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LESSON 7 MORE ON TRANSACTIONAL WRITING

Transactional writing is another name for functional writing. This kind of writing includes
letters, e-mails, advertisements, and other writing that can be part of a business transaction or is
part of the broader business world.

SHORTER TRANSACTIONAL WRITING

This includes the writing of the body copy of an advert or a poster, messages, postcards, notices,
flyers. Transactional writing is very important because you will practise this kind of writing in
your future business career.

For every piece of transactional writing, you need to consider:


¾ The purpose of a piece of writing
WHY are you writing? What are you hoping to achieve through this piece of writing?
What is the goal you have in mind?

¾ The audience of a piece of writing


i.e., the person or people who are going to read what you have written.

¾ The context of the piece of writing


i.e., is the general information about the time, place and situation in which it occurred,
and which you need to know in order to understand it fully.

¾ The Style

“Style” refers to the particular way something is done. A writing style refers to the way
someone writes so that you know who the writer is.

Style is made up of:

o Diction (choice of words)


o Punctuation
o Sentence construction
o Paragraph construction

There are different styles for different purposes:


Formal (for a set of minutes)
Intimate (for a postcard)
Casual or colloquial (for a note)
Chatty (for a message on an answering machine)

¾ The writer’s Point of view


This is the way in which you see things; your attitude.

The person’s point of view is the position from which the person sees something or how
a person thinks about something; a standpoint.

¾ The format of the type of writing

AN INVITATION

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Make sure you include all the necessary information, such as date; time; venue; dress code;
RSVP details.

Choose the right kind of style for the kind of invitation you are sending, so that a wedding
invitation will be more formal but an 18th birthday party invitation might be quite colloquial.

A POSTCARD

Postcards

When you are a tourist, you often write postcards to your friends and family back home.

A postcard will have the message on the left-hand side and the recipient’s name and address
on the right:

Example:

24 November 2006
Dear All

We have has a wonderful time here!

We have visited the caves – and got lost – The Patterson Family
but were rescued by the guide. We 24 Elm Road
have swum for hours in the warm Greenside
sea. Our bodies are burnt, but our minds 2198
are relaxed and happy.

We’ll see you soon.

Love
Phillip and Monica

THE MEMORANDUM

A memorandum is an official note or report from one person to another within the same
organization.

The purpose of a memorandum is to communicate quickly within an organization. A


memorandum is usually short but it can be long if it needs to be.

Business people often say that “Memos solve problems” because a memo can do any one of the
following:

• Give information
• Ask the person receiving the memo to do something

EXAMPLE OF A MEMORANDUM

Memorandum

TO:
Mr Abdul Mohammed (SGB member: sports portfolio)

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Mr Sibu Mazibuko (Captain, 1st XI)
Mr Terry Coetzer (Vice-Captain, 1st XI)

FROM: Mrs Beatrice Dladla (Sports Administrator)

DATE: 22 January 2007

SUBJECT: Appointment of soccer coach

At the last Governing Body meeting held on Monday 15 January 2007, it was agreed that there
are enough funds in the sports budget to employ a specialized coach for the school’s soccer
teams.

We need to hold a meeting to discuss the action steps we need to take to employ this person as
soon as possible. I suggest we meet on Friday 26 January immediately after school. Please let
the school secretary know as soon as you can whether you can be there.

The Format and structure of a memo

Plan 1
1. State the information you want to give.
2. Provide any supporting details.

Plan 2:
1. Make your appeal.
2. Provide the evidence or supporting argument
3. Provide a persuasive conclusion.

THE CURRICULUM VITAE

A person applying for a post is expected to send in a CV.

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a brief written account of your personal details, your education,
and the jobs you have had.

EXAMPLE OF A CURRICULUM VITAE

CURRICULUM VITAE

NAME: Sonnyboy Moloi

DATE OF BIRTH: 14 May 1980

NATIONALITY: South African

ID No.: 800514 5075 08 5

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ADDRESS: 26 High Street
Berea
2198

TELEPHONE: Home: 643-1129


Work: n/a
Cell: 081-135792

e-mail sonnym@mail.co.za
fax 011-643-1129

PRESENT OCCUPATION: Unemployed

1. ACADEMIC BACKGROUND

INSTITUTION DATE QUALIFICATION

Berea High School 1994-1998 (Senior Certificate Examination, University


Exemption, History Distinction)

University of Gauteng 1999-2002 B. Ed. in Sport Management


(currently registered for an M Ed. in
Sport Management)

2. PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

INSTITUTION DATE QUALIFICATION

SAFA 1999 Introductory Coaching Course


2000 Level 1 Coaching Course
2002 Level 2 Coaching Course

3. EMPLOYMENT RECORD

POSITION INSTITUTION YEAR


Assistant Sports Administrator Berea High School 2003-2006

4. SOCIETIES AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Member: South African Football Association (Gauteng West) 1999-


Member: SADTU
Member: SACE

5. REFEREES

Mr Phil Naidoo Principal, Berea High School

Telephone Home 643-0119


Work: 642-796

Dr Helen Marais Head of Department, Sport Administration, University of Gauteng

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Telephone Home 476-8039
University of Gauteng 800-4653

6. INTERESTS AND ACTIVITIES

I have been working with the street children in Hillbrow Street Children’s Shelter. We currently
have one soccer team, which plays at a local school.

TIPS

1. Organize the details from the earliest date to the latest, but it is usual to arrange the
section on employment, from the latest job to the earliest dates

2. Follow the following outline when you draw up your own CV.

STYLE OF A CURRICULUM VITAE

• Short and to the point


• Include only the relevant details
• Use headings and bullet points
• Formal, but use fragments, not sentences

ADVERTISEMENTS

The STYLE of an advertisement is a lively, PERSUASIVE style.

Your aim in an advert is to get someone to buy your product or use your service. You want to
persuade that person that your product is the best for their needs or your service is exactly what
they wanted.

A persuasive, emotive style makes the person believe what you are saying.

The person you are aiming your advert at is called your “target audience”.

The target audience is the group of people at whom an advertisement is aimed.

EXAMPLE OF AN ADVERTISEMENT

JABULILE HIGH SCHOOL

PART-TIME POSITION FOR A PROFESSIONAL SOCCER COACH

SAFA coaching qualifications and coaching experience essential

Duration of employment: 20 weeks from 11April – 15 June and 16 July – 21 September 2007.

Hours: 14 hours per week.


14h45 – 16h45 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
13h30 – 17h00 on Wednesdays and 8h30 -12h30 on Saturdays.

Salary neg.

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E-mail CV to the Sports Administrator at bdladla@jabulilehigh.co.za by no later than 28 Feb.

Adverts are multi-media texts.

The media include television, radio and newspapers.

A multi-media text uses the following elements

• Visuals including
♣ Language/words/sentences
♣ Punctuation
♣ Pictures
♣ Photographs
♣ graphics
♣ Different fonts and font sizes
♣ use of colour or
♣ black and white
• Auditory, including
♣ sound effects
♣ music
♣ Movement, including animations

Advertisers use different fonts in printed matter.

Font refers to a the printing type on your computer or in the written text you are looking at; the
font refers to the printed or screen characters of the same design and size. It is the typeset, the
lettering, and the characters.

If, in an exam, you are asked to produce a multi-media text, then focus on:

• Words
• Pictures or graphics
• Different sizes of writing
• Lively punctuation

One kind of advert is the one that tells people about a forthcoming event.

CONTENT OF AN ADVERTISEMENT for an event

Include all the relevant details:

• Venue (Place)
• Time
• Date
• Activities offered
• Charge (if any)
• Action required