Week Two Dr. Stephen Ogden LIBS 7001 1 Orwell-Ogdens Rules for Immediate Written Accomplishment Ogden: If a word is not necessary for grammar or meaning, always cut it out Orwell (Politics & the English Language): (i) Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. (ii) Never us a long word where a short one will do. (iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. (iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active. (v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
(vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. Ladder of Critical Reading Right Way versus 1. Read 2. Analyse (re-read with notation) 3. Describe 4. Evaluate (compare) Against examples &/or standards. 5. Judge Wrong Way
1. Read (or not!) 2. Judge (Praise or Damn) Critical Reading: Critique & Evaluate Does the main point agree with your knowledge & experience? (not with just your opinion.) Does evidence support claims made? Are the ideas reasonable? Is there bias or bigotry? Is there a case of Kaus Rule of Journalism (Always generalise wildly from personal experience.) Is the essay in a dialectic with another work or social, political, or ideological voice? Course Method I will adhere very reliably and directly to: the Course Outline
the Weekly Guide the two Course Texts SSW + Course reader This will allow you to: very directly prepare for the weeks lecture Very directly review the lecture material Lecture slides will: Add enlightening material Recast terms & concepts into practical, plain-language, real-world form. 5 Double-Aspect of the Course The course has two, complementary, sides. 1. How to Write Effectively
2. How to Read Effectively Knowing effective (sp) writing methods creates the ability to effectively read and analyse writing. Knowing effective reading & analytical methods creates the ability to effectively write. A Natural pairing: (a.) every written work has a writer; (b.) every writer wants an audience (even if it is himself) 6 Aristotle (4th C. BC): Founder of Scientific Method Aristotles teacher Plato studied why things are. Search for perfection
Aristotle himself instead looked at how things are. 1. What is the purpose of this? 2. How does it operate best? Pragmatic, not Ideal 7 Aristotles Universal Relevance (Alexander the Greats teacher) The Physics The Politics The Ethics (x3)
The Mechanics The Soul The Universe The Rhetoric On Animals On Logic The Poetics That Book Filed Beside The Physics = The Metaphysics.
The Poetics: Literature is that which pleases and sustains interest of the audience. Has: Mimesis: fundamental part of human nature, from our desire to know. I.e. homo sapiens. Hamartia: injury committed unknowingly. Catharsis: reordering of the emotions. Peripateia: reversal of circumstance Anagnorisis: recognition The 3 Unities: Place, Time, Action 8 Aristotle: writing is Technea science with order & rules. Middle-Ages through to (British) present: Trivium
Grammar: how words work Rhetoric: how to arrange words to get them to do what you want. Dialectic: how ideas are arranged in writing Thus, Good Writing is judged essentially by its EFFECTIVENESS Cf: With Quadrivium = Seven Liberal Arts. 9 Aristotle: Teleology Aristotle kept focus on Telos: Gr.=Ends Colloquial = goals, designs, purpose Aristotle: What is the purpose of this writing or reading project? Us:
[Formal] What to I want to accomplish with this writing or reading project? [Informal] Whats in it for me? 10 Some General Purposes 1. To Inform: some situations, to demonstrate your understanding (our 2sided aspect) 2. To Persuade: Rhetoric 3. To Express Oneself: Self expression includes display ones mastery of subject Impose ones Will 4. To Entertain A valuable aspect or component of many type of writing 11
Some General Purposes, cont The various purposes can be (often are) mixed. What are some types of writing purposes (types of writing) suitable to the various types? What are some sub-categories of each? Is an apology self-expression? 12 Specific Purposes 1. Define your audience Know your audience exhaustively! An Excellence point 2. Select salient details 3. Choice of language & diction
4. Correct approach: How do I pitch this? What appeal do I use? 13 Specific Purpose: Audience Remember: Job 1 is Affect the reader So, purpose & audience are united Writing is communication that lacks body language & social cues. Explains the popularity of Emoticons ;--) Never write anything online you dont want to see on the front page of the NYT. So, develop an audience profile 14 Specific Purpose: Audience, cont Types of audience are often obvious, but can be
subtle: Real audience vs apparent audience A technical document may be to intimidate colleagues A Press Release may be for Shareholders Institutional vs Conventional the historical culture of the shop, office, department, organisation may not be the same as fresh conventions or of sub-cultures (ethnic, old-school, club, etc.) Awareness of the available audiences is Power 15 Audience: Develop a Profile 1. 2. 3.
Education type and level Economic status (esp. outside North America) Ethnic, political, sexual, age, (other) profile Why will this be read? (Readers position) Attitudes, needs, expectations, prejudices Expected (formal) vs Unexpected (conceivable) responses Knowledge level on the topic 16 Audience Profile: discourse community 1. 2. 3. Education type and level
Economic status (esp. outside North America) Ethnic, political, sexual, age, (other) profile Major concerns? Cultural values?includes expectations Cultural conventions? Beyond just the reading itself. Salutation? Reciprocities? Common works read?
17 Levels of Diction Use common sense. Err on the side of formality in any professional setting Formal: 3rd Person one, no slang, OED, no contractions (I am), respectful. Informal: contractions, some slang, light occasional humour. Mixed: only with familiarity & certain knowledge Technical: a species of formal w. added jargon. Colloquial or Slangy. Avoid. Always potential trouble. Again, purposeaudience combination 18 Qualities of Good Writing
Fresh Thinking: easy to overdo safety first: least said soonest mended. add personal insights or perception Sense of Style: even easier to overdo. communicate rather than impress clarity is the best style Powerful and vivid word-choices are the most effective stylistic device. OED. Effective Organisation: The rhetorical structure always works. 19
Ethical Writing Plagiarise here at your peril Familiarise with BCIT policy Same out there. Cheating is self-defeating. Be accurate Be clear Be honest (esp. with self-representation) Be fairly-intentioned Be free of deliberate omission. Supressio veri and Suggestio falsi 20 Strategies for Planning & Drafting Planners vs Explorers: nosce te ipsum! Understand the task (purpose again.) Get help: documents, examples, other people Laser in on a TOPIC: Impossible to be too simple. Use personal experience and interests
Freewrite: just write for five minutes. Pick out the best. Brainstorm: list bullet-point ideas, words, sentences, fragments, etc. Then Cluster or Branch these. Pick out the best. 21 Strategies for Planning & Drafting: Ask Questions
W.W.W.W.W.? Narration: the backsto Description Illustration: famous cases Process: how to use Analysis: parts Functional Analysis: usefulness Causal: history Classification: the diff. kinds Definition: formal Argument: why use this? Gather Information Brainstorm Read w. notation Talk: email, phone, visit Organise
Key points Cicero rhetorical form Flexible notes system 22 Strategies for Planning & Drafting: Ask Questions cont Aristotles Four Causes: Material cause: the physical properties involved. Formal cause: the aggregate of underlying properties which amount to its unique identity. Efficient cause: the initial motion or action which began the event.
Final cause: the event's function or purpose -- its end. Playing Billiards. Material cause is the solid construction of the table, balls, &c.: if the cue ball were tissue and the black jello, the event (the potting of the black) would not take place. Formal cause is the rules of billiards, the shape of the table, cue, rack, and all the other contributing elements that shape and frame -- i.e. that form -- the event. Efficient cause is the mechanics behind the cue hitting the cue ball. Final cause is the reader winning the match and having his universal supremacy at billiards re-affirmed for posterity . Or
something like that. 23 Strategies for Planning & Drafting: Thesis Statement One or two sentences expressing main idea. A general half & a specific half The lack of qualified engineers retards economic recovery. Increased funding for BCIT is essential. Topic + Question T. Engineers & Economic recovery
Q. How to correct? Unity: cant be too simple. Use a single point. Tailored Scope: consider the length of the writing project Your POV: be explict (to yourself) about your own attitude Thesis statement can be changed during review & revision 24 Strategies for Planning & Drafting: First Draft Writers Block. Distractions. Slackness ;--) Just get writing! Dont write your first (thesis or introduction) or
your last (conclusion) paragraphs.until later. Look for the arrangement (next week) Make sure transitional terms & sentences exist But, Therefore, In addition, As I have said Keep a notes pages or (better) note cards. 25
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