BA 324 Style Guide - BA 324 Business Communication Holmes...

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BA 324 – Business Communication Holmes Format Guidelines for General Business Writing Format: General Business writing is new to most of you – and it’s an entirely different type of writing than you’ve done in the past. Business writing is about brevity, clarity, style, strategy, and audience. It is not poetic or “flowery,” but it is also not rigid or formulaic. Pay attention to the style differences required between conversational and formal business writing assignments. For example, letters require a more formal tone than e-mail messages. The tone should reflect an understanding of the audience’s needs and perspective. When writing for business, be mindful of the 7Cs: Clear – Use precise, vigorous words and active voice Conversational - Group your ideas. Avoid trite phrases, jargon, and pompous, "lawyer" language Courteous – Use straightforward, respectful tone Coherent – Use transitions and order ideas logically Concise – Avoid wordiness and redundancy Complete – Use adequate detail and make the audience perspective evident Correct – Check the accuracy of your information; make sure your work is error-free The image you are presenting through format, spacing, font, layout, and appearance should be consistent with the message and tone you are trying to convey to the reader. All work should look professional when it is submitted. Each document you prepare should be error-free, pleasing to the eye, clear, courteous, and business-like. Packaging is of utmost importance. Don’t undermine your effort by poor appearance, sloppiness, or lack of proofreading. Business documents should be uncluttered and easy to read. Observe the following guidelines: Set up a 1" or 1 ½ " margin on all four sides of the document. Use 12-point, Times New Roman font on all documents. (Note: The MS 2007 Office version of Word automatically defaults to 11 point Calibri font. Make sure you change the font and point size when you draft a document). Short paragraphs and sentences are preferred; paragraphs should focus on one idea or concept. Highlighting (headings, bullet lists, etc.) should be used to make the document accessible to readers who may only scan the document. Justify left margins only. For single-spaced assignments, the first line of each paragraph should NOT be indented but should have flush left margins, leaving one blank line between paragraphs. (Note: The MS 2007 Office version of Word automatically defaults to 1.15 line spacing. You will need to adjust accordingly). 1
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For double-spaced assignments, the first line of paragraphs should be indented ¼ to ½ inch (about 5-7 spaces) with no extra lines between paragraphs. For multiple page assignments, include a page number in the upper right corner
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BA 324 Style Guide - BA 324 Business Communication Holmes...

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