Updated Sep 26, 2013
Presentational and Discursive Considerations
Making Effective Messages
• General Considerations:
Context: environment where the message is interpreted, influences how the messages
Audience: always have to take them into consideration
Purpose: what the point is
Expectations: proper professional language
• Discursive Considerations
Is a discursive approach appropriate for the audience, context and purpose of the
What types of discursive forms are most appropriate in this situation?
What language selections follow the 6 Cs of effective language use?
What language considerations should you make?
• Six C's of Effective Language Use
1 Say what you mean… what you actually mean
2 Don't assume your audience will "get your message"
3 Euphemisms and other vague language is only useful if your purpose is
to leave room for ambiguity
4 Avoid using "big" words for their own sake but…
5 Use words appropriately--a good vocabulary can make your message
1 Sometimes a "big" word can be the best option
1 Never use 10 words when 3 will do
2 Remember Occam's Razor/the Parsimony Principle…
1 --"Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily"
3 Always use the number of words necessary
4 A healthy vocabulary can help you become concise
Concrete (vs. Abstract)
4 Sports Car
5 Classic Sports Car
Colorful (or creative)
1 Adjectives and adverbs exist for a reason 2 Use language tools to make yourself clear and interesting
3 Don't use just for the sake of adding words- make sure they ADD to your
4 Sometimes clever use of words is appropriate sometimes it is not
1 Avoid sexist language
1 The "generic he" is SL- so is the "generic she". AVOID SL.
2 Avoid racist language
3 Avoid homophobic language
4 Know your audience and yourself
5 Think about Burke's T