Accession Number : ADA321187

Title :   Air Force Writers' Tacit Knowledge of the Use of Topic Sentences, the Active and the Passive Voice, and Nominalization.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH

Personal Author(s) : Riggle, Keith B.

PDF Url : ADA321187

Report Date : 17 JAN 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 216

Abstract : The frequencies of topic sentences, active and passive verbs, and superfluous nominalizations were examined in 185 documents written by civilian and military members of the U.S. Air Force. The frequencies were similar to those in similar types of documents written by similar kinds of writers from previous studies. There were no differences in the frequencies between writers who had received formal instruction in the Air Force writing style and those who had not. The features Air Force writers are taught are directed at improving readability rather than rhetorical effectiveness. However, the writers surveyed in this study were more rhetorically sophisticated than the writing instruction, offering numerous reasons besides readability for using, or in some cases not using, topic sentences and active verbs. The results of this study suggest that the advice to use topic sentences and active verbs and to avoid nominalization should be tempered by the rhetorical context.

Descriptors :   *SYNTAX, *TECHNICAL WRITING, ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE, THESES, AIR FORCE PERSONNEL, AIR FORCE TRAINING, WORDS(LANGUAGE), ENGLISH LANGUAGE, PHRASE STRUCTURE GRAMMARS.

Subject Categories : Linguistics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE