CTE 3060 Chapter 4: ch 4 three main ideas

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Chapter 4Technical Communication Style
Write in the active voice
o Emphasizes the performer of the action rather than the receiver
o Helps readers grasp ideas easily because it puts the performer of the action first
o Subject acts=verb in active voice (I did …)
o Subject acted upon=verb is passive (… by me)
o Changing passive to active
Move person acting out of a prepositional phrase
Supply a subject
Substitute an active verb for a passive one
o Only use the passive when it is accurate which is to show that a situation is
typical or usual or to avoid an accusation.
Write 12-15 word sentences
o Shorter or longer sentences are harder to read because they become too simple or
too complicated
o Combine two short sentences into one longer one
o Short sentences are better to read especially when the main idea is introduced
immediately.
Change tone by changing word choice
o 4 tones: forceful, passive, personal, and impersonal
o Forceful
Use active voice
Use the subject-verb-object structure
Do not use “weasel words” (possibly, maybe, perhaps)
Use imperatives
Clearly indicate that you are the responsible agent
o Passive
Avoid imperatives
Use the passive voice
Use “weasel words” (very, several people, quite, fairly)
Use longer sentences
Don’t explicitly take responsibility
o Personal
Use the active voice
Use first names
Use personal pronouns
Use short sentences
Use contractions
Direct questions at the reader
o Impersonal
Do not use names, especially first names
Do not use personal pronouns
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