English Writing

English Writing - MirandaLegg mglegg@hkucc.hku.hk

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Miranda Legg mglegg@hkucc.hku.hk The Centre for Applied English Studies
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Please sit with the  other people in  your project group
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Good writing is  about…………. .  …. communicating a  message successfully
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…you need to ask yourself: Who  usually writes this kind of text? Why  are they writing? Whom  is this writing  for ? What  do the readers expect to read in the  text? Who? – Why? – for Whom? –  What?  
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Look at the following texts.  Think about…. Who? – Why? – for  Whom? – What?
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Sponge Bob
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Who Anyone Why Social networking, find lost friends,  find a boyfriend/ girlfriend, learn about  what your friends are doing, show how  popular you are…. . For  whom?  Anyone What? Information about yourself, information  about each other, activities you are  doing, your likes and dislikes…
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Who Anyone Why To establish a closer bond, to make the  person feel loved and happy, to get  something??  For  whom?  The person you love What? How wonderful they are, how they make  you feel, what you like doing together,  your future together….
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Who A kidnapper Why To get money  For whom?  Usually a wealthy person who has  strong feelings for the person who  has been kidnapped What? Information about who they have  kidnapped, maybe proof of  kidnapping (a picture), information  about how much money, instructions  about how to deliver the money,  threats about what will happen if you 
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We have expectations about what  information texts should contain.  However, sometimes we can “play  around with” these expectations.  Look at the next text. What is  different about this text?
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The text looks like a ransom note, so the  expectation is that the note would include  some information about money,  kidnapping etc. However, it is really a love letter.  Nevertheless, it is still  successful  communication  because we can  understand it and it achieves a purpose  like any other love letter
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Sometimes, however, we  can’t  “play  around with” the expectations and if  we do, the communication  fails. For example….
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Although this text funny, it is  unsuccessful . The expectation for this kind of text – a job  application – is quite fixed. If you don’t  “play by the rules” (fulfill the expectations)  you don’t get the job. 
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Do you think you could “play around”  with expectations of the following  kind of writing?
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English Writing - MirandaLegg mglegg@hkucc.hku.hk

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