Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Whate’er is well conceived is clearly said, and the words to say it flow with ease.
Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux (1636 – 1711), The Art of Poetry

Guide to Reflective Thinking: My Communication Strategies

Use the following statements to assess your sense of competence with regard to university studies. Any weak areas indicate an attitude, ability or habit that may be worth developing.

  • I have a clear vision of what I want to communicate and whyI only intervene when I have a clear understanding of what I want to say.
  • I will not ask a question before I figure out precisely what I want to know.
  • I start writing a text only when my audience, purpose and ideas are clear and precise.
  • I differentiate the various forms of written communication (essay, report, memo, letter, dissertation, etc.) and know when and why to use each.
  • I am familiar with various writing formats (descriptive, dialectic, argumentative, comparative, etc.) and I choose the one that best corresponds with my purpose.
  • I take my audience’s expectations into accountI adapt my words and images to my audience.
  • I formulate my explanations according to my audience: I take their knowledge, vocabulary and expectations into consideration.
  • I take time to clarify my teacher’s expectations concerning the development and formatting of my assignments.
  • I seek information about the performance criteria for an assignment.
  • I ask for clarification of an exam question, when needed.
  • I am attentive to any audience signs of misunderstanding, impatience and disagreement.
  • I am complete, precise and exactI ensure the exactitude and exhaustivity of any facts that I report.
  • I ensure that essential elements have not been omitted.
  • I ensure having the level of precision required for the goal that has been set.
  • I carefully select the elements of my communicationI go straight to the point: I eliminate useless or redundant information, cut out jumbled ideas and avoid complicated detours and digressions.
  • I am coherent in my arguments.
  • I use convincing arguments to win over my audience.
  • I base my arguments on facts and logical reasoning.
  • I structure my communication using sets and subsetsI note my ideas as they come and classify them, as soon as possible, according to their importance and probable order.
  • When I write a text, I start with determining my guiding idea, main ideas, secondary ideas and I classify the facts, my arguments, reasoning, examples and opinions based on each idea.
  • I establish the order of my ideas and arguments before speaking or writing.
  • When I write, I clearly define the different parts of my text: paragraphs, titles, subtitles, structure markers, etc.
  • When I prepare a class presentation, I indicate all of my objectives and my plan and underline the transition from one idea to another, from one part to another, so that my audience can easily follow me.
  • I often rely on tables, schemas, figures and other succinct and visual means to present information.
  • I do a quality check of my work before I submit itI know the difference between borrowing and plagiarism.
  • I make sure that my purpose corresponds to assignment requirements before and while working on it (I answer the question asked, I remain on topic, I meet all requirements).
  • I make sure that my answers are complete and sufficiently precise and that all information and necessary explanations of my view point are included.
  • I check my work for any mistakes or flaws, once it is finished.
  • I do not hesitate to have a competent and neutral individual check my work.
  • I am careful about the presentation of my work: formatting, graphic design, spelling, syntax.
  • I systematically refer to my grammar and dictionary to check for syntax, spelling mistakes and word definitions.
  • I am familiar with and use a university-level writing guide.
  • I do not hesitate to seek assistance from the specialized linguistic services offered by the university.

Communication is a social art that we need to perfect. This art is based on several basic principles: clear intentions, taking the listener into account, careful selection and logical structure of the information to be shared, verifying that the message has been received and understood...

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