Effective Business Writing

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On how to link your writing to its purpose, how to modify your writing for different readers and audiences, and how to approach your content in a manner that supports the message type.

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Effective Business Writing

  1. 1. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Trinity College, Cambridge) Effective Business Writing
  2. 2. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Trinity College, Cambridge) Effective Business Writing KeyPoints to develop in your own time! Introductory concepts @ OxfordCambridge.Org all for free and free for all. The information gathered here are under KeyPoints format and may be use: - Either to give the reader an overview before deciding for a full scale study of the subject. - Or to guide readers in expanding their knowledge on the given topic. Some recommendations, perhaps: - Identify all the KeyPoints on which you feel a need to expand your knowledge. - Choose a good book or two and/or info from Internet. - And then work towards gaining that knowledge. Please enjoy!
  3. 3. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Trinity College, Cambridge) To introduce readers to effective business writing in order to enhance their business administrative skills Aim of publication
  4. 4. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Trinity College, Cambridge) After developing the KeyPoints outlined in this publication, you should mainly be able to: ☺ describe how to plan a communication and set the right context ☺ explain how to identify the subject, the audience, and the purpose of a document ☺ outline how to gather the relevant material ☺ identify the differences between descriptive and persuasive documents Learning Objectives
  5. 5. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Trinity College, Cambridge) ☺ explain the importance of structure, the use of headings, and the value of an executive summary ☺ understand the value of accurate spelling and grammar ☺ explain the significance of writing style ☺ outline how to write conversationally ☺ point out the importance of avoiding excessive jargon, clichés, archaic language, and negatives ☺ describe the effectiveness of using the active voice Learning Objectives
  6. 6. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Trinity College, Cambridge) ☺ Planning the communication ☺ Devising an effective structure ☺ Developing an effective style ☺ Effective Writing Effective Business Meetings - Sections list
  7. 7. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Trinity College, Cambridge) Planning the communication To show how to plan a business document.
  8. 8. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Planning the communication: Learning Objectives ☺ After completing this section you should be able to: • describe how to plan a business document
  9. 9. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Planning the communication: Summary ☺ When you are planning a business document, you need to consider its subject, its intended audience, and its purpose. ☺ You can gather information about a subject by researching it or by using techniques such as brainstorming to come up with ideas. ☺ You should consider the people who will be reading your document and decide which of their characteristics are most important to your subject matter. ☺ Most business documents fall into one of two categories • they can be descriptive and intended to convey information • or they can be persuasive and used to convince the reader to take some course of action.
  10. 10. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Planning the communication ☺ Good communication is essential in the business environment because it ensures that you put your point across in the workplace and in dealing with other businesses. ☺ Writing memos, reports, and letters are all part of working environment in businesses. ☺ Personal Computers (PCs) can make the process friendlier and easier. ☺ Still it is important to know how to write in an effective manner.
  11. 11. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Planning the communication ☺ Professional business writing is affected by its context - for instance, when using a different style for an e-mail sent to a small group of colleagues than for a letter sent to a bank manager. ☺ Therefore when planning our document, there is a need to consider the following: • the subject of the writing • the audience for which it is intended • the purpose we want it to fulfil ☺ On one hand the subject on which we are writing may already have been set - we may need to write a letter to a prospective employer, for example. ☺ On the other hand, we may have to decide the subject for ourselves. ☺ In either case we need to gather relevant material.
  12. 12. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Planning the communication ☺ One way to collect material for a document is by searching for relevant terms on the Web. ☺ We can also excellent ideas by brainstorming or free-writing - typing as many ideas and words about our subject as possible in a short period of time. ☺ If we use a word-processing program to do this, you can even paste some of these ideas and phrases into the initial draft of your document. ☺ If the subject we are dealing with is quite general, we can clarify it by asking ourselves few questions about it.
  13. 13. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) ☺ Shall we say we are writing a memo about how productivity can be increased in our organisation. ☺ We may narrow this subject down to more specific issues with questions such as what follows: • why is productivity that important? • is our situation similar to that in other organisation, and if that is the case, how have they handled productivity? • what part of the organisation is most affected by a low productivity? Planning the communication
  14. 14. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) ☺ For instance, if we are writing a work- related memo to our colleagues, we don’t usually need to consider their social backgrounds or pastimes. ☺ As our audience is very important, when possible, we should talk to the people who are going to read and use our document. ☺ This will help us to get an idea of their requirements, so that we include solely the information that is important to them. ☺ We can make our writing easier to understand for readers by creating links between our subject and facts these readers already know. ☺ Also we can use statistics and examples to illustrate our points. Planning the communication
  15. 15. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) ☺ Determining who our document should be written for is an important part of the planning. ☺ That means we should consider who our readers are and what information we can expect them to know before reading our document. ☺ For example a group of specialists requires more complex and technical information than a non-technical group. ☺ We should decide which characteristics of our target audience are relevant to our subject matter. Planning the communication
  16. 16. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) ☺ The purpose of a document, like the audience to which it is directed, should affect the way we write it. ☺ It can be said that business documents fall into two general categories, each with its own purpose: • descriptive documents: they inform readers or make suggestions • persuasive documents: which try to convince readers to take some course of action ☺ After having decided which category the document we are creating belongs to, we can determine how to achieve its purpose. Planning the communication
  17. 17. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) ☺ As an example, we have decided to create a short memo to tell our work colleagues about new developments in computer technology. ☺ This type of descriptive memo should be straight forward while including the relevant facts and maybe our opinions and comments. ☺ If we want our document to persuade the audience to carry out a task, we need to explain why they should go on with that task. ☺ We should include convincing arguments that support our position. ☺ Also we should accentuate how the course of action will benefit that audience instead of underlining possible disadvantages. Planning the communication
  18. 18. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) ☺ It is essential we find the accurate tone to use when trying to persuade readers. ☺ Appealing to our readers’ emotions is valid if we want them to make a charitable donation, but it would seem patronising or even offensive in most business situations. Planning the communication
  19. 19. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Trinity College, Cambridge) Devising an effective structure To show how to devise an effective structure for your document.
  20. 20. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Devising an effective structure: Objectives ☺ After completing this section you should be able to: • discuss ways of structuring and drafting business documents
  21. 21. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Devising an effective structure: Summary ☺ Word-processing programs are particularly useful when you are structuring a document, because they let you change it easily and save several versions of that document. ☺ There are a number of ways in which you can organise your document. ☺ If it is relatively short, a simple list of your main points can work well. ☺ A chronological structure may be useful for a descriptive document, while a deductive structure may be better for a persuasive one. ☺ Whichever structure you decide to use, you should always place the most important facts at the start of your document.
  22. 22. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Devising an effective structure: Summary ☺ You can improve the quality of your writing by using a number of drafts to refine your documents. ☺ After creating a draft, you should set it aside for a while before you review it or you should have someone else review that draft for you.
  23. 23. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Trinity College, Cambridge) Developing an effective style To show how to use an effective writing style.
  24. 24. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Developing an effective style: Objectives ☺ After completing this section you should be able to: • discuss how to develop an effective writing style
  25. 25. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Developing an effective style: Summary ☺ If possible, you should try to make your writing style conversational. ☺ To do this, you should where possible use smaller, more familiar words instead of obscure, complex ones. ☺ You should also try to avoid using very long sentences, jargon, clichés, or outdated language. ☺ Because people respond better to positive facts, you should emphasize positive rather than negative facts in your writing. ☺ It is also important to avoid using language that demeans anyone’s race, religion, or gender.
  26. 26. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Developing an effective style: Summary ☺ Language structure and grammar are important elements of style. ☺ For example, you can make your writing easier to understand by breaking it into coherent paragraphs and varying the length of the sentences you use. ☺ Because it emphasizes the do-er of an action, using the active voice also makes your writing more accessible.
  27. 27. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Trinity College, Cambridge) Writing effectively To show how to write effective memos and letters.
  28. 28. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Writing effectively: Objectives ☺ After completing this section you should be able to • discuss how to create effective memos and letters
  29. 29. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Writing effectively: Summary ☺ There are specific rules and formats that you should apply to documents such as business memos and letters. ☺ Memos consist of a number of sections - the header, the body, a conclusion, and any relevant attachments. ☺ In the header section you should include your own name, the full names of the people to whom you’re sending the memo, the date, and a description of the memo’s subject. ☺ In the body of your memo you first establish why you’re writing, then make your points, and finally state your conclusion. ☺ Because they are usually sent to people outside your own company, business letters are more formal than memos.
  30. 30. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford) Writing effectively: Summary ☺ You should include your own address as well as that of the person to whom you’re sending the letter. ☺ Your letter should begin with a formal greeting and end with a closing statement. You should type your name at the bottom of the letter and also include your signature.
  31. 31. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Trinity College, Cambridge)
  32. 32. Contact Email Design Copyright 1994-2013 © OxfordCambridge.OrgCommunication - Effective Business Writing (This picture: Harcourt Hill, West Oxford)

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