers read so you can diagnose the readability of your own writing. After learning how to identify how your writing may be difficult for native English speakers to follow, you apply several techniques to improve the readability of your writing. The focus of the workshop is on principles rather than rules; very little technical language is used. About ten new concepts will be introduced. We will only focus on punctuation that affects readability. Of course, if you have specific questions, we will address them.
There are four main goals of the course:
1. To understand the principles (not rules) of good writing.
2. To identify in your own writing where you ignore these principles. Remember they are only guidelines and at times they should be ignored
3. To revise your writing using these principles and specific strategies.
4. To use these revisions to help you clarify your own understanding of the material.
First, you will analyze examples of good writing and examples of less-than-good writing. Next, you will apply the principles we derive from these examples to analyze and revise your own writing. By the end of the course, you will be able to use the following guidelines to help improve your writing:
1. Know the difference between grammatical rules and folklore/myth.
2. Use concrete characters as subjects of your sentences.
3. Use concrete verbs to describe their actions (active voice) and use passive voice strategically.
4. Begin sentences with familiar/simple/old information.
5. Begin sentences in your paragraphs with consistent subjects/characters and use these subjects/characters
(and their derivatives) throughout your paragraphs, sections, and thesis/report/article to create consistent topic strings.
6. Get to the main verb of each clause as quickly as possible:
a. Avoid long introductory phrases and clauses
b. Avoid long abstract subjects
c. Avoid interrupting the subject-verb connection
7. Move unfamiliar/complex/old information to the end of a sentence.
8. Be concise:
a. Cut compound prepositions, meaningless words, unnecessary repeated words, and obvious implications.
b. Change phrases to one or two words. Cut adjective, adverb, and noun clauses to other structures
(one word adjectives and adverbs; prepositional, infinitive, and participle phrases).
c. Use affirmative sentences rather than negative sentences (no, not, etc.).
9. Control Sprawl
a. Avoid using more than two subordinate clauses per sentence. One per sentence is even better.
b. Extend sentences using resumptive, summative, and free modifiers
c. Extend sentences using subordination
d. Don’t confuse coordination with subordination
e. Use appositives to combine sentences and add detail
f. Use an average of 25 words per sentence - use a short sentence for transition or emphasis.
g. Tabulate complex information using a colon or dash
h. Avoid gaps between similar grammatical structures
10. Strategic repetition of words, derivatives of previous words, and transition words and phrases to create
11. Use punctuation and phrase placement to control stress and emphasis.
12. Remember these are only guidelines!
By using these guidelines, you will learn how to analyze, diagnose, and revise your sentences and paragraphs so readers judge your writing as intelligent and worthy of their consideration.