BS 150: Chapter 5 Chapter 4: Revising Business Messages
What is Revising? Revising: improving the content and sentence structure of your message It may include adding, cutting, recasting, reformatting, and redesigning what you’ve written Proofreading: involves improving the grammar, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics of your messages The revision stage is your chance to make sure your message is clear, forceful, and readable In the revision process, look for shorter ways to say what you mean
Eliminating Flabby Expressions Turning out slim sentences and lean messages means that you will strive to “trim the fat” Example Flabby: Due to the fact that sales are booming, profits are good Example Trim: Because sales are booming, profits are good
Delete Unnecessary Introductory Words Another way to create concise sentences is to delete unnecessary introductory words Example: I am sending you this email to announce that a new manager has been hired More concise version: A new manager has been hired
Dropping Unnecessary There is/are and It is/was Fillers In many sentences the expressions there is/are and it is/was function as unnecessary fillers These fillers delay getting to the point of the sentence Recast the sentence Ex: There is only one candidate who passed the test Recast: Only one candidate passed the test Get rid of redundancies (convey a meaning more than once) Example: absolutely essential, adequate enough, each and every, exactly identical, combined together, etc.
Revising for Clarity Improve clarity through dumping trite business phrases and avoiding slang, jargon and cliches No stale expressions: “As per your request”, “Every effort will be made”, “In receipt of”, “With reference to”, “Please do not hesitate to”, “Thank you in advance” Jargon: special terminology that is peculiar to particular activities or professions (every field has its own special vocabulary) Slang: composed of informal words with arbitrary and extravagantly changed meanings; slang words go quickly out of fashion Cliches: expressions that have become exhausted by overuse; many cannot be explained,e sp. To those who are new to our culture
Revising for Vigor and Directness Clear, effective business writing reads well and is immediately understood You can strengthen the vigor and directness of your writing by unburying verbs, controlling exuberance, and choosing precise words Buried verbs: those that are needlessly converted to wordy noun expressions (such nouns often end in –tion, -ment, and –ance); avoid words like acquisition, establishment, and development Occasionally we show our exuberance with words such as very, definitely, quite, completely, extremely, really, actually and totally (overuse sounds unbusinesslike) Choose clear, precise words
Designing Documents for Readability Success document design improves readability, strengthens comprehension, and enhances your image Empty space on a page is called white space A page crammed full of text or graphics appears busy, cluttered and unreadable Margins determine the white space on the left, right, top and bottom of a block of type Business docs are most readable with left aligned text and ragged right margins When right margins are “ragged” – that is, without alignment or justification- they provide more white space and improve readability
Choosing Appropriate Typefaces A typeface defines the shape of text characters For most business messages, you should choose from serif or sans serif (ex: Times New Roman, Arial) Font: a specific typeface in a specific style Fonts include caps, boldface, italic, underline, outline and shadow
Numbering & Bulleting Lists for Quick Comprehension Improve the “skim” value of a message by adding high visibility vertical lists Numbered lists represent sequences; bulleted lists highlight items that may not show a sequence Headings help writers organize information and enable readers to absorb important ideas
Understanding the Process of Proofreading Proofreading before a document is completed is generally a waste of time Careful proofreaders check for problems in these areas: 1) Spelling, 2) Grammar, 3) Punctuation, 4) Names and numbers, and 5) Format (be sure that letters, printed memos, and reports are balanced on the page)
How to Proofread Complex Documents Print a copy, preferably double spaced, and set it aside for at least a day Allow adequate time to proofread carefully Be prepared to find errors Read the message at least twice Reduce your reading speed; concentrate on individual words rather than ideas Use standard proofreading marks
Homework Complete the Writing Improvement Exercises on pages 89-92 (#16-55) Read Chapter 5 and be prepared for a quiz on Chapter 5 Be prepared for Individual Presentation # 2 (see the next slide)
Individual Presentation # 2 You will be asked to present a 5-7 minute presentation on the following topic: In the beginning of Chapter 4, Ethics was discussed. Give a 5-7 minute formal presentation on Scenario 2: Training program (see page 74). In your presentation, discuss the pros and cons of this employee participating in the program to Hawaii. Be sure to express your thesis on whether or not the employee in question should go.