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Writing: information sheet

Image Your local tourist office has asked you to write an information sheet (about 250 words) for visitors to your country. The purpose is to inform foreigners about any culturally sensitive issues so that they avoid offending local people by mistake.
Discuss with other students possible topics for inclusion in your information sheet.
Image Make a list, for example: gestures, greetings, going to someone's house for dinner etc.

If you have trouble coming up with ideas, think about
a) times you have accidentally offended people when travelling abroad;
or
b) things that visitors to your country sometimes do that cause offence.

2 Choose three or four areas that are culturally sensitive to include in your information sheet. Make notes for points for inclusion under each heading.
Image Greetings
  1. with people you don't know.
    Either a handshake or nothing
  2. men to male friends.
    Either a handshake or nothing
  3. men/women to female friends. Either a single kiss on the cheek or nothing.
  4. in business situations
    Usually a handshake will be appropriate in most contexts.

Image Look at the information sheet. Make sure you read and understand all the Dos and Don'ts. Plan the information sheet you are going to write.
Planning your information sheet
  1. What title will you give your information sheet so as to make it interesting and attractive to your audience?
  2. How many sections will you have in your information sheet and what headings will you use for each one?
  3. Will you need to use a more formal or informal style with the audience you are writing for?
  4. What is the purpose of your information sheet (e.g. to inform, warn and advise)? How will this affect the language you use? (Remember, you don't want to put visitors off coming to your country!)
  5. How will you introduce the topics you cover in each section? (Remember, you don't want to make your customs and values seem illogical to visitors.)
Image Write the first draft of your information sheet.
Show your first draft to another student for them to check by answering these questions.
Checking a first draft
  1. Does the general heading make you want to read the sheet?
  2. Is there a helpful introduction?
  3. Are the different paragraphs clear and complete? Does each paragraph have its own heading?
  4. Are linking words/expressions used in an appropriate way?
  5. Does the information sheet inform in a clear and readable way?
  6. Is the style appropriate for the target readers?


Discuss your partner's response to your information sheet. Listen to any suggestions as to how it might be improved. Read your information sheet again. Decide how you will change it.
Rewrite your information sheet.
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