(240)-343-2585

 Information Paper 


ASSESSING INFORMATION PAPER

Exceptional Satisfactory Unsatisfactory

Faculty Assessment

Student Self-Assessment

↓ Content ↓

/5

Purpose of paper is clear.

Purpose for writing is vague or not clearly stated.

Purpose for writing incorrect or not stated.

/5

/10

All information is accurate. Up to date, reputable sources used.

Some minor inconsistencies, but primarily accurate. Sources, for the most part, were up to date.

Information not accurate or irrelevant. Sources outdated or of questionable origin.

/10

/20

Level of detail and relevance suited to the needs of the paper and target audience.

May occasionally include irrelevant details, omit important details; or targeting wrong audience.

Content is irrelevant, missing, misrepresented, or not focused at appropriate level.

/20

/15

Explanations and descriptions of content are clear, concise, and precise.

Explanations and descriptions are almost always clear, concise, and precise.

Explanations and descriptions are unclear, wordy, and imprecise.

/15

↓ Organization ↓

/15

Points are clear and logically arranged so as to develop the content most productively for the reader.

In general, points establish a logical line of reasoning.

Sequence of points is illogical or inadequate to the needs of the task of audience.

/15

↓ Style ↓

/5

Words are precise, language is concise without wordiness.

Some language is imprecise but generally understandable.

Language is awkward and hard to read.

/5

/5

Primarily active voice, no first person.

Some passive voice – not excessive.

Primarily passive voice or first person.

/5

/5

Student used correct citations and bibliography for academic sources (and good staff officer work).

Student tried to use citations. Student tried to use bibliography.

Student did not use citations properly. No bibliography provided.

/5

↓ Correctness ↓

/10

Used directed information paper format.

Deviated slightly from directed information paper format.

Did not use directed information paper format.

/10

/5

Only one or two errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling.

Only a few errors in grammar, punctuation or spelling.

Numerous errors in grammar, punctuation or spelling.

/5

/5

Provided 1009w and Self-assessed

Provided 1009w

Did not provide 1009w

/5

Annex A

Concise Style Guide

This guide addresses common errors in citing references, use of quotations, bibliographic entries, and
paraphrasing.

Footnotes or Endnotes

We accept either footnotes or endnotes but not in-text or parenthetical citations. Footnotes and endnotes
are not part of the page-count requirement for the essay. Number footnotes and endnotes sequentially (1,
2, 3, etc.) according to their placement in the essay; do not reuse a footnote or endnote number simply
because it refers to the same source.

Ideas or data forming the core of common knowledge do not require citation. Careful citation of all other
ideas, data, and quotations is especially important when paraphrasing and should protect the writer from
the possibility of plagiarism.

The only acceptable formats of footnotes, endnotes, and bibliographic entries are found in Turabian’s A
Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (eighth edition). We do not accept
parenthetical documentation inserted into the text of an essay. An example of this unacceptable style
would be “(Gabel, 1992, p. 144.).”

Subsequent References to Previously Cited Material in Footnotes or Endnotes

When citing references previously cited in full in earlier footnotes or endnotes:

Use Ibid. (from ibidem, “in the same place”; always takes a period) when referring to the identical
source and page number as in the previous source (footnote or endnote immediately preceding the
current footnote or endnote). For example:

1. James Willbanks, Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War
(Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2004), 46.

2. Ibid.

Use Ibid. and the page number, if only the page number differs from the immediately preceding
reference. For example:

1. James Willbanks, Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War
(Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2004), 46.

2. Ibid., 24.

The second, nonconsecutive reference to a work already cited in full requires an abbreviated format:
last name of author, shortened title of book, page number. This makes it easier for the reader to
identify when you are introducing a new source. For example:

2. James Willbanks, Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War,
(Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2004), 46.

14. Willbanks, Abandoning Vietnam, 48.

Direct Quotations

Authors should enclose direct quotations of four lines or fewer in quotation marks inside the main text.
See examples in Turabian. Failure to cite a direct quotation is plagiarism. Set quotations of five or more
lines apart from the text by indenting and single-spacing them without quotation marks. The superscript
footnote or endnote number usually appears at the end of such indented text.

Bibliography

A bibliography is required only if sources other than course materials are used. The bibliography should
follow the endnotes (if used), or the last page of text if footnotes are used. Arrange bibliography
alphabetically (last name first) and group according to type of source (books, Internet, periodicals, etc.).
Use the style in Turabian, Prentice-Hall (also refer to The Gregg Reference Manual), and ST 22-2.

Internet and Electronic Sources

Citation of Internet and electronic sources remains in transition. The principal rule is that the source must
be traceable, so that the reader can locate that source. If you are in doubt as to the site’s stability or
longevity, download and print the file. If you have any questions, consult your instructor for detailed
guidance. Commonly cited information includes the source of the site (generally an organization or
individual), title, date website last revised, web address, and date accessed. (See examples below for
format.) Researchers beware. While information found in books and scholarly journals is routinely
subject to scholarly review, the same level of fact checking and evaluation may be lacking for information
and articles on the Internet. For that reason, please do not use Wikipedia or similar uncontrolled
sources for information.

EXAMPLE BIBLIOGRAPHY AND NOTE FORMAT

The following examples illustrate the appropriate documentation for works commonly cited by US Army
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) students and not addressed specifically in the
above references. These are the accepted formats for such entries. Otherwise, use the examples in
Turabian, Prentice-Hall (also refer to The Gregg Reference Manual), and ST 22-2.

1. Field Manual

Bibliography:
US Department of the Army. FM 25-100, Training the Force. Washington, DC: Government Printing

Office. November 1988.

Note:
1. US Department of the Army, FM 25-100, Training the Force (Washington, DC: Government

Printing Office, November 1988), 121.

2. Book of Readings

Bibliography:
Clausewitz, Carl von. “What is War?” On War. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976, 75–

89. Excerpt reprinted in US Army Command and General Staff College, H100 Syllabus and Book
of Readings, 50–61. Fort Leavenworth, KS: USACGSC, July 1992.

Note:
1. Carl von Clausewitz, “What is War?” On War (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,

1976), 75–89; excerpt reprinted in US Army Command and General Staff College, H100 Syllabus
and Book of Readings (Fort Leavenworth, KS: USACGSC, July 1992), 55.

[List author by first name first in the note and last name first in the alphabetical bibliography.]

Bibliography:
Howard, Michael. “Military Science in an Age of Peace.” RUSI, Journal of the Royal United Services

Institute for Defence Studies 119 (March 1974): 3–9. Reprinted in US Army Command and
General Staff College, H100 Syllabus and Book of Readings, 205–11. Fort Leavenworth, KS:
USACGSC, July 1992.

Note:
1. Michael Howard, “Military Science in an Age of Peace,” RUSI, Journal of the Royal United

Services Institute for Defence Studies 119 (March 1974); reprinted in US Army Command and
General Staff College, H100 Syllabus and Book of Readings (Fort Leavenworth, KS: USACGSC,
July 1992), 210.

3. Books

Research may require the use of individual pages and/or chapters within a book written by different
authors and edited by someone other than the author. The following example is a chapter from a book
used throughout the course:

Bibliography:
Herwig, Holger H. “Innovation Ignored: The Submarine Problem—Germany, Britain, and the United

States, 1919–1939.” In Military Innovation in the Interwar Period, edited by Williamson Murray
and Allan R. Millett, 227–64. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Note:
1. Holger H. Herwig, “Innovation Ignored: The Submarine Problem—Germany, Britain, and the

United States, 1919–1939,” in Military Innovation in the Interwar Period, ed. Williamson Murray
and Allan R. Millett (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 229.

4. Journal Articles

Following is an example using a common source (Military Review) of research topics and
information.

Bibliography:
Karcher, Timothy M. “The Victory Disease.” Military Review 83 (July–August 2003): 9–17.

Note:
2. Timothy M. Karcher, “The Victory Disease,” Military Review 83 (July–August 2003): 11.

5. Leavenworth Papers

Following is an example using a common source from the Leavenworth Papers series of professional
writings.

Bibliography:
Doughty, Robert A. The Evolution of US Army Tactical Doctrine, 1946–76. Leavenworth Papers No.

1. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, 1979. (Reprinted 2001)

Note:
3. Robert A. Doughty, The Evolution of US Army Tactical Doctrine, 1946–76, Leavenworth

Papers No. 1 (Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, 1979, reprinted 2001), 28.

6. Electronic and Web-based Sources

Bibliography:
US Department of the Army, Center For Army Lessons Learned. Urban Combat Operations—

References. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Center for Army Lessons Learned, 2002. CD ROM; available
from CALL.

Note:
4. Department of the Army, Center For Army Lessons Learned. Urban Combat Operations—

References (Fort Leavenworth, KS: Center for Army Lessons Learned, 2002) [CD ROM]; available
from CALL.

Bibliography:
Royal Air Force. The Battle of Britain History Site. The Battle of Britain—Commanders. Delta Web

International, 2000, accessed [date], http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/thebattleofbritain.cfm.

Note:
5. Royal Air Force. The Battle of Britain History Site. The Battle of Britain— Commanders

(Delta Web International, 2000), accessed [date],
http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/thebattleofbritain.cfm.

Bibliography:
Paret, Peter, ed. Makers of Modern Strategy: from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Princeton, NJ:

Princeton University Press, 1986. Kindle edition, 2007.

H100 Annex A-487

Note:
6. Felix Gilbert, “Machiavelli: The Renaissance of the Art of War.” In Makers of Modern

Strategy: from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986, chap.
1. Kindle edition, 2007.

  • Concise DMH Style Guide
    • References
    • Footnotes or Endnotes
    • Direct Quotations
    • Bibliography
      • Internet and Electronic Sources

ATZL-SWE Date

MEMORANDUM FOR XXXXXXXXXXXX

SUBJECT: Information Paper Format

1. Purpose: To provide guidance on the preparation and use of an information paper. Why are you writing the paper? Correctly identifying this goes a long way in helping you focus and develop a good organization.

2. Background: Provide no more than one short paragraph on the background of the JLTV. Remember, the instructions said the CG is well aware of why the JLTV was created. The sources provided for you are old. That is done on purpose. This assessment is also to exercise your ability as a staff officer to go find current, updated information on a topic and then conduct analysis on that information.

3. Discussion: Provide approximately two paragraphs communicating the relevant information you discovered in your research. Keep the information and analysis focused on what is relevant to the DIV’s upcoming fielding.

a. Use subparagraphs as needed. Ensure you cite any information that is not your own thought.[footnoteRef:1] Each subparagraph should develop a thought or point. Do not simply write one sentence in a subparagraph. [1: Insert footnote#1 here [include page number(s) or slide number(s) or time(s) in video as appropriate[Refer to ST 22-2 Appendix A for proper citation format] [endnotes in lieu of footnotes are also acceptable]]

b. Remember, think about briefing the CG. He/she wants to know how what you found out can be applied to the DIV’s fielding to make it run more smoothly.[footnoteRef:2] [2: Insert footnote#2 here [include page number(s) or slide number(s) or time(s) in video as appropriate [Refer to ST 22-2 Appendix A for proper citation format]]

4. Recommendations: An information paper is not a data sheet. You are required to do research and conduct analysis. After analysis, you need to follow through with the “so what.” What are your recommendations or planning assumptions reference the DIV’s upcoming fielding?

a. Endnotes or footnotes are required.[footnoteRef:3] A bibliography is required, as stated in the instructions. Your endnotes or footnotes count towards the page count. The bibliography does not count towards the page count. [3: Insert footnote#1 here [include page number(s) or slide number(s) or time(s) in video as appropriate[Refer to ST 22-2 Appendix A for proper citation format]

]

b. The assignment allows students to develop a better understanding of the topic (joint light tactical vehicle) and practice in synthesizing voluminous factual information. Additionally, information researched here provides background in preparation for your F107 assignment. It is important to be clear, concise, relevant, and accurate.

c. Do not lose easy points by not doing the self-assessment.

d. Stay focused on the topic at hand. You are given very little space to develop topics. This is done on purpose to make the student get to the point in a clear, direct and efficient manner.

Action Officer Name / Phone #

Approved by:

Bibliography

Insert first bibliography entry here [Refer to ST 22-2 Appendix A for proper bibliography format]

Insert second bibliography entry here [Refer to ST 22-2 Appendix A for proper bibliography format]

Insert third bibliography entry here [Refer to ST 22-2 Appendix A for proper bibliography format]

Information Paper and Essay

“Oshkosh Readies to Resume JLTV: GAO Decides in December.” Freedberg, Sydney J. Jr. Breaking Defense. Land. Breaking Media, Inc., 8 September 2015. Located at the following URL http://breakingdefense.com/2015/09/lockheed-protests-jltv-award-to-oshkosh-am-general-doesnt/

“JLTV Could Reorder Vehicle Industry.” Gould, Joe. Defense News, 24 August 2015. Located at the following URL http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/land/vehicles/2015/08/23/us-army-jltv-award-humvee-replacement/32053897/

“Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.” Wikipedia. Available at the following URL https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Light_Tactical_Vehicle

Note: Wikipedia and other uncontrolled internet sources are not subject to the same level of scholarly review or fact-checking. Wikipedia is NOT reliable for academic research. You may read the Wikipedia article for a basic overview and to find additional sources of information about the topic.

Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) (22Mar2016). US Department of Defense. Joint Program Office, Joint Light Tactical Vehicles. RCS: DD-A&T (Q&A) 823-279. Washington, DC: Joint Program Office (41 pages). http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/FOID/Reading%20Room/Selected_Acquisition_Reports/16-F-0402_DOC_43_JLTV_DEC_2015_SAR.pdf

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress (09 September 2016). Feikert, Andrew. Congressional Research Service. CRS Report #RS22942, Washington, DC: CRS (14 pages). https://news.usni.org/2016/09/14/document-report-congress-marine-army-joint-light-tactical-vehicle

“Marines: Amphibious Combat Vehicle Testing Going Well after Delay; On Track to Support June 2018 Downselect.” Eckstein, Megan. US Naval Institute (USNI) News, 06 June 2017. https://news.usni.org/2017/06/06/marines-acv-testing-going-well-after-delay-on-track-to-support-june-2018-downselect

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle: A Case Study. Canaley, William P. LTC. Civilian Research Project US Army War College (USAWC) Fellow (April 2013). (32 pages) www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA592751

The Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) documents are available in the Blackboard Master Library (ML). In the ML, click on the link “Maneuver CoE.”

· MCoE Supplemental Manual 3-90, Force Structure Reference Data. Armored Brigade Combat Team. Fort Benning, GA: MCoE, October 2015.

· MCoE Supplemental Manual 3-90, Force Structure Reference Data. Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Fort Benning, GA: MCoE, October 2015.

· MCoE Supplemental Manual 3-90, Force Structure Reference Data. Stryker Brigade Combat Team. Fort Benning, GA: MCoE, October 2015.

Online lessons and readings

The primary Army strategic documents are listed below.

Army Strategic Planning Guidance (ASPG 2014). http://www.g8.army.mil/pdf/Army_Strategic_Planning_Guidance2014.pdf

The Army Vision: Strategic Advantage in a Complex World (2015). https://www.army.mil/e2/rv5_downloads/info/references/the_army_vision.pdf

Army Equipment Modernization Strategy: Equipping the Total Force to Win in a Complex World (AEMS – March 2015). http://www.g8.army.mil/pdf/AEMS_31MAR15.pdf

The US Army Operating Concept: Win in a Complex World 2020-2040 (AOC 2014). http://www.tradoc.army.mil/tpubs/pams/tp525-3-1.pdf

2015-2016 How the Army Runs: A Senior Leader Reference Handbook (HTAR 2015). http://publications.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/3283.pdf

US Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (US Army RDECOM) Strategic Plan: Enabling Battlefield Dominance through Technology FY 2015 – FY 2040. https://www.army.mil/e2/c/downloads/358964.pdf

Army Equipment Program in support of President’s Budget 2017 (February 2016). http://www.g8.army.mil/pdf/Army_Equipment_Program2017.pdf

2

Information Paper Instructions

For this assignment, you are a senior staff officer working on a division staff. You are to write an information paper about the joint light tactical vehicle (JLTV) that will go into the “CG briefing book.” The purpose of this paper is to provide an update to the CG as to the current status of the JLTV and the program. The DIV is receiving a JLTV fielding in 9 months. This includes, but is not limited to: changes in PPBE, requirements, fielding and Army guidance/decisions. Remember to make it relevant to the CG and the DIV. How does this information allow the DIV to move forward in preparing to receive their own JLTVs, and understanding of the JLTV’s current capabilities? The CG obviously has a substantial military background and is fully aware of why the JLTV was developed, but requires updated information on the JLTV with the upcoming fielding.

For this assignment, follow the example provided in the “Example Information Paper” and include both proper endnote or footnote citation and a bibliography. Sources are not always cited in an information paper; however, this Division Chief of Staff (CofS) (notional for assignment purposes) is a stickler for having his staff officers provide verified and sourced information. The CofS demands you provide citation and bibliography IAW ST 22-2 (bibliography style).

You are provided a reference sheet (“Information Paper and Essay References”) containing links to articles and information about the JLTV. These resources are provided as a starting point. Sole use of these resources will not provide an updated information paper as directed.

As a staff officer, you are expected to:

1. Get all relevant, important information from subject matter experts.

2. Select the most important parts.

3. Arrange the parts in a clear and concise manner.

4. Provide the information to your audience.

“Cutting and pasting” is not sufficient. Your assignment is evaluated on how effectively you synthesize and present pertinent and relevant information for the CG’s use. You may NOT take all or part of someone else’s information paper (or an organization’s fact sheet) and put your name on it. This is not acceptable.

Information papers are succinct and designed to be fact-based and provide the senior decision maker relevant and pertinent information. DA-level information papers are often 1-page. This assignment will be two (2) typed pages in length to provide all relevant information regarding your topic. You will read/analyze information and develop your information paper per the format provided to you (example in the document called “Example Information Paper.”) Follow the directions on the example for the format and for specific instructions on how to write an information paper. Use Arial 12-point font, single spaced, with one inch margins with formatting per the example provided. Remember to use active voice in academic writing and do not use first person.

*** FINAL CONSIDERATIONS ***

If something is not your original thought, you need to cite your source using either footnotes or endnotes IAW the Turabian style of documentation; do not use parenthetical citations. This includes direct quotations, paraphrases, and summaries of the assigned readings, doctrinal references, or outside sources. You may use the F100 online lessons, readings, and references to help you prepare your assignment but be sure to cite them appropriately. Refer to ST 22-2 for guidance about citations and footnotes / endnotes. Both proper citation and a bibliography are required.

2

ST 22-2

Leader Communication

ST 22-2

ST 22-2

i

ST 22-2

ii

To meet these purposes:

Chapter 1 reviews the Army standard for writing, critical thinking, creative thinking,
decision making, and problem solving.

Chapter 2 introduces concepts fundamental to writing including the domains of
evaluation (substance, style, organization and correctness), the writing process, the
fundamentals of argumentation, types of essays, and general writing guidelines.

Chapter 3 discusses academic ethics and the plagiarism policy of the Command and
General Staff School.

Chapter 4 addresses the elements of preparing and delivering military briefings.

Chapter 5 reviews the responsibilities and duties of staff officers and staff coordination
techniques.

ST 22-2

iii

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Paragraph
Communication Skills for Leaders
Army Standard 1-2
Principles of Good Writing 1-3
Critical Thinking 1-13
Creative Thinking 1-14
Decision Making 1-15
Problem Solving 1-16

Chapter 2
Fundamentals of Writing
Substance 2-4
Style 2-6
Organization 2-7
Correctness 2-9
The Writing Process 2-10
Pre-Writing 2-12
Drafting 2-22
Revising 2-25
Editing 2-27
Essay Format 2-29
Naming Convention 2-30
Publishing 2-31
Fundamentals of Argumentation 2-32
Types of Evidence 2-33
Evaluation of Evidence 2-34
Logic 2-35
Fallacies of Logic 2-36
Assessing Writing 2-37
Types of CGSOC Essays 2-38
Argumentative Essay 2-39
Analytical Essay 2-40
Expository Essay 2-41
Compare and Contrast Essay 2-42
General Writing Guidelines 2-43
Resources 2-44
Learning Resource Center (LRC) 2-45

Chapter 3
Academic Ethics
Documentation 3-2
Key Definitions 3-5
Plagiarism 3-8
Writing Requirements 3-10
Group Work 3-11
Proofreading 3-12
Copyright Laws 3-13

ST 22-2

iv

Professional Standards 3-14
Evaluation Process 3-15
Use of Computer Software 3-16
Reporting Procedures and Responsibilities 3-18
Academic Freedom 3-19
Non-Attribution Policy 3-21

Chapter 4
Military Briefings
Characteristics 4-2
Steps 4-4
Standards of Effective Communication 4-5
Style and Correctness 4-14
Speaking 4-19
Speaker Anxiety 4-21
Rehearsals 4-23
Visual Aids 4-25

Chapter 5
The Staff Officer
Staff Officer Characteristics 5-2
The Staff’s Role 5-12
Staff Actions 5-13
Problem Solving 5-17
Staff Coordination 5-18

Appendix A
The Concise Command and General Staff School Style Guide

Appendix B
Editing Symbols

Appendix C
An Argumentative Analysis Checklist

Appendix D
Writing Resources

Appendix E
Index

Appendix F
References

ST 22-2

1

CHAPTER 1

COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR LEADERS

“The liberty of speaking and writing guards our other liberties.”

Thomas Jefferson

1-1. Mission accomplishment requires skilled leaders able to make the right
decisions. Individuals who transmit their intent and ideas so that others understand the
message and act on it possess one of the primary qualities of leadership, the ability to
communicate effectively. Success as a military leader depends on the ability to think
critically and creatively and to communicate your intention and decision to others. How
you arrive at your decision and communicate it to others is our focus.

The Army Standard for Communication

1-2. AR 25-50, Preparing and Managing Correspondence, states Army writing is
“…clear, concise, and effective. Army correspondence must aid effective
communication and decision-making. The reader must understand the writer’s ideas in
a single rapid reading, and the correspondence must be free of errors in substance,
organization, style and correctness.” Style rules include:

 Put the recommendation, conclusion, or reason for writing–the “bottom line”–in
the first or second paragraph, not at the end

 Use the active voice

 Use short sentences (an average of 15 or fewer words)

 Use short words (three syllables or fewer)

 Write paragraphs that, with few exceptions, are no more than 1 inch deep

 Use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation

 Use “I,” “you” and “we” as subjects of sentences instead of “this office,” “this
headquarters,” “all individuals,” and so forth, for most kinds of writing (note that in
essays assigned by the History Department, in general, avoid use of the first
person)

Structure your writing to begin with the main idea first and transmit a focused message.

 Open with a short, clear purpose sentence

 Put the recommendation, conclusion, or most important information (the main
point) next

 Clearly separate each major section. Use paragraphs, headings, or section titles

 Use a specific format if one is appropriate

ST 22-2

2

Style–the active voice.

 The active voice is direct, natural, and forceful

 The active voice does more than make sentences clearer–it shortens sentences

 Eliminating the passive voice reduces a piece of writing by up to 20 percent

 Active voice writing emphasizes the doer of the action, shows who does the
action in the sentence, and creates shorter sentences

Principles of Good Writing

1-3. AR 25-50 requires that writers incorporate the following principles into their
communications:

 Understood in a single rapid reading

 Concisely organized, and to the point

 Use subject–verb–object sentence order

 Active voice writing

Short, Sensible Sentences and Paragraphs

1-4. Effective writers employ both long and short sentences. However, the average
sentence should be somewhere around 15 words.* The same holds true for paragraph
length. Some paragraphs are 2 inches in depth while others less than an inch, but the
average paragraph is about 1 inch (about 6 lines) deep for a single spaced document.

Efficient Phrases, Vocabulary, and Images

1-5. Use commonly accepted words and word pictures. Know your audience. Avoid
the use of jargon, “official-speak,” and acronyms, especially when writing or speaking to
an audience that may not be familiar with them.

Active Voice

1-6. The topic of active or passive voice in writing and speaking seems to create a lot
of confusion. The problem is that many writers confuse voice with tense and conclude
that passive voice always refers to the past while active voice refers to the present or
future. Voice only shows whether the subject is performing the action (active
voice) or receiving the action (passive voice). Active and passive voice never refers
to tense, but to action. Key to determining active voice is to tell who is doing the acting.

1-7. There are cues for the passive voice. There are four telltale signs that indicate
whether or not the sentence is in the passive voice. First, in a passive voice sentence
the subject of the sentence is the recipient of the action. Second, there is always some
form of a “to be” verb (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been). Third, in a passive voice
sentence there is always a transitive verb, which is a verb that transfers action over to
an object. And finally, in a passive voice sentence there is always a past participle (past
participles are verbs that generally end in –ed, –en or –t). Whenever possible, write in

ST 22-2

3

the active voice and let the subject of your sentences do the action. Consider the
following examples.

Passive Voice Active Voice

The M4 was fired by PFC Meadows. PFC Meadows fired the M4.
The HMMWV was wrecked by SGT Fey. SGT Fey wrecked the HMMWV.

1-8. Appropriate use of the passive voice. While there may be occasions when it is
proper and acceptable to use the passive voice, in general you should avoid its use.
The trick is to know what the passive voice really is and when its use is acceptable. The
use of the passive voice, like all other aspects of writing, should be the result of a
conscious decision. Its use should not be random, arbitrary, or accidental nor should it
happen out of ignorance.

1-9. Use passive voice when you do not know who the actor is. For example, you
discover the wrecked HMMWV, but you don’t know who was responsible. In this case
use the passive voice and say “The HMMWV was wrecked.”

1-10. Use the passive voice when the receiver of the action is more important than the
actor. For example, say, “The Buffalo Soldier monument was completed in 1997.”

Packaging That Supports Effective Communication

1-11. What is your bottom line (your position, conclusion, or recommendation)? Put it
at the beginning. Arrange your writing, speech, or briefing so your audience quickly and
easily understands your intent. Make sure you do not mislead your audience.

1-12. The standard also holds true for verbal communications. It means that by the
time you finish presenting information or a course of action, your subordinates, peers,
and superiors should know your intent and understand your recommendation or
decision. Effective writing and communication is based on applying critical thinking,
creative thinking, decision making, and problem solving skills to identify answers for
complex problems.

Critical Thinking

1-13. Organizational leaders must think critically to solve problems effectively. Critical
thinking:

 Follows recognized standards and uses mental models

 Is thorough and involves all elements of reasoning

 Is rigorous in applying high standards to identify and evaluate evidence to
guide decision making

 Requires you to analyze the task, identify your goal(s), and clarify the problem
you need to solve

 Consider the many perspectives influencing the task and recognize that the
data (information, evidence, facts, observations, or experiences) you work with
may be incomplete

ST 22-2

4

 Requires you to examine assumptions (yours and others), along with
inferences, conclusions, implications, and consequences of these assumptions

Creative Thinking

1-14. Successful creative thinking never takes place in a vacuum. It builds on critical
thinking skills. Creative thinking:

 Specific thought processes which improve our creative ability

 Thinking deliberately in ways to improve the likelihood of generating new
thoughts

 Maximizes the ability of the brain to think of new ideas and explore multiple
avenues of actions or thoughts

 Sometimes called divergent thinking because thought patterns and areas of
belief expand

 Asks you to identify those inhibitors that focus your thinking along
predetermined paths

 Inhibitors include perceptions, culture, environment, emotions, intellect, and
“idea killers” (usually expressed in such phrases as “We already tried that,” “It
would take too long,” “The commander would never support it,” “I have enough
information,” etc.)

Decision Making

1-15. Decision making is:

 The process of making choices or reaching conclusions

 Cognitive process of reaching a decision

 Applying critical thinking skills and creative thinking processes to solve
complex problems

 The critical reasoning and thinking standards help you evaluate your
reasoning and thinking for clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth,
logic, significance, and fairness

Problem Solving

1-16. Chapter 4 of FM 6-0, Commander and Staff Organization and Operations, notes
that problem solving is a “daily activity for leaders.” Additionally, the manual highlights
the importance of using a systemic approach to solving problems and offers a model for
leaders to employ in organizations to effectively address the myriad of problems that
routinely arise in the normal conduct of operations.

Problem solving is:

 A series of decisions to resolve a situation

 The ability to get answers to questions through a conscious, organized process

 A systematic approach using multiple perspectives to uncover the issues related
to a problem, develop a plan to resolve the problem, and implement the plan

ST 22-2

5

Problems may be structured in one of three ways:

 Well-Structured Problems
–Problem is easy to identify
–Required information is available
–Method to solve is obvious

 Medium Structured Problems
–Problem identification takes more experienced leaders
–Some, but not all, information is available
–Method to solve is based upon MDMP and troop leading procedures

 Ill-Structured Problems
–The problem is not clear and consensus is difficult to reach
–Information on nature of problem is hard to collect
–A broad approach is essential and no single action will solve

ST 22-2

6

ST 22-2

7

CHAPTER 2

FUNDAMENTALS OF WRITING

2-1. All scholarly writing requires time and effort to produce and begins by answering
the fundamental questions of “who is the audience?” and “what is the purpose of the
writing?” Additionally, the writing must adhere to the basic conventions of standard
written English (SWE) and address the issue in question to be effective. For CGSOC
students, there are numerous writing requirements throughout the academic year. The
college places great emphasis on writing and communicating efficiently and effectively
across the curriculum. The skills reinforced in the CGSOC writing requirements pay
great dividends for field grade leaders returning to units throughout the U.S. military
services and U.S. governmental agencies.

2-2. Both writing and thinking have hierarchy. Throughout the academic year at
CGSC, students are challenged to think critically and creatively. Writing assignments
measure the students’ ability to communicate their thoughts relative to specific courses
of instruction. Each block of instruction has specific terminal and enabling learning
objectives that include an associated level of learning. Unlike undergraduate education,
much of the CGSC curriculum orients on the higher levels of cognitive learning, such as
“synthesis” or “evaluation” as a stated goal of the curriculum. Likewise, writing
assignments at CGSC seek to challenge students to perform in four critical areas,
substance, style, organization, and correctness. While students must perform well in
each of the four domains to be successful, it becomes increasingly more challenging as
you move up the writing hierarchy (see figure below).

2-3. For CGSOC students, the writing evaluation uses four domains: substance, style,
organization and correctness. While each assignment and each instructor may amplify
the specific instructions for a particular writing requirement, in general the faculty
evaluate CGSOC students’ written work in these four areas. Below is a description of
each of these domains.

ST 22-2

8

2-4. Substance consists of the intellectual content of the essay. It is usually the most
important consideration in scholarly and professional writing. In CGSOC, satisfactory
essays display the following in regards to substance:

 A clearly stated thesis in the introductory paragraph of the paper

 All the supporting paragraphs on target in backing up the thesis

 The content is original, critical, and thoughtfully logical

 There is sufficient specific evidence for each supporting point

 The essay’s substance directly addresses and answers the question(s) posed
in the assignment

2-5. Substance also involves an understanding of content and analysis/problem-
solving/conclusions.

 Content means that your thesis is clear and concise. The content is fully
compliant with the assigned requirement and the needs of the reader. Everything
is accurate and the level of detail is suited to the needs of the assigned
requirement and reader. Explanations and descriptions of content are clear and
precise. Quantitative information is relevant and accurate, expressed with
appropriate examples, and well integrated into the text. Evidence is fully
explained and developed throughout the essay.

 Analysis/problem-solving/conclusions are an essential element of substance.
Satisfactory work attains the highest cognitive level that is appropriate to the
assignment. Your essay contains insightful, original analysis, and your
conclusions are supported by evidence clearly explained. You consider ethical
and legal issues when relevant, alternative points of view, and address potential
counter-arguments.

ST 22-2

9

2-6. Style, as an area of evaluation, plays a significant role in the effectiveness of
any writing. An author’s distinctive voice is heard because of the writing style he or
she uses. Style in writing addresses important aspects such as sentence types,
coordination and subordination, verb tense use and consistency, and transitional
expressions. A good writing style complements the other domains of substance,
organization and correctness to facilitate effective communication. The domain of
style speaks to the following principles:

 Words are precise

 Language is concise without wordiness

 The writer’s tone is appropriate to the audience and purpose

 The essay’s tone, diction, and syntax complement the intended effect

 Sentences track clearly even to the rapid reader

 Sentence types are varied and chosen with conscious thought

 Transitions lead smoothly from one idea to the next

 Active voice predominates

 Sources are appropriately cited

2-7. Readers expect scholarly and professional writing that is clear and organized.
Organization ensures that the points of your paper are clear and logically arranged to
develop the content and analysis most productively for the audience. Moreover, a well-
organized essay effectively communicates the substance of the writing. It provides the

ST 22-2

10

skeletal structure of the essay and helps the readers see the relationships between your
ideas. Organization begins early in the writing process and is refined throughout the
remaining stages. Given the importance of a well-organized essay, it is obvious that the
main idea must be articulated plainly and directly so that readers see the roadmap of
the writing. It requires effort to craft a strong thesis/controlling idea and corresponding
topic sentences. Without these essential elements, your writing lacks organization and
clarity.

2-8. Effective essays have a clear method of organization include an introduction, a
main body, and a conclusion. Later sections of this handbook illustrate effective
organizational approaches for the most common type of essays required in CGSOC.

2-9. Correctness is defined as adherence to the conventions of standard written
English (SWE). It is difficult to pass CGSOC or operate effectively in organizations if you
do not, among other things, spell correctly, avoid comma splices and sentence
fragments, use proper verb tenses, and make subjects and verbs agree. Hence, there
must be few, if any, departures from the published standard for grammar, punctuation,
and usage. Correctness errors distract from a smooth reading and inhibit effective
communication.

ST 22-2

11

2-10. The writing process serves as a method or system of approach to writing that
involves organization and construction. The writing process is logical, sequential,
predictable, and repetitive. Like any other process, you can master the writing process.
Ultimately, writing effectively requires discipline and determination. By viewing and
approaching writing in a systematic, logical, and orderly manner, most people can more
effectively communicate their ideas and produce high-quality products that withstand
the scrutiny of academic examination.

2-11. For ease of understanding, it is helpful to view the writing process as consisting
of the following five steps; pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing the final
product. While these steps appear linear and sequential, the real strength of the writing
process lies in the understanding of the writer to know where he or she is within the
process and to negotiate the steps as necessary. At times, you may need to go back or
forward in the process. The creative fluidity of the writing process allows for such
movements, but the final step reminds writers that the end state is a finished product
that meets the standards in all four writing evaluation domains. Below is a brief
discussion on each of the five steps of the writing process.

2-12. Step One: Prewriting. This step includes all the things writers do prior to actually
producing a draft of the essay. Prewriting likely involves research on the assigned topic.
Organized and focused research provides a wealth of material that improves the quality
of a product. The tasking may come from a job requirement, professional development,
or a college class. Most of your CGSC writing begins with research of a given topic and
includes; finding information, making notes, expounding on the notes, and documenting
the sources.

2-13. During research you should systematically gather information to find the answer
to a specific question or to develop the solution to a given problem. The process has
several distinct steps:

 Begin with a research question that you cannot answer with a yes or no

 Clearly state the purpose

 Divide the primary problem into sub-problems

ST 22-2

12

 Make educated guesses (hypotheses) to answer the question based on
specific assumptions

 Develop a specific plan of action

 Consider your audience and conduct research according to their needs

 Consolidate and categorize your evidence such as examples, statistics, and
authoritative testimony

2-14. Research consists of asking questions and finding answers. Whenever you
attempt to answer a question that requires more than a yes or no answer, you have a
problem requiring research. Some questions used to identify the problem, establish
purpose, analyze data, and draw valid conclusions include:

 What is the real problem?

 What is your purpose in answering the problem?

 What are the subordinate questions you must answer to solve the problem?

 What are your educated guesses (hypotheses) that suggest solutions to the
problem?

 What are the assumptions behind your educated guesses?

 What is your research plan?

 What type of information do you need?

 What is your plan to analyze the information (data)?

 Why does your information support your hypothesis? Why not?

 What conclusions can you draw from the data analyzed?

2-15. State the purpose. The mere statement of a research question only gives you
direction for research. Compiling information without a purpose is merely collecting
facts, opinions, and ideas on a given topic that only has value to the individual. You
must identify why you need to answer the research problem. “Why” provides purpose
for your efforts. Purpose provides you with direction, while helping you and your
audience understand what you want to accomplish.

2-16. Divide the primary problem into sub-problems. There are several sub-problems
that you need to answer before you can fulfill the purpose behind your tasking. Each
sub-problem directly affects your purpose. It is imperative that you take the time to
identify the sub-problems that directly affect your purpose.

2-17. Develop a specific plan of action. Military operations begin with a clearly stated
purpose, the mission statement. Implementation requires a specific plan of action–the
operations order. Research requires the same. You identify your purpose and then
develop a plan to discover the information needed to answer the question. It then
becomes important to consider where you find your research data. Just as important is
to consider how you are going to analyze the data to ensure you recognize and
understand its significance for your research.

2-18. Accept information, evidence, facts, observations, and experiences (data)
relevant to the problem. Every problem has many factors. Some are relevant, while
others may have nothing to do with the solution. Determine what data is relevant and
then collect it. What you collect becomes significant when you extract meaning from it.

ST 22-2

13

Data demands interpretation; it cannot stand alone. It must pass from your notes
through your mind for processing and interpretation. Data that passes from the raw
stage to the final product without interpretation is merely the regurgitation of
meaningless ideas.

2-19. Clarify the requirement and confirm your purpose. Identify any existing
assumptions and know exactly who you are writing for. Organize your data and get
ready to write. Getting started is one of the greatest challenges that skilled and unskilled
writers and researchers face. Knowing the type of writing that meets the requirement is
critical.

2-20. Thesis statement. The problem you are investigating is at the very heart of any
report, paper, or research. This is the most important element of your writing. It is here
that you clarify the problem. This is the point where many writers fail. They are not able
to tell their audience why the topic merits serious consideration. The thesis statement
tells the audience why the topic demands attention. You do this by clearly stating your
topic and your purpose, assertion, or question. A good thesis statement clearly and
succinctly gives the “what” and the “why” of the author’s essay and provides a roadmap
for the remainder of the essay.

2-21. Prewriting techniques. Once you understand the requirement and decide which
type of writing meets the requirement, it is time to organize the data from your research.
There are several helpful prewriting techniques available. Prewriting, as the first and
foremost element of the writing process, helps you to generate material from which your
essay develops. It is more important to get quantity out of your prewriting than quality.
At this early stage, you want to simply capture as many thoughts about the topic on
paper as you’re able. Refining and focusing these disjointed thoughts into a coherent
essay comes later in the writing process. Writers should experiment with each of these
techniques and adopt the technique or combination of techniques that works best for
them. That is, they should determine and employ that technique or combination of
techniques that produce the most raw material in the shortest amount of time. Here is a
short description of the most popular techniques:

ST 22-2

14

Brainstorming: In brainstorming, you generate ideas and details by asking as
many questions as you can think of about your subject. Such questions include: what,
when, why, where, who, and how.

Freewriting: In freewriting you write without stopping for a set time. You don’t
worry about grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation during freewriting. Instead, you
simply jot down, in a stream of consciousness style, all you can during the time period.
Many times, merely moving your pen across the page generates ideas.

Diagramming: Diagramming, also known as mind-mapping or clustering,
graphically portrays general thoughts by using arrows, lines, boxes, and circles to show
relationships between ideas and details as they come to you. This technique is a good
tool for people who like to do their thinking in a more visual way. Also, diagramming
lends itself to effective essay organization better than some of the other prewriting
techniques.

Making a list: In this technique you list as many different items as you can think
of concerning your topic. Again, don’t worry about the punctuation, etc… Try to write
down everything you can think of about your subject. Your aim is to generate as much
raw material as you can.

Preparing a scratch outline: Similar to making a list, preparing a scratch outline
for use by itself or in combination with other techniques is very helpful. It is the single
most helpful technique of all prewriting because you think and write about the exact
point you are making and how you support that point. The scratch outline is a blueprint
for an organized, unified, and well-supported essay.

ST 22-2

15

2-22. Step Two: Drafting. The purpose of drafting is to transform the raw material of
your prewriting into a rough draft of your essay. Focus on the substance and
organization of your document, not on what the final product may look like. This is your
first draft, not your final product. However, when finished it should contain the substance
you need to communicate. Two techniques help you write the first draft, take the
strongest elements/ideas of your prewriting and outline the “skeleton” of your essay, or
focus on the relationship between your rough ideas to begin structuring your essay.

2-23. The skeletal outline keeps you focused on both the substance and organization
of …