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Report and article writing

Sun, 30 September 2012 19:05
by Heziwell Mhunduru
Education

<img alt="\"\"" src="\" _cke_saved_src="\"files/images/Mhunduru.jpg\"" style="\"width:" 150px;="" height:="" 289px;\"=""></p> <p>  </p> <p> There is usually debate about the difference between an article and a report. In most cases, if it is an article, your opinion is sought. However, let me hasten to say that the instructions must be read carefully to ascertain whether it is sought or not. In a report, your opinion is not usually sought, hence your essay should be a photographic image of what happened or what was said or found out, with no additives.<br> A camera will produce the image as it is without giving its opinion or comments. In an eye-witness report, there is usually a prompt that may require the first person but in most cases, it will not require your opinion. In both cases, however, it is of paramount importance to always bear in mind that your essays are marked for their content. It is your content that will largely influence the language mark, hence the need to also focus on that. Your greatest task is to identify and underline the key words in the question and then most importantly, get a good understanding of the prompts (usually indicated by way of bullets or bubbles). Your ability to develop the prompts makes the difference between you and the rest of the candidates. Each prompt should be taken as part of a skeleton that needs flesh! A hefty development of the plot will yield equally hefty marks and the opposite is true.<br> Also, remember mechanical issues like:<br> giving a title to your report or article and don’t forget to write your name<br> each essay should have at least three paragraphs since the first and second paragraphs will automatically get your essay awarded L5 and L4 for language, respectively. It is not advisable, however, to have four or more. Skipping a line to show a new one will be recommended though consistency is key.<br> Whilst actual word-count is not necessary for your essays, your examiner will often complain that candidates use more than the spaces provided, hence it is imperative that candidates use only the spaces provided. However, for those with naturally big handwriting, it will be overlooked.<br>  Avoid informal language, for example, words like ‘a lot of’<br> The following letters usually cost many candidates marks “Ss, Ii, Kk, Sh, Jj, Pp, Vv, Ww, Zz”. Capital letter “I” must always have caps at both ends.<br> Report Writing<br> You are asked to write a report about a road traffic accident, with the following prompts:<br> The cause(s) of the accident<br> What happened to the occupants<br> What survivors said<br> Harvest the following words and expressions consistent with road traffic accidents:<br> Sustained serious head injuries; Died on the spot; Pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital; Died in transit to the hospital; It is alleged that...; It is believed that...; The driver is suspected to have been…; The passengers are thought to have…; It was not immediately clear what caused the crash; It was evident that...<br> These examples amply demonstrate that a report written largely in the passive voice will carry the apt aura.<br> Also, the following descriptions can be used to paint a vivid picture:<br> Shattered glass; Items strewn all over; A deafening explosion; Screeching of tyres; People writhing in agony; A pathetic situation; Pools of blood; People bleeding profusely; Blood oozing from deep cuts; The accident scene; Clothes were blood-soaked; People watched helplessly; On-lookers were dumbfounded; It was due to the negligence of the driver; The wreckage; Road carnage; Driver was under the influence of alcohol.<br> The first paragraph, referred to as ‘the lead’ in a newspaper, should encapsulate the whole report by endeavouring to answer as many of the ‘W’ and ‘H’ questions as possible (what, where, when, who, why and how).<br> For the suggested report above, the following can be a good lead or initial paragraph: “Five people sustained serious head injuries on Saturday morning between Omuthiya and Onyati when a 32-year-old unlicensed driver lost control of his car and rammed into a stationary haulage truck.”<br> Article writing<br> Where your opinion is sought about whether girls should take up careers of their choice, the following words may come in handy:<br> In my opinion... (do not go on to say “I think...”). It should be something like: In my opinion, girls should take up any career of their choice” and not “In my opinion, I think....; As far as I am concerned, ...; In view of the above, girls should be…; Given the above, …; I am of the opinion that…; Contrary to popular belief…; As opposed to …; I feel that…; It seems to me that…<br> Your opinion on road traffic accidents:<br> The accidents are attributed to human error/poor judgment/misjudgement by...<br> The drivers are usually intoxicated/under the influence of alcohol.<br> The Government should institute stiff punitive measures/The law should take its course.Taxi drivers should not take the law into their own hands/Gamble on their lives/dice with death.<br> Avoid taking unnecessary risks.</p> <p></p>