Chapter 4
Revising and Proofreading Business
Messages
Revising

Improving content and
Improving content and
sentence structure—may
sentence structure—may
involve adding,
involv...
Memo Revised for Conciseness
Concise Wording
Revise your messages to eliminate wordiness.
Instead of this

Try this

We are of the opinion that

We thi...
Clichés
Clichés

Slang
Slang

Wordy
Wordy
Prepositional
Prepositional
Phrases
Phrases

Long
Long
Lead-Ins
Lead-Ins

Concis...
Wordy Prepositional Phrases
Instead of this

Try this

We don’t as a general

We don’t generally cash
personal checks.

ru...
Long Lead-Ins
Instead of this

Try this

This memo is to inform
you that all employees
meet today.

All employees meet
tod...
Outdated Expressions
Outdated

Modern

as per your request

at your request

pursuant to your request

at your request

at...
Needless Adverbs
To sound more credible and to streamline
your writing, avoid excessive use of adverbs
such as definitely,...
Fillers
Revise sentences to avoid fillers such as there
and it when used merely to take up space.
Instead of this

Try thi...
Revise the following sentences to avoid a long
lead-ins, wordy prepositional phrases, outdated
expressions, needless adver...
Revise the following sentences to achieve
conciseness.
Pursuant to your request,
there are two contracts that
are attached...
Redundant Words
Avoid unnecessarily repetitious words. What
words could be omitted in these expressions?
advance warning
c...
Jargon
Avoid technical terms and special terminology
that readers would not recognize.
Computer jargon
queue

Alternative ...
Slang
Avoid slang (informal expressions with
arbitrary or extravagantly changed meanings).
to “bag on”
clueless
turkey
chi...
Slang
An example from the world of Dilbert:
Clichés
Avoid clichés (overused expressions).
Substitute more precise words.
Instead of this

Try this

Last but not least...
Revise the following sentence to avoid slang,
clichés, and redundancies.
Ms. Miller, who shoots
straight from the shoulder...
Uses
Uses
Precise
Precise
Verbs
Verbs

Includes
Includes
Vivid
Vivid
Adjectives
Adjectives

The Best
The Best
Business
Bus...
Precise Verbs
Revise your writing to include precise verbs
instead of general, lackluster, all-purpose ones.

Market resea...
Please contact their
sales rep today.
What more precise verbs
could replace contact?

Please telephone their sales rep
tod...
Buried Verbs
Revise verbs that have been converted to
nouns.

Tip

Look for words ending in
Look for words ending in
tion ...
Instead of this

Try this

The manager came to
the realization that
telecommuting made
sense.
A job seeker must

The manag...
Instead of this

Try this

Once we have the
establishment of a
Web site, our
business will grow.
Please give serious
consi...
Revise the following sentences by using more
precise verbs or by centering the action in a verb.
The seller said he would
...
Revise the following sentences centering the
action in the verb.
Please make an
assessment of the
home's value.
Ann made a...
Concrete Nouns
Revise your writing to include specific, concrete
nouns instead of general, abstract ones.
Instead of this
...
Vivid Adjectives
Revise your writing to include descriptive,
dynamic adjectives instead of overworked,
all-purpose ones.
I...
What to Watch for
in Proofreading
• Spelling
• Grammar
• Punctuation
• Names and numbers
• Format
Proofreading Marks
How to Proofread
Complex Documents
Allow adequate time.
Print a copy, preferably double-spaced.
Be prepared to find errors...
For documents that must be perfect:
• Have someone read aloud the original
while someone else checks the printout.
• Spell...
Business Communications Chapter 4 notes
Business Communications Chapter 4 notes
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Business Communications Chapter 4 notes

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