special_ characteristics - DEFINING OBIEC'FIVES Pis...

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To read additional information and access links related to this chap- ter's guidelines, go to www.thomsonedu.com/ english/anderson and click on Chapter 6. To succeed in the writing you do in your career, you must pro- I vide your readers with information and ideas they will find useful and persuasive. Sometimes, you will possess this knowl- edge before you begin to plan your communication. Often, however, you will need to conduct research to discover and de- velop your communication's content. This chapter will help you develop your expertise in conducting reader-centered research. DEFINING OBIEC'FIVES Pis DRAFTING REVISING SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF ON-THE-JOB RESEARCH The initial step in developing this expertise is understanding that research at work differs significantly from research in school. First, the purposes are very different. As explained in Chapter 1, your college instructors assign writing projects in order to advance your personal, intellectual, and professional development. Typically, your college research goal is to gain either a general overview or a comprehensive under- standing of a topic that will be useful to you sometime in the fut tire. In contrast, at work you will write for practical purposes, such as helping others—managers, coworkers, or clients—perform practical tasks and make good decisions on issues that confront them right now. Your research goal on the job will be to develop ideas, information, and arguments that your readers will find to be valuable right now. Second, in the workplace it is much more important to be able to conduct re- search efficiently, without taking extra time to travel down avoidable dead ends or study material that will be irrelevant to your readers' current situation. You will need to produce your results quickly because your readers will have an immediate need for your results and because you will also have many other responsibilities and tasks to complete. Third, in the workplace some (but not all) of the ethical principles concerning research differ from those that apply in school. This chapter's first six guidelines will help you quickly and efficiently gather the information, ideas, and arguments your readers need from your communications. A seventh focuses on important ethical legal issues in workplace research, In addition, the Writer's Reference Guide that follows this chapter offers detailed advice for skill- fully using five research methods often employed on the job. GUIDELINE 1 DEFINE YOUR RESEARCH OBJECTIVES You can streamline your research by defining in advance what you want to find. After all, you are not trying to dig up everything that is known about your subject. You are seeking only information and ideas that will help you achieve your communication's objectives.
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