Lesson 12   Revising Business Letters
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  • 1. Lesson Twelve Revising Business Letters
  • 2. Turn in your resume . Write your name and student number on the back of the paper.
  • 3. Divide into groups of two. In other words, find one partner to work with.
  • 4. Situation One You are group of concerned citizens of Neijiang. A new factory that produces Nike shoes is planned to be opened in the summer of 2008 on the Tuo Jiang. Although you believe that the factory will increase employment and help develop the city’s economy, your homes are located next to or near the Tuo Jiang, so you are obviously concerned with the environmental effects that the factory might have on the river.
  • 5. Write a business letter to Nike’s Public Relations Department to express your concern and urge them to be environmentally conscious in the way that they run the factory.
  • 6. Address John Dorien Nike Public Relations 7395 Northwest Peach Street Atlanta, Georgia 30236 USA
  • 7. Sender’s Address Date Inside Address Salutation Body Closing
  • 8.
    • Writing for a North American Business Audience
    • Getting to the point
    • Keeping it simple
    • Using passive and active voice
    • Using nondiscriminatory language
  • 9.
    • Questions
    • Focus and Purpose
    • What is your purpose in writing the document?
    • What purpose should the document serve for your reader?
    • Is your main point stated early in the document?
    • What do you want your reader to do when s/he finishes reading the document?
  • 10. Questions Audience Is your document tailored to the needs of a specific audience (user-centered)? Are your tone and language appropriate for your audience? Will you have persuaded your reader by the end of the document?
  • 11.
    • Questions
    • Organization
    • Does your document begin by explaining your point and forecasting the communication's main ideas?
    • Your introduction should answer these three questions from the perspective of the reader:
    • What is this?
    • Why am I getting it?
    • What do you want me to do?
  • 12. Questions Organization 3. Is information arranged in order of importance to your audience? 4. Is similar information kept together? 5. Is each section organized around only one main idea? 6. Do topic sentences begin each paragraph?
  • 13.
    • Questions
    • Document Design
    • Can your readers find information where s/he expects to see it?
    • Is there any place where you can improve the readability of the document by using indentation or bullets?
  • 14.
    • Questions
    • Development
    • Do you provide enough background information for the message?
    • Have you eliminated unnecessary and/or obvious information to your audience?
  • 15. Situation Two You work in the Public Relations Department at Nike and you must respond to a letter that you just received from concerned citizens from Neijiang. After doing some research, you find out that the environmental impact on the Tuo Jiang could be very bad.
  • 16. Write a business letter in response to alleviate their concerns and assure them that Nike is doing everything possible to minimize the negative environmental effects on the Tuo Jiang. The problem is that you must be honest as you write this letter, so you must use your knowledge from last week’s lecture to write a letter that emphasizes the positives. Use the address on the letter to which you are responding.
  • 17.
    • Accentuating the Positives
    • When you need to present negative information, soften its effects by superimposing a positive picture on a negative one.
    • Stress what something is rather than what it is not.
    • Emphasize what the firm or product can and will do rather than what it cannot.
    • Open with action rather than apology or explanation.
    • Avoid words which convey unpleasant facts.
  • 18. Embedded Position Place good news in positions of high emphasis: at the beginnings and endings of paragraphs, letters, and even sentences. Place bad news in secondary positions: in the center of paragraphs, letters, and, if possible, sentences.
  • 19. Effective Use Of Space Give more space to good news and less to bad news. Evaluate the following examples to determine whether or not they present negative information favorably.