Putting IPACE into practice - Understanding the nature of an assignment

Success in Academic Writing - Trevor Day 2018

Putting IPACE into practice
Understanding the nature of an assignment

The next time you have something significant to write, work through items 1-5 below in about 15 minutes to clarify what you are seeking to do, why you are doing it and how you might accomplish it. Further chapters within the book will then enable you to explore any part of the overall writing process in more depth. If you cannot answer all the questions or prompts to your satisfaction, this might indicate areas where you need to obtain further clarification or support.


Figure 2.2 The key questions to ask yourself when using IPACE

Early in your academic career you may not be able to answer all the questions in Figure 2.2 to your satisfaction. But as you progress through your undergraduate programme you should find it easier.

When to use IPACE

You do not need to use IPACE for every assignment you do. It is most appropriate for those assignments you think will be most challenging or with which you are least familiar.

Key points in the chapter

1The IPACE model (identity, purpose, audience, code and experience) is a planning tool that systematically focuses attention on the various aspects of a writing task so that you can complete the task more effectively and with a greater likelihood of success.

2Identity concerns the persona you use, or aspire to use, when writing in a given context. Identity shapes your writing to meet its purpose and audience.

3Purpose is considered from three perspectives: the intention of the assessor in setting the assignment, your intention in terms of what the intended reader will gain from your writing, and the benefits for you in completing the assignment.

4Audience (or readership) refers to the people for whom you are writing and who will read, and perhaps assess, your work. An assessor may take on a particular persona, such as that of a member of the public, when assessing your writing.

5Code refers to format, structure and writing style, and is shaped by the writer’s identity in responding to the purpose of, and audience for, a given writing assignment.

6Experience is what you are bringing to a writing task in terms of the knowledge, skills and attitudes for the content of the writing and the process of creating it in its final form.

7By using the IPACE model you can better prepare yourself for a writing task, completing it in a timely manner and with less likelihood for error.

Cited references

Hickman, D. E. and Jacobson, S. (1997). The POWER Process: An NLP Approach to Writing. Carmarthen: Crown House Publishing.

Hyland, K. (2016). Teaching and Researching Writing. 3rd edn. Abingdon: Routledge.

Answer for Chapter 2

Activity 2.4: Aspects of style

(d)best describes the style of writing used: Written in the third person in a formal style, with relevant technical knowledge assumed on the part of the reader.