Writing for business


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Writing for business

  1. 1.  
  2. 2.  Writing is a fundamental professional skill...in todays workplace writing is a threshold skill for hiring and promotion among salaried...employees. Survey results indicate that writing is a ticket to professional opportunity, while poorly written job applications are a figurative kiss of death. ~Gaston Caperton, president of the National Commission on Writing for Americas Families, Schools, and Colleges
  3. 3.  Technical Communication is oral and written communication for and about business and industry. It focuses on products and services – how to manufacture, market, manage, deliver, and best use them. Technical communication is composed primarily in the workplace for supervisors, colleagues, s ubordinates, vend ors, and customers.
  4. 4.  Routine Correspondence o Memos, Letters, E-Mails, Messages, Instant Messages, and Text Messages Technical Descriptions and Process Analyses Instructions, User Manuals, and Standard Operating Procedures Proposals Executive Summaries Informal and Formal Reports Presentations Brochures, Newsletters, and Web sites
  5. 5.  Business offers a unique perspective on audience: Internal Audience = those persons within the company External Audience = those persons outside the company High-Tech Audience = includes those who work in your field of expertise, are your colleagues because they share your educational background, work experience, or level of understanding Low-Tech Audience = includes coworkers in other departments, bosses, subordinates, or colleagues who work for other companies but do not share the same level of understanding about a particular topic Lay Audience = customers and clients who neither work for your company nor have any knowledge about your field of expertise
  6. 6.  The 1993 National Assessment of Adult Literacy places the average reading level of US adults at 8th – 9th grade level. Their 2003 Assessment indicates that those numbers barely moved. 6th Grade = Comics 7th Grade = Modern Romances 8th Grade = Ladies’ Home Journal, Wall Street Journal 9th Grade = Good Housekeeping 10th Grade = Reader’s Digest, US News and World Report 11th Grade = Time and Newsweek 12th Grade = Atlantic Monthly In a survey conducted by ACT, just 51% of students demonstrated the ability to read at a freshman level. No popular magazines or newspapers score high enough on language content to meet college graduate level.
  7. 7.  The National Center for Education Statistics demonstrates the comparison between their 1992 and 2003 statistics.Average Prose, Document and Prose Literacy by EducationalQuantative AttainmentLiteracy Scores of Adults: 1992and 2003
  8. 8.  Every discipline has a preferred writing style. Write for Clarity. Provide specific detail with fewer words. Answer the Reporter’s Questions. Use easily understandable words. Avoid wordiness, obscure words, define acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon Use verbs in the active voice rather than the passive voice Avoid Sexist or Regional Language
  9. 9.  Write for Conciseness. Simplify words, sentences, and paragraphs Limit paragraph length to four to six typed lines, or no more than 50 words. Limit word and sentence length. Approximately 15 words per sentence and no more than 5 multisyllabic words per 100 words of text. Avoid camouflaged words: make an adjustment to = adjust Avoid the Expletive Patterns: there and it Omit Redundancies Avoid Wordy Phrases