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The Writing Process
Transcript of The Writing Process
How is business writing different from other types of writing, e.g. college essays, term papers, and messages to friends?
compose with clarity
Additional Characteristics of Business Writing
Have a purpose/objective you intend to achieve from your writing
Ensure that your arguments/contents of your writing possess the power of convincing
Attempt to convey your principal points with minimal content as possible
You must have a clear understanding of the audience you are writing to
Gathering information for your content
Developing an outline
Putting your content together
Collect information that answer these questions
What dose the receiver need to know?
What is the receiver to do?
How is the receiver to do it and when?
What will happen if the receiver doesn't do it?
Formal Researching Methods
Go to the source
Conduct scientific experiments
Informal Research Methods and Idea Generation
Look in the files
Talk with your boss
Interview the target audience
Conduct an informal survey
why are you writing? your purpose
what is your reader like? Knowing your audience
Spotlighting audience benefits; persuasion
Create a message that will suit your task and audience.
Cultivate the “You” View
Before we can allow you to purchase items on this new account, we must wait two weeks to complete our processing.
You may begin purchases on your new account in two weeks.
Sounding Conversational but Professional
The undersigned takes pleasure in welcoming you to our staff.
I’m happy to welcome you to our staff.
Expressing Yourself Positively
Students may not use the Waterview entrance during remodeling.
Students must use the Campbell Road entrance during remodeling.
Choosing Courteous Language
Your idea for revising our return process is insane.
Your idea for revising our return process will probably not work.
Adopting Bias-Free Language
Have you called a salesman?
Have you called a salesperson?
Have you called a sales engineer?
Spotlighting Audience Benefits
We require that all employees read and sign our Web use policy.
To use the Web professionally and safely, please read and sign our Web use policy.
Using Plain Language
As stipulated, we extrapolated the budget figures for two years.
As required, we projected the budget figures for two years.
Well-organized messages group similar ideas together
Making an outline
Define main topic in title
Divide the topic into three to five main points
Break the components into subpoints.
Make each component exclusive(not overlapping)
Don't put a single item under a major component.
Use details and evidence to support subpoints.
Decide where in the message to place the main idea
Main idea comes first followed by details and explanations
Explanations proceeds main idea
Receiver is receptive
Receiver requires no education about topic
Message is routine
Receiver may be upset or hostile
Receiver must be persuaded or educated
Message is sensitive
How to Select the Best Channel
reader or listener
will they react to the message?
Relationship (Personal & Professional)
Anticipating how your audience will react to your message
Will your audience be
with your message?
Saves reader's time
Sets a proper frame of mind
Respects feelings of audience
Encourage a fair hearing
Minimizes a negative reaction
Business writers must be able to:
Develop effective sentences.
Improve writing techniques.
Draft powerful paragraphs.
Compose a first draft.
Develop effective sentences
Improve writing techniques
Draft powerful paragraphs
A paragraph is a group of sentences about one idea.
Paragraphs are most effective when they contain:
Compose a first draft.
Complete all necessary research.
Find a quiet place to concentrate and work.
Organize information into an outline.
Imagine you are talking to a reader or listener.
“Done is better than Perfect”
A topic sentence
Techniques to build coherence
Support sentences that expand and explain the main idea
Emphasizing and de-emphasizing ideas
Using active and passive voice
Avoiding Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
Achieve emphasis through mechanics.
Which of these methods do you prefer?
Italics and Boldface:
The use of
and italics captures the reader’s attention.
Notice how EXPENSE-FREE VACATION stands out.
verbs show the subject performing the action.
sentences, the subject is being acted upon.
Use the active voice for most business writing.
Converting Verbs to Passive Voice
We must delay shipment of your merchandise because of heavy demand.
Management rejected our plan.
Your merchandise shipment must be delayed because of heavy demand.
Our plan was rejected by management.
Match nouns with nouns, verbs with verbs, phrases with phrases, and clauses with clauses
have been stimulat-
ing and a challenge.
have been stimulating and challenging.
(Matches -ing verbals)
are groups of related words without subjects and verbs.
In the afternoon, I work at the mall.
also have subjects and verbs. Independent clauses can stand alone.
Dependent clauses rely on independent clauses for their meaning.
When you speak, you reveal yourself.
have subjects and verbs and make sense(are capable of standing alone).
Employees send many e-mail messages.
Use four sentence types to achieve variety
(one independent clause)
(two independent clauses)
(one independent and one dependent clause)
(at least two independent clauses and one dependent clause)
LinkedIn decided to sell its stock to the public.
The company went public, and the price per share doubled the first day.
Because LinkedIn’s IPO was so successful, the entire stock market went up.
Although many investors bought LinkedIn stock the first day, some were disappointed; however, they were able to purchase shares shortly after.
Avoiding Fragments, Run-ons, and Comma Splices
Executives are busy, they won't read wordy messages and reports.
Executives are busy. They won't read wordy messages and reports.
Executives are busy; they won't read.…
Essentials of Business Communications
(available at the UTD library)