Monday, October 20, 2014

The Official Style: School District Application

Communication occurs on a near constant basis, with varying methods of delivery and interpretation. As society evolves to incorporate endless technological advancement it becomes increasingly important to focus on how information is delivered from person to person. Therefore, it is important to question how people relate to each other when everybody communicates in their own unique way. In order to provide a sense of specific understanding communication occurs following the format offered by the Official Style. The Official Style is a precise writing strategy aimed at following specific rules. It is used in many spheres of human activity, however focus will be set on school district environments to unpack how this style of writing is used in differing ways to portray a demeanor of professional and articulate nature in written materials.
            How can the utilization of various writing strategies influence the interpretation of written materials, specifically in a school district setting? The Official Style is very important because it follows a precise strategic model to portray a specific image about written works. By researching the differences in language that surround plain and official writing, it becomes obvious that the rhetoric used in the Official Style is effective for this specific sphere. School districts are predominantly federally and state funded academic institutions aimed at promoting and achieving high standards of student success. This means that image is a very important aspect to maintain, which implores the integration of the Official Style in a steadfast effort to ensure a positive and professional public image.
            The writing techniques used in the school district sphere of human activity follow the Official Style format to highlight stylistic strategies in a variety of ways. School psychologists often discuss various student related activities by writing in the Official Style. An article published by School Psychology Review titled, “A Randomized Evaluation of the Safe and Civil Schools Model for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports at Elementary Schools in a Large Urban School District” attempts to convey important behavior issues commonly found in the classroom. However, the article does a poor job of helping people understanding the topic because of its immense length and overall complexity. By using the Official Style a limited number of people are able to successfully decipher and accurately interpret the meaning within the text. While this allows jargon and descriptive terms to be used at careless extremes for the benefit of individuals engrossed in a specific sphere, it also prevents the wide majority of the general public from being able to understand or interpret the information.
            The school district sphere of human activity encompasses a broad spectrum of written materials, however most information that is written within the sphere follows a specific format modeled after the Official Style. Research revealed that school psychologists, counselors, and administration are common perpetrators of the Official Style as written material is at or above the fifteenth grade level. While this useful tactic for maintains a status of superiority, people outside the sphere are unable to understand the depth of specific discussions. For example the sentence fragment from Ward and Gersten that states, “The term positive behavior supports referred generically to behavioral strategies that incorporated fundamental characteristics such as stating expectations for behavior in a positive manner, teaching those expectations overtly, using quantitative data to make decisions, and monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of implementation” will not be successfully interpreted by many people in various spheres of human activity. The components that determine the text is part of the Official Style can be identified in a variety of ways that come together to create a descriptive and thorough composition.
            This is an important issue to discuss because interpretation of text becomes increasingly difficult as the reading level increases; therefore the ability to interpret written works demands that the reader has attained a satisfactory reading level. The aforementioned text is uses absolute phrase to increasing the amount of information discussed by creating unnecessary wordiness. Absolute phrase is often used in the school district environment to entwine two separate thoughts into a singular and more complex idea. As the sentence reveals, the form of verbs could be altered to create multiple sentences that are simpler in structure. The use of absolute phrase encourages the creation of complex and lengthy sentences because content and significance merge to identify unified and specific themes. As themes become explored the writer’s immersion into the sphere increases, causing the style of writing within the sphere to revamp itself to follow a specific and choreographed model set at identifying elements within the sphere.
            While this may not appear to be an issue of significant importance, it is crucial to mention because written works support a specific agenda. While the intention of materials within any sphere is to provide information, often times the subject of the issues are unable to interpret the information for themselves. A hierarchy becomes established in the face of increasing understanding surrounding the multiple facets of communication, as each channel becomes reflective of one’s own status within the system of communication. In order to ensure accurate understanding of written works immersion into any sphere of activity is absolutely necessary because the way information is delivered demands that people remain unique individuals. This is particularly true in the school district setting because information is interpreted by many individuals and for a wide variety of purposes. Therefore, the Official Style has to be used to create thorough and complex documents aimed at providing a professional and complex demeanor.
            Although the Official Style of writing has a broad spectrum of application in the school district sphere of activity, the intentions and delivery of information is not necessarily aided by such a complex and difficult writing style. While it is necessary for institutions of education to maintain high standards of public image, is it also necessary to enable to greatest portion of society to be able to accurately understand the function and policy decisions that are conveyed in written materials? Interpretation of material is difficult for individuals that are not exposed to high standards of writing, which may make them less able to understand information that is being discussed. The Official Style belongs in this sphere of human activity, however there is also a need to convey information in a more normative and simplistic fashion for the general public as well.

Jacob Akin

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