Sometimes a concept gets labelled with more acronyms than people know what to do with. Everybody knows a different ‘name’ for the same thing. We make up our own. We get lost in a sea of made-up jargon.
No, this post is not about preparation. Most members of Toastmasters will recognise PREP as a format for speaking. Everyone else may recognise it as getting ready (preparation). But PREP is also great for writing blogs or essays. Having just finished a degree, I should have been using PREP at the start of my course. It’s as easy as:
Point: of view or idea
Example: of the point in action
Why is this acronym getting so much attention in this blog? Because it is so much better than the one a particularly youthful lecturer uses. Every single class taught by this person at university were reminded the same rule: alter it before telling your younger siblings about it. Is it unprofessional, or just mucking around? Remember to read this one vertically:
Statement: of the point of view or the idea.
Explanation: of why the point matters or why the idea will work.
X-ample: or example, to illustrate how the idea would work in reality.
There are alternatives. As good as they are, I would like to simplify it more. Tam suggests a new acronym in her blog with some help from Prezi. However, it looks a bit more complicated than PREP. “SKEEPSGG”stands for statement, keyword, explanation, example, personal statement, generalisation, globalisation. “SKEEPSGG” looks quite helpful. And this blogger knows more about learning. But there are other options. Then Bored of Studies lists a couple more options “PEAL (Point, Evidence, Analysis, Link), PACT (Purpose, Analysis, Context, Techniques)”. They’re great too – but why remember two acronyms when you can use one? Let’s keep it simple.
In the spirit of keeping it clean and understandable, don’t get bogged down in jargon. Just PREP (and prepare too).