PRINCIPLES OF REPORT WRITING
Commentary & Answer Key
FIRST EDITION: ENGLISH SECTION, SDLS, UNOG, 2003
Table of Contents
Section Pages in Page(s) in
Book this key
I. Types of reports; your purpose and reader(s) 6-20 2-3
II. Formatting the report, Part I 21-38 4
III. Planning and researching the report 39-58 5
IV. Formatting the report, Part II 59-78 6-7
V. Developing an argument 79-89 8
VI. Using arguments of fact and policy; avoiding fallacies 90-99 9-11
VII. Editing and revising: Text Level 100-121 12-14
VIII. Editing and revising for unity and coherence 122-133 15-22
IX. Editing and revising: sentence-level concision; summarizing 134-151 23-27
X. Editing for sentence-level errors 152-166 28-34
XI. The checklist: Revising, editing & proofreading / Format 167-184 35-37
I. Types of reports; your purpose and reader(s)
Types of UN reports
Page 11a. Exercise 1
A. Public information report
B. Substantive research report
C. Technical report
D. Internal departmental report
E. Mission report or substantive research report
Your Purpose(s) and your Reader(s)
Page 12 Exercise 1.1
4. to present a theory and back it up with evidence
5. to describe a procedure
C. 2 to educate or inform about the situation in a region …
D. 1 to recommend or call for action
E. 6 to show what progress has been made
F. 3 to persuade through logical argument
Page 12 Exercise 1.2
Paragraphs 1, 2 3 and 4.
1 To recommend or call for action
Page 12a Exercise 1.3
A. Question of Aging (1. as above)
B. Economic and Social Council (6. to show what progress…..)
C. A Report to ICSC (2. To educate or inform …)
D. Report from the Secretary-General to the United Nations Commission on International
Trade Law (6. to show what progress has been made…)
Page 14 Exercise 1.4
To report … on the extent to which the system-wide medium-term plan for women and
development had been incorporated into the programmes and programme budgets of the
organizations of the UN system.
Page 15 Exercise 1.5 No
Page 16 Exercise 1.6
A. Question of Aging
Topic only : Aging
Topic and purpose: Action programme on aging for 1992 and beyond
B. An ECOSOC report
Topic only: Women and development
Topic and purpose: Implementation of the system-wide medium-term plan for
women and development C A report for ICSC Topic only: Margins between net
remuneration of the United Nations staff in the Professional and higher categories in New
York and that of the United States federal civil service at Washington Topic and purpose:
Developments affecting the margins between net remuneration of the United Nations staff
in the Professional and higher categories in New York and that of the United States federal
civil service at Washington and forecast for 1993. D A report from the Secretary.General
to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Topic: Current activities of
other organizations related to the harmonization and unification of international trade law
Topic and Purpose: Update of the current activities of other organizations related to the
harmonization and unification of international trade law and recommendations of steps to
Page 17 Exercise 3.1
1 Who requested the report ?
The General Assembly
2 What questions do the readers want addressed in this report?
An update of the current activities of other organizations related to the
harmonization and unification of international trade law and recommendations of steps to
3 Is this a new report on the subject area or part of a series?
Part of a series
4 How much background information will the readers need?
May need access to the other reports or to information mentioned in point 3
(documents from organizations)
Page 19 Exercise 4.1
1 To recommend a system (and to persuade through logical argument?)
Topic: New network of word processors in department X
Topic and purpose: Advantages of installing a new network of word processors in
department X to help the support staff share the workload
II. Formatting the report (Part I)
Page 26a Exercise 1.1:
The Summary on page 26
Topic only: Migrant workers and their families Page 26a Exercise 1.2:
The Summary on page 27
This document reports on the progress made by the Member States in adopting measures
aimed at preventing prostitution and reabsorbing prostitutes into society. The report indicates that
progress is being made by some Member States, while further measures are needed to reinforce
Exercise 2.1 on page 30b
NB You may need to refer to page 131 on parallelism. Suggested improvement: A. Reasons for including
…. 1. OK 2. Contributing factors of the environment …
I. THE NATURE AND USE OF INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC
A. Reasons for including the environment in the national accounts
1. Incorporating environmental assests in the national accounts
2. Contributing factors of the environment to economic performances and welfare-generation
B. Adjusting the national accounts
C. Using the results of integrated environmental and economic accounting
1. Calculating environmental expenditures
2. Accounting for loss of environmental capacity
3. Adjusting accounting aggregates
4. Modelling of environmental and economic policies
5. Improving data collection methods and project appraisal
D. Conclusions Exercises 2.2 on page 30d (answer on page 30e)
Read page 31 : The Introduction
Do exercise 3.1 Exercise on writing an 'introduction' referring to the report on pages 33-34 of the
Answer the questions on page 35.
1 Easy to read and find information
2 5 major headings and sub-headings
4 Nouns III. Planning and researching the report
Read page 40 on Brainstorming. Do exercise 1.1 on page 41a and 41b. The answer is on page 41b and
Read pages 47 and 48.
Do the exercise on page 48 and redo this draft of an outline (on page 49).
Rewrite the headings where appropriate, reorganize them and put the details logically under their
Only one possibility (others possible). See pages 52-53 for final report.
Outline of problem Contemporary crime is a terrible problem, internationally as well as nationally.
Difference between crime at the national and international levels although the same terms apply.
Crime and justice have monetary and social costs.
Objectives – need for cooperation Nations must cooperate to deal with crime. At present we lack
such cooperation regionally.
Role of UN and other organizations
The United Nations has been active in the crime field through several congresses,
committees and institutes, but all have inadequacies. Mention names of some of these congresses,
Organizations other than the UN have been active interregionally …..
An effective international crime and justice programme must be developed.
An effective international programme to combat the problems needs to be laid out.
Kinds of cooperation and assistance needed are different …. If the new international
programme fails, we should have a mechanism …..
Do the exercise on page 50.
Answers: When following through an argument with examples.
Guiding the reader through an argument with examples.
PART IV – Formatting the report (Part II)
Read pages 60 and 61.
Do the exercise on pages 61a-e (Exercises 1-5)
Exercise 1 : Questions in mind of Secretary-General:
Is there any evidence of use of chemical weapons?
If so, which ones?
What type of damage?
What measures can be introduced to curb the use if evidence found?
1 Methodology: Other methods such as visits to sites, talking to locals, examination
of documents etc.
5 Types of events: What sort of chemicals were used? Reports of individuals from
13 Further examples and possible conclusions from findings
19 Other findings to support the ambiguous nature
Some of them as described above.
Exercise 2: The Secretary-General ordered an investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in
Uralia. While some evidence of two chemicals was found on examination of weapons found at
two villages and a number of events were presented as being suggestive of the use of chemical
weapons, no conclusive evidence could be ascertained.
1. … in letter from …. It was stated that the armed forces of Toravia had resorted to using
2. … Results of the analyis of tests for use of chemical weapons carried out by the Ministry of
Health of Uralia.
3. Secretary-General appointed mission of three qualified experts
4. Experts have determined that no evidence of use of chemical weapons was presented to the
5. Real solution will only be found by end of conflict
The Permanent Representative of Uralia produced several letters in June 2002 stating that the armed
forces of Toravia had resorted to using chemical weapons. This was refuted by the Permanent
Representative of Toravia, who requested that experts assess the situation. In July 2002 three qualified
experts went to Uralia to investigate the accusations and no evidence of use of chemical weapons was
discovered. However, it is felt that a resolution of the conflict and the re-establishment of sound relations
between the states concerned will signal the end of the dispute.
Read pages 62-66. Page 66a,
The advantages of adopting System A over System F Summary This report proposes adopting System A
rather than System F and proposes an implementation timetable. The advantages of System A and the
disadvantages of System F are described. The proposed implementation timetable includes training and
completion of the network before the next General Assembly.
Page 70, exercise 1 and 2.
1 The purpose of this three-week mission to Cambodia prior to the elections to be held in June
2003 is to determine its existing infrastructure in order to prepare the initial budget.
2 The purpose of this four-day mission is to provide a progress report on our programmes in Zaire,
Uganda and Nigeria.
Exercise 2 on page 70 Deciding on the most appropriate format
(a) An unformatted mission report There seem to be several groupings of types of topics eg Facilities and
buildings, energy supplies, media, communication systems.
What could also improve it is to organize it so that firstly there is a general description, then the problem
is identified, then possible solutions are identified.
Exercise on page 73 Purpose statement : This needs to be stated more clearly at the beginning.
Background information could identify the proposed operational plan to give a framework. Purpose seems
to be to visit the training site and to give an opinion about its administration, training facilities, board and
lodging facilities and efficiency. Perhaps having sections with these titles could help make it clearer as
well as a clearer overall purpose statement.
Purpose statements: I agree with the proposed operational plan for in-country training that was
drafted in December 1989. …. I am writing in support of the findings of my three colleagues and
to point out what differences and similarities I experienced at the training site in Keetmanshoop.
(needs to clarify that this is one of several reports about same project and that agrees with
Had these measures been taken … (identify possible reason for lack of efficiency)
I had a smoother experience. …. for the following reasons: (identify positive aspects of training
I was already familiar … (perhaps this should be stated earlier)
Part V: Developing an argument
Exercise 1 on page 81b. Exercise 2 on page 81c
Original structure for comparison with your answers to the two exercises above can be found on page 81d.
Exercise on page 85
The main idea is that 20-45 per cent of women of child-bearing age in the developing world do not
eat the WHO-recommended amount of 2,250 calories a day under normal circumstances,
let alone the extra 285 a day they need when they are pregnant.
in summary: one fifth to almost half of women of child-bearing age in the developing
world are undernourished in the developing world according to WHO-recommended
amounts both regularly and when pregnant.
It is not proven conclusively as there are examples but few overriding statistics that seem to be over whole
continents rather than specific examples from isolated countries. There is only one example study from
Africa, one from India and two from Asian countries. What about Latin American countries? The fact that
one sixth of women in Latin American countries suffers from anaemia associated with poor nutrition
suggests a lower statistic than the opening statement.
However, there are certainly several examples given and the last sentence is a little more generalized. So,
in my opinion, it is convincing but not conclusive.
VI. Using arguments of fact and policy; avoiding fallacies
Subargument of existence: Para 34. Fines are the most common alternative to imprisonment
Subargument of definition 34. They have universally gained in importance and are now becoming more
widely used, covering a broader range of offences. 35. This disadvantage, particularly ….. has been
Subargument of quality 35. Fines have the advantage of being economical in terms of both money and
labour and practial in terms of management and administration; they are also humane, as they inflict …..
35. However, fines can create inequalities …
Some fallacies to avoid in arguments on page 94
1 Circular argument How can the continuation of a programme be justified just because you state
that it is important to do continue programmes? Under whose authority? Clearly if the
programme is achieving nothing, then it is important to discontinue it. Therefore the
argument is not justified.
2 Unwarranted claim Who has decided that six months is the appropriate time frame to evaluate
the success of a peace-keeping mission. This appears to be the unsubstantiated opinion of
3 Oversimplification Either you should resign from this post or put in for a promotion.
4 Red herring An attempt to divert the discussion from remuneration of housing from the post
adjustment system for some duty stations difficulties with the whole salary system.
5 Post hoc, ergo propter hoc That the Committee's recommendation about housing surveys came
as a result of one representative's endorsement.
6 Ad hominem
7 Ad populum Statement
1: Could be said by: a union representative for staff members Bias against: ICSC
2: Could be said by: ICSC statistician Bias against: staff members
8 False analogy
Ways to recognize and deal with counter-arguments on page 97 (see the text on page 93)
Author's argument: 35. Fines have the advantage of being economical in terms of both money and labour
and practical in terms of management and administration they are also humane, as they inflict a minimum
of social harm.
Counter-argument: However, fines can create inequalities by discriminating against the poor, for whom
they are usually converted into imprisonment because of non-payment, thus equating justice with money.
This disadvantage, particularly recognizable where fines are imposed as a lump sum payment, has been
reduced in the legislation of some countries.
Key term: Fines as an alternative to imprisonment Ways in which the key term is changed to deal with the
problem brought up in the counter-argument: day-fine system, the amount of each day fine to be paid,
uncollectable fines translated into community service, terms of imprisonment that is substituted for the
fine in the case of non-payment must not exceed …., conversion of unpaid fines into …, a reprieve of
payment, paying the fine in instalments, taking into consideration the reasons for non-payment
Exercise on page 98
1 Some say … should be shut down immediately
2 Others say … endanger the jobs of the employees.
3 We believe, however, …. Calling for a staged turnover to a 'clean' system …
Exercise on page 98c
1 … is likely to undergo further robust economic expansion.
2 …. the economy of Italy is seen as remaining behind / remaining slow, due in part from …
3 While Japan continues downwards / remains slow among the developed countries, a cyclical
recovery has been in progress.
4 rising but under control
5 are the most likely outcome.
6 weaker …..lower consumption / less money for consumption
8 against … and no devaluation has been forecast ….relaxed.
9 … of their trade surpluses.
10 more even / more stable pace ……..moderates
11 essential …. long-term
13 range …..
14 The margin / latitude ……..carefully
15 Reticence to advance appears to have been prevalent / Slowness appears … Corporate debts
…corporate debt … at 100,000 16 less severe / loose
Exercise 2 on page 98c
Identify ones to be crossed out
1. Whenever I have met with you, I have expressed my earnest hope that a satisfactory settlement
of this case could be reached
2. For its part, the United Nations will continue to lend Atlantis all the assistance it can through its
various programmes and agencies
3. As you are aware, I am paying close, personal attention to the implementation of General
Assembly Resolution AB/XY
4. We must continue to urge the Utopian parties to demonstrate the requisite political will to
ensure the full and timely implementation of the Declaration
5. I am most grateful to His Excellency the Head of State for the warm greetings conveyed in your
letter. I am very much looking forward to meeting him again in the capital early next
6. I am enclosing herewith the agenda for the meeting, along with some practical information and
a factual background paper prepared by the United Nations
7. These two documents were very largely the product of earlier negotiations in Geneva and New
8. The Council underlined the great importance of substantive progress towards a comprehensive
political settlement during the next round of negotiations so that the Council might
adequately consider the possible establishment of a considerable peace-keeping force in
9. Now that the authorities are in possession of this information, it is my strong conviction that
efforts to investigate and eradicate illegal armed groups should continue as a necessary
prerequisite for the firm consolidation of peace and democracy to Utopia
VII. Editing and revising: Text Level
Exercise 1.1 on page 102
Example 1 : Analysis pattern
Example 2 : Time or space pattern
Example 3: Cause and effect patterns
Example 4: Time or space or Purpose pattern (not here)
Example 5: Recommendation pattern
Example 6: Recommendation pattern
Example 7: Comparison pattern
Example 8: Cause and effect pattern
Example 9: Definition pattern
Exercise 1.2 on page 104
1 In the WHO report, it was evident that in India and Bangladesh boys were given better
nourishment and more hospital care than girls.
2 The women's peace movement has increased from eurocentric to global in the years following
3 The way the workstation is used depends on the context it is situated in.
Exercise 1.3 on page 104a
Compare the topic sentences you underlined with these suggestions:
1. At the time of our audit there was an accumulation of approximately 2000 pieces of "return
mail" to be opened and returned to the senders.
2. It is apparent that the staff member did not work under programme account code no. JIA-
3. We are of the opinion that preparation of estimates should not be entrusted to outside vendors
especially in cases when it is expected that those vendors may bid for the particular jobs.
4. Our review of the project priorities for planning and design disclosed that they were not
adopted in the programming and execution of the projects.
5. This audit revealed that records regarding the use of vehicles are not kept, although XYZ has
instructed its provincial authorities to follow the applicable Government regulations.
Exercise 1.4 on page 104c
The topic sentences in the original texts were as follows:
(a) Since my last report to the Council dated 7 July 2002, significant progress has been
achieved in the peace process in Goralia. Several of the difficulties cited in my
earlier reports have now been overcome. (The reader would now expect to read
about what progress has been made and what difficulties have been overcome).
(b) With the generous assistance of donors, considerable progress has been made in
implementing humanitarian programmes in Malaba. (The reader would now expect
to read about what progress has been made).
(c) An increase in malnutrition has been noted in some accessible parts of the country,
such as in Limba. (The reader would now expect to read some details about this
(d) No time should now be lost in advancing further the process of national reconciliation
in Brindish. (The reader would now expect to read what steps are being taken).
Exercise on page 105
1 To identify the recommendations and general context
2 To expect four activities to be described
A) Introduction to whole report
b) New section / change of section (could be body or conclusion)
c) New topic / change of topic within a section
1 Definition, explanation and analysis of the problem. Identification of various possible outcomes.
Identification of most usual outcome with supporting reasons.
2 Recommendation pattern – to present a theory and back it up with evidence
3 Chronological development – educate and inform
Exercise on page 108
Paragraph 20 Within their exclusive economic zones
Paragraph 22 2 effects on species associated with or dependent on harvested species
Paragraph 23 4 Promote objective of their 'optimum utilization'
Paragraph 25 In addition .. the Convention contains several special provisions for certain types of
stocks in exclusive economic zone and high eas or in exclusive economic zones of 2 +
Several related to high seas too.
Exercise on page 111 The documentation ….
Exercise on page 112
Exercise on pages 113-114
1 Absenteeism levels in Jarvis Wing
2 Recommendation to undertake urgent study Legal requirement to provide a safe working
3 History of events leading to decrease in efficiency
4 Physical complaints experienced by employees
5 Conclusions and recommendations
Exercise on page 116
(relating to pages117-118)
Part III Related global and regional instruments General environmental protection - para 32 & 33
Pollution from land-based sources – para 34
Pollution from seabed activities subject to national jurisdiction – para 35 & 36
Pollution by dumping – para 37 & 38
Pollution from vessels – para 39
Environmental emergencies – para 40 & 41
Recommendations for improvement. Perhaps this section actually consists of two major parts;
the general environmental protection instruments, and
instruments governing particular types of pollution.
Could the report be divided thus:
The first heading could be more specific and organised according to page 177b on headings):
Part III Related global and regional instruments
1 General environmental protection instruments (paras 32 & 33)
2 Pollution protection instruments
a) Pollution from land-based sources (Para 34)
b) Pollution from seabed activities subject to national jurisdiction (para 35 & 36)
c) Pollution by dumping (para 37 & 38)
d) Pollution from vessels (para 39)
3 Environmental emergencies instruments (paras 40 & 41)
Exercise on page 119
Note how the headings above have been reworded to be parallel (see pages 127 and 128, then page 131
for more information on parallelism)
VIII. Editing and revising for unity and coherence
A ACHIEVING UNITY
Exercise on page 123 What makes a group of sentences (from paragraph to document length) unified? In
the paragraph, the sentences within it will all be related to the main idea. The Table of Contents will relate
to the purpose statement, and in the document, all the sections of the document and all the paragraphs will
relate to the purpose statement.
1. In the paragraph Exercise on page 123 The first sentence after the topic sentence does not belong here.
It is more logical to state the main goal directly after the topic sentence. I would eliminate the sentence as
it relates to establishing training institutions in certain countries, but this paragraph deals with the
Exercise on page 124
Section V does not belong as there is no mention of comparing youth and ageing programmes and it takes
away from the focus on local to national to global, which are all mentioned in the purpose statement.
On page 125, missing headings are
Result Therefore etc
Time / Order Afterwards etc
Certainty Indeed etc
Exercise on page 126
1 Therefore (or other result expression)
2 However (or other contrast clause)
3 In addition (or other addition clause)
4 Subsequently (Time)
5 For example (example)
6 On the one hand … on the other hand (choice / contrast)
Exercise on page 127
1 the opportunity and resources the framework of the reform and any further reforms to proceed
and to implement
2 migrant workers, the disabled and women with children
3 sometimes by reference to a manual and sometimes by reference to the UNCID rules
Exercise on page 128
1 As I mentioned in my memorandum, your staff will be responsible for obtaining the data needed
to complete the report and for disseminating it to the appropriate departments. (Comments:
for + -ing forms – for obtaining …. for disseminating …)
2 The following matters are urgently required to develop the new programme: your immediate
support and official requests to be sent by 1 November to our Director. (Comment: noun
phrases (immediate support … official requests)
3 All of the team members contributed to the operation with dedication, responsibility and with an
alert attitude. (Comment: nouns)
4 The purpose of this memorandum is to convey the results of the evaluation and to solicit the
advice of the Commission. (Comment: to convey … to solicit)
5 These guidelines encompass legislation, accessibility to physical environment and to documents
and information, improved information to and about disabled persons, and disability
statistics. (Comment: ' improving' is not a noun phrase whereas in 'improved information'
'improved' describes the noun).
Exercise 2 on page 128a
Underline the odd man out in each sentence and then make it parallel:
1. Now it has a different name, political system and smaller territory.
Now it has a different name, different political system and smaller territory. OR
Now it has both a different name and political system, as well as a smaller territory.
(Comment: In the original, it sounds like you are expecting 'different' to refer to 'smaller
territory' as well, as they all seem to be parallel, but are not in fact)
2. He does not abuse the supervisees but shows respect, understanding, and deals honestly with
He does not abuse the supervisees but shows respect, understanding, and has honest
dealings with them.
(Comment: shows + nouns ….. has + noun)
3. They will have a sense of responsibility when they become our heads of offices, governments or
heads of state.
They will have a sense of responsibility when they become our heads of offices, of
governments or of state. OR
heads of offices, heads of governments or heads of state.
(Comment: like example 1, what 'governments' relates to is ambiguous. It is clearer to have
some repetition of the structure)
4. I would not worry about paying bills, school fees or waking up at night.
I would not worry about paying bills, paying school fees or waking up at night. OR
I would not worry either about paying bills or school fees, nor about waking up at night.
(Comment: it is ambiguous what 'school fees' refers to)
5. The city offers activities such as going to concerts, Broadway shows, as well as basketball
The city offers activities such as going to concerts, Broadway shows and basketball games.
The city offers activities such as concerts, Broadway shows and basketball games (omit
'going to') OR
The city offers activities such as concerts, Broadway shows, as well as sports such as
(Comment: 'basketball games' is incongruous as it is not parallel with shows and concerts,
both of which are cultural activities. The addition of 'as well as' makes one think that it is
intended as a different type of activity. So it is important either to clarify whether
'basketball games' are seen as another cultural activity to go to, or whether in fact a new
element is being introduced in the form of a sports activity).
6. I saw the exciting night-time activities to choose from - a drink at the bar, sing a song at a
karaoke place or just walked around the Pat-poong area.
I saw the exciting night-time activities to choose from – having a drink at the bar, singing a
song at a karaoke place or just walking around the Pat-poong area.
(Comment: activities are best described with –ing forms in English, so by adding suitable –
ing form verbs, the activities become parallel)
7. The United States, Florida and California are the largest growers of oranges.
In the United States, Florida and California are the largest growers of oranges. OR
Florida and California are the largest growers of oranges in the United States.
(Comment: the original sentence makes all three sound equal)
8. I want a husband who is intelligent, well-educated, a high-flyer with an obscene amount of
I want a husband who is intelligent, well-educated, high-flying, and with an obscene
amount of income. OR .
I want a husband who is intelligent, well-educated, ambitious and extremely well-off.
(Comment: the second sentence changes the noun to an adjective and admits a third
relative clause, but is not very parallel still, whereas the third sentence changes somewhat
the original flavour, but is much more parallel. The humour is lost, however.)
9. They share facial expressions indicating their state of mind: happiness, sadness, pleasure,
mischievous deeds and curiosity.
They share facial expressions indicating their state of mind: happiness, sadness, pleasure,
mischievousness and curiosity.
10. Some characteristics that describe a good teacher are someone who is caring, giving, attentive,
committed, dynamic, good listener, with some human psychology to understand people's
body language, must have facility to communicate and transmit his/her messages clearly,
and be patient.
Some characteristics that describe a good teacher are someone who is caring, giving,
attentive, committed, dynamic, patient, who is a good listener, with some human
psychology to understand people's body language, and with a facility to communicate and
transmit his/her messages clearly.
(Comment: some reordering to get adjectives together, repeated 'who is .. ' structures, then
relative clauses together 'with …)
Exercise 3: on page 128c
Underline the odd man out in each sentence and then make it parallel:
1. I used to take him to the doctor, to buy clothes, etc. I used to take him to the doctor, take him to
buy clothes, etc.
(Comment: the alternative is that it sounds like he is going to buy clothes at the doctor's)
2. I want a husband who is liberal in thinking and should subscribe to feminist notions.
I want a husband who is liberal in thinking and who subscribes to feminist notions.
3. They share more features than just being mammals, walking upright and the use of the
They share more features than just being mammals, walking upright and using the
4. Suddenly you are facing the street looking at different car models, signs and streets pointing in
so many different directions, where to turn, who to ask, strange looking people.
Suddenly you are facing the street looking at different car models, at signs and streets
pointing in so many different directions, at strange looking people, that you don't know
where to turn or who to ask.
(Comment: looking at + nouns, then introduction to 'where … who ..' structure.
5. This knowledge could help us not only for research and maintaining a comprehensive data base,
but also generate statistical information.
This knowledge could help us not only for research and maintaining a comprehensive data
base, but also for generating statistical information.
6. A typical day on the job would be as follows: turn on the computer, check to see if there are any
E-mail messages, check the fax room for any faxes, answer the telephones, colleagues
coming and going inside my office with questions and social chit-chat, not to mention
meetings to attend and reports to write.
A typical day on the job would be as follows: turning on the computer, checking to see if
there are any E-mail messages, checking the fax room for any faxes, answering the
telephones, answering questions from colleagues coming and going inside my office and
engaging in social chit-chat, not to mention attending meetings and writing reports.
(Comment: the best structure is the –ing one, rather than a mixture of imperative-sounding
ones and then ones beginning with nouns)
7. The response of the manic-depressive to others is always too sensitive, in a bad temper and
The response of the manic-depressive to others is always too sensitive, bad tempered and
The response of the manic-depressive to others is always being too sensitive, being in a
bad temper and acting suspiciously.
(Comment: need to either have adjectives or add an –ing verb)
8. People based their decisions on emotions rather than carefully thinking about the substance.
People based their decisions on emotions rather than careful thoughts about the substance
People based their decisions on reacting emotionally rather than thinking carefully about
9. Campaigns have focused more on touching people's feelings than content.
Campaigns have focused more on touching people's feelings than on content.
(Comment: not people's content)
10. They show similar body language when threatened: bluffing the opponent in their physical
appearance, males beating their chest to show dominance, aggressive, intimidating stance
and screaming, use of hands and fist to defend or fend off a threat.
They show similar body language when threatened: bluffing the opponent in their physical
appearance, males beating their chest to show dominance, taking an aggressive,
intimidating stance and screaming, and using their hands and fist to defend or to fend off a
(Comment: adding 'taking' makes the 'stance' phrase more parallel to the other structures,
as well as 'using')
11. It is just like going around looking for a bank to open an account, looking for a place to live,
looking for the supermarkets and what to buy, looking for a new job, even how your
resume has to be written.
It is just like going around looking for a bank to open an account, looking for a place to
live, looking for the supermarkets and deciding what to buy, looking for a new job, even
deciding how to write your resume.
Exercise on page 129
1 'it' is to be found in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth lines. In each case it refers to 'the holding of
a summit' or 'a summit', which is referenced in the second line. As the structure is repeated
each time with 'would' (being an unreal hypothetical reference), except for the final
reference, which is real, the reference to the original summit is not lost in the following
examples. This holds the paragraph together well.
2 First line: 'It' refers to 'World Population Report' Second line: 'their' refers to 'women' from the
first line, 'the two' refers to women's productive and reproductive roles. Third line: 'It'
refers to 'World Population Report' from the first line. Fourth line: 'both' refers to 'changes
in population and development' Fifth line: 'It' refers to the Report from the first line
3 'they' in every line refers to 'amoebae'. Final line: 'that something' refers to the something they sit
down on mentioned in the same line.
Exercise 1 on page 130 – Repetition of key words
a) leadership and consultation
b) liberal / conservative; left-right; left versus right; leftists etc
Exercise 2 on page 131 – Parallelism of equivalent categories
1 noun phrase + should 2 infinitive verb forms
Exercise 3 on page 132
1 The present approach to social welfare policies emphasizes the following five key issues :
a) Strong emphasis on more extensive and intensive cooperation between the health and
social welfare sectors
b) Government and municipality cooperation (or Cooperation of governments and
c) Decentralization and deinstitutionalization
d) Client participation (or Participation of clients)
e) Help for self help
2 The following are my comments on the conference:
a) I went to the conference to find out what other installations do with regard to problems
we encounter here.
b) I found there were a great variety of sessions for many audiences.
c) I attended as many sessions as I could.
d) I found the most beneficial sessions were in the systems programming area.
e) I recommend continued participation at conferences like this one to get the most
3 The following is a tentative outline of what would be involved in a country-wide approach for a
a) The study should cover all of the …
b) The study should include …
c) An in-depth review of those projects should be carried out by …
d) A report should be prepared by the consultant which would ….
ACHIEVING COHERENCE IN THE WHOLE REPORT (page 132a in the textbook)
The correct order is as follows:
SUMMARY: problem: 1. H recommendation: 2. C
DISCUSSION: background: 3. J 4. E 5. K 6. A argument: 7. I 8. B 9. D 10. G 11. F
LETTER DATED 26 JULY 2002 FROM THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ADDRESSED TO THE
PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL SUMMARY
I am writing to inform you of the serious difficulties that have arisen for the operations of the United
Nations _______________ Mission (UNCOCOM) in Caladia owing to the blockades of all UNCOCOM
traffic into the United Nations Protected Areas (UNPAs) be demonstrators. Recommendation C. I
recommend that the Security Council take appropriate action to call upon the Government of the Republic
of Caladia to fulfil its obligations to UNCOCOM and to end the blockades.
DISCUSSION Background J. Since 1 July 2002, demonstrators from the Association of Displaced
Persons have deliberately and progressively obstructed all crossing points into the UNPAs. A full list of
hindrances at crossing points is attached. E. The blockades have meant that UNCOCOMs ability to
monitor the 29 March 2002 Cease-fire Agreement has been severely diminished. A direct result of this
has been that the number of confirmed serous violations of the Cease-fire Agreement has increased and
tensions are rising within the zone of separation. In addition, UNCOCOM personnel have been blocked
from performing basic tasks required in the sectors and, as such, they have been unable to conduct
negotiations to resolve outstanding issues.
K. As the majority of UNCOCOM resupply is carried out by road to the sectors,.logistic supply has been
virtually halted, leading to the use of circuitous and more expensive routes through Lamaland and
Kronaland in order to provide basic supplied for personnel, especially in Sector East. Helicopters have
also been used to transport commodities into sectors, as most alternate routes, used from time to time, are
now blocked. Furthermore, petrol has been rationed, further restricting the ability of the sector personnel
to carry out their functions. Troop-contributing countries have expressed serious concern about the
welfare of the personnel they have provided to UNCOCOM.
A. Movement of personnel for periods of leave and for rotation of units have been seriously hampered; for
example, at Camp Terry there are currently approximately 600 soldiers who are proceeding from leave
and cannot return to the UNPAs because of the blockades. Other soldiers in the UNPAs have had their
leave cancelled. Perhaps most important is the effect on the morale of the personnel who are being
prevented from carrying out their duties. I. In response to these instructions, my Special Representative,
Mr. Kasaki, met last week with President Dalman, Prime Minister Valentine, and Mr. Sero (President of
the State Commission for Relations with UNCOCOM) to impress upon tehm the serousness of the
situation and the responsibility of the Government of Caladia to ensure that UNCOCOMs is not impeded.
He als conveyed to them that UNCOCOM had clear evidence of the active participation of Caladian
police in several of the blockades and that the Caladian Government was in violation of the Cease-fire
Agreement of 29 March 2002, which explicitly commits the Caladian Government to opening specific
crossing points which are now blocked on the Caladian side.
B. On 19 July, President Daman informed Mr. Kasaki that, though the Caladian Government was not
officially involved in the blockades, they would only stop when Mr. Kasaki publicly announced that all
humanitarian aid to the UNPAs would be discontinued and that return of displaced persons to the zone of
separation would commence. The first condition is unacceptable and the second unimplementable but, in
a spirit of understanding for the frustrations of the displaced persons, Mr. Kasaki did release a public
statement on 21 July on UNCOCOMs achievements, the obstacles it has faced, and its intentions,
particularly as regards the possibility of the return of displaced persons.
D. Prime Minister Valentine undertook to seek an amelioration of the situation, and the Caladian
Government made a public call for an end to the blockades on 21 July. On 23 July , my Special
Representative discussed the matter again with President Daman. These steps have not yielded positive
results, other than the passage in Sector North of one leave convoy on 22 July and a personnel
reinforcement convoy on 23 July.
G. All Caladian Government representatives with whom Mr. Kasaki has spoken have pointed to the
political sensitivities and difficulties in which they find themselves. There is no doubt that the feelings of
the displaced persons in Caladia must be addressed. However, while the democratic right of citizens to
demonstrate cannot be denied, it must be balanced against the obligations assumed by the Caladian
Government to allow UNCOCOM to do its work. While the Government of Caladia may not be fully in
control of the demonstrators, it is undeniably fully responsible for ensuring that their actions do not
prevent UNCOCOM from carrying out its duties.
F. The present situation cannot be allowed to continue. Without the restoration of UNCOCOMs freedom
of movement, the difficult conditions of supply and logistics risk the rapid diminution of the mission's
capabilities. If the present situation is not rectified, UNCOCOM will simply be unable to function in
pursuance of the mandates entrusted to it by the Security Council.
Exercise 5: (on page 132c in the textbook)
In the original letter the recommendation is actually in the last paragraph. In other words, in the original C
is the last paragraph.
To get the recommendation, paragraph C, which is the main point, at the beginning, move it to the end of
the first paragraph and slightly reword it:
I am writing to inform you of the serious difficulties that have arisen for the operations of the
United Nations ________________ Mission (UNCOCOM) owing to the blockades of all UNCOCOM
traffic into the United Nations Protected areas (UNPAs) by demonstrators. As UNCOCOM will not be
able to carry out its work in these conditions, I recommend that the Security Council call upon the
Government of the Republic of Caladia to fulfil its obligations and to end the blockades. IX. Editing and
revising: sentence-level concision; summarizing
MAKING SENTENCES CONCISE (page 135a in the textbook)
Some suggestions for revisions
1. To many observers, this continuation of strong productivity growth provides additional
evidence that there has been a shift in the trend of productivity growth and that it is largely
related to cumulative ICT.
To many observers, this continuation of strong productivity growth provides additional
evidence of a shift in productivity growth and that this is largely related to cumulative ICT.
2. If there has been such a positive shift, the pace of expansion, at which demand and supply
match without exacerbating the pace of inflation, has been lifted to about 3.5 – 4 per cent,
or at least one percentage point above the last two decades.
3. Furthermore, information technology (IT) should be regarded as a new factor of production and
added to other factors such as physical or human capital.
Probably none of the underlined words are necessary:
1. This would indicate improper planning and deficiencies in formulating the project funding
requests. We noted that for the year ending 31 December 2002 total allocations were US$
2. We clarified further why the document referred to above was not translated internally. The
responsible Programme Officer explained that internal translation would have taken a
much longer time ...
3. We further noted that amounts pertaining to liquidations of prior years' obligations were not
being reported by UNBD.
We noted that in a memorandum the Chief Finance Officer of UNRHI requested the Chief
of Accounts of UNBD to provide a list to substantiate the amount of unliquidated
4. It is recommended that expenditures be charged against the appropriate object-of-expenditure
codes. UNEFG should ensure that expenditures incurred are covered with sufficient funds.
5. There was virtually no allotment control. Expenditures were incurred in excess of allotments or
without allotment, and there was no built-in system to cancel the lapsed unencumbered
balance of allotments.
6. The failure to incur expenditures within the allotments authorized may have serious
implications for determining which party is liable if the donor refuses additional funding.
It was also noted that certain expenditures were incurred with no allotment authorized
under the corresponding control accounts as shown below.
Exercise on page 136
Cross out any words in the following sentences that repeat ideas or wording.
1 Reporting to inter-govenmental bodies should be done biennially instead of annually in view of
the fact that changes in this field occur slowly rather than rapidly and therefore would be
better reflected through a two-year reporting cycle.
2 Heavy demands have been placed on the Section in recent years as a result of constantly
growing workload which seems to increase steadily. The growth in the workloadwhich has
resulted primarily from quantitative factors to do with numbers. With regard to the
quantitative aspect, In this regard, it may be recalled that about three years ago only three
of the five treaty bodies now being serviced by the Section were in existence.
3 During the 1980 census decade, technical cooperation activities were carried out in the following
four main areas: the provision of technical advisory services through country, regional or
interregional advisers; the provision of training through workshops, fellowships and study
tours; the provision of funds for the purchase of equipment; and the provision of funds for
selected local costs.
4 It is anticipated that the preliminary results of the study could be available to report to the
Commission at its twenty-fourth session.
5 Some services were provided for the planning of the project concerned, and others services were
provided for the its implementation of the project. In addition, some advisory services were
concerned with the follow-up activities related toof the completed projects.
DIVIDE LONG, CONVULUTED SENTENCES (page 136)
The sentence contains 5 ideas:
Main idea: The major problem in the field of household food security is the distribution of seeds and
fertilizers to individual households
Other ideas: -to which we urge special attention -which is primarily a problem in the northern areas of the
country -particularly where the road and transportation system is of significantly poor quality -being
especially vulnerable during the rainy season from June through September
Exercise 3 on page 136a:
The rewritten paragraphs are divided into two or more sentences:
1. The letter contains a request by the Government of the Republic of Inlandia to be permitted to
draw from its assets sufficient funds to pay part of its assessed contributions to the regular
budget of the United Nations. These assets are frozen in United States banks under the
mandatory sanctions decreed by the Security Council.
2. I have the honour to transmit to you the text (in English and French) of a statement by the
Heads of State or Government of Aralia, Borland, Davistan, Jabilan, Koravia, Mindiland,
Talandia, Travibi, Vorania, and Zabistan. Representatives of these countries participated in
the Second Summit Meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization, which was held
in Memphis, on 6-7 July 2002.
3. Unfortunately the Department has at present more staff members than there are posts to
accommodate them. This means that we cannot recommend recruitment of external
candidates, even when they are well-qualified.
4. They do not make the choice according to the availability of domestic materials and the state of
the domestic markets, both of which are very small. Instead they choose according to their
own particular background and experience, the possibility of acquiring technical know-
how from abroad, the availability of labour and its potential for training to the level of skill
required, the source and cost of such imported material and spare parts as cannot be made
domestically, and the availability of a combined domestic and export market.
5. Even apart from the measures designed to bring about an improvement in the management of
farms, the considerable increases in the supply of fertilizers envisaged for the forthcoming
years seem certain to result in a substantial increase in output. In view of the prevailing
very low yields per hectare associated with exremely inadequate applications of fertilizers
to grain production, the steep rise in the supply of fertilizers may enable the country to
expand its agricultural production at significantly higher rates than might be achieved by a
more highly developed agriculture.
6. By its resolution XXX (2001) of 22 March 2001, the Security Council extended UNXYZ's
mandate until 30 June 2001 and requested me to report to the Council at such time when
conditions existed in Doralia for the deployment of UNXYZ for purposes consistent with
paragraph 5 of the President's Peninsula Agreement (see S/BBBB). It also requested me to
make specific recommendations, taking into account circumstances at the time of the
report, on the composition of UNXYZ and the scope of its activities within the overall
personnel levels established in Security Council resolution YYY (2000) of 23 September
The members of the Security Council will recall that by its resolution MTO (2003)
of 29 January 2003, the Security Council decided to extend the mandate of UNAVOX II
for a period of three months until 30 April 2003. However, it contained the proviso that, as
a provisional measure based on security considerations, the Secretary-General was
authorized to concentrate UNAVOX II deployment in Boanda, and at his discretion in
other provincial locations. Furthermore, he could retain the levels of equipment and
personnel he deemed appropriate in order to allow the subsequent expeditious
redeployment of UNAVOX II as soon as that became feasible. The UNAVOX II
redeployment was with a view to the resumption of its functions in accordance with the
"Peace Accords" and previous resolutions on this matter.
Exercise on page 137
Complete and efficient programming is dependent upon the amount and accuracy of data available
through governmental, non-governmental and other sources as well as observation. Nevertheless, this
report will take as given the understanding that some of the information contained herein cannot be
substantiated however credible the sources.
Exercise on page 138 See page 151 for the answer.
Exercise on page 139
FOG index of around 34!!
1 The Secretary-General was requested by the General Assembly to take all necessary
measures to ensure that an equitable balance was achieved between men and
women personnel in the staff. He was especially concerned to ensure equity in
these senior decision-making positions, the incumbents of which by their functions
participate in the formulation of policy within their responsibilities.
2 The ongoing development programme, the demands for improvement of facilities,
coupled with the current high interest rates, and the reconstruction of manning
structures, wages and terms of employment, confront the ports with a situation in
which the Council envisages that it will be difficult to achieve a continuing net
surplus. This is in spite of giving weight to the expected benefits from increased
management and operating efficiency, disposal of out-of-date assets and other
Exercise 4.1 on page 140
1 In conclusion, either individual can do the job adequately.
2 We should seriously consider her proposal.
3 Since only a guide can include a visit to the Centre if the total stop takes no longer than half an
hour, Security has to guarantee quick access.
4 One person's outstanding organizing abilities made this conference possible, as was also true of
the last one.
FAVOUR ACTIVE OVER PASSIVE VOICE (page 140)
Exercise 4.2 on page 140a:
Change the sentences below to the active voice.
One can also observe a skewed sex ratio in countries where death toll on the population from war
or persecution is particularly high among men.
The same study of DHS data also found that more rural-to-urban migrant women thought a larger
family was ideal than native urban residents.
Flush toilets are common in only a few countries DHS surveyed, and in some countries, especially
in rural areas, they are virtually unknown.
One that philosophers call the ethical egoism and that emphasizes the Maximization of one's own
We plan to have regional training using the manual for later in 2000 at ECLAC in Santiago, Chile.
Exercise 4.3 on page 140b:
Both the USA and Canada are estimated to register a very strong growth of international trade. However,
in spite of a rebound in exports, the large trade deficit has continued to grow in the United States, as
imports remain strong, supported by a strong dollar and increased foreign capital inflows. The deficit is
forecast to stay around 4 per cent of GDP in the next few years, posing certain potential risks for an
abrupt adjustment that could lead to significant negative shocks to the world economy.
AVOID “there + BE”, e.g. “there is” or “there was” (page 141 in the textbook)
1 A wide spectrum of needs had to be met. The current crime picture underlined the urgency of
corrective action. The time for piecemeal remedies had passed. Something drastic had to
be done to change the situation so as to give the United Nations crime programme its due
and permit it to better fulfil its potential in the service of Governments and the
international community. Different opinions existed as to how that could best be achieved.
2 It was pointed out that while the convention was a long-term goal, certain immediate steps had
to be taken. No dichotomy of convention versus programme was thought to exist, since the
convention would be an element of the programme and a possible framework for it. Some
discussion took place on the type of convention to be formulated and how that process
could be carried forward.
3 Although the problem of crime was complex, it was deemed to be a danger and a threat. But
more had to be known about it, its extent or how it was being addressed. No doubt drugs,
terrorism, international fraud, environmental offences, abuse of power and systematic use
of repression were serious problems. Without over-dramatizing the issue, which could lead
to over-reacting to it, an obligation to take crime seriously had to be recognized.
4 The United Nations had focused on four main areas of activity: the improvement of international
Read the sentences below. The use of “there is/are/was/were” takes the focus away from the real subjects
of the sentences.
Exercise 8 on page 141a
Delete the “there + BE” and re-focus each sentence.
1. In the past, when Sterling begins to fall, tightening leading to further appreciation of the
pound and then the greater inflationary impulses in the future is a very real
2. Among the developing countries, unemployment in the crisis countries in 2001 and
2002 increased dramatically, with correspondingly smaller consequences in
countries less affected.
3. Two kinds of output are defined in economics and both of them are believed to be
related to investment through different ways.
4. To meet this demand (for gender statistics) a review of the organization and programme
of work is needed to include compilation and dissemination of statistics which can
be used to monitor resulting programmes.
5. In spite of continuous decline in the relative weight of the younger segments of the
population, children represent a large share of the population still in many parts of
the world. When considering individual countries, more than 40 per cent of the
population consists of children still in 66 of them, and in several of these, almost
half of the population, is under 15.
1 why / as / since. In the example 'As / Since no profits were reported …'
2 although. 'Although the results ….'
8 may / might
Dedicated to ….., drawing legitimacy from … (participle clauses) through its universality ….
(prepositional clause) the United Nations Organization calls forth …. a greater potential than …
This report consists of a mixture of styles: numbered points, listing (and not clear if the list relates
to the numbered points) and sentences. It takes time to realize how many sessions are being
reported on, who the main speakers of interest were and what the main topics were.
X. Editing for sentence-level errors
Working on the project for two years, the completion date is nearing.
What is the problem with this sentence? The problem is that after starting with 'working ..' we
expect a personal subject (eg I / we), but instead we have a new topic of the completion
Correction 1 The completion date is nearing for the project we have been working on for two
Example: To evaluate the programme, a statistical package will help us.
Should be: A statistical package will help us to evaluate the programme
Finished with the interim report, the final review was turned to by the expert.
Should be: Finished with the interim report, the expert turned to the final review.
Exercise on page 154
1 We can see at which point he went wrong, in examining his argument closely.
2 A great many examples and illustrations were used in order to explain the point clearly.
3 Having finished the research, they then had to draw up a flow chart and write the logic in the
appropriate computer language.
4 The number of staff required for Cable billing could be reduced by 10 to 20 per cent if personal
computers were installed with links to the IBM mainframe and if existing commercial
software were used.
5 Upon distribution, the same documents are sent to the same delegations over and over again. OR
The same documents are distributed to the same delegations over and over again.
6 As I explained in my Communication No 11, dated 12 September 1993, there is a movement to
reduce expenses throughout the Organization.
7 Having studied the curriculum vitae and having interviewed the candidates, I would recommend
hiring the former for the following reasons:
8 Following investigations and evaluations of products available in the market, the choices of
systems that will meet the requirements of Department ABC have been narrowed down to
Systems A and B.
Exercise on page 155
Example : The report writer finished the report quickly.
1 Headquarters requested from ECLAC a report on the budget (SVO) suddenly (M)
yesterday morning (T) = (SVO, M, T)
2 The programme manager started preparing the report (SVO) with the help of her
assistant (M) immediately (T). = (SVO, M, T)
3 The programme director finished writing her report (SVO) in Santiago (P) before noon
(T). = (SVO, P, T)
4 She faxed it (SVO) to Headquarters (P) right away (T).
5 The report arrived (SV) somewhat smudged (M) on the secretary's desk (P) yesterday
1 The Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions (ACPAQ), which held its first special
session in October 1990, identified a number of questions to be studied further.
2 Items that have not yet been included on the list include fur coats, Volvos and lap-top
3 Fruits and vegetables that are difficult to obtain in a duty station should not be considered
standard items of consumption.
4 Cars that are made for American and European markets cannot be compared easily.
5 With regard to durable goods, the representative proposed that items that were easily identifiable
in terms of make should be priced.
6 The Commission decided that full place-to-place surveys, which are now carried out once every
eight years, need to take place more frequently.
7 Staff participation in these surveys, which has not been well coordinated of late, will improve if
there are fruitful discussions between the secretariat, the administrations and the staff.
1 The Palais (the edifice = building, requisite = is necessary)
2 Lift / elevator
3 Cassette recorder / language laboratory
1 This report is a summary of my major findings concerning the criteria we are going to use for
the upcoming study of needs for Department X.
2 We can manually alter the totals on the following day, should the need arise.
3 We have tried to find the materials all week.
4 Unidentified stock takes time to track down OR It takes time to track down the owner of
Page 160a Exercise 1
1. The freezing of assets of the Federal Republic of Translavia was decreed by the Security
2. Too often, development issues are viewed from an environment assumed to be peaceful
3. The world's major economic powers could help Africa progress
4. The United Nations, for its part, will provide the necessary assistance
5. The Secretariat has just initiated dialogue with the Government of Myanmar about the
continued detention of these elected representatives, to persuade the SLORC to respond to
the repeated calls by the international community for their release
6. As the above communications concern the Security Council, the Secretary-General transmitted
to the President of the Council on 29 April 2002, the text of your Minister's letter
7. Our peacemaking efforts will have a better chance of succeeding if supported by a
comprehensive and well-balanced development
8. Before reporting to the Security Council at the end of October, I wrote to both leaders on 10
October 2002, informing them that I had requested my Deputy Special Representative to
invite them to join him for a number of informal consultations at his residence to explore
ways in which progress might be made both in the implementation of the confidence-
building measures and in the long-contemplated overall settlement of the Trojan problem
Page 160b Exercise 2:
1. Beyond the immediate issue of nuclear inspections, I believe that the two sides should be
encouraged to continue on the path of dialogue
2. The Secretary-General has considered using his good offices to contribute to a solution to the
crisis. However, after consultations on this matter, he decided / concluded that such an
effort would not be the most effective course to pursue at this stage
3. The Secretary-General believes it is very important to establish serious discussions between the
Government and the various ethnic groups as well as with the democratic opposition in
4. From 27 May to 29 May 2002 I visited Kalakstan for the preparations for the second round of
Inter-Kalak talks on national reconciliation to be held in Teheran later this month
5. Subject to the approval of the Security Council, I intend to appoint Lieutenant General Bakam
of Maladia to succeed General Bar as Force Commander 6. Because the Salatian military
authorities failed to fulfil their obligations under the Tropic Island Agreement and to
comply with relevant Security Council resolutions, the Security Council adopted resolution
LJY (2002) on 6 May 2002 imposing additional sanctions against Salatia
Page 160c Answers to Exercise 3
1. Before I report to the Secretary-General, I should be grateful to receive your views on the
implementation and an estimate of savings.
2. We would appreciate your designating an an official in the Recruitment and Placement Division
who could function as a focal point between our two departments.
3. It would be appreciated if you could obtain ESCAP's concurrence to the extension of
4. I would greatly appreciate it if you could authorize the transfer of the balance to UNQXR
Assessed Contributions Account No. 345-6789.
5. You are kindly requested to forward, at your early convenience, the list of personnel that will
constitute the engineering service. As a necessary reference please provide the name of the
responsible of the service and his telephone number.
6. We would appreciate receiving your advice on availability and confirmation of your lowest
possible prices on the items listed
Page 160d Answers to Exercise 4
Suggested rewrites with a softer tone are as follows:
1. We regret that Balodi's request for family visit travel cannot be approved at this stage.
2. We would appreciate your informing the staff member that he has now been regularized
on headquarters payroll.
3. I would greatly appreciate UNOG's assistance in recruiting Ms. Sanders for one year.
4. I would be grateful for your advice so we may effect necessary personnel action.
5. UNOG's cooperation and assistance would be very much appreciated
Page 160e Answers to Exercise 5
Suggested rewrites with a softer tone are as follows (N.B. abbreviations have been rewritten in full):
1. We are pleased to inform you that we agree to reimbursement of your military personnel
at "United Nations standard rates".
2. Although you mentioned a maximum daily strength of 700 for the purpose of
reimbursement, I regret to inform you that the average daily strength of the
Batavian contingent should not exceed the United Nations authorized limit of 600
3. Unfortunately, resupply flights are not reimbursable. Therefore, I regret that we cannot
agree to specific reimbursement for "a maximium of 12" C130 resupply flights.
4. Batavia refers to "an additional letter of assist to cover vehicle painting, vehicle spares,
container hire and miscellaneous spares". May I point out, Excellency, that vehicle
painting and container hire are a national responsibility, while vehicle and
miscellaneous spares are covered by the provisions of the guidelines and are
provided for under a letter of assist?
Page 160f Answers to Exercise 6
The phrases written in a more indirect style would read:
1. The Secretariat seeks your assistance in enquiring of the MalavianGovernment's
willingness to make available, at no cost to the United ations, a team of up to
twelve specialists with a background in contracts administration. The Secretariat
further requests that the officers be provided for a minimum period of six months.
2. The Secretariat of the United Nations presents its compliments to the Permanent
Mission of the Republic of Boralia to the United Nations and has the honour to
request the provision of a military officer to assist the Field Administration and
Logistics Division of the Departmment of Peace-keeping Operations in the area of
3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations presents his compliments to the Permanent
Representative of the Kingdom of Morania to the United Nations and has the
honour to refer to resolution AB/CD ...
4. The Secretary-General of the United Nations would appreciate it if he could receive the
views of His Excellency's Government on this matter.
5. The Secretary-General would be grateful if the Permanent Representative would inform
him of the names of the members of the delegation of Her Excellency's
Government who will attend the meetings.
6. The Secretary-General takes this opportunity to express once again his appreciation to
Her Excellency's Government for the cooperation and support it has given to the
Secretariat in its recent initiatives in peace-keeping operations.
7. The Secretary-General has the honour to draw the particular attention of His
Excellency's Government to paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of resolution XYZ (2000).
8. It would be appreciated if this information could be submitted no later than 15 July
9. The Secretary-General has the honour to invite Her Excellency's Government to
participte in the Seminar.
10. It would be greatly appreciated if the Uralian government could give due consideration
to re-purchasing $6 million worth of military spares which were recently shipped
out of Somalia. Should a purchase not be possible, then possibly the Uralian
government would be pre-disposed to a sale of the spares to a third party.
Page 160h Answers to exercise 7
Suggested rewrites with varying tones are as follows:
1. Tell me what you think about it. (colloquial)
telegram: PLEASE INFORM ME YOUR VIEWS.
Email: What do you think about this?
memorandum: Would you please inform me of your views on this subject?
Letter/report: I would appreciate it if you could inform me of your views on the matter.
note verbale: The Secretary-General would be grateful if His Excellency could
communicate to him the views of his Government on the matter.
2. Send it immediately. (colloquial)
telegram: PLEASE SEND ASP.
Email: Please send the information asap
memorandum Would you please send the information as soon as possible?
letter/report: I would appreciate receiving the information as soon as possible.
formal letter: I should be most grateful if you could forward the information as soon as
note verbale: The Secretary-General would be most grateful if His Excellency's
Government could forward the information as soon as possible.
3. Thanks for your help with peace-keeping. (colloquial)
telegram: THANKS YOUR HELP WITH PEACE-KEEPING
Email: Thanks for your help with peace-keeping
memorandum: We would like to thank you for your assistance in the peace-keeping
letter/report: We wish to thank you for your Government's participation in the peace-
keeping operations of the United Nations.
formal letter: In closing, allow me to express once again our sincere appreciation of your
Government's continued support for the peace-keeping operations of the United
note verbale: The Secretary-General would like to express once again his sincere
appreciation of Her Excellency's Government's continued support for the peace-
keeping operations of the United Nations.
Page 161 Mixed metaphors
Welfare state as 'a safety net' Welfare state (not) as 'a trampoline'
1 'squeezed flat'
2 'concrete solutions'
3 'virgin field' 'pregnant with'
5 'one of the corner-stones'
6 'got off the ground'
7 'pool of staff' 'as a cushion'
8 'on our hands'
1 In some cases, the reports had serious substantive shortcomings or general poor writing quality.
Rectification consumed considerable time for both the Programme Officer and the Editor.
In some instances, this rectification process has led to misunderstandings as extensive re-
writing or writing of new sections/text involve research and ….
2 Since the latest figures (and percentages) on the interregional programme obtained from the
Finance Branch will be utilised, we did not verify the figures/percentages, which vary from
those indicated in our original draft. We therefore assume that these latest figures are the
Example Subject: policies for achieving regional and sub-regional economic cooperation Verb: is
and will be SC: one of the dominant themes for the near future
Change to: Verb: are and will be
1 the turnaround time in these instances tends to be prolonged.
2 …. when the editor requires assistance ….
3 The review process needs to be adapted to take account of this new situation.
4 …. the review of the French language reports is invariably …..
Page 164: ERROR ANALYSIS QUIZ
1 For many years, the system of Apartheid played a crucial role in the economic development of
South Africa. (word order, wordiness)
2 After delineating the various tasks covered by the three subprogrammes of the programme of
work, and highlighting the most important results achieved, including the development of
criminal justice data bases and the United Nations crime and justice information network,.
the programme leader stressed tThe importance of technical cooperation activities was
stressed. (activities is plural) dangling modifiers, redundancies, sentence fragment, active /
3 In setting up the help desk, limits must be set in respect of the type of service to be provided.
(redundancy, overly formal,) Help desks must set limits in the type of service provided.
4 One possible source of objective information are is the literature and journals on new software
systems and their management. (redundancy, agreement)
5 In 1986, the Unit of Home Education of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock through its
rural extension programme, initiated, with UNFPA assistance, the project 'Women's Role
in Rural Development' through its rural extension programme. (word order)
6 UNICEF should support efforts to encourage parents to care for their children themselves at
least until age three by helping them to advocate for this issuesupport (what issue?). This
support could be done by providing them with the appropriate information about the
benefits of raising children at home. (unclear reference)
7 These systems are considered old in terms of their age and technology and hence our office has
made it a policy to replace these equipments with personal computers. (overformal – active
/ passive) Our office has made it a policy to replace old out-of-date equipment with
8 I found the evaluation report objective, of good quality and well written.(parallelism)
9 The Disbursement Section made 64 credits. There are errors not only because the advance
recovery was not recorded but also because the advance recovery amounts were incorrect.
in the incorrect amount of the advances recovered.(Parallelism)
10 More than before, population issues in most African countries have become in most African
countries a legitimate concern expressed in national policies and in all relevant
international for a. (redundancy, word order)
11 To make the addressing scheme completely transparent to the Wordperfect users, all Rremote
users' names must appear in the directory to make the addressing scheme clear to the
Wordperfect users,. (formal language, modifier)
12 For your perusal, I'm submitting herewith my report regarding my attendance at the recent
GUIDE conference for your perusal. OR Please find attached (or herewith) my report
regarding my attendance at the recent GUIDE conference. (very formal language, wrong
13 Awareness of up-to-date computer techniques, available software resources and training
opportunities continues to be a problem in developing countries. Too often the intention to
keep abreast of these issues falls victim to the pressures of work and the scarcity of funds.
(metaphor and unclear subject in sentence 2. In sentence 1, 'continues' is OK because
'awareness of' is singular, but sentence 1 is not very clear either. Active / passive) One
problem in developing countries is people being aware of up-to-date computer techniques,
available software resources and training opportunities. Too often, these people are unable
to keep abreast of these issues because of pressures of work and the scarcity of funds.
14 The project in Uganda has begun over ten years ago and is ongoing. (wrong tense and
redundancies) The project in Uganda has been in progress for over ten years.
15 The government proposal, which is endorsed by the director of the programme today, is the one
concerningconcerns new population policies being implemented in the next
biennium.(seems overly wordy)
16 The fact that one expansion slot is taken up by the installation can be taken as a negative if
there is a need for many add on cards. In general, however, this is not the case. (unclear
reference - Use of passive) If there is a need for many add on cards when the installation
takes up one expansion slot, this can be taken as a negative. However, in general, there is
no need for many add on cards. (if this is what is meant!)
XI. The checklist: Revising, editing & proofreading / Format rules
Exercise 1 on page 173a
Commas, shown in parentheses, should be placed as follows:
(a) Use commas to set off:
The Secretary-General said(,) "The United Nations will do its utmost to
assist Doralia in achieving a just and lasting peace."
You wish to receive the reimbursement in traveller's cheques(,) don't you?
Yes(,) that is correct.
Accept(,) Excellency(,) the assurances of my highest consideration.
On the other hand(,) if the Ruritanians were interested in maintaining a
presence in the Middle East, the aircraft could replace our present AN-24.
We wish(,) however(,) to emphasize the following points.
In our view(,) the two sides should meet as soon as possible.
Phrases in apposition
Mr. Medili(,) Director of the Field Administration and Logistics Division(,)
will be our representative on the group.
Nonrestrictive adjective clauses
We feel this will allow us to implement an integrated staffing system(,)
which can be streamlined and automated.
The UNPROFOR Administration has informed us that Ms. Giri Tuludun(,)
who is scheduled to complete her assignment on 5 July 2004(,) has
requested annual leave.
(N.B. In contrast - restrictive adjective clauses with no commas
We would like to thank you for your support in pursuing a process that
will strengthen DPKO's ability to support the civilian personnel
requirements of its field missions.)
The refugees who fled the area last month are the ones most in need of
Nonrestrictive participle phrases
After receiving the data we requested(,) we will be able to finish the report.
Once completed(,) the report will be submitted without delay.
Adverbial clauses and phrases
As you can see(,) Doralia proposes to maintain a reduced OGE.
To enable prompt settlement(,) please indicate the requisition and Letter of
Since UNGAMIP's budget has already been completed(,) we will look into
ways to provide the most urgent requirements.
Generalizing expressions (e.g. in brief, in fact, in general, above all, on the whole)
In general(,) we can say the mission has been successful.
Introductory words and phrases
Unfortunately(,) we cannot reimburse you for the amounts you requested.
Further to your memorandum of 18 April 2002 on third party insurance(,) it
is requested that our certification be revised.
(b) And use commas:
Between a series of like words
We welcome the opportunity to assume responsibility for new functions in
the area of recruitment(,) selection(,) grading and appointment.
We need to create a stable(,) secure and peaceful environment.
We have achieved peace(,) harmony(,) security and stability.
Before the conjunctions "and", "but", "for" and "or"
As you are aware, the delegation did not take effect at that time(,) and so we
did not pursue the matter with you further.
The military part of the operation has generally been successful(,) but there
have been some difficulties.
Page 173d Answers to Exercise 2
Commas, shown in parentheses, should be placed as follows:
Madam (,) On behalf of the Secretary-General (,) I have the honour to thank your
government for its assistance in facilitating a safe and timely withdrawal of UNABCD
personnel and equipment from Grandland. In order to assist the United Nations further (,) it
would be greatly appreciated if the Uralian government could give due consideration to
repurchasing $6 million worth of military spares which were recently shipped out of
Grandland. These items were used to service AH-1S attack helicopters (,) OH-58
reconnaissance helicopters and M60 tanks in UNABCD II. This equipment has now been
returned to your government (,) and consequently (,) the spares are of no further use to the
United Nations. Should a purchase not be possible (,) then possibly the Uralian
government would be pre-disposed to a sale of the spares to a third party (,) and then the
funds received could be used to offset payment for other services provided to the United
Nations. If Uralia is not in a position to re-purchase or sell these items (,) the United
Nations will be left with two alternatives. Firstly (,) an attempt could be made to sell the
spares to a third party (,) leaving the United Nations open to criticism as having entered
into a sale of military equipment (,) or the Organization could destroy the items (,) with the
commensurate financial implications (,) and then leave both Uralia and the United Nations
open to criticism for sustaining such a loss. Accept (,) Madam (,) the assurances of my
Page 177c Exercise 3:
ECONOMIC TRANSITION IN THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF BULA BULA AND
ITS PROSPECT: IS BULA BULA FINALLY COMING OUT OF ITS HERMIT STATE?
II. ECONOMIC CRISIS AND POLICY RESPONSES IN THE PAST DECADE
A. Output contraction and severe structural imbalances
B. Main causes
C. Shift in external policy and limited domestic reform
III. GAIN IN MOMENTUM IN ECONOMIC EXCHANGE AND COOPERATION WITH THE
REPUBLIC OF BULA BULA: A WAY OUT OF ITS CURRENT ECONOMIC IMPASSE AND
A ROAD TO UNIFICATION
A. Historical summit agreement between the two Bula Bulas
B. Implications of their economic integration
1 Inter-Bula Bulan trade
2 Special economic zone (SEZ) as a main instrument for economic cooperation
C. Obstacles to economic cooperation (or conditions for success)
IV. NEW STRATEGIES OF THE PRESIDENT OF BULA BULA: WILL HE TOUCH ON THE
V. CONCLUSION AND PROSPECT
Exercises on pages 178 & 179 See page 182 for answers
Exercise on page 181 See page 183 for answers