Even when the writer thinks that the reader already has some knowledge about a supporting detail that the writer is presenting, in many cases the writer still has to present explanation about that detail. This will ensure that...
· the reader actually does know.
· both the reader and the writer are focusing on the same aspect of the detail; the writer should adjust the reader’s focus to the writer’s focus.
· the reader doesn’t have to stop and try to figure out the significance or relevance of the detail; remind the reader.
Here is the beginning of a paragraph on whether or not to fire David. What do you think of the underlined details?
. . . Another reason that we might have to fire David is because he seems unreliable. He is not good at keeping promises and he is not a good team worker. There are several instances when David failed to show up when he was expected to. One instance is when he came to WNYN for his interview with Bob. After he got hired, he missed the meeting and went to the hospital instead. And then, after he missed this meeting, he made matters even worse by...
" interview with Bob Russo." ® ...when he came to WNYN for his employment interview with Bob Russo. He came a few minutes late for this meeting, which was very important for his career. All he could say about coming late, however, was that he "usually" (meaning not always) "tries" (meaning he sometimes fails) to be "pretty" (meaning not exactly) "punctual."
"he missed the meeting" ® he missed a meeting with Grace and Marsha, in which they went over plans for special features. In order to do his job as a cameraman right, he should have attended this meeting and found out his responsibilities for the special features. Instead of attending the meeting, however, he went over to the hospital to set things up for the special that they were doing there, and he even prepared the story angle. Not only did he miss an important meeting, but he also tried to do Marsha's job.