Re: Teaching a writing class for co-workers

Subject: Re: Teaching a writing class for co-workers
From: "Ashley Gottfried" <ashley -dot- gottfried -at- Wise -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003 15:35:22 -0500

"Bruce Byfield" <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com <mailto:bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>> wrote
> >
> I think you're already trying to cover more than you can reasonably
> cover in an hour. Any one of these ideas could usefully fill the hour.

Yup, I do believe you are correct. I used to teach 7th grade, so I've got a tendency to over plan lessons :)

> I also wonder whether these are ideas are beyond the scope of what
> you've been asked to do. Yes, these topics matter to professional
> writers, but other people are often not aware of them. Is it possible
> that what's wanted is simply some tips on how to write clearly?

I think this in addition to an overview of the article process will be what I need to focus on. I have no problem completely reworking these articles (and the authors seem to appreciate it as well). However, I do find that the authors have a tendency to assume that the reader is highly technical (which may or may not be the case) and write at too high of a level, or include too few details. When I run across these articles, I really need to follow up with the authors - which can be difficult as they tend to be offsite >50% of the time. As Keith wrote, if I can emphasize what I need from them to create a good article, my editing will be more efficient.

> If so, you could do far worse than discuss the ideas and basic
> guidelines mentioned in George Orwell's "Politics and the English
> Language." Whenever I've had one hour to explain the most important
> aspects of writing, that's what I've done. Have everyone read it, and
> apply it to modern communication, maybe offer some sample exercises or
> examples, and you'll have no trouble filling the hour, and keeping
> everyone interested.
I will have to check out that book.
Ashley Gottfried
Curriculum Technical Writer
Wise Solutions, Inc.


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