“Swimming is one of the best…” and you can see clearly there how impersonal it is. The paragraphs are fairly short – what I might call tabloid paragraphs.
There is also a call to action at the end of the section.
On the right, there is another box with a subheading, “RIPS”, and a diagram. Again, you might find something like that in an article. Like the call-out box, it’s another thing specifically mentioned by AQA as a feature of leaflets that you want to use. Colons can be used to introduce a bullet point list, as you can see here. One of the things they do is look at idiosyncratic or personal styles of punctuation, idea-organisation, spelling and writing to find the ‘fingerprints’ in our writing.
Notice how it’s got the third-person introduction, “Carolynne Yard will never forget”, and then it goes into 1st person with the whole thing framed in speech marks? You can also see the first introductory informative sentence. Whilst our personal style is useful in articles, letters and speeches, there shouldn’t be a single whiff of it in a leaflet.
So what can we see that you can use to help you sound leaflet-like? You won’t have photos to depend on to attract the reader. ) Two things, then, that you can do to start you off.
Depending on the task and the purpose, you could use an imperative: KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE TODAY Or a statement about what they’ll find in the leaflet: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BEACH SAFETY But simple is best. You’ve also got a summary strapline: “Your guide to a safe and fun time at the seaside” That’s clear – and if your heading is cryptic, you’ll need a clear strapline. You’ll notice that, unlike articles, there is no waffly build-up. That’s because the purpose is to inform, advise and maybe to persuade you a little.Couple that with my preferences for semi-colons, hyphens and dashes and if I wrote a ransom or kidnap letter, you’d be pretty likely to be able to work out that I was behind it.As a further aside that is probably only interesting to me, this is how they work out if Shakespeare is really the author of his plays and how they’d work out if a play turned up that someone thought was really a lost work of Shakespeare. Leaflets should not have any of these unique peculiarities, any of these personal peccadillos.They are not things for you to do on your GCSE paper: I don’t care if you’re trying to emulate the clarity and simplicity of a sans serif font, or if you’re using colour (Don’t! ) But if you were to underline words or go over them to make them bold, or use capitals, well, I wouldn’t be averse to that. A letter and a speech SHOULD have you giving a little away about yourself. Doctors’ surgeries, hospitals, hairdressers, supermarkets, banks, waiting rooms, tourist information offices …What I care about most, though, is whether or not you can write like a leaflet writer. Wherever you are, you might find yourself some lovely leaflets, telling you about heart disease or where you can go if you have a cough, information about colouring products for your hair, information about diet or products, where to go if you want to see historic buildings in your area…Simple, clear vocabulary and simple, clear sentences.There are few contractions, no in the third paragraph, are slightly less formal and a little more chatty.It should sound unemotional, unbiased and authoritative .Nobody should be able to see YOU behind the curtains in the execution of a leaflet.If you remember: With the 8 ‘bands’ of marking roughly equating to 4 levels (upper and lower) which are then sorted into 9 grades. Only English teachers could devise a situation like that.Anyhow, if you’re aiming for a 5, think about 14 or 15, and if you’re aiming for Grade 7, think about 18 or 19. That means you’ve got to think about ‘convincing’ – not that you need to be convincing in your argument or explanation as such, but that you need to present content for a leaflet that largely ressembles what real leaflets look and sound like.