This is a link to a post on this blog that I made last year. Here are the best essays from SA2 2007, and among them are a few of the situational writing pieces. I thought this would be useful for you because you can have a look at what makes a good situational writing piece. Plus, you would have tried this question yourself by now, so you are familiar with the challenges involved.
Just to summarize, here are some of the main points we went through in the text book:
- What is the difference between a report and a proposal? Generally, reports and proposals are very similar in the way they are written. Reports tend to provide information and proposals tend to be for the purpose of seeking approval. But we have seen that there are often overlaps between these two. For the purpose of your exam, just use whatever term is stated in the question.
- How do you achieve the desired level of formality? You can do this through the vocabulary- remember we looked at how ‘premises’ was used instead of ‘place’? You can also do this through structure- for example, using noun phrases and the passive form are two ways to sound more formal.
- What is the right format to use? When you have to write a real report or proposal someday, you will find that every organization has its own preferred format. There is a range of formats to choose from. Generally, though, there are certain basic elements that need to occupy a prominent position such as the name and position of the person you are writing to, your own name and position, the date… The point is that you need to decide, based on the task, what information you need to provide. For reports and proposals, do include a title that summarizes what the document is about.
Do let me know if I have left anything out. I will add more points as they come up in class.