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Chapter 3
Improving Writing
Techniques
Formal Research Methods for
Gathering Information








Search manually (books, magazines,
journals).
Access electro...
Informal Research Methods
for Gathering Information









Look in organization
files.
Talk with your boss.
Intervi...
Format
for an
Outline
Tips for Making Outlines
Organizing
Organizing
Business
Business
Messages
Messages

DIRECT STRATEGY
DIRECT STRATEGY
Main idea comes
Main idea comes...
Organizing
Organizing
Business
Business
Messages
Messages

Explanation precedes
Explanation precedes
main idea
main idea

...
DIRECT
DIRECT
STRATEGY
STRATEGY

 Saves reader’s time
 Sets a proper frame of
mind
 Prevents frustration
 Appears busi...
DIRECT
DIRECT
STRATEGY
STRATEGY

 Receiver is receptive
 Receiver requires no
education about topic
 Message is routine...
Effective Sentences
Complete
Sentences

Clauses

Phrases

Complete sentences have subjects
and verbs and make sense
(are c...
Complete
Sentences

Clauses

Phrases

Clauses also have subjects and verbs.
 Independent clauses can stand alone.
 Depen...
Complete
Sentences

Clauses

Phrases

Phrases are groups of related
words without subjects and verbs.
phrase

phrase

In t...
Avoid
sentence
fragments.
Fragment

Even though the pay was low . Many
candidates applied.

Revision:

Even though the pay...
Avoid
sentence
fragments.

Avoid runon (fused)
sentences.

Fused Sentences

Two candidates applied only one was hired .

R...
Avoid
sentence
fragments.

Avoid runon (fused)
sentences.

Avoid
commasplice
sentences.

Comma Splice

Many were qualified...
Revise the following to avoid
fragments, run-on sentences, and
comma-splices.
You can create a Webbased job portfolio it w...
Revise the following to avoid
fragments, run-on sentences, and
comma-splices.

Although technical skills
are important.
Co...
Emphasis Through
Mechanics

Underlining:
Which of these methods do you prefer?
Italics and Boldface:
The use of boldface a...
Dashes:
Other methods–including dashes–may be used.

Tabulation: listing items vertically emphasizes
them:
1. First item
2...
Which of these
other means of
achieving
mechanical
emphasis is/are
appropriate in
business
letters ?

White space
Color
Li...
Which of these
other means of
achieving
mechanical
emphasis is/are
appropriate in
memos ?

White space
Color
Lines
Boxes
C...
Which of these
other means of
achieving
mechanical
emphasis is/are
appropriate in
e-mail
messages ?

White space
Color
Lin...
Which of these
other means of
achieving
mechanical
emphasis is/are
appropriate in
reports ?

White space
Color
Lines
Boxes...
Emphasis and Deemphasis
Through Style
To emphasize an idea








Use a vivid expression, such as in bug-free
softwar...
To deemphasize an idea




Use general, rather than specific, words
(some customers complained, rather than
125 customer...
Active- and
Passive-Voice Verbs
Active-voice verbs show the
subject performing the action.
Most major employers require dr...
In passive-voice sentences, the subject is
being acted upon. Passive-voice verbs
require helper verbs, such as is and was ...






Use the active voice for most business
writing.
Use the passive voice to emphasize an
action or the recipient of ...
Convert the following sentences to
active voice. You may have to add a
subject.

Our membership
The president postponed
me...
Convert the following sentences to
active voice. You may have to add a
subject.

Computer paper was
ordered yesterday.

Ra...
Developing Parallelism
Parallel expression results from balanced
con-struction. Match nouns with nouns, verbs
with verbs, ...
How could parallelism be improved in
the following sentence?
Our knowledge
management system
focuses on the
collecting, st...
How could parallelism be improved in
the following sentence?
We are pleased to
recommend
Elizabeth because
she has sinceri...
Dangling and
Misplaced Modifiers
For clarity, modifiers must
be close to the words they
describe or limit. Be
particularly...
Poor
By advertising
extensively, all
open jobs were
filled quickly.

Revised
By advertising
extensively, we
filled all ope...
Revise the following sentence to correct any
misplaced modifiers. Retain the introductory
phrase.
To be hired, two years
o...
Revise the following sentence to correct any
misplaced modifiers. Retain the introductory
phrase.
By advertising
extensive...
Revise the following sentence to correct
any misplaced modifiers.

To receive an
The sentence is
employment form, fill cor...
Three Ways to Achieve
Paragraph Coherence
To help guide your reader or listener from
one thought to another, develop coher...


Use a pronoun.

Considerable interest is now
being shown in our extended
certificates of deposit. They
are more profita...


Use an appropriate transitional
expression.
Time Association

before, after
first, second
meanwhile
next
until
when, wh...
Contrast
although
but
however
instead
nevertheless
on the other hand

Cause–Effect
consequently
for this reason
hence
ther...
Additional Idea
furthermore
in addition
likewise
moreover
similarly

Illustration
in this way
for example

TIP: Paragraphs...
Composing the First Draft








Complete all necessary research.
Find a quiet place to concentrate and work.
Prohi...
Business Communications Chapter 3 notes
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Transcript of "Business Communications Chapter 3 notes"

  1. 1. Chapter 3 Improving Writing Techniques
  2. 2. 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).
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. Format for an Outline
  5. 5. Tips for Making Outlines
  6. 6. Organizing Organizing Business Business Messages Messages DIRECT STRATEGY DIRECT STRATEGY Main idea comes Main idea comes first followed by first followed by details and explanations details and explanations
  7. 7. Organizing Organizing Business Business Messages Messages Explanation precedes Explanation precedes main idea main idea INDIRECT STRATEGY INDIRECT STRATEGY
  8. 8. DIRECT DIRECT STRATEGY STRATEGY  Saves reader’s time  Sets a proper frame of mind  Prevents frustration  Appears businesslike Advantages Advantages  INDIRECT INDIRECT STRATEGY STRATEGY   Respects feelings of audience Encourages a fair hearing Minimizes a negative reaction
  9. 9. DIRECT DIRECT STRATEGY STRATEGY  Receiver is receptive  Receiver requires no education about topic  Message is routine Useful When Useful When  INDIRECT INDIRECT STRATEGY STRATEGY    Receiver may be upset Receiver may be hostile Receiver must be persuaded or educated Message is sensitive
  10. 10. Effective Sentences Complete Sentences Clauses Phrases Complete sentences have subjects and verbs and make sense (are capable of standing alone). subject verb Employees send many e-mail messages .
  11. 11. Complete Sentences Clauses Phrases 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.
  12. 12. Complete Sentences Clauses Phrases Phrases are groups of related words without subjects and verbs. phrase phrase In the afternoon , I work at the mall .
  13. 13. Avoid sentence fragments. Fragment Even though the pay was low . Many candidates applied. Revision: Even though the pay was low, many candidates applied.
  14. 14. Avoid sentence fragments. Avoid runon (fused) sentences. Fused Sentences Two candidates applied only one was hired . Revisions: Two Two Two candidates candidates candidates applied. applied; applied, Only one was hired. only one was hired. but only one was hired.
  15. 15. Avoid sentence fragments. Avoid runon (fused) sentences. Avoid commasplice sentences. Comma Splice Many were qualified , Jeff was hired . Revisions: Many were qualified. Many were qualified; Many were qualified; Many were qualified, Jeff was hired. Jeff was hired. however, Jeff was hired. but Jeff was hired.
  16. 16. Revise the following to avoid fragments, run-on sentences, and comma-splices. You can create a Webbased job portfolio it will impress potential employers. You can create a Webbased job portfolio; it will impress potential employers. Send a scannable résumé. When you apply for a job. Send a scannable résumé when you apply for a job.
  17. 17. Revise the following to avoid fragments, run-on sentences, and comma-splices. 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. 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.
  18. 18. 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.
  19. 19. Dashes: Other methods–including dashes–may be used. Tabulation: listing items vertically emphasizes them: 1. First item 2. Second item 3. Third item
  20. 20. Which of these other means of achieving mechanical emphasis is/are appropriate in business letters ? White space Color Lines Boxes Columns Titles Headings Subheadings    
  21. 21. Which of these other means of achieving mechanical emphasis is/are appropriate in memos ? White space Color Lines Boxes Columns Titles Headings Subheadings    
  22. 22. Which of these other means of achieving mechanical emphasis is/are appropriate in e-mail messages ? White space Color Lines Boxes Columns Titles Headings Subheadings    
  23. 23. Which of these other means of achieving mechanical emphasis is/are appropriate in reports ? White space Color Lines Boxes Columns Titles Headings Subheadings        
  24. 24. Emphasis and Deemphasis Through Style To emphasize an idea     Use a vivid expression, such as in bug-free software rather than dependable software . Label the idea with expressions such as more importantly , the principal reason , or the best alternative . Put the important idea first or last in the sentence. Put the important idea in a simple sentence or in an independent clause.
  25. 25. To deemphasize an idea   Use general, rather than specific, words (some customers complained, rather than 125 customers complained). Place the idea in a dependent clause connected to an independent clause containing a positive idea. Although items cannot be returned for cash, you will receive store credit for any returned purchases.
  26. 26. Active- and Passive-Voice Verbs Active-voice verbs show the subject performing the action. 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)
  27. 27. In passive-voice sentences, the subject is being acted upon. Passive-voice verbs require helper verbs, such as is and was in these examples: 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)
  28. 28.    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 . . . ) .
  29. 29. Convert the following sentences to active voice. You may have to add a subject. Our membership The president postponed meeting was postponed our membership by the president. meeting. The résumés of job candidates are sorted quickly by the software program Resumix. The software program Resumix sorts résumés of job candidates quickly.
  30. 30. Convert the following sentences to active voice. You may have to add a subject. Computer paper was ordered yesterday. Rachel ordered computer paper yesterday. Drug tests are required of all new employees. The company requires drug tests for all new employees.
  31. 31. Developing Parallelism Parallel expression results from balanced con-struction. Match nouns with nouns, verbs with verbs, phrases with phrases, and clauses with clauses. Poor Training sessions have been stimulating and a challenge Parallel Training sessions have been stimulating and a challenging (match ending of verbs)
  32. 32. How could parallelism be improved in the following sentence? Our knowledge management system focuses on the collecting, storage, and sharing of best practices. Our knowledge management system focuses on the collecting, storing, and sharing of best practices.
  33. 33. How could parallelism be improved in the following sentence? We are pleased to recommend Elizabeth because she has sincerity, she is reliable, and she works with diligence. We are pleased to recommend Elizabeth because she is sincere, reliable, and diligent.
  34. 34. 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.
  35. 35. Poor By advertising extensively, all open jobs were filled quickly. Revised By advertising extensively, we filled all open jobs quickly.
  36. 36. Revise the following sentence to correct any misplaced modifiers. Retain the introductory phrase. To be hired, two years of experience is required. To be hired, one must have two years of experience. Dipped in butter, you can really enjoy a fine lobster. Dipped in butter, a fine lobster can truly be enjoyed.
  37. 37. Revise the following sentence to correct any misplaced modifiers. Retain the introductory phrase. By advertising extensively, all open jobs were filled quickly. By advertising extensively, we filled all open jobs quickly. After leaving the office, Jeff's car would not start. After leaving the office, Jeff could not start his car.
  38. 38. Revise the following sentence to correct any misplaced modifiers. To receive an The sentence is employment form, fill correct as it stands. out this application. “You” is the understood subject of (Tricky!) a command.
  39. 39. Three Ways to Achieve Paragraph Coherence 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). Next month we plan to launch a promotion for our new Web site. The promotion will involve newspaper and TV campaigns.
  40. 40.  Use a pronoun. 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.
  41. 41.  Use an appropriate transitional expression. Time Association before, after first, second meanwhile next until when, whenever
  42. 42. Contrast although but however instead nevertheless on the other hand Cause–Effect consequently for this reason hence therefore
  43. 43. Additional Idea furthermore in addition likewise moreover similarly Illustration in this way for example TIP: Paragraphs with eight or fewer printed lines look inviting and readable.
  44. 44. 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.
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