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Essentials of Business Communication
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Essentials of Business Communication

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  • 1. CHAPTER 3 Improving Writing Techniques
  • 2. The Writing Process
  • 3. Formal Research Methods for Gathering Information
    • Search manually (books, magazines, journals).
    • Access electronically (Internet, databases, compact discs).
    • Go to the source (interviews, surveys, questionnaires, focus groups).
    • Conduct scientific experiments (measure variables using control groups).
  • 4. Informal Research Methods for Gathering Information
    • Look in organization files.
    • Talk with your boss.
    • Interview the target audience.
    • Conduct an informal survey.
    • Brainstorm for ideas.
  • 5. Format for an Outline
  • 6. Tips for Making Outlines
  • 7. Organizing Business Messages Main idea comes first followed by details and explanations DIRECT STRATEGY
  • 8.  
  • 9. Organizing Business Messages Explanation precedes main idea INDIRECT STRATEGY
  • 10.  
  • 11. Advantages DIRECT STRATEGY
    • Saves reader’s time
    • Sets a proper frame of mind
    • Prevents frustration
    • Appears businesslike
    INDIRECT STRATEGY
    • Respects feelings of audience
    • Encourages a fair hearing
    • Minimizes a negative reaction
  • 12. Useful When DIRECT STRATEGY
    • Receiver is receptive
    • Receiver requires no education about topic
    • Message is routine
    INDIRECT STRATEGY
    • Receiver may be upset
    • Receiver may be hostile
    • Receiver must be persuaded or educated
    • Message is sensitive
  • 13. Effective Sentences
    • subject verb
    • Employees send many e-mail messages .
    Complete sentences have subjects and verbs and make sense (are capable of standing alone). Complete Sentences Phrases Clauses
  • 14.
    • Clauses also have subjects and verbs.
    • Independent clauses can stand alone.
    • Dependent clauses rely on independent clauses for their meaning.
    dependent clause independent clause When you speak , you reveal yourself. Complete Sentences Phrases Clauses
  • 15.
    • Phrases are groups of related
    • words without subjects and verbs.
    phrase phrase In the afternoon , I work at the mall . Complete Sentences Phrases Clauses
  • 16.
    • Fragment
    • Even though the pay was low . Many candidates applied.
    • Revision:
    • Even though the pay was low, many candidates applied.
    Avoid sentence fragments.
  • 17.
    • Fused Sentences
    • Two candidates applied only one was hired .
    Revisions: Two candidates applied. Only one was hired. Two candidates applied; only one was hired. Two candidates applied, but only one was hired. Avoid sentence fragments. Avoid run- on (fused) sentences.
  • 18.
    • Comma Splice
    • Many were qualified , Jeff was hired .
    Revisions: Many were qualified. Jeff was hired. Many were qualified; Jeff was hired. Many were qualified; however, Jeff was hired. Many were qualified, but Jeff was hired. Avoid sentence fragments. Avoid comma- splice sentences. Avoid run- on (fused) sentences.
  • 19. Revise the following to avoid fragments, run-on sentences, and comma-splices. You can create a Web-based job portfolio; it will impress potential employers. Send a scannable résumé when you apply for a job. Quick Check You can create a Web-based job portfolio it will impress potential employers.
    • Send a scannable résumé. When you apply for a job.
  • 20. Although technical skills are important, communication skills are also in great demand. College used to be for young people; however, many older students now seek degrees. Revise the following to avoid fragments, run-on sentences, and comma-splices. Quick Check Although technical skills are important. Communication skills are also in great demand.
    • College used to be for young people, however many older students now seek degrees.
  • 21. Revise the following to avoid fragments, run-on sentences, and comma-splices. Technology is changing the business world. People are writing more messages than ever before. OR: Technology is changing the business world; people are . . . . Technology is changing the business world people are writing more messages than ever before. Quick Check
  • 22. Revise the following to avoid fragments, run-on sentences, and comma-splices. Executives are busy. They won't read wordy messages and reports. OR: Executives are busy; they won't read . . . . Executives are busy, they won't read wordy messages and reports. Quick Check
  • 23. Emphasis Through Mechanics
    • Underlining:
    • Which of these methods do you prefer?
    Italics and Boldface: The use of boldface and italics captures the reader’s attention. All Caps: Notice how EXPENSE-FREE stands out.
  • 24.
    • Tabulation: listing items vertically emphasizes them:
    • 1. First item
    • 2. Second item
    • 3. Third item
    Dashes: Other methods–including dashes–may be used.
  • 25.
    • Active-voice verbs show the subject performing the action.
    Active- and Passive-Voice Verbs
    • Most major employers require drug testing.
      • (Active voice; the subject is acting)
    • Dr. Smith recommended Tina for the job.
      • (Active voice; the subject is acting)
  • 26.
    • Drug testing is required by most major employers.
    • (Passive voice; the subject is being acted upon)
    • Tina was recommended for the job by Dr. Smith.
    • (Passive voice; the subject is being acted upon)
    In passive-voice sentences, the subject is being acted upon. Passive-voice verbs require helper verbs, such as is and was in these examples:
  • 27.
    • Use the active voice for most business writing.
    • Use the passive voice to emphasize an action or the recipient of the action–rather than the actor ( Specialists were hired; Laura was honored ) .
    • Use the passive voice to break bad news ( Although your lease cannot be renewed, we can offer . . . ) .
  • 28. Convert the following sentences to active voice. You may have to add a subject. The president postponed our membership meeting. The software program Resumix sorts résumés of job candidates quickly. Quick Check Our membership meeting was postponed by the president. The résumés of job candidates are sorted quickly by the software program Resumix.
  • 29. Convert the following sentences to active voice. You may have to add a subject. The manager gave us our orders. Employees use our intranet to complete forms. Quick Check We were given our orders by the manager. Our intranet is used by employees to complete forms.
  • 30. Convert the following sentences to passive voice. Your merchandise shipment must be delayed because of heavy demand. Our plan was rejected by management. Quick Check We must delay shipment of your merchandise because of heavy demand. Management rejected our plan.
  • 31. Developing Parallelism
    • Parallel expression results from balanced con-struction. Match nouns with nouns, verbs with verbs, phrases with phrases, and clauses with clauses.
    Training sessions have been stimulat- ing and a challenge. Training sessions have been stimulat- ing and challenging. (Matching endings of verbals) Poor Parallel
  • 32. We are very concerned with the quality of raw materials, where they are located, and how much it costs to transport them. We are very concerned with the quality, location, and transportation costs of raw materials. (Matching nouns) Poor Parallel
  • 33. Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
    • For clarity, modifiers must be close to the words they describe or limit. Be particularly careful to place a logical subject immediately after an introductory verbal phrase.
  • 34. Any student has full online privileges who is enrolled in the college. Any student who is enrolled in the college has full online privileges. Poor Revised
  • 35. It’s hard to under- stand why employees would not go to our technical support staff with software problems. It’s hard to under- stand why employees with software problems would not go to our technical support staff. Poor Revised
  • 36. Revise the following sentence to correct any misplaced modifiers. Retain the introductory phrase. At the age of 88, she died in the house in which she was born. Despite Mark's paralysis, doctors hoped that he would walk again. Quick Check She died in the house in which she was born at the age of 88. Despite being paralyzed, doctors hoped that Mark would walk again.
  • 37. Three Ways to Achieve Paragraph Coherence
    • Next month we plan to launch a promotion for our new Web site. The promotion will involve newspaper and TV campaigns.
    To help guide your reader or listener from one thought to another, develop coherence by using one of these devices:
    • Repeat a key idea or key word(s).
  • 38.
    • Considerable interest is now being shown in our extended certificates of deposit. They are more profitable when left on deposit for long periods of time.
    • Use a pronoun.
  • 39.
      • Time Association
      • before, after
      • first, second
      • meanwhile
      • next
      • until
      • when, whenever
    • Use an appropriate transitional expression.
  • 40.
    • Cause–Effect
    • consequently
    • for this reason
    • hence
    • therefore
      • Contrast
      • although
      • but
      • however
      • instead
      • nevertheless
      • on the other hand
  • 41. Composing the First Draft
    • Complete all necessary research.
    • Find a quiet place to concentrate and work.
    • Prohibit calls, visitors, and interruptions.
    • Organize information using an outline.
    • Decide whether to sprint write (get your thoughts down quickly and revise later) or revise as you go.
    • Imagine you are talking to a reader or listener.