Academic to strategic conversion


In Writing Project 12, you developed a standard academic research paper that answered the broad question, “What is Public Relations?” For Writing Project 2, your task now is to covert that research paper into a piece that satisfies a strategic purpose. We will accomplish that by cutting the clutter, achieving readability targets, focusing the language on a specific target audience and applying Associated Press Style.

Specifically, in this project you will convert your research paper into a newsletter-style story designed to introduce high school sophomores to potential careers in Public Relations. The piece’s strategic purpose is to show 10th graders how Public Relations is practiced, and encourage them to visit a website for more information about career choices. Use the fictional website

To achieve that goal, your piece must be written to capture the attention of 15-year-olds and hold their attention long enough to deliver the call to action –– driving traffic to a website. You will succeed by using the Writing Tools and other strategic writing principles.
1. Apply the concepts of selection and redirection, and compression where needed, to reduce your word count to one that could be read in just a few minutes –– 300 words.
2. Focus your message on things that would appeal to someone who is exploring potential careers. Cut messages that aren’t supportive.
3. Delete long direct quotes and academic references. Paraphrase or use indirect quotes if you must retain the information.
4. Format and attribute short direct quotes in a way that is consistent with a newsletter story.
5. Begin your piece with a compelling eight-word headline designed to capture attention.
6. Support the headline with a 14-word deck (subhead) designed to get 10th graders to read the first paragraph.
7. Write a two-sentence, 25-word first paragraph that is designed to get them to read the rest of the piece.
8. Use additional paragraphs to provide more information about public relations as a career choice. Keep them short –– three sentences or less.
9. Use the final paragraph to direct your audience to the website for more information about careers in public relations.
10. Make sure your work is consistent with the rules of AP Style.
11. Format your work in a 12-point font.
12. Double space your work.
13. Achieve the paragraph/sentence/word length and readability goals specified in lecture:
a. Average paragraph length of 3.0 sentences or less.
b. Average sentence length of 14.0 words or less.
c. Average word length of 5.0 characters or less.
d. Flesch Reading Ease score or 50 or higher.
e. Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 7th or lower.
14. Eliminate spelling, grammatical and/or punctuation errors.