Quick Write

Experts are men people who know the material well enough to teach it.

Novices are people new to the material with limited knowledge.

Peers write for people like them, even in the same class. You have to tailor the material to their interests and capabilities.

Are you writing this report from the perspective of an expert, novice, or peer?


  • Careful with assumptions.
  • Inform us on the research.
  • Let us make a decision.
  • Report the information, do not argue it or take a side.


Report Grading Criteria

Criteria 0-3 Explanation
Use of Sources    
Depth of Topic    
Presents information objectively    
MLA/APA citation & Works Cited    
Grammar, Word Choice, Spelling    

Style and Tone

  • High Style for formal, scientific, and scholarly writing. 
  • Middle Style for personal, argumentative, and some academic writing.
  • Low Style for personal, informal, or playful writing.

Present the facts cleanly. Answer the questions who, what, when, where, why, and how clearly. 

  • Who are you writing about? or Who are you writing to?
  • What are you writing about? Topic
  • When is this? Past, present, or future? When are you writing this. 
  • Where does this apply to? Where are you writing about?
  • Why are you writing about this? Why does it matter?
  • How are you presenting information? How did you get the information?

Keep out of it. Aim for a neutral, third-person perspective.

Avoid connotative language. Use the words carefully to give the meaning you intend.

Pay attention to elements of design. Use the medium and genre to your advantage. If you have different sections, use headings to help organize. 

Inclusive and Sensitive

  • Avoid Stereotypes. Gender, Sexual Orientation, Race, Ethnic groups, Religious groups
  • Treat all people with respect.
  • Avoid sensational or divisive language.

Ayyar “Cosmic Postcards”

Read Ayyar “Cosmic Postcards” (p. 649) Journal

In groups of two or three, answer these questions and find examples that support your answer.

  1. Is Ayyar writing as an expert, novice, or peer?
  2. Is she using a high, middle, or low style?
  3. Is she using stereotypes?
  4. Is she respectful of the audience?
  5. Does she use sensational or divisive language?
  6. Is this more of an argument vs a report?


Your aim with this assignment is to be as clear as you can when presenting dense or complex ideas. 

Focus on the big picture. Work on pages and paragraphs over sentences. 

Don’t waste words! Make every sentence count and add to your project. 

Be specific. Use precise language rather than general terms. 

Build sentences around specific and tangible subjects and objects.

Simple sentences are better than confusing ones. Don’t add too many points or facts to a sentence. Spread them out so your reader can follow along. 

Don’t spread out too much. Clear over wordy.

Avoid sentences with long windups. Get to the point quickly and explain. 

Don’t repeat key words close together. Don’t repeat words in the same sentence.

Avoid repetition. Don’t say the same thing different ways unless you are doing it for emphasis.

Vary sentence lengths. Many long sentences wear out your reader and many short sentences run together. Use a variety of sentence lengths. Read out lout to see how it sounds. 

Cut your draft. We revise drafts to make them more effective. You should normally write long then cut down to length. Keep in mind you want to cut 10 to 25 percent of a draft without losing content. 

Quick Write

What does all this suggest to you? What do these points have in common?


  1. Revise Draft or Draft your Report