Most of us find examinations stressful, and when our full-time education comes to an end, we vow that we shall avoid being examined in future. But in modern business and industry, the introduction of new technology frequently means that we need to qualify in the use of new skills; and as we become more senior, we find increasing need for further training in management and in business-school studies. So, as our final chapter, for professional readers and for students, here is a review of the tactics for academic writing, especially of writing in examinations.
In Chapter 1 (pages 4 to 5), we emphasized the different objectives in professional writing and academic writing. In professional life, most writing is designed either to transmit information/ideas that you have but others have not, or to elicit information that others have and you need. The objective is genuine movement of knowledge between the parties in the exchange. Academic writing, especially writing in examinations, is different. In an examination, your task is to display to the examiners-who normally know far more than you do about the subject-what you think they think you ought to know about that subject! This task presents real communication problems, but it is a different task from professional communication. It calls for a different definition of 'effective' writing from the one we have used so far.
Above all, effective writing in examinations requires you to give the examiners what they want.
In our advice on professional writing earlier in the book, we have discussed the need to: