Planning a writing task.doc

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  Unit 1 Planning a writing task Authors: Fabiana Elba Azurmendi and ElenaCaixal ManzanoTranslation and adaptation: Marcel Colet 1  Introduction The writing process has three main stages: planning the text, the production of thetext and, finally, the revision and correction. Units 1 and 2 will deal with the planningprocess of an academic writing. These units will help you get acquainted with a seriesof techniques in order to produce new ideas for writing. You will also be introduced tothe main traits of the written English.The objectives of Unit 1 are:  Recognise and discover your main traits as a learner  Select and identify the writing objectives  Generate ideas to write academic texts  Learn the basic traits of the written English  Get used with learning theories2  1. Language and context About the writing process, Cassany (1995) states: “it reminds me of organizing a party [...]. Your pans, dishes, glasses, spoons and casseroles get dirty. You spill the oil onthe floor; you slip and fall [...]. You wish you never thought about doing a party.Finally, the guests arrive and they compliment you for the cooking and you answer:«That’s nothing... It was easy... The oven did all the hard work»”. Studies about the process of writing prove that there are big differences betweenlearners and experts. When writing, learners do not follow any strict order, meanwhile,the experts organise their prose according to the three stages mentioned above:planning, writing and revision. The first stage will be presented below and it embracesall the processes of planning before writing a text. 1.1 Plain language and the traits of the written English  A transparent communication is essential for a good government. Therefore,it is authorities responsibility to make official writing comprehensible –it must not confuse the people, neither using unfamiliar words nor inextricable longsentences. R OBERT  D. E AGLESON The unstoppable globalization has rapidly increased the need of a new communicativeculture: to be allowed to effectively and clearly communicate. Governments lookforward to simplifying the old administrative language, schools prepare their studentsto comprehensibly express opinions and Internet has greatly contributed to increasewritten communication.During the last decades, it has been created several initiatives to help the populationto express coherently and clearly. Among these initiatives, it has to be noted the PlainLanguage Movement, originated in the 1960s and 1970s. This movement wassrcinated by consumers associations of the USA which realised that the citizens have3  the right to completely understand important texts which directly affect them:insurance documents, contracts, laws, sentences, rules, etc. The Plain Language Movement promotes the idea that readability does not meanavoiding language richness, but avoiding the excess of bombastic expressions whichclearly confuses the reader. This is why, according to Cassany (1995), it is importantto bear in mind the following premises:  It uses a proper language (register, vocabulary) for the reader (needs,knowledge) and for the document (theme, objective). For example, thescientific papers include specific terminology and data understandable only toexperts, but manuals of scientific dissemination use plainer vocabulary,accessible for every reader.  It has a rational design which allows to quickly find the importantinformation. Relevant data appears in the parts of the text which the eyesdirectly focus. Footnotes or parenthesis does not contain importantinformation.  It is understood the first time it is read. The writing is not appropriate if thereader stops because he or she cannot understand the syntactic structure.Languages such as Spanish, French or Italian has a strong bureaucratic tradition, thus,these changes are slowly inserted. Public administrations still use bombasticexpressions, write long sentences with digressions and use terminology that isunintelligible for people that do not work in this context. Reflection task 1 Read the following text and find the main problems, such as long sentences,inappropriate structures, etc.: Dear Medicare Beneficiaries:Recent legislation included Medicare+Choice, which will result in changes to theMedicare program. These changes have helped to preserve the financial health of theMedicare trust fund for another 10 years. Importantly, you now have new preventive4

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Sep 22, 2019
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