Specific Types of Writing
Everyday, many people engage in specific types of writing, particularly non-academic and technology-based writing, that they might not even think of as "writing." But these specific types of writing--such as emails, web-based writing, and presentations--like any type of writing, require attention to good writing, and guidelines related to that specific type of writing, to be effective and clear. This section provides resources related to these specific types of writing.
Note for Montclair State University Students: MSU's Center for Career Services & Cooperative Education also offers assistance with writing related to career and graduate school applications. See their online workshops on topics such as resume and "E-resume" writing, and don't miss their page on writing cover letters.
WRITING FOR EMAIL
Email is one of the dominant ways people communicate at home, work and school. Even though email is used for both formal and informal communications, one needs to consider the setting and audience when composiing the content of the message. In other words, it may be appropriate to use a casual tone in an email to a friend, but that tone may be inappropriate when making a formal request of a professor. These resources address such issues involved in email etiquette.
- The Art of Netiquette (University of Iowa)
- Do's and Don'ts When Emailing Your Professor (Lee Behlman, English Department, Montclair State University)
- Email Etiquette (Purdue OWL)
"Although instant and text/SMS messaging is beginning to supplant email for some groups' primary means of Internet communication, effective and appropriate email etiquette is still important. This resource will help you to become an effective writer and reader/manager of email."
Email Tune-up (businessenglishpod.com)
Posted on YouTube: April and November 2008
A series of video podcasts for ESL students that want to improve their business email writing skills. Here is a list of several of these 9-10 minute videos.
How to Practice Email Etiquette (Tracy Goodwin, expertvillage.com)
Posted on YouTube: September 25, 2008
Series of short (1 - 1 1/2 minute) videos on email etiquette in a business environment. Here is a list segments in this series:
- Write Right Episode 6 – Email Etiquette (Texas A&M University Writing Center; Texas A&M Write Right on iTunes)
Posted on iTunes U: no date | length: :5:41
Discussion of the appropriate tone for an email based on the email's intended recipient.
WRITING FOR PRESENTATIONS
- The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within(Edward Tufte)
Design expert Edward Tufte argues that presentation graphics are often used in presentations and reports at the expense of well researched and documented content.
- Designing an Effective PowerPoint Presentation (Purdue OWL)
"This is a PowerPoint providing an overview on how to design effective PowerPoint presentations."
- How to Avoid "Death by PowerPoint": Solving the Five Most Common Problems With PowerPoint Presentations (Dave Paradi, MBA, co-author of "Guide to PowerPoint")
Article on some of the common mistakes presenters make when using PowerPoint for visuals.
- On preparing presentation slides (Re:Writing from Bedford/St. Martin's)
- PowerPoint - Creating a PowerPoint 2007 Presentation (Social Science Computer Facility – UCSD)
Tutorial on how to build a presentation using PowerPoint 2007.
- PowerPoint - Life After Death by PowerPoint (Don McMillan)
Posted on MySpace Video: December 7, 2006 | length 3:56
A humorous video of Don McMillan speaking about what not to do in a PowerPoint presentation.
- PowerPoint - Creating Effective Presentation Slides (Jean-luc Doumont, IEEE Professional Communication Society)
Posted online: December 12, 2007 | length 7:14
Podcast on how to create memorable and content-rich presentation slides.
WRITING FOR THE WEB
- Tutorials on Web Content, Writing for Web Sites
- Writing for the Web (Dr. Jakob Nielsen)
- Writing for the Web: The Blog of Writing for the Web (4th ed.) (blog)
- A Cover Letter is... (Montclair State Center for Career Services & Cooperative Education)
Includes a link to sample letters in Optimal Resume's "Letter Builder"
- Cover Letters 1: Quick Tips (Purdue OWL Workplace Writers)
- Cover Letters 2: Preparing to Write (Purdue OWL Workplace Writers)
- Cover Letters 3: Writing Your Cover Letter (Purdue OWL Workplace Writers)
- Resumes and Vitas (Purdue OWL Workplace Writers)
- Resumes (NC State University Career Center)