Kilian Ex. 4 and 5

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Ex. 4: Make short texts shorter. This was hard because I didn't really understand how to shorten it and I was really frustrated with the text. I couldn't get readiability.info to work and I don't understand where to find fog index on word. I'm also not British so I don't care and I think the texts were written very poorly from the start.

1. It's Your Choice

 

According to Statistics Canada, the average 2001 income for British Columbians with only a grade 12 degree was $25,671. But if you go into the workforce with a university degree, lifetime income will average $735,800 more. Also, work will be:

·         interesting

·         secure

·         you'll be your own boss

 

So, what are your choices as you leave high school?

·         Go into academic post-secondary courses - university or community college

·         Go into the workforce - with the option of returning to school later.

 

Many college career programs require a year or two of academic coursework. If you take academic courses in college, you can transfer to university -- and you'll save money by taking those first years at lower tuition fees.

 

But what if you settle for a college diploma in a career field? StatsCan says that average income will be $33,000. That's less than you'd get with a BA, but pretty good if you love the job.

 

Many career programs now offer degrees like:

·         business

·         administration

·         tourism

·         management

 

You may even have the choice of working while studying part time for a certificate or degree - and once you've got your degree, you can head back to college for a career-program certificate and job-specific skills that allow you more career opportunities.

 

Sometimes we don't have the opportunity because we're:

·         Not rich enough

·         Not interested in academics

·         Living in the wrong place

 

If you think seriously about what you want to do in life, you'll realize you have some options. It's your choice.

 

Ex. 5 Review websites

 

I reviewed National Geographic because I couldn't find any websites on the CD and I figure NG is corporate enough. It was easy to:

  • navigate - headings along top and side
  • find clear actions to take - watch movies, get subscription
  • understand content - kept audiences in mind

Also, it used:

  • bulleted lists - like this one
  • short paragraphs
  • many colorful pictures and links
  • a site index and about page - for further information

Overall, much better than my casual baby site for the moment. Good example of a readable, usable site.

 

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3 Comments

I posted these instructions on the assignment page.

My copy of MS-Word will also check readability. Tools -> Options -> Spelling and Grammar -> under "Grammar," "Show Readability Statistics"

I don't expect every student to love every assignment that the course offers, but professional writers get paid to take a professional interest in a subject they might not otherwise think about. The drier the subject matter, the more corporations will pay you to write it up for them. But yes, a good writer will find a way to make even dry stuff appeal to the intended audience, but if you're not part of the intended audience, even really good writing won't hold your attention for long.

Don't worry -- the creative works that we'll be discussing and reading next week will give you a lot more freedom to express your opinions. Since some students in this class will be going out into the real world soon, I think it's good experience to have them practice putting Kilian's tips into action on a professional site.

I am glad you were able to find a professional site with a subject matter that appealed to you.

Aja Hannah said:

I saw the instructions and I tried them and I could not find fog index in the stats. I found something like it, but (if that was it) apparently I hadn't reduced the readability at all. I actually had increased the "fogginess."

I understand the reason behind professionalism and learning how to do work with stiff text for when we go into the "real world," as everyone calls it. But, I still feel the urge to voice my increasing complaints about how stiff some of this work is. It boggles me that someone can read this book and be interested throughout it.

This book seems to be geared at older adults, which is fine for now, but I think if Kilian is going to revise this book again he should make note that people of increasingly younger ages will be looking through his book. Their needs will have to be accomodated like updating the cliches and making it easier to use and understand the CD.

Thanks for your response. In general, when I find I can't understand someone else's reaction, I take that as a sign that I should take more time and effort to figure out what is it about that other person's values, goals, background, etc., that make the other person have a reaction that differs so greatly from my own. I know that in high school, I got praise for being "bright" and "clever," or for repeating the main ideas that the teacher wanted me to absorb. As I moved along through college, I found the coursework demanded more things like accuracy, independent problem-solving, and entering fully into an intellectual world that differed from my own.

For instance, when I took a philosophy class, the teacher didn't want me just to share what I thought about a particular issue, I had to be able to understand how and why Plato, medieval Aristotelians, and modern psychologists and neurologists differ as to their understanding of the nature and significance of free will.

My point is that I generally find myself drawn to ideas that rankle or confuse me. Even if I don't end up changing my mind, when I spend time engaging with ideas voiced by people who don't share the same fundamental assumptions and starting points that inform my own intellectual approaches, I gain the ability to explain my own position more effectively.

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