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ENGLISH LANGUAGE & COMMUNICATION

Code: HU 101 (First Semester) [B. Tech.]

OBJECTIVE OF THE COURSE: To impart basic skills of communication in English through


intensive practice to the first year students, so as to enable
them to function confidently and effectively in that language
in the professional sphere of their life.

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LECTURES 1 – 6

GRAMMAR : Correction of sentences— Identifying & Analysing Grammatical Errors including


errors in Spelling & Punctuation

Vocabulary / Word formation


Single word for a group of words
Fill in the blank— Tense, Clause, Preposition
Transformation of sentences
Grammatical & Structural aspects of sentences covering Parts of Speech

Active / Passive Voice


Direct / Indirect Narration
Degrees of Comparison
Synonyms & Antonyms
LECTURES 7 – 15

COMMUNICATION : Communication as sharing— Context of Communication—


speaker / listener and reader / writer relationship

Public speaking Skills—Brevity, Clarity and


Appropriateness of Communication

Features of Effective Speech—Medium of Communication,


Barriers to Communication

Verbal and Non-verbal Communication

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Introduction

• Communication can be a complicated process of give and take with innumerable


intricacies and dimensions.
• More than language, it needs an attitude, a willingness to open up to others and
accept others; to have empathy and capacity to look at situations from varied
perspectives.
• Given these attitudinal factors language becomes just an aid to promote
communication.

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Personal Appearance
 Plan your appearance in such a way that it communicates effectively to others.
 Even before the speaker utters his first syllable one begins to form an opinion
about him.
 Appearance communicates how we feel about ourselves and how we want to be
viewed.
 One’s appearance may put the audience into a resistant or hostile attitude or
induce in them a receptive mood.
 One should be clean, well groomed conforming to the need of the occasion.

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Important Tips

 Look impressive, not gorgeous. Never be over-dressed for the occasion.


 Do not go for high fashion and trendy design. Look elegant in conventional style.
 Wear neither too loose nor tight clothes. You must feel comfortable in your outfit.
 Your shoes should be formal and the portfolio which you carry should be trim and
proper.

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Posture

• It refers to the way we carry ourselves when we stand, sit or walk.


• One should be upright, squarely facing the audience and evenly distribute the
weight.
• Adopt a posture that communicates professionalism, confidence, attention to
detail and organization.
• Seeing is believing; so one should appear to be at ease.
• Neither remain static nor fidget. Move occasionally to hold attention, suggest
transitions and increase emphasis.

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Gesture

• A well timed adroit gesture enhances the impact and adds greater value to what is
being said.
• They clarify one’s ideas and reinforce them if they are well suited to the audience
and occasion.
• They should be quite natural and spontaneous and never divert or distract the
listener’s attention.

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Important Tips

• Make conscious efforts to create a positive image by positive gestures.


• Learn to look confident, assertive and positive.
• Avoid appearing nervous, aggressive, rude, pompous, overbearing and superior.
• Gestures are substitutes for words. Learn the skill of using them effectively.
• Equally important is to recognise the negative gestures and learn to hide them.
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Facial Expression

 These are subtle and can be used in a variety of ways-- to aid, inhibit or
complement your communication.
 A smile stands for friendliness , a frown for discontent, raised eye brows for
disbelief, tightened jaws for antagonism and so on.
 Learning to maneuver one’s facial expressions to match with one’s presentation is
an art.

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Eye Contact

 It is a direct and powerful form of nonverbal communication and also a rich


source of feedback.
 A direct look conveys candour which is also a signal of confidence and sincerity.
 It helps tremendously in the filtering process or in getting the desired response.

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Proxemics

 It is study of physical space in international relations. Space is related to


behavioural norms.
 One should use the psychological power of the space to one’s advantage. Gestures
should be in accordance with space available.
 Move boldly and expand your gesture if you have plenty of space to manoeuvre.
Use milder gestures when seated at a table.

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Paralinguistics

 These are non-verbal vocal cues that help to give urgency to your voice
 Voice gives extra life to your delivery; therefore it is imperative to understand the
characteristic nuances of voice, namely quality, volume, rate, pitch, articulation,
pronunciation, modulation and pauses.

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Conclusion

To recapitulate, oral presentation is an art that requires careful planning and a great deal
of practice. There are various factors that help to put your thoughts across like audience
analysis, organisation of matter, nuances of delivery, kinesics and paralinguistics.
One’s efforts should be to keep all these threads intact so that one can achieve
wonders with oral presentations.

LECTURES 16– 25

COMPREHENSION: Reading Comprehension— Global, Contextual, Inferential

Reading at various speeds— Slow, Fast, Very fast

Reading different kinds of Texts for different purposes—


for relaxation, for information, for discussion at a later
stage etc
Reading between the lines
Select passages from recommended text

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Meaning of Comprehension

• Comprehension comes from the Latin word “Comprehendere” meaning “to


understand”.
• The power of cognition is tested through comprehension.
• How far a reader is engaged with the text is important.
• To create interest in the given passage is also of primary importance.

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What is Comprehension?

• The National Reading Panel (2000) defines reading comprehension as an “active


process that requires an intentional and thoughtful interaction between the reader
and the text”.
• A method of teaching students to read for meaning and to monitor their own
understanding
• The comprehension process involves a teacher and a group of students.
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Rationale

• Difficulties in comprehension affect progress in almost all areas of learning.


• Comprehension skills are often not taught and some students cannot acquire them
without help.
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Basics of Comprehension

• When we talk about the time generally spent by professionals on communication


activities, we see that the time they spend on receiving information(listening and
reading) is more than what they spend on sending(speaking and writing)
information.
• Hence listening and reading are as important as speaking and writing.
• Reading comprehension refers to the ability to understand information presented
in written form.
• This skill usually entails understanding textbook assignments or articles in
newspapers and journals or various business documents or reports.

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Comprehension Strategies

• Dialogue between teacher and students is structured by use of three key strategies
which increase the student's active involvement with the text:
 summarising
 questioning
 Clarifying
• Summarising:
 identifying and stating most important information
 move from sentences – paragraphs – whole passages
• Question generating:
 formulating question about passage of text
 search for key idea
• Clarifying:
 seeking clarification about difficult content, for example, unusual
vocabulary, difficult structures/concepts
 encourages searching for meaning

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Procedures

• Students are asked to read the given passage.


• When passage is read teacher models comprehension strategies:
 summarises content
 asks questions
 discusses and clarifies any difficulties
• Once practised students can do independently, teacher can monitor and provide
feedback.

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Role of the Teacher

• Introduces idea of Comprehension and explains strategy.


• Instructs students how to use strategies through a suitable example
• Diagnoses difficulties.
• Monitors progress and assesses outcomes.

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Comprehension Difficulties
• Are not always caused by word recognition and decoding difficulties.
• Can be caused by many different things.

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Comprehension Difficulties have Many Causes

• Difficulties with word recognition and decoding


• Difficulties with fluency
• Difficulties with language
 Limited language proficiency
• Difficulties with written language
• Lack of reading engagement

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Reasons for Poor Comprehension

The main reasons for poor reading comprehension are:


 Inability to understand a word
 Inability to understand a sentence
 Inability to understand how sentences relate to one another
 Inability to understand how the information fits together in a meaningful
way (organization)
 Lack of interest or concentration
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Techniques for Good Comprehension

Techniques students should develop and practise to hone comprehension skills are:
 Skimming and scanning
 Structure of the text
 Structure of paragraphs
 Punctuation
 Author’s viewpoint (inference)
 Reader anticipation: determining the meaning of words
 Summarizing

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Sample Passage

If you are not in the grip of avarice, you will choose a trade or profession that
appeals to you as the means of self-expression and social service, even if you cannot earn
much money by it. Your daily duty is not merely money-making drudgery; it is your
contribution to social progress and the path of personal development. How sad must be
the lot of the man or woman who must do uncongenial work simply for the sake of more
money?

I know a younger professor who loved literature passionately and taught it


admirably; but his salary was small, and he became a lawyer in order to secure a larger
income. I tell you that man was guilty of a crime, and he will not be happy as a lawyer,
though he may be a little more comfortable, a little better fed and dressed and lodged. A
musician who is born a violinist can never be personally happy or socially useful as a
prosperous merchant or stock-broker, as he will miss the violin all the time.

Avarice puts round men in square jobs and square men in round jobs. At present
many persons in all classes, rich and poor are unhappy and restless because their daily
work is not interesting. It does not provide an outlet for the creative impulse and the
insistent urge of personality. Therefore, don’t ask in youth, “How can I earn the biggest
salary?” Ask rather, ‘How can I be truly happy and do most good to society?’ Then you
may have less money but you will have more of life and joy.

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Sample Questions

• When can a man choose a profession through which he can express himself and
serve others?
• Why does the author consider the lawyer known to him guilty of a crime?
• Why are most of the people unhappy at present?
• When will a violinist be unhappy?
• Who are the misplaced person according to the writer?
• What is the advice of the writer to the youth?
• Suggest a suitable title to the passage.
• From your understanding of the passage give the meanings of the underlined
words.

LECTURES 26 – 33

BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE: Letter-writing-- Formal

Drafting Business Letters

Writing Job Application Letter

Drafting Curriculum vitae


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Types of Business Letters

There are five prevalent styles of business letter writing:


 Indented
 Blocked
 Complete –blocked
 Semi-blocked
 Hanging –indented

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Indented

 Addresses and close punctuation signature should be progressively indented.


 Heading, writers name and job title should be centered.
 Each element should be indented in two or four spaces.
 Closed punctuation should be used. (commas and stops in names and addresses
dates, complimentary close)

The indented style is regarded as old fashioned mostly because the complexity of typing.

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Blocked Style
In this style the date line the complimentary close and the signature are aligned with the
right margin. Divisions between parts and between paragraphs of the body of the letter
are indicated by double spacing whereas here is single spacing within each part and
paragraph.

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Semi-blocked Style

This type of letter format is based on the block style the paragraphs of the letter are
indented. In this style mixed punctuation is used.

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Hanging Indented Style

This style is like the block style except that the first line of each paragraph is aligned with
the left margin. All other lines in each paragraph are indented four or five spaces. It
catches the readers’ attention because of its unusual appearance. This form is not very
popular but some business houses use this form in order to advertise their individual
identity.

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Sample Letter

A sample letter in blocked style is given below:


Khullar Engineering Works
54/44 Bhagat Singh Marg, Lucknow 273001.
August 14, 2008
The Financial Manager
National Housing Corporation,
108, Rajiv Gandhi Road
New Delhi -110038

Sub: Error in the Cheque

Dear Sir

Thank you for your letter no.TR-43/3002 OF July 22, 2008 Your cheque no.P4387 OF
JULY 20, 2008 is for Rs.2270 whereas our bill no. KLW 110057 of June 12th 2008 was
of Rs. 2200.It appears to be a copying mistake

I am sorry to bother you for a small amount but you will appreciate that we have to
account for the goods supply. I, therefore, hope you will not mind sending another
cheque for the correct amount. I am returning your cheque no.P4387.

Yours sincerely

B.R.Gupta
Materials Manager

Encl.1 cheque
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Job Application Letter

What is a job application letter?


 It is a letter in which the applicant promises to offer his/her services to the
prospective employer.
 The applicant tries to sell his/her services.
 It is accompanied by the applicant’s CV.
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Salient Features of a Good Cover Letter

 Introductory Paragraph:
Gains attention & develops interest in the employer about the applicant’s qualifications.
 Main Body:
Carries conviction with the help of one’s testimonials and experiences.
 Concluding Paragraph:
Motivates the prospective employer to take an action i.e. call for an interview.

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Introduction

Gaining attention & developing interest.


It should include:
• Reason why one is applying.
• Where he/she found the job opening (Ads/personal contacts).
• The post one is applying for.
• Summary of one’s credentials.
One should strive for novelty & avoid cliched opening lines. Some useful openers are:
• I wish to apply for the post of __________ advertised in the _______ on
________________.
• Your advertisement in ___________ for the post of ___________ interested me
as I possess the ____________.

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Main Text or Body of the Letter
It should convince the employer that you are the best candidate.
DOs:
 Sell skills---describe academic & professional skills.
 Present only highlights of your assets.
 Impress upon how the company can benefit from your skills.
 Give specific detail of achievements----nature of project, nature of reward (if
any), year etc.

DON’T s:
x Don’t make this section a replica of your CV.
x Don’t talk about how this job will make you happy.

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Conclusion

Two important functions of the conclusion are:


 Asking the prospective employer for a specific action.
 To make the reply easy.
Points to be remembered:
 One should request to be called for an Interview. Do not demand it.
 Sound natural and appreciative.
 Express willingness to go & meet the person at his office at a convenient time.
 State phone number and best time to reach you.

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Sample Job Application
Address of the applicant.

Date

Name of person applied to,


Designation,
Company name,
Address.

Sir/Madam,

Sub: abcd
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------
-------------------------------------------------------------

Yours faithfully,
Signature
Name of applicant

Encl:CV
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Writing a CV

The full form of CV is “curriculum vitae” which means course of one’s life.

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What is a CV?

 It is a technical as well as a marketing document which present your past and


present performance to prospective employers.
 Employers assess future potential of a candidate with the help of a CV.
 CV gives the first impression about a candidate.
 Puts one in short list of “to-be-considered” candidates.
 It should present a biographical sketch that is objective, easily accessible,
detailed.

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Appearance and Elements

 CV, like other business documents should be impeccable. No mistakes or


sloppiness should exist.
 It should be well-organized.
 Should be legible & crowding should be avoided.
 Should be printed on good-quality A4 size paper.
 Xerox copy should be of high quality should generally be within 2 pages in
length.

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Personal Information

Who you are? Where you can be reached?


 Name
 Address
 Phone no.
 E-mail
 Website
Employer should be able to reach you easily.

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Career / Professional Objectives

It is optional but preferred by most employers. BE SPECIFIC.


For example:
• A software sales position involving international experience in a growing
company.
OR
• Entry-level position in design & development of microprocessor circuitry;
eventual advancement to position as project/technical manager.

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Education / Academics
 Educational qualifications, experience.
 Training, projects done, extra degrees.
 Begin with recent degree and go backwards.
 If grade points are good, include them.
 Note honours and awards.

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Work Experience

 List Jobs chronologically with current /last one at first


 Include part-time/summer internships/projects done.
 Each entry should include name & location of organization, job title, designation,
brief summary of work.
 Use phrases, not full sentences.
 Use concrete language & technical terms.

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Activities / Achievements

 Community service, volunteer activities, languages known, relevant hobbies.


 Main group activities like workshops, seminars, social service.

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Memberships

• Include any organization in your field to which you belong.


• Include any office/appointments you held.

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References

 Give 2/3 references.


 Combine best elements of familiarity with your work and a credible position.

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Three kinds of CVs

 Chronological: Emphasizes education & work experience.


 Functional: Features skills you bring to the job.
 Hybrid: Combines both the above categories.

LECTURES 34 – 42

REPORT WRITING: Structure of Report

Types of Report

Practice of writing Reports


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Learning Objectives

• What is a report?
• Knowing the different types of report.
• Being able to identify four report formats.
• Knowing the components of formal reports.
• Being able to chalk out various strategies of writing a report

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What is a Report?

• It is an assigned communication for a specific purpose meant for a specific reader.


• It presents facts, conclusions and recommendations based on investigation and
analysis of data.
• It has a structured format and a language that is concise & concrete.
• It is a logical and coherent structuring of information, ideas & concepts.

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Purpose of a Report

 To give information about a company’s activities, progress, plans and problems.


 To recommend some specific action.
 To justify & persuade readers about the need for action in controversial situations.
 To present facts to the management to help decide the direction the business
should choose.
 To record events for future reference in decision making.

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Planning a Report

• Defining problem and purpose


• Outline the issues for investigation
• Prepare a work-plan
• Conduct research, analyze and interpret
• Draw conclusions

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Objectives of a Report

A report should present facts, conclusions & recommendations in a logical & well-
defined structure.
 For whom is the report written?
 What’s their level of information & education?
 Why do these people want the report?
 What decision do they wish to make after reading the report?

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Formats of Report

Printed Forms
They are generally used to collect routine information where one is just required to fill in
the blanks. For e.g. Tour reports, inspection reports etc.
Letter Format
It may be used for short reports to give information to someone outside the organization.

Memo Format
It can be used to communicate information to someone within an organization. It may be
used for all types of reports.

Manuscript Format
It is used for long and formal reports. These reports are divided into sections & sub-
sections, each with a clear heading, arranged in a logical sequence.

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Parts of a Formal Report

 Title page
It should contain:
• Name & status of the author
• Department & date of issue
• The heading/title of the report

 Preface
It is an optional element. It introduces the report by mentioning the salient features.

 Letter of transmittal
It is a brief covering letter explaining the purpose of writing the report.

 Acknowledgement
 Table of contents
It provides the reader an overall view of the report & shows its organization.

 List of Illustrations
It gives systematic information about tables, graphs, figures & charts used in the report.

 Executive Summary/Abstract
• Should give the context of the report.
• Should act as a time saver for the busy management.

 Introduction
It prepares the readers for the discussion that follows.

 Methodology
It summarizes the methods of data collection & the procedure for investigating the
situation.

 Discussion/Analysis
This is the main part of the report & focuses on facts & findings. Its usually divided into
various well-structured sections.

 Conclusions
It conveys the significance & meaning of the report by presenting a summary of
discussions & findings. It also draws substantial inferences.

 Recommendations (based on results & conclusions)


They propose a course of action based on results & inferences.

 Glossary of special terms used


 Appendix
It contains supporting material/data usually kept separate from the main body to avoid
interrupting the development of the report (for e.g. questionnaires, tables, flowcharts etc.)

 Bibliography

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The Process

• Analyze the problem & purpose


• Determine the scope of the report
• Determine the needs of the audience
• Gather all the information
• Analyze & organize the information
• Write the first draft
• Revise, review & edit
• Write the final draft

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A Sample Report

A sample structure is given for the reference:

Table of contents –

1. Introduction Page No.


A need for the study and background information 1
2. Body 3
Questionnaire
Data in tables
Analysis
Results
3. Conclusion 21
Recommendations and solutions

4. References 22

5. Appendix 23

LECTURES 43 – 48

GROUP DISCUSSION : Principles and Practice

Use of Persuasive Strategies including some Rhetorical


Devices (Emphasising a point, Being Polite and Firm)

Handling Questions and Taking in Criticism of Self, Turn-


taking Strategies and Effective Intervention

Use of Body Language


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What is a GD or Group Discussion?

As the term itself suggests, a GD is a discussion, but most students misconstrue


it to be a debate. They akin it to a wrestling match and try to score points over
the other participants. Consequently, you find a 'fish market' situation in most
GDs. What is actually expected in a GD is participation in a systematic way on a
particular topic.

The prospect of a GD tends to leave most students petrified. You can get rid of
that feeling of fear by remembering you have experienced group discussions
right from childhood. Remember those heated discussions you had across the
dinner table with family members, friends and relatives? Consciously or
unconsciously, they have helped you learn a thing or two about discussing in a
group.

Your parents may have come across as the most heard and respected as they
were much better well informed. Besides, instead of forcing their point of view on
you, they heard you out and presented their points in a logical and methodical
manner because they had the strength of content and courage of conviction.

As a result, you would have often felt the desire to prove that you were right and
they were wrong. A bundle of angst would build within you.

Discard that feeling now. Remember, a GD is a discussion -- and not a debate --


between the members of a group.
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Discussion versus Debate

Human beings love debates because we like to win and see others lose. A
debate is a perfect situation for expressing intense emotions. A GD, however,
calls for a lot more maturity and logic.

The purpose of a GD, though conducted in a competitive mode, is not to


establish you as a winner and others as losers. Its purpose, as far as you are
concerned, is to help you come across as a person with sound, logical reasoning
and the ability to respect another's viewpoint.

A critical difference between a GD and a debate is that, while a debate begins


with two groups' bids to outwit each other, a discussion is evolutionary;
this essentially means participants have the opportunity to refine their views in
the course of the discussion. Thus, every member needs to contribute
substantially and add to the existing knowledge base instead of pulling
each other down.

The difference, thus, lies not just in style, but also in the mindset that is required
to tackle either challenge.

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What are the Strategies of Handling a GD Effectively?
How often have you called a friend in office to be told that he is in a meeting?
Institutes conduct a GD because, as a manager, you will be required to attend
and conduct innumerable meetings. A GD is a simulation of what you can expect
in a meeting at your workplace.

Depending on the kind of profile you have and the company you work for, you will
be part of meetings ranging from brand launches and employee performance
appraisals to company financials, etc. For instance, if you have a meeting
where senior employees are working out a strategy to launch a new soap in the
market; this is what is expected of you before and during the meeting.

~ You will go well prepared for the meeting; this means you need to
have sufficient information on the likely points of discussion.

~ During the meeting, you will let everyone have his say. When your turn comes,
you will present your views forcefully and logically.

~ Whenever you disagree with somebody, you will present your points logically
and makes sure everybody understands what you have to say.

~ You will always attack points and not people.

~ You will carefully listen to other people's points and try to refine your own by
using other people's inputs on the subject.

Project the same qualities during B-School admissions, where the purpose of the
GD is to find out whether you possess the critical qualities needed to become an
effective manager. While the written exam tests your comprehension and
analytical skills, a GD tests you in the following:

• Body language
• Communication skills
• Self confidence
• Team skills
• Listening ability
• Ability to present your views logically
• Time management

A GD is a wonderful challenge because you have a maximum of 20 minutes to


show if you have it in you to become an effective manager.

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There are Four Main Areas to be tested in your GD

i. Content
ii. Communication skills
iii. Group dynamics
iv. Leadership

i. Content

Content is a combination of knowledge and the ability to create coherent, logical


arguments on the basis of that knowledge. Merely memorising facts is pointless. We need
an in-depth understanding of various issues as well as the ability to analyse the topic and
build arguments.

For example, take the topic 'Are peace talks between India and Pakistan useless or
useful?' The candidate should be clearly aware that this is not a test of patriotism. Nor
should he or she forget that the purpose of the discussion is getting into a good B-School,
and that his or her influence on India's foreign policy is zilch. So, an emotional response
would, in all probability, get you disqualified.

Go for a balanced response like, "Even though little has resulted from talks, it is certainly
good to see the talks continue." Please remember that your opinion does not matter. The
depth of knowledge and logical analysis you show is critical. Unfortunately, such
analytical skills are rarely taught at the school and graduate level, so learn and practise
first.

ii. Communication skills

Communication is a two-way process, and the role of the listener is critical.

The listener has his own interpretation of what you say. Unless you listen to him, you
cannot figure out whether he or she has understood you.
Unless you listen, the points you make may not fit in with points made by others. It is
easy for an experienced evaluator (moderator) to realise you aren't listening.
Besides listening, you also need the ability to:

Express your ideas in a clear and concise manner.


Build on others' points.
Sum up the discussion made by the entire group.

iii. Group dynamics

As mentioned before, a GD is a formal peer group situation and tests your behaviour as
well as your influence on the group. Formal language and mutual respect are obvious
requirements. In addition, you need to have:
Willingness to listen and discuss various points of view. Do not take strong views in the
beginning itself; try and analyse the pros and cons of a situation.
Learn to disagree politely, if required. In fact, it is far better to put forward your point of
view without specifically saying 'I disagree' or 'You're wrong'.
Show appreciation for good points made by others. You can make a positive contribution
by agreeing to and expanding an argument made by someone else.
Size the opportunity to make a summary near the end or, even better, a part summary.
Partial agreement or part consensus is a sign of the group's progress. Complete agreement
is impossible in the timeframe allotted.

iv. Leadership

One of the most common misconceptions about leadership is that it is all about
controlling the group. However, for the GDs we are talking about, leadership is all about
giving direction to the group in terms of content.

It is about initiating the discussion and suggesting a path on which the group can continue
the discussion.

A good leader is one who allows others to express their views and channels the
discussion to a probable decision or conclusion on the given topic.

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Types of GDs
i. Topic-based

~ Knowledge intensive: Here, the background knowledge of a subject is required for


effective participation (for example: Should India go in for full convertibility of the
rupee?).

~ Non-knowledge intensive: Requires structured thinking, but subject knowledge is not


required (for example: Do women make better managers?)

~ Abstract: Requires out-of-the-box thinking, analogy and example-based discussion (For


example: Money is sweeter than honey, blue is better than red).

ii. Case studies

A structured discussion of a specific situation is given as a case. Sometimes, you will be


asked to enact a role play where each participant is allotted a role to play, with relevance
to the case study.

iii. Group tasks

These are an extension of case studies where specific objectives are to be achieved as a
group.

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Conducting GDs
While there is a great deal of variety in the methodology of conducting a Group
Discussion, let's discuss the methodology commonly used for B-School selections.

Normally 8-10 students are taken as a group, though in some cases, up to 16 people may
be included in a group. The GD lasts for 10-15 minutes.

For a topic-based GD, 2-3 minutes of thinking time may be given; though the group is
often told to start right away. For case studies, however, about 15 minutes is given.

The evaluation is done by one or two experts, usually professors from the B-School itself.
Please remember that these people are experts with a lot of experience and can be
counted upon to observe all details, even if the GD is chaotic.

The candidates may be seated in a circle or in a rectangular arrangement, with or without


a table. Seating arrangements may be prefixed or there may be free seating.

The discussion may be stopped at the set time or even earlier. A conclusion or consensus
may be asked for, though it usually does not occur. A written or oral summary may asked
for at the end from each candidate.

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The Process

After each discussion, you must, as a group, analyse one another individually and suggest
areas for improvement. This way, you will also get exposed to your fellow aspirants'
perspectives and broaden your thought process.
The skills you develop to ace your GD will prove to be an asset even after you begin your
professional career.
~ As part of your preparation, you must participate in a few mock GDs. Run through
these performances later, identify your areas of strength and areas for improvement and
work on them consciously.

~ Success in a GD also depends on outgrowing old habits like indulging in small


talk with a group of friends. Whenever you have a gathering of sorts, try not to indulge in
loose talk. Focus on discussing a topic of current relevance. Thus, an informal gathering
of friends can be converted into a GD practice session.

i. Content

~ Develop subject knowledge on current affairs, general awareness and business trends.
~ Structure arguments on selected topics, considering both sides to the argument.
~ Plan for short and lucid points.

ii. Practice

~ GD skills cannot be learned from books. Get into practice groups.


~ Get skilled people to observe and give feedback.
~ Spend a lot of time analysing each GD performance. Plan specific improvements

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Sample Topics for GD

 The Current Recession in the Job Market and its Impact on Indian Economy
 The Mushrooming Engineering Colleges in West Bengal—Its Pros and Cons
 The Transience of Glamour and Fame in the Film and Television Industry