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Module 1. Effective Business Writing. Outline. Characteristics of Good Writing The Writing Process Creating Good Documents Effective Sentences Writing Good Paragraphs Business Documents. Essential Business Writing Skills. Writing is an integral part of all business operations

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Module 1 l.jpg
Module 1

Effective Business Writing


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Outline

  • Characteristics of Good Writing

  • The Writing Process

  • Creating Good Documents

  • Effective Sentences

  • Writing Good Paragraphs

  • Business Documents


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Essential Business Writing Skills

  • Writing is an integral part of all business operations

  • One of the most valuable skills in the workplace

  • Strongly determines how others will evaluate you

  • Bad writing undermines effectiveness of the individual and the organization


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Characteristics of Good Writing

  • Completeness: all information needed is provided

  • Correctness: relevant and precise information

  • Credibility: support your argument

  • Clarity: reader decides what is vague, confusing, ambiguous

  • Conciseness: get to the point

  • Consideration: anticipate the reader’s reaction

  • Vitality: use the active voice rather than the passive voice


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The Writing Process

  • Planning:

    • Keep objectives in mind and research the topic

    • Think about the audience

    • Outlining helps organize thoughts

  • Writing:

    • Follow your outline, use your handbook

    • Inspiration is acceptable but must be carefully reviewed

    • Use the interview approach to supplement the outline(who, what, where, when, how)

  • Quality control:

    • Reread your work

    • Be critical of your own work


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Creating Good Documents

  • Guidelines

    • Choose the right words

    • Ensure balance, variety, and consistency

    • Use short, familial, and simple words

    • Avoid using extra words

    • Always use correct spelling

    • Use appropriate “person” perspective

    • Avoid problem words and phrases


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Effective Sentences

  • Correct grammar reduces ambiguity

    • Avoid run-on sentences: use conjunctions properly

    • Ensure correct pronouns are used: be consistent

    • Watch out for mismatched singulars and plurals

    • Avoid unnecessary prepositions

    • Keep tenses consistent

    • Be extra careful with conditional sentences

    • Become a critical reader


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Effective Sentences(cont.)

  • Ensure punctuation is properly used

    • Avoid exclamation marks

    • Do not use quotations marks for emphasis

    • Be consistent with the use of commas in lists

    • Don’t separate two independent clauses with a comma: use a linking word

    • Separate parenthetical comments with commas, parentheses, or dashes

    • Use colons carefully: only after words that stand on their own


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Effective Sentences(cont.)

  • Carefully plan sentence structure

    • Pay attention to the sequence of words

    • Avoid ambiguity when using pronouns

    • Maintain parallelism by following a pattern the reader expects

    • To avoid hidden phrases, lead and conclude your paragraphs with important points

    • Get to the point by removing unnecessary words


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Writing Good Paragraphs

  • Organize the paragraph around a unifying idea

  • Use words, grammar, and punctuation to create coherence

  • Paragraph should follow a progression of thoughts

  • Opening sentence must introduce the unifying idea

  • Conclude the paragraph with a summary sentence


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Business Documents

  • A good business document should always answer the following questions:

    • What is this document about?

    • Why has it come to be?

    • Who wrote it?

    • How is it organized?

    • What is it trying to accomplish

    • What supports the conclusion?

    • What problem or opportunity does it address?


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Letters and Memos

  • Orient the reader

  • Stick to the topic

  • Make points quickly with good news

  • Gradually build up to bad news

  • Provide necessary background for your explanation but avoid excessive details

  • Put yourself in the readers position when reviewing

  • Make the document professional looking


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Report Writing

  • Executive summary:

    • highlight the main ideas and recommendations

  • Introduction:

    • State purpose and scope of report

    • Give relevant background

    • Outline the organization and methods of the report

  • Body (Facts, analysis, conclusions, recommendations):

    • Logical presentation and support of thesis

  • Additional material(appendices, supporting material):

    • Ensure that the additional material is referenced in the body of the report and properly labeled


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Documenting a Reference List

  • Documentation is essential

  • APA style is recommended for business

  • Refer to guidelines for APA documentation found in “Handbook for Writers”(Lynn, et Al.)

  • For documentation of electronic sources, see:

    Www.uvm.edu/~xli/reference/apa.html


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