MODULE #1 ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING At the end of the lesson, the students will be able to: » understand the requirements of composing academic writing and professional correspondence; » identify the unique features and requirements in composing texts that are useful across disciplines; » produce each type of academic writing and professional correspondence following the properties of well-written texts and process approach to writing; and » develop critical and reflective reading and thinking skills. Introduction Writing is simultaneously the most revealing and mystifying method of communication. The bigger one’s vocabulary, the more they can expose, yet the more they are able to hide their intentions with pretense. Writing about serious matters requires confidence, because you’re not only putting out an expression, but what ultimately becomes a gestalt platform and position that you must answer for. When we censor ourselves or stay in the safe box of trivial matters, it can be out of fear of judgement, or of being wrong, but most scary is when it is out of fear of annihilation. With the internet, if you express something that is disagreed with by the right people, it may not be forgotten, and more importantly might not be forgiven. It can cost you not just a job, but future prospects for employment. Writing purposefully is always a calculated risk. There are some risks in writing that are too great to be taken, with marginal benefits to be gained despite being truthful. While there is a continuum between safety and danger in writing, in order to truly connect with an audience, one must push the boundary of comfort to some degree in order to chisel away at a larger truth. Lesson Proper Defining Academic and Professional Writing Academic writing is any scholarly writing done given in an academic setting (school, college, or university). On the other hand, professional writing is usually for a business or applied setting to enable and support the work of a company. Components of Academic and Professional Writing Since academic and professional writing have different styles but are the same in some aspects, you might find it challenging to discern when to write academically or professionally. Context refers to the situation where writing is performed. It includes the people involved (i.e., the sender and the receiver), relationship between the people involved in the communication, time and place, and some possible interferences. Message refers to the content of your document. It includes the main topic and the details that support it. These details may be in the form of facts, statistics, testimonies, and observation. Language refers to the channel used to convey the message. It can either be visual or textual, formal or informal, verbal and non-verbal. Note that you need to follow the standard form and usage of language in professional writing. Purpose is the reason or motive that you have for communicating. Audience is the receiver of the message. It can either be primary (i.e., the direct receiver of the document) or secondary (i.e., the indirect receiver of the document). Product refers to the output that you intend to produce after considering all the other components. In » » » » » » » Academic Writing It is impersonal. It is formal. It utilizes an academic tone. It is discipline-specific. It employs a particular structure. It follows the guidelines for language use and mechanics. It strictly employs a certain documentation style (APA, MLA, etc.) » » » » » » Professional Writing It uses business English. It utilizes a personal tone, while maintaining professional distance. It follows a standard structure and format, specific to the institution. It is objective, unemotional, accurate, concise, and straightforward. It follows the guidelines for language use and mechanics. It does not require a great deal of citation and/or references. Examples: thesis, dissertation, library research, reaction paper, book/article review, literature review, research report, project proposal, position Examples: application letters, resume, curriculum paper vitae, excuse letter, minutes of the meeting, business correspondence, letters, memos, emails, inter-office communication Academic Writing in the Disciplines Book Review or Article Critique – It is a specialized form of academic writing in which a reviewer evaluates the contribution to knowledge of scholarly works such as academic books and journal articles. It is a critical assessment, analysis, or evaluation of a work. Literature Review – It is a type of academic writing that provides an overview of a specific topic. It surveys scholarly work such as academic books (but not textbooks), computerized databases, conference proceedings, dissertations/theses, empirical studies, government reports, historical records, journal articles, monographs, and statistical handbooks. Research Report – It is an expanded paper that presents interpretations and analyses of a phenomenon based on experiments and previous information. It is a systematic investigation and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. Project Proposal – is a highly persuasive and informative document that aims to address a particular problem or issue. It is a bid or offer to initiate a project for an individual or a group. Position Paper - is a type of academic writing that presents one’s stand or viewpoint on a particular issue. Professional Correspondences Business Letter – normally written for those outside an organization— are often the most appropriate choice for formal communications with professional associates or customers. Letters printed on organizational letterhead communicate formality, respect, and authority. Application Letter for Employment – it is a type of personal business correspondence which states your intention to work in a particular organization. Resumé – is a personalized document that consists of a summary of one’s personal background, trainings, abilities, skills, work experience, and other qualifications. Memorandum – a memorandum or memo is occasionally used as a business letter format. Memos have a twofold purpose: they bring attention to problems and they solve problems. They accomplish their goals by informing the reader about new information like policy changes, price increases, or by persuading the reader to take an action, such as attend a meeting, or change a current production procedure.