Teaching Grammar

Document Sample
Teaching Grammar Powered By Docstoc
					Week 11

   Structure of a technical papers
   Writing abstract
   Punctuations
   Describing graphs and tables
   Action verb
       Structure of
       Technical papers

   A technical paper should be clear and concise. The goal
    is to convey ideas and results to the readers in the least
    possible time and space. Everything about the document
    should contribute to this goal. The notations and format
    should be consistent throughout the paper.

   It is a very common error to dive into the technical
    approach or the implementation details without having
    appropriately framed the problem. You should first say
    what the problem or goal is, and — even when
    presenting an algorithm — first state what the output is
    and probably the key idea, before discussing steps.
Structure of a technical paper
A paper usually consists of the following components:

1)   Title —It should be concise and to the point. For example,
     some publications limit the title to less than ten words.

    Avoid all but the most readily understood abbreviations.
    Avoid common phrases like "novel", "performance evaluation"
     and "architecture", since almost every paper does a
     performance evaluation of some architecture and it better be
     novel. Unless somebody wants to see 10,000 Google results,
     nobody searches for these types of words.
    Use adjectives that describe the distinctive features of your
     work, e.g., reliable, scalable, high-performance, robust, low-
     complexity, or low-cost.
    If you need inspiration for a paper title, you can consult the
     Automatic Systems Research Topic or Paper Title Generator.
2) Abstract —A summary of the paper, including a brief
   description of the problem, the solution, and conclusions.
   Do not cite references in the abstract.

3) Keywords —They should be selected such that a
   computerized search will be facilitated.

4) Introduction —This should contain the background of
   the problem, why it is important, and what others have
   done to solve this problem. All related existing work
   should be properly described and referenced. The
   proposed solution should be briefly described, with
   explanations of how it is different from, and superior to,
   existing solutions. The last paragraph should be a
   summary of what will be described in each subsequent
   section of the paper.
5) System Model —The proposed model is described. There
   will invariably be assumptions made. State the model
   assumptions clearly. Do the assumptions make sense?
   Use figures to help explain the model.
6) Numerical results —Based on the model, numerical
   results will be generated. These results should be
   presented in such a way as to facilitate the readers’
   understanding. Usually, they will be presented in the form
   of figures or tables.
   The parameter values chosen should make sense. All the
   results should be interpreted. Details on the simulation
   time, the computer, and the language used in the
   simulation should also be included.
7) Conclusions —This summarizes what have been done
   and concluded based on the results. A description of future
   research should also be included.
8) References —This should contain a list of papers referred to
   in the paper. If there is a choice, use a reference which is
   more readily available, i.e., if an author has published a
   conference version and a journal version of the paper, refer to
   the journal version. Research reports, internal memos, private
   correspondences, and preprints are usually hard to access
   and should be avoided as much as possible.

9) Appendix —Those materials which are deemed inessential to
   the understanding of the paper, but included for the sake of
   completeness. Sometimes, detailed mathematical proofs are
   put in the appendix to make the paper more readable.

10) Figures —The figures may be placed immediately after they
  are referred to in the text, or placed at the end of the paper.
  Each figure should be readable without relying on the
  accompanying description in the text. Thus, all symbols used
  in the figure should be explained in the figure legend. In
  addition, do not make the figures and legends too small.
           Writing abstract

   An abstract is a summary of a body of information in a paragraph—
    100-350 words for a descriptive abstract, 100-250 words an
    informative abstract. An abstract expresses the main claim and
    argument of a paper.

   In most disciplines, it never includes bibliographic citations. An
    abstract concisely highlights or reviews the major points covered
    along with the content and scope of the writing.

   An abstract can also be a useful tool for writers to check that they
    have a clear grasp of their thesis and argument. If the writer can
    state the thesis and argument clearly in a few sentences—and in
    such a way that someone who doesn't know the subject will still
    be able to understand the main idea—then the writer knows she has
    a good grasp of the ideas she is trying to express.

   An abstract says everything of central importance in a way that
    gives the reader a clear overview of what is contained in the essay.
Essential elements of the abstract are:

   Background: A simple opening sentence or two placing
    the work in context.
   Aims: One or two sentences giving the purpose of the
   Method(s): One or two sentences explaining what was
    done. (Described at length only if it is unusual)
   Results: One or two sentences indicating the main
    findings. (Absolutely essential)
   Conclusions: One sentence giving the most important
    consequence of the work. (Telling what the results
Qualities of a Good Abstract
   Well developed paragraphs are unified, coherent,
    concise, and able to stand alone
   Uses an introduction/body/conclusion structure which
    presents the article, paper, or report's purpose, results,
    conclusions, and recommendations in that order
   Follows strictly the chronology of the article, paper, or
   Provides logical connections (or transitions) between the
    information included
   Adds no new information, but simply summarizes the
   Is understandable to a wide audience
   Oftentimes uses passive verbs to downplay the author
    and emphasize the information
Scientists have grappled for years over the
appropriate way to talk about discoveries: should it be

"We measured ion concentration in the blood"
"Ion concentration in the blood was measured"?
   Do not commence with "this paper…‖, "this report…" or
    similar. It is better to write about the research than about
    the paper. Avoid use of "in this paper―, what other paper
    would you be talking about here?
   Do not contain references, as it may be used without the
    main article. It is acceptable, although not common, to
    identify work by author, abbreviation or RFC number.
    (For example, "Our algorithm is based upon the work by
    Smith and Wesson.")
   Avoid sentences that end in "…is described", "…is
    reported", "…is analyzed" or similar.
   Do not begin sentences with "it is suggested that…‖ "it is
    believed that…", "it is felt that…"or similar. In every case,
    the four words can be omitted without damaging the
    essential message.
   Do not repeat or rephrase the title.
   Do not enumerate a list of topics covered; instead,
    convey the essential information found in your paper.
   Avoid equations and math. Exceptions: Your paper
    proposes E = m c 2.
   Do not refer in the abstract to information that is not in
    the document.
   If possible, avoid trade names, acronyms, abbreviations,
    or symbols. You would need to explain them, and that
    takes too much room.

The abstract should be about the research,
                         not about the act of writing.
Where to find examples of abstracts:

   The best source of example abstracts is journal articles.
    Go to the library and look at biology journals, or look at
    electronic journals on the web.

    Read the abstract; read the article. Pick the best ones,
    the examples where the abstract makes the article
    easier to read, and figure out how they do it.

   Not everyone writes good abstracts, even in refereed
    journals, but the more abstracts you read, the easier it is
    to spot the good ones.

   Periods .                 Apostrophes '
   Commas ,                  Quotation marks " "
   Colons :                  Hyphens -
   Semicolons ;              Dashes --
   Question marks ?          Parentheses ( )
   Exclamation points !      Brackets [ ]
The semicolon ( ; ) is an important punctuation mark in
English and has several uses; it is particularly common in
formal and/or academic writing. There are several common
ways of using the semicolon.

1. Use a semicolon to connect sentences that have
   closely related ideas.
2. Use a semicolon to connect items in lists if the items
   in the lists contain commas.
3. When sentences are connected by using conjunctive
   adverbs, the semicolon comes at the end of the first
1. Use a semicolon to connect sentences
that have closely related ideas.

   He came; he saw; he conquered.
   She always does her best; that's one reason everyone admires her.

   Dave Sperling and his family recently visited a village near
    Chiangmai, Thailand; Dave's wife, Dao, comes from there.

   Almost everyone has heard of the Time Square of New York City;
    it's one of the most famous tourist attractions in the U.S.A.

   John and his wife are newlyweds; they got married only a few days
 Special notes
1. Periods could also be used for these sentences, but the semicolons
emphasize how closely related the sentences are. (If periods are used,
the sentences seem "choppy.")

2. Commas cannot be used to join sentences like the above.

3. Note that when a semicolon is used to join closely related sentences,
a lower case (small) letter follows the semicolon, not a capital letter.

4. Most authorities state that when a semicolon is used with
parentheses (( )) or with quotation marks (" "), the semicolon should be
outside the parentheses or quotation marks:

   Bill said, "I was born in a very small town"; he went on to say that it's a
    friendly place with a population of less than 1,000.
   Ms. Jones was probably referring to the state of Washington (which is in
    the north-western U.S.); a reference to Washington, D.C. doesn't seem
    very logical to me.
2. Use a semicolon to connect items in lists
if the items in the lists contain commas.
   She's lived in San Antonio, Dallas, and Irving, Texas;
    Palms, West Los Angeles, and Brentwood, California;
    Arch Cape and Portland, Oregon; and Phoenix, Arizona.

   We invited Bob's girlfriend, Annie; Judy, Ahmed, and
    Simon; Simon's cousins, Hugo and Peter; our next-door
    neighbor, Tina, and her husband; and three or four other
   For the class you'll need two diskettes, either formatted
    or unformatted; paper, both for the printer and for your
    class notes; and, of course, the textbook.
Special notes
1. Semicolons are very helpful, in sentences such as the
   ones above, in making the lists less confusing. Without
   the semicolons, the items in the list would be difficult to
   understand; using commas alone would not separate the
   items clearly:

  We invited Bob's girlfriend, Annie, Judy, Ahmed, and
  Simon, Simon's cousins, Hugo and Peter, our next-door
  neighbor, Tina, and her husband, and three or four other
  people. (This sentence is confusing because the items in the list
  are not clearly separated.)

2. Periods cannot be used instead of semicolons in
   sentences like those above.
3. When sentences are connected by using
conjunctive adverbs, the semicolon comes at the
end of the first sentence.
Conjunctive adverbs include connecting words such as however,
therefore, besides, consequently, nevertheless, in addition,
accordingly, and otherwise; conjunctive adverbs (which are sometimes
also called sentence connectors) are especially common in serious
business, technical, and academic writing.

   Sheila might have been sick and unable to come to work; however, I
    suspect that she took the day off and went shopping.
   We're expected to do all the assigned work; in addition, we're required
    to read and report on three books that we can choose ourselves.
   The last three shipments were damaged when they were received;
    consequently, all new shipments will be inspected just before they
    leave the factory.
   Maurice found the work very difficult and was often tempted to quit;
    nevertheless, he kept on trying and eventually did quite well on it.
Special notes

Periods can be used with conjunctive adverbs
instead of semicolons. If periods are used, the
conjunctive adverbs begin with a capital letter, not
a small one:

   She was extremely tired. However, she finished her
   She was extremely tired; however, she finished her
    Use commas to keep your writing clear. Omitted or
     incorrectly used, commas can cause confusion or even
     change meaning. Commas should be used with the
     following elements:

1.   Introductory elements
2.   Coordinating conjunctions joining independent clauses
3.   Elements in a series
4.   Coordinate modifiers
5.   Nonrestrictive modifiers
6.   Parenthetic elements
7.   Elliptical constructions

1. Introductory elements
 Use commas to set off transitional words and phrases, introductory
 clauses, or introductory phrases to signal where the introductory
 element finishes and the main part starts.

(1) Transitional Words and Phrases
    Place a comma after a transitional word or phrase that begins a

   Moreover, the opening of an export market would help expand the
   market for key escrow encryption.
   In addition, several companies and individuals have proposed
   commercial key escrow approaches.

(2) Introductory Clauses
    Place a comma after an introductory dependent clause.
   Although key escrow is voluntary, critics say that the introduction of
   Clipper points national policy in a disturbing direction.
(3) Introductory Prepositional or Verbal Phrases
    Normally, use a comma after an introductory prepositional or verbal
    phrase. However, you may omit the comma after a short
    introductory phrase if no ambiguity is possible.

    For the first time, researchers have used DNA analysis to identify
    the animal tissue in 4,000-year-old rock paintings.
    Despite the error the experiment was successful.
    Combining surface area with depth, we calculated the volume of
    the pond.

   Do not place a comma after an introductory participial or gerund
    phrase if the phrase forms part of the subject or verb of the sentence.

    Combining surface area with depth was our principal method for
    calculating the volume of the pond.
2. Coordinating Conjunctions Joining
   Independent Clauses
 Place a comma before a coordinating conjunction that joins
 two independent clauses. However, if the clauses are very
 short and closely related, you may omit the comma.

  In almost all illicit markets, only the tip of the iceberg is
  visible and there is no reason why the nuclear-materials
  black market should be an exception.
  In almost all illicit markets, only the tip of the iceberg is
  visible, and there is no reason why the nuclear-materials
  black market should be an exception.
3. Elements in a series
  Use a comma to separate items in a series. Although
 placing a final comma before the coordinating conjunction
 is often considered optional, omitting it can sometimes
 cause confusion.
  In a 3-or-more-element list, it's better to put comma
 between each of the items (including the last two), for
  Consequently, most scientific and technical writing
 routinely uses a final comma in a series to prevent possible

As a simple example of why, consider this 3-element
grocery list written without the clarifying last comma: ―milk,
macaroni and cheese and crackers‖. It's not clear whether
that means { milk, macaroni and cheese, crackers } or
{ milk, macaroni, cheese and crackers }.
His intellectual acuity, diverse interests, frail physique, and
ethereal personality made Oppenheimer a man of legendary
   [In this sentence, omitting the final comma would not cause
   confusion. Still, it is good practice in scientific and technical writing
   to always include the final comma in a series.]

 Contemporary physics is still exploring neutron stars, black holes
  and the penetration of electrons through potential barriers.
  [The omission of the final comma before and causes ambiguity: are
  black holes and the penetration of electrons through potential
  barriers specific topics connected to the general subject of neutron
  stars, or are they separate items?]

  Contemporary physics is still exploring neutron stars, black holes,
  and the penetration of electrons through potential barriers.
4. Coordinate Modifiers
  Use a comma between coordinate modifiers. Modifiers
  are coordinate if they modify the same word. You can test
  to see if the modifiers are coordinate by inserting and
  between them. If the description still makes sense, then
  the modifiers are coordinate.

  Ebola viruses are known as filose viruses for their long,
  filament like appearance under a microscope.

 [Long and filament like modify the appearance of the
  virus equally, so a comma is needed between them.]
5. Nonrestrictive Modifiers
  Use commas to set off nonrestrictive modifiers. A
  nonrestrictive modifier is usually introduced by which and
  contains information that is not essential to establishing
  the meaning of what it modifies.

   Infectious diseases, which antibiotics and vaccines
   once promised to banish from our shores, have
   returned with a vengeance.
6. Parenthetic Elements
   Use commas to set off parenthetic elements.

  Oppenheimer became known, of course, for leading the
  physicists who built the atomic bomb at Los Alamos
7. Elliptical Constructions
   Use a comma to indicate the omission of a word or
   words readily understood from the context.

  In the United States there are ninety-two scanners; in
  Europe, eighty-five; in all of Africa, six.

 [The commas indicate the omission of the words there
Specialized Uses of Commas
(1) In numbers with five or more digits, Anglo-American
     usage dictates that there be commas before groups of
     three digits.
    Customers reported a total of 212,413 hardware

(2) Use commas to separate adjacent numbers.
    In 1994, 212 cases had been diagnosed.

(3) Use commas to separate items in an address.
    Einstein then moved to Princeton, New Jersey.
    The branch office address is 958 Ridge Road, Hayes, KS,
    which is in the northern part of the state.
    Portland, Oregon, is the site of the new factory.
(4) Use commas to set off the year in dates expressed in
    the month-day-year sequence.
    Greenberg began the project on July 2,1992.
    The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 5, at the
    high school.
    It rained on Monday, August 20, 1991, before the crop
    was harvested.

(5) Omit commas when only the month and the year are
    Greenberg began the project in July 1992.
    The tropical storms of July 1998 were very severe.

(6) In dates written in the day-month-year sequence, the
    comma is omitted.
    Greenberg began the project on 2 July1992.
Use colons for the following purposes:

1. to introduce and emphasize lists, quotations and
  explanations and certain appositional elements
2. to express ratios
3. to separate numbers signifying different nouns,
  such as in separating units of time or elements
  in a bibliographic citation
4. to separate titles from subtitles
1.       To introduce and emphasize
         (1) To set off and emphasize lists
     Begin each element of lists, series, or phrases with lowercase letters.

     The market for photovoltaic power systems includes the following
     items: intrusion alarms, flood monitors, calculators, and telephone call
     The market for photovoltaic power systems includes the following
      - intrusion alarms
      - flood monitors
      - calculators
      - telephone call boxes

     Anyone communicating via computer needs a security system that
     ensures three essential requirements: confidentiality, authentication,
     and trust.
(2). To set off and emphasize quotations

    Place colons outside quotation marks.

    The contract reads: "DL-400 coaxial cable shall be
     used for all platform instrument installations at Site 5,
     unless a specific exception is justified in the approved
     work order."

    Kurt noted: "Even potatoes are probably much better
     guarded today than radioactive materials."
(3). To set off and emphasize explanations
   and appositional elements
   In designing the tachometer, the team first posed a
    question: What operations are needed on the input
    signal in order to generate the desired output?
   This system currently operates in a strictly one-sided
    fashion: the machine makes sure the person who
    inserted the card is its legitimate owner by asking for a
    secret password, but the cardholder must blindly trust
    that the machine has not been tampered with.
   While thinking about this problem, we were reminded of
    an access-control system with similar demands that is
    used successfully worldwide on a daily basis: passports.
2. To express ratios

   The ratio of drag torque to bearing friction torque cannot

   The anti-GAP 43, anti-MAP 2, and anti-synaptophysin
    antibodies were diluted1:1000, 1:300, and 1:100,
    respectively, in phosphate-buffered saline
    containing10% bovine serum albumin.
3. To separate units of time

 The main thruster engines ignited at 7:05 a.m.

 To separate elements in a citation (in
 certain documentation styles)

 E. F. Lyon, "Airport Surface Traffic Automation,"
 Lincoln Laboratory Journal 4:151 (1991).
   Use dashes--sparingly--to indicate abrupt shifts in
    thought and to set off or emphasize appositional or
    parenthetical elements or interjections. In most cases,
    use commas or parentheses instead.

  Although we have made these comments with specific
  reference to water--only because of our familiarity with
  water--all pure substances exhibit the same behavior.

In typewritten documents, use two hyphens (--) with no
spaces between or around them to form a dash.
Use hyphens to link
1. certain prefixes, letters, and numbers with nouns
2. compound nouns
3. compound modifiers
4. spelled-out numbers

Also use hyphens for the following purposes:
 to clarify the meaning of certain words
 to divide words            Ex, com-pu-ter, light-year, hyper-tension
 to express to or through between two letters or numbers
 for specialized scientific notation          Ex. pages 25-63, 1901-1911
  Ex, carbon-14 (chemical elements)
1. To Link Certain Prefixes, Letters, and
Numbers with Nouns
   Use hyphens to connect certain prefixes to
    nouns. In most scientific and technical styles, the
    following prefixes are usually followed by a

    all-    ex-     half-     quasi-       self-     hex-

   However, scientific and technical writing styles
    omit the hyphen between most prefixes,
    especially prefixes that are not words
The following list of prefixes that normally are not
followed by a hyphen:

 aero after ante anti astro auto bi bio chemo co
 counter de    electro exo extra geo hemo hyper
 hypo in infra inter iso macro meta micro mid mini
 multi non over phto physio poly post pre pro
 pesudo re semi sub super supra trans un

Use hyphens to connect numbers or
letters used as prefixes to a noun.
   the T-cell 10-cylinder
2. To Link Compound Nouns
Use a hyphen to link compound nouns, especially when the
lack of a hyphen would change the meaning of the term.

  light-year
  light year

[The first term is a unit of measurement, not of time; the
second pair of words, on the other hand, may indicate a
year that is not heavy.]
3. To Link Compound Modifiers
Use a hyphen to connect compound modifiers to promote
clarity and prevent ambiguity.

   laser-alignment process [compound modifier + noun]
   laser alignment [modifier + noun]
   the two-tube combiner
   wire-grid aperture cap [aperture cap for a wire grid]
   wire grid-aperture cap [a wire cap for a grid aperture]
   wire-grid level adjustment
   wire grid-level adjustment
   heavy-water cavity [a cavity for heavy water]
   heavy water cavity [a water cavity that is heavy]
4. To Link Spelled-Out Numbers

Use a hyphen to join spelled-out numbers from 21
through 99 and spelled-out fractions.


   twenty-one moving parts
   the thirty-third experiment
   four-fifths of the subjects
Basic sentence punctuation
punctuation patterns:

 1.    IC, cc IC.
 2.    IC; IC.
 3.    IC; trans, IC.
 4.    DC, IC.
 5.    IC DC.

 IC = independent clause (S+V and can stand alone)
 DC = Dependent clause (is introduced by a signal word)
 Cc = coordinate conjunction (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet)
 Trans = transitional expression
     Describing Graphs and Tables
A graph is a visual, concise means of presenting
information; a table presents facts and figures in compact
There are three basic kinds of graphs:
a circle or pie graph, a bar graph, and a line graph.

Circle/Pie Graph
In studying circle graphs, you should determine:
    what the entire circle represents,
    what the various parts of the circle represent and
    how the percentages compare.

Bar Graph
When studying bar graphs, you should ask:
   what the subject of the graph is,
   how the various parts relate to this subject and
   what the relative percentages that each bar represents
Line Graph
 Line graph are made up of three important parts--the
  vertical axis, the horizontal axis, and the diagonal line,
  which shows the relationship between the figures on the
  vertical axis and those on the horizontal.
 In studying line graphs, you should:
 determine the topic of the graph and
 look at the axes and diagonal line to understand the
  relationship that is being illustrated.

 When reading tables, you should:
 determine the subject and
 establish what each category and subcategory
  Making Inferences from Graphs and Tables
Graphs and tables are visual representations which can give
information both directly and indirectly. In other words, readers
sometimes may have to make inferences or draw conclusions
based on the data given as well as their knowledge of the world.

Following are some expressions we may use when making inferences:
 From the information given, I conclude that ~
                                  infer that ~
                                  assume that ~
 From the information given, it can be decided that ~
                                           concluded that ~
                                           inferred that ~
                                           assumed that ~
 The information (in the text/ in Figure…) implies that ~
                                               suggests that ~
                                               hints that ~
Verb forms used with inferences

Present Tense
 may/might/could/ must

Example: " I can smell gas. The pipe must be broken.

Past Tense
 may/might/could/must + have + pp.

Example: The multiple explosion at the LPG filling
  station near Klong Ton must have been caused by a
  gas leak. The station attendants may have been
  careless with the gas.
Describing Graphs and Tables
The information contained in a graph or a table can also be
expressed in words. The following are some useful
expressions describing graphs and tables.

   make up
   account for
   be responsible for
   contribute to
   constitute

According to Figure 1, food garbage makes up 17% of
the total solid waste collected in the United States in
When comparison is involved, these expressions
may be used:  Adjective     Noun
                   slight         rise
                   slow           increase
                   steep          rise
                   gradual        decrease
                   steady         decline
                   marked         fall
                   dramatic       drop
                   sharp          drop
                   sudden         drop
                   considerable   drop
Example:          rapid         drop
There is/was/has been a steady decline in oil price.
                Verb             adverb
                rise             slightly
                increase         slowly
                decrease         gradually
                decline          steadily
                fall             markedly
                drop             dramatically
                drop             considerably
                Climb            steadily
Example:        fluctuated       slightly

 It can be seen from Figure 3 that the concentration of sulfur dioxide
increases sharply from September and falls dramatically from December.
Useful language for interpreting graphs
   The graph illustrates / shows the rise in . . .
   The graph illustrates / shows that . . .
   It is estimated that . . .
   Which factor comes top / bottom / second from the bottom?
   Compare the data in the bar graph / chart.
   Give the percentages of several factors. Which factor is the highest /
    the lowest?
   The trend (in customer numbers) was upward X downward.
   There was / has been a downward trend in customer numbers.
   The trend was flat.
   The present trend is maintained.
   Production started the year in a stable position, but then plunged /
    plummeted / slumped in the
   third quarter. It has now flattened out / levelled out / bottomed out at
    a level of . . .
   Production showed a marginal rise in the first three quarters, but
    then suffered a sharp drop.
   Production has experienced a strong, steady growth over the whole
   Production grew rapidly in the first quarter, but reached a plateau of
    about . . . Since then it has
   remained more or less stable. / Since then, it has quickly dropped.
   Production started climbing steadily / began to rise rapidly but
    levelled off / flattened off at a level of around . . . Since then it has
    fallen steadily.

   Sales rocketed. Prices are soaring / rocketing / skyrocketing.
   Customer numbers (have) soared.
   There was / has been a steep rise in customer numbers.
   Customer numbers hit / reached a peak.
   There was a peak in customer numbers.
   There was a slight dip in customer numbers.
   There was a steady fall / decline in customer numbers.
   Production has fluctuated all year.
   Customer numbers were erratic.
   Customer numbers rose.
   There was a gradual rise in customer numbers.
   There has been a slight increase in production over the year.
   Numbers fell steadily.
   Production has dropped slowly but steadily over the year.
   The number of customers fell dramatically.
   Production fell sharply / considerably in / over the last quarter,
    reaching a low of . . . Since then it has staged a partial recovery.
   There was a rapid / considerable / dramatic / sharp drop in
    production in the first two quarters.
   Customer numbers dipped / plunged.
   Customer numbers fluctuated slightly X wildly.
   There were considerable / wild fluctuations in customer numbers.
Example 1
Example 2
                 Action Verbs

 An action verb expresses achievements or something
a person does in a concise, persuasive manner.
Why is it Important to Use Action Verbs
in Workplace Writing?

   You should use action verbs in workplace writing
    because they make sentences and statements
    more concise. Since concise writing is easier for
    readers to understand, it is more reader-
    centered. Because reader-centered writing is
    generally more persuasive, action verbs are
    more convincing than non-action verbs.
Which sentence below is more concise ?

- Was the boss of a team of six service employees
Using a non-action verb – less concise
This sentence contains ten words, and it focuses action on a form of
the verb "to be" (was).
- Supervised a team of six service employees
Using an action verb – more concise.
This sentence seven words, and it focuses action on an action verb

Because concise writing is easier for readers to
understand, the job description using an action verb is
more powerful and persuasive.
Use action verbs in resumes to describe all skills, jobs, or
accomplishments. Using action verbs will allow you to
highlight the tasks you can do. Word choice is critical in order
to describe what you have done and to persuade potential
employers to give you an interview.

Examples of action verbs in resume job descriptions:

   Accelerated introduction of a new technology, which
    increased productivity by 15%
   Organized consumer databases to efficiently track
    product orders
   Supervised a team of six service employees.
Categorized List of Action Verbs

   This categorized list contains action verbs you
    can use to compose concise, persuasive,
    reader-centered resumes, cover letters, or other
    types of workplace documents. The examples
    are illustrations that overview the uses of action
    verbs in professional writing.
Action verb - Communication Skills

   Negotiated price reductions of up to 30% with key
   Interpreted financial information from the company’s
    annual report
   Translated all relevant company information into three
    different languages

   Other words:
    Advocated, Clarified, Corresponded, Encouraged,
    Interpreted, Negotiated, Persuaded, Presented,
    Publicized, Solicited, Spoke, Translated
Action verb - Creative Skills

   Created an interior design layout for a 500 square foot
    retail venue
   Introduced a new method of navigating through the A
    Software Program
   Presented a new research project to the managers at the

   Other words:
    Acted, Applied, Composed, Created, Established,
    Founded, Improvised, Introduced, Navigated, Originated,
Action verb - Data / Financial Skills

   Computed and recorded inventory valuation on a
    monthly basis
   Documented inventory counts at the end of each working
   Verified the amount owed to the creditor in the Accounts
    Payable account

   Other words:
    Adjusted, Allocated, Budgeted, Compared, Computed,
    Counted, Documented, Estimated, Forecasted,
    Inventoried, Invested, Predicted, Projected, Quantified,
    Recorded, Retrieved, Verified
Action verb - Helping Skills

   Assisted customers with choosing appropriate products
   Trained new employees in the plant through
    demonstration techniques
   Volunteered in the nursing home every weekend to
    serve the community

   Other words:
    Aided, Assisted, Built, Demonstrated, Facilitated,
    Familiarized, Helped, Performed, Represented, Solved,
    Supported, Trained, Upheld, Volunteered, Worked
Action verb - Management / Leadership
   Administered a variety of surveys to collect data about
    the employees
   Implemented a safety communication program to
    promote safety awareness
   Recommended an alternative solution to one of the
    company's problems

   Other words:
    Achieved, Administered, Assigned, Attained, Challenged,
    Coordinated, Decided, Delegated, Established, Executed,
    Handled, Headed, Implemented, Incorporated,
    Intervened, Launched, Led, Managed, Mediated,
    Motivated, Organized, Oversaw, Planned, Prioritized,
    Recommended, Scheduled, Supervised, United
Action verb - Efficiency Skills

   Eliminated unnecessary cost of each unit of production
   Maximized profits by 15% during the month of July
   Heightened the level of employee moral through
    program incentives

   Other words:
    Accelerated, Allocated, Boosted, Centralized, Downsized,
    Edited, Eliminated, Enhanced, Expanded, Expedited,
    Heightened, Lessened, Leveraged, Maximized, Merged,
    Optimized, Outlined, Outsourced, Prevented, Prioritized,
    Reorganized, Reduced, Revised, Simplified,
    Standardized, Stream-lined, Synthesized, Systematized,
Action verb - Research Skills
   Examined a new mechanism that may reduce sickness
    on the campus
   Identified a major defect in a microscopic organism last
   Surveyed a group of Purdue students with regard to
    Product A

   Other words:
    Analyzed, Collected, Compared, Controlled, Detected,
    Diagnosed, Evaluated, Examined, Gathered, Identified,
    Investigated, Located, Measured, Organized, Reported,
    Replicated, Researched, Reviewed, Searched, Surveyed,
Action verb - Teaching Skills

   Defined a new product strategy and discussed how it
    would be implemented
   Instructed Department B on how to reduce inventory and
    raise net sales
   Prepared a tutorial manual for an English class last

   Other words:
    Aided, Advised, Clarified, Communicated, Defined,
    Developed, Encouraged, Evaluated, Facilitated,
    Fostered, Guided, Helped, Incorporated, Informed,
    Initiated, Instructed, Lectured, Prepared, Supported,
    Supervised, Stimulated, Taught
Action verb - Technical Skills

   Assembled an entire computer programming simulation
    for my CPT course
   Designed a new form of Widget C for a manufacturing
   Programmed three new computer programs tailored for a
    network system

   Other words:
    Analyzed, Assembled, Built, Calculated, Computed,
    Conducted, Designed, Devised, Engineered, Maintained,
    Operated, Programmed, Reengineered, Remodeled,
Web links
    2.html (Technical writing)
    ml/eap2.htm (English for Academic Purposes -
    vice/write-technical-paper.html (Writing a
    technical paper)
    writing.html (tips for writing technical papers)

Shared By: