10 commandments of judging

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Who says a training PowerPoint can't be fun? I created this to show, through humor, how "not" to judge an entry in the Society for Technical Communication's annual competition. As I presented each slide, I invited the experienced judge to share their stories. The response was lively.

Transcript of 10 commandments of judging

  • 1. The 10 Commandments of Judging Paul Stregevsky
  • 2.
    • Before thou judgeth an entry, readeth its entry form .
    The 10 Commandments of Judging Paul Stregevsky Yeah, yeah, youve seen one entry form, youve seen them all. It says the author had to use the big bosss Foreword verbatim. Id better go gently on grammar and style. Right: Wrong:
  • 3.
    • Judgeth not an entry by its cover ; nor by its Foreword; nor by its Table of Contents; nor by its nationality, but by the sum of the parts.
    The 10 Commandments of Judging Paul Stregevsky Forward ! Stupid foreigners! This ones a loser! Forward ? I guess they dont emphasize spelling in their ESL classes. I must say, his grammar is impeccable. Right: Wrong:
  • 4.
    • Thou shalt writeth detailed comments, citing examples and references .
    The 10 Commandments of Judging Paul Stregevsky Right: At times, the passive voice made it difficult to know whos to do what. On p. 16, for example, we find: If the alarm trips, it must be reset. Reset by the user? A technician? Or either one? Wrong: The style seemed awkward; some procedures were unclear.
  • 5.
    • Chooseth thine words kindly; offereth specific ways to improve; for not all that is thought must be writ.
    The 10 Commandments of Judging Paul Stregevsky Right: Consider using wider left and right margins; your readers will be grateful. To help readers scan your headings, try using twice as much space before each heading and a sans serif font, such as blue Arial Bold to contrast the body text. Wrong: The formatting is amateurish, with insufficient white space, equally spaced headings, and ill-chosen fonts.
  • 6.
    • Reveal not your impressions to thy fellow judges , lest they hesitate to disagree.
    The 10 Commandments of Judging Paul Stregevsky Hey, before you judge that online tutorial from Capital, make sure you have Maalox handy; youll need it. What did I think of the tutorial? Ill be glad to talk about it after youve finished writing your evaluation. Right: Wrong:
  • 7.
    • Verbally explain thy numerical scores.
    The 10 Commandments of Judging Paul Stregevsky See comments.
  • 8.
    • Judgeth not with thy head, nor with thy heart, but verily, with head, heart, and ear as one.
    The 10 Commandments of Judging Paul Stregevsky I had to assign low marks for formatting and navigation. Too bad that clever illustrations and graceful, engaging writing arent judging criteria. That was fun. True, I had to score it low in several categories. But it was a joy to read; I couldnt put it down! In my book, that makes it at least a Merit winner. Right: Wrong:
  • 9.
    • Thou shalt check thy spelling ; check thy grammar; check thy punctuation; check thy pagination; or judge not; for all that ye deliver shall reflect good or ill on the Society.
    The 10 Commandments of Judging Paul Stregevsky Wrong: I dont undestand why Section Two is formated differently than Section 1 .
  • 10.
    • Thou shalt contact not the entrant, no matter how noble thy reason.
    The 10 Commandments of Judging Paul Stregevsky Dear Entrant: I was judging your STC entry when a glaring typo caught my eye on page 6. I hope theres time to correct it before your next release. If you need a full-time copy editor, Im available.
  • 11.
    • At the Consensus Meeting, thou shalt bargain, not bully .
    The 10 Commandments of Judging Paul Stregevsky This entry sucks ! Theres no way Im letting the two of you give her an award. Right: Wrong: To be honest, I still dont feel she deserves an award. But since both of you feel she deserves Excellent, can we compromise on Merit?
  • 12.
    • Delay not until the final days, or verily, the hours will be too few.
    The 10 Commandments of Judging Paul Stregevsky