Ch 4: Revising

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Ch 4: Revising

  1. 1. CHAPTER 4 Revising and Proofreading Business Messages
  2. 2. The Writing Process
  3. 3. Improving content and sentence structure—may involve adding, cutting, recasting Correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, format, and mechanics Proofreading Revising
  4. 4. Memo Revised for Conciseness
  5. 5. Concise Wording Revise your messages to eliminate wordiness. Try this We think Please Also Now Although Despite the fact that At this point in time In addition to the above Please feel free to We are of the opinion that Instead of this
  6. 6. Clichés Slang Jargon Redundant Words Fillers Needless Adverbs Outdated Expressions Long Lead-Ins Wordy Prepositional Phrases Concise Writing Eliminates
  7. 7. Wordy Prepositional Phrases Try this We don’t generally cash personal checks. Students seldom get parking tickets. She calls monthly meetings. She calls meetings on a monthly basis . Students in very few instances receive parking tickets. We don’t as a general rule cash personal checks. Instead of this
  8. 8. Long Lead-Ins Try this All employees meet today. Thanks to everyone who voted. I am writing this letter to say thanks to everyone who voted. This memo is to inform you that all employees meet today. Instead of this
  9. 9. Outdated Expressions Modern at your request at your request attached separately under separate cover attached hereunto pursuant to your request as per your request Outdated
  10. 10. Needless Adverbs <ul><li>Try this </li></ul><ul><li>The manager is pleased with your proposal because the plan is workable . </li></ul>To sound more credible and to streamline your writing, avoid excessive use of adverbs such as definitely , quite , really , and actually . The manager is actually quite pleased with your proposal because the plan is definitely workable. Instead of this
  11. 11. Fillers Revise sentences to avoid fillers such as there and it when used merely to take up space. Try this Two employees should be promoted. Lisa and Jeff were honored. It was Lisa and Jeff who were honored. There are two employees who should be promoted. Instead of this
  12. 12. Revise the following sentences to avoid a long lead-ins, wordy prepositional phrases, outdated expressions, needless adverbs, fillers, and/or other forms of wordiness. We will probably finish in two weeks. Many brokers are certain that these stocks are safe. Quick Check This e-mail message is to inform you that in all probability we will actually finish in two weeks. There are many brokers who are quite certain that these stocks are completely safe.
  13. 13. Revise the following sentences to achieve conciseness. As you requested, two contracts are attached. Generally, employees may not use computers for personal activities. Quick Check Pursuant to your request, there are two contracts that are attached hereto. All employees are hereby informed that as a general rule computers may not be used for activities that are personal.
  14. 14. Redundant Words <ul><li>advance warning </li></ul><ul><li>close proximity </li></ul><ul><li>exactly identical </li></ul><ul><li>filled to capacity </li></ul><ul><li>final outcome </li></ul><ul><li>necessary requisite </li></ul><ul><li>new beginning </li></ul><ul><li>past history </li></ul><ul><li>refer back </li></ul><ul><li>serious danger </li></ul>Avoid unnecessarily repetitious words. What words could be omitted in these expressions?
  15. 15. Jargon <ul><li>Computer jargon </li></ul><ul><li>queue </li></ul><ul><li>export </li></ul><ul><li>bandwidth </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative language </li></ul><ul><li>list of documents waiting to be printed </li></ul><ul><li>transfer data from one program to another </li></ul><ul><li>Internet capacity </li></ul>Avoid technical terms and special terminology that readers would not recognize. Is jargon ever permissible?
  16. 16. Slang <ul><li>to “bag on” </li></ul><ul><li>clueless </li></ul><ul><li>turkey </li></ul><ul><li>chill/chill out </li></ul><ul><li>to tease, to nag, or to complain </li></ul><ul><li>unaware, naïve </li></ul><ul><li>someone stupid or silly </li></ul><ul><li>relax </li></ul>Avoid slang (informal expressions with arbitrary or extravagantly changed meanings).
  17. 17. Slang An example from the world of Dilbert:
  18. 18. Clichés Avoid clichés (overused expressions). Substitute more precise words. Try this Finally , you should work diligently . We could go no further . We had reached the end of our rope . Last but not least , you should keep your nose to the grindstone . Instead of this
  19. 19. Revise the following sentence to avoid slang, clichés, and redundancies. Ms. Miller, who is straightforward, demanded completion by January 1. Ms. Miller, who shoots straight from the shoulder, demanded final completion by January 1. Quick Check
  20. 20. Revise the following sentences to avoid slang, clichés, and redundancies. Finally, the attorney referred to an identical case. With warning, we could have sold out before our stocks hit bottom. Quick Check Last but not least, the attorney referred back to an exactly identical case. With a little advance warning, we could have sold out before our stocks tanked.
  21. 21. 0 Includes Vivid Adjectives Uses Concrete Nouns Avoids Wordy Verb/Noun Conversions Uses Precise Verbs The Best Business Writing
  22. 22. Precise Verbs <ul><li>Revise your writing to include precise verbs instead of general, lackluster, all-purpose ones. </li></ul>Market researchers forecasted improved sales. Market researchers promised improved sales. Market researchers predicted improved sales. Market researchers said that sales would improve. What more precise verbs could replace said ?
  23. 23. Please contact their sales rep today. What more precise verbs could replace contact ? Please telephone their sales rep today. Please fax their sales rep today. Please e-mal their sales rep today.
  24. 24. Buried Verbs <ul><li>Revise verbs that have been converted to nouns. </li></ul>Look for words ending in tion or ment . Could they be more efficiently and forcefully converted to verbs? Tip
  25. 25. Try this The manager realized that telecommuting made sense. A job seeker must apply before May 1. A job seeker must make applica tion before May 1. The manager came to the realiza tion that telecommuting made sense. Instead of this
  26. 26. Try this Once we establish a Web site, our business will grow. Please seriously consider a company intranet. Please give serious considera tion to a company intranet. Once we have the establish ment of a Web site, our business will grow. Instead of this
  27. 27. Revise the following sentences by using more precise verbs or by centering the action in a verb. The seller promised to e-mail [telephone or fax] you. We must encourage our team. Consumers prefer buttered popcorn. Quick Check The seller said he would contact you. We must give encourage-ment to our team. Consumers show a preference for buttered popcorn.
  28. 28. Revise the following sentences centering the action in the verb. Please assess the home's value. Ann suggested that we hire Lee. Quick Check Please make an assessment of the home's value. Ann made a suggestion that we hire Lee.
  29. 29. Concrete Nouns <ul><li>Revise your writing to include specific, concrete nouns instead of general, abstract ones. </li></ul>Try this Jeff Jones asked for a 10 percent salary increasey . Kelly Keeler , production manager , presented a plan to stagger hour . An employee presented a proposal . The man asked for a raise. Instead of this
  30. 30. Vivid Adjectives Revise your writing to include descriptive, dynamic adjectives instead of overworked, all-purpose ones. Try this The report was persuasive (or detailed , original , thorough ). Possible revisions? The report was bad . The report was good . Instead of this
  31. 31. What to Watch for in Proofreading <ul><li>Spelling </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Punctuation </li></ul><ul><li>Names and numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Format </li></ul>
  32. 32. Proofreading Marks
  33. 34. How to Proofread Complex Documents <ul><li>Allow adequate time. </li></ul><ul><li>Print a copy, preferably double-spaced. </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to find errors. </li></ul><ul><li>Read once for meaning and once for grammar/mechanics. </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce your reading speed. </li></ul>
  34. 35. <ul><li>Have someone read aloud the original while someone else checks the printout. </li></ul><ul><li>Spell names. </li></ul><ul><li>Spell difficult words. </li></ul><ul><li>Note capitalization. </li></ul><ul><li>Note punctuation. </li></ul>For documents that must be perfect:

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