Chapter 12: Drafting and Revising Front & Back Matter

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Chapter 12: Drafting
and Revising Front &
Back Matter
Jasna Karkin | Katina Zachas | Gregory Wilson | Chinh Tran | Colleen Sherwin
Drafting and Revising Front
and Back Matter
Front and Back matter play various roles:
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Help readers find the information they seek
Help readers decide whether to read the document
Substitute for the whole document
Help readers to understand the document
Protect the document
Front Matter
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Letter of Transmittal
Cover
Title page
Abstract
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Executive Summary
Letter of Transmittal
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Introduce reader to the purpose and content of the document
States methods used
Acknowledges assistance writers have received
Refer to any errors or omissions in the document
It is not a place to apologize to the reader or ask for the
reader’s patience or compassion
Cover
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Protects document from normal wear and tear and
from harsher environmental conditions
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Contains:
- title of the document
- name and position of the writer
- date of submission
- name or logo of the writer’s company
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Sometimes includes a security notice or a
statement of proprietary information
Title Page
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A good title indicates the subject and purpose of the document
 Use generic term, such as analysis, recommendation,
summary, instructions, in a phrase following a colon
Include names and positions of the writer and the principle
reader of the document
Indicate the date the document was submitted
Indicate the name or logo of the writer’s organization
Abstract
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Brief technical summary of a document
Usually no more than 200 words
Helps reader decide whether to read entire document
Uses technical terminology
Refers to advanced concepts in the field
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Two types: descriptive & informative
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Abstract
Descriptive
•
•
•
Used when space is at a
premium
Placed at the bottom of the
title page
Describes type of
information contained in the
document
Informative
•
•
•
Presents major findings
Begins with the
problem and purpose of
the study
Describes some
technical details of the
study
Table of Contents
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Helps reader find desired information
Helps to understand scope and organization of document
Headings should be clearly written and of sufficient amount
Does not list itself as an entry
List of Illustrations
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Table of contents for figures and tables
List figures first and tables second
Begin list on same page as table of contents or, if on
a separate page, document in the table of contents
List of Illustrations
Figures
Figure 1.1 U.S R&D Spending on
Biotechnology………………………………11
Figure 1.2 ESCA R&D Spending v. Biotech R&D
Spending…………………..14
Figure 2.1 Annual
Sales……………………………………………………………16
Tables
Table 1.1 Industry Costs of the Final Rule(1995
Dollars)………………………12
Table 1.2 Industry Costs of the Final Rule(2002
Dollars)………………………12
Table 4.1 ESCA Biotech
Techniques……………………………………………..42
Executive Summary
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Epitome
Executive Overview
Management Summary
Management Overview
What is an Executive Summary?
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Synopsis of key points of a project, document, or
business plan
Intended to brief managers on an organization’s
specific projects and how projects fit together into
a coherent whole
What composes an Executive
Summary?
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20 page document= 1 page, double-spaced
Longer document= 5% of document length
Presents information to mangers in two parts:
Background, Major findings and implications
What composes an Executive
Summary?
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Background:
Explains background of the project: the specific
problem or opportunity presented by the project
Major findings and implications:
Project methods, conclusions, and
recommendations
Writing an Executive Summary:
Suggestions
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Use specific evidence in describing background
Be specific in describing research
Briefly describe methods
Describe findings in accordance with your readers’ needs
Ask an outside reader to review your draft
Decide how to integrate the executive summary within the body
of the document
Executive Summary vs.
Informative Abstract
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Abstract:
Focuses on technical subject
eg: whether new radio-based system effectively monitors energy
usage
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Summary:
Concentrates on whether the system can
improve operations at a particular company
Writing the Back Matter
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Important to include various back matter items at the
end of each document compiled
Elements composing the back matter:
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Glossary
List of symbols
References
Appendices
Glossary
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An alphabetical list of definitions
Highly useful and recommended if reader is unfamiliar
with technical vocabulary of the document
Boldface or highlight a word to identify that the word will
be defined in the glossary
 During the first occurrence where the boldface is used, a
footnote should be used to present and introduce to the
reader
Placed near end of the document, prior to appendices
If brief, can be placed after the table of contents
List of Symbols
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Same formatting as used for glossary
Content defines symbols and abbreviations rather than terms (as
in a glossary)
May be placed before the appendices or after the table of
contents
List of Symbols
CRT cathode-ray tube
Hz
hertz
SNR signal-to-noise ratio
uhf
ultra high frequency
References
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Majority of the documents contain a list of references
 Bibliography or Works Cited
Documentation: References and content citations throughout
document with the appropriate form (MLA Style)
Acknowledges debt to the sources used
 Establishes credibility as a writer
 Aids readers to locate and review the sources used
Highly significant to cite each source accurately to prevent
plagiarism
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Appendices
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Convey information too long for use in the body
or only interesting to a few readers
Defined as any sections following body of
document
Appendices might consist of the following:
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Labeled with letters (Appendix A), listed in the
table of contents
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Maps, large technical charts, computations, computer
printouts, and texts of supporting documents
Referred to at the appropriate points in the body of the
document
Always accessible to readers for consultation
Strategies for Intercultural
Communication

Honold (1999)
 “German users of high-tech products rely on the table of
contents in a manual because they like to understand the
scope and organization of the manual. Therefore, the
writers of manuals for German readers should include
comprehensive, detailed tables of contents”
 Technical Communication, Mike Markel
Revision Checklist
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Transmittal Letter
Cover
Title Page
Abstract
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Table of Contents
Executive Summary
Glossary
List of Symbols
Appendices
Questions?
Comments?
References

Markel, Mike. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St.
Martin's, 2004.
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