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This handbook is an elementary introductory resource for students pursuing college studies. It is divided into two sections communication skills for academic study and communication skills for professional and later life purposes. The first part is intended to give guidance to students on study strategies which cover, among other aspects, coping with lectures, note making strategies, citation skills, academic key words, essay question analysis, essay planning, academic writing styles, arguments, introductions and conclusions. Other important topics to be covered in this section include reading strategies, paragraphing, summarizing, paraphrasing and synthesizing information from your reading. The above topics are intended to emphasize the fact that reading and writing are the skills that are crucial if a student is to succeed in college and in the workplace. The second part of the handbook is intended to help students with professional communication skills which include business report writing, research skills, interpersonal communication, organizational and intercultural communication.


Every new situation demands that you adjust and in the process you have to develop your communication skills further. The university or college setting is not an exception. One area that demands that you adjust and further develop your communication skills is the LECTURE method of learning activities. Lectures give the direction of what and how you are going to integrate all your learning activities, from the lecture itself to the reading research and tutorials or seminars that you will be required to undertake. It is therefore imperative that you get a better understanding of how lectures are organized. There are certain things that you will have to do if you are to get maximum information from lectures. And if you lose sight of these you are bound to encounter problem in your various study activities. Can you suggest what you may need to do BEFORE, DURING and AFTER a lecture? It is important that before a lecture you should try to guess what the lecture will be about. If it is the first lecture, lecturers would normally have given you a course outline carefully and try to think of the possible details that go with each topic on the course outline. If it is a subsequent lecture then you should think of what the previous lecture covered. You then try to think of what the new lecture might cover, what questions it might try to answer or what information gap it might try to fill. Also try to think of how it might be connected to the previous lecture, what were some of the unanswered questions in the previous lecture?


During the lecture, you have to bring in knowledge from various sources. What sources of knowledge would use to help you understand the lecture more effectively? As pointed out earlier, a lecture can be seen as a HUB of all learning activities in academic study and can diagrammatically be represented as follows.

lectuREre lecture

Can you think of other sources of knowledge that can help you understand a lecture better? And during the lecture what are expected to do? Remember LISTENING is crucial here. It is not just listening but ACTIVE LISTENING where you have to listen to information and not WORDS. In a lecture you are supposed to take down information as you understand it and RECORD this information FAST and EFFICIENTLY. You record in such a way that the information will be useful later. Have you ever found yourself reading your lecture notes and failing to understand most of the information that you will have taken down as notes for future use? If so, one of the reasons for this is that you had not recorded your notes in a way that would be helpful to you later. Thus brings us to NOTEMAKING STRATEGIES As pointed out above, there are basically two functions for note-making i.e. a) NB. to take information from lectures (and any other source for that matter) quickly and in an efficient way. At college or university level, gone are days when an instructor or teacher would dictate notes word for word including such things as full stops and commas. Instead, you have to process the information and take it down in the way you understand. This will be helpful when it comes to revision e.g. for exams. to record information in a way that will be helpful later.



The above basic functions lead to two basic principles of note-making namely ABBREVIATION and LAYOUT. Abbreviation Abbreviation helps in speedy note-making. But it is important to abbreviate in a manner that will still be easy to understand several weeks or months later. Abbreviation includes use of CONVENTIONAL SYMBOLS, SHORTENING OF WORDS, and LEAVING OUT ESSENTIAL MEANING Conventional symbols @ can you think of other conventional symbols than the following most commonly used ones? , =, , , , WORDS THAT DO NOT CARRY

You can create your own symbols to help you take down information fast. It is also important to maintain consistency in the meaning you attach to every symbol that you create for yourself. shortening words there are certain letters in words which when left out do not affect the smooth reading of the word. For example, look at the following sentence and say how you would shorten it using any symbol abbreviation you may find helpful to get the information fast. Already, many groups and individuals are concerned and taking action about global warming and the problems it may bring.

Some shorten words by leaving out most of the vowels in a word e.g. people for people different for different. Others have devised other ways of shortening words e.g. Before for before Because for because With for with etc leaving out words that do not carry Muut meaning. There are certain words in sentences which when deleted do not affect do not affect the essential meaning of the sentence. Using the sentence above suggest which words can be left out when someone is getting information from a lecture or book.


Layout You should layout your notes in such a way that they are readily usable. In other words try to show the structure of the lecture or chapter. You can achieve this by making clear the main points of the lecture or chapter. One way of doing this is to double underline, single underline, indenting, putting in such symbols as *, numbering in different ways e.g. , , 1/2, /, (a)/(b), A/B. Whenever you decide to use, e.g. numbering, this should be consistent e.g. for the 1 2 (i) (ii) for the details to those points for the major points

for examples to the details

so whenever you number 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in your notes, this numbering would indicate that these are the major points and the following for the details (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v). It is generally recommended that you leave two margins, one on the left hand side of your paper and another on the right hand side. You will then use these margins to insert new or related information that you acquire in your future reading. Here is a sample of how your notes page would appear.

Globalisation? = increase in average air temperature a product of 2 factors greenhouse gases radiation from local star What happens - sunlight enters earths atmosphere -h



In academic writing you should think about every statement you make: What is the source of this idea or statement? Copying the substance of a document and merely changing a few words here and there does NOT make it your own work! If you summaries a book, an article or a web document you must ACKNOWLEDGE it and give a full reference. If you quote or use work without acknowledgement it is plagiarism and is a serious academic offence. Any essay which contains plagiarism automatically fails. (a) Is it my own idea? If so, how can I justify it? By example or logic? (b) Is it from knowledge from experience? If so, state this e.g. In Mbare, I observed that (c) Is it from my reading? If so, you must acknowledge it. - acknowledge source immediately before or after the statement or idea. e.g. Cottrell (1999) points out that (and paraphrase what the author points out). Or Paraphrase what the author points out and immediately after the paraphrase you acknowledge. e.g. In academic writing plagiarism is a very serious academic offence(Cottrell 1999) NB A paraphrase means you are not quoting word for word what the author says but merely stating what the author says in your own words. Therefore quotation marks and the page are not necessary. However, when you decide to quote the author directly the acknowledgement should bear the name of the author, the year and the page. e.g. Berko et. al. (1998:04) defines communication as a conscious or unconscious process, intentional or unintentional process in which feelings and ideas are expressed verbally and/or non-verbally Note that et al stands for and others meaning that Berko et. al. is a joint author of the book from which the quotation is taken. Also remember to indent direct quotations which are five lines or longer. At the end of your essay, you are expected to give the full details of the sources that you will have cited in your discussion. This is what is referred to as REFERENCE. BIBLIOGRAPHY is generally agreed to refer to the full details of what you have actually cited in your essay plus other relevant sources that you have not necessarily in your essay. Please note that departments, faculties and even individual lecturers may prefer particular formats in in-text referencing, and layout of reference or bibliography. Find out the exact specifications with your departments or lecturers. However, there are certain universally accepted principles which have to be observed. The formats for books, periodicals and other sources are outlined below: 1. Book Floyd, J. 1994 (Single Author /Joint Authors) Study Skills Handbook for Higher Education: A Use of English Course. London: Collins Educational.

Berko, R.M., Wolvin, A.D. and Wolvin, R. 1998 Communicating: A Social and Career Focus. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Gronbeck, al (ed.) 1992 Principles of Speech Communication. London: Harper Collins.


2. Periodicals or Journals Author> Date> Title of Article (not underlined)> Title of Periodical/Journal (underlined)>Volume and Number>Page Numbers. Kimura, D. and Archibald, Y. 1974 Motor functions of the lefthemisphere. Brain, 97, 337-350. 3. Article in a Book Brown, E.K. 1980. Grammatical Incoherence In Dechert, H and Raupach M.( eds.) Temporal Variables in Speech: Studies in Honour of Frieda Goldman-Eisler. The Hague: Mouton. 4. Article from a newspaper Moyo, L.2003 Zim in, England all out. The Herald. Harare: Zimpapers. Wed. 5 March , 20. 5. Article from The Web Author>Date>Title.>(WWW.)> Location>( Date Accessed.) Johns, T. 1998 Tim Johns EAP Page. ( WWW.) ( Accessed 20 April 1999.) http://

INSTRUCTION WORDS One of the most important skills when tucking an essay is to clearly understand what the essay question is instructing you to do. All questions instruct you to do ore or more things and therefore it is crucial that you identify the instruction word or phrase. Some instructions are comparatively easier to identify in certain questions but others would require that you reformulate or rephrase the questions. This is usually with complex questions that require you to do several things because they have double instruction or question words. CHECKLIST ACADEMIC KEYBOARDS USED IN TITLES These words indicate the approach or style expected for the piece of writing. Account for Give reasons for; explain why something happens. Analyse Examine in very close detail; identify important points and chief feature.


Comment on Identify and write about the main issues, giving your reactions based upon what you have read or heard in lectures. Avoid purely personal opinion. Compare Show how two or more things are similar. Indicate the relevance or consequences of these similarities. Contrast State two or more items or arguments in opposition so as to draw out differences. Indicate whether the differences are significant. If appropriate, give reasons why one item or argument may be preferable (chapter 8). Critically evaluate Weigh arguments and against something, assessing the strength of the evidence on both sides. Use criteria to guide your assessment of which opinions, theories, models or items are preferable. Examine Put the subject under the microscope, looking at it in detail. If appropriate, Critically evaluate it as well. Explain Make clear why something happens, or why something is the way it is. Illustrate Make something clear and explicit, giving examples or evidence. Interpret Give the meaning and relevance of data or other material presented. Justify give evidence which supports an argument or idea; show why a decision or conclusions were made, considering objections that others might make. Narrate Concentrate on saying what happened, telling it as a story.

Define Give the exact meaning of. Where relevant, show that you understand why the definition may be problematic. Describe Give the main characteristics or features of something, or outline the main events. Discuss Write about the most important aspects of (probably including criticism); give arguments for and against; consider the implications of. Distinguish Bring out the differences between two (possible confusable) items. Evaluate Assess the worth, importance or usefulness of something, using evidence. There will probably be cases to be made both for and against. Outline Give only the main points, showing the main structure. Relate Show similarities connections between two or things. and more

State Give the main features, in very clear English (almost like a simple list but written in full sentences). Summarise Draw out the main points only (see Outline), omitting details or examples. To what extent Consider how far something is true, or contributes to a final outcome. Consider also ways in which the proposition is not true. (the answer is usually somewhere between completely and not at all). Trace Follow the order of different stages in an event or process.

Apart from the checklist provided by Cottrell, you also need to make sure that you give the attention to double question-words and to ensure that you give the appropriate weight when responding to the demands of the question.


The following examples should help you to practice the appropriate weighting mentioned above. discuss and justify -------Evaluate and identify -------Describe and evaluate --------

Can you come up with of other examples? There are also what is referred to as which questions. These include the following. What = Why How = = Which = identify something and/or explain why something is so. explain and give reasons. identify one from several others give an explanation for something, what it is, why it works that way.

QUESTION ANALYSIS The next stage in approaching essay questions is to analyse the question. Question analysis is crucial for planning and organizing you essay. Many students fail, not because they do not have the information, but because they fail to respond to the specific demands of the question. A question can be analysed in terms OF INSTRUCTIONS, FOCUS, CONTEXT AND sometimes SPECIAL CONDITION. We already know what an instruction is but for purposes of more practice let us look at the following question and analyse it in terms of the above. (1) Discuss the effects of computers on communication. Here the instruction is Discuss. The focus is the effects of computers The context is on communication. (2) Discuss the effects of computers on communication in a workplace of your choice. Here the instruction, focus and context are the same as in (1) above.

A special condition would then be .. in a workplace of your choice. This is a special condition in that you are not going to discuss the effects of communication in general context but rather to choose ONE workplace situation and discuss the effects more specifically. Once you lose sight of the instruction and focus, especially, you are bound to encounter problems with the reader or examiner of your answer/essay. For example, instead of discussion, someone might erroneously describe, analyze. And instead of discussing the effects might lose focus and go on to discuss e.g. the reasons, causes, or problems. Therefore, before you embark on any reading or research for an assignment question it is imperative that your first understand what the question requires you to do. This


will help you save a lot of time when reading because you are met going to an unnecessary long time reading irrelevant material.

Essay planning assumes that you have analysed the question and how exactly what the question demands. It also assumes that you have read the relevant material that will help you answer the question. What is left for you is to organize your material so that you do justice to the demands of the question. The following suggestions can help you. a) Brainstorming: NB. This can place even before you start reading around the topic but certainly after you have analysed the question. Brainstorming involves jotting down any ideas that occur to you about the topic. What you know about the topic, what information you might want to cover, and what you still need to find out about.

These may be whole sentences, phrases or single words. Review your jotted ideas and move items into logical groupings. Convert items into headings, and group other items under them. Delete items that seem irrelevant. You might also want to update your brainstorming paper as you come up with new ideas. Each time you are engaged in the brainstorming process try to see how all the ideas are connected in terms of the essay title. You might want to ask yourself b) what is the most central idea of my topic? are some of the ideas not examples of others?

Plan by questions

Most people find it much easier to plan by framing questions from their understanding of the essay question. In most cases there is one big number of small questions. Identify the major question and then formulate questions (minor questions) that help you to answer the big question. See how the questions you have framed for yourself are connected to each other. This should help you organize your question into paragraphs that read smoothly from the introduction to the conclusion. c) Plan by functions Others are comfortable planning by functions where they are likely to do three or more of the following Define, clarify, describe, compare, contrast, give examples, explain, evaluate, conclude.



Plan by levels Yet other people and indeed certain topics find it easier to plan by levels. The same levels that we mentioned in our discussion on lectures apply. How else can you plan your essay apart from the suggestion given above? Remember individuals have different planning styles, and certain topics demand that you employ a particular planning style. The crucial thing, however, is that make sure you have adhered to the specific demands of the question and have presented your discussion/argument in a coherent and cohesive manner. And one way to achieve effective communication when writing is by paying serious attention to paragraphing.

INTRODUCTIONS Having looked at general paragraph layout and patterns, let us have a closer look at the introductory paragraph. When any reader, you or me, is confronted with a piece of writing, the first thing they most probably want to know is what it will be about. Will it be interesting? And, I am sure, you want to these things as quickly as possible. It therefore implies that you should write an opening paragraph that is informative and interesting and should always be appropriate in tone and style. An introductory paragraph should do the following a) b) c) d) identify the topic of the text stimulate readers interest establish a tone or style helps the reader to anticipate what comes next (Hult and Huckin 1999) CONCLUSIONS This another important part of any piece of writing. A part of any piece of writing. A concluding paragraph should not leave the reader hanging. It should neatly tie up things, by restating the main point, In other words a concluding paragraph should try to answer the major question of the essay at an appropriate level of generalization. It should not add new detail but should ideally stimulate the reader to think beyond what you have already said. There should be a connection between your introductory paragraph and the concluding paragraph especially in long academic essays.

1.0 Questions to think about:

What is a paragraph? Why do I need to learn how to structure a paragraph? How long should my paragraphs be? How should I link my paragraphs together?



A paragraph is a sentence or a group of sentences that work together to develop a main idea. Paragraphs are the primary building blocks of essays, reports, memos and other forms of written composition. Paragraphing allows you to subdivide material into manageable units and to arrange these units or parts into a unified whole that effectively communicates its message. 1.1 Good paragraphs facilitate quick skimming and help readers stay focused on the central idea(s). A good paragraph is one that: - is unified - is coherent - is adequately developed - flows as smoothly as possible from one to the next A unified paragraph is one that focuses on and develops a single idea. The idea is typically captured in a single sentence- the topic sentence. The other sentences in the paragraph- the support sentences- should elaborate on the topic sentence in logical fashion. A topic sentence (which is usually at the beginning of a paragraph) gives the reader a quick idea of what the paragraph as a whole is about. In other words it provides a preview of the rest of the paragraph. It should at least do the following: - provide a transition from the preceding paragraph - introduce the topic of the paragraph - make the main point about this topic - suggest how the rest of the paragraph will develop this point.



Read the following extract from James Henslin a sociologist: During the past decade or two, children have slipped into poverty faster than any other age group. One of six U.S. children, two of every five Latino children, and almost one of every two African-American children are poor. These figures translate into incredible numbers- approximately 18 million children live in poverty: 9 million white children, 4 million Latino children, and 5 million African-American children. According to sociologist and U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan, this high rate of child poverty is due primarily to a general breakdown of the U.S. family. He points his finger at the sharp increase in births outside marriage. In 1960, only 5 percent of U.S. children were born to unmarried mothers. Today that figure is six times higher; and single women now account for 30 percent of all U.S. births. The relationship to social class is striking, for births to unmarried mothers are not distributed evenly across the social classes. For women above the poverty datum line, only 6 percent of births are to single mothers, while for women below the poverty line this rate jumps to 44 percent. Regardless of causes and there are many- to say that millions of children live in poverty can be as cold and meaningless as saying that their shoes are brown. Easy to overlook is the significance of childhood poverty. Poor children are more likely to die in infancy, to go hungry and to be malnourished, to develop more slowly, and to have more health problems. They are more likely to drop out of



school, to become involved in criminal activities, and to have children while still in their teens thus perpetuating the cycle of poverty. What does the opening sentence of the first paragraph do? You can also make the first sentence both a topic sentence and a linking sentence. Look at the first sentence of the second paragraph and say how it achieves this. NB. The paragraph opening is not always the best location for a topic sentence. Identify the topic sentence in the third paragraph of then Henslin extract. What are the functions of the first and second sentence? Occasionally a topic sentence may fall at the end of a paragraph as a summary or restatement of a topic sentence appearing earlier in the paragraph. And sometimes no topic sentence is needed. If a paragraph continues the topic covered in the preceding paragraph or simply states a series of events or a set of details whose common theme is obvious, you may decide that an explicit topic statement is not necessary. A coherent paragraph should connect logically with those preceding and following it so that a reader can move smoothly from one idea to the next. One way of achieving this is by using organisational patterns. There are several ways of organising paragraphs and the most common being: (a) general to specific cause and effect comparison or contrast definition problem and solution exemplification physical description narrative or process description

general to specific The first two paragraphs in the Henslin extract are good examples of general to specific organisation i.e. a general statement is followed by specific supporting detail. Although rarely used it is possible to organise a paragraph in the reverse order.


cause and effect

This type of organisation is especially appropriate for explaining why something happened the way it did or predicting some future sequence of events. These types of paragraphs often include transitional words or phrases



such as therefore, thus, as a result, since, because, consequently, for this reason, and thereby. E.g. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) occurs when alcohol ingested by the mother passes through the placenta into the infants blood-stream. Because the fetus is so small, its blood alcohol concentration will be higher than that of its mother. Thus, consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can affect the infant far more seriously than it does the mother. Among the symptoms of FAS are mental retardation, small head, tremors, and abnormalities of the face, limbs, heart, and the brain. ( Donatelle R. J. and Davis L. G. Access to Health )


comparison or contrast Many writing situations call for comparing or contrasting two or more ideas, events, issues or items. Remember comparison focuses on similarities; contrast focuses on differences. In both cases the writer evaluates two or more subjects on basis of one or more criteria. The common transitional words and phrases include however, on the one hand / on the other hand, similarly, in contrast, just as, while, but, and like. A paragraph based on comparison or contrast pattern should be structured either by evaluating one subject completely and then turning to the other OR focusing on each criterion one at a time.


When comparing two sociological theories known as structural functionalism and conflict theory arrangement by subject might look like this:

Subject A: Structural functionalism Criterion(a): How it views society Criterion(b): What it emphasises Subject B: Conflict theory Criterion(a): How it views society Criterion(b): What it emphasises Arrangement by criteria, on the other hand, would look like this: Criterion A: How it views society Subject(a): Structural functionalism views society as Subject(b): Conflict theory views society as Criterion B: What it emphasises Subject(a): Structural functionalism emphasises Subject(b): Conflict theory emphasises Which type of structural arrangement do you think is better? How is the following paragraph- on the liberal view of affirmative action and conservative vieworganised?



The role of affirmative action in our multicultural society lies at the centre of a national debate about how to steer a course in race and ethnic relations. In this policy, quotas based on race (and gender) are used in hiring and college admissions. Most liberals, both white and minority, defend affirmative action, saying that it is the most direct way to level the playing field of economic opportunity. If white males are passed over, this is an unfortunate cost we must pay if we are to make up for past and present discrimination. Most conservatives, in contrast, both white and minority, agree that opportunity should be open to all, but say that putting race (or sex) ahead of peoples ability to perform a job is reverse discrimination. They add that affirmative action stigmatises the people who benefit from it because it suggests that they hold their jobs because of race (or sex), rather than merit. ( adapted from Hensin, J. Sociology) (d) organising by definition In academic writing, important new terms sometimes require a complete paragraph for their definition. The term is usually introduced in a topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph and elaborated on in the subsequent sentences. Look at the following paragraph: Another tool for building a better understanding of the teaching and learning process is theory. The common sense theory is a guess or hunch. But the scientific meaning of theory is quite different. A theory in science is an interrelated set of concepts that is used to explain a body of data and to make predictions about the results of future experiments (Stanovich, 1992 :). Given a number of established principles, educational psychologists have developed explanations for the relationships among many variables and even whole systems of relationships. There are theories to explain how language develops, how differences in intelligence occur, and as noted earlier, how people learn. (adapted from Woolfolk, A. E. Educational Psychology) (e) by classification In order to make sense of the world people routinely classify things according to their characteristic parts. Classification is an important part of the analytic work you do at university. In academic writing a whole paragraph is often devoted to classifying some concept. Paragraphs organised by classification normally introduce the topic in the first sentence and the various sub-topics in the subsequent sentences. Here is an example of a paragraph organised by classification and see how it helps the reader see the structure of the paragraph: Human development can be divided into a number of different aspects. Physical development, as you might guess, deals with changes in the body. Personal development is the term generally used for changes in an individuals personality. Social development refers to changes in the way an individual relates to others. And cognitive development refers to changes in thinking. (adapted from Woolfolk Ibid).




by problem and solution In this type of organisation, a particular problem is identified and one or more solutions are proposed. Usually the writer states the problem explicitly, though sometimes it is only implied. Posing the problem in the form of a question is especially attention-getting. e.g. What can be done about drug abuse among students? First, we should distinguish between experimentation and abuse. Many students try something at a party but do not become regular users. The best way to help students who have trouble saying no appears to be through peer programmes that teach how to say no assertively. The successful programmes also teach general social skills and build self-esteem (Newcomb and Bentler, 1989). Also the older students are when they experiment with drugs, the more likely they are to make responsible choices, so helping younger students say no is clear benefit.


by exemplification Examples are a very powerful way of making difficult concepts understandable a paragraph organised by exemplification usually follows a general to specific pattern. The concept to be explained is introduced in general terms at the beginning, and then one or more specific examples are offered to make it meaningful, as in this paragraph: A general principle of human behaviour is that we try to minimise our costs and maximise our rewards. Sociologist Richard Berk calls this a minimax strategy. The fewer costs and the more rewards we anticipate from something, the more likely we are to do it. For example, if we believe that others will approve an act, the likelihood that we will do it increases. Whether in yelling for the referees blood at a bad call in football, or shouting for real blood as a member of a lynch mob, this principle applies. In short, whether people are playing cards with a few friends, or are part a mob, the principles of human behaviour remain the same. (Henslin ibid.).


by physical description This type of a paragraph paints a picture a person, place, or object by appealing to the readers senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell). It emphasises details, which should be carefully selected so as to give the reader a vivid sense of what is being described.


organizing by mixing patterns At times you may want to express ideas in a way that does not conform to any one pattern. Do not be afraid to mix two or more patterns. What is important is to make clear what pattern you are following at any one time. Lets look at this extract Garofalo R, Rockin Out:

Popular music has never been a stranger to controversy or opposition. Herman Grey has noted three periods of particularly strong opposition: the response to jazz in the early part of the century, the reaction against rock n roll in the 1950s and 1960s,



and the most recent wave of controversy associated with heavy metal and rap. No matter what the genre, certain themes such as a fear of the connection between music and sexuality tend to run through all three periods. Such concerns may be expressed either as the fear that sensual rhythms can overcome rationality or that lyrics that push the boundaries of decorum can undermine moral values. Because of the fears, each genre has been linked at the various times to drug abuse, lawless behaviour, and general moral decline. In turn, all of these problems have been projected to some degree onto race.

What patterns can you identify in this mixed pattern? TASKS Write a two paragraph text that tries to respond to any one of the assignments you have so far been given in one of your courses and give your partner to analyse it in terms of the patterns that we have discussed. Also analyse these paragraphs in terms of the other characteristics of academic style that we have discussed so far.


What is a paraphrase? It is a restatement of someone elses statement expressed in your own words and your own sentence structure. This is one way of avoiding plagiarism. The following are guidelines for writing a paraphrase: - say what the source says , but no more - reproduce the sources order of ideas and emphases - use your own words, phrases, and sentence structure to restate the message. If certain synonyms are awkward quote the original material but resort to this very sparingly - read over your sentences to make sure you that they make sense and do not distort the sources meaning - expect your material to be as long as , and possibly longer than, the original - remember that even though a paraphrase is not a direct quotation, you must document the source Task 1 Paraphrase the following original passage: Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers . (1976: 46)



Now comment on the following 3 passages: 1. Unfortunately, different countries have different ideas about exactly how close is close. It is easy enough to test your own space reaction: when you are talking to someone in the street or in any open space, reach out your arm and see where the nearest point on his body comes. If you hail from Western Europe, He is at roughly fingertip distance from you. In other words, as you reach out, your fingertips will just about make contact with his shoulder. If you come from Eastern Europe, you will you are standing at wrist distance. If you come from the Mediterranean region, you will find that you are much closer to your companion, at little more than elbow distance. Regrettably, different nations think differently about exactly how close is close. Test yourself: when you are talking to someone in the street or in any open space, stretch your arm out to measure how close that person is to you. If you are from Western Europe, you will find that your fingertips will just about make contact with the persons shoulder. If you are from Eastern Europe, your wrist will reach the persons shoulder. If you are from the Mediterranean region, you will find that you are much closer to your companion, when your elbow will reach that persons shoulder. People from different nations think that close means different things. You can easily see what your reaction is to how close to you people stand by reaching out the length of your arm to measure how close someone is as the two of you talk. When people from Western Europe stand on the street and talk together, the space between them is the distance it would take one persons fingertips to reach to the other persons shoulder. People from Eastern Europe converse at wrist-to shoulder distance. People from the Mediterranean, however, prefer an elbow- to- shoulder distance.



One of the passages is unacceptable. Which one? Why? With this in mind try and come up with an acceptable paraphrase from the passages provided. Give your colleague to critique. What is a summary? It is a condensed statement of the main points of someone elses passage expressed in your own words and sentence structure. The following are guidelines for writing a summary: - identify the main points - condense the without losing the essence of the material - use your own words to condense the message - if any synonyms are awkward, quote the words - keep your summary short - document the source



Task2 Summaries the passage in Task 1 above. Comment on the following 3 passages: 1. The general failure to grasp the significance of the many elements that contribute to mans sense of space may be due to two mistaken notions: (1) that for every effect there is a single and identifiable cause; and (2) that mans boundary begins and ends with his skin. If we can rid ourselves of the need for a single explanation, and if we can think of man as surrounded by a series of expanding and contracting fields which provide information of many kinds, we shall begin to see him in entirely different light. We can then begin to learn about human behaviour, including personality types. Concepts such as these are not always easy to grasp, because most of the distance-sensing process occurs outside the awareness. We sense other people as close or distant, but we cannot always put our finger on what it is that enables us to characterize them as such. So many different things are happening at once it is difficult to sort out the sources of information on which we base our reactions. Concepts such identifying causes and determining boundaries are not always easy to grasp. Human beings make the mistake of thinking that an event has a single and identifiable cause and that people are limited by the boundaries of their bodies. Most people are unaware that they have a sense of interpersonal space, and they also do not know that the concept of interpersonal distance exists and contributes to their reactions to other people.

2. 3.

Summarize the passage you have been given bearing the above points in mind.


What is communication? The communication process Writing and Computers Noise in communication Some other barriers to effective communication

1. What is communication? Fundamental to the study of communication is the fact that we must NEVER take anything for granted. For one thing, it is very difficult to come up with a comprehensive definition of communication. For purposes of this module, we shall define communication as an intentional or unintentional, conscious or unconscious process in which ideas and feelings are expressed as verbal and/or non-verbal messages that are sent, received and understood.



a) Why intentional or unintentional? sometimes we send messages fully aware of the communicative purpose we want to achieve and indeed achieve that purpose. but there are times when we do not communicate the intended purpose. In other words the receiver can interpret the message differently. And there are serious implications that go with unintentional communication.

b) Why conscious or unconscious? sometimes you are fully aware that you are communicating but at other times you may not be aware that you indeed are communicating. This is especially so with non-verbal communication (NVC). You may wonder how non-verbal communication is related to computer skills but there is a relationship. Can you think of an example?

Task Think of examples from your own experience where you or someone unintentionally communicated a message that was misinterpreted. What were the consequences? Why do you think the message was misinterpreted? How could the sender have structured their message to avoid this unintentional communication? - VNC includes such things as graphs, pictures, tables, dress, eye contact and facial expressions, body movement, objects within the environment, distance (proxemics), the concept of time and touching among other things. Suggest how these affect the messages that you may send to receivers in graphs, pictures and tables may be easier aspects to relate to communication with a computer. But such things as objects within the environment and dress which are often associated with corporate image can influence your messages.

REMEMBER Even if we are silent or are not saying anything as we sit in our offices as managers, secretaries, etc, we are still communicating. This has obvious implications on people who work in various fields of their professions. You could come up with your own examples. What is that whatever messages you are sending through the e-mail or internet, they are directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, intentionally or unintentionally influenced by the various types of NVC mentioned above. c) What about ideas or feelings?



Can you think of anything other than ideas and feelings that can be communicated? It would be quite interesting if you came up with anything other than ideas and feelings! WE ARE ALWAYS COMMUNICATING IDEAS AND FEELINGS. d) Every message has a sender and a receiver and for communication to -be said to have taken place the message has to be comprehended. 2. The Communication Process The communication process can be represented as follows: MESSAGE CHANNEL MEDIUM

SENDER Interpretatio n RECEIVER

RECEIVER Interpretatio n SENDER

FEEDBACK i. ii. MESSAGE The information that is transmitted between the SENDER (S) and the RECEIVER (R). MEDIUM the form in which the message is sent. This can be oral (spoken communication), written (letters, memos, e-mail etc) or visual (pictures, graphs, tables etc). A more detailed discussion of written will be attempted since writing and computers go hand in hand. CHANNEL the means, through which a message travels, e.g. postal system, the computer, telephone, cellphone.


3. Writing and Computers Computer technology has evolved and continues to evolve at a staggering pace. We cannot predict what the technological environment will look like in a few years time. Obviously the communication landscape has been dramatically altered by the advert of computers. The information explosion has dramatically increased the demand for good writing, making learning to write more crucial than ever. b. How has the prevalence of e-mail changed the communication practice? many students are likely to communicate with their parents back home via e-mail than through a letter or phone call. many business people are more likely to fire off an e-mail memo than a printed one. everyone who has come to rely on e-mail knows that it is different in substantive ways from letters and phone calls.



there is an immediacy to e-mail that letters or memos do not have. but at the same time e-mail is more distant that face-to-face or phone conversations. because e-mail cannot readily convey emotions through tones, there is always the possibility that messages will be misunderstood. E-mail correspondents have invented emotions to help fill in the missing intonations but these can go only so far in helping writers be understood appropriately. other aspects of the new communication landscape have had unsetting effects on efforts to communicate. each of many Internet communication forums that are now available (chat rooms, bulletin boards, newsgroups) has its own customs and protocols that writers need to know in order to communicate effectively. Learning how to communicate effectively in these forums is a tremendous challenge for writers in todays communication landscape. this ever-changing communication landscape implies that it even more important that writers understand the basic principles of effective communication, sometimes called principles of rhetoric. It is the objective of this module to equip you with the basic skills you need to become a good writer for many different communication media.

4. Noise in communication The whole communication process briefly described in 2 above is characterized by NOISE. In communication, noise is anything that stops communication or makes it difficult. Anything that disturbs or distorts the smooth flow of messages between the sender and receiver is noise. Noise can be found within the Sender, Receiver, Message, Medium and Channel. In fact the study of communication in any discipline is aimed at eliminating or minimizing the noise that characteristics every communication process. The following are the various types of noises in communication. Try and relate each type of noise to the courses that you are doing and suggest ways of overcoming them. i. Physical or Environmental Noise. this is outside interference e.g. telephone ringing, footsteps, radio, cars etc. All these have a lot of bearing on effective communication. How do you overcome this type of noise at your workplace?


Physiological noise visual impairment, hearing impairment, illness, hunger, fatigue, etc.



How can these affect the written messages that you send when using a computer. How do organizations try to overcome them? iii. Psychological noise tension, nervousness, fear, lack of confidence etc. These can affect your messages. How? How can they be overcome?


Cultural noise different cultures, sub-cultures and generational cultures interpret messages (Verbal/non-verbal) differently. Cultural noise can be a very serious barrier to communication especially in this communication landscape. Written messages can be interpreted differently. What are your experiences?


Semantic noise a) this is about the meaning of a message at the simplest level, it can be in the form of ambiguity or double meanings of sentences or statements. E.g. I could access the site. Which site? Is web-site or some other location in Mount Pleasant for instance? Although context would normally take care of some of these ambiguous statements it common that messages, especially written messages can carry double meanings.

What about this example? Can you see the ambiguity? b) Thank you for your unusual generosity Here, in semantic noise, we are also referring to such things as technical jargon. Therefore, audience analysis (something we will deal with later), is also crucial.


Syntactical noise this is how you arrange words in sentences. There is need to think carefully before you construct messages. E.g. in the following 2 sentences some people may misinterpret your message e.g. to mean you are accusing them etc. Mary took the disc The disc was taken by Mary

5. Other barriers to effective communication These include, among others: - failure to analyze the needs of the receiver. - poor listening, and lack of attention to feedback



assuming that the receivers no more that they really do (or vice versa) poor planning of information different perceptions of situations and meanings of messages.

6. Models of Communication There are three models of communication which you need to be aware of as you construct messages. These models determine the choice of the message, medium and channel among other things. a) The Linear Model


it is one directional there is very limited feedback, if at all the sender has a more active role is normally associated mass communication but is evident in almost all workplaces.


The Interactional model



it is a two-way process feedback is evident sender still has a slightly upper hand over the receiver, e.g. manager subordinate interactional




The Transactional Model


it stresses the transactional and continuing nature of communication. the sender and receiver are constantly exchanging messages until they reach understanding. In other words meaning is heavily negotiated. above models influence your

How does a knowledge of the construction of written messages?

INTRODUCTION Audience analysis involves gathering demographic and situational information about the target listeners in a give speech situation. An important aspect of successful communication is a thorough awareness of key audience traits such as age, gender, education, experience and nationality. In addition awareness of audience needs and expectations is important in order for the speaker to adapt to the audience and to build appropriate rhetorical strategies. By this we mean that the speaker must carefully plan his or her message to meet the needs and expectations of the audience in order to achieve their intended purposes. Audience analysis involves understanding the audiences frame of reference. Listeners frame of reference is made up of their difference backgrounds, experiences, interests and their opinions which often vary widely. Ethical speakers are sensitive to such differences. Effective speakers are listenercentred, they always anticipate audience reaction. Adaptation involves seeking as much overlap to the audiences frames of reference as possible. Effectively analyzing the audience is a skill that speakers should master in order to achieve their purposes.



Audience analysis as investigative Oral presentations like any good message should be goal-centred. In order to realize the goals, it is imperative fro speakers to develop strategies to effectively address the needs and expectations of the audience they intend to address. Thus, audience analysis investigates the following aspects of the audience and their possible effect on the speakers message: size of group gender interests/hobbies knowledge of the subject age educational level beliefs what they believe to exist or not to exist values - - what they believe to be good or bad, right or wrong attitudes towards the topic attitudes towards the speaker other personality variables.

In order to identify audience frame of reference you may choose to develop questions to guide your investigation. Examples of questions are: who am I addressing what is their demographic make up what issues are important to them? (you may choose to relate Maslows hierarchy of needs to a speech situation). what do I want them to know, believe or do? how can I most effectively compose and present my speech to accomplish my purpose? which examples and illustrations interest them, why are they listening to me?

Importance of audience analysis The exercise of audience analysis is not an end in itself but a means of adapting a speech to the listeners frames of reference Audience analysis helps the speaker Make the topic and purpose of the speech a) b) c) d) Significant Meaningful Useful, and Easier for the audience to comprehend

Helps the speaker decide on the technicality of the presentation



To avoid the risk of alienating the audience with technical jargon or complex visual aids. Guides the speakers choice of language To fit the age, educational level or the comprehension level of the audience. Guides the speakers selection of supporting material Visual aids, graphics to go with presentations e.g. the speaker will use examples and analogies that fit the interests of the audience. WHAT TO INVESTIGATE IN AN AUDIENCE 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 1. demographic traits of the audience situational traits of the audience psychological state of the audience audience features unique to the situation audiences disposition towards the topic audiences disposition about the speaker audience disposition towards the occasion Examining the demographic traits of the audience

Demographies this is the study of statistics on the audience composition terms of age, sex, etc. Age - Each generation has more or less common experiences and values. Effective speakers adapt to these experiences and values when addressing an audience. A topic such as Willogate scandal would require a speaker to give background information of the dramatic events that exposed corruption involving top government officials. However the background may not be important to an older audience who lived through the events. Gender - Gender issues can have a strong impact on how an audience respond to an issue. To be effective in such situations, public speakers must avoid outdated gender stereotypes. Racial/ethnic cultural background Understand of this can help in the choice of words, supporting materials and appeals to their needs.

For example, to adjust your speech to an American audience, there are some terms that ma y need adjusting according to audiences ethnic and cultural background. Zimbabwe Petrol Parliament Member of Parliament Lift Robots Chips U.S.A Gas Congress Congressman Elevator Traffic Fries

Group membership affiliations of the audience to clubs and organizations will help provide valuable clues about their interests and attitudes.




Occupation/Education knowledge and understanding.







Features of the Audience unique to the speaking situation at hand. a) b) size of the audience The size of the audience may affect the speakers use of visual aids or means of presentation. Physical setting Physical conditions such as size, lighting, temperature of the room, seating arrangement and time of the day also affect the audience. Good speakers should consider the possible influence of the physical setting on the audience.


Psychological state Good speakers understand the psychology of the audience. The goal is to make the audience want to pay attention. Understanding the audience psychological state is important as audiences pay attention to messages that affect them directly. Psychological principles such as geocentricism and the audiences level anxiety are important to consider as the speaker relates their message to an audiences existing knowledge and beliefs.


Audiences disposition towards the topic (a) (b) What is the audiences interest in the topic? What is the audiences knowledge about topic? If they know little, then adjust and talk at a more elementary level. If they know little, then the speaker should adopt a more advanced approach. What is the audiences attitude it could be skeptical, interested, supportive or hostile towards the topic.

(c) 5.

Audiences disposition towards the speaker what is the audiences perception of the speakers credibility? Credibility can be described as being composed of perceived competence, honesty and trustworthiness. The more credible they believe a speaker to be, the more likely they are to accept what the speaker says. Reception and response to a message is invariably influenced by audience perception of the speaker.


Audience disposition towards the occasion Affects the length of the delivery. Speakers should always ask why the audience is there e.g. Are they forced to attend an occasion or were they motivated to attend on their own?




Methods of gathering demographic and situational information about the audience vary. Below are some of the more common ways. Informally - making informal inquiries about the audience by asking the person who has invited you to speak to explain the groups history, purpose and demographic make-up. Speakers could also get someone who has addressed the same group before to get insights on its composition. Formally it can be done through questionnaires sent to the target listeners. Such questionnaires have to be clear and unambiguous. Once speakers complete their audience analysis exercise, they can now use the findings to adapt the speech to their listeners.

Adapted and extracted from Fielding 1997. Effective communication is the cornerstone of any organization. Without communication, organizations will together and be motivated, communication is crucial. What is an organization? According to Fielding (1997) an organization is made up of groups of individuals who work together to achieve specific objectives. The specific objectives would not be achieved if people were to work on their own as individuals. Organizations have the following characteristics: people have different roles there is somewhere within the organization where power is held several people within the organization can fill in one post different department depend on each other different departments work together regularly

Flow of Messages in Organisations 1. Vertical communication This can either be DOWNWARDS or UPWARD communication. Downward communication These are messages that are sent from superiors to subordinates. They serve the following purposes: They describe the organizations goals and mission They describe the organization ethical standpoint They describe policies and procedures They describe workers relationships with the organization.



They instruct workers on how to do a job. They give information on how a particular job is related to others being done in the organisation. They give feedback on the success or failure of previous tasks. They give departments and individual employees feedback on their general performance.

Superiors or managers can send different types of messages that include: oral and written communication policy manuals memorandums reports notices/circulars in-house magazines or newspapers specifications.

Some messages can be found on pay slips. Management handles such topics as: benefit programmes for workers a list of the organisations products or services information on the organisations dependence on customers records of negotiations between workers union and management analyses of strikes current rumours social news safety programmes envisaged changes in staff, production and services. Instructions for performing tasks.

There are some barriers associated with downward communication. These include, inter alia, the following. managers uncertainty of the kind of messages that they should communicate downward. managers uncertainty of the amount of information that they should communicate downward. managers sometimes fail to read and prepare messages that are specific to a particular task. This is generally referred to as functional literacy where the sender (in this case the manager) fails to analyse certain attributes of the receiver or subordinate. Either the manager



underestimates or overestimates the level of education, sophistication etc of the subordinate and fails to match the comprehension level of the receiver. This can create serious barriers to communication. Comment on this statement by the manager to an employee. Your services at this company are invaluable. Is it a positive or negative statement? In fact it is a positive statement but because of the level of education or limited vocabulary on the part of the receiver, it can be interpreted as negative. Why? messages that are passed downward may not always be relevant and this may affect other important messages when in fact they may be relevant. How? This is also true when too much information is passed downward. Employees might not read respond or even read/listed to certain messages because of information overload.

Upward communication For an organization to function properly, flow of information has to be twodirectional. In this way superiors or managers can judge how the messages have been received. Upward communication is important for the following reasons: managers have to receive feedback on whatever they communicated. These could be on progress of targets set. will have

Managers also need to find out about employees attitudes, motivation and their general perceptions. Suggestions from staff are crucial and can only be achieved through a two-way process of communication. Managers also need to evaluate employee performance.

The messages that can be transmitted upward include oral and written reports memorandum proposals spoken and written messages, e.g. grievances, suggestions

like in downward communication, messages that are sent upward are not without barriers. Some of these barriers include: subordinates/employees may feel that they can be viewed as incompetent employees might want to be burdened by responsibilities. This usually happens when they raise a problem and the superior asks them to attend



to the problem. As a result, the employee might avoid this possible responsibility by just keeping quiet and not send messages upward. Distortion of messages as they go upward can be a serious barrier. There is, for example, a tendency by middle managers to leave out information that may harm them. Employees may not send messages up the hierarchy because of fear of victimization.

Sideways communication This is also known as lateral communication where equal between departments necessarily have to communicate through face-to-face interaction, reports or memoranda. This type of communication can result problems such as tension between departments or sections and reluctance to communicate. Specialist or technical jargon can lead to difficulty in communication and these differences could lead to conflict. Therefore choice of appropriate words or simplified messages are important. The grapevine It is almost always the case that certain information or messages cannot be transmitted through the above establishment systems of communication. Inevitably members of staff will establish their own informal communication system which is generally referred to as the grapevine. Grapevine serves to fill in the information vacuum. This vacuum gives crucial feedback to the supervisors about the company. This is especially so when there are envisaged changes in the company as it helps members of staff to make sense of the implications of the proposed changes. It is unfortunate that many managers often have a negative perception of the grapevine. To them grapevine is synonymous with rumours. This is often inaccurate and can cause problems. According to Fielding (1997) grapevine is fast, 75-90% accurate for information that is not controversional and carries a lot of messages that help develop relationships and create a sense of belonging. It is more accurate than people generally want to believe. Managers can gauge the mood and attitude of their employees through grapevine. To the employee, grapevine helps to raise staff moracle. It is also a release valve in terms of emotions within employees. It is however important to note that grapevine need not either be encouraged or discouraged. Grapevine can degenerate into a rumour mongering machine which can have disastrous results if the rumours are taken as true. Outward Communication This is another system of communication found in business contexts. Business organization naturally serve clients and they have to communicate with them. Communication with the public and suppliers can be: face-to-face interaction press releases telephone/cellphone calls



meetings workshops/seminars formal written reports/proposals advertisements (Fielding 1997)

The crucial thing in outward communication is the ability to define and analyse the audience needs. The style and tone of the messages is important. Effective speaking and non-verbal actions are the hallmark of effective business communication and the organization has to train its employees on these aspects. It is also important to note that mass communication messages such as press releases and advertisements are targeted at audiences who may be very difficult to define.

Intercultural communication rests on the notion that people, the world, and society are dynamic and always on a state of change. There are a great number of differences in the ways people of different cultures communicate. People from different cultures have different systems of beliefs, assumptions and values that they share. However, some people see these differences as deficiencies and with such a view intercultural communication becomes impossible. Although the way we see things physically is almost the same in everyone, culture influences the final step of interpretation and evaluation. (Samovar, et al 1998) culturally determined beliefs are the main influence on how we behave and communicate with others. Beliefs are our conviction in the truth of something (with or without proof). Values are enduring attitudes about the preferability of one belief over another (Samovar et. al 1998) Today intercultural communication is more important than at any other point in history. The movement of people throughout the globe is at its peak. Because we are frequently in touch with other peoples cultures, our interpersonal relationships are becoming increasingly intercultural. For example, the rapid increase in communication technology has brought foreign and sometimes strange cultures right into our individual personalities. It is therefore important that we understand some of the difficulties that we might encounter as we work or interact with others in an intercultural environment. Forms of Intercultural Communication The term intercultural communication is used broadly to refer to all forms of communication among individuals from different groups as will as to the more narrowly defined area of communication between different culture. Devito (1991) gives the following model (1) communication between cultures e.g. Zimbabweans and South Africans or French and Swedish.



(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Communication between races (Interracial communication) e.g. between blacks and whites. Communication between ethnic groups (inter-ethnic communication) e.g. Ndebele and Shona. Communication between religions e.g. Moslems and Christians/Jews. Communication between subcultures e.g. between doctors and lawyers, the blind and the hearing impaired. Communication between a subculture homosexuals and heterosexuals and the dominant culture e.g.

Communication between sexes i.e. men and women.

Another form of intercultural communication, which can be termed generational culture. This refers to communication between the youth and the senior citizens. Individuals from different cultures will communicate differently because their ways of communicating are largely culturally determined. There is therefore needed to take great care to see that the cultural differences do not prevent meaningful interaction. Rather these differences should serve as sources for enriching our communication experience. Ethnocentricism in intercultural communication as this can create serious barriers to communication. Ethnocentricism is that tendency to evaluate other cultures negatively and our own culture positively, or even vice versa. Consider the following SELF-TEST extracted from DeVitto (1998)



What Do You Know About Intercultural Differences? In each of the following six cases, something went wrong. What was it? Try to identify, perhaps with a group of friends, at least one possible explanation for the ineffective communication in each situation. (Following custom, the term American designates a person from the United States, although technically all persons from North and South America are Americans. Most, however, prefer to be designated more specifically by their countries of origin for example, Canadian, Argentinian, and Mexican. And most persons from the United States prefer to be referred to as American.) 1. An American and an Arab are talking in an open yard. After brief discussion the American concludes that the Arab was pushy and overly familiar; the Arab concludes that the American was cold and standoffish. An American and a Latin American are having dinner in a Latin American Restaurant. The American raises his hand and tries to catch the waiters eye, to no avail. The Latin American concludes that the American is shy and unassertive. The American concludes that the Latin American is rude and overly aggressive.



An American couple living in Europe invites another couple (co-workers) to dinner at their home. All goes well. Several weeks later the European couple invites the American couple feel s somewhat insulted, concluding that the European couple did not wish to share the intimacy of their home ANSTED SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY (UZ) and that they therefore did not really want to become friends.




An American teacher gives a lecture in Beijing to a group of Chinese college students. The students listen politely but make no comments and ask no questions. The teacher concludes that her lecture was uninteresting. An American colleague consoles her by saying that the students didnt understand her lecture and suggests that on future occasions she attempt to simplify some of the more complex material. An Arabian college student leaves the window of his dormitory room open and blasts his stereo. The American students could suddenly act so inconsiderate. A politician is scheduled to give a 20-minute speech on economic trends. He speaks for exactly 20 minutes. The American listeners conclude that the speaker had prepared well and was considerate of his audience. The Lain American listeners conclude that the speaker was not really interested in his topic or his audience.



Here are some possible answers, since we can only guess at what went wrong in these examples. 1. Arabs generally maintain shorter distances between people in their interpersonal interactions than do Americans. As a result, the arab is often considered too forward, while the American is considered too cold. 2. Calling the waiter by hitting a glass with a utensil is a common and expected custom among many Latin Americans. 3. Many Europeans who live in small apartments feel that it is more courteous to entertain in a restaurant. This difference is probably exaggerated ANSTED SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY (UZ) by the reputation many Americans have of being wealthy and of expecting to be entertained in style.


According to Fielding (1997) there are several barriers to effective intercultural communication. Ethnocentricism, which as been defined above can be very serious barrier to effective intercultural communication. Cultural stereotyping is another potential barrier. This is when people describe people of a particular culture or ethnic group in a particular way. Every member of that specific culture is viewed in the same way. In other words they do not see any individual differences within that culture. Can you think of examples here? One example is the way nature Zimbabweans would describe Zimbabweans of Malawian descent. Another barrier is defensiveness. This is when people are resistant to change from past attributes, behaviours and styles. How does this affect the communication process in an organization for example? Different cultures have different ways of using and interpreting non-verbal behaviours. For example different cultures interpret eye contact differently. In Zimbabwes Shona Culture a prolonged eye contact may be considered rude, threatening, and disrespectful in some situations. On the other hand some cultures, such as the Arabs, they look directly into the eyes of their communication partner fro long periods because they believe that such contact shows interest in the other person and assists in evaluating the truthfulness of the other interlocutors words. Yet in America, the prolonged stare would be associated with male homosexuals. (Samovar et al 1998). Also consider these differences noted by Samovar (ibid\0 on gestures across cultures. The act of painting US: they can point to objects and people with the index finger point with the little finger. point with the entire hand

Germans: Germans:

A considerable number of Asians: pointing with the index finger is considered rude.



If these differences and several others are not discussed, for example, in an intercultural business context serious communication problems could arise. These problems can have far reaching effects on the organisation. And yet another potential barrier to effective intercultural communication that (fielding (ibid) points out is on the different ways of interacting. He notes that some cultures prefer talk that is direct and to the point whereas other cultures would prefer a less direct approach. Fielding goes on to point out several other barriers to effective intercultural communication. These include unequal power between people from different cultures who hold different positions of power in an organisation. A manager may regard himself/herself as superior to other workers from a different culture. Prejudices: where people may have strong negative beliefs about another culture.

Can you suggest some possible potentially damaging cultural barriers? One very serious barrier to effective intercultural communication is language. People from different cultures attach different meanings to a message. Comment on this kind of greeting which is literally translated from a common Shona greeting: Are Madam, how are you? You are still alive? Overcoming barriers to intercultural communication Fielding suggests a number of approaches that help improve intercultural communication. The following are some of the suggestions he proposes organizations would do: inculate an atmosphere of trust among employees by assisting cultural groups within the organisation to understand each others weared perceptions, hopes and fears. Encourage staff to respect other cultures ways of seeing things. Assist people to learn about other cultures through personal experience of individual relationships. Make staff aware that the wealthy and the poor see things differently Staff develop employees on the fact that different occupations and agegroups influence intercultural communication. Stress equality in communication and change attitudes of superiority and inferiority at workplaces. Have in place affirmative action programmes that are in tandem with current topical issues. Establish a fair language policy within workplaces. (some companies are using controlled vocabulary of about 2000 words). above all make a deliberate effort to identify and address intercultural communication problems directly.



Advocacy/persuasion happens over six hundred times a day. Think of the following: commercials on Television and radio adverts in magazines newspapers billboards fund-raising letters from politicians/charities when you are asked to give money to a worthy cause/donate blood.

Efforts to persuade you occur at an average rate of once every two and a half minutes a day. (It is an ever-present part of your life, socially and professionally). It is therefore imperative that you have a deeper understanding of how persuasion works and then apply it in your social and professional settings. You want to ask yourself, for example, what is it that salespersons, advertisers, or politicians know about how to change your thinking and behaviour that you dont? So we would like to discuss how persuasion, works so that you can sharpen your persuasive skills and can also become a more informed receiver of the persuasive messages that come your way. Admittedly information alone has the potential to convince others, but if information is supported by strategies to persuade, the chances of success increase. What is Persuasion? * It is the process of changing or reinforcing (influencing another persons) attitudes, beliefs, values, or behaviour. These 3 variables that is attitudes/beliefs/values are important to consider when designing and delivering a persuasive message. Attitude: it is a learned predisposition to respond favourably or unfavourably towards something our attitudes represent our likes and dislikes e.g. you might try to persuade a listener to favour/oppose to like an owl or to dislike an increase in sales tax



Belief: the way we structure our perception of reality us TRUE/FALSE if you believe in something, it means you are convinced it exists or it is true If you believe in God, you have structured your sense of what is real/unreal to recognize the existence of God. beliefs are typically based on past experiences you base your beliefs on what you have directly experience or on the experience of someone trustworthy.


Value: an enduring concept of right/wrong, good/bad



if you value something, you classify it as good or desirable. If you do not value something you think of it as bad or wrong Value form the basis of your life goals and the motivating force behind your behaviour.

Why make a distinction between these 3 variables? (attitude, belief, value)? behaviour?? * We said the essence of persuasion is to change or reinforce these qualities therefore it is very useful to know exactly which one you are targeting.

* Of these 3 qualities. Which one do you think is the most stable and why? Which is the most difficult to deal with? Audience values are the most stable Most of us acquired our values when we were very young have held on to them into adulthood. - Our values therefore are generally deeply ingrained Yes it is not impossible to change the values of your listeners, but it is much more difficult than trying to change a belief, or behaviour. *

Attitudes Beliefs Behaviour Values

Political and religious points of view for example, are especially difficult to modify. Why? They are usually based on long-held values. * A belief is more susceptible to change than a value, but is still difficult to alter. Beliefs are changed by evidence. It usually takes a great deal of evidence to change a belief and alter the way your audience structures reality.



Attitudes (likes and dislikes) are easier to change than either beliefs or values e.g. in a country you may approve of the President (Today). tomorrow you may disapprove of a recent action he/she has taken or we may still believe the country is economically stable, and may still value a democratic form of government, but our attitude toward the resident has changed because of his recent policy decision.

Values are the most deeply ingrained, they change least frequently. Beliefs change, but not as much as attitudes. The suggestion here is that you think carefully about your purpose in making a persuasive speech. Know with certainty whether your objective is to change/reinforce an attitude, belief, or a value. Then decide what you have to do to achieve your objective.

Speeches that focus on changing/reinforcing audience values emphasize HOW and WHY something is better than something else. Abortion tights Animal rights Euthanasia (mercy killing) MDC and ZANU PF Policies

In most case, because of the variety of opinion held by audience members, you may conclude that you wont be able to persuade everyone in your audience. Remember when you speak to persuade, you are speaking to listeners who may oppose, be indifferent or support your position. Many people often make the mistake, of thinking that they must change their audiences opinions from oppose to favour or vice versa. You can change, instill, or intensify your listeners, values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour. Your goal is to move your listeners or clients closer to your position.

Oppose Strongly moderately Results of one persuasive speech



a) Only one client who had opposed the speakers position said that she had been persuaded to support the proposal. (The speaker thought she had failed to persuade to persuade) Comments???



Further discussion (after the speech) proved her wrong. b) a few listeners said they had changed their position from strong opposition to mild opposition. c) Several listeners/clients who already supported the proposal said that the speakers arguments had strengthened their opinion. d) Several listeners who were neutral before the speech found with the proposal. Therefore even though the speaker persuaded only one audience member to move from oppose to favour, her speech was quite successful. Therefore: (j) the most dramatic response you can request of your listeners is that they change a value, belief, attitude, or behaviour. (ii) you can attempt to instill a value, an attitude, a belief, or a behaviour. You instill when you address a particular problem about which your listeners are unaware or undecided. If you persuade your audience that a problem exists you have instilled a belief. You may try to intensify values, beliefs, attitudes, or behaviour. In such a situation you must know before your speech that the audience members agree with your position or behave as you will advocate.


Your goal is to strengthen your listeners positions and actions. e.g. your audience believe that boiling water before drinking it and do it occasionally. If your speech causes your listeners to boil water more frequently, then you have intensified their behaviour. Your speech may even encourage them to persuade family members and friends to adopt similar behaviour. When you change believers into advocates and advocates into activists, you have intensified their attitudes and behaviour. Strategies for speaking persuasively A) establishing credibility

If you want to buy a new car whom do you turn to for advice You turn to a source you consider knowledgeable competent trustworthy

Credibility: the audiences perception of a speakers competence, trustworthiness and dynamism. Current research points to a relationship between credibility and speech effectiveness. The more believable you are to your listener, the more effective you will be as a persuasive communicator.



As nurse/speaker you should be ethical possess good character have common sense concerned for the well-being of the audience Credibility

your listeners, not you, determine your credibility or lack of it. encompasses several factors and many views. Factor e.g. competence -

speaker should be considered informed, skilled or knowledgeable about the subject he/she is falling about subject he/she is talking about.

If you say Dental check-up after every six months People will ask what is your qualification to make such a proposal? by supporting your proposal with statistics, you enhance the credibility of your suggestion.

Trustworthiness you trust people whom you believe to be honest. Convey your honesty and sincerity to your audience/clients. Trust is earned by demonstrating that you have experience dealing and with the issues you are talking about. Your trustworthiness will be suspect if you advocate something that will result in a direct benefit to you. (thats why politician untrustworthy) Dynamism/energy often projected through delivery charisma is a form dynamism a charismatic person possesses charm talent magnetism and other qualities that make a person attractive and energetic. and salespersons are stereotyped as being

How do you enhance your credibility? (a) (b) you build your credibility in 3 phases critical credibility giving careful thought to your appearance establishing eye contact can enhance your confidence and credibility derived credibility



the perception formed by your audience as you present yourself and your message. establish common ground by indicating in your opening remarks that you share the values and concerns of your audience. Have evidence to support your persuasive conclusions. Present a well-organised speech.

(c) -

Terminal or final credibility end with eye contact be prepared for questions

What is negotiation? According to Kennedy (1992) negotiation can be defined as A process of getting what we want from people who want something from us. A process of conflict resolution between two or more parties whereby the parties modify their demands to come up with a mutually acceptable compromise. A process of adjusting the parties views of their ideal outcome to an attainable result.

In essence it is a process that involves trading and exchanging particular desires. Kennedy (ibid) sums it up thus: Give me some of what I want, and I will give you some of what you want negotiation involves give and take. Simply put, negotiation is a process involving dealings between individuals or parties that are intended to result in an agreement and commitment to a course of action. In other words negotiation can involve two parties (bilateral) or several parties (multilateral). Negotiations can be in the form of face-to-face interaction, by fax, e-mail, letter or phone. Before a more detailed discussion of negotiation is done. It is important to note that negotiation is primarily a result and/or product CONFLICT. According to Fielding (1997) conflict is inevitable when people work together. Naturally people may differ on a number of things among which are leadership styles, values, needs and attributes. This will inevitably lead to conflict. Conflict can be viewed either as positive or negotiative. The negative view is that conflict is seen as destructive and should be avoided as because it reflects badly on



the organization. On the other hand, conflict may be used in constructive manner to stimulate better interaction and new ways of addressing problems (Fielding 1997). Whereas the negative approach to conflict in organizations leads to an attitude that conflict is caused by a few undesirable elements and associated with aggression and violence, the positive approach sees conflict as something that is unavoidable, something that can be helpful if handled properly and something that can lead to better participation, higher motivation and greater creativity. It is important to note that proper handling of conflict can result in the developing of procedure for improved future management of conflict. Although the positive approach sees conflict as natural, it also recognizes the fact that conflict can be harmful if employees are so engrossed in it that they do not concentrate on their responsibilities. Conflict can be a very various barrier to communicate as people may withhold information, stay away, leave the organization, or simply adopt a safe position because they do not want to be seen as thinking differently from the rest of their workmates. Types of conflict Fielding (ibid) describes conflict (from two viewpoints) people involved type of conflict

The people involved a) Personal conflict: this is where individuals may have confliction needs and cannot meet all of them at once.

Can you give examples b) Interpersonal conflict: caused by differences in attitudes, experience or competition for resources, dislike of other people, or dominance of other individuals over others. Can be quite destructive if people attack each other. Organisational conflict: as an organization expands, for example, functions and responsibilities become complex. Conflicts are bound to cause.


Give typical examples of the situations described in (b) and (c) above. Another dimension of describing conflict is by looking at it according to its type: (I) value conflict is where people within the company see their values as fundamental to their existence. Values are very difficult to change and as such conflict arising from these values may e difficult to resolve. In such cases, it may be advisable to work t find other areas of agreement. Context conflict is where people may differ on their bahaviours, attitudes or what they see as facts or opinions. Unlike value conflict, context conflict may easier t resolve so long as it does not degenerate into personality attacks.




How to cope with conflict Fielding gives two different ways of managing conflict normally avoiding conflict and confronting conflict. Avoiding conflict Some people avoid conflict by ignoring the differences or adapt a wait-and-see attitude where they hope that the conflict will go away. Others may try t defer the resolutions of conflict until anger has disappeared. The approach is said t be helpful in some way but does not allow people to settle the most crucial issues. Confronting conflict When people resolve to tackle the problem they could take three approaches Win-lose (trying to win without considering the other side) Lose-lose (trying to compromise solution) Win-win (trying to make both sides win

Win-lose approach is usually based on power one side uses authority to defeat the other party

the approach is generally seen as a short-term and can cause a great deal of anger and animosity. Lose-lose approach (compromise approach) each side makes concessions but either party is not completely satisfied.

The approach is seen as a stop gap measure, but which can lead to a great deal of dissatification in the long run. Win-win here both or all parties should look at the problem rather than proving who is right or wrong they work together towards a common goal that will satisfy everybody

Fielding proposes the following as implications for communication in a business context: - analyse the type of conflict - create an atmosphere of trust - as fast as possible work towards a win-win approach - acknowledge the values and interests of others. - Neutral, instead of disparaging language is crucial - Encourage clear statement of the problems - All possible communication networks should be encouraged to open Above all, those involved in the management of conflict should develop excellent negotiation skills. Having looked at what negotiation and conflict entail as well as



the obvious relationship between them, let us now focus on negotiation in some detail. The Negotiation Process It involves three stages: (a) preparation (b) face-to-face negotiation (c) implementation of agreement Preparation Many negotiators are poor planners.. a significant number of negotiation events fail because of poor planning. Planning involves: defining the issues clearly defining the interests clearly assessing the bargaining power of each party carefully finding out how the other sides bargaining power can be weakened (i.e. if you are directly involved) deciding on the intermediate points you must win in order to gain your overall objective preparing your case to win

Please note that if you are going to negotiate on behalf of somebody else, gain the approval for how you are going to negotiate. Face to face negotiation Ideally this should take place in a setting that is conducive for you or this may not always be the case. Some people take advantage of their offices and other sources of power. During face to face negotiation: c) find out clearly the other partys stance e.g. their argument, reasons why they feel they are right, and how far they may move from their position. Concentrate on their reasons and arguments and strive to make them see why the may need to move away from that position.

Causing certainty sometimes silence over a reasonable period of time may cause uncertainty and can help you when you eventually negotiate.


Being Nice and Nusty Police officers sometimes employ this tactic when interrogating suspects. Although this may not be negotiation, the same tactic may be used where the nasty guy may use some threats. E.g. then with the kind of percent increment you are proposing, we might as well close shop But the nice



guy might later say, look everyone, lets be more focused and realistic in our approach to the issue of profits and dividends There might be need for some adjustments to your demands NB. Take great care so that your tactics do not achieve the opposite. For example, instead of weakening the other partys position, you may well be strengthening their cohesion where they adopt an even more resolute stance. e) High Ball/Low Ball ask for something that was not part of the issues being negotiated intimidation and threats suggest how an agreement can be reached formally finalize agreement

Some tactics in negotiation a) Split the Opposition if there are diffences in the other camp, you capitalize on those

b) Direct question e.g. so you want 50% retention allowance and nothing more? some experienced negotiators would either not respond to such a direct question or answer it with another direct question e.g. what did you have in mind? in some cases the experienced negotiator can prevent the inexperienced from responding. This can help you in the negotiation process. Try to find out why? Factors that affect negotiations 1. Power ability to exercise control

Sources of power 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. information and expert power resource control; legitimate power personal power integrity attractiveness

Time the urgency of each party to achieve result Information Cultural background Media setting/Venue Negotiating styles/strategies/tactics/techniques.



Interviewing is a particular form of interpersonal communication where two or more people interact through a question-and-answer format in order to achieve a specific goal. There are several types of interviews. The most common ones are persuasive interview information interview appraisal interview exit interview counselors employment interview

The information interview This type of interview tries to learn something from the interviewee. It tries to elicit an interviewees views, beliefs, insights, predictions, and life history among others. It is sometimes referred to as the grievance or market survey interview. The persuasive interview This is designed to change the persons attitude or behaviour. The interviewee ask questions that will lead the interviewee to the desired conclusion or answer questions in a persuasive way. This is common with a buyer and a salesperson. The buyer interviews the salesperson. The salesperson answers your questions persuasively in order to get you to buy a particular item. The appraisal interview This is designed to tell people how they are performing in an organization the general aim is to discover what the interviewee is doing well (and praise this) and what he/she is not doing well (and correct it). This type of interview is important as it helps new members of staff to see how their performance matches up with the expectations of those who make promotion and firing decisions. The exit interview Most reputable companies use this type of interview. When an employee voluntarily resigns, it is important for the company to know why. If company is continually losing workers, it has to find out why so that they prevent others from leaving. The counseling interview In this type of interview the interviewer tries to provide guidance. It is usually conducted by trained personnel. The goal is to help the individual deal more effectively with problems, to get along better with people or cope with day-to-day living. And for the interview to be successful knowledge about the interviewees habits, problems, self perception, goals and other things is crucial. The employment interview



This is one of the most important types of interviews which involves the employer and the prospective employee. Although it has several weaknesses, the employment interview still enjoys a pivotal role in most companies selection procedures. In business contexts, organizations use interviews hire new employees and to determine the suitability of individual employees in the various positions that exist in the organization. And because we have been or shall at one time be involved in one way or another in this selection process, it is imperative more lengthily than we have done with the other types of interviews discussed above. We will focus on how employees and applications should prepare for and participate in interviews. The employer and the interview Employers should make interviewing structured and systematic. They should know what to look for, use appropriate tests and keep performance record of each employee selection procedure. Interviewers should keep abreast with existing laws governing employment which every country is almost always certain to have. These may include such issues as equal employment opportunity or discrimination on the grounds of health etc. Interviews should - determine the nature of the position to be filled and prepare a job description. - Advertise the position - Advertise the position - Read applications and make a summary of the important aspects about each applicant. - Define objectives of the interview and prepare questions and a plan to be use in the selection process. Job description The interviewer has to determine the nature of the position to be filled. This should include the level of education, training, experience and skills which are job related. In the process of coming of coming up with a job description it may be necessary to conduct a needs analysis as well as a job analysis. For example a needs analysis would come up with specific tasks from the new position and a job analysis would reveal that the position requires someone with energy, motivation, deceiveness and adaptability ( ) Conducting the interview The interviewer has the responsibility for the interviews arrangements and leads in conducting the activity (Berko et al 1998). The interviewer prefers an interview format. Interviewers should avoid talking more than the applicants. They should work to establish rapport by creating a climate of trust, support and transparency. A good interviewer should also be sensitive to non-verbal behaviours of the interviewee and should adapt to the reactions or responses. On opening the interview, the interviewer should strive to make the interviewee fell comfortable. Berko et al (ibid) suggest that one best way is for the interviewer to do most of the talking at the beginning. They argue that this technique helps establish the goal of the interviewee time to adjust t the interview situation. However, avoid too much chatting as it can heighten tension, anxiety and suspense.



The following can be a good example of beginning an interview: greet the applicant warmly and by name introduce the members of the panel so that the interview can be able to use the panelists names most interviewees are said to welcome a handshake. Tell the interviewee how the interview will proceed (questions from employer, information about the job and the company, and questions from the applicant). Interviewers can take notes but if this appears to the interviewee they should stop. Some organizations use audio and videotape recordings for effective recording of all information ) suggest some guidelines for clear and effective questioning. ask open-ended questions avoid questions that can be answered yes or no. do not waste time asking questions that are already answered on the Curriculum Vitae or covering letter. Use loaded or leading questions ONLY for definite and predetermined purposes Avoid questions that might violate equal employment opportunity guidelines and legislation. Avoid multiple questions, ask one question at a time. Give applicant time to answer and rephrase the question when necessary. Listen carefully to each answer and probe for details and explanations.

( -

Sample Employment Question a) (i) (ii) b) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (v) c) (i) d) (i) Interest in the Organisation Why would you like to work for us? what made you apply for this position? Work Related Tell me briefly about your work experience which position has given you the most satisfaction which position was most frustrating for you do you prefer working on your own or as a group why are you leaving your current employment why should we hire you? Education and Training how has your education and training helped you to perform jobs better? Career Objectives what factors do you believe are most influential in determining a persons chance for advancement?



(ii) (iii) e) (i) (ii) (iii)

where would you like to be in this company in five years? describe your ideal boss Job Performance What do you believe are the most important performance criteria in your area of expertise? As a manager, how would you handle an employee who is chromically late or absent? what areas of improvement were pointed out to you during your last performance appraisal?

Interviewers can also prepare a score so that each candicate can be rated out of ten on a set of characteristics (Fielding 1998) 1 Appearance Honesty Ability to communicate Knowledge of the job Suitability for the job 2 3 4 5

The applicant and the Interview Like the employer, the applicant has to prepare thoroughly. The interviewee (applicant) must has as much knowledge as possible about the organization; study the job specifications very closely; study the job specifications very closely; analyse his/her strengths and weaknesses; prepare self by emphasizing what he/she can do for the organization, think carefully about career objectives, come up with possible questions and prepare thoroughly for the answers, think of possible questions the he/she could ask. Do not panic when the questions and answers you had prepared for are not asked. Do you had prepared for are not asked. In fact be prepared for such an eventuality. (Fielding 1997)


A Curriculum Vitae or resume is an easy-to-read, factual document that presents your qualifications for employment. It covers certain standard items: name, address, phone number, education, past experience, talents, publications, awards,



honours, membership in professional organizations, and a list of references or a statement that they are available upon request. Do you keep a standard CV or you make a new one each time you are responding to an advert?

Todays world is a fast-paced one and you probably. Only have about 20 to 30 seconds to attract the readers attention! So how do you get your CV noticed by key decision-makers? A CV gives you the chance to present a positive picture of yourself to a prospective employer. But as students you have limited experience. Employers understand this. However, you also need to do your part by: thinking of headings that allow you to emphasise your strengths


if you have never done paid work do not use Business Experience you could use Work Experience if you have done volunteer or other unpaid work. you could use Organisational Experience if you have run school/social events if your greatest strength is your academic record put your educational achievements first.

How do you arrange your CV? There are basically two ways you can arrange your CV?. i) you can arrange it in emphatic order i.e. with the most important information first and the least important last. What information do you consider most important? you can arrange it in chronological or time order a sequence that is good for showing a steady work history or solid progress in a particular field. chronological or time order can be arranged in two ways a) b) beginning from the earliest qualifications beginning with the latest (reverse chronology)




The following is a specimen for a CV. James Moyo 72 Leman Road Mt Pleasant Harare (04) 303267 PROFILE Technical writer trained in preparation of manuals, catalogs, and instructional materials. Experience in writing computer documentation containing syntax formats. MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS Designed instructional materials that earned the company $5 000 000 a year through consultancy. Solved major quality assurance problems which adversely affected clients through upgrading of manuals. University of Zimbabwe 1999 to date created individual lesson plans for each student assigned to the Reading and Writing Laboratory. Developed materials for use in Laboratory programmes.

CAREER HISTORY Senior Technical Writer Responsibilities: PERSONAL DETAILS Date of Birth Marital Status Driving Licence : : :

26-08-77 Single Class 4, clean




Reading Science Magazines Watching Soccer Traveling

REFEREES The Headmaster Mr. S. Gumbi Kapiri Secondary School P.O. Box 16 Mt Darwin Phone 0758 (216) Mr. C. Gomba Department of Linguistics University of Zimbabwe P.O. Mt Pleasant Telephone: 303211 The News Editor Mrs. E. Chirapa Daily News P.O. Box 1040 Harare Telephone (04) 753025 Ran the laboratory for approximately 100 students 20 hours a week. Kept all records of students work and prepared written and oral reports on student progress and laboratory operators.

Tutor of Foreign Students September 1994-1998 Integrated Students into a large urban school and community and was a positive role model educationally and socially.

SPECIAL SKILLS Various courses including Programming Language; Word; WordPerfect; Lotus 1-2-3; Excel. QUALIFICATIONS: UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE B.A. (HONS) LINGUISTICS 2.1



3 A LEVELS:ENGLISH (A), HISTORY (B), GEOGRAPHY (B) 6 O LEVELS. CONCENTRATION: OTHER ACTIVITIES: English in Technical Communication Chairperson: Faculty Student Publications Board. Part-time proofreader Daily News. Editorial


A report is an informative, fixed-format document normally written in response t an instruction to investigate a problem, draw conclusions and recommend action. A report is based on facts, divided into clearly defined sections, used for making decisions, set up in a highly readable way and written in a formal impersonal style. Reports come in various kinds, including progress, press, statistical and other commercial reports. Types of Reports The most common types include: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) The Informative report which gives the facts of a situation. The writer gives details of procedures followed in the compilation of the report. The Investigative report which investigates a problem, draws conclusions and recommends action. The feasibility report which is closely related to an investigative report. In this report, the writer is instructed to investigate whether something can or should be done or not. The technical report which contains a large amount of technical information which is often set out in the form of tables, graphs of various kinds. Technical reports may be informative, investigative or feasibility in nature. The interim report which is written to inform management of the progress of a project. A number of these could be written before the final report is written.

Formats of Reports There are two basic lay outs or designs adopted in the presentation of reports. These are the traditional and pyramid formats. In either case, the sections are divided into two parts: Preliminaries with pages numbered in Arabic numerals and Body with pages numbered in Arabic numerals. Traditional Format Preliminaries information Title Page Acknowledgements Terms of Reference (Brief) Summary Table of contents List of illustrations



Glossary (complex, difficult or technical terms may also be defined at the bottom of each page) List of symbols

BODY OF REPORT 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Introduction Procedure Conclusions Recommendations Findings List of References Bibliography Appendices

NB. The list above especially the preliminaries section records all the possible sections. One should therefore select the sections relevant to ones report. In other words all the sections are not mandatory, as it were, but the writer selects those applicable to his/her report compilation. Note that the pyramid order moves the conclusions and recommendations closer to the beginning of the report. This is done for the benefit of decision makers who certainly do not require all the details of the findings before they reach the conclusions and Recommendations. They do not want to be bogged down or delayed by the facts but wish t make decisions promptly. Terms of Reference: This section appears, as indicated in the formats, as part of the preliminaries information. It constitutes the instructions given to the investigator and can be referred to as the Brief. Questions addressed in this section include; who instructed the writer, what the investigator is supposed to do, when instructors were given and the date when the report has to be handed in. They are called Terms of Reference because everything in the report refers back to these instructions. Note that any body who has to write a report should ensure that he/she has been fully briefed and TERMS OF REFERENCE negotiates with the briefer. Mr. M. Evans, the Director of ABC Wholesalers, commissioned this report on 30 June 2003. is He was determined to resume production and distribution after fire The following an example of a Terms of Reference design. gutted the main factory building in Harare. Mr. Evanss specific instructions were to: Investigate the extent of the structural damage to the ABC wholesalers main factory as 28 June 2003. Investigate the cause of the fire. Consult with Ministry of Public Construction to establish whether the factory framework should be replaced. Consult with the Harare Fire Brigade Services to find out what precautionary measures need be instituted before resumption of production and distribution. Draw conclusions from the findings as to whether the building can be repaired or not. Recommend specific action on repairs to the building, guided by the amount available from the Insurance Company. Report by 31 December 2003.



Short Reports These can be distinguished from the long reports which follow the formal pattern and are presented normally in band form while the short reports are inclined more towards the informal and usually not longer than 5 pages. Short reports are usually used where the problem is well defined and limited in scope. They may take the form of a memorandum (used for internal purposes in an organization) or a letter (for external communication). A short report of this nature might include a brief overview of the problem but generally omits such details as the research method used. The intention is to provide information quickly in this user friendly format. When compiling this report or some all of the following parts: a) Authorisation letter (Written confirmation that special permission was granted or obtained before compilation. In other words it shows under whose authority the research was done. It also adopts some or all of the information given in the Terms of Reference above). (States the need for the research which is usually presented as a management question). Results of the study which does not include interpretations or conclusions presented in numbered paragraphs as well as quantitative data.


Statement of the Problem


Summary of the findings


Conclusions and Recommendations (drawing inferences from the findings and making suggestions on future action).

Like other kinds of writing, business writing calls for understanding your audience and your purpose. This unit explains how to write business letters, job application letters, memoranda. Guidelines for business writing



consider your audiences needs and expectations show that you understand the purpose for a business communication and the context in which it takes place. put essential information first. make your points clearly and directly. use convectional formats.

Writing and formatting in business Writing Business Writing aims at giving information building goodwill or establishing a foundation for discussions or transactions

It is generally agreed that business writing that is likely to get results is one that is short, simple, direct, and human. Business writers are basically advised to: call the person by name say why you are writing in the first paragraph be honest be clear and specific use correct language (English, Shona, Ndebele) be positive and natural edit ruthlessly.

Remember to avoid sexist language in your salutations. You may want to send a business letter but not know the specific person to whom it should be addressed. Use the following steps to prepare a salutation. Telephone the company to which you are sending the letter. State your reason for sending the letter, and ask for the name of the person who should receive it. Avoid a sexist opening e.g. Dear Sir. If you cannot find out the name of the person who should read your letter you could say Dear Sir/Madam (but NB few women want to be addressed as Madam You could use Dear Manager/Sales Manager/Personnel Officer, whatever the case may be.




These are often the only contact that people have with organizations and should therefore be written carefully as they act as the ambassadors for the company.

So there is need to plan letters write in clear style write to achieve a friendly tone make letters readable

Writers should also know how to write Memoranda On the other hand, memoranda (memos) rarely circulate outside companies. They have fixed formats that show the sender and the intended receiver. good-news, neutral and bad-news letters letters of enquiry responses to enquiries letter of complaint letters of invitation

Memos should have: - good subject-line - a clear opening paragraph announcing the topic - good readability (e.g. font size) - a clear style - a good, friendly tone Memoranda are written in a formal to consultative style. The organizations name and logo, or letterhead, may appear at the top of the memo, but no address is needed. The words to, from, subject, and date appear on all memos often in this order. (The order is sometimes based on the filing system used in the organization). Spacing, notations for enclosures, additional pages, and copies all follow the same pattern as in letters. Same Memorandum Flea Market Enterprises To From Subject Date : : : : Executive Committee Members Billy Mutero Selection of new executive vice president July 1 2003



A meeting of the executive committee will be held on 16 July to discuss the resignation of our current vice president, Nhamo Enerata, and the selection of a new vice president. Mr. Enerata has taken a position with Food Giants, of Msasa and will have his position with us on 31 July. We have several applications on file, and we need to discuss procedures we will follow to advertise the position and hire a new vice president. Please come to the meeting with ideas or suggestions for possible candidates. F.M. Jaya (Mr) NB Many businesses now carry on much of their internal correspondence through computer networks. Once employees are linked by computer, they can quickly and efficiently send announcements and reminders, minutes, reports, memos, and other documents. This also saves greatly on the issue of paper. If someone wants to take a document out of office, the document can always be printed, creating what is called a hard copy. Because computer networks tend to encourage informal, talky prose, however, some people find they must work extra-hard to maintain a professional style when they write on the network. Points to note Electronic mail (e-mail) is a very effective means of communication and enables companies to communicate worldwide. It is - fast - inexpensive - readily available - independent of receivers presence However, organizations have to decide how formal or informal to make their messages.


What does it mean to do research? Research writing involves you in three processes namely, conducting research, understanding the results of your research, and writing a paper on your understand. Of course these processes are interwoven. The process of writing a research paper does not differ markedly from the process of writing an essay. The difference is one of scope. A research paper is longer than most essays and contains more information from external sources, found by doing research. Why research?



Work in many academic and professional disciplines how, medicine, engineering, technology depends heavily on research. Researchers conduct studies to answer important questions, solve problems, prove cases, and to argue positions. They are careful, critical and systematic thinkers who go beyond memorizing facts on a subject to examine the bases on which claims and arguments rest. You may probably realize that you have already researched many subjects. If you purchased a Television set, for example, how did you decide which one to choose? You could have read about the LG Television Set, talked to friends, listened to and compared several models, or shopped around. You researched your purchase and the thinking processes you used are similar to those used to research a subject in a particular discipline or profession. Understanding a research assignment When you set out to carry out a research, ask yourself questions like What will my purpose be? How should I sound as a writer? Who will my readers be? Where will I get my authority?

There are two main types of research i) Primary research ii) Secondary research Primary research = generating information or data through processes like interviewing, administering questionnaires, or observation. For example, when a chemist performs an experiment in the laboratory, that is primary research; when an archeologist goes on a dig, that is also primary research. Secondary research = finding information in secondary, or published sources, computerized hypertents on Internet, newspapers, journals etc. Therefore you need to decide which type(s) of research your project demands. Can you get what you need in secondary sources, or will the research be primary in nature or some combination of the two? Finding a topic Instructors assign topics for research papers in a number of ways. Some assign the specific topic. Others assign a general subject area and expect you to narrow it to a topic that can be researched within the constraints of time and length imposed by the assignment. Still other instructors expect you to choose a topic of your own. When you have free choice of a topic, always choose a topic worthy of research writing, something that interests you or a problem that intrigues you. It is important to find a topic that you already know something about or you will like to become more knowledgeable about. Above all, the topic must give you full opportunity to demonstrate your ability to think critically. Ways to find ideas for research



Get ready. Carry paper and pen at all times, because ideas have a way of popping into your mind when you least expect them, Jot down your thought immediately before it slips away. Browse through textbooks. Pick a field that interests you and look over a textbook or two. Search for an area that interests you and read about it. Browse general encyclopedias. Topics range over many subjects, but articles give only a general sense of subject. They can be in book form, CD Rom, or online e.g. Google Website. Browse specialized encyclopedias. Each different book focuses on a specific area and its articles or chapters treat topics in some depth.

How do you narrow and focus the topic? If your topic, for example, is an environmental topic, you could use the Google website. Surf the Net Browse around for a while Search engine for the subject environment Environment and Nature emerges Numerous subtopics are listed under Environment and Nature heading e.g. disposal of nuclear waste to endangered species Climate Change Policy emerges as subdirectory Under this find global warming Then if this topic global warming intrigues you, you could ask the following questions: a) b) c) d) Is global warming really happening? What causes it? What are the consequences of global warming? What can we do about it?

Posing these questions can allow you to begin your background reading in search of an answer, instead of reading aimlessly in an unfocused way. Developing a Hypothesis As you attempt to answer your starting questions, you should come up with a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a tentative statement of what you anticipate the research will reveal. A working hypothesis describes a proposition that research evidence will either prove or disprove. Using our example of global warming you could come up with a working hypothesis as follows: Topic Global Warming



RESEARCH QUESTIONS Is global warming really happening? If so, what causes it? What are its consequences? What can we do about it? Working Hypothesis Global warming is a real event with potential catastrophic consequences that must be stopped. A working hypothesis should be stated in such a way that it can be either supported or challenged by research. It is a working hypothesis because you may find that you need to change or revise it during the course of the research. Now that you have decided on your starting question and working hypothesis, you are ready to outline your research strategy. Your first decision will be about the nature of your research. Are you going to rely on secondary (Library and internet) research or on primary (field) research. The Research Process The research process is often triggered by curiosity roused through reading, through observation or an argument or claim made by somebody. Sometimes a mere hunch or doubt can lead to research. At college, however, the research project may be initiated by tutors. Whatever the case may be, the steps involved are the same. grouped under three phases. Phase 1 Selecting the area of study, narrowing and clarifying the problem and deciding on the method to be used. Phase 2 Collecting data Phase 3 Analysing and interpreting data Phase 4 Reporting the results Phase 1 If your tutor has given you the opportunity to choose a subject that is a) of interest to you The steps may be



b) c)

one about which you know something one that you want to learn more about

The area of study must present you with a problem something that needs to be clarified or confirmed. Sources of subject areas Books, journals, newspapers, observation, lectures, seminars, tutorials, dissertations, the internet.

Statement of the problem Once the subject has been narrowed to a manageable topic, it is necessary to make a statement of the problem to be studied. See the example on global warming (the working hypothesis). The problem should be stated in such a way that it is a claim, a proposition that your research will prove or disprove. Stating the problem or hypothesis is a crucial step in research. thought and revision. Topic to avoid Topics that are too controversial Topics that are too trivial Topics that are too complex and too technical. It needs careful

Literature Review It is important to establish what other scholars have already does on the topic that you have chosen. This can be done through reading. Find out from the library or from your tutor what materials are available and build a bibliography of possible sources. You may not use all the sources on this working bibliography, but it is important as a guide to your literature review. Reviewing what other scholars have done may lead you to refine your topic further or to change it altogether. Create a research notebook in which you record your sources and make notes. You can also use cards to record your sources and make notes.

Choosing a research design/method Your choice of design is largely determined by your purpose. Design The case study Purpose to establish what is happening. relationship between A and B? Is there a



The comparison The longitudinal study The experiment Selecting a sample

are A and B different? has there been any change over a period of time? cause and effect

If the research findings a re going to be generalized, the sampling procedures must represent the targeted population in every major aspect. Decisions have to be made or how the sample will be selected and also on how large it should be. For example, it would be to conclude that communication strategies in industries are ineffective if this conclusion is based on findings from one organization or company only. In some studies where it may be unfair to generalize the researcher often states the limitations of the study e.g. the sample may be too small. Selecting a sample has become necessary because it is impossible to study the entire population. Sampling reduces costs and saves time. Phase 2 Collecting data Successful data collection depends on how the above steps will have been handled. Interviews, questionnaires, observations, or experiments can be used in primary research. Secondary research depends mostly on reading, although the researcher may want to interview one or two experts in the field. In dealing with people, the researcher should be considerate and not impinge on peoples rights. It is important to be thoroughly prepared so that you do not waste peoples time. Sensitive issues should be approached with caution so that the information are not emotionally upset or embarrassed. It is polite to seek peoples permission first, keep appointments and thank them afterwards. In some cases, it may be necessary to mask the locality of the research and to use pseudonyms on order to maintain confidentiality. Where possible, the people that you worked with/helped you in your research need to be informed about the outcome of the research. Phase 3 Analysing and Interpreting Data Data must be categorized first before it can be interpreted. The researcher has to work the categories and present them in the form of tables, graphs, pie charts etc. This is very important stage in the research project. It takes you back to the beginning when the problem/hypothesis was formulated. What is the purpose of the research? What are the findings? How are the findings related to the hypothesis? Using Sources: Avoiding Plagiarism and Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing Avoid plagiarism



Writers gain credibility through the use of information from experts. It is important for the researcher to be certain that any information from another author, whether paraphrased, summarized, or quoted, is accurately relayed and acknowledged. When writing a research paper, you must acknowledge any original information, ideas, and illustrations that you find in another authors work, whether it is in print or on the Internet. Plagiarism is the unauthorized use or misleading use of the language and thoughts of another author

Guidelines for Effective Quoting i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) vii) viii) ix) use direct quotes sparingly as support of your own ideas. use primarily short quotes (one or two sentences). be extremely careful to be accurate when copying a quote. attribute quotes to their sources and punctuate them correctly. integrate quotes smoothly into the stylistic flow of the paper. incorporate quotes in a way that is grammatically correct. provide an explanation to place the quote in context. use the authors name of the works title to introduce the quote. for direct quotes give name of the author, year and page.

Paraphrase Sources accurately Paraphrase is a detailed restatement of someone elses statement expressed in your own words and your own sentence structures. Guidelines for effective Paraphrasing i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) place the information in a new order break the complex ideas into small units use concrete, direct vocabulary in place of technical jargon use synonyms for most of the words in the source accompany each important fact or idea with name of the author and year incorporate the paraphrase smoothly into the grammar and style of your own writing.

Summarize sources briefly A summary is a condensed statement of the main points of someone elses passage expressed in your own words and sentence structure. Guidelines for Effective Summarising (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) identify the main points as you read the source put those main points into your own words. condense the original, keeping the summary short. use a table of a list, when appropriate, to summarise the information be objective rather than interpreting or judging source ideas. integrate the summarized ideas into the flow of the prose provide proper documentation for the source.