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Session05: Envisioning Exercise & Revising Writing Dr. Mark H. Mortensen Sections 211 and 212 M & W2:00 to 3:15 3:30 to 4:45 Manning School of Business.

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Presentation on theme: "Session05: Envisioning Exercise & Revising Writing Dr. Mark H. Mortensen Sections 211 and 212 M & W2:00 to 3:15 3:30 to 4:45 Manning School of Business."— Presentation transcript:

1 Session05: Envisioning Exercise & Revising Writing Dr. Mark H. Mortensen Sections 211 and 212 M & W2:00 to 3:15 3:30 to 4:45 Manning School of Business

2 Mortensen Consulting Group Session 5 Turn in Assignment A Have bought the text books online. Have Read: HBR Guide to Better Business Writing – Chapters 1 – 21 Workshop: Envisioning Exercise Discussion: Revising Writing – How to Do It

3 Mortensen Consulting Group Envisioning Workshop – Part 1 Describe what you would like your lifestyle to be in 10 years 1. What will your social arrangements be? a) Where will you be living? b) In what kind of a place will you be living? c) Who will you be living with? 2. What will you be wearing? 3. What will your work situation be like? a) What will you be doing for a living? b) Will you be your own boss? Working at a salaried job? Working on commission? c) How will your day progress? i. Get up & go to work (home, urban, office park, foreign country?) ii. Get into work (how? Walk? Drive? Public transportation?) iii. Work (Doing what? Sitting at a desk? Traveling around?) iv. Leave – (Early? Late? How?) v. Go where? (Home? Bar? School? Second job?) 4. What will you do for fun? Imagining an Optimal Future Exercise – adapted from Diane Perlman, PhD

4 Mortensen Consulting Group Envisioning Workshop – Part 2 Once you have described the best possible future you can imagine, describe how you got there: What did you do, beginning in 2013 to lead up to this situation? What major steps did you take to get there?

5 Mortensen Consulting Group The Writing Process Architect CarpenterJudge Madman Revising Improving content and sentence structure May involve adding, cutting, and recasting. Improving content and sentence structure May involve adding, cutting, and recasting. Proofreading Correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, format, and mechanics Correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, format, and mechanics

6 Mortensen Consulting Group Memo Revised for Conciseness

7 Mortensen Consulting Group Use Concise Wording Do not use two words when one will do – or a hundred when ten will do! Instead of this We are of the opinion that Please feel free to In addition to the above At this point in time Despite the fact that Try this We think Please Also Now Although

8 Mortensen Consulting Group Limit Long Lead-Ins Instead of this This memo is to inform you that all employees will meet today. I am writing this letter to say thanks to everyone who voted. Try this All employees will meet today. Thanks to everyone who voted.

9 Mortensen Consulting Group Drop Unnecessary Fillers Revise sentences to avoid fillers such as there is/was and it is/was when used merely to take up space. Instead of this There was only one employees who should be promoted. It was Lisa and Jeff who were honored. Try this Only one employee should be promoted. Lisa and Jeff were honored.

10 Mortensen Consulting Group Quick Check Revise the following sentences to avoid flabby expressions, long lead-ins, and unnecessary there is/it is fillers. A new health benefit plan is available for employees. This message is to inform you that there is a new health benefit plan available for employees. I would like to take this opportunity to inform everyone that in all probability we expect to win the contract. We probably will win the contract.

11 Mortensen Consulting Group Quick Check Revise the following sentences to achieve conciseness. Two contracts are also attached. In addition to the above, there are contracts that are attached hereto. Despite the fact that most information is posted on the company intranet, please feel free to call whenever necessary. Although most information is posted on the company intranet, please call whenever necessary.

12 Mortensen Consulting Group Remove Redundant Words advance warning close proximity exactly identical filled to capacity final outcome necessary requisite new beginning past history refer back serious danger Avoid unnecessarily repetitious words. What words could be omitted in these expressions?

13 Mortensen Consulting Group Remove Redundant Words advance warning close proximity exactly identical filled to capacity final outcome necessary requisite new beginning past history refer back serious danger Avoid unnecessarily repetitious words. What words could be omitted in these expressions?

14 Mortensen Consulting Group Dump Trite Expressions Trite and Outdated as per your request pursuant to your request attached hereto under separate cover Modern at your request attached separately

15 Mortensen Consulting Group Jargon Computer Jargon queue export bandwidth Alternative list of documents waiting to be printed transfer data from one program to another Internet capacity Avoid technical terms and special terminology that readers would not recognize. Is jargon ever permissible?

16 Mortensen Consulting Group Slang to “bag on” clueless turkey chill/chill out to tease, to nag, or to complain unaware, naïve someone stupid or silly relax Avoid slang (informal expressions with arbitrary or extravagantly changed meanings).

17 Mortensen Consulting Group Slang An example from the world of Dilbert:

18 Mortensen Consulting Group Clichés Avoid clichés (overused expressions). Substitute more precise words. Instead of this Last but not least, you should keep your nose to the grindstone. We had reached the end of our rope. Try this Finally, you should work diligently. We could go no further.

19 Mortensen Consulting Group Quick Check Finally, the attorney referred to an identical case. Last but not least, the attorney referred back to an exactly identical case. With a little advance warning, we could have sold out before our stocks tanked. With warning, we could have sold out before our stocks hit bottom. Revise the following sentences to avoid redundancies, trite business expressions, jargon, and slang.

20 Mortensen Consulting Group Ms. Miller, who is straightforward, demanded completion by January 1. Ms. Miller, who shoots straight from the shoulder, demanded final completion by January 1. Revise the following sentences to avoid redundancies, trite business expressions, jargon, and slang. As you requested, a check for $150 is enclosed. Pursuant to your request, enclosed please find a check for $150.

21 Mortensen Consulting Group Buried Verbs Use active language. Look for words ending in tion or ment. Could they be more efficiently and forcefully converted to verbs? Look for words ending in tion or ment. Could they be more efficiently and forcefully converted to verbs? Tip

22 Mortensen Consulting Group Instead of this The manager came to the realization that telecommuting made sense. A job seeker must make application before May 1. Try this The manager realized that telecommuting made sense. A job seeker must apply before May 1. Buried Verbs

23 Mortensen Consulting Group Instead of this Once we have the establishment of a Web site, our business will grow. Please give serious consideration to a company intranet. Try this Once we establish a Web site, our business will grow. Please seriously consider a company intranet. Buried Verbs

24 Mortensen Consulting Group Control Exuberance To sound credible, don’t overuse intensifiers such as very, definitely, quite, completely, extremely, really, actually, and totally Excessive The manager is actually quite pleased with your proposal because the plan is definitely workable. Businesslike The manager is pleased with your proposal because the plan is workable.

25 Mortensen Consulting Group Precise Words Revise your writing to include precise words. Strive for specific verbs, concrete nouns, and vivid adjectives. Beware of unclear pronouns. Unclear The man asked for a raise. An employee presented a proposal. More Precise Jeff Jones asked for a 10 percent salary increase. Kelly Keeler, production manager, presented a plan to stagger hours.

26 Mortensen Consulting Group Precise Words Revise your writing to include descriptive, dynamic adjectives instead of overworked, all-purpose ones. Instead of this They thought her report was good. She said she would get in touch. Try this The management council thought Erin’s report was factual and well written. Sheila said she would send you an .

27 Mortensen Consulting Group Quick Check The seller promised to (telephone or fax) you. The seller said he definitely would contact you. We must give encouragement to our team. We must encourage our team. In the following sentences, unbury verbs and control exuberance.

28 Mortensen Consulting Group Moviegoers prefer buttered popcorn. Moviegoers actually show a total preference for buttered popcorn. Please assess the home’s value. Please make an assessment of the home’s value. Ann suggested that we hire Lee. Ann made a suggestion that we hire Lee. In the following sentences, unbury verbs and control exuberance.

29 Mortensen Consulting Group Designing Documents for Readability Employ white space.  Headings  Short paragraphs  Ragged-right margins

30 Mortensen Consulting Group Designing Documents for Readability Use bulleted and numbered lists.  Break up complex information into smaller chunks.  Use numbered lists for sequences.  Use bulleted lists for items that don’t require a certain order.

31 Mortensen Consulting Group Instead of this To clean the printer, you should do the following. First, you should disconnect the power cord. Then you open the front cover, and the printer area should be cleaned with a soft cloth. Try this To clean the printer, do the following: 1. Disconnect the power cord. 2. Open the front cover. 3. Clean the printer with a soft cloth. Designing Documents for Readability Use a numbered list for instructions.

32 Mortensen Consulting Group Instead of this On April 3 we will be in Toledo, and the speaker is Troy Lee. On May 20 we will be in Detroit, and the speaker is Sue Wu. Try this Date City Speaker April 3 Toledo Troy Lee May 20 Detroit Sue Wu Designing Documents for Readability O rganize information with column headings.

33 Mortensen Consulting Group Instead of this Our team constantly tries to achieve our goals, customer service must be improved, and our production targets must be met. Try this Our team constantly tries to (a) achieve our goals, (b) improve customer service, and (c) hit our production targets. Designing Documents for Readability Use letters to list items within sentences. Strive for parallelism.

34 Mortensen Consulting Group Instead of this The next topic is vacations. A new vacation schedule will be available on May 1. To assist employees, we will begin a flex schedule in the fall. Try this Vacations. A new vacation schedule will be available on May 1. Flextime. To assist employees, we will begin a flex schedule in the fall. Designing Documents for Readability Use paragraph headings to improve organization and readability.

35 Mortensen Consulting Group Quick Check The next training session will demonstrate Creating podcasts Sharing multiple programs Maintaining an Internet directory. In the next training session, the trainer will demonstrate how to create podcasts, how to share multiple programs, and how to maintain an Internet directory. Arrange the following in a concise, bulleted vertical list.

36 Mortensen Consulting Group Quick Check You can prepare for interviews by doing the following: Study the job description. Itemize your most strategic skills and qualifications. Practice giving responses in a mock interview. In preparing for an employment interview, you should begin by studying the job description. Itemizing your most strategic skills and qualifications is also important. Giving responses in a mock interview is another good practice technique. Last, you should be prepared to ask relevant questions. Improve the readability of the following instructions that will become part of a student’s employment booklet.

37 Mortensen Consulting Group What to Watch for in Proofreading Spelling Grammar Punctuation Names and numbers Format © ISTOCKPHOTO.COM / DMITRY SHIRONOSOV

38 Mortensen Consulting Group Proofreading Marks

39 Mortensen Consulting Group

40 How to Proofread Complex Documents Allow adequate time. Print a copy, preferably double-spaced. Be prepared to find errors. Read once for meaning and once for grammar/mechanics. Reduce your reading speed.

41 Mortensen Consulting Group For documents that must be perfect: Have someone read aloud the original while someone else checks the printout. Spell names. Spell difficult words. Note capitalization. Note punctuation. How to Proofread Complex Documents

42 Mortensen Consulting Group Next Class (Wednesday) Session 6 2 Oct. Bring Assignment 5 (you in 5 years) to class (turn in at the end). Have Read: Anything in HBR Guide to Better Business Writing you did not read yet. Workshop: Reading out loud Assignment 5 in front of the class. Discussion: Persuasive Messages Write a few paragraphs about what you see yourself doing in five years – where you are, what you do for a living, etc. Dream a little, but keep away from complete flights of fancy, please. This is a typical question that a recruiter would ask you during a job interview. Turn in a hard copy. Write it using proper grammar and good form, please. Assignment 5

43 Mortensen Consulting Group ProfComm – Fall 2013


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