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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.

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  1. What does it mean to advise?
  2. Which of the following is suited to advising?
    Writing to advise can take many different forms, depending on audience and purpose
  3. What is the difference between writing to advise and writing to persuade?
    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
  4. Which of the following is an example of writing advice?
    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
  5. Considering the answer to the last question, for which audience would this have been written?
  6. Considering the answer to question four, which tone would be most appropriate?
  7. Which type of verb is most suitable when writing advice?
    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!')
  8. Which of the following is true?
    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
  9. When writing, you should always support any points you make with evidence. What constitutes 'evidence' in the context of advice?
    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
  10. Which of the following exam questions would require you to write to advise?
    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

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