WRITING BUSINESS MESSAGES
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (p. 117)
Avoid obsolete and pompous language, intimacy, humor, and preaching or bragging. To
achieve a conversational tone, use plain language that sounds businesslike without being
stuffy, stiff, wordy, or full of jargon.
An abstract word expresses a concept, quality, or characteristic (such as
and is generally broad. A concrete word stands for something tangible, something that can
be touched or seen (such as
and that is direct, clear, and exact.
Passive voice is best used in the following situations: 1) when you’re diplomatically
mentioning a problem or error, 2) when you don’t want to assign credit or blame, and 3)
when you want to avoid personal pronouns to create an objective tone.
Use sentence style to emphasize key ideas by doing the following: you can place keys ideas
at the end of the sentence or make it the subject of the sentence.
Transitions connect ideas by showing how one thought is related to another, they help alert
the reader to what lies ahead, and give your writing a smooth, even flow.
APPLY YOUR KNOWLEDGE (p. 117-118)
If students do not know their audiences personally, they can still use the “you” attitude
by trying to think like or empathize with the role of the audience. For example, if they’re
talking to a retailer, they should try to think like a retailer.
If they’re writing to a dissatisfied
customer, they should try to imagine how they would feel at the other end of the transaction.
Most of us have a professional side to ourselves. We have a range of facades that are all
“us,” but we emphasize various aspects of ourselves in various situations. In most cases our
own personality and the company-approved personality that must be projected to the outside
world overlap to some extent. We can be professional and businesslike without being
insincere or phony. In some cases, however, an individual’s style is totally out of keeping
with the organization’s style.
3. The best ways to make the word