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Unformatted text preview: 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 59 Document Design 5. Principles of document design 60 6. Academic formats 70 7. Business formats 70 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 60 dd 5 60 Document Design The term document is broad enough to describe anything you might write in a college class, in the business world, and in everyday life. How you design a document (format it for the printed page or for a computer screen) will affect how readers respond to it. 5 Become familiar with the principles of document design. Good document design promotes readability, but what readability means depends on your purpose and audience and perhaps on other elements of your writing situation, such as your subject, length restrictions, or any other specific requirements (see the checklists on pp. 7 and 61). All of your design choices — layout, word processing options such as margins and fonts, headings, and lists — should be made in light of your writing situation. Likewise, different types of visuals — tables, charts, and images — can support your writing if they are used appropriately. 5a Select appropriate format options. Similar types of documents share similar design features. Taken together, these features — layout, margins and line spacing, alignment, fonts, and font styles — form an appearance that helps to guide readers. Layout Most readers have set ideas about how different kinds of documents should look. Advertisements, for example, have a distinctive appearance, as do newsletters, flyers, brochures, and menus. Instructors have expectations about how a college paper should look (see 6). Employers too expect documents such as letters, résumés, memos, and e-mail messages to be presented in standard ways (see 7). 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 61 dd Principles of document design 5a 61 Planning a document: Purpose and audience checklist ■ What is the purpose of your document? How can your document design help you achieve this purpose? ■ Who are your readers? What are their expectations? ■ What format is required? What format options — layout, margins, line spacing, alignment, and fonts — will readers expect? ■ How can you use visuals — charts, graphs, tables, images — to help you convey information? Unless you have a compelling reason to stray from convention, it’s best to choose a document layout that conforms to your readers’ expectations. If you’re not sure what readers expect, look at examples of the kind of document you are producing. Margins and line spacing Margins help control the look of a page. For most academic and business documents, leave a margin of one to one and a half inches on all sides. These margins create a visual frame for the text and provide room for annotations, such as an instructor’s comments or an editor’s suggestions. Tight margins generally make a page crowded and difficult to read. Most manuscripts in progress are double-spaced to allow room for editing. Final copy is often double-spaced as well, since single-spacing is less inviting to read. If you are unsure about margin and spacing requirements for your document, check with your instructor or consult documents similar to the one you are writing. At times, the advantages of wide margins and doublespaced lines are offset by other considerations. For example, most business and technical documents are single-spaced, with double-spacing between paragraphs, to save paper and promote quick scanning. Your document’s purpose and context should determine appropriate margins and line spacing. 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 62 dd 5a 62 Document Design SINGLE-SPACED, UNFORMATTED Obesity in Children DOUBLE-SPACED, FORMATTED 1 Can Medication Cure Obesity in Children? A Review of the Literature In March 2004, U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona called attention to a health problem in the United States that, until recently, has been overlooked: childhood obesity. Carmona said that the “astounding” 15% child obesity rate constitutes an “epidemic.” Since the early 1980s, that rate has “doubled in children and tripled in adolescents.” Now more than 9 million children are classified as obese (paras. 3, 6). While the traditional response to a medical epidemic is to hunt for a vaccine or a cure-all pill, childhood obesity has proven more elusive. The lack of success of recent initiatives suggests that medication might not be the answer for the escalating problem. This literature review considers whether the use of medication is a promising approach for solving the childhood obesity problem by responding to the following questions: What are the implications of childhood obesity? Is medication effective at treating childhood obesity? Is medication safe for children? Is medication the best solution? Understanding the limitations of medical treatments for children highlights the complexity of the childhood obesity problem in the United States and underscores the need for physicians, advocacy groups, and policymakers to search for other solutions. Obesity can be a devastating problem from both an individual and a societal perspective. Obesity puts children at risk for a number of medical complications, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and orthopedic problems (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004, p. 1). Researchers Hoppin and Taveras (2004) have noted that obesity is often associated with psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, and binge eating (Table 4). Obesity also poses serious problems for a society struggling to cope with rising health care costs. The cost of treating obesity currently totals $117 billion per year--a price, according to the surgeon general, “second only to the cost of [treating] tobacco use” (Carmona, 2004, para. 9). And as the number of children who suffer from obesity grows, long-term costs will only increase. The widening scope of the obesity problem has prompted medical professionals to rethink old conceptions of the disorder and its causes. As researchers Yanovski and Yanovski (2002) have explained, obesity Obesity in Children 1 Can Medication Cure Obesity in Children? A Review of the Literature In March 2004, U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona called attention to a health problem in the United States that, until recently, has been overlooked: childhood obesity. Carmona said that the “astounding” 15% child obesity rate constitutes an “epidemic.” Since the early 1980s, that rate has “doubled in children and tripled in adolescents.” Now more than 9 million children are classified as obese (paras. 3, 6).1 While the traditional response to a medical epidemic is to hunt for a vaccine or a cure-all pill, childhood obesity has proven more elusive. The lack of success of recent initiatives suggests that medication might not be the answer for the escalating problem. This literature review considers whether the use of medication is a promising approach for solving the childhood obesity problem by responding to the following questions: 1. What are the implications of childhood obesity? 2. Is medication effective at treating childhood obesity? 3. Is medication safe for children? 4. Is medication the best solution? Understanding the limitations of medical treatments for children highlights the complexity of the childhood obesity 1Obesity is measured in terms of body-mass index (BMI): weight in kilograms divided by square of height in meters. An adult with a BMI 30 or higher is considered obese. In children and adolescents, obesity is defined in relation to others of the same age and gender. An adolescent with a BMI in the 95th percentile for his or her age and gender is considered obese. Alignment Word processing programs allow you to align text and visuals on a page in four ways: LEFTALIGNED RIGHTALIGNED CENTERED JUSTIFIED Most academic and business documents are left-aligned for easy reading. Fonts If you have a choice, select a font that fits your writing situation in an easy-to-read size (usually 10 to 12 points). Although offbeat fonts may seem attractive, they slow readers down and can distract them from your ideas. For example, using comic sans, a font with a handwritten, childish feel, can make an 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 63 dd Principles of document design 5b 63 essay seem too informal or unpolished, regardless of how well it’s written. Fonts that are easy to read and appropriate for college and workplace documents include the following. Font styles Font styles — such as boldface, italics, and underlining — can be useful for calling attention to parts of a document. On the whole, it is best to use restraint when selecting styles. Applying too many different styles within a document can result in busylooking pages and may confuse readers. TIP: Never write a document in all capital or all lowercase letters. Doing so can frustrate or annoy readers. Although some readers have become accustomed to instant messages and e-mails that omit capital letters entirely, their absence makes a message difficult to read. 5b Use headings when appropriate. You will have little need for headings in short essays, especially if you use paragraphing and clear topic sentences to guide readers. In more complex documents, however, such as research papers, grant proposals, business reports, and Web sites, headings can be a useful visual cue for readers. Headings help readers see at a glance the organization of a document. If more than one level of heading is used, the headings also indicate the hierarchy of ideas — as they do throughout this book. Headings serve a number of functions, depending on the needs of different readers. When readers are simply looking up information, headings will help them find it quickly. When readers are scanning, hoping to pick up the gist of things, headings will guide them. Even when readers are committed enough to read every word, headings can help them preview a document before they begin reading. 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 64 dd 64 5b Document Design TIP: While headings can be useful, they cannot substitute for transitions between paragraphs. Keep this in mind as you write college essays. Phrasing headings Headings should be as brief and as informative as possible. Certain styles of headings — the most common being -ing phrases, noun phrases, questions, and imperative sentences — work better for some purposes, audiences, and subjects than others. Whatever style you choose, use it consistently. Headings on the same level of organization should be written in parallel structure (see 9), as in the following examples from a report, a history textbook, a financial brochure, and a nursing manual, respectively. -ING HEADINGS Safeguarding the earth’s atmosphere Charting the path to sustainable energy Conserving global forests NOUN PHRASE HEADINGS The economics of slavery The sociology of slavery The psychological effects of slavery QUESTIONS AS HEADINGS How do I buy shares? How do I redeem shares? What is the history of the fund’s performance? IMPERATIVE SENTENCES AS HEADINGS Ask the patient to describe current symptoms. Take a detailed medical history. Record the patient’s vital signs. Placing and formatting headings Headings on the same level of organization should be placed and formatted in a consistent way. If you have more than one 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 8/6/07 2:01 PM Page 65 dd Principles of document design 5c 65 level of heading, you might center your first-level headings and make them boldface; then you might make the second-level headings left-aligned and italicized, like this: First-level heading Second-level heading A college paper with headings typically has only one level, and the headings are often centered, as in the sample paper on pages 515–19. Business memos often include headings. Important headings can be highlighted by using white space around them. Less important headings can be downplayed by using less white space or by running them into the text. 5c Use lists to guide readers. Lists are easy to read or scan when they are displayed rather than run into your text. You might choose to display the following kinds of lists: • • • • • • steps in a process materials needed for a project parts of an object advice or recommendations items to be discussed criteria for evaluation (as in checklists) Lists should usually be introduced with an independent clause followed by a colon (All mammals share the following five characteristics:). Periods are not used after items in a list unless the items are complete sentences. Lists are most readable when they are presented in parallel grammatical form (see 9). If the order of items is not important, use bullets (circles or squares) or dashes to draw readers’ eyes to a list. If you are describing a sequence or a set of steps, number your list with arabic numerals (1, 2, 3) followed by periods. Although lists can be useful visual cues, don’t overdo them. Too many will clutter a document. 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 66 dd 66 5d 5d Document Design Add visuals to supplement your text. Visuals can convey information concisely and powerfully. Charts, graphs, and tables, for example, can simplify complex numerical information. Images — including photographs and diagrams — often express an idea more vividly than words can. With access to the Internet, digital photography, and word processing or desktop publishing software, you can download or create your own visuals to enhance your document. If you download a visual, you must credit your source (see 51). Choosing appropriate visuals Use visuals to supplement your writing, not to substitute for it. Always consider how a visual supports your purpose and how your audience might respond to it. A student writing about electronic surveillance in the workplace, for example, used a cartoon to illustrate her point about employees’ personal use of the Internet at work (see 56b). Another student, writing about treatments for childhood obesity, created a table to display data she had found in two different sources and discussed in her paper (see 61b). As you draft and revise a document, choose carefully the visuals that support your main point, and avoid overloading your text with too many images. The chart on pages 68–69 describes eight types of visuals and their purposes. Placing and labeling visuals A visual may be placed in the text of a document, near a discussion to which it relates, or it can be put in an appendix, labeled, and referred to in the text. Placing visuals in the text of a document can be tricky. Usually you will want the visual to appear close to the sentences that relate to it, but page breaks won’t always allow this placement. At times you may need to insert the visual at a later point and tell readers where it can be found; sometimes you can make the text flow around the visual. No matter where you place a visual, refer to it in your text. Don’t expect visuals to speak for themselves. Most of the visuals you include in a document will require some sort of label. A label, which is typically placed above or below the visual, should be brief but descriptive. Most com- 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 67 dd 5d Principles of document design 67 VISUAL WITH A SOURCE CREDITED Fig. 6. Postal Service Size, by Number of Employees Among the Global 500 Rank Company 1 Wal-Mart Stores 2 China National Petroleum 3 Among US Companies Employees as of 2002 Rank Company 1,300,000 1 Wal-Mart Stores Employees as of 2002 1,146,194 2 US Postal Service Sinopec 917,000 3 McDonald’s 413,000 4 US Postal Service 854,376 4 United Parcel Service 360,000 5 Agricultural Bank of China 490,999 5 Ford Motor 350,321 6 Siemens 426,000 6 General Motors 350,000 7 McDonald’s 413,000 7 Intl. Business Machines 315,889 8 Ind. & Comm. Bank of China 405,000 8 General Electric 315,000 9 Carrefour 396,662 9 Target 306,000 10 Compass Group 392,352 10 Home Depot 300,000 11 China Telecomm 365,778 11 Kroger 289,000 12 DaimlerChrysler 365,571 12 Sears Roebuck 289,000 13 United Parcel Service 360,000 13 Tyco International 267,000 14 Ford Motor 350,321 14 Citigroup 252,500 15 General Motors 350,000 15 Verizon Communications 229,497 1,300,000 854,376 Source: Number of employees rankings by Fortune Magazine, April 14, 2003. monly, a visual is labeled with the word “Figure” or the abbreviation “Fig.,” followed by a number: Fig. 4. Sometimes a title might be included to explain how the visual relates to the text: Fig. 4. Voter turnout by age. Using visuals responsibly Most word processing and spreadsheet software will allow you to produce your own visuals. If you create a chart, a table, or a graph using information from your research, you must cite the source of the information even though the visual is your own. The table at the top of this page credits the source of its data. If you download a photograph from the Web or scan an image from a magazine or book, you must credit the person or organization that created it, just as you would cite any other source you use in a college paper (see 51). If your document is written for publication outside the classroom, you will need to request permission to use any visual you borrow. Guidelines for using visuals vary by academic discipline. See 56a and 61a for guidelines in English and humanities and in social sciences, respectively. 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 68 dd 5d 68 Document Design Choosing visuals to suit your purpose Pie chart Use of the George Mason University writing center, by group, academic year 2003–04 Pie charts compare a part or parts to the whole. The parts are displayed as segments of the pie, represented as percentages of the whole (which is always 100 percent). n Juniors 30% n Seniors 20% n First-year students 17% n Sophomores 17% n Graduate students 11% n Not indicated 3% n Staff / alumni 2% Line graph www.mywebsite.com Line graphs highlight trends over a period of time or compare numerical data. 250 2003 200 2004 150 100 50 0 January February March April Number of hits, 2003 and 2004 Bar graph www.mywebsite.com Bar graphs can be used for the same purpose as line graphs. This bar graph displays the same data as in the line graph above. 250 2003 200 120 100 100 50 12 27 31 February March Number of hits, 2003 and 2004 Tables organize complicated numerical information into a digestible format. 46 0 January Table 184 161 2004 150 April 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 8/6/07 2:01 PM Page 69 dd Principles of document design 5d Photograph Photographs vividly depict people, scenes, or objects discussed in a text. Diagram Diagrams, useful in scientific and technical writing, concisely illustrate processes, structures, or interactions. Map Maps indicate distances, historical information, or demographics. Flowchart TASK FORCE Flowcharts show structures or steps in a process. (Also see p. 158.) Technical Committee Community Committee Local Government Committee Planning and Evaluation Subcommittee Law and Policy Work Group Budget Work Group Local Business Work Group Web Site Work Group 69 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 70 dd 6 70 Document Design 6 Use standard academic formatting. Instructors have certain expectations about how a college paper should look. If your instructor provides guidelines for formatting an essay, report, or research paper, you should follow them. Otherwise, use the manuscript format that is recommended for your academic discipline. 6a Use the manuscript format required by your academic discipline. In most English and humanities classes, you will be asked to use the MLA (Modern Language Association) format. In most social science classes, such as psychology and sociology, and in most health fields, you will be asked to use APA (American Psychological Association) format. See 6b and 60e, respectively, for more details. 6b Follow MLA format for most composition papers. The sample on pages 71–72 illustrates MLA format. For more detailed MLA manuscript guidelines and a sample research paper, see 56. 7 Use standard business formatting. This section provides guidelines for preparing business letters, résumés, and memos. For a more detailed discussion of these and other business documents — proposals, reports, executive summaries, and so on — consult a business writing textbook or look at current examples at the organization for which you are writing. 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 71 dd 7 Academic formats 71 MLA ESSAY FORMAT 1/2 1 Orlov 1 Anna Orlov Professor Willis 1 English 101 17 March 2006 Online Monitoring: Title is centered. A Threat to Employee Privacy in the 1/2 Wired Workplace As the Internet has become an integral tool of businesses, company policies on Internet usage have become as common as policies regarding vacation days or sexual harassment. A 2005 study by the American Double-spacing is used throughout. Management Association and ePolicy Institute found that 76% of companies monitor employees’ use of the Web, and the number of companies that block employees’ access to certain Web sites has increased 27% since 2001 (1). Unlike other company rules, however, Internet usage policies often include language authorizing companies to secretly monitor 1 their employees, a practice that raises questions about rights in the workplace. Although companies often have legitimate concerns that lead them to monitor employees’ Internet usage--from expensive security breaches to reduced productivity--the benefits of electronic surveillance are outweighed by its costs to employees’ privacy and autonomy. 1 Marginal annotations indicate MLA-style formatting. ➔ 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 8/6/07 2:01 PM Page 72 dd 7 72 Document Design MLA ESSAY FORMAT (continued ) 1/2 1 Orlov 5 Works Cited Heading is centered. Adams, Scott. Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel. New York: Harper, 2002. American Management Association and ePolicy Insti1/2 tute. “2005 Electronic Monitoring and Surveillance Survey.” American Management Association. 2005. 15 Feb. 2006 <http://www.amanet.org/ research/pdfs/EMS_summary05.pdf>. “Automatically Record Everything They Do Online! Spector Pro 5.0 FAQ’s.” Netbus.org. SpectorSoft. 17 Feb. 2006 <http:// www.netbus.org/ 1 sProFAQ.html>. Flynn, Nancy. “Internet Policies.” ePolicy Institute. 2001. 15 Feb. 2006 <http:// www.epolicyinstitute.com/i_policies/index.html>. Frauenheim, Ed. “Stop Reading This Headline and Get Back to Work.” CNET News.com. 11 July 2005. 17 Feb. 2006 <http://news.com.com/Stop+reading+ this+headline+and+get+back+to+work/ 2100-1022_3-5783552.html>. Double-spacing is used throughout; no extra space between entries. Gonsalves, Chris. “Wasting Away on the Web.” eWeek.com 8 Aug. 2005. 16 Feb. 2006 <http://www.eweek.com/article2/ 0,1895,1843242,00.asp>. 1 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 4:53 PM Page 73 dd Business formats 7a 7a 73 Use established conventions for business letters. In writing a business letter, be direct, clear, and courteous, but do not hesitate to be firm if necessary. State your purpose or request at the beginning of the letter and include only relevant information in the body. By being as direct and concise as possible, you show that you value your reader’s time. For the format of the letter, stick to established business conventions. The following sample business letter is typed in what is known as full block style. Paragraphs are not indented BUSINESS LETTER IN FULL BLOCK STYLE March 16, 2004 Date Jonathan Ross Managing Editor Latino World Today 2971 East Oak Avenue Baltimore, MD 21201 Dear Mr. Ross: Inside address Salutation Thank you very much for taking the time yesterday to speak to the University of Maryland’s Latino Club. A number of students have told me that they enjoyed your presentation and found your job search suggestions to be extremely helpful. As I mentioned to you when we first scheduled your appearance, the club publishes a monthly newsletter, Latino Voice. Our purpose is to share up-to-date information and expert advice with members of the university’s Latino population. Considering how much students benefited from your talk, I would like to publish excerpts from it in our newsletter. Body I have taken the liberty of transcribing parts of your presentation and organizing them into a question-and-answer format for our readers. When you have a moment, would you mind looking through the enclosed article and letting me know if I may have your permission to print it? I would be happy, of course, to make any changes or corrections that you request. I’m hoping to include this article in our next newsletter, so I would need your response by April 4. Once again, Mr. Ross, thank you for sharing your experiences with us. You gave an informative and entertaining speech, and I would love to be able to share it with the students who couldn’t hear it in person. Sincerely, Close Signature Jeffrey Richardson Associate Editor Enc. 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 74 dd 74 7b Document Design and are typed single-spaced, with double-spacing between them. This style is usually preferred when the letter is typed on letterhead stationery, as in the example. Below the signature, aligned at the left, you may include the abbreviation Enc. to indicate that something is enclosed with the letter or the abbreviation cc followed by a colon and the name of someone who is receiving a copy of the letter. 7b Write effective résumés and cover letters. An effective résumé gives relevant information in a clear and concise form. You may be asked to produce a traditional résumé, a scannable résumé, or a Web résumé. The cover letter gives a prospective employer a reason to look at your résumé. The trick is to present yourself in a favorable light without including unnecessary details and wasting your reader’s time. When you send out your résumé, always include a cover letter that introduces yourself, states the position you seek, and tells where you learned about it. The letter should also highlight past experiences that qualify you for the position and emphasize what you can do for the employer (not what the job will do for you). End the letter with a suggestion for a meeting, and tell your prospective employer when you will be available. COVER LETTERS Traditional résumés are produced on paper, and they are screened by people, not by computers. Because screeners may face stacks of applications, they often spend very little time looking at each résumé. Therefore, you will need to make your résumé as reader-friendly as possible. Here are a few guidelines: TRADITIONAL RÉSUMÉS • Limit your résumé to one page if possible, two pages at the most. (If your résumé is longer than a page, repeat your name at the top of the second page.) • Organize your information into clear categories — Education, Experience, and so on. • Present the information in each category in reverse chronological order to highlight your most recent accomplishments. 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 75 dd Business formats 7b 75 TRADITIONAL RÉSUMÉ Jeffrey Richardson 121 Knox Road, #6 College Park, MD 20740 301–555–2651 jrichardson@jrichardson.localhost OBJECTIVE EDUCATION Fall 2003– present EXPERIENCE Fall 2005– present To obtain an editorial internship with a magazine University of Maryland • BA expected in June 2007 • Double major: English and Latin American studies • GPA: 3.7 (on a 4-point scale) Associate editor, Latino Voice, newsletter of Latino Club • Assign and edit feature articles • Coordinate community outreach Fall 2004– present Photo editor, The Diamondback, college paper • Shoot and print photographs • Select and lay out photographs and other visuals Summer 2005 Intern, The Globe, Fairfax, Virginia • Wrote stories about local issues and personalities • Interviewed political candidates • Edited and proofread copy • Coedited “The Landscapes of Northern Virginia: A Photoessay” Summers 2004, 2005 Tutor, Fairfax County ESL Program • Tutored Latino students in English as a Second Language • Trained new tutors ACTIVITIES Photographers’ Workshop, Latino Club PORTFOLIO Available at http://jrichardson.localhost/jrportfolio.htm REFERENCES Available upon request • Use bulleted lists or some other simple, clear visual device to organize information. • Use strong, active verbs to emphasize your accomplishments. (Use present-tense verbs, such as manage, for current activities and past-tense verbs, such as managed, for past activities.) 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 76 dd 76 7b Document Design Scannable résumés might be submitted on paper, by e-mail, or through an online employment service. The prospective employer scans and searches the résumé electronically; a database matches keywords in the employer’s job description with keywords in the résumé. A human screener then looks through the résumés filtered out by the database matching. A scannable résumé must be very simply formatted so that the scanner can accurately pick up its content. In general, follow these guidelines when preparing a scannable résumé: SCANNABLE RÉSUMÉS • Include a Keywords section that lists words likely to be searched by a scanner. (Use nouns such as manager, not verbs such as manage or managed.) • Use standard résumé headings (for example, Education, Experience, References). • Avoid special characters, graphics, or font styles such as boldface or italics. • Avoid formatting features such as tabs, indents, columns, or tables. Posting your résumé on a Web site is an easy way to provide prospective employers with recent information about your employment goals and accomplishments. Web résumés allow you to present details about yourself without overwhelming your readers. Most guidelines for traditional résumés apply to Web résumés, but if you choose to post your résumé to your personal Web site, consider the following guidelines. WEB RÉSUMÉS • Keep the opening screen of your Web site (home page) simple and concise. Provide a clear link to your résumé and to any other relevant pages, such as an electronic portfolio. • Consider including an HTML version and a downloadable/ printable version (a PDF file, for instance) of your résumé. • Include identifying information — your name, address, and phone number and a link to your e-mail address — at the top of your résumé page. • Always list the date that you last updated the résumé. ON THE WEB > dianahacker.com/rules Additional resources > Links Library > Document design 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 77 dd Business formats 7c 7c 77 Write clear and concise memos. Usually brief and to the point, a memo reports information, makes a request, or recommends an action. The format of a memo, which varies from company to company, is designed for easy distribution, quick reading, and efficient filing. BUSINESS MEMO Commonwealth Press MEMORANDUM February 28, 2007 To: Production, promotion, and editorial assistants cc: Stephen Chapman From: Helen Brown Subject: New computers for staff We will receive the new personal computers next week for the assistants in production, promotion, and editorial. In preparation, I would like you to take part in a training program and to rearrange your work areas to accommodate the new equipment. Training Program A computer consultant will teach in-house workshops on how to use our spreadsheet program. If you have already tried the program, be prepared to discuss any problems you have encountered. Workshops for our three departments will be held in the training room at the following times: • Production: Wednesday, March 7, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. • Promotion: Friday, March 9, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. • Editorial: Monday, March 12, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided in the cafeteria. If you cannot attend, please let me know by March 3. Allocation and Setup To give everyone access to a computer, we will set up the new computers as follows: two in the assistants' workspace in production; two in the area outside the conference room for the promotion assistants; and two in the library for the editorial assistants. Assistants in all three departments should see me before the end of the week to discuss preparation of the spaces for the new equipment. 059-078_63657_Part II-SE.qxd 7/13/07 3:57 PM Page 78 dd 78 7d Document Design Most memos display the date, the name of the recipient, the name of the sender, and the subject on separate lines at the top. Many companies have preprinted forms for memos, and some word processing programs have memo templates. Memos also may be distributed via e-mail to be read on-screen. The subject line of a memo, on paper or in e-mail, should describe the topic as clearly and concisely as possible, and the introductory paragraph should get right to the point. In addition, the body of the memo should be well organized and easy to skim. To promote skimming, use headings where possible and display any items that deserve special attention by setting them off from the text — in a list, for example, or in boldface. A sample memo appears on page 77. 7d Write effective e-mail messages. E-mail is fast replacing regular mail in the business world and in most people’s personal lives. Especially in business and academic contexts, you will want to show readers that you value their time. Your message may be just one of many that your readers have to wade through. Here are some strategies for writing effective e-mails: • Fill in the subject line with a meaningful, concise subject to help readers sort through messages and set priorities. • Put the most important part of your message at the beginning so it will be seen on the first screen. • For long, detailed messages, consider providing a summary at the beginning. • Write concisely, and keep paragraphs fairly short, especially if your audience is likely to read your message on the screen. • Avoid writing in all capital letters or all lowercase letters, a practice that is easy on the writer but hard on the reader. • Use an appropriate tone when writing e-mail in academic or business settings. • Check with the original sender before forwarding e-mail messages. • Use formatting such as boldface and italics and special characters sparingly; not all e-mail systems handle such elements consistently. • Proofread for typos and obvious errors that are likely to slow down or annoy readers. ...
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