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Sons essay and ? about assumed knowledge

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I'm posting below the introductory paragraph and the first paragraph. My son is in 11th grade. I'm outsourcing writing next year-should have done it years ago, as you will see. The main thing that I would like comments about is the technical aspect. I think he should explain more, but I agree he shouldn't have to go back to ground zero(whatever that is). He says anyone that would want to read this knows what he is talking about. What would he have to do if he were writing this for a teacher? Should he start back with what Aviom/Hearback are? At what point do you assume knowledge? I know in a literary essay you should assume that the reader has read the piece of literature, but what about this?





Here is the start of his essay.



Though die-hard Aviom fans say that the Hearback system should not be chosen for any situation, Hearbacks do have their place in performance. They have several features and advantages the Avioms don’t, that could be useful at times.


Unlike Avioms, Hearbacks supply a local aux input at each unit. This can be very helpful if the drummer needs a click track, but the rest of the band doesn’t. When the drums and the bass are on the same channel, the bass can plug in his DI into the aux input and supplement the volume from the shared channel. When you use Avioms, you have to use a splitter if two people are using the same Aviom unit. But Hearbacks have two headphone outs, so there is no need to get a splitter and crank the volume to account for two headphones. And for dark stages, the Hearback units are black, unlike the blue Avioms, so they blend in with the rest of the staging.

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Wow. This one is a toughie. I agree that he doesn't have to start at "ground zero," but a little more info would REALLY help here. I read it three times, and I still don't understand what he is saying because I don't know what context the statements belong in. I get that this is some kind of audio equipment, but beyond that I am lost. I think he should say what Aviom and HearBack are, and give the reader a little bit more context. To me, "ground zero" would be explaining what a speaker/audio system is, and clearly he doesn't need to do *that*. However, more definitions and context would help tremendously. Good luck, mama!

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DS13 (Tech Support): I am writing from the standpoint of a Geek. Up until the 5th sentence, I did not know what he was talking about. I am still not sure if the discussion is about main mixers or dedicated headphone mixers. It would be helpful if he placed more information about what the devices are in front of the essay. Calling a group "Diehard" could come across as biased. As for style, if you look at how Maximum PC does it's "Deathmatch" feature (Print magazine only. Sorry.), you see a step by step deconstruction of what one thing has that the other doesn't. You don't have to structure it exactly the same way, but some of the style points would be useful.


Noghiri(Tech Support)



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I always have my kids assume the reader has no idea what they (the writers) are writing about. That doesn't mean they have to write several paragraphs explaining themselves. But I do expect context to be clearly presented. My children have become fairly proficient at interweaving context into their writings. I have enforced this skill by simply pretending I have no knowledge of what they are writing about prior to reading it. It is my (non-expert) opinion that the best written work is able to stand alone. :001_smile:

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