Positive and Negative Correspondence/Messages

Week 3: Positive and Negative Correspondence/Messages

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Learning Objectives

Understanding How to Write All Kinds of Messages: Routine, Positive, Negative, and Persuasive

Readings

Part 4—Brief Messages:

Chapter 10: Writing Routine and Positive Messages (pp. 255-270)

Chapter 11: Writing Negative Messages (pp. 279-300)

Chapter 12: Writing Persuasive Messages (pp.313-329)

Individual Presentation #1 Due: Business Topic of Your Choice

Homework

Required Assignment 2: Write a Positive and a Negative Letter using the Scenario Handout

Option:  Business Writing Laboratory—Assignment #2

Week 3: PowerPoint Presentation (Positive and Negative Messages

Dear Students,
After you review all course materials  please write a Recommendation Report based on the Scenario Handout.

_____________________________________________

You are required to respond to the assignment question posted above with no less than 100 words. To support your response you are required to provide at least one supporting reference with proper citation. Your response will be reviewed by Unicheck, the plagiarism tool synced to Canvas. Unicheck will submit a similarity report a few minutes after you post your assignment. If similarity index is above 30%, please redo and resubmit your assignment after you cite the sources properly to avoid plagiarism. Please review the PowerPoint slides explaining how to avoid plagiarism and post your assignment accordingly. Even a single plagiarized statement will not be tolerated. APA writing format is recommended.

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Chapters 4-6: Preparing Written Messages

 

 

 

 

Preparing Written Messages Lesson Outline

Seven Steps to Preparing Written Messages

Effective Sentences and Coherent Paragraphs

Revise to Grab Your Audience’s Attention

Improve Readability

Proofread and Revise

 

 

 

 

 

Seven Steps to Preparing Written Messages

Seven Preparation Steps

Step 1: Consider Contextual Forces

Step 2: Determine Purpose, Channel, and Medium

Step 3: Envision Audience

Step 4: Adapt Message to Audience Needs and Concerns

Step 5: Organize the Message

Step 6: Prepare First Draft

Step 7: Revise, Edit, and Proofread

 

 

 

Effective Sentences and Coherent Paragraphs

Step 6: Prepare the First Draft

Proceed Deductively or Inductively

Know Logical Sequence of Minor Points

Write rapidly with Intent to Rewrite

Use Active More Than Passive Voice

 

 

 

 

Craft Powerful Sentences

Rely on Active Voice—Subject Doer of Action

(Passive—Subject Receiver of Action Sentence Is Less Emphatic)

Passive Voice Uses

Conceal the Doer/Avoid Finger Pointing

Doer Is Unknown

Place More Emphasis on What Was Done

(Receiver of Action)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Emphasize Important Ideas

Techniques

Sentence Structure—place important ideas in simple sentences/place in independent clauses (emphasis)

Repetition—repeat a word in a sentence

Labeling Words—use words that signal important

Position—position it first or last in a clause, sentence, paragraph, or presentation

Space and Format—use extraordinary amount of space for important items or use headings

 

 

Develop Coherent Paragraphs

 

Develop Deductive/Inductive Paragraphs Consistently

Link Ideas to Achieve Coherence

Keep Paragraphs Unified

Vary Sentence and Paragraph Length

 

 

 

Position Topic Sentences and Link Ideas

Deductive—topic sentence precedes details

Inductive—topic sentence follows details

Link Ideas to Achieve Coherence (Cohesion)

Repeat Word from Preceding Sentence

Use a Pronoun for a Noun in Preceding Sentence

Use Connecting Words (e.g., Conjunctive Adverbs)

Link Paragraphs by Using Transition Words

Use Transition Sentences before Headings,

But Not Subheadings

 

 

 

Paragraph Unity

 

Keep Paragraphs Unified—support must be focused on topic sentences

Ensure Paragraphs Cover Topic Sentence, But Do Not Write Extraneous Materials

Arrange Paragraphs in a Logical and Systematic Sequence

 

 

 

Vary Sentence and Paragraph Length

Vary Sentence Length (Average—Short)

Vary Sentence Structure (Sentence Variety)

Vary Paragraph Length (Average—Short

8-10 Lines)

Changes in Tense, Voice, and Person in Paragraphs Are Discouraged

 

 

 

 

 

Revise to Grab Reader’s Attention

Cultivate a Frame of Mind (Mind-set) for Revising and Proofreading

Have Your Revising/Editing Space/Room

View from Audience Perspective (You Attitude)

Revise until No More Changes Would Improve the Document

Be Willing to Allow Others to Make Suggestions (Writer’s Pride of Ownership?)

Ensure Error-Free Messages

 

 

Use Visual Enhancements for More Readability

Add Only When They Aid Comprehension

Create an Appealing, Easy-to-Read Document

Use Enumerations—place a number, bullet, or letter before text elements

Enumerated or bulleted lists (called chunking—increases retention by 50 percent)

Headings—readers more likely to pay attention

Tables and Graphs—simplifies/clarifies information

Lines and Borders—partitions text/focuses attention

Relevant Images—use various interesting shapes

(e.g., clip art and photos)

 

 

 

Improve Readability

Measure the Reading Difficulty of Your Writing (i.e., size of words/# of syllables)

Fog Index

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Calculator—measure length of sentences and difficulty of words

Grammar and Style Feature

 

 

Improve Readability Step 7: Revise for Style and Tone

Eliminate Outdated Expressions—they provide a dull, stuffy, unnatural tone

Curb Jargon and Clichés—overused words/ expressions, respectively

Eliminate Profanity

Use Simple, Informal Words—enable reader to understand message clearly and quickly

Communicate Concisely—all details using the fewest possible words

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Techniques to Produce Concise Messages

Eliminate Redundancies

Use Active Voice

Review the Main Purpose of Your Writing

Eliminate Clichés

Do not Restate Ideas That Are Implied

Shorten Sentence Length

Use Compound Adjectives

 

 

 

Project a Positive, Tactful Tone Suggestions

State Ideas Using Positive Language

Avoid Using Second Person (“you”) When Stating Negative Ideas

Use Third Person When Presenting Negative Ideas

Use Passive Voice When Conveying Negative Ideas

Use Active Voice to Promote Positive Ideas

Use the Subjunctive Mood—speak of a wish, necessity, doubt, or condition contrary to fact

Include a Pleasant Statement in Negative Sentences

 

 

 

Use Euphemisms Cautiously

Euphemism—a kind of word used that may offend or suggest something unpleasant

Avoid Too Much Sugarcoating/Exaggeration

Avoid Doublespeak—the distortion of truth often found in military, political, and corporate language

 

 

 

Avoid Condescending or Demeaning Expressions

Condescending—coming down from a level of superiority (i.e., talking down to people)

Demeaning—makes an idea seem negative or disrespectful (e.g., bean counters, ambulance chasers, shrinks, and spin doctors)

Use Respectful Expressions That Build and Protect “Goodwill”

Use Connotative Tone Cautiously (i.e., literal meaning plus extra message)

Connotative Words Can Be Misinterpreted

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use Specific, Bias-Free Language Guidelines

Guidelines to Avoid Biased Language

Avoid Referring to Men and Women in Stereotyped Roles and Occupations

Four Approaches to Avoid Gender Bias:

Avoid Using a Pronoun

Repeat the Noun

Use a Plural Noun

Use Pronouns from Both Genders

Use Occupational Titles That Reflect Gender Sensitivity (e.g., Flight Attendant and Office Assistant)

Avoid Designating an Occupation by Gender

Avoid Using Perceived Gender-Biased Expressions

Avoid Racial or Ethnic Bias

Avoid Age Bias

 

 

 

Use Specific, Bias-Free Language Guidelines

Guidelines to Avoid Biased Language

Avoid Referring to Men and Women in Stereotyped Roles and Occupations

Four Approaches to Avoid Gender Bias:

Avoid Using a Pronoun

Repeat the Noun

Use a Plural Noun

Use Pronouns from Both Genders

Use Occupational Titles That Reflect Gender Sensitivity

Avoid Designating an Occupation by Gender

Avoid Using Perceived Gender-Biased Expressions

Avoid Racial or Ethnic Bias

Avoid Age and Disability Bias

 

 

 

Proofread and Revise

Effective Proofreading Must Be Done Several Times: Each Time for a Specific Purpose

Use the Spell Checker to Locate Simple Keying Errors and Repeated Words

First, Proofread the Document in Three Areas:

Content

Organization

Style

 

 

 

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Proofread and Revise

Second, Proofread for Mechanical Errors

Grammar, Punctuation, Numbers, etc.

Word Substitutions (e.g., Homonyms)

Entire Document

Edit for Format and Layout

Document Using the APA Style Guide

Ensure Numbered Items Are in Correct Order

Evaluate Visual Impact of Document

Ensure Document Is Signed or Initialed

 

 

 

Proofread and Revised

Third, Print a Draft and Proofread Again

Print on High-Quality Paper

Sample Rough Draft (p. 72)