Presentation on theme: "Center for Professional Communication"— Presentation transcript:
1 Center for Professional Communication Business WritingCenter for Professional Communication
2 By the end of our time today you should be able to… Objective:By the end of our time today you should be able to…Define business writingExplain how it is different from other writingUnderstand 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”Write to express, not to impressA Princeton University study, “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly,” found that undergraduates use more complex words in papers to sound more intelligent. However, according to researchers, this strategy achieve the opposite effect:It turns out that somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of people (depending on how you ask) admit to deliberately replacing short words with longer words in their writing in an attempt to sound smarter…. The problem is that this strategy backfires – such writing is reliably judged to come from less intelligent authors.
5 How is business writing different? Write to express, not to impressBusiness writers write to express, not to impress
6 Can I become an effective business writer? StyleWordsSentencesParagraphsToneStyle is how an idea is expressed, not its substance. Style consists of words the writer uses and how those words are combined into sentence, paragraphs, and complete messages.First draft – focus on contentRevisions – focus on style
7 Business Writing Style Seek to express rather than to impressWrite clearly and conciselyUse simpler language and sentence structureUse active voiceRecommend actionAvoid qualifiersConvey an appropriate tone
8 Write Clearly What’s wrong with this magazine cover? Your credibility as a writer depends on the accuracy of you message – that is presenting information truthfully and much more.Be accurate and completeUse familiar wordsUse specific, concrete languageAvoid dangling expressionsAvoid clichés, slang, unnecessary jargon
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] lightOur employees are better than our competitors’.
12 Keep it simple Long Short modification endeavor substantial enumerate terminationinitiateutilizationchangetrylargelistendstartuse
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 agreeChoosing an internship may affect your life.
14 Be specific Not this… But this… The report is sloppy. You never finish work on timeI marked more than 20 errors in the report.This is the third deadline this month that you have missed.
15 Simple & SpecificIn this example the business is communicating in a simple and specific way.
16 Use Active VoiceOne 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.Recommend actions rather than refer to individual mental states
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.Avoid qualifiers that weaken recommendations or express doubt
20 Convey an Appropriate Tone Write confidentlyUse courteous and sincere toneUse appropriate emphasis and subordinationUse positive languageStress the “you” attitude
21 By the end of our time today you should be able to… Objective:By the end of our time today you should be able to…Define business writingExplain how it is different from other writingUnderstand strategies for developing an effective business writing style