Digital Key Concepts
Management 102
Professor Estenson
PREPARING TO WRITE
Writing Apprehension
• CAUSES
– Early Efforts
– Never Been Taught
– Lack of Knowledge of
purpose, audience or point
of the effort
• FIXES
– Work Shops
– Write then Right
– Supportive Evaluation
PLANNING
• WHAT
– Nature of the message
– What needs to be communicated?
• WHY
– Why bother? Does the receiver know why message is being
sent?
• WHO
– Have I chosen the right person?
– What channel is this person comfortable receiving?
• WHEN
– Too early or too late. Close to critical meetings
• WHERE
– Where should the message come from?
• HOW
– Channel (Letter, Memo, Report, Email, Phone Call,
Brochure, Newsletter, Manual
PRINCIPLE ONE: Choose Words Precisely
• DENOTIVE - Word has a common meaning.
– Malapropism - Confusing one word for another
• Allegory or Alligator Immoral or Immortal
• CONNOTATIVE - Word’s meaning is subjective.
– Euphemism (Intended positive connotation)
• Slim or Slender versus Skinny or Scrawny
• Friendly Fire
• Surgical Air Strike
• LANGUAGE IS FLUID NOT STATIC
PRINCIPLE TWO
Use Short Rather Than Long Words
• The goal is clarity and understanding not a
chance to show how smart you are.
PRINCIPLE 3
Use Concrete Rather Than Abstract Words
• Concrete Specific at lower rung
• General at the higher rungs
PRINCIPLE 4
Economize on the Use of Words
• Avoid Wordiness.
• Break old writing habits.
• Avoid use of old models of
organizational writing.
PRINCIPLE 5
AVOID OVERUSED OR HACKNEYED
PHRASES OR JARGON
• Hackneyed
– At your earliest convenience
– Pursuant to
– Thank you in advance
• Jargon
– Buzzword Hell
PRINCIPLE 6
Use Positive Words That Convey Courtesy
• Minimize negative information
• State information positively
• Avoid gender terms
PRINCIPLE 7
Use a Conversational Style
• Everyday business language (face to face
communication with receiver)
• Check your understanding of receiver
(knowledge, expertise, interests, culture,
and value system)
PRINCPLE 8
Keep Sentence Relatively Short
• Most effective business sentences are
between 15 to 20 words long.
• Sentences express one main point
PRINCIPLE 9
Prefer Active Voice to the Passive Voice
• Subject - Verb - Object
– David Leeper directed the meeting. (A)
– The meeting was directed by David Leeper
(P)
PRINCIPLE 10
Develop Effective Paragraphs
• One Main Idea Per Paragraph
• Determine if Deductive or Inductive
– If Deductive - Present main idea in lst
sentence
– If Inductive - Begin with details then main
idea
• Use a Variety of Sentence Structures
• Emphasize Important Points
• Keep Paragraphs Short
PRINCIPLE 11
DEVELOP COHERENCE
• Create a smooth flow between sentences
• Transitions can be created by
– Repeating Key Words
– Use pronouns and synonyms to avoid
repetition
– Use transitional words or phrases
PRINCIPLE 12
Edit and Rewrite
• Read what was written
• Exam for clarity, concreteness, and
conversational tone
• Determine grammatical accuracy
• Check organization to assure coherence
• Accept that multiple drafts are necessary
Specific Check Points
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•
•
•
•
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Look for “Plain English” terms
Eliminate Unneeded Words
Explain Abbreviations and Acronyms
Eliminate Jargon
Eliminate Unnatural Phrases
Use Small Words
EDITING (Continued)
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•
•
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Use Active Instead of Passive Verbs
Use a Fog Index
Correct Spelling and Grammatical Errors
Correct Sexist Errors
Work Products
• Audience analysis for
each letter or memo.
• Refusal Letter
• Persuasive Letter
• Memo to your leader
• Transmittal Letter
• You are free to pick
topic and audience.
• Remember to write in a
manner that matches
your topic and
audience.
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