2 Organization for Short Correspondence Make several decisions revisit PAGOSSpecific purpose may determine organizationadjustment, claim, request, complaint, inquiry, response, “to-file”, etc. (check the book)Good News/Neutral Pattern of OrganizationMain idea, purposeDetailsGoodwill closing
3 Bad News Pattern of Organization Opening with context (buffer)ExplanationBad news (alternative?)Goodwill closing (alternative?)Or, buffer, explanation, bad news, exit (BEBE)
4 Types of BuffersStart with any good news or positive elements the letter contains.State a fact or provide a chronology of events.Refer to enclosures in the letter.Thank the reader for something he or she has done.State a general principle.A buffer is a neutral or positive statement that allows you to delay the negative. While recent research suggests buffers do not make readers respond more positively, if the situation calls for a buffer or the reader prefers one, use it. Buffers in negative messages come at the very beginning of the message.
5 Alternatives Offer the reader another way to get what’s wanted. Suggest the writer really cares about the reader.Enable the reader to reestablish psychological freedom.Allow you to end on a positive note.Good alternatives offer a compromise between the writer and the reader. Consider the appropriate alternative for the situation rather than a “one size fits all” approach.
6 (Purpose, Audience Context?) Persuasive/Request Pattern of Organization(Purpose, Audience Context?)Opening: Problem statement? Hook? Detail? Situation/Context? Request?LINK TO READER BENEFITBody: details, reasons, etc.Close: restate request, idea
7 Back to Basics Good Professional Writing is: clear complete correct concisebuilds goodwill
8 Building Goodwill You-Attitude or You Viewpoint Positive Emphasis Reader Benefits
9 You Attitude (You Viewpoint) A style of writing which looks at things from the reader’s point of view.What is their point of view?PAGOS Audience
10 Ways to demonstrate you attitude I/we you Focus on what the reader receives or can do, not on what you’ve done.Not YA: We have invested a lot of money tobuild the biggest inventory in town.YA: You can choose from the largestselection of gifts in town, thanks toRobinson’s large inventory.
11 Ways to demonstrate you attitude can’t can Focus on what the reader receives or can do, not on what the reader cannot do.Not YA: Non-standard merchandise may not be purchased without the prior approval of the Plant Manager.YA: To purchase non-standard merchandise, you must first get thePlant Manager’s approval.
12 can’t can Not YA: You may not be excused from class for religious observance without sendingwritten notice to your professor.YA:
13 Ways to demonstrate you attitude Provide details Emphasize what the reader wants to know.Not YA: We shipped your order today.Your order has been shipped. (not YA enough)YA: You should receive your order early next week.
14 Provide detailsNot YA: I have graded your project.YA:
15 Ways to demonstrate you attitude Be Cautious of Feelings Not YA: We are happy to give you a credit lineof $2000.YA: You now have a credit line of $2000 withAmerican Express.Not YA: You will be overjoyed to learn that yourvacation request has been approved.YA: Your vacation request has been approved.orYes, you may take October as vacation days.
16 Be Cautious of Feelings Not YA: I’m happy to assign extra reading becauseI know it will help you understand thematerial.YA:Not YA: You will be glad to know that you earned aC+ on the project.
17 Exception – Talk about your feelings Exception: You may talk about feelings in acondolence or congratulatory message.YA: I am sorry to hear that your father died.YA: I’m delighted that you’ll be our new salesmanager.
18 Ways to demonstrate you attitude Avoid “You” in Negative Situations Avoid “you” when it singles out the individual reader. Instead, talk about the group to which the reader belongs.Not YA: You must get approval from the instructor before you turn in your proposal.YA: Students must get the instructor’s approval before turning in their proposals.
19 Avoid “You” in Negative Situations Not YA: You may not be excused from class foryour sister’s wedding.YA:
20 Ways to use you attitude Avoid “You” in Negative Situations Avoid “you” when it criticizes the reader. Instead, use a passive verb construction or an impersonal construction to avoid assigning blame.Not YA: You failed to sign your check.YA: Your check was not signed.PV (actor implied, not in sentence) by who?YA: Your check arrived without a signature.IC (object performs action, no actor)
21 Passive Construction to deemphasize responsibility Passive Verb/Construction: the actor is implied, but not in the sentence.Sentence: You did not fill out the job application completely.Passive Verb Revision: The application was not filled out completely. (by who?)
22 Impersonal Construction to deemphasize responsibility Impersonal Construction: The object performs the action.Sentence: You did not fill out the job application completely.Impersonal Construction Revision: The application is incomplete.
23 Sentence: Cindy failed to turn in her project on time. Passive Verb Revision: The project was not turned in on time. (by who?)Impersonal Construction Revision: The project is late.
24 Sentence: You will receive a $100 fine. Passive Verb Revision: A $100 fine will be received. (by who?)Impersonal Construction Revision: A $100 fine is assessed.
25 Sentence: You did not include your error log. Passive Verb Revision: The error log was not included. (by who?)Impersonal Construction Revision: The error log is missing.
26 Sentence: The file you gave me won’t open. Passive Verb Revision: The file submitted will not open. (by who?)Impersonal Construction Revision: The file is corrupted. The file will not open.
27 Create Positive Emphasis 1. Eliminate negative words and words with negative connotations.2. Focus on what the reader can do rather than on limitations.Justify negative information by giving a reason or a reader benefit.4. If the negative is truly unimportant, omit it.5. Bury the negative information and present it compactly.
28 Ways to create positive emphasis Eliminate Negative Words afraidanxiousdelaydelinquentdissatisfiederrorfaillossmisfortunemissingnotproblemrejectweaknessSpend some time with this list: students sometimes see “anxious” as positive: “I am anxious to see you.” Remind them that its root is “anxiety.” When the idea is positive, it deserves positive language: “I am eager to see you.”14
29 I’m afraid that you were assigned a broken chair. One weakness in your project is your budget.You are not able to file for an exemption until aNoah failed to turn in his library books on time.
30 Include Reader Benefits Benefits and advantages the reader gets fromusing your servicesbuying your productsfollowing your policiesadopting your ideasDemonstrate your concern for quality and meeting customers’ needsReader benefits exist for ideas as well as for products and services.7
31 Good Reader Benefits are Adapted to the audienceSaving money vs. saving timeDeveloped using logic and detailsAccurateDetailedPhrased in You-AttitudeBenefits are often “frontloaded”Good reader benefits must meet four criteria.1. Adapted to the audience. For example, some people need to save money. Others are quite willing to spend more to save time.2. Based on intrinsic (not extrinsic) benefits. Buying a car because you get a discount or a “free” vacation is an extrinsic benefit--added on. Buying a car because it gets good mileage, has room for the stuff you haul, or provides independence are all intrinsic benefits. Reading a chapter to get a grade is an extrinsic motivator, and much less powerful than reading because you want to learn. Think about all the people who have trouble reading school assignments who voluntarily read about sports, stereos, or other topics they care about.9