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Writing to Advise
See if you can get full marks in this enjoyable quiz.

Writing to Advise

Writing to advise can include making suggestions. Writing to advise is a style of writing which incorporates some elements of several other styles, such as writing to inform, to explain, or even to instruct. This makes it a tricky style to master, but it is worth practising because writing to advise comes up frequently in exams.

Play this quiz to see how well you understand what makes this type of writing unique.

What does it mean to advise?
To argue for a particular course of action
To argue your point of view
To offer suggestions; to make a recommendation
To inform
Which of the following is suited to advising?
A letter
A leaflet
An article
All of the above
Writing to advise can take many different forms, depending on audience and purpose
What is the difference between writing to advise and writing to persuade?
Writing to persuade is informative and helpful; writing to advise needs to be more forceful
Writing to advise is informative and helpful; writing to persuade needs to be more forceful
Writing to persuade is entertaining; writing to advise is never entertaining
Writing to advise is entertaining; writing to persuade is never entertaining
Persuasive writing has the goal of changing the audience's views and influencing their actions.  In doing this, persuasive writing can be openly biased and rather forceful.  When writing to advise, you set out the facts in an authoritative, helpful manner and then politely make suggestions based on these facts
Which of the following is an example of writing advice?
A newspaper editorial arguing against a recent government decision
A leaflet explaining the benefits of choosing a particular brand of flea spray
A magazine article detailing a week's menu of healthy eating
An article on the Internet entitled 'How to get out of debt'
A good question to ask yourself is 'could this article have been written in response to someone who needs help?'  Advice is given as a response to a need.  People in debt are in need of help, which the writer of this article will give through information, instructions and helpful suggestions
Considering the answer to the last question, for which audience would this have been written?
Parents of young children
People struggling with money issues
GCSE pupils
People who wish to lose weight
Considering the answer to question four, which tone would be most appropriate?
Calm, authoritative, non-judgemental
Authoritative, judgemental, fierce
Chatty, informal, humorous
Inexperienced, unsure, chatty
Which type of verb is most suitable when writing advice?
Passive verbs
Imperative verbs
Modal verbs
Exciting verbs
It's good to phrase advice using modal verbs (could, should, would, might, must).   Imperative verbs can sound too forceful (i.e. 'Eat your vegetables!')
Which of the following is true?
You should never use the second person (you) when writing to advise
You should never use the third person (he/she/they) when writing to advise
You should never use the first person (I/we) when writing to advise
You may use first, second, or third person when writing to advise
With purpose and audience in mind, you can decide whether it is more appropriate to use second or third person (i.e. how 'friendly' do you want to sound?) and whether you should explicitly write from your own, first-person viewpoint, or not
When writing, you should always support any points you make with evidence. What constitutes 'evidence' in the context of advice?
Reasons why your advice should be followed
Proof that you are a good writer
Quotes from a text
Giving good reasons why your suggestions should be followed will encourage your readers to trust your advice.  Evidence can also be drawn from scientific studies or from specialists on the subject
Which of the following exam questions would require you to write to advise?
Describe the scene in a busy hospital accident and emergency department
Write an article supporting the view that school dinners should be free
Write an article for the school newsletter describing how to cycle safely to school
Write a letter to your local newspaper against the building of a new road through the park
Don't be fooled by the use of the word 'describe'!  This piece of writing would need to offer advice on how to stay safe, where to cycle, how to keep a bike safe during the school day, the importance of regular maintenance, and maybe why cycling to school is a good idea
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Audience, purpose and form

Author:  Sheri Smith

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