Incorporating APP into Your Writing
By Minnette Smith, Director of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) at Hodges
Writing a paper or essay can feel like a daunting task. Your ability to take information and craft it into a clear and concise paper may not be your forte, but it is expected of you in order to receive credit for the assignment.
If you are feeling uncertain in your writing capabilities, do not worry, you are not alone. As a teacher of English and the director of Hodges University’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), I have a passion for teaching and writing, and through the university’s Writing in the Disciplines initiative, we provide mentoring and support to help you write effectively within your area of study.
To help you on your path to becoming a better writer, allow me to provide you with a useful acronym to help you remember three key elements a writer should always remember: APP – Audience, Purpose and Professionalism.
Audience and Purpose: The Dynamic Duo
While audience and purpose are two separate elements of writing, they are at the same time so deeply intertwined it is difficult to discuss one without the other. The audience is to whom you are writing, and the purpose is the reason you are writing. While the definitions seem straightforward, they can often be elusive even to the author if she/he does not take the time to think about them in advance.
The audience for whom you are writing will dictate the tone and framework in which you intend to set out your purpose. If you misplace your audience, quite often the value of your product has diminished.
Example: If my purpose is to argue that United States citizens over a certain age should not be permitted to drive, while my claims may remain the same, the justification and tone I use will be very different if my audience is under the stated age of my claim versus if my audience is over the stated age of my claim. My claims may be insurance costs, commuting frustrations and overall road safety. On one hand, if my audience is under the stated age of my claim, my tone may have a bit of humor to it, as I can assume some common frustrations that my audience and I may share. On the other hand, if my audience is over the stated age of my claim, my tone may be one of concern and protection. My argument would rest on the common ground that we may share.
Example: I may acknowledge the challenges an older United States citizen may have when they need to conduct day-to-day activities such as going to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, etc. Once the acknowledgement has taken place, I would offer alternatives to their concerns with the purpose of winning them over to my position.
Another aspect of winning your audience over is to keep your writing succinct, clear and free of technical errors. In this day and age of blogging, tweeting, face-booking, and probably a myriad of other outlets that involve writing as your first impression, it is critical that you identify professionalism as the only option. Often the only impression your audience has of you is what you provide in writing. If your work contains typos, grammatical errors and emoji’s, this is a representation of your professionalism.
We all need a second opinion to make us better and stronger. While you may not always have the time to ask someone else to review your work, at the least, write a draft, review your work and make corrections as needed. Use this checklist to review your writing before publication or submission to your instructors:
Checklist before Submitting Written Work:
- Do not submit the first draft of any writing.
- Follow the writing guidelines.
- Read your work aloud.
- Then, have someone else read your work.
- If there are confusing elements that cause readers to falter, those are the words and phrases that need to be revised, or, in some cases, omitted.
- Run spell check, but do not solely rely on this tool to find grammar and spelling errors.
Writing Resources available through the QEP:
Student Writing Workshops: http://library.hodges.edu/writing/students
Review this link on the Hodges University Library website under “Writing Resources” to view workshops on how to write a research paper, understanding assignment guidelines and revising your work.
Guides to Writing
These are available on the Hodges University Library website under “Writing Resources,” and corresponding links are the workforce-specific guides to writing for the Johnson School of Business (JSoB) and Fisher School of Technology (FSoT). They include guideline and writing tips for the types of writing you will not only encounter in your various courses in these schools, but they are also types of writing you will encounter in the workforce as you move beyond your degree.
JSoB Guide to Writing: http://library.hodges.edu/writing/jsob
FSoT Guide to Writing: http://library.hodges.edu/writing/fsot