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Business Writing
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Business Writing

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  1. Business Writing Center for Professional Communication

  2. Objective: By the end of our time today you should be able to… • Define business writing • Explain how it is different from other writing • Understand strategies for developing an effective business writing style

  3. What is business writing? • The communication of ideas, information, directions or instructions between at least two people that focuses on the reader and the purpose of the communication.

  4. How is business writing different? “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly”

  5. How is business writing different? Business writers write to express, not to impress

  6. Can I become an effective business writer?

  7. Business Writing Style • Seek to express rather than to impress • Write clearly and concisely • Use simpler language and sentence structure • Use active voice • Recommend action • Avoid qualifiers • Convey an appropriate tone

  8. Write Clearly What’s wrong with this magazine cover?

  9. Write Concisely Not this… But this… • The interviews were conducted over several weeks by the U.S. Research, Inc. • If we want the product to sell well in the Northwest and eventually in select international markets as well as to compete with distributors of similar name brands, the name must meet the following tests: . . . • U.S. Research, Inc. conducted the interviews. • The product name must meet the following tests: . . .

  10. Eliminate Redundancies Not this… But this… • The end result will be that we are completely unanimous. • Each and every one of us is exactly the same. • We will be unanimous. • We’re the same.

  11. Eliminate Wordiness Not this… But this… • The tiles on the floor will reflect the lighting on the ceiling. • Our benefits for employees are at the top of the list for companies in our competitive set. • The floor tiles will reflect the [ceiling] light • Our employees are better than our competitors’.

  12. Keep it simple change try large list end start use

  13. Keep it simple Not this… But this… • The impending study will ascertain the feasibility of our obtaining conciliation. • Deciding on an internship with a particular conglomerate may be of immense consequence to your potential livelihood. • The study will determine whether we can agree • Choosing an internship may affect your life.

  14. Be specific Not this… But this… • The report is sloppy. • You never finish work on time • I marked more than 20 errors in the report. • This is the third deadline this month that you have missed.

  15. Simple & Specific

  16. Use Active Voice • One of the two “voices” of verbs. When the verb of the sentence is in the active voice, the subject is doing the acting, as in the sentence “Kevin hit the ball.” Kevin (the subject of the sentence) acts in relations to the ball.

  17. Use Active Voice Not this… But this… • Too many lobsters have been ordered by the chef. • Our quarterly sales numbers will be confirmed by the auditors. • The chef ordered too many lobsters. • The auditors will confirm our quarterly sales numbers.

  18. Recommend Action Not this… But this… • We believe you should use… • We think… • We imagine… • We presume… • We recommend names that parallel the age-old and pure qualities of the product.

  19. Avoid Qualifiers Not this… But this… • We tentatively recommend that your company, if at all possible, avoid ‘earth surface’ words. • We recommend that your company avoid ‘earth surface’ words.

  20. Convey an Appropriate Tone • Write confidently • Use courteous and sincere tone • Use appropriate emphasis and subordination • Use positive language • Stress the “you” attitude

  21. Objective: By the end of our time today you should be able to… • Define business writing • Explain how it is different from other writing • Understand strategies for developing an effective business writing style