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Ch 04 revising and proofreading business messages

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CHAPTER4
Revising and proofreading
Business Messages
The Writing Process
Improving content and
sentence structure
May involve adding,
cutting, and recasting.
Correcting grammar,
spelling, punctuation,
format, and mechanics
Proofreading
Revising
Memo Revised for Conciseness
Revising Business Messages
Revising business message includes avoiding-
Flabby expression rather using concise wording
1. Wordy prepositional 8. Jargon
2. Long lead-ins 9. Slang
3. Outdated Expressions 10. Clichés
4. Needless adverbs 11.Precise verbs
5. Fillers 12. Concrete nouns
6. Repetitious words 13. Vivid adjectives
7. Redundant words
Concise Wording
Flabby Expressions Concise wording
At a later date Later
At this point in time Now
Afford an opportunity Allow
Are of the opinion that Believe, think that
At the present time Now presently
Despite the fact that Though
Due to the fact that Because, since
Feel free to Please
Fully cognizant of Aware of
In addition to the above also
During the time While
Revise your messages to eliminate flabby expressions.

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Ch 04 revising and proofreading business messages

  • 3. Improving content and sentence structure May involve adding, cutting, and recasting. Correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, format, and mechanics Proofreading Revising
  • 4. Memo Revised for Conciseness
  • 5. Revising Business Messages Revising business message includes avoiding- Flabby expression rather using concise wording 1. Wordy prepositional 8. Jargon 2. Long lead-ins 9. Slang 3. Outdated Expressions 10. Clichés 4. Needless adverbs 11.Precise verbs 5. Fillers 12. Concrete nouns 6. Repetitious words 13. Vivid adjectives 7. Redundant words
  • 6. Concise Wording Flabby Expressions Concise wording At a later date Later At this point in time Now Afford an opportunity Allow Are of the opinion that Believe, think that At the present time Now presently Despite the fact that Though Due to the fact that Because, since Feel free to Please Fully cognizant of Aware of In addition to the above also During the time While Revise your messages to eliminate flabby expressions.
  • 7. Avoid Wordy Prepositional Phrases Replace wordy prepositional phrases with adverbs whenever possible. For example, in the normal course of events can be written as normally and as general rule as generally. Wordy: MCI approached the merger in a careful manner. Concise: MCI approached the merger carefully.
  • 8. Limit Long Lead-Ins Instead of this This memo is to inform you that all employees meet today. I am writing this letter to say thanks to everyone who voted. Try this All employees meet today. Thanks to everyone who voted.
  • 9. Drop Unnecessary Fillers Revise sentences to avoid fillers such as there is/was and it is/was when used merely to take up space. Instead of this There was only one employees who should be promoted. It was Lisa and Jeff who were honored. Try this Only one employee should be promoted. Lisa and Jeff were honored.
  • 10. Quick Check Revise the following sentences to avoid flabby expressions, long lead-ins, and unnecessary there is/it is fillers. A new health benefit plan is available for employees. This e-mail message is to inform you that there is a new health benefit plan available for employees. I would like to take this opportunity to inform everyone that in all probability we expect to win the contract. We probably will win the contract.
  • 11. Quick Check Revise the following sentences to achieve conciseness. Two contracts are also attached. In addition to the above, there are contracts that are attached hereto. Despite the fact that most information is posted on the company intranet, please feel free to call whenever necessary. Although most information is posted on the company intranet, please call whenever necessary.
  • 12. Remove Redundant Words advance warning close proximity exactly identical filled to capacity final outcome necessary requisite new beginning past history refer back serious danger Avoid unnecessarily repetitious words. What words could be omitted in these expressions?
  • 13. Remove Redundant Words advance warning close proximity exactly identical filled to capacity final outcome necessary requisite new beginning past history refer back serious danger Avoid unnecessarily repetitious words. What words could be omitted in these expressions?
  • 14. Dump Outdated Expressions Trite and Outdated as per your request pursuant to your request attached hereto under separate cover Modern at your request at your request attached separately
  • 15. Jargon Computer Jargon queue export bandwidth Alternative list of documents waiting to be printed transfer data from one program to another Internet capacity Avoid technical terms and special terminology that readers would not recognize. Is jargon ever permissible?
  • 16. Slang to “bag on” clueless turkey chill/chill out to tease, to nag, or to complain unaware, naïve someone stupid or silly relax Avoid slang (informal expressions with arbitrary or extravagantly changed meanings).
  • 17. Clichés Avoid clichés (overused expressions). Substitute more precise words. Instead of this Last but not least, you should keep your nose to the grindstone. We had reached the end of our rope. Try this Finally, you should work diligently. We could go no further.
  • 18. Quick Check Finally, the attorney referred to an identical case. Last but not least, the attorney referred back to an exactly identical case. With a little advance warning, we could have sold out before our stocks tanked. With warning, we could have sold out before our stocks hit bottom. Revise the following sentences to avoid redundancies, trite business expressions, jargon, and slang.
  • 19. Ms. Miller, who is straightforward, demanded completion by January 1. Ms. Miller, who shoots straight from the shoulder, demanded final completion by January 1. Revise the following sentences to avoid redundancies, trite business expressions, jargon, and slang. As you requested, a check for $150 is enclosed. Pursuant to your request, enclosed please find a check for $150.
  • 20. Buried Verbs Revise verbs that have been converted to nouns. Look for words ending in tion or ment. Could they be more efficiently and forcefully converted to verbs? Tip
  • 21. Instead of this The manager came to the realization that telecommuting made sense. A job seeker must make application before May 1. Try this The manager realized that telecommuting made sense. A job seeker must apply before May 1. Using Precise Verbs?
  • 22. Instead of this Once we have the establishment of a Web site, our business will grow. Please give serious consideration to a company intranet. Try this Once we establish a Web site, our business will grow. Please seriously consider a company intranet. Buried Verbs
  • 23. Control Exuberance To sound credible, don’t overuse intensifiers such as very, definitely, quite, completely, extremely, really, actually, and totally Excessive The manager is actually quite pleased with your proposal because the plan is definitely workable. Businesslike The manager is pleased with your proposal because the plan is workable.
  • 24. Precise Words Revise your writing to include precise words. Strive for specific verbs, concrete nouns, and vivid adjectives. Beware of unclear pronouns. Unclear The man asked for a raise. An employee presented a proposal. More Precise Jeff Jones asked for a 10 percent salary increase. Kelly Keeler, production manager, presented a plan to stagger hours.
  • 25. Precise Words Revise your writing to include descriptive, dynamic adjectives instead of overworked, all-purpose ones. Instead of this They thought her report was good. She said she would get in touch. Try this The management council thought Erin’s report was factual and well written. Sheila said she would send you an e-mail.
  • 26. Quick Check The seller promised to e-mail (telephone or fax) you. The seller said he definitely would contact you. We must give encouragement to our team. We must encourage our team. In the following sentences, unbury verbs and control exuberance.
  • 27. Moviegoers prefer buttered popcorn. Moviegoers actually show a total preference for buttered popcorn. Please assess the home’s value. Please make an assessment of the home’s value. Ann suggested that we hire Lee. Ann made a suggestion that we hire Lee. In the following sentences, unbury verbs and control exuberance.
  • 28. Chapter 4, Slide 28Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e Designing Documents for Readability Employ white space.  Headings  Short paragraphs  Ragged-right margins
  • 29. Chapter 4, Slide 29Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e Choose appropriate typefaces. Serif typefaces have small features at ends of strokes. Useful for body text. Times New Roman Century Georgia Garamond Designing Documents for Readability
  • 30. Chapter 4, Slide 30Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e Choose appropriate typefaces. Sans serif typefaces are cleaner without features. Useful for headings, signs, and noncontinuous reading material. Arial Tahoma Verdana Calibri Designing Documents for Readability
  • 31. Chapter 4, Slide 31Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e Designing Documents for Readability Use bulleted and numbered lists.  Break up complex information into smaller chunks.  Use numbered lists for sequences.  Use bulleted lists for items that don’t require a certain order.
  • 32. Chapter 4, Slide 32Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e Instead of this To clean the printer, you should do the following. First, you should disconnect the power cord. Then you open the front cover, and the printer area should be cleaned with a soft cloth. Try this To clean the printer, do the following: 1. Disconnect the power cord. 2. Open the front cover. 3. Clean the printer with a soft cloth. Designing Documents for Readability Use a numbered list for instructions.
  • 33. Chapter 4, Slide 33Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e Instead of this On April 3 we will be in Toledo, and the speaker is Troy Lee. On May 20 we will be in Detroit, and the speaker is Sue Wu. Try this Date City Speaker April 3 Toledo Troy Lee May 20 Detroit Sue Wu Designing Documents for Readability Organize information with column headings.
  • 34. Chapter 4, Slide 34Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e Instead of this Our team constantly tries to achieve our goals, customer service must be improved, and our production targets must be met. Try this Our team constantly tries to (a) achieve our goals, (b) improve customer service, and (c) hit our production targets. Designing Documents for Readability Use letters to list items within sentences. Strive for parallelism.
  • 35. Chapter 4, Slide 35Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e Instead of this The next topic is vacations. A new vacation schedule will be available on May 1. To assist employees, we will begin a flex schedule in the fall. Try this Vacations. A new vacation schedule will be available on May 1. Flextime. To assist employees, we will begin a flex schedule in the fall. Designing Documents for Readability Use paragraph headings to improve organization and readability.
  • 36. Chapter 1, Slide 36Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e Chapter 4, Slide 36Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e Quick Check The next training session will demonstrate • Creating podcasts • Sharing multiple programs • Maintaining an Internet directory. In the next training session, the trainer will demonstrate how to create podcasts, how to share multiple programs, and how to maintain an Internet directory. Arrange the following in a concise, bulleted vertical list.
  • 37. Chapter 1, Slide 37Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e Chapter 4, Slide 37Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e Quick Check You can prepare for interviews by doing the following: • Study the job description. • Itemize your most strategic skills and qualifications. • Practice giving responses in a mock interview. In preparing for an employment interview, you should begin by studying the job description. Itemizing your most strategic skills and qualifications is also important. Giving responses in a mock interview is another good practice technique. Last, you should be prepared to ask relevant questions. Improve the readability of the following instructions that will become part of a student’s employment booklet.
  • 38. What to Watch for in Proofreading • Spelling • Grammar • Punctuation • Names and numbers • Format ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/DMITRYSHIRONOSOV
  • 41. 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.
  • 42. Chapter 4, Slide 42Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 8e 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. How to Proofread Complex Documents