Agenda
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Analytical Report
Slides
Exercise 5.3
Letter Writing (20 Minutes)
Cluster Diagramming vs Outlining
Proofreading
Analytical Report
Chapter 5
Preparing to Write
Business Messages
Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication:
Process and Product, 5e
Copyright © 2006
Business writing is . . .
• Purposeful. It solves problems and
conveys information.
• Economical. It is concise.
• Reader oriented. It focuses on the
receiver, not the sender.
Guffey’s 3-x-3
Writing Process
• Phase 1: Prewriting
Analyzing, anticipating, adapting
• Phase 2: Writing
Researching, organizing, composing
• Phase 3: Revising
Revising, proofreading, evaluating
Analyzing and Anticipating
• Analyze the task
Identify the purpose
• Anticipate the audience
Primary receivers?
Secondary receivers?
• Select the best channel
Importance of the message?
Feedback required?
Permanent record required?
Cost of the channel?
Degree of formality?
Adapting to Task and Audience
• Spotlight receiver benefits (the warranty
starts working for you immediately).
• Cultivate the “you” view (you will receive
your order).
• Use sensitive language avoiding gender,
race, age, and disability biases (office
workers, not office girls).
Adapting to Task and Audience
• Express thoughts positively (you will be
happy to, not you won't be sorry that).
• Use familiar words (salary, not
remuneration).
• Use precise, vigorous words (fax me, not
contact me).
Developing Reader Benefits
Sender-focused
“We are requiring all
staffers to complete these
forms in compliance with
company policy.”
Receiver-focused
“Please complete these
forms so that you will be
eligible for health and
dental benefits.”
Developing Reader Benefits
Sender-focused
“Because we need more
space for our new
inventory, we’re staging a
two-for-one sale.”
Receiver-focused
“You can buy a year’s
supply of paper and pay
for only six months’
worth during our twofor-one sale.”
Hidden Negative Meanings
You are wrong . . . .
(I am right.)
You do not understand . . . .
(You are not very bright.)
Your delay . . . .
(You are at fault.)
You forgot to . . . .
(You are not only inefficient but also stupid
and careless.)
Use Bias-Free Language
Gender-Biased
Improved
female attorney
waitress
man hours
workman
attorney
server
working hours
worker
Biased
Each employee has his ID card.
Improved
Each employee has an ID card.
All employees have ID cards.
Use Courteous Language
Less Courteous
Everyone must return these forms by January 1.
More Courteous
Please return the forms by January 1.
Less Courteous
This is the second time I’ve had to write!
Why can’t you get my account straight?
More Courteous
Attached is my previous letter.
Please help me straighten out this account.
Use Simple, Familiar Language
Unfamiliar
We need to effectuate improvement of our
manuals to better elucidate our training goals.
Familiar
We need to improve our manuals to clarify
our training goals.
Unfamiliar
Sales reps generally conjecture when making
sales projections for homogeneous territories.
Familiar
Sales reps generally guess when projecting
sales in similar territories.
Adapting to Legal
Responsibilities
• Avoid litigation by using especially
careful language in four areas:
• Investment information
• Safety information
• Marketing information
• Human resources information
Chapter 6
Organizing and Writing
Business Messages
Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication:
Process and Product, 5e
Copyright © 2006
Formal Research Methods
• Access electronically – Internet,
databases, CD-ROMs
• Search manually – books, articles, and
other secondary sources
• Investigate primary sources – interviews,
surveys, focus groups
• Experiment scientifically – tests with
experimental and control groups
Organizing Data
• Listing and outlining
• Grouping ideas into patterns.
• Direct pattern for receptive audiences
• Indirect pattern for unreceptive audiences
Audience Response Determines
Pattern of Organization
If pleased
If mildly interested
DIRECT PATTERN
Good News or
Main Idea
If neutral
Audience Response Determines
Pattern of Organization
If displeased or
disappointed
If unwilling or
uninterested
INDIRECT PATTERN
Bad News or
Main Idea
If hostile
Using a Cluster Diagram to
Generate Ideas
1. In the center of a clean sheet of paper, write
your topic name and circle it.
2. Around the circle, record any topic ideas that
pop into your mind.
3. Circle each separate area.
4. Avoid censoring ideas.
5. If ideas seem related, join them with lines;
don’t spend time on organization just yet.
Organizing Cluster Diagram
Ideas Into Subclusters
Tips
• Analyze the idea generated in the original
cluster diagram.
• Cross out ideas that are obviously irrelevant;
simplify and clarify.
• Add new ideas that seem appropriate.
• Study the ideas for similarities.
Organizing Cluster Diagram
Ideas Into Subclusters
Tips
• Group similar ideas into classifications (such as
Purpose, Content, Development, and Form).
• If the organization seems clear at this point,
prepare an outline.
• For further visualization, make subcluster circles
around each classification.
Creating Effective Sentences
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•
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Recognize phrases and clauses.
Use short sentences.
Emphasize important ideas.
Use the active voice for most sentences.
Use the passive voice to deemphasize
the performer and/or to be tactful.
• Avoid dangling and misplaced modifiers.
Recognizing Phrases and
Clauses
• Clauses have subjects and verbs;
phrases do not.
• Independent clauses are complete;
dependent clauses are not.
• Phrases and dependent clauses cannot
function as sentences.
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•
•
Independent Clause: They were eating cold pizza.
Dependent Clause: that they want to return for a
refund
Phrase: to return for a refund
Using Short Sentences
Sentence Length
Comprehension Rate
8 words
15 words
19 words
28 words
Source: American Press Institute
100%
90%
80%
50%
Emphasizing Important Ideas
• Position the most important idea
at the beginning of the sentence.
• Make sure the most important
idea is the subject of the
sentence.
• Place the main idea in a short
sentence.
Use the Active Voice for
Most Sentences
• Active voice: We lost money.
• Active voice: I sent the e-mail message
yesterday.
(The subject is the performer.)
Use the Passive Voice To
Deemphasize the Performer
and/or To Be Tactful
• Passive voice: Money was lost (by us).
• Passive voice: The e-mail message was
sent yesterday (by me).
(Passive voice test: Ask “By whom?” If you can fill in
the performer, the verb is probably in the passive
voice.)
Effective Paragraphs
• Drafting effective paragraphs
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•
•
•
•
Discuss only one topic in each paragraph.
Arrange sentences in a strategic plan.
Link ideas to build coherence.
Use transitional expressions for coherence.
Compose short paragraphs for effective
business messages.
Effective Paragraphs
• Discussing only one topic in each
paragraph
• Group similar ideas together.
• Start a new paragraph for each new topic.
Effective Paragraphs
• Arranging Sentences in a Strategic Plan
• Direct Plan: main sentence followed by
supporting sentences (for defining,
classifying, illustrating, and describing ideas)
• Pivoting Plan: limiting sentences, main
sentence, supporting sentences (for
comparing and contrasting)
Effective Paragraphs
• Using transitional expressions for
coherence
• Recommended expressions:
•
additionally
•
also
•
as a result
•
for example
•
in other words
•
therefore
Chapter 7
Revising Business
Messages
Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication:
Process and Product, 5e
Copyright © 2006
Revising for Clarity,
Conciseness, and Readability
• Keep it simple.
• Keep it conversational.
• Remove opening fillers.
• Eliminate redundancies.
• Reduce compound prepositions.
• Purge empty words.
Revising for Clarity,
Conciseness, and Readability
• Kick the noun habit.
• Dump trite “business” phrases.
• Develop parallelism (balanced
construction).
• Apply graphic highlighting.
• Measure readability.
Keep it simple.
Avoid indirect, pompous language.
• Poor: It would not be inadvisable for you to
affix your signature at this point in time.
• Improved: You may sign now.
Keep it conversational.
• Formal: Our Accounting Department takes
this opportunity to inform you that we have
credited your account for the
aforementioned sum.
• Conversational: We have credited your
account for $100.
Remove opening fillers.
• Wordy: There are four new menu items we
must promote.
• Improved: We must promote four new
menu items.
Eliminate redundancies.
• collect together
• contributing factor
• personal opinion
• perfectly clear
Reduce compound
prepositions.
•
•
•
•
at such time
at which time
due to the fact that
inasmuch as
Reduce to when.
Reduce to when.
Reduce to because.
Reduce to because.
Purge empty words.
• As for the area of athletic shoes, the degree
of profits sagged.
• This is to inform you that we have a toll-free
service line.
• Not all students who are registered will
attend.
Purge empty words.
• As for the area of athletic shoes, the degree
of profits sagged.
• This is to inform you that we have a toll-free
service line.
• Not all students who are [registered] will
attend.
Purge empty words.
• As for athletic shoes, profits sagged.
• We have a toll-free service line.
• Not all [registered] students will attend.
Dump trite "business"
phrases.
• Trite: Pursuant to your request, enclosed
please find a job application.
• Improved: As requested, we have enclosed a
job application.
Develop parallelism (balanced
construction).
• Not parallel: We can collect information, store
it, and later it can be updated.
• Parallel: We can collect, store, and update
information.
Use Numbered Lists for “High
Skim” Value
Follow these steps to archive a document:
1. Select the document.
2. Select a folder.
3. Provide a file name.
4. Click “Save.”
Use Bulleted Lists for “High
Skim” Value
Consumers expect the following information at
product Web sites:
•
Price
•
Quality
•
Performance
•
Availability
The Complete Process
1. Prewriting
Analyze
Anticipate
Adapt
The Complete Process
1. Prewriting
Analyze
Anticipate
Adapt
2. Writing
Research
Organize
Compose
The Complete Process
1. Prewriting
Analyze
Anticipate
Adapt
2. Writing
Research
Organize
Compose
3. Revising
Revise
Proofread
Evaluate
1. Prewriting
• Analyze: Define your purpose. Select
the most appropriate form (channel).
Visualize the audience.
• Anticipate: Put yourself in the reader’s
position and predict his or her reaction
to this message.
• Adapt: Consider ways to shape the
message to benefit the reader, using his
or her language.
2. Writing
• Research: Collect data formally and
informally. Generate ideas by
brainstorming and clustering.
• Organize: Group ideas into a list or an
outline. Select the direct or indirect
strategy.
• Compose: Write first draft, preferably on
a computer.
3. Revising
• Revise: Revise for clarity, tone,
conciseness, and vigor. Revise to
improve readability.
• Proofread: Proofread to verify spelling,
grammar, punctuation, and format.
Check for overall appearance.
• Evaluate: Ask yourself whether the final
product will achieve its purpose.
Try This
• Read the following sentence counting the
F’s as you go:
• Federal fuses are the result of years of
scientific study combined with the years of
experience
• Write the number of F’s Here: _______
Try This
• Now read the sentence backwards
counting the F’s:
• Federal fuses are the result of years of
scientific study combined with the years of
experience
• Write the number of F’s Here: _______
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Chapter 5 Preparing to Write Business Messages