By Lee Odell, Richard Vacca, Renee Hobbs, Judith L. Irvin, John E. Warriner
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Extra resources for Elements of Language: First Course
Decide how you might make these ideas clear to a beginner. YOUR TURN your voice, or the sound of your writing, is clear and straightforward. Use vocabulary that your audience will understand, and avoid humor that may not come across in writing. Writing for a Specific Audience Ǡ STEP 1 Ask yourself: ■ Who is my audience? ■ T I P Be sure that Thinking About Your Audience and Purpose With your topic in mind, consider the audience for your “how-to” paper and the purpose for which you are writing it.
In this workshop you will write instructions that tell how to do something. You will also learn how to ■ map the sequence of your activity ■ identify relevant and irrelevant details ■ use transitional phrases ■ use commas after introductory phrases Prewriting Choose a Topic How to . . What? You know how to do so many things. To write your instructions, however, you need to choose just one thing to explain. Instructions can either tell how to make something or how to do something. For example, a recipe for banana bread tells how to make something, while a Web site on dog training tells how to do something.
Showing rather than telling allows your style, the way you express ideas, to come through. Showing lets the reader see through your eyes and hear your voice, which indicates your attitude toward the event. There are several ways to show an event rather than tell it. Show by adding ■ dialogue—actual words of the people involved in the events ■ precise words—strong verbs, vivid adjectives, precise nouns You can also show details through figures of speech, expressions that describe one thing in terms of another.