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CHAPTER 5: COMPLETING BUSINESS MESSAGES 1) OUTLINE Revising Your Message Evaluating Your Content, Organization, Style, and Tone Reviewing for Readability Varying Your Sentence Length Keeping Your Paragraphs Short Using Lists and Bullets to Clarify and Emphasize Adding Headings and Subheadings Editing for Clarity Breaking Up Overly Long Sentences Rewriting Hedging Sentences Imposing Parallelism Correcting Dangling Modifiers Rewording Long Noun Sequences Replacing Camouflaged Verbs Clarifying Sentence Structure Clarifying Awkward References Moderating Your Enthusiasm Editing for Conciseness Deleting Unnecessary Words and Phrases Shortening Long Words and Phrases Eliminating Redundancies Recasting “It Is/There Are” Starters Evaluating, Editing, and Revising the Work of Others Using Technology to Revise Your Message Producing Your Message Adding Graphics, Sound, Video, and Hypertext Designing for Readability White Space Margins and Line Justification Typefaces Type Styles Using Technology to Produce Your Message Proofreading Your Message Distributing Your Message 2) Study Notes Revising Your Message Careful revision can mean the difference between a rambling, unfocused message and a lively, direct message that gets results. It also sends a strong signal to your readers that you respect their time and care about their opinions. To evaluate content, ask Is the information accurate?
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Is the information relevant to your audience’s needs? Is the information complete? To review organization, ask the following: Are all your points covered in the most logical order? Do the most important ideas occupy the most space and greatest emphasis? Are any points repeated unnecessarily? Are details grouped together logically rather than scattered through the document? Ask whether you have achieved the right style and tone for your audience. Is your writing formal enough to meet the audience’s expectations without being too formal or academic? Is it too casual for a serious subject? Give the beginning and ending of your message extra attention because they have the greatest impact on your audience. The opening must be relevant, interesting, geared to the reader’s probable reaction, and should convey the subject and purpose of the message The ending must conclude with a summary of the main idea and leave the audience with a positive impression Rewrite and edit to improve readability. Varying sentence length is an effective way to assist readers; short sentences (up to 15 words) are quickly processed, medium sentences (15 - 25 words) are useful for showing the relationship among ideas, and long sentences (more than 25 words) are the best way to convey complex ideas, list multiple related
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