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MS Word Writing Tools  MS Word is required for all writing assignments  This will permit electronic reviews of the writing assignments  Both peer reviews.

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Presentation on theme: "MS Word Writing Tools  MS Word is required for all writing assignments  This will permit electronic reviews of the writing assignments  Both peer reviews."— Presentation transcript:

1 MS Word Writing Tools  MS Word is required for all writing assignments  This will permit electronic reviews of the writing assignments  Both peer reviews and faculty reviews  Required to use “Track Changes” and “Comments” to review writing  Go to the “Review” tab in MS Word  There is also a pod cast video demonstrating the use of “Track Changes” and “Comments”

2 AGSM 439/440 Style All documents written for AGSM 439/440 are to be written in a formal business style Audience is your client and instructor Maybe your client’s upper level management as well

3 Business Writing Style Writing is a very important skill for managers: Most business communications now are done electronically which means writing Many people will know you primarily through your writing What you write has a big impact on your professional reputation and career Most people remember what they see more than what they hear Writing provides written proof

4 Business Writing Style This course does not cover English – we assume you already know: Grammar Spelling Sentence structure, etc. A note with perfect English can still be garbage

5 Business Writing Style Writing business notes: Avoid long paragraphs – they will not be read Avoid long sentences – short sentences are easier to comprehend Consider using bullets to list comments Use only one topic per

6 Business Writing Style Writing business notes: If note is long – send a short with attached document Never send a note in anger Be careful about using “Reply to All” When writing a note about a problem – try to present a possible solution or some alternative solutions

7 Business Writing Style In business writing you need to be: Well organized Direct Succinct Unambiguous Free of euphemisms or colloquial phrases Contain detailed information Use precise, accurate wording

8 Well Organized A well organized note or document will: Follow a logical path from an introduction to the final objective Leads from general to specific Have a conclusion – what was your purpose for writing Follow an outline

9 Direct Make the most important point the subject of the sentence. One company that has been at forefront of many of these advancements in agriculture is John Deere. John Deere has been at the forefront of many agricultural advances.

10 Succinct Make the point with few words yet maintain content There is no ready-made solutions for the given problem therefore this new machine would have to be designed from scratch – first on paper then as a prototype. No turnkey solutions are available, thus a new design is necessary.

11 Unambiguous Avoid pronouns when the subject can be unclear For a cotton gin, it would cause choking and clogging of machines or insufficient cotton flow in a piped stream. The Fuller splitter would likely result in choking for pneumatically conveyed cotton.

12 Unambiguous Avoid sentences that can have different interpretations Professors like annoying students. Professors like students who are annoying. Or Professors like to annoy students.

13 Slang/Euphemisms/Colloquialism s Wording and phrasing typically used in speech are not effective in business writing. In the cotton industry, cotton gins are thinning out, and the ones remaining are getting larger. Cotton gin consolidation has resulted in fewer and larger gins.

14 Writing Style Other examples of a colloquialism They had previously tried using a metal based chemical with little success and wishes to stray away from using this type of chemical. This problem can be similar to any other type of water problem out there.

15 Euphemisms Definition: the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant; Examples of euphemisms: Bought the farm Cash in your chips Gone south Kick the bucket

16 Specific Information Writing should contain detailed information, not general statements. In a cotton gin, there are many regulations that must be followed. Cotton gins are subject to numerous regulations, including ….

17 Precise Wording Make sure to use words with correct meaning. Try to use quantitative rather than qualitative descriptors. The bad drought this year has led to huge loses of cattle in my State. The worst drought in history has forced Texas ranchers to reduce their cattle numbers by 20%.

18 Precise Wording The overall goal for this project is to provide Zachary with a feasibility assessment on converting their yard to green technologies. The project goal is to assess the feasibility of obtaining LEED certification for Zachary’s machinery operation.

19 Precise Wording The Zachary machine yard contains many buildings for which the team will have to examine and determine what to do with them. The Zachary machine yard contains 25 buildings that must be assessed for future use.

20 How do you “Write right?” There are multiple writing styles MLA Chicago Discipline specific styles Our discipline uses the ASABE style The ASABE Guide to Authors is located at: _for_authors.pdf Or, go to ASABE website – Publications – Authors – Style Guide for Authors

21 Business Writing Style For your reports, follow a formal business style (ASABE) Business and professional writing is more formal than conversation Avoid chummy words, slang, personal terms, etc. Report needs to stand alone – don’t refer to previous conversations.

22 Business Writing Style Avoid starting a sentence with “Because” in Business and professional writing For example, avoid this: Because most companies would not use this …. Because the company is only interested with one vendor for the solution ….

23 Business Writing Style Avoid using “the team” in your reports For example, avoid this: For the next two semesters, Team 25 will be working closely with the …. After a thorough search and discussing potential regulations on water the Team has come to the conclusion ….

24 Business Writing Style Write objectively Avoid pronouns: 1’st person: I and we 2’nd person: You 3’rd person: He, she, it, they Avoid using the adjective “our”

25 Business Writing Style For example: “Through our research we have discovered that there are many government regulations and industry standards that …” Acceptable alternative: There are many government regulations and industry standards that …

26 Business Writing Style Also, avoid you Example of you to be avoided: “Excel is sufficient if you are just planning on storing a small amount of data.” An acceptable alternative would be: “Excel is sufficient when storing a small amount of data”

27 Format – Style – Content Proper formatting: Cannot improve content Can improve the communication of content Work on content first Work on style afterward Content, style and formatting are all important!

28 Format – Style – Content Break reports up into sections Use section headings For long sections break up into subsections Use figures, tables and charts Use photographs, drawings and maps

29 Business Writing Style Figures and tables are used to illustrate points in the text Figures and tables are captioned and numbered Section headings are used to organize the document

30 Figure / Table Captions All figures and tables in a report must be numbered All figures and tables must have a caption For figures  captions go below For tables  captions go above

31 Captions should be complete sentences Captions should completely describe what is in a figure or table Ideally, you should not have to refer to the text to understand what is in a figure or table Figure / Table Captions

32 All figures and tables must be referenced in the text before the figure or table For example: As shown in Figure 3 …. Figure / Table Captions

33 Figure 1. The famous Mannequin Pis fountain located in Brussels, Belgium. Report text Students on the Belgium Study Abroad program will have an opportunity to see the most famous fountain in Belgium (see Figure 1). Report text Figure / Table Captions

34 References Anything copied from another source must be referenced Text Tables Figures Photographs List of references required at the end of the report

35 Referencing Smith (1999) stated that….. Jones, Smith and Giese (2004) conducted a study on….. Thomas et al. (2009) presented a figure that…. A study on time efficiency of cotton ginning (Yager et al., 2003) stated…

36 Business Writing Style For important documents: Put your main thoughts on paper – follow some type of outline Then edit, edit, edit, and re-edit Cut useless sections, words Set aside, then edit again Maybe have someone else review as well Time spent polishing now - means less time cleaning up a mess later


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