In this lecture we will learn about:
•Lack of a Well-Defined Purpose
•Poorly Analyzed Structure
•Lack of Coincidence
•Writing Style Problems
•Mechanical development of the topic
•Quality of the manuscript
•Writer’s block is what we call the experience of getting
stuck while writing.
•Although the results are the same, there are many sources
of writer’s block: lack of
information, lack of a well-defined purpose, poor knowledge
of the audience, lack of
Lack of Information:
•If it is the result of poor research, then you will have to
stop writing and do more information
•If you find yourself doing this often, you might correctly
guess that you have a problem in
defining your communication purpose.
Lack of a Well-Defined Purpose:
•A poorly defined purpose of your communication will
inevitably make writing more difficult,
and may block it altogether.
•Sometimes you will experience this as a lack of
information; often you will notice it as
paragraphs, sections, or entire reports or papers that shift
topic in the middle.
•For any case of poorly defined purpose, the solution is the
•Develop a three-part purpose statement for the
communication, and develop an outline of
topics sentences based on the purpose statements.
Poorly Analyzed Audience:
•Audience analysis that is performed poorly or not at all
can be the source of writer’s block.
•At such times you find yourself staring at the video
display screen wondering who is going
to read your report and what on earth they want from it.
Lack of Confidence:
•A lack of confidence in your abilities as a writer is a
common source of writer’s block, and it
is usually self-fulfilling.
•If you do not think you can communicate effectively, you
will not be able to
•Practice your systematic approaches of writing problems is
the solution to this problem.
•Organizational problems are discovered during the editing
•Finding and fixing these problems is what makes editing
•If they are not fixed, readers experience organization
problems as complete breakdowns in
•Accurate punctuation does not ensure accurate
communication, but accurate
communication is tremendously enhanced by accurate
•Take the following punctuation test, without first looking
at the correct version which follows,
to see how well you know punctuation.
•The test focuses on the most common punctuation problems in
–Professor Bashir wrote The Future of Artificial
Intelligence he has become well known as a
–Professor Bashir wrote “The Future of Artificial
Intelligence”; he has become well known as
•Readability is a buzz word with which most of us are
•Much has been said about it, and there are numerous
formulas which supposedly test it.
•Readability is the likelihood that a project audience will
be able to read and comprehend a
piece of documentation.
Gunning’s Fog Index:
•This is a simple formula aimed at locating the audience on
a grade scale which is
supposedly based on their reading abilities.
–Select a part of the text which is approximately 100 words
long, to the nearest period.
Introductions, leads, and conclusions usually exhibit
slightly different communication
techniques which will skew the accuracy of this test.
–Count the number of sentences in the selected text.
–Determine the average length of sentences by dividing the
number of words in the text by
the number of sentences.
–Count the number of words which have three or more
syllables. But do not
which are capitalized, words which have three syllables
because prefixes or suffixes have
been added, or words which are combinations of one- or
–Add the number for the average sentence length to the
number of three-syllable words in
–Multiply this sum by .04.
–The result is the Fog Index. If you place it on a scale of
1-20, you will be able to have the
approximate reading level required to understand the text.
Writing Style Problems:
•Style is a result of sentence structure.
•Although you might not think so, sentence structure is
simple and easy to understand.
•There are four basic types of sentences:
–Subject-verb sentences (SV)
The programmer (S) quit (V).
–Subject-verb-object sentences (SVO)
The programmer (S) kicked the terminal (O)–Subject-linking
verb – complement sentence
The programmer (S) felt (LV) sick (C)
–Subject-verb-indirect object – object(SVIO)
The programmer (S) gave (V) the engineer (IO) a headache
How to Edit Your Work:
•This lecture will present some ways that writers can assess
the quality of their work and the
work of others.
•Good editing divides the task of improving a document into
a limited number of areas
–Mechanical development of the topic
–Quality of the manuscript
Mechanical Development of the Topic:
•Look to see if there is transition between paragraphs, even
•Transition is what links the ideas together.
•Transition can be accomplished in three ways:
–The writer might repeat an important word in two adjoining
paragraphs or sentences.
–Structure can accomplish transition.
–Transitional words and phrases can be used to establish
links between ideas in an obvious
way, such as “Finally”
•If you wish to sell an idea or a product, then the style
must be persuasive.
•If you wish to convey information only, such as in a report
to superiors, then the style
should appear to be passively objective.
Quality of the Manuscript