Academic writing i Class 20 May 9, 2013
Today Business writing (continued)
Return address(your address) Recipient’s name and address - Full name - Job title - Address line 1 - Address line 2 - Address line 3 Salutation (greeting) “Dear ______” Complementary closing (Closing salutation) Sincerely, signature Sender’s nameTitle body
Language used in business writing Business letters usually use formal language. Be polite! (Remember: How would I feel if I received this?)
Language in business writing - Example “The sales receipt must be enclosed with the merchandise before we can process the refund.” However, if you consider how you might keep the goodwill of the customer, you might word the request this way: “Please enclose the sales receipt with the merchandise, so that we can send your refund promptly.”
Language in business writing - Example Notice that the second version - uses the word please (polite) - uses the active voice (“Please enclose the sales receipt”) *The first version uses the passive voice (“The sales receipt must be enclosed”). In general, the active voice creates a friendlier, more courteous tone than the passive, which tends to sound impersonal and unfriendly. Polite wording, such as the use of please, also helps to create goodwill
Language used in business writing Active Voice vs. Passive Voice Active voice: -creates a friendlier, more courteous tone than the passive. i.e., Johncalled the company yesterday. Passive voice: - tends to sound impersonal and unfriendly. i.e., The company was called by John, yesterday.
Active vs. Passive voice In the active voice, the subject “acts”. - Ithrew the ball. - Youare making too much noise. - Timwill eat pizza and watch TV tomorrow evening. In each of these, the subject performs the action of the verb (threw, making, will eat). This is clearer and more direct about who is doing what.
Active vs. Passive voice In the passive voice, the subject is passive; it is acted on. - The ballwas thrown by me. - Too much noiseis being made by you. - Tomorrow evening, pizzawill be eaten and TVwill be watched by Tim. In each of these, the subject (the ball, too much noise, pizza, a movie) is being acted upon by the verb. This can be confusing to the reader.
Active vs. Passive voice Active voice is especially important in business writing since business writing is about people doing things(and being efficient!).
Active vs. Passive voice - Editing Editing for passive voice: - look for the use of “was”. it is often associated with passive voice. The report was written by Terry from accounting. The package was delivered by FedEx.
Active vs. Passive voice - Editing Editing for passive voice: - look for the use of “by” when referring to who did something. it is often associated with passive voice. The report was written by Terry from accounting. The package was delivered by FedEx.
Active vs. Passive voice - Editing Rewrite these into active voice: The report was written by me. The status report was being done by the PR team. A potential employee has been found by the team. The evaluations must be filled-out by the clients.
Active vs. Passive voice Using passive voice is always wrong, RIGHT? WRONG! - Sometimes, the passive voice is needed…
Passive voice Passive voice can be useful for avoiding assigning responsibility. - This is especially useful in avoiding responsibility for mistakes. “We made some mistakes.” (active voice) “Mistakes were made.” (passive voice)
Passive voice Passive voice can be useful for avoiding assigning responsibility. - This is especially useful in avoiding responsibility for mistakes. “We lost all of our records.” (active voice) “All our records have been lost.” (passive voice) - This doesn’t mean you should ALWAYS avoid taking responsibility for your mistakes, though.
Passive voice If the agent – the one performing the action- is unknown, you can use the passive voice. i.e., The walls had been defaced by grafitti. The car was pushed over the cliff.
Language used in business writing - Examples Be respectful, not demanding: CHANGE: Submit your answer in one week. TO: I would appreciate receiving your answer within one week.
Language used in business writing - Examples Be Modest, not Arrogant. CHANGE: My report is thorough, and I am sure that you would not be able to continue efficiently without it. TO: I have tried to be as thorough as possible in my report, and I hope you find it useful.
Language used in business writing - Examples Be polite, not sarcastic. CHANGE: I just received the shipment we ordered six months ago. I am sending it back – we cannot use it now. Thanks! TO: I am returning the shipment we ordered on December 12, 2012. Unfortunately, it arrived too late for us to be able to use it.
Language used in business writing - Examples • Be positive, not negative. CHANGE: Your complaint about our prices is way off target. Our prices are definitely not any higher than those of our competitors. TO: Thank you for your suggestion concerning our prices. We believe, however, that our prices are competitive with, and in some cases below, those of our competitors.
Language used in business writing Business language can be complicated at times. - You might find yourself asking: “What does that mean?” Accordingly, we are requesting the financial assistance of 123 inc. to help cover the costs directly related to holding that event. = “We want some money from you.”
Language used in business writing To gain a good understanding of “business writing language”, read different kinds of business letters. Check the 05/07 website link: http://www.writinghelp-central.com/sample-letters-business.html Do a Google search for “business writing samples” or “business letter examples” or “inquiry letter example” “ __________ example”
Language used in business writing To gain a good understanding of “business writing language”, read different kinds of business letters. The more you read a writing style, the better you understand it. - This works for academic writing, informal writing, technical writing, etc.
Business language Everyone involved in this important annual event would greatly appreciate your support. = “We REALLY want you to help us.”
Business language I would also ask you to convey my sincere thanks and congratulations to all of those other people in your company who contributed in any way to the Helping the Homeless Campaign. = “Please say ‘thank you’ to everyone for me.”
Business language Allow me to introduce the “The Miracle Cleaner”, a product that… = “I want to tell you about this product.”
Business language Because of your expertise in business writing, we would be honored to host you as a speaker… = “We need you at our conference because you are an expert on business writing.”
Business language In reference to our previous communication regarding your presentation at the Clown Conference next week, I am writing to confirm your attendance. = “You agreed to speak at our conference, so please come.”
Para 1: Thank you for your business helping make our best sales year. Para 2: To say thank you, we have a free gift for you. Para 3: You are included in an exclusive offer. No down payment, no financing fees for one year. If you buy in February. Para4: please continue to be our customer. Para 5: IF you come to our main store, please visit me.
Reminder: Paper 3 – write a business letter 1. The university has approved your request for a guest speaker. Write an invitation letter asking Aaron Rodgers, the public relations director of the company you are researching to speak in class next week. 2. You are researching a company for your business class assignment. Write to Cynthia Lennon, the public relations director of the company you are researching, and ask for information about her company. 3. You are a sales representative for your company. Write a letter to Paul Coffey of Real Big Enterprises introducing one of your new products or services. Remember to give important details about your product (or service).
Reminder: Paper 3 – write a business letter Deadlines: First Draft: Sunday (May 12, 11:59 p.m.) Final Draft: Tuesday (May 14, 11:59 p.m.)