Transactional Writing CAPS

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Transactional Writing
This type of writing deals with practical
situations and communicative purposes.
Informal Letter
• This is written to someone you know.
• Informal register is used – you may use
contractions, colloquialisms and jargon.
• The tone will be conversational and informal.
• Adjust register and tone according to
recipient.
• Always be sensible – this will be assessed for
marks!
Sender’s Address
Use the recipient’s first
(street example)
name in the salutation
 No commas or full
UNLESS you are writing to
stops or abbreviations.
someone older!
 Block form!
NO comma after the salutation  Date in full.





Body of the Letter
This includes the intro, body
paragraphs & conclusion.
Intro should be short.
Body must be at least 2
paragraphs and expands on the
reason for the letter.
Conclusion is short and rounds
off the letter.
This is also the part you
include in your word count.
21 Maple Street
Eldoraigne
Centurion
0157
21 September 2012
Dear Anita
xxxxxxx
Introductory Paragraph
xxxxxx
Body Paragraph
xxxxxx
Body Paragraph
xxxxxx
Conclusion
 Use more than
ONE paragraph for
the body.
 Leave a line open
between all the
paragraphs.
xxxxxx
Yours sincerely
Don’t leave a line open between Nathan
the valediction and your name!
No comma after
the valediction
Formal Letter
Business’s Address
 Insert title of recipient
 Insert name of business
 Insert postal address & code
5 Fern Acres
Sender’s Address 21 Oak Avenue
(complex example) Highveld
0157
21 September 2012
The Personnel Manager
ABSA Bank
Topic line
P.O. Box 12345
 Use a one-line
Pretoria
summary.
0001
xxxxxxx
Body of the Letter
 This includes the intro, body
paragraphs & conclusion.
 Intro & conclusion should be
short.
 This is also the part you include
in your word count.
Dear Sir/Madam
xxxxxxx
Reason for writing
xxxxxx
 Underline the
heading.
 Leave lines open
before and after.
Introductory paragraph
xxxxxx
Paragraphs giving further information
xxxxxx
Conclusion
xxxxxx
Always use ‘faithfully’ to
end a formal letter
Yours faithfully
NZeeman
N Zeeman (Mrs)
Sign between ending
and your name
formal Letter – Guidelines
 The tone must always be polite, confident and
respectful – even when complaining.
 The introduction should give a basic outline of the
issue being addressed.
 The body should elaborate with more specific details.
Be specific: What happened? Where and when did
it happen? Who was involved? Why and how did it
happen?
 In the conclusion summarise the addressed issue and
state your expectations (within limits).
formal Letter – Do Nots
 Do not address the person twice.
 Never use contractions – do NOT use don’t!
 Avoid any informal language – always be formal.
 Write out the word and – do not use &
 Do not start with “I am writing this
letter to …”.
 Avoid repetitive writing.
 Do not end with “To conclude / In
conclusion …”.
Formal Letter of Complaint
Give all important details in the intro:
―Business name & location
―Dates
―Names of people involved
Briefly describe the problem.
Always be polite.
Never use threats.
Formal Letter of Apology
Give the important details first:
―Names of people/business involved
―Date of incident
Do not “suck up” – it is disgraceful.
NEVER demand anything!
Do not try to bargain or bribe.
Do not shift the blame – own up and
apologise.
Formal Letter of
Appreciation/Thanks
Firstly, it is vital to appreciate the
person with true sincerity.
You must clearly mention in your letter
how his/her contribution/service has
affected you in a positive way.
Tone of the letter should be formal
and polite.
Wordings of the letter should be such
that the recipient should feel
appreciated and motivated after
reading the letter.
Formal Letter of Application
Keep it brief. You don’t need to give a lot of detail.
Aim for a clear and concise explanation of your
suitability for the job.
Avoid inappropriate language such as slang or
technical jargon. Make use of formal register.
Use brief, informative sentences and short
paragraphs; be confident and positive.
Check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation
carefully. Some employers routinely discard job
applications that contain such mistakes.
Application Letter – Lay-out
INTRO:
 Refer to the position you are applying for.
 Mention where you saw the job advertisement.
BODY:
 Outline current job: focus on advertised job requirements
and current skills/responsibilities. If studying, focus on the
relevant aspects/modules of your course.
 Be clear and positive about why you want the job. Outline
qualities and skills you believe you can bring to the
organisation. NEVER badmouth your current employer.
CONCLUSION:
 Restate you interest in the job, the company and the
challenges ahead.
 Thank the recruiter for taking the time to consider your
application.
Formal Letter
to the Editor
Body of the Letter
 Outline the issue being addressed in
the introduction.
 In the body paragraphs, elaborate
and validate your opinion. Also
suggest plausible solutions if
applicable.
 Summarise the main idea of the
letter in the conclusion and state
your future expectations.
 NEVER ask the editor to fix the
problem or to print your letter.
 Be polite and respectful.
 Use persuasive language to sell your
point of view.
Sender’s address
and full date
12 Blossom Road
Wierda Park
0157
21 September 2012
The Editor
Business’s address
Pretoria News
(use postal address)
P.O. Box 1234
Pretoria
Subject line
0001
xxxxxxx
If you are responding
Sir/Madam
to an article, quote
xxxxxxx
the headline and add
Reason for writing
the publication date.
xxxxxx
Introductory paragraph
xxxxxx
Paragraphs giving further information
xxxxxx
Conclusion
xxxxxx
Yours faithfully
Add a pseudonym if
Concerned Citizen
NZeeman
you do not want your
Nicole Zeeman
name published.
Newspaper Report
This is a report on something newsworthy and must
be unbiased and factual.
Concentrate on the 5WH: who, what, where, when,
why and how.
Always report in PAST tense!
Use the third person narrator.
Make sure that the names of people and places are
spelt correctly.
Use formal register.
Add quotes to give credibility and a personal touch,
but use sparingly.
who is involved; what happened;
when, where and why did it happen;
how did it happen?
The lead
paragraph
and MOST
important
details –
5WH
(30 words)
Additional and essential
information
Less important
information that
may be cut without
losing meaning.
Less
essential
details
More
important
information
about the
topic.
14
Newspaper Report
1. Headline: a short, attention-getting statement about
the event (present tense).
2. Byline: who wrote the story.
3. Lead paragraph: has ALL the 5WH in it (25 – 30
words).
4. Explanation: other facts or details the reader might
want to know after reading the headline and the lead
paragraph. Mention facts in order of descending
importance. This section can also include direct quotes
from witnesses or bystanders.
5. Additional Information: the least important that can
be left out. This part can include information about a
similar event.
Magazine Articles
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Make sure the article is interesting and informative.
Use a short, catchy title.
Introduce the main idea with a strong first paragraph.
The body is logically structured with short paragraphs.
This works like an essay – title, intro, body and
conclusion.
Provide examples to validate your point of view.
Ideas must be summarised in the conclusion – a
judgement may be made if applicable.
The nature of the article will determine the tone and
style.
Write your name at the end.
Editorial Article
It’s the first article in a magazine; it plays an
introductory role and should make the readers
want to read the articles.
As opposed to regular articles, an editorial is more
about opinions than facts. It is meant to express a
specific opinion about a current piece of news.
The editorial can be written to accuse, praise,
explain something or to persuade an audience.
The editorial usually provides the issue’s theme
and refers to some of the feature articles.
Review
A review is a personal response that shows your
overall impression of a piece of art/literature,
restaurant, film or production.
Write in the first person.
Use appropriate adjectives and emotive language.
Always provide evidence/justification for any of
your opinions.
Recommendations are allowed.
This works like an essay – title, intro, body and
conclusion.
Write your name at the end.
Books
Restaurants
Movies
Events
Paintings
Reviews
DVDs or
CDs
Concerts
Plays
Places
Review outline
Review Procedure
Pointers
1. Title/Heading
Suitable to subject, short & catchy
2. Introduction: an outline of
the subject being evaluated.
Short & crisp. State the title and
author/artist of the subject. Make use
of humour – if suitable.
3. Background information
Give details about the subject’s
history, design, features.
4. A short summary of the
subject with supporting
material.
Outline the plot/ content/ service/
feature. Do not give away endings!
5. Crux: give an overall
assessment. Evaluate and
offer an opinion about what is
being assessed.
Be honest & balanced. Support your
opinions with reasons. Aim at
informing & entertaining.
6. Conclusion: wrap it up.
Offer a neat ending. Round off and
summarise your findings.
Draw a pencil
line on the left
Dialogue
Susan: Did you complete your
homework?
Skip a line between speakers
Kathy: (puzzled expression) What
homework? I did not know
we had any!
Susan: We had a dialogue to
write for English, remember?
Only write the speakers’ names in this space.
Dialogue Notes
Write in direct speech but do NOT use inverted
commas.
Remember the pencil margin on the left-hand side
for the speakers’ names.
A colon follows the speakers’ names.
Leave an open line between speakers to ensure
clarity.
Use brackets to provide extra cues, like how to say
or do something but do NOT overuse it.
All writing and grammar rules still apply as this will
be assessed for marks!
Interview
• This is written in dialogue format.
• It follows a question-answer format.
• Questions should follow each other naturally
whenever possible or flow from the answers.
• It must sound convincing!
• The register and tone will depend on who is being
interviewed.
• Never forget that this will be assessed for marks
therefore all grammar and spelling rules apply!
Obituary
 This is a public notice of a death, as will appear in a
newspaper, usually in the form of a short, positive biography
of the deceased.
It must contain the 3Ps:
• Personal – be caring
• Praising – always be nice 
• Pertinent – stick to the facts and get to the point




Language and style is formal – NO abbreviations or slang.
Write in the third person narrator.
Please use euphemisms – passed away instead of died.
Always be respectful.
Obituary
• First paragraph:
– Name, age, residence, cause of death and date of death
of the deceased.
• Second paragraph:
– Date and place of birth and details of education
• Further paragraphs:
– Details of achievements and anecdotes about his/her life
• Paragraph close to conclusion:
– Details of the members of the deceased family still living
• Last paragraph:
– Information about the funeral (Date, time, place)
Formal Report
 This is a summary of an issue that has been
investigated and must be objectively presented.
 After info has been collected and summarised,
recommendations are made and conclusions drawn.
 A report is formal and brief and follows a specific
format.
 Using the passive voice helps to make the register
more formal.
 Avoid emotional language!
 Write in the 3rd person narrator.
Title of report
For Attention: who reads this?
All headings
are underlined. Terms of reference: who requested this and what was
These may be
No lines are left requested?
Procedure:
written in point or
open before
• Logical steps of investigation.
paragraph form.
the end.
• How was the data gathered, who was consulted and
what was done with the findings?
Findings:
Use 3rd person
• What was the outcome from the research process?
narrator and
formal register. • Focus on the discovered facts.
Conclusion: Present a summary of the findings in the form
The passive
of a paragraph.
voice sounds
Recommendations:
more
• What can be done?
objective.
• Written in bullet format.
xxxxxx
26 March 2013
RZeeman
R. Zeeman
Personnel Manager
Leave open a line after recommendations
and write the date in full.
Sign and print your name underneath.
Under your name write your job title.
Remember the 4 Cs:
Completeness: nothing is left out.
Correctness: language and information
are free of mistakes.
Conciseness: report is to the point.
Clarity: sentences are kept simple and
clear.
Agenda and Minutes
 An agenda is a numbered summary of the contents
that will be discussed in a meeting.
 It should be circulated a few days before the meeting
to ensure that all discussion points are clear and can
be amended if necessary.
 The minutes of a meeting is a formal record of all the
decisions taken during the meeting.
 The purpose is to ensure that there can be no
discrepancies over who attended, what was
discussed and what was decided.
Suthies Mental Health Task Force
10 March 2009, 10:00-12:00
Agenda
1.
Welcome
2.1 Approval of minutes,
agenda, and old business
2.2 Matters Arising
3.1 Identification of possible
learners with mental
problems
3.2 Suggestions of teachers to
work with these learners
4.
General
5.
Next meeting and adjourn
Name of meeting at
the top
Date and Time
Include this for any
matters that can be
added to the minutes
of the previous
meeting
Number all items on the
agenda for easy reference
This is for everything
else that will crop up
during the meeting
Minutes of Meeting: Suthies Mental Health Task Force
10 March 2009, 10:00-12:00
1. Welcome
Present: Hard Atwork, Crazy Person, Doom N. Gloom, Multe Kultural, Will Boring
Apologies: Firan Brimstone, Nicen Tuff
2.1 Approval of minutes, agenda, and old business
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and signed as correct.
2.2 Matters Arising
None.
3.1 Identification of possible learners with mental problems
Crazy Person was elected to research the topic of mental problems and to
gather information on mental problem indicators.
3.2 Suggestions of teachers to work with these learners
Doom N. Gloom and Nicen Tuff were nominated.
4. General
Multe Kultural was appointed as Mentor.
5. Next meeting
The next meeting was scheduled for 20 March 2009, 12:00 – 14:00
CV and Covering Letter
A Curriculum – Vitae is an in-depth document that can be laid out
over two or more pages and it contains a high level of detail about
your achievements, a great deal more than just a career biography
A CV will contain the following information:
Your personal information (Name, surname,
number, address etc.)
Your educational results and institutions
attended
Qualifications that you have obtained
Work experience
Your interests and achievements
Your skills
References
Note: There is no
set format for a CV,
so what you include
is up to you.
Example of a CV
Covering Letter
Cover letters are one page documents that you send
with your resume when applying for a job. It is meant to
introduce yourself to the hiring manager and to explain
why you'd be a good fit for the job.
The covering letter puts flesh on the bare bones of
the CV. It points out to the employer the information
showing that you have the qualities the job calls for, and
makes a statement about yourself and your suitability for
the job. It should give the personal touch that your CV will
intrinsically lack.
Example of a Covering Letter
Sender’s address
Company’s address
Greeting
Greeting
5 Fern Acres
21 Oak Avenue
Highveld
0157
21 September 2001
Sender’s Address
(street example)
The Personnel Manager
ABSA Bank
P.O. Box 1234
Pretoria
0001
Business’s Address
xxxxxxx
Dear Sir/Madam
xxxxxxx
Greeting
Reason for writing
xxxxxx
Introductory paragraph
xxxxxx
Paragraphs giving further information
xxxxxx
Conclusion
xxxxxx
Yours faithfully
NZeeman
N Zeeman (Mrs)
Greeting
Format of a covering
letter:
The format of a
covering letter is
almost identical to a
formal letter, expect
both the sender’s
address and the
business’s address is
on the left of the
page.
The rest of the letter
follows the same
format as a formal
letter would.
Speech
 Stick to the topic given!
 Tone must be relevant to audience:
- Informal for friend/family/ more personal
setting
- Formal for a school/work setting
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