Academic and Professional Communication in Public Safety

CJ526 Academic and Professional Communication in Public Safety

Unit 1: Discussion Question

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Discussion topics support this unit’s objective and should be completed after reading all materials. Your responses ought to include original evaluation, synthesis, or analysis of the topic, and contribute to the discussion in a meaningful way. You must respond to all discussion topics and reply to your peers’ posts. Refer to the Discussion Rubric under Course Resources for additional requirements. Each discussion board post must include your initial response satisfactorily and sufficiently answering the question. You must also respond to at least two of your peers. You can also respond to the professor (optional), and that can count for one response if you wish. Your activities must occur on two separate days of the unit.

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Part 1: Topic / Audience (Respond/Answer) How does your audience influence content and style? How will your audience judge quality? Provide examples to support your position.


Part 1: Student Response #1 (Respond to the below Student)

Latonya Fisher

Audience identification will have a significant impact upon your writing content and style. Determining your audience is the key factor in determining how broad or narrow your topic should be. When beginning your writing knowing your audience allows you to know how to approach each topic with what content should be present, the arrangement of information, and which details to include (University of Maryland Global Campus, n.d.). Mistaking your audience could cause a myriad of issues such as too little or too much information being shared and incorrect or misunderstood language. These issue can frustrate the reader and ultimately lead to the reader disengaging from your written work or the reader experience negative feeling toward the work. In many instances you could be writing an email to professional colleagues within your same field and you could reasonably assume they understand the field jargon and acronyms that may be present in your email. In this case, you would not need to add further explanation of these terms. An example that comes to mind is in my career, as a Funeral Director at the Funeral Home, when writing an email to coworkers I am able to mention that I am waiting on a DC to be signed and they will know precisely what I am implying. However, if I was sending a similar email to a family regarding their loved one I may mention that I am waiting on a Doctor to sign the death certificate to proceed. Knowing my audience in this scenario means that all parties understand the message trying to be portrayed.

Audiences will judge the quality of your written work by how well they understand the information presented and how well they believe they could reiterate the information afterward. If an overabundance of information is given to a generalized audience they may understand and digest the bare minimum of the work and still feel as though they are lacking an understanding whereas, the same information directed towards an audience of targeted academic professionals could be consumed, digested, and even regurgitated more easily.

University of Maryland Global Campus. (n.d.). Writing for an Audience: Why is My Audience Important?, Paragraph 1.  Writing for an Audience | UMGC 


Part 1: Student Response #2 (Respond to the below Student)

William Goins

No matter who you are writing for the audience will influence the writer’s content and style. If one does not fully try to understand the audience, they will not be successful in capturing their interest. Also, one must understand what is it that they are trying to do with their audience. Understanding whether they are trying to persuade, inform or entertain is also important. The audience wants a different tone style from entertainment versus an information. The audience also can sense the tone of the content and style of the material. If the tone is lacking a sense of interest, then it will make the material dull. As Dangler puts it, writing is essentially problem solving (Dangler, 119).

The audience will certainly judge the quality of whatever they are reading.  If something is poor quality the readers will know that it is. According to Dangler, the keys to successful writing are asking the questions to who, why how and what (Dangler, 119). Something that many writers leave out is being engaged with their audience (King, 2013). Being engaged shows that the audience is interested. I know from my own experience with my undergraduate capstone, that when the audience is relaxed and asks questions that shows engagement. It is also important to have in-depth knowledge about any topic and it is clear. Showing that you know more details that just the basics. Explaining in more depth about any subject will make the subject of higher quality to the audience.


King, K. P. (2013). Successful Writing: Five Road Blocks to Overcome. New Horizons in     Adult Education & Human Resource Development.


Dangler, D. (2008). Successful Writing at Work: Concise Edition. Business Communication Quarterly, 71(1), 118-121.



Part 2: Topic 2: Source Material (Respond/Answer) Source material is crucial for any essay, no matter what the purpose might be. How do you use source material to support a thesis and what are some successful techniques for avoiding plagiarism?

Part 2: Student Response #1 (Respond to the below Student)

Antonio Custodio


Sourcing material is a must for writing and avoiding plagiarism should be on any writer’s mind as the possibility of accidentally writing and plagiarizing. Some of my classmates have even touched up on it but taking notes and citing from sources and paraphrasing correctly will always help writing an essay as well as avoiding distractions and putting aside the time to finish writing so not to feel rushed in finding sources and in my opinion can lead to accidentally plagiarizing.  Finding sources not only from credible sources but within the last five years was always something I tried to do in my writing and properly citing them which I feel sounds silly but can still be a common mistake when you haven’t written in awhile.

Part 2: Student Response #2 (Respond to the below Student)

Noel Smith

Incorporating source material into papers is vitally important because it builds credibility with the reader; provides the paper with support and provides a factual basis for the paper (Stetson).  Additionally, if provides the reader with confidence that the writer has “taken an academic look” (Grand Valley) at the topic and performed some analytic rigor and research.

It is incumbent on the writer to ensure that while providing the analytical rigor to research the topic and gather source material for papers; it is also important to give proper credit to those who create that source material. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to ensure that sources are cited properly.  The three ways to cite things are; summarizing, paraphrasing, refer to data or data sets, reprint or adapt a table or long text passage and direct quotes (APA, 2020, p. 255).  No matter how you use the source material citations are vitally important to make sure that “those who exert the effort to complete their own work” (APA, 2020, p. 254) receive the proper credit.


Works Cited

APA. (2020). Publication Manual 7th Edition. American Psychological Association.

Grand Valley, S. U. (n.d.). Using Sources Effectively. Grand Valley State University.

Stetson, U. W. (n.d.). Incorporating Sources Effectively. Stetson University.

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