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Chapter 3

Improving Writing techniques

Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition

Ch. 3–1
Formal Research Methods
for Gathering Information
• Search manually (books, magazines,
journals).
• Access electronically ...
Informal Research Methods
for Gathering Information
• Look in organization files.
• Talk with your boss.
• Interview the t...
Organize Information
With an Outline
Title
I. First major component
A. First subpoint
1. Detail, illustration, evidence
2....
Organize Information
With an Outline
II. Second major component
A. First subpoint
1. Detail, illustration, evidence
2. Det...
Organize Information
With an Outline
Tips:
•
•
•
•

Define main topic in title.
Divide the topic into three to five main p...
Organizing Business Messages
Direct Strategy
Main idea comes first
followed by details and
explanations

Indirect Strategy...
Organizing Business Messages
Direct Strategy

Indirect Strategy

Advantages:

Advantages:

• Saves reader’s time

• Respec...
Organizing Business Messages
Direct Strategy

Indirect Strategy

Useful when:

Useful when:

• Receiver is receptive

• Re...
Effective Sentences
Complete sentences have subjects and
verbs and make sense (are capable of
standing alone).
Example:
Su...
Effective Sentences
Clauses also have subjects and verbs.
Independent clauses can stand alone;
dependent clauses rely on i...
Effective Sentences
Phrases are groups of related words
without subjects and verbs.
Example:
Phrase

Phrase

In the aftern...
Effective Sentences
Avoid sentence fragments.
Fragment

Even though the pay was low. Many candidates
applied.

Revision:
E...
Effective Sentences
Avoid run-on (fused) sentences.
Fused Sentences

Two candidates applied only one was hired.

Revisions...
Effective Sentences
Avoid comma-splice sentences.
Comma Splice

Many were qualified, Jeff was hired.

Revisions:
Many were...
Try Your Skill
Revise the following to avoid fragments,
run-on sentences, and comma-splices.
• You can create a Web-based ...
Try Your Skill
Revise the following to avoid fragments,
run-on sentences, and comma-splices.
• Send a scannable résumé. Wh...
Try Your Skill
Revise the following to avoid fragments,
run-on sentences, and comma-splices.
• Although technical skills a...
Try Your Skill
Revise the following to avoid fragments,
run-on sentences, and comma-splices.
• College used to be for youn...
Emphasis Through Mechanics
Underlining:
Which of these methods do you prefer?

Essentials of Business Communication, Asian...
Emphasis Through Mechanics
Italics and Boldface:
The use of boldface and italics captures the
reader’s attention.

Essenti...
Emphasis Through Mechanics
All Caps:
Notice how EXPENSE-FREE stands out.

Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edit...
Emphasis Through Mechanics
Dashes:
Other methods–including dashes–may be
used.

Essentials of Business Communication, Asia...
Emphasis Through Mechanics
Tabulation:
Listing items vertically emphasizes them:
1. First item
2. Second item
3. Third ite...
Emphasis Through Mechanics
• Other means of achieving mechanical
emphasis include the following: use of
white space, color...
Emphasis and Deemphasis
Through Style
• To emphasize an idea:
• Use a vivid expression, such as in “bug-free
software” rat...
Emphasis and Deemphasis
Through Style
• To deemphasize an idea:
• Use general, rather than specific, words (some
customers...
Active- and Passive-Voice Verbs
Active-voice verbs show the subject performing
the action.
Examples:
Most major employers ...
Active- and Passive-Voice Verbs
In passive-voice sentences, the subject is being
acted upon. Passive-voice verbs require h...
Active- and Passive-Voice Verbs
• Use the active voice for most business writing.
• Use the passive voice to emphasize an ...
Try Your Skill
Convert the following sentence to active
voice. You may have to add a subject.
• Our membership meeting was...
Try Your Skill
Convert the following sentence to active
voice. You may have to add a subject.
• The résumés of job candida...
Try Your Skill
Convert the following sentence to active
voice. You may have to add a subject.
• Computer paper was ordered...
Try Your Skill
Convert the following sentence to passive
voice.
• We must delay shipment of your
merchandise because of he...
Try Your Skill
Convert the following sentence to passive
voice.
• The technician could not install the computer
program.
T...
Developing Parallelism
Parallel expression results from balanced
construction. Match nouns with nouns,
verbs with verbs, p...
Developing Parallelism
Poor:

The process of writing involves
organizing, composing, and
revision.
Parallel: The process o...
Developing Parallelism
Poor:

We are very concerned with the
quality of raw materials, where
they are located, and how muc...
Developing Parallelism
Poor:

Serena takes the telephone
orders, Matt locates the items in
the warehouse, and the items ar...
Try Your Skill
How could parallelism be improved in the
following sentence?
• Our knowledge management system focuses
on t...
Try Your Skill
How could parallelism be improved in the
following sentence?
• We are pleased to recommend Elizabeth
becaus...
Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
For clarity, modifiers must be close to the
words they describe or limit. Be
particularly...
Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
Poor:

After considering the problem
carefully, new procedures were
suggested by manageme...
Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
Poor:

Any student has full online
privileges who is enrolled in the
college.

Revised: A...
Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
Poor:

It’s hard to understand why
employees would not go to our
technical support staff ...
Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
Poor:

Using a search engine, the Web
site was finally located.

Revised: Using a search ...
Try Your Skill
Revise the following sentence to correct
any misplaced modifiers. Retain the
introductory phrase.
• To be h...
Try Your Skill
Revise the following sentence to correct
any misplaced modifiers. Retain the
introductory phrase.
• Dipped ...
Try Your Skill
Revise the following sentence to correct
any misplaced modifiers.
• She died in the house in which she was ...
Try Your Skill
Revise the following sentence to correct
any misplaced modifiers.
• To receive an employment form, fill out...
Three Ways to Achieve Paragraph
Coherence
To help guide your reader or listener from
one thought to another, develop
coher...
Three Ways to Achieve
Paragraph Coherence
2. Use a pronoun.
Considerable interest is now being shown in
our extended certi...
Three Ways to Achieve
Paragraph Coherence
3. Use an appropriate transitional
expression.
Time Association

Contrast

befor...
Three Ways to Achieve
Paragraph Coherence
3. Use an appropriate transitional
expression.
Cause–Effect

Additional Idea

co...
Three Ways to Achieve
Paragraph Coherence
3. Use an appropriate transitional
expression.
Illustration
in this way
for exam...
Paragraph Length
Paragraphs with eight or fewer printed
lines look inviting and readable.

Essentials of Business Communic...
Composing the First Draft
•
•
•
•
•

Complete all necessary research.
Find a quiet place to concentrate and work.
Prohibit...
End

Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition

Ch. 3–
58
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Ch03 (improving writing techniques)

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Transcript of "Ch03 (improving writing techniques)"

  1. 1. Chapter 3 Improving Writing techniques Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3–1
  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). Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 2
  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. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 3
  4. 4. Organize Information With an Outline Title I. First major component A. First subpoint 1. Detail, illustration, evidence 2. Detail, illustration, evidence B. Second subpoint 1. Detail, illustration, evidence 2. Detail, illustration, evidence Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 4
  5. 5. Organize Information With an Outline II. Second major component A. First subpoint 1. Detail, illustration, evidence 2. Detail, illustration, evidence Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 5
  6. 6. Organize Information With an Outline Tips: • • • • Define main topic in title. Divide the topic into three to five main points. Break the components into subpoints. Strive to make each component exclusive (no overlapping). • Don’t put a single item under a major component. • Use details, illustrations, and evidence to support subpoints. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 6
  7. 7. Organizing Business Messages Direct Strategy Main idea comes first followed by details and explanations Indirect Strategy Explanation precedes main idea Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 7
  8. 8. Organizing Business Messages Direct Strategy Indirect Strategy Advantages: Advantages: • Saves reader’s time • Respects feelings of audience • Sets a proper frame of mind • Prevents frustration • Appears businesslike • Encourages a fair hearing • Minimizes a negative reaction Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 8
  9. 9. Organizing Business Messages Direct Strategy Indirect Strategy Useful when: Useful when: • Receiver is receptive • Receiver may be upset • Receiver requires no education about topic • Receiver may be hostile • Message is routine • Receiver must be persuaded or educated • Message is sensitive Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 9
  10. 10. Effective Sentences Complete sentences have subjects and verbs and make sense (are capable of standing alone). Example: Subject Verb Employees send many e-mail messages. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 10
  11. 11. Effective Sentences Clauses also have subjects and verbs. Independent clauses can stand alone; dependent clauses rely on independent clauses for their meaning. Example: Dependent Clause Independent Clause When you speak, you reveal yourself. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 11
  12. 12. Effective Sentences Phrases are groups of related words without subjects and verbs. Example: Phrase Phrase In the afternoon, I work at the mall. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 12
  13. 13. Effective Sentences Avoid sentence fragments. Fragment Even though the pay was low. Many candidates applied. Revision: Even though the pay was low, many candidates applied. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 13
  14. 14. Effective Sentences Avoid run-on (fused) sentences. 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. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 14
  15. 15. Effective Sentences Avoid comma-splice sentences. 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. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 15
  16. 16. Try Your Skill 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. You can create a Web-based job portfolio; it will impress potential employers. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 16
  17. 17. Try Your Skill Revise the following to avoid fragments, run-on sentences, and comma-splices. • Send a scannable résumé. When you apply for a job. Send a scannable résumé when you apply for a job. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 17
  18. 18. Try Your Skill Revise the following to avoid fragments, run-on sentences, and comma-splices. • Although technical skills are important. Communication skills are also in great demand. Although technical skills are important, communication skills are also in great demand. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 18
  19. 19. Try Your Skill Revise the following to avoid fragments, run-on sentences, and comma-splices. • College used to be for young people, however many older students now seek degrees. College used to be for young people; however, many older students now seek degrees. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 19
  20. 20. Emphasis Through Mechanics Underlining: Which of these methods do you prefer? Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 20
  21. 21. Emphasis Through Mechanics Italics and Boldface: The use of boldface and italics captures the reader’s attention. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 21
  22. 22. Emphasis Through Mechanics All Caps: Notice how EXPENSE-FREE stands out. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 22
  23. 23. Emphasis Through Mechanics Dashes: Other methods–including dashes–may be used. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 23
  24. 24. Emphasis Through Mechanics Tabulation: Listing items vertically emphasizes them: 1. First item 2. Second item 3. Third item Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 24
  25. 25. Emphasis Through Mechanics • Other means of achieving mechanical emphasis include the following: use of white space, color, lines, boxes, columns, titles, headings, and subheadings. • Which of the above techniques are appropriate in business letters? Memos? E-mail messages? Reports? Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 25
  26. 26. 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. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 26
  27. 27. Emphasis and Deemphasis Through Style • 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. Example: Although items cannot be returned for cash, you will receive store credit for any returned purchases. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 27
  28. 28. Active- and Passive-Voice Verbs Active-voice verbs show the subject performing the action. Examples: 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) Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 28
  29. 29. Active- and Passive-Voice Verbs In passive-voice sentences, the subject is being acted upon. Passive-voice verbs require helper verbs. 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) Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 29
  30. 30. Active- and Passive-Voice Verbs • 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 . . . ). Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 30
  31. 31. Try Your Skill Convert the following sentence to active voice. You may have to add a subject. • Our membership meeting was postponed by the president. The president postponed our membership meeting. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 31
  32. 32. Try Your Skill Convert the following sentence to active voice. You may have to add a subject. • The résumés of job candidates are sorted quickly by the software program Resumix. The software program Resumix sorts résumés of job candidates quickly. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 32
  33. 33. Try Your Skill Convert the following sentence to active voice. You may have to add a subject. • Computer paper was ordered yesterday. Rachel ordered computer paper yesterday. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 33
  34. 34. Try Your Skill Convert the following sentence to passive voice. • We must delay shipment of your merchandise because of heavy demand. Your merchandise shipment must be delayed because of heavy demand. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 34
  35. 35. Try Your Skill Convert the following sentence to passive voice. • The technician could not install the computer program. The computer program could not be installed. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 35
  36. 36. Developing Parallelism Parallel expression results from balanced construction. Match nouns with nouns, verbs with verbs, phrases with phrases, and clauses with clauses. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 36
  37. 37. Developing Parallelism Poor: The process of writing involves organizing, composing, and revision. Parallel: The process of writing involves organizing, composing, and revising. (Matching endings of verbals) Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 37
  38. 38. Developing Parallelism Poor: We are very concerned with the quality of raw materials, where they are located, and how much it costs to transport them. Parallel: We are very concerned with the quality, location, and transportation costs of raw materials. (Matching nouns) Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 38
  39. 39. Developing Parallelism Poor: Serena takes the telephone orders, Matt locates the items in the warehouse, and the items are sent by Yolanda. Parallel: Serena takes the telephone orders, Matt locates the items in the warehouse, and Yolanda sends the items. (Matching voices of verbs) Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 39
  40. 40. Try Your Skill 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. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 40
  41. 41. Try Your Skill 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. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 41
  42. 42. 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. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 42
  43. 43. Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers Poor: After considering the problem carefully, new procedures were suggested by management. Revised: After considering the problem carefully, management suggested new procedures. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 43
  44. 44. Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers Poor: Any student has full online privileges who is enrolled in the college. Revised: Any student who is enrolled in the college has full online privileges. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 44
  45. 45. Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers Poor: It’s hard to understand why employees would not go to our technical support staff with software problems. Revised: It’s hard to understand why employees with software problems would not go to our technical support staff. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 45
  46. 46. Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers Poor: Using a search engine, the Web site was finally located. Revised: Using a search engine, we finally located the Web site. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 46
  47. 47. Try Your Skill 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. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 47
  48. 48. Try Your Skill Revise the following sentence to correct any misplaced modifiers. Retain the introductory phrase. • Dipped in butter, you can really enjoy a fine lobster. Dipped in butter, a fine lobster can truly be enjoyed. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 48
  49. 49. Try Your Skill Revise the following sentence to correct any misplaced modifiers. • She died in the house in which she was born at the age of 88. At the age of 88, she died in the house in which she was born. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 49
  50. 50. Try Your Skill Revise the following sentence to correct any misplaced modifiers. • To receive an employment form, fill out this application. (Tricky!) The sentence is correct as it stands. “You” is the understood subject of a command. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 50
  51. 51. 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: 1. 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. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 51
  52. 52. Three Ways to Achieve Paragraph Coherence 2. 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. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 52
  53. 53. Three Ways to Achieve Paragraph Coherence 3. Use an appropriate transitional expression. Time Association Contrast before, after first, second meanwhile next until when, whenever although but however instead nevertheless on the other hand Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 53
  54. 54. Three Ways to Achieve Paragraph Coherence 3. Use an appropriate transitional expression. Cause–Effect Additional Idea consequently for this reason hence therefore furthermore in addition likewise moreover similarly Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 54
  55. 55. Three Ways to Achieve Paragraph Coherence 3. Use an appropriate transitional expression. Illustration in this way for example Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 55
  56. 56. Paragraph Length Paragraphs with eight or fewer printed lines look inviting and readable. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 56
  57. 57. 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. Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 57
  58. 58. End Essentials of Business Communication, Asian Edition Ch. 3– 58
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