Welcome to this brief benefits tour of Business
Communication Essentials, Fourth Edition.
We’ve selected a dozen pages from the text to
illustrate some of the many unique features that
make BCE4 an ideal teaching and learning
resource for your business communication course.
To hear audio commentary on each page, click
Contents in Brief
[unit 1 ] BUSINESS COMMUNICATION FOUNDATIONS 3
CHAPTER 1 Understanding Business Communication in Today’s
CHAPTER 2 Mastering Interpersonal Communication 28
[ unit 2 ] THE THREE-STEP WRITING PROCESS 47
CHAPTER 3 Planning Business Messages 48
CHAPTER 4 Writing Business Messages 68
CHAPTER 5 Completing Business Messages 92
[ unit 3 ] BRIEF BUSINESS MESSAGES 115
CHAPTER 6 Crafting Messages for Electronic Media 116
CHAPTER 7 Writing Routine and Positive Messages 143
CHAPTER 8 Writing Negative Messages 172
CHAPTER 9 Writing Persuasive Messages 200
[ unit 4 ] LONGER BUSINESS MESSAGES 231
CHAPTER 10 Understanding and Planning Reports and
CHAPTER 11 Writing and Completing Reports and Proposals 260
CHAPTER 12 Developing Oral and Online Presentations 310
EMPLOYMENT MESSAGES AND JOB
[ unit 5 ] INTERVIEWS 337
CHAPTER 13 Building Careers and Writing Résumés 338
CHAPTER 14 Applying and Interviewing for Employment 365
APPENDIX A Format and Layout of Business Documents A-1
APPENDIX B Documentation of Report Sources A-20
APPENDIX C Correction Symbols A-26
Video Guide VG-1
Handbook of Grammar, Mechanics, and Usage H-1
Answer Key AK-1
Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14
Learning objectives More emphasis on drafting Comparable to BCE3 More emphasis on résumé New emphasis on the
and revising online content, fraud, résumé formatting, growing use of behavioral
principles of graphic design, and media choices for interviews
verifying the quality of visuals, résumés
and completing reports
From the Real World Retained: About the New: About removing Retained: About poorly Retained: About using the
importance of using clear barriers between the designed résumés being job interview to give
language when speaker and the tossed out without even employers a good idea of
communicating about audience being read who you are and what you
complex topics offer
Chapter content (subject areas New section on drafting New advice for The first section, “Building Reorganized information
that were added, clarified, online content anticipating and a Career with Your on common types of
expanded, streamlined, or New coverage of proposal- responding to the Communication Skills,” is interviews
updated for this edition) writing software emotional state of now in the new Prologue Added coverage of panel
Heavily revised section on presentation Revised coverage of interviews
illustrating reports with audiences employers’ approach to Situational and behavioral
effective visuals, including New advice on the employment process interviews separated as
visual literacy and six using a three-act Added information about two distinct types
principles of effective storytelling networking etiquette Added coverage of
visual design structure for New coverage of career working interviews
New coverage of data presentations objectives, qualifications Added section on
visualization summaries, and career interview media, which
summaries includes e-mail and IM,
Revised coverage of video, and online
activities and interviews
achievements Revised coverage of
Revised coverage of what employers look for
personal data and in an interview
references Replacement of the
New coverage of “Plan to Look Good”
PowerPoint and video section
résumés Revised “Discussing
Model documents and New: Data visualization New: Writing New: Effective New: Effective solicited
other exhibits using a cloud tag (Figure readable content chronological résumé application message
11.9) (Figure 12.5) (Figure 13.5) (Figure 14.1)
New: Digital image New: Slide master New: Combination
manipulation (Figure (Figure 12.6) résumé (Figure 13.6)
11.12) New: Slide sorter New: Ineffective résumé
view (Figure 12.7) design (Figure 13.7)
and support slides
End-of-chapter exercises New questions on integrating New questions on New questions on résumé New questions on
visuals and text, visual design, presentation skills, writing, networking, plain- situational and behavioral
and wiki revision ethical design choices, text and HTML formats, and interviews
and slide show qualifications summaries
Cases 2 new cases 4 new cases 2 new cases Comparable to BCE3
COURSE PLANNING GUIDE
Although Business Communication Essentials follows a traditional sequence of topics, it is struc-
tured so that you can address topics in whatever order best suits your needs. For instance, if you
want to begin by reviewing grammar, you can ask students to read Chapter 5,“Completing
Business Messages” and then the “Handbook of Grammar, Mechanics, and Usage.” Conversely, if
you want to begin with employment-related communication, you can start with the Prologue,
“Building a Career with Your Communication Skills,” followed by Chapters 13 and 14.
The following table suggests a sequence and a schedule for covering the chapters in the
textbook, with time allocations based on the total number of class hours available.
80 Unit 2: The Three-Step Writing Process
Creating Effective Sentences
Making every sentence count is a key step in creating effective messages. Start by selecting the
optimum type of sentence and then arrange words to emphasize the most important point
in each sentence.
Choosing from the Four Types of Sentences
A simple sentence has one main Sentences come in four basic varieties: simple, compound, complex, and compound-com-
plex. A simple sentence has one main clause (a single subject and a single predicate),
although it may be expanded by nouns and pronouns serving as objects of the action and by
modifying phrases. Consider this example (with the subject underlined once and the predi-
cate verb underlined twice):
Profits increased in the past year.
A compound sentence has two main A compound sentence has two main clauses that express two or more independent but
related thoughts of equal importance, usually joined by and, but, or or. In effect, a compound
sentence is a merger of two or more simple sentences (independent clauses) that are related.
Wages have declined by 5 percent, and employee turnover has been high.
The independent clauses in a compound sentence are always separated by a comma or
by a semicolon (in which case the conjunction—and, but, or or—is dropped).
A complex sentence has one main A complex sentence expresses one main thought (the independent clause) and one or
clause and one subordinate clause.
more subordinate thoughts (dependent clauses) related to it, often separated by a comma.
The subordinate thought, which comes first in the following sentence, could not stand alone:
Although you may question Gerald’s conclusions, you must admit that his research is
A compound-complex sentence has A compound-complex sentence has two main clauses, at least one of which contains a
two main clauses and at least one
dependent clause. subordinate clause:
Profits have increased in the past year, and although you may question Gerald’s conclu-
sions, you must admit that his research is thorough.
Writing is usually most effective if it To make your writing as effective as possible, strive for variety and balance using all
balances all four sentence types.
four sentence types. If you use too many simple sentences, you won’t be able to prop-
erly express the relationships among your ideas, and your writing will sound choppy
and abrupt. If you use too many long, compound sentences, your writing will sound
Using Sentence Style to Emphasize Key Thoughts
Emphasize specific parts of In every message, some ideas are more important than others. You can emphasize key ideas
through your sentence style. One obvious technique is to give important points the most
Devoting more words to them
space. When you want to call attention to a thought, use extra words to describe it. Consider
Putting them at the beginning or
at the end of the sentence
Making them the subject of the The chairperson called for a vote of the shareholders.
To emphasize the importance of the chairperson, you might describe her more fully:
Having considerable experience in corporate takeover battles, the chairperson called
for a vote of the shareholders.
You can increase the emphasis even more by adding a separate, short sentence to augment
The chairperson called for a vote of the shareholders. She has considerable experience
in corporate takeover battles.
You can also call attention to a thought by making it the subject of the sentence. In the
following example, the emphasis is on the person:
I can write letters much more quickly using a computer.
182 Unit 3: Brief Business Messages
Planning Writing Completing
Analyze the Situation Adapt to Your Audience Revise the Message
Verify that the purpose is to refuse a Adjust the level of formality based Evaluate content and review readability
warranty claim and offer alternatives; on the degree of familiarity with the to make sure the negative information
the audience’s likely reaction is audience (relatively formal is best in won’t be misinterpreted; make sure
disappointment and surprise. this case); maintain a positive your tone stays positive without being
Gather Information relationship by using the “you” artificial.
Verify warranty information and attitude, politeness, positive
emphasis, and bias-free language. Produce the Message
research alternatives to present to
Emphasize a clean, professional
Compose the Message appearance.
Select the Right Medium
Use a conversational but professional
Choose the best medium to deliver Proofread the Message
style and keep the message brief,
this message; the customer submitted Review for errors in layout, spelling,
clear, and as helpful as possible.
the claim via e-mail, so a response and mechanics.
via e-mail is appropriate.
Distribute the Message
Organize the Information
Deliver your message via e-mail.
Focus on the main idea, which is to
refuse the claim; select the indirect
approach based on the audience and
1 2 3
Buffers the bad news by
starting with a point on
which the writer and
States the bad news indirectly Subtly lets the customer
while emphasizing the know that he made a mistake,
appropriate uses of the but doesn’t blame him directly
Gives the customer options
for the next step, including
a helpful link to the
company’s website Encourages future purchasing
in a way that indicates a desire
Closes on a positive note by to help the customer avoid a
thanking the customer and repeat of this mistake
looking to the future
Pointers for Refusing Claims
• Use the buffer to indicate that you received and understand the request or complaint.
• In the body, provide an accurate, objective account of the transaction.
• Make the refusal clear without being abrupt, insulting, or accusatory.
• Maintain an impersonal tone that doesn’t offend the reader.
• Don’t apologize for refusing, since your company hasn’t done anything wrong.
• If appropriate, offer an alternative solution.
• Emphasize your continued desire for a positive relationship with the customer.
• Close with resale information if appropriate.
• Make any suggested actions easy for the reader to follow.
Figure 8.4 Effectively Refusing a Claim
Vera Shoemaker diplomatically refuses this customer’s request for a new saw blade. Without blaming the
customer (even though the customer clearly made a mistake), she points out that the saw blade is not
intended to cut steel, so the warranty doesn’t cover a replacement in this instance.
If you deal with enough customers over a long-enough period, chances are you’ll get a
request that is particularly outrageous. You may even be convinced that the person is being
dishonest. However, you must resist the temptation to call the person dishonest or incompe-
tent. If you don’t, you could be sued for defamation, a false statement that damages some-
one’s reputation. (Written defamation is called libel; spoken defamation is called slander.) To
successfully sue for defamation, the aggrieved party must prove (1) that the statement is
false, (2) that the language injures the person’s reputation, and (3) that the statement has
been communicated to others.
Handbook of Grammar,
Mechanics, and Usage
The rules of grammar, mechanics, and usage provide the answered all the questions, ask your instructor for an answer
guidance every professional needs in order to communicate suc- sheet so that you can score the test. On the Assessment of
cessfully with colleagues, customers, and other audiences. English Skills form (page H-3), record the number of questions
Understanding and following these rules helps you in two you answered incorrectly in each section.
important ways. First, the rules determine how meaning is The following choices apply to items 1–5. Write in each
encoded and decoded in the communication process. If you blank the letter of the choice that best describes the part of
don’t encode your messages using the same rules your readers or speech that is underlined.
listeners use to decode them, chances are your audiences will not
extract your intended meaning from your messages. Without a A. noun
firm grasp of the basics of grammar, mechanics, and usage, you B. pronoun
risk being misunderstood, damaging your company’s image, los- C. verb
ing money for your company, and possibly even losing your job. D. adjective
In other words, if you want to get your point across, you need to E. adverb
follow the rules of grammar, mechanics, and usage. Second, F. preposition
apart from transferring meaning successfully, following the rules G. conjunction
tells your audience that you respect the conventions and expec- H. article
tations of the business community. ____ 1. The new branch location will be decided by next
You can think of grammar as the agreed-upon structure of a week.
language, the way that individual words are formed and the ____ 2. We must hire only qualified, ambitious graduates.
manner in which those words are then combined to form mean- ____ 3. After their presentation, I was still undecided.
ingful sentences. Mechanics are style and formatting issues such ____ 4. See me after the meeting.
as capitalization, spelling, and the use of numbers and symbols. ____ 5. Margaret, pressed for time, turned in unusually
Usage involves the accepted and expected way in which specific sloppy work.
words are used by a particular community of people—in this
case, the community of businesspeople who use English. This In the blanks for items 6–15, write the letter of the word or
handbook can help you improve your knowledge and awareness phrase that best completes each sentence.
in all three areas. It is divided into the following sections:
____ 6. (A. Russ’s, B. Russ’) laptop was stolen last week.
Diagnostic Test of English Skills. Testing your current ____ 7. Speaking only for (A. me, B. myself), I think the new
knowledge of grammar, mechanics, and usage helps you policy is discriminatory.
find out where your strengths and weaknesses lie. This test ____ 8. Of the five candidates we interviewed yesterday,
offers 50 items taken from the topics included in this hand- (A. who, B. whom) do you believe is the best choice?
book. ____ 9. India has increased (A. it’s, B. its) imports of corn
Assessment of English Skills. After completing the diag- and rice.
nostic test, use the assessment form to highlight the areas ____ 10. Anyone who wants to be (A. their, B. his or her) own
you most need to review. boss should think about owning a franchise.
____ 11. If the IT department can’t (A. lie, B. lay) the fiber-
Essentials of Grammar, Mechanics, and Usage with optic cable by March 1, the plant will not open on
Practice Sessions. This section helps you quickly review schedule.
the basics. You can study the things you’ve probably already ____ 12. Starbucks (A. is, B. are) opening five new stores in
learned but may have forgotten about grammar, punctua- San Diego in the next year.
tion, mechanics (including capitalization, abbreviation, ____ 13. The number of women-owned small businesses (A.
number style, and word division), and vocabulary (includ- has, B. have) increased sharply in the past two
ing frequently confused words, frequently misused words, decades.
frequently misspelled words, and transitional words and ____ 14. Greg and Bernyce worked (A. good, B. well) together.
phrases). Practice sessions throughout this section help ____ 15. They distributed the supplies (A. among, B. between)
you test yourself and reinforce what you learn. Use this the six staff members.
essential review not only to study and improve your
English skills but also as a reference for any questions you The following choices apply to items 16–20. Write in each
may have during this course. blank the letter of the choice that best describes the sentence
structure problem with each item.
Diagnostic Test of English Skills A. sentence fragment
Use this test to determine whether you need more practice with B. comma splice
grammar, punctuation, mechanics, or vocabulary. When you’ve C. misplaced modifier H-1
6: Crafting Messages for Electronic Media 123
For the latest information on using IM in business, visit http://real-timeupdates.com/bce
and click on Chapter 6.
CREATING EFFECTIVE BUSINESS BLOGS
A blog (short for web log) is an online journal that is much easier to personalize and update Blogs have a unique ability to
than a conventional website. In a sense, a blog combines the global reach and reference value encourage interaction with a large,
geographically dispersed audience.
of a conventional website with the conversational exchanges of e-mail or IM. Good business
blogs pay close attention to several important elements:
Communicating with personal style and an authentic voice. Most business messages
designed for large audiences are carefully scripted and written in a “corporate voice” that
is impersonal and objective. In contrast, successful business blogs are written by individ-
uals and exhibit their personal style. Audiences relate to this fresh approach and often
build closer emotional bonds with the blogger’s organization as a result. For instance,
Microsoft’s Channel 9 video blog, or vlog (http://channel9.msdn.com), features
informal, personable video clips in which several of the company’s technical experts
answer questions and criticisms from software developers.25
Delivering new information quickly. Today’s blogging tools let you post new material
within minutes of writing it or filming it. Not only does this feature allow you to
respond quickly when needed—such as during a corporate crisis—it also lets your
audiences know that an active conversation is taking place. Blogs that don’t offer a con-
tinuous stream of new and interesting content are quickly ignored in today’s online
Choosing topics of peak interest to audiences. Successful blogs cover topics that
readers care about. For instance, General Motors’s popular FastLane blog (http://
fastlane.gmblogs.com) features top executives writing about GM cars and respond-
ing to questions and criticisms from car enthusiasts. The people who read the blog
and write comments obviously care about cars and want the latest information
Encouraging audiences to join the conversation. Not all blogs invite comments, Most business blogs invite readers to
although most do, and many bloggers consider comments to be an essential feature. leave comments.
Blog comments can be a valuable source of news, information, and insights. In addition,
the relatively informal nature of blogging seems to make it easier for companies to let
their guard down and converse with their audiences. To guard against comments that
are not helpful or appropriate, many bloggers review all comments and post only the
most helpful or interesting ones.
Understanding the Business Applications of Blogging
Blogs are a potential solution whenever you have a continuing stream of information to The business applications of blogs
share with an online audience—and particularly when you want the audience to have the include a wide range of internal and
external communication tasks.
opportunity to respond. Here are some of the many ways businesses are using blogs:27
Project management and team communication. Using blogs is a good way to keep pro-
ject teams up to date, particularly when team members are geographically dispersed. For
instance, the trip reports that employees file after visiting customers or other external
parties can be enhanced vividly with mobile blogs, or moblogs.
Company news. Companies can use blogs to keep employees informed about general
business matters, from facility news to benefit updates. Blogs also serve as online commu-
nity forums, giving everyone in the company a chance to raise questions and voice
Customer support. Building on the tradition of online customer support forums
that have been around since the earliest days of the Internet, customer support
6: Crafting Messages for Electronic Media 137
some say they are getting tired of all the ads—both ads on the
site itself and pop-up ads. A few say they are switching to other
websites with fewer advertising intrusions. Your site traffic 5. Legitimate and Legal: Defending Technology Sales to Chinese
numbers are holding fairly steady for now, but you’re worried Police Agencies Cisco, a leading manufacturer of computer net-
that the few visitors leaving ESPN.com might be the start of a working equipment, is one of several technology companies that
significant exodus in the future. have been criticized recently for selling high-tech equipment to
Your task Write an e-mail message to your manager, police agencies in China. After the Chinese government killed
expressing your concern about the amount of advertising con- hundreds of protestors in Tiananmen Square in 1989, U.S. offi-
tent on ESPN.com. Acknowledge that advertising is a vital cials began restricting the export of products that could be used
source of revenue but share what you’re learned about site vis- by Chinese security forces. The restrictions cover a range of low-
itors who claim to be migrating to other sites. Offer to lead a tech devices, from helmets and handcuffs to fingerprint powder
comprehensive review effort that will compare the advertising and teargas, but not certain high-tech products, such as the net-
presence on ESPN.com with that of other sports websites and working equipment that Cisco sells, which can conceivably be
explore ways to maintain strong advertising sales without used by security forces in ways that violate human rights. Critics
alienating readers.45 contend that by not restricting products such as Cisco’s, the U.S.
government is not enforcing the full intent of the restrictions.
Moreover, they suggest that Cisco could be enabling abuse. For
SKILLS example, its Chinese marketing brochure promotes the equip-
3. Must Be an Opportunity in Here Somewhere: The Growing ment’s ability to “strengthen police control.”
Market of Women Living Without Husbands For the first time in Your task Write a brief post for the Cisco executive blog that
history (aside from special situations such as major wars), more explains the following points: The company rigorously follows
than half—51 percent—of all U.S. adult women now live with- all U.S. export regulations; the company’s marketing efforts in
out a spouse. (In other words, they live alone, with roommates, China are consistent with the way it markets products to other
or as part of an unmarried couple.) Twenty-five percent have police organizations throughout the world; the products are
never married, and 26 percent are divorced, widowed, or mar- simply tools, and like all other tools, they can be applied in good
ried but living apart from their spouses. In the 1950s and into or bad ways, and responsible application is the customer’s
the 1960s, only 40 percent of women lived without a spouse, but responsibility, not Cisco’s; and if Cisco didn’t sell this equip-
every decade since, the percentage has increased. In your work ment to the Chinese government, another company from
as a consumer trend specialist for Seymour Powell (www. another country would.48
seymourpowell.com), a product design firm based in London
that specializes in the home, personal, leisure, and transporta-
tion sectors, it’s your business to recognize and respond to
demographic shifts such as this. 6. The Very Definition of Confusion: Helping Consumers Sort
Your task With a small team of classmates, brainstorm possi- Out High-Definition Television High-definition television can
ble product opportunities that respond to this trend. In an be a joy to watch—but, oh, what a pain to buy. The field is lit-
e-mail message to be sent to the management team at Seymour tered with competing technologies and arcane terminology that
Powell, list your ideas for new or modified products that might is meaningless to most consumers. Moreover, it’s nearly impos-
sell well in a society in which more than half of all adult women sible to define one technical term without invoking two or three
live without a spouse. For each idea, provide a one-sentence others, leaving consumers swimming in an alphanumeric soup
explanation of why you think the product has potential.46 of confusion. The manufacturers themselves can’t even agree
on which of the 18 different digital TV formats truly qualify as
“high definition.” As a sales support manager for Crutchfield
[ E-MAIL [ PORTFOLIO
SKILLS BUILDER (www.crutchfield.com), a leading online retailer of audio and
video systems, you understand the frustration buyers feel; your
4. Help Is on the Way: Encouraging Ford Dealers The “Big
staff is deluged daily by their questions.
Three” U.S. automakers—General Motors, Chrysler, and
Ford—haven’t had much good news to share lately. Ford, in par-
ticular, has been going through a rough time, losing billions of Your task To help your staff respond quickly to consumers
dollars and being overtaken in sales volume by Toyota. who ask questions via Crutchfield’s online IM chat service, you
are developing a set of “canned” responses to common ques-
Your task Write an e-mail message to be sent to all Ford deal- tions. When a consumer asks one of these questions, a sales
ers in North America, describing an exciting new model about advisor can simply click on the ready-made answer. Start by
to be introduced to the public. For this exercise, you can use writing concise, consumer-friendly definitions of the following
either an upcoming Ford model you have researched in the terms: resolution, HDTV, 1080p, and HDMI. (On the
automotive media or a fictitious car of your own imagination Crutchfield website, click on “Learn,”“TVs, Blu-ray & Gaming,”
(make sure it’s something that could conceivably be introduced and then “Televisions” to learn more about these terms.
by Ford).47 Answers.com and CNET.com are two other handy sources.)49
158 Unit 3: Brief Business Messages
Test Your Knowledge
1. What are three guidelines for asking a series of questions in a routine request?
2. Should you use the direct or indirect approach for most routine messages? Why?
3. What six pieces of information must be included in a letter of recommendation?
4. How can you avoid sounding insincere when writing a goodwill message?
5. What are six guidelines for writing condolence messages?
Apply Your Knowledge
1. Why is it good practice to explain that replying to a request could benefit the
2. Your company’s error cost an important business customer a new client; you know it,
and your customer knows it. Do you apologize, or do you refer to the incident in a
positive light without admitting any responsibility? Briefly explain.
3. You’ve been asked to write a letter of recommendation for an employee who worked
for you some years ago. You recall that the employee did an admirable job, but you
can’t remember any specific information at this point. Should you write the letter
4. Every time you send a direct-request memo to Ted Jackson, he delays or refuses to
comply. You’re beginning to get impatient. Should you send Jackson an e-mail message
to ask what’s wrong? Complain to your supervisor about Jackson’s uncooperative
attitude? Arrange a face-to-face meeting with Jackson? Bring up the problem at the
next staff meeting? Explain.
5. Ethical Choices You have a complaint against one of your suppliers, but you have
no documentation to back it up. Should you request an adjustment anyway? Why or
Practice Your Knowledge
Exercises for Perfecting Your Writing
Revising Messages: Direct Approach Revise the following short e-mail messages so that
they are more direct and concise; develop a subject line for each revised message.
1. I’m contacting you about your recent order for a High Country backpack. You
didn’t tell us which backpack you wanted, and you know we make a lot of different
ones. We have the canvas models with the plastic frames and vinyl trim, and we have
136 Unit 3: Brief Business Messages
Expand Your Knowledge
Exploring the Best of the Web Surfing Your Way to Career Success
Ready to Start Blogging? Blogging is easy to do if you have Bovée and Thill’s Business Communication Headline News
the right information. Start with the helpful tutorials at offers links to hundreds of online resources that can help
www.website101.com/RSS-Blogs-Blogging. More than 30 you with this course, your other college courses, and your
brief articles cover everything from creating a blog to career. Visit http://businesscommunicationblog.com and
attracting more readers to setting up RSS newsfeeds. Learn click on “Web Directory.” The Letters, Memos, E-Mail,
the techniques for adding audio and photo files to your blog. Instant Messages, Blogs, and Web Content section connects
Review how search engines treat blogs and how you can use you to a variety of websites and articles on routine, positive,
search engines to help more people find your blog. Then and negative messages; persuasive messages; letters and
answer the following questions. memos; e-mail; IM; blogging; and web writing. Identify
three websites from this section that could be useful in your
Exercises business career. For each site, write a two-sentence summary
1. What are five ways to attract more readers to your blog? of what the site offers and how it could help you launch and
2. Why are blogs good for marketing? build your career.
3. What is a newsfeed, and why is it a vital part of blogging?
Use MyBCommLab.com to test your understanding of the concepts presented in this chapter and explore additional materi-
als that will bring the ideas to life in video, activities, and an online multimedia e-book. Additionally, you can improve your
skill with prepositions, conjunctions, and articles by using the “Peak Performance Grammar and Mechanics” module within
the lab. Take the Pretest to determine whether you have any weak areas. Then review those areas in the Refresher Course. Take
the Follow-Up Test to check your grasp of prepositions, conjunctions, and articles. For an extra challenge, take the Advanced
Test. Finally, for even more reinforcement, go to the “Improve Your Grammar, Mechanics, and Usage” section that follows the
cases, and complete the “Level 1: Self-Assessment” exercises.
Apply the three-step writing process to the following cases, as assigned by your instructor.
SKILLS [ E-MAIL
1. Come on to Comic-Con: Explaining the Benefits of Attending 2. Keeping the Fans Happy: Analyzing Advertising on ESPN.com
Comic-Con International is an annual convention that high- ESPN leads the pack both online and off. Its well-known cable
lights a wide variety of pop culture and entertainment media, television sports channels are staple fare for sports enthusiasts,
from comic books and collectibles to video games and movies. and ESPN.com (http://espn.go.com) is the leader in sports
From its early start as a comic book convention that attracted websites. Advertisers flock to ESPN.com because it delivers mil-
several hundred fans and publishing industry insiders, Comic- lions of visitors in the prime 18- to 34-year-old demographic
Con has become a major international event, with more than group. With a continually refreshed offering of sporting news,
120,000 attendees. columnists, video replays, and fantasy leagues (online competi-
tions in which participants choose players for their teams, and
Your task Several readers of your pop culture blog have been the outcome is based on how well the real players do in actual
asking for your recommendation about visiting Comic-Con in live competition), ESPN.com has become one of the major
San Diego next summer. Write a two- or three-paragraph post- advertising venues on the web.
ing for your blog that explains what Comic-Con is and what As an up-and-coming web producer for ESPN.com, you’re
visitors can expect to experience at the convention. Be sure to concerned about the rumblings of discontent you’ve heard
address your posting to fans, not industry insiders. You can from friends and read in various blogs and other sources.
learn more at www.comic-con.org.44 ESPN.com remains popular with millions of sports fans, but
1 Read messages from the
authors and access over 175
media items available only to
(Students have access to their
own messages, assignments,
and media items.)
2 Click on any chapter to see
the updates and media items for
4 Subscribe via RSS to
individual chapters to get
updates automatically for the
chapter you’re currently
teaching. 3 Scan headlines and click
on any item of interest to read
the article or download the
Every item is personally
selected by the authors to
complement the text and
support in-class activities.
5 Media items are categorized
by type so you can quickly find
podcasts, videos, PowerPoints,