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									                                     Communication Skill
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                                 Communication Skill

      high grades thus ensuring that they are well placed in life.
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                             Communication Skill

                        Karnataka State Open University

(KSOU) was established on 1st June 1996 with the assent of H.E. Governor of
as a full fledged University in the academic year 1996 vide Government
No/EDI/UOV/dated 12th February 1996 (Karnataka State Open University
Act – 1992).
The act was promulgated with the object to incorporate an Open University at the
State level for the introduction and promotion of Open University and Distance
Education systems in the
education pattern of the State and the country for the Co-ordination and
determination of standard of such systems. Keeping in view the educational
needs of our country, in general, and state in particular the policies and
programmes have been geared to cater to the needy.

Karnataka State Open University is a UGC recognised University of Distance
Education Council (DEC), New Delhi, regular member of the Association of
Indian Universities (AIU), Delhi, permanent member of Association of
Commonwealth Universities (ACU), London, UK, Asian Association of Open
Universities (AAOU), Beijing, China, and also has association with
Commonwealth of Learning (COL).

Karnataka State Open University is situated at the North–Western end of the
Manasagangotri campus, Mysore. The campus, which is about 5 kms, from the
city centre, has a serene atmosphere ideally suited for academic pursuits. The
University houses at present the Administrative Office, Academic Block, Lecture
Halls, a well-equipped Library, Guest House
Cottages, a Moderate Canteen, Girls Hostel and a few cottages providing limited
accommodation to students coming to Mysore for attending the Contact
Programmes or Term-end examinations.

                        Unit1 Language and Communication

   •   In this unit, we will examine a few definitions of the term communication and
       then study the significance of communication in everyday-situations. The process
       of communication and the importance of non-verbal communication along with
       the verbal communication are discussed. In addition, the barriers as well as the
       gateways to effective communication are described in detail.


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Modern organizations are complex social systems. This complexity calls for proper
communication within the system. No social system functions effectively without
meaningful interaction among its participants. Thus communication serves as a means to
link organizational participants. This unit deals with various aspects of good


After studying this unit, you will be able to:

· explain the purpose of communication.

· describe the process of communication and the factors that contribute to effective

· identify the barriers to communication and the suggest ways to overcome these barriers.

· explain the importance of non-verbal communication.

Definitions of Communication

The term ‘communication’ is freely used by behavioural theorists, management scholars
and the general public. While the communication discipline has been varyingly defined
over the years, recently, several definitions have been recognized and adopted to
understand the meaning of communication. Read the definitions that are given below
which will help you understand the concept of communication.

· Newman and Summer define communication as “an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions
or emotions by two or more persons.”

· Bellows Gilson and Odirone define communication as “a communion by words, letters,
symbols, or messages, and as a way that one organization member shares meaning with
the other.”

· According to Hoben, “Communication is the verbal interchange of thought or idea.”

· Anderson says, “Communication is the process, by which we understand others and in
turn endeavor to be understood by them. It is dynamic, constantly changing and shifting
in response to the total situation.”

· Berelson and Steiner define communication as “the transmission of information, idea,
emotion, skills, etc., by the use of symbols-words, pictures, figures, graphs, etc. It is the
act or process of transmission that is usually called communication.”

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· Communication is “a process involving the selection, production, and transmission of
signs in such a way as to help a receiver perceive a meaning similar to that in the mind of
the communicator.” – Fotheringham

Function and Purpose of Communication

Chester I Barnard studied the communication process in organizations. He observed that
Communication linked people together in an organization to achieve a common purpose.
In other words, communication aims at making people work together for the common
good of the organization. Communication links people who believe in a common cause,
together with a view to strengthen relationships. For example, Gandhiji’s messages
brought all freedom fighters together. His messages linked him with other freedom

Communication serves the following purposes in an organization:

· Helps establish and disseminate the goals of an organization.

· Facilitates the development of plans for the achievement of goals.

· Helps managers utilize manpower and other resources in the most effective and efficient

· Helps managers select, develop, and appraise the members of their organization.

· Helps managers lead, direct and motivate employees and thereby create a climate in
which everyone is willing to contribute.

· Facilitates control and evaluation of performance.

In an organization, effective communication not only helps managers discharge their
duties, but also builds a bridge between managers and the external environment of the
organization. The external environment consists mainly of customers, suppliers,
stockholders, government, community and others that have a bearing on the success of
the enterprise. By means of an effective communication network, a manager can
understand the needs of customers, the demands of the stockholders and the expectations
of the community, and be aware of the presence of quality suppliers and relevant
government regulations. An organization can function as an open system only by
communicating effectively with the environment.

When we discuss the outcome of effective communication between people, we must also
note the purpose of such communication. Why do we communicate the way we do? What
happens when your friend reads a letter written by you? He may discover some new facts
about you. He may also read about some matter concerning both of you, which he did not
know before receiving your letter. Hence, we can say that the information in your letter
has influenced his understanding.

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                              Communication Skill

Imagine you have written a letter to your friend stating that you have joined the BCA
course in a University. On reading your letter, he may be happy about your decision. He
might understand that you have selected a university course with a view to create better
employment opportunities for yourself. He may think that you want to be a professional
in the IT field. Before reading your letter, he regarded you as a friend who has just
completed his Pre-university Course. But now he knows that you are a university student.
Such a change in his understanding is the outcome of your letter. He may also send you a
message of congratulation. Therefore, we can say that the primary goal or purpose of
communication is to ‘effect a change’ or ‘to bring about a change’. Communication may
also lead to some ‘new action’. In this example, the ‘new action’ is the act of sending a
message of congratulation by your friend.

Self Assessment Question 1:

i) ______ aims at making people work together for the common good of the organization.

ii) Communication helps managers utilize _____ and _____ in the most effective and
efficient manner.

iii) An organization can function as an _____ only by communicating effectively with the

iv) The primary goal of communication is to ____.

v) According to Hoben, “Communication is the _____ interchange of thought or idea

The Process of Communication

Normally, communication is Interpersonal, wherein the information or message is
transferred from one person to the other(s). The person who transmits the message
is called the sender or transmitter. The person (s) receiving the message is the
receiver. The transmitter is expected to send the information in a format which the
receiver(s) can understand. The process of converting the information that has to be
sent, into a format which the receiver can understand is known as encoding.

Messages can be encoded into a variety of formats- oral, written or visual. Once the
message is encoded in a desired format, it is transferred through a medium called
channel. A channel connects the sender to the receiver. Channels of communication may
be a letter, memorandum, computer, telephone, fax, telegram or a television. The choice
of the correct channel depends on the situation under which the communication takes
place. For e.g., when you have to communicate extremely confidential information, direct
face-to-face communication or communication through a sealed letter, is better than a
telephonic conversation.

The information which is transferred to the receiver has to be interpreted. This process of
interpretation is known as decoding. In order to decode the message, the receiver should

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be ready to receive the message. He should not be pre-occupied with other thoughts that
would distract him.

Finally, the receiver will send a message back to the transmitter. It may be a reply to the
query made by the sender or any apt response to the message delivered by the sender.
This reply confirms whether the information sent has been understood or not. This
process is known as feedback.

You have just learnt how the communication takes place. The diagram given below
illustrates this.

Fig.: 1.1 Communication Process

To sum up, all communication events have a source. The source can be ideas or thoughts
or any information which the sender wants to convey to others. Hence, there is a
message. The sender encodes the message into a preferred format. Selecting a suitable
channel, the message is then transferred to the receiver who decodes it and understands
it. Finally, the receiver will send a message back to the sender.

Self Assessment question 2:

i) Once the message is encoded in a desired format, it is transferred through a medium
called ___________.

ii) The choice of an appropriate channel depends on __________.

iii) Match the following:

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                               Communication Skill

1. Transmitter a) the process of conversion of a message into a format which the receiver
can understand.

2. Encoding b) the person (s) who transmits the message.

3. Decoding c) the person (s) receiving the message.

4. Receiver d) reply that confirms whether the information

sent has been understood or not.

5. Feedback e) The process of interpretation of the received message.

Barriers to Effective Communication

At each stage in the process of communication – encoding, transference, and decoding,
there is a possibility of interference. This may hinder the communication process. Such
interference is known as noise. Often, a comparison is made between communication and
a leaky bucket. If you carry water in a leaky bucket, you will lose water at various points
in the course of your journey, from the source of water to your destination. You cannot
stop losing water because the bucket contains holes. The amount of water you lose
depends upon the number of holes in the bucket, the size of the holes, the route you take
to your final destination and the time you take to reach your destination. There may be
other events as well that occur during your journey, which increase the amount of water
lost. Similarly, when a piece of information is transferred from the sender to the receiver,
the information may not be received by the receiver fully, due to the presence of holes
called ‘noise’. Each noise may affect the amount of information transferred. Just as in a
leaky bucket, more holes decrease the amount of water, more noise decreases the amount
of correct information received.

We may also misinterpret a message because of barriers. Hence, to ensure clarity in
communication, barriers must be eliminated or minimized. In other words, we must
identify barriers to communication and remove or minimize them to make messages clear
to others.

To give an example, we know that sometimes people misunderstand our words and react
in a way that we do not expect. Consider this situation. You affectionately keep telling
your younger brother that he is too young to understand certain facts. He may not react to
this remark. He may even ignore it as a silly remark or accept it without any resistance.
But if you make this remark in the presence of his friends or other people, he may take it
seriously and even quarrel with you, as he feels insulted by your remark. Thus, what must
be taken as an affectionate remark might be misunderstood as an insult.

In this situation, what you meant and what your brother understood are different. Your
brother misunderstands your message because the presence of others around him
influences the way he takes in the meaning of your utterance. Although they remain

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neutral, their mere presence makes your brother attach a different meaning to your
message and react in a different way. The presence of others around you and your
brother, therefore acts as a ‘barrier’ to effective communication.

Let us analyze different types of barriers:

i) Linguistic and Cultural Differences: The receiver may not completely understand the
language used by the transmitter. This may occur if the transmitter’s language is foreign
to the receiver. There may also be language problems (the communication process) if the
message relates to technical information and the receiver is not familiar with the technical
terms used. Poorly chosen words, careless omissions, lack of coherence, poor
organization of ideas, awkward sentence structure, inadequate vocabulary, unnecessary
jargon, and the failure to clarify implications are some of the common reasons for the
poor transmission of messages. Cultural differences created by one’s background and
experience affect one’s perception of the world. Such cultural differences may affect the
interpretation (decoding) of the message sent.

ii) Environment: The environment in which the transmitter or receiver are, should be
compatible. If it is noisy and full of sound, the sounds may prevent the message from
being fully understood. Background noise, often created by colleagues, vehicles and
machinery, may hinder the process of communication.

iii) Channel: If the channel used to transfer the information is inappropriate, it may
prevent all or some of the information from being transmitted. There may be a loss in
transmission. A faulty fax machine, a crackling phone, illegible hand-writing or incorrect
facial gestures or a bland facial expression (in case of oral messages) are some of the
barriers to communication.

iv) Receiver’s Attitude and Behaviour: If the receiver is not interested in the message
(or unable to give his full attention to decoding, the amount of information received may
be drastically reduced. It may also lead to inaccurate hearing of the information.
Similarly, the receiver may misinterpret the message by “jumping to conclusions” or
reading the message in a manner that suits his own interests/objectives and thereby distort
the true meaning of the message.

v) Transmission journey: This refers to different and numerous steps in the message.
In case the message is complicated or if there are many steps to be taken to transfer the
message, it may affect the accuracy or interpretation. During oral communication,
approximately 30 percent of the information is lost in each transmission. Thus, in large
organizations, one should not totally rely on oral communication. If you compare this
aspect to the example of ‘leaky bucket’, you will understand that the longer the distance,
the more shall be the loss. Another aspect, which is connected with the transmission
journey, is poor retention of information. Studies show that employees are able to retain
approximately 50% of what they are told and supervisors can retain around 60% of the
information they receive. Hence, it is necessary to repeat the message and use more than
one channel to communicate a message.

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                               Communication Skill

vi) Lack of Planning: Communication will be ineffective if the person, who is
communicating, does not devote sufficient time to think, plan and state the purpose of the
message. By providing the reasons for a particular instruction, selecting the most
appropriate channel, and releasing the message at the right time, an individual can ensure
that his message is understood by the receivers.

vii) Semantic Distortion: The distortion in usage of words may be a serious barrier to
effective communication. This distortion may be deliberate or accidental. An
advertisement which declares “We sell better products” is quite ambiguous, as it raises
the question “better than what?” Some words may have ambiguous meanings and may
generate different responses from different people.

Self Assessment Question 3:

i) Raj reads a message by ‘jumping to conclusions’ and interpreting it in a manner that
suits his own interests/objectives. In this case, the barrier to communication is due

ii) Sometimes, a message is misinterpreted due to ambiguity in the meaning of words or
sentences. This is called_________.

iii) At each stage in the process of communication, there is a possibility of interference
which may hinder the process. Such interference is known as_________.

Types of Communication

Can you think of some ways to communicate with your friends?

Surely, you can. You can talk to your friend or write letters to him. When you talk or
write, you are using words to communicate. This is one type of communication. But is
there any other way in which we communicate with other people?

Let us look at some of the ways in which we normally communicate with others, to
understand different types of communication, their advantages and limitations.

1 Communication through Words

When an infant cries, the mother rushes to her side to see if the baby is hurt or has soiled
herself. If she feels that the baby cried because of hunger, she feeds the baby. The cry of
the baby communicates the need of the baby to her mother. Although crying is not
speaking, the mother can understand the baby’s need. This shows that speaking alone is
not communication. We already know that we can also communicate by means of
writing. Communication through speech is called ‘oral communication’. Communication
by means of written material is called ‘written communication’. Your letter to your friend
is an example of written communication.

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                              Communication Skill

Communication through spoken words and written material is called ‘verbal
communication’ because it uses language as a means for communication. In the strict
sense, the term ‘verbal’ means ‘of or concerned with words’ and it is not a synonym for
‘oral’ or ‘spoken’ communication.

2 Non-verbal Communication:

Non-verbal communication means communication without words. In this type of
communication, words are not used in the process of sending and receiving messages. It
is a proven fact that most of our communication through words is laced with non-verbal
communication. Non-verbal communication can be categorized as follows:

i) Word-less communication like gesture, body language, posture, facial expression, eye
gaze and head movements:


Gestures: The language of gesture enables us to express a variety of feelings and
thoughts, from contempt and hostility to approval and affection. Most of us use gestures
and body language in addition to words, when we speak.

Fig.: 1.1 Gestures

In every aspect of human life, Gestures have a predominant role to play. Many animals,
including humans, use gestures to initiate a mating ritual; which consist of elaborate
dances and other movements. We are also familiar with the gestures pertaining to
Religion and spirituality, such as the Christian sign of the cross or the swastika. In
Hinduism and Buddhism, a mudra (Sanskrit, literally “seal”) is a symbolic gesture made
with the fingers. Each mudra has a specific meaning, playing a central role in Hindu and
Buddhist iconography. You can see this usage in the dance forms like Bharatanatyam,
Kuchipudi and Kathak as well as the figurines/Paintings at Ajanta, Ellora and most of the
Indian sculptures.

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                               Communication Skill

b) Body language: It is a broad term for forms of communication, using body
movements instead of or in addition to sounds, verbal language, or other forms of
communication. It forms a part of the category of paralanguage, which describes all
forms of human communication that are not verbal. This includes the most subtle of
movements that many people are not aware of, including winking and slight movement of
the eyebrows. In addition, body language can also incorporate the use of facial

In our daily lives, we encounter many forms of body language gestures like:

· Hands behind the back, hands clasped in front, which indicates Self-confidence

· Hands clasped behind the head, which indicates a feeling of Superiority.

· Shaking of legs, which indicates Stress

· Crossing of arms, which is often considered to be a defensive, closed posture.

Posture: Posture refers to unconscious and stable structural disposition of the body
framework attained over a long period of continuous body movements and patterns. One
communicates numerous messages by the way one talks or moves. Standing erect and
leaning forward communicates to listeners that one is approachable, receptive and
friendly. An erect posture is considered as a mark of a well-balanced and adaptable

d) Facial expression: The emotional state of an individual is clearly conveyed by the
expression of his face. Facial expressions are the primary means of conveying social
information among humans, but they also occur in most other mammals and some other
animal species.

Fig.: 1.2 Facial Expressions

Humans can adopt a facial expression as a voluntary action. However, because
expressions are closely tied to emotion, they are more often involuntary. It can be nearly
impossible to avoid expressions for certain emotions, even when it would be strongly
desirable to do so. Feelings such as anger, concentration, contempt, desire, disgust,
excitement, fear, happiness, puzzlement, sadness and surprise are conveyed with
expressions like, frown, glare, laughter, pout, shock, smile, smirk, sneer, snarl etc.

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e) Eye Gazing: Staring and eye-rolling may also serve the purpose of communication.
Oculesics is the study of the role of eyes in non-verbal communication. Studies have
found that people use their eyes to indicate their interest. This can be done through eye
contact. For example, when a speaker is delivering a speech, a listener may communicate
his lack of interest by reading a magazine instead of looking at the speaker.

Rolling one’s eyes express exasperation or condescension. Rotating the eyes upward may
indicate condescension, contempt, boredom, or exasperation. This is often referred to as
“rolling one’s eyes to Heaven,” as though wishing for a divine intervention for rescue
from boredom or frustration. It may also be accompanied by the head thrown backwards.
Rolling eyes up with head slightly risen up, as if pointing upwards, may be the reference
to people in higher hierarchy, e.g., upper management.

Fig.: 1.3 Rolling of the eyes

f) Head movements

Nodding: It is a gesture of confirmation in many cultures and negation in some (e.g., in
Bulgaria and Sri Lanka).

Bent head: This is a gesture of shame, subduing, or agreement / confirmation. An
interpretation depends on the way it is being performed and overall body context.

Head shaking: This is the repeated alternating bending of the head to the left and to the
right which means disapproval in some cultures, e.g., in the East Slavic culture.

Head turning: Repeated turning of the head side to side has a meaning opposite to the
nod: negation in many cultures and confirmation in some.

Pointing by chin: A direction may be pointed by chin, e.g., when the arms are doing
something else: the head is turned in the corresponding direction and the chin is slightly
jerked up and in the pointed direction.

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ii) Object communication such as clothing, haurstyles or even architecture; symbols and
info-graphics. The most common form of object communication is clothing. The types of
clothing that people wear are often used to determine their personality. However, this
may lead to a form of stereotyping because we come across situations where people
prefer those they consider attractive. A physically attractive person may be more likely to
be hired for a job or to be helped than someone less attractive. A good example of
clothing as object communication is the uniform.

iii) Prosodic features of speech such as intonation and stress. A segment in spoken
language is an individual consonant, vowel, tone, or stress that makes up a word. An
utterance is made up of both segments and supra-segmental features. These are broadly
divided up into Prosody and Para-linguistics. Prosody refers to pitch, loudness, duration,
intonation and tempo. Para-linguistics, which is much more difficult to measure, refers to
expression of voice quality, emotion, speaking style and speech clarity. These non-verbal
or supra-segmental elements of a speech utterance constitute a significant part of its

iv) Other paralinguistic features of speech such as voice quality, emotion and speaking
style. The study of non-verbal cues of voice is called Vocalics. Things such as tone,
pitch, accent, and volume can all give off non-verbal cues. It is possible to learn about an
individual’s personality, mood, and culture with the information given by their voice.

v) Touches also add to the non-verbal communication. Haptics is the study of touching
as non-verbal communication. Touches that can be defined as communication include-
Hand-shakes, holding hands, kissing (cheek, lips, hand), back slap, , shoulder pat,
brushing arm, etc. Each of these give off non-verbal messages as to the touching person’s
intentions/feelings. They also evoke feelings in the receiver, whether positive or negative.

Non-verbal communication generally takes place as a supportive form of communication
to verbal communication. This is its advantage. For example, we nod our head when we
say ‘yes’. In this situation what we say is reinforced by non-verbal communication.

Non-verbal communication is expected to support verbal communication. But it does not
always do so. For example, if the owner of a medical shop who is happy with the items
presented by a medical representative, may tell him that he will accept those items. But
while saying this, if he angrily pounds a fist on his table the medical representative will
be in confusion as to whether he is really accepting those items or not. Similarly, if a
speaker or writer’s words do not match with the actions, the same leads to confusion.
This is the disadvantage of non-verbal communication.

Thus non-verbal communication may support or contradict verbal communication.

Self Assessment Question 4:

i) __________is considered as a mark of a well-balanced and adaptable personality.

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ii) ____ is the study of touches as non- verbal communication.

iii) _____means communication without words.

iv) _________forms a part of the category of paralanguage, which describes all forms of
human communication that are not verbal.

v) ___________ is a gesture of shame or subduing.

vi) Body language gestures – hands behind the back, hands clasped in front- indicate

vii) _________ may indicate condescension, contempt, boredom, or exasperation.

The Impact of Communication on Performance

Effective communication is the foundation of a well-defined strategy that enables any
organization to achieve its set goals. It motivates its employees to perform better. A close
tie between business, performance, technology, and communication strategies provides a
strong base for understanding and support within an organization. While various
combinations of performance interventions have been developed to help build a high-
performing organization, they cannot be effective without a proper communication
Effective communication builds awareness and/or motivates the employees to action, and
thereby enhance the personal growth of the employees on one hand and the growth of the
organization on the other.

An organization is more than a set of by-laws, financial reports or organizational charts.
It is a group of ‘people’. We cannot deny the social aspects of the workplace because it
inhibits the transfer of information and knowledge and hinders the organization’s ability
to outperform and innovate. Just turn around – You may be in the cafeteria, front office,
recreation area or the administrative block. Pay attention to different communication that
is going on. Are they clear? Are they too harsh or too dry? How are they perceived? Is
the receiver of the message accepting or rejecting the message? Do people care to what
you say? Do you accomplish your goal? It is more than often that you are in a dilemma
about issuing new instructions. The problem is paramount especially when you have to
address people representing mixed organizational ranks. Effective communication
enables you to hold a “relaxed” meeting and read to them what you wrote so that they
could critique.

The challenge before every employee in an organization is to harness the social nature of
work for the benefit of the company. One of the primary advantages of the social side of
work is that it is the primary conduit for the transfer of knowledge or the message with a
view to initiate effective communication. Some of the keys for effective communication
that create a positive impact on your performance are as follows:

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1. Consideration for others: You should develop a primary consideration for others.
You should cultivate a genuine care as to how your co-workers or clients feel; everything
you say or do will express your outlook. Do not put yourself in a position where you have
to decide between humanity and being decisive (being strict). If an occasion calls for
dismissal or being strict, take the step but not before fact-finding and soul-searching.
You should examine all facets, all pros and cons, before taking any drastic step to avoid
regretting later.

2. Be democratic: When there is something of importance to communicate, instead of
being a dictator, take time to meet with department heads to explain the matter and
convert them to what you propose to do or act. This will enable them to carry forward
this communication to their employees. One of the best ways of communicating in any
organization is to invite questions and comments in any meetings. Very soon, others will
appreciate this democracy and follow the same. When you get comments from the peers
or subordinates, don’t ignore. Take them into consideration which will boost their ego
and they will try to put their best foot forward always.

3. Keep smiling and thank people whenever necessary. A smile on your face keeps
you free from stress. Not only that, it also makes lives of people around you feel stress-
free! At the same time do not forget to thank people. It is very easy to be angry with
employees for their fault, but very rarely will the higher officials give credit for the work
well -done.

4. Have an open door policy. Let your subordinates feel free to come to you to discuss
any matter with you. This will reflect on their work. A receptionist, who is stressed, will
be a sore eye to the customers of an organization. As the saying goes, ‘the first
impression is the best impression’. So a customer may not have the best impression about
your organization if he develops a poor impression in the initial stage.

Try to remember the names of the employees and become acquainted with their marital
status, names of children, aspirations, financial condition, personal problems, and all that
which helps to establish first-hand rapport with people. Take time to listen to your
employee, because they are all important in their own way. Do not view them only as a
means to achieve your goals and accomplish pure business objectives. They should be
treated as a part of a big family and they should have a share in the organization’s
success. By doing so, you will be able to solve any minor problems arising and will
thereby help the employee in creating a positive notion of your organization.

5. Increase the face-to-face communication instead of written directives. Issue written
directives only when a new policy or operational procedure is really needed. Memos or
instructions relating to poor performance should be reduced drastically. Instead, have a
personal ‘pep’ talk with the poor performer. In case you are forced to give a memo, make
another person read it and comment on it before distribution. Re-check if the memo is
essential or look out for other solutions.

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6. Leave behind your ego. If you want to be an effective communicator, your ego should
be left behind. Whenever there are any issues to deal with, and a peer member suggests a
solution, adopt it and applaud the person who presented the solution. Your focus has to
be on what should be done and trust that your subordinates will do that job.

Self Assessment Question 5:

ii) Which of the following statements are true?

a) Effective communication encourages the employees to perform better.

b) One should cultivate a genuine care as to how the co-workers or clients feel.

c) One of the best ways of communicating in any organization is to invite questions and
comments in any meetings.

d) If one wants to be an effective communicator, one should be egoistic.

e) To ensure effective communication, one should resort to written directives instead of
face-to-face communication.


In an organization, communication is the key factor that links people together for
achieving common goals. It brings about changes and leads to action. In any
communication event, there is a source, which may be a thought, idea, fact or
information, with the sender. The sender wants to convey this by encoding into a
message. The message is then transmitted through preferred channels. The receiver, for
whom the message is meant, decodes and receives the message. He proceeds to
understand the message and then reacts by giving a feed back or taking some new action.
A communication event takes place within its own context.

There are several barriers to good communication. These are called ‘noise’. For a
message to be understood, ‘noise’ must be minimized or eliminated. Linguistic and
cultural differences, environmental distractions, inappropriate channel, unfavourable
attitude and behaviour of the receiver, loss of transmission, lack of planning on the
part of the sender, semantic distortion etc. can be barriers to good communication.

Communication through spoken words and written material is called ‘verbal
communication’ because it uses language as a means for communication. In the strict
sense, the term ‘verbal’ means ‘of or concerned with words’ and it is not a synonym for
‘oral’ or ‘spoken’ communication. Sign languages and writing are generally understood
as forms of ‘verbal’ communication, as both make use of words. Both contain
paralinguistic elements and often occur along with non-verbal messages. Non-verbal
communication can occur through any sensory channel – sight, sound, smell, touch or

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The performance of an individual is either enhanced or hampered depending upon the
effectiveness of communication in the work place. Having consideration for others,
developing democratic attitude, bearing a smile on the face, thanking people whenever
necessary, shedding ego and having an open mind, preferring face-to-face
communication instead of written directives etc., may result in effective communication,
strengthen relationship among employees and motivate them to achieve the goals of the

Terminal Questions

1. Discuss the functions of effective communication.

2. Write a note on the purpose of communication.

3. Explain the process of communication.

4. What do you mean by the barriers of communication? Explain different types of the
barriers to communication.

5. Write a paragraph on the communication with words.

6. “Gestures and facial expressions help in communication.” Justify this statement.

7. ‘Being democratic and having an open mind enhances effective communication and in
turn ensures better performance.’ How far do you agree with this statement?

Answers to SAQs and TQs

A. Self Assessment Questions

1. i) communication

ii) manpower ; other resources

iii) open system

iv) effect a change

v) verbal

2. i) Channel

ii) the situation under which the communication takes place

iii) 1-b; 2-a; 3-e; 4-c; 5-d

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3. i) Receiver’s Attitude and Behaviour

ii) Semantic Distortion

iii) Noise

4. i) An erect posture

ii) Haptics

iii) Non-verbal communication

iv) Body language

v) Bent head

vi) Self-confidence

vii) Rotating the eyes upward

5. i) a, b & c only

B. Terminal Questions(View in SLM)

1. Refer 1.2 (Function and Purpose of Communication)

2. Refer 1.2 (Function and Purpose of Communication) Refer 1.3

3. Refer 1.4

4. Refer 1.5 (Verbal Communication)

5. Refer 1.5 (Non-verbal Communication)

6. Refer 1.6

                                 Unit 2 Remedial English

    •   This unit explicates the correct usage of English, while speaking or writing. It
        emphasizes on concord,tense sequence and other necessities while using English.
        At the same time, we will draw your attention to the common errors in English
        usage and suggest corrections.

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It is a known fact that grammar is the foundation of language learning which is essential
for effective communication. In the same way, understanding eight different parts of
speech forms the base of learning grammar. It is not essential to know the definition to
use the concepts better. The attempt is made to make easy and understandable the usage
of English as a language rather than make learning grammar a tedious affair. In human
communication, even if the non-verbal variety takes an important position, there is no
chance for the verbal communication to take a back seat. It is of paramount importance
that one needs to construct a correct sentence in the day-to-day affairs. For this, it is
essential that we understand the meaning of the sentence and differentiate between their
types so that any misunderstanding while communicating will be reduced.


By the end of this unit, you will be able to:

· understand the parts of speech and different types of sentence construction

· use different words and sentences correctly in different contexts for better

· avoid problems in subject verb coordination, converting words and sentences into
different forms

· use correct structure, while framing a sentence.

· learn the difference between active and passive voice and when you should use them.

· speak English confidently without committing common mistakes

· communication will become much easier and clear because all aspects of sentence
construction will be learnt

Parts of Speech

In the English language, words can be named under any one of the eight parts of speech.
These words are not categorized per say, but their usage is classified into eight parts of
speech such as, noun, verb, pronoun, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction and

1. Noun

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According to David Green, “A Noun may be defined as the name of a person, place or
thing. By ‘thing’, we mean something that can be seen and touched (concrete) or
something that can only be thought of and not seen and touched (abstract).” The words
that identify the who’s, where’s and what’s in a language is a noun. Nouns name persons,
places, things and feelings. This is better understood with the following example. Lisa
and Tim were selling Lemonade in the park.

1. Who were selling? So the words ‘Lisa’ and ‘Tim’ are nouns. (names)

2. Where were they selling? In the park – So ‘Park” is a noun. (place)

3. What did they sell? lemonade . So ‘lemonade’ is a noun (thing)

Functions of noun

In a sentence, the nouns can function as subjects, objects, and complements.

1. Richie Rich would throw lavish parties and invite his friends to his Dollar Mansion.

Richie Rich – subject for verbs ‘throw’ and ‘invite’ (doer of the action)

2. Richie Rich offered Jughead two burgers to clean up the mess.

Jughead – indirect object of ‘offered’ (indirect receiver)

Burgers – the direct object of ‘offered’ (direct receiver)

3. While cleaning up the mess, Jughead dumped all the coke-cans into the trash-bin.

Trash-bin – the object of preposition ‘into’ (receiver of the action)

4. In Richie’s opinion, Jughead is a great lazybones.

Lazybones – subject complement of the linking verb ‘is’

Kinds of Nouns

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1. Proper Noun: They are the names of a particular place, person or thing.

·               They name specific or one-of-a-kind items.

· Proper nouns always begin with capital letters.

E.g.: France, Tim, the Ganges, the Eiffel Tower

                2. Common Noun: They are the names given to every person, place or
thing of the same class.

· They identify the general variety.

· Common nouns require capitalization only if they start the sentence or are part of a
title. E.g.: student, city, river, dog.

3.                Collective Noun: They are the names given when a number of persons
or things are taken together as a whole.

· They usually take a singular verb. E.g.: crowd, flock, swarm.

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4. Abstract Noun: We cannot see them as the other nouns.

   •   They are the names given to qualities, actions and states of being that cannot be
       felt, seen or heard.

E.g.: beauty, charity, laughter, childhood.

Count or Non-count?

It is easy for you to distinguish between the count and the non-count nouns.

i. Count nouns: These can be counted. They refer to things that exist as separate and
distinct individual units. Concrete nouns may be countable. Some nouns also refer to
what can be perceived by the senses.

ii. The non-count nouns: They are a whole unit which cannot be counted separately nor
can they be cut into parts.

                                     To understand this better, the learners can think of the
batter of cake. Before the cake is baked, the batter cannot be divided into parts because it
is in the form of liquid or mass. Now, this is non-count noun.

When the cake is ready,

it can be cut into pieces which is a count noun.

                   Example: a) I worked on a Computer.

(How many Computers did you work on?)

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You have a definite answer to the question in the bracket; in other words, the number of
Computers can be counted.

Therefore, the word “Computer” is a count noun.

                               b) The cat spilt the milk (How many milks did the cat spill?)

This question sounds weird and doesn’t make any sense.

This indicates that the milk cannot be counted.

However, gasses of milk can be counted. Remember, here we are counting the glasses
and not milk!)

Gender in nouns:

1. A noun that denotes a male is Masculine Gender.

E.g.: Father, boy, hero.

2. A noun that denotes a female is Feminine Gender.

E.g.: Mother, girl, heroine.

3. A noun that denotes either a male or a female is Common Gender.

E.g.: baby, parent, student, teacher.

4. A noun that denotes neither a male nor a female is Neuter Gender.

E.g.: tree, jewel, building, meadow.


1. Personifications of strength and violence are considered as Masculine Gender.

E.g.: Death has his upper hand in the fight for power.

2. Things implying gentleness and beauty, when regarded with affection and respect are
considered Feminine Gender. Countries when referred to by names are also considered

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E.g.: India lost many of her bravest men in the Independence Struggle.

Oh! Look at the moon/she shines like a lamp in the air.

Conversion of Masculine to Feminine Nouns:

1. Add –ess at the end of the masculine noun.

E.g.: Baron-Baroness ; Lion-Lioness ;

Duke-Duchess; Prince -Princess

2. Change either the first or the last word in the case of a compound noun. In other words,
by adding a word indicating sex before or after the main word.

E.g.: Land lord-land lady ; Sales man -sales woman ; Peacock –peahen ; Cock-sparrow –
hen-sparrow ; Tom-cat- tabby-cat

3. Add –ine, -ix, -a, at the end of the masculine noun. E.g.: Hero-heroine;

Administrator-administratrix ; Creator-creatrix ; Sultan-sultana ; Czar -czarina

4. Use a completely different word. E.g.: Fox –vixen ; Stag –doe ; Ram -ewe

Marquis –Marchioness ; Horse -mare

Note: However, the usage of gender difference is breaking down rapidly. Hence we have
spokesperson instead of spokesman or spokeswoman. Similarly Chairperson and
Salesperson is more commonly used.

Number in nouns:

1. Singular: This indicates one thing. E.g.: tomato, boy, card.

2. Plural: This indicates more than one thing. E.g.: tomatoes, boys, cards.

The general rule is that most count nouns pluralize with ‘–s’ and the non-count nouns do
not pluralize at all. However, certain nouns in English belong to both classes: they have
both a non-count and a count meaning. In such cases there will be exception to the rule.

i) The count meaning concrete and specific.

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                  E.g.: I’ve had some difficulties finding a job. Here ‘difficulties’ refer
to number of specific problems.

The talks are in progress. ‘Talks’ refer to number of lectures or speeches.

ii) The non-count meaning is abstract and general

                    E.g.: She succeeded in exam with little difficulty. Here, ‘difficulty’
refers to the general idea of the exam being difficult

I dislike idle talk. ‘Talk’ refers to talking in general.

Note: There is a special case of the use of non-count nouns in a count sense. This is
influenced by the classification of the nouns. Sometimes a non-count noun can be
understood as one item separate and distinct from other items of the same category. The
nouns that function in this way often denote foods and beverages: food(s), drink(s),
wine(s), bread(s), coffee(s), fruit(s), and so on. Examples:

There are several French wines to choose from. (= kinds of wine)

I prefer Sumatran coffees to Colombian. (= kinds of coffee)

(A recent entry into this class is the word ‘homework’, which at least among some
students has the count plural homeworks in addition to its non-count use. (For example,
“You’re missing three of the homeworks from the first part of the course.”) Since this
usage is not firmly established and is likely to be considered nonstandard, one should
check with his instructor before using it in writing.)

Conversion and Usage of Singular and Plural Nouns.

1. The most common way of converting a singular noun to its plural form is by adding –s.
day-days, girl, girls.

2. Nouns ending in –ch, –o, –sh, –ss, –x form their plural by adding –es.

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Church – churches, hero-heroes, brush- brushes, kiss-kisses, tax-taxes.

Exceptions: Words of foreign origin or abbreviated words ending in –o take –s to form
plural. E.g.: Dynamo-dynamos, photo-photos, soprano-sopranos, kilo-kilos.

3. Nouns ending in –y with a preceding consonant form their plural by dropping the –y
and adding –ies. E.g.: baby-babies, story-stories.

Exceptions: Words ending with –y but preceded by vowel take –s as plural form. guy-
guys, boy-boys.

4. Twelve nouns ending in –f or –fe drop –f/fe and add –ves to form plural.

They are: calf, half, knife, leaf, life, loaf, self, sheaf, shelf, thief, wife, wolf.

loaf, knife. (calves, halves, knives, leaves, lives, loaves, selves, ….)

Exceptions: However, nouns hoof, scarf and wharf take either –s or –ves.

hoofs or hooves, scarf or scarves, wharfs or wharves.

Also, the other nouns ending in –f/ef add –s to form plural.

cliff-cliffs, handkerchief – handkerchiefs.

5. Instruments having two parts are always used in plural.

E.g.: scissors, tongs, trousers, nuptials.

6. Some plural words are more commonly used in singular.

E.g.: Mathematics, Statistics (as a subject), Politics, News, Measles.

7. Normally compound nouns take the plural of the last noun.

E.g.: boy friends, travel agents.

Exceptions: a) In case of compound words formed of verb + preposition, first word
becomes plural. E.g.: runners up, lookers on.

b) In case of compound words formed of noun+ preposition+noun, first word becomes

E.g.: sisters-in-law, commanders-in-chief.

8. Nouns of foreign words follow the rule of the original language to form plurals.

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crisis-crises, phenomenon-phenomena, radius-radii.

9. Certain nouns have different forms in their plural depending on the context of usage.

die – dies (device that shapes materials by stamping, cutting or punching), dice (small
cubes used in games)

brother – brethren (members of community); brothers (siblings).

10. Abstract and Material Nouns are not used in plural except in cases where they are
used as Common Noun.

advice-advice, courage-courage, death-death, furniture-furniture.

Nouns and Articles

The three seemingly innocuous words, ‘A, an, and the’ are perhaps the most commonly
used words in the English language. Ironically, these words are also among the most
perplexing for linguists, students, and teachers. One of the central problems seems to be
in defining the structural role of the article system. Grammarians have tended to describe
them as “markers” which denote a variety of qualities such as definiteness or
indefiniteness. This proves that articles are considered as function words, not content
words that carry meaning. The meaning is difficult to describe outside of the context in
which articles are used.

Articles in English may be classified as Indefinite and Definite.

1. Definite article: It is used before a noun that is specified. ‘The’ is the definite article.

2. Indefinite articles: They are used before a noun which is not specified. ‘A’ and ‘An’
are the indefinite articles.

Definite Article Usage: ‘The’ is used-

1. before singular and plural nouns when the noun is particular or specific.

E.g.: The apple tree is full of fruits. (specific noun –singular).

The mangoes kept for sale were juicy. (plural noun)

2. before non-countable nouns that are made more specific.

E.g.: The coffee in my cup is too hot to drink.

The shirt that Sam is wearing is his dad’s.

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3. before a noun refers to something unique.

E.g.: The theory of relativity.

4. before names of rivers, oceans and seas.

E.g.: The Ganges, the Pacific

5. before points on the globe.

E.g.: The Equator, the North Pole

6. before geographical areas.

E.g.: The Middle East, the West

7. before deserts, forests, gulfs and peninsulas.

E.g.: The Sahara, the Persian Gulf, the Black Forest, the Indian Peninsula

8. before certain well-known or sacred books.

E.g.: The Mahabharata, The Bible, The Midsummer Night’s Dream

9. before an adjective in the superlative degree.

E.g.: Nisha is the shortest girl in the office.

10. before certain adjectives to give a plural meaning.

E.g. The rich = rich people

Indefinite articles – Usage.

We use ‘a’ when the noun we are referring to begins with a consonant sound.

E.g.: a city, a bird

We use ‘an’ when the noun we are referring to begins with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) sound.

E.g.: an apple, an umbrella.

NOTE: If the noun begins with a consonant sound. (E.g.: university), then we use ‘a’.

If the noun begins with a vowel sound (E.g.: hour), then we use ‘an’.

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We say “university” with a “y” sound at the beginning as though it were spelt
“youniversity”. So, “a university” IS correct.

We say “hour” with a silent ‘h’ as though it were spelt “our”. Therefore, “an hour” IS

‘A’ or ‘An’ is used –

1. before nouns that introduce something or someone you have not mentioned before

E.g.: I saw an elephant this morning. I ate a banana for lunch.

2. before singular countable nouns

E.g.: I stepped in a puddle.

I saw an apple tree.

3. when talking about one’s profession

E.g.: I am an English teacher.

I am a builder.

4. before Mr./Mrs./Miss + name to imply that he is a stranger to the speaker.

E.g.: A Mr. Smith is outside your office.

5. before a proper noun to make it a common noun.

E.g.: Amit is a Shakespeare.

6. before certain uncountable nouns preceded by nouns + of

E.g.: a drop of water, a piece of advice

7. after the words many, rather, such, quite in certain structures.

E.g.: Such a show cannot be arranged now.

‘A’ or ‘An’ is not used

1. before names of meals. E.g.: Let us have lunch at 12.30 p.m.

Exception: ‘a’ is used before names of meals when they are preceded by adjectives.

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E.g.: She gave me a sumptuous dinner yesterday.
Articles are not used

1. with non countable nouns referring to something in general

E.g.: Coffee is his favourite drink.

2. before names of languages and nationalities.

E.g.: English, Indian

3. before names of academic subjects.

E.g.: History, Biology

4. before names of cities, towns, states.

E.g.: Miami, Seoul

5. before names of streets

E.g.: M.G. Road

6. before names of lakes and bays

E.g.: Lake Titicaca

Exception: ‘the’ is used with group of lakes. E.g.: the Great Lakes.

7. before names of mountains

E.g.: Mount Everest

Exception: ‘the’ is used with mountain ranges. E.g.: the Andes, the Rockies

8. before names of continents.

E.g.: Asia, Australia

9. before names of islands

E.g.: Easter Islands

Exception: ‘the’ is used with the chain of islands. E.g.: the Andamans

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10. before material nouns

E.g. Gold is a precious metal

Exception: ‘the’ is used with an adjunct which makes the material noun definite.

E.g.: The gold we use in India is all imported.

Quantity Terms and Nouns

Read the following rules that help you to decide in selecting a particular quantity word
that would go with a noun. Note that quantity words can be used in combinations such as
many more, many fewer, much more, and much less, any of which can be preceded by
how to form questions or relative clauses. Negatives like not and no can also be applied
to many of these terms.

1) Some, Any: Both words modify either countable or uncountable nouns.

Some children are playing in the park. (countable)
Let’s have some coffee (uncountable)

Did you eat any food? (uncountable)
Do you serve any vegetarian dishes? (countable)

2) Much, Many: Much modifies only uncountable nouns. Many modifies only countable

How much sugar will you take in your tea? (uncountable)
They had so many books that they had to stack them in the hall. (countable)

3) A lot of, Lots of: These words are informal substitutes for much and many.

I take lots of sugar in my tea (uncountable)

They had kept a lot of books on the table (countable)

4) Little, Quite a little, Few, Quite a few : Little and quite a little modify only
uncountable nouns. Few and quite a few modify only countable nouns.

Melvin has little chance of being elected (practically no chance)

Melvin has a little chance of being elected (some but not much)
I have seen few people who can keep a secret (hardly any)

A few doctors from the hospital play on the softball team. ( a small number)
Quite a few restaurants in this town offer vegetarian dishes. (meaning “a large number”)

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5) A little bit of, Quite a bit of: These informal phrases usually precede uncountable
nouns. Quite a bit of has the same meaning as quite a little and is used more commonly.

There’s a little bit of pepper in the soup. (meaning “a small amount”)
There’s quite a bit of pepper in the soup. (meaning “a large amount”)

6) Enough: This word modifies both countable and uncountable nouns.

I don’t have enough summer dresses to go on a vacation to Hawaii.

We have enough money to buy a car.

7) Plenty of: This term modifies both countable and uncountable nouns.

There are plenty of mountains in Switzerland.
She has plenty of money in the bank.

  No : This word modifies both countable and uncountable nouns.

There were no squirrels in the park today.
We have no time left to finish the project.

2. Pronoun

Noun holds an important place in the English language. However, we do not repeat the
names of persons and things again and again. So Pronoun is used as a proxy to the
proper noun to avoid repetition of the nouns.

Suresh said that Suresh bought a new bike.

In this case repetition of the proper noun ‘Suresh’ becomes redundant. It could be
replaced by the pronoun ‘he’

Suresh said that he bought a new bike.

The word “Pronoun” means ‘for a noun.’ Thus, Pronoun is a word used instead of noun.

Types of Pronoun: Pronouns fall into nine categories:

Personal Pronoun, Relative Pronoun, Distributive Pronoun, Demonstrative Pronoun

Indefinite Pronoun, Reflexive Pronoun, Emphatic Pronoun, Interrogative Pronoun

Reciprocal Pronoun

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Personal Pronouns can be used in three cases Nominative Case (as subject of the
sentence), Accusative Case (as object of the sentence) and Possessive Case.

·                                    The personal pronoun replacing the noun should
conform to the gender, number and person of the noun.

· While expressing a positive idea/praise, the sequence of the pronouns should be (third
person, second person, first person)

E.g.: He, you and I, will get an award for the good work we have done.

· While expressing a negative idea/confessing a fault, the sequence should be (first
person, second person, third person)

E.g.: I, you and he are in the wrong and will be punished.

· The personal pronouns – yours, ours, hers, theirs and its – are written without the

Your’s truly (wrong)

Yours truly (correct)

Relative Pronouns: They are used for the nouns (antecedents) used before them. They
are used in the following:

Subject Object Possessive

For persons who, that whom/who, that whose

For things which, that which/that whose/of which

· A relative pronoun must always be placed as near its antecedent as possible. It must also
agree with its antecedent in number, gender and person

E.g.: This is the woman who stole the ring.

(ant.) (re. pro)

· Generally, the relative pronoun in the objective case is omitted.

E.g.: The student (whom) you wanted to punish is absent today.

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· ‘Which’ is used –

1. For infants, small animals and objects

E.g.: This is the baby which was lost in the theatre.

This is the dog which my friend bought from the Kennel’s club.

2. When selection is expressed

E.g.: Which of these items do you want to purchase?

3. To refer to a sentence

E.g.: He was said to be drunk, which was not true

Distributive Pronouns: They refer to nouns considered individually. They are singular
in number and must be followed by singular verbs.

Each of these houses belongs to the landed gentry.

Either of the boys could get the prize.

Neither of these students can get through the examination.

Everyone has his own problems.

Everybody will be given a chance to play.

Demonstrative Pronouns: (this, that, these, those, they, such)

This is my paper.

That is a dog.

These are good books.

· ‘This’ (singular) and ‘These’ (plural) refer to thoughts, objects, places which are close
at hand.

‘That’ (singular) and ‘Those’ (plural) refer to the same that are far away.

· ‘That’ is also used to avoid the repetition of a preceding noun.

The water of Calcutta is like that of Cuttack. (that refers to water)

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Indefinite pronouns : They refer to nouns in a general way. (some, one, nobody,
somebody, few, all, any, many, anybody, each, both, everyone, everybody, either,
neither, several)

Some are born great.

Anyone can take a horse to the pond, but no one can make it drink.

All are invited for the party.

· When singular noun and a plural noun are combined by or, either…or, neither…nor,
the singular noun preferably comes first in the sentence and the pronoun must be in the
plural form.

Either the manager or his subordinates failed in their duty.

· ‘One’ is used to talk about people in general, the pronoun that follows one should be
one’s. (In American English, ‘one’ can be followed by his or her)

One should not be too serious in one’s duties as one can be exploited for the same.

One should never tell his secrets to a gossip if he wishes them to remain secret.

Reflexive Pronouns: Here the action reflects back on the noun. When the subject and
object refer to the same person, reflexive pronoun is used.

I must blame myself for this.

Behave yourself.

He killed himself.

Emphatic Pronouns : They are used to emphasize the subject of the sentence.

I myself will take you there

You yourself are to be blamed

Reciprocal Pronouns : Each other and one another express a mutual or reciprocal
relationship. They are also called as Compound Personal Pronouns.

The two girls helped each other in every respect.

The political parties quarreled with one another.

· ‘Each other’ is used to refer to two persons/things

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These two students love each other.

· ‘One another’ is used for more than two persons/things.

Those five parties always disagree with one another.

Interrogative pronouns: They are used in questions.

For persons – who, whom, whose.

For things – what, which

Who keeps the keys?

Whom did the committee appoint?

Whose car broke down?

Which is the road to the hospital?

What have you to do now?

General usage of pronouns:

1. When two singular nouns joined by ‘and’ and are preceded by ‘each’ or ‘every’, the
pronoun must be singular in number.

E.g.: Every student and every teacher took his seat.

2. When two singular nouns are joined by ‘and’ denoting the same person/thing, the
pronoun used for them must be singular in number. The definite article ‘the’ is placed
before the first noun.

E.g.: The accounts officer and treasurer should be careful in his work.

3. When nouns of different genders are combined by a conjunction, the pronoun must
agree with the gender of the noun which is next to the conjunction.

E.g.: Every boy and girl went to her house.

3. Adjectives

Any word that adds more meaning to the Noun is called an Adjective. It qualifies a noun.
Eg.: Ankur is a good player. The baby drank a little milk.

Correct Use of some adjectives:

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a) Little (practically no chance) Deepak has little chance of being elected.

A little (some chance) There is a little hope of his success.

The little (whatever available) I shall give him the little money I have.

b) Few (practically none) Few people are good.

A few (a small number) I have a few friends in my office.

The few (whatever available) I will pack the few things I have.

c) First (first in order) Yuri Gagarin was the first man to go into space.

Foremost (leading, eminent) Einstein was the foremost scientist of his day.

d) Elder – eldest (of the same family) She is my eldest sister.

Older – oldest (of age) He is the oldest man in the village.

e) Nearest (in space) The nearest bus stop is two kilometers away.

Next (in position) She is seated next to her friend.

f) Later (in time) This is the later edition of the book.

Latter (in order) Of the two boys, Raj and Ram, the latter is clever.

Latest (in time) This is the latest print.

Last (in order) This is the last bottle.

g) Less (smaller) I have less money than needed.

Lesser (not as bad as the other) This is the lesser of the two devils.

h) Farther (distance) Let us walk a little farther

Further (additional, beyond He may be given further punishment

what exists now) **

i) Many (numerous-referring to number) Many of us are on leave tomorrow.

Many a (singular in form but plural Many a man feels frustrated due to

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In meaning) the present education system.

A Great Many ( a large number) A great many people attended the wedding

j) Outermost (farthest from the center) The outermost crust of the pizza is tasty.

Uttermost (most distant or remote) He is a great traveler who has been to the uttermost
parts of the earth.

Utmost (extreme, in the highest This meeting is of utmost

degree) importance.

Utter (comparative in form but superlative Any one can see the utter

in meaning- complete, unqualified) absurdity of the situation

** (Now-a-days ‘further’ is being increasingly used instead of ‘farther’)

4. Verbs

A verb indicates the action done by the subject.

E.g.: He arrived late.

Verbs can be categorized into two groups:

1. Main verb: This tells us of what exactly happens. They are also called the ‘action
words.’ E.g.: Srinivas went to his village. The word ‘went’ tells us what the subject
‘Mohan’ has done.

2. Auxiliary verbs: They indicate the number and tense in the sentence. They are also
called ‘helping verbs.’ E.g.: Mohan did not go with him. The helping verb ‘did’ decides
the time of action. So the main verb will be in the original form of ‘go’.

Auxiliary verbs and their forms:

1. Primary auxiliaries: BE – be, is, am, was, were, being, been.

HAVE – have, has, had, having.

DO – do, does, did, doing, done.

2. Modal auxiliaries: can, might, may, must, will, need, shall, dare, should, ought, would,
used to, could.

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Verb Phrase in any sentence is formed by using only the Main verb or one of the basic
forms of the Main verb and the Primary auxiliaries or both the primary auxiliaries and the
modal auxiliaries.

E.g.: The teacher gives assignments. (main verb)


The teacher is giving assignments. (primary auxiliary + main verb)

(P.A.) (M.V.)

The teacher will be giving assignments. (main auxiliary + pri. Aux + main verb)

(M.A.) (P.A.) (M.V.)

Characteristics of Modal auxiliaries:

1. They are never used alone. They are used along with a Principal verb or the Principal
verb is implied.

E.g. I will admit my fault. (‘will’ is the modal auxiliary supported by the Principal verb

2. Modal auxiliaries have a single form throughout the Present tense irrespective of the
Person (First, Second or Third)

E.g. I can borrow a pen (First Person)

You can borrow a pen (Second Person)

He can borrow a pen (Third Person)

Compare the above rule with that of Principal verb. They change according to the Person
(First, Second or Third)

E.g.: I am borrowing a pen (First Person)

You are borrowing a pen (Second Person)

He is borrowing a pen (Third Person)

3. Modal Auxiliaries do not take the Infinitives or Participle forms. So they are also
called as “Defective Verbs.” Similarly they do not take ‘ing’ to make present participles
and they do not have past participles. There are cases when the words like ‘will’, ‘dare’,

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‘need’ use ‘to’ or ‘ing’ . In such cases, they are to be considered as Primary Auxiliaries
or Infinitives and not Modal Auxiliaries.

E.g.: She seems to have eaten the cake.(Infinitive)

Having lost his job, Raj resorted to smuggling. (Present Participle)

I have had the house painted (Past Participle)

Kinds of Verbs


i) In ‘transitive’ the action passes from the subject to an object.

                        E.g.: My cat killed a rat.

The action of “killing” is passed from the

‘cat’ to the ‘rat.’ Here ‘killed’ is a transitive verb.

ii) In ‘intransitive’ the action does not have any succeeding object. It merely points to a

                        E.g.: The girl is dancing.

The action of “dancing” does not have any object that comes after it. Here ‘dancing’ is
an intransitive verb. Verb – Tenses

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Tense refers to the time of action. With the change of tense, the form of the main verb
also changes. There are twelve tense-structures. They are:

Simple Present, Present Continuous, Present Perfect, Present Perfect Continuous

Simple Past , Past Continuous, Past Perfect, Past Perfect Continuous

Simple Future, Future Continuous, Future Perfect, Future Perfect Continuous

1. Simple Present: (Subject + V1 (present )

· It is used to indicate a regular or habitual action and permanent or verifiable truths/facts.

E.g.: Mary goes to school every day (regular action)

Henry always swims in the evening (habitual)

The sun rises in the east. (permanent truth)

· It is used to express a planned future event/actions, exclamatory statements with ‘here’
and ‘there’.

E.g.: We go to New Delhi next Thursday (planned future event)

Here comes the great player of the year!

· It is used to indicate verbs of perception.

E.g.: I hear someone sing.

2. Present Continuous: (Subject + {is, am, are}+V1 + ing)

· It is used to indicate present time when an action is going on.

E.g.: The secretary is typing the letter now.

· It is used to indicate the action in progress and will be continued, but not necessarily at
the moment of speaking.

E.g.: My son is drawing scenery.

· It is used to indicate the actions that have been arranged to take place in the near future
and one’s immediate plans.

E.g.: We are going to a party this evening.

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· The following verbs are never used in the continuous forms (with ‘ing’) see, hear, smell,
notice, understand, have, believe, hate, need, love, appear, like, seem, sound, want, taste,
wish, own, notice, desire, refuse, forgive, care, admire, mean, remember, recall, forget,
belong, possess, contain, consist, keep, seems, cost.

· When some of the above verbs are used in the continuous tense, their meanings change.

E.g.: I have a house at Colaba.

The professor is having the class in Room. 2 (taking)

3. Present Perfect: (Subject+{have, has}+V 3 (verb in the past participle)

a. It indicates an action that has happened at an indefinite time in the past.

E.g.: Maria has seen this movie three times.

We haven’t written our reports yet.

· It is used to indicate actions that have started in the past and are continuing at present.

E.g.: I have been sick for a long time.

· It is also used to show the activities completed in the recent past.

E.g.: My father has just left.

· We should not use present perfect tense when the time is specified.

E.g.: I have read this book last week (incorrect)

I read this book last week (correct)

4. Present Perfect Continuous: (Subject + {have, has}+ been +V1 + ing)

a) It indicates an action that began in the past and still occurring in the present.

E.g.: He has been working in Washington for 5 years.

Simple Past : (Subject + V2 {verb in the past})

a) It is used for a completed action that had happened in the past. It also indicates habits
of the past.

E.g.: Bob went to America last year.

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We always played together.

5. Past Continuous: ( Subject + {was, were} + V1 + ing)

· It indicates an action, which was occurring in the past and was interrupted by another

E.g.: Seema was watching the Television when her brother called.

· It describes two or more actions going on at the same time. The clauses are usually
connected by the conjunction ‘while’.

E.g.: While Maya was watching the movie, Mark was playing hockey.

· It expresses an action that was in progress at a point of time in the past, having begun
before that point and probably continuing after it.

E.g.: I was watching cricket at 8.00 in the morning.

6. Past Perfect: (Subject + {had} + V3 {past participle})

a) It is used to indicate an action that happened before another action in the past. Usually
two actions are mentioned in the sentence.

E.g.: Ram had gone to the store and brought some groceries.

(Past Per.) (Sim. Past)

7. Past Perfect Continuous: (Subject + {had} + been +V1 + ing)

a) It is used to convey an action which happened in the past and continued for certain

E.g.: Ramu had been working at the university before he retired.

8. Simple Future: (Subject + will/shall + V1)

a) It is used to express the speaker’s opinions/assumptions about the future.

E.g.: They will wait for us.

· It is used for future habitual actions.

E.g.: Birds will build nests.

· It is used in sentences containing clauses of condition, time and purpose.

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E.g.: If I drop this glass, it will break.

9. Future continuous: (Subject + will/shall + be+ V1+ ing)

· It is used to express an action as going on at some time in the future.

E.g.: I shall be playing piano in the concert.

· It is used to express future without intention.

E.g.: I will be helping Marie tomorrow.

11. Future Perfect: (Subject + will/shall/ + have + V3)

· It is used for an action which at a given future time will be in the past. It is usually used
with a time expression ‘by then’, ‘by that time’.

E.g.: By the end of next month he will have been here for ten years.

12. Future Perfect Continuous: (Subject+ will/shall + have +been+V1 +ing)

· It can be used instead of future perfect tense (when the action is continuous).

E.g.: By the end of next month he will have been living here for ten years.

· It can also be used when the action is expressed as a continuous action.

E.g.: By the end of the week he will have been training pupils for ten years.

* However, if we mention the number of pupils, we must use future perfect.

E.g.: By the end of the week he will have trained 5000 pupils for ten years.

Exercise: Correct the following sentences:

1. The policeman asked the young woman to immediately produce her driving licence.

2. We only have three hours to complete this paper.

3. Never I saw such an accident.

4. When only a child, my mother took me to the cinema.

5. Statistics show that workers work most efficient when they are involved in the total
operation rather than only one part of it.

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6. They spoke at the meeting angrily.

7. No sooner did I go to the station when the bus left.

8. She was so quiet that hardly he noticed her.

9. Do not try to completely finish your homework before lunch.

He wanted to carefully read the directions.

5. Adverbs

Adverbs add more meaning to the verb, adjective, or another adverb in a sentence. It
‘modifies’ that word.

E.g.: Radha sings melodiously.

He left immediately.

Formation of adverbs:

1. By adding –ly, to an adjective: beautifully, strongly.

2. By adding -wise, -ways, -wards: otherwise, sideways, upwards.

3. By combining a noun and a prefix: asleep, ahead, away, besides.

4. By combining a prefix and an adjective: alone, around, below.

5. Two adverbs joined by conjunction: by and by, over and above, now and then.

Adverbs tell us about the time, place, manner, quantity, reason, and frequency of an
action. They are recognized by asking certain questions to the verb.

Useage of adverbs:

1. An adverb must be placed as near as possible to the word it modifies.

E.g.: He waited long.

2. If the verb is in the simple tense form, the adverb is usually placed

between the subject and the verb it modifies.

E.g.: He often visits his home town. (Sub.) (Adv.) (V)

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3. If the verb is in the form of ‘to be’ (is, am, was, are, were) the adverb comes after the
verb. E.g.: She is a very sober girl.

4. If the verb is compound, the adverb comes after the auxiliary.

E.g.: He will always teach.

5. If the sentence is negative, the adverb of frequency follows ‘not’.

E.g.: They are not generally selfish.

6. If the sentence is interrogative the adverb takes position immediately after the subject.

E.g.: Has he ever spoken to you?

7. In case of infinitives (to + simple form of verb + do), adverb should not be placed in
between ‘to’ and ‘do’.

E.g.: He refused to do the task quickly.

(Inf.) (Adv.)

8. Use of ‘hard’, ‘hardly’ – ‘Hard’ as an adverb usually follows the verb.

E.g.: He works hard to make both ends meet.

‘Hardly’ as an adverb conveys a negative meaning of scarcely or barely.

E.g.: Hardly had he spoken when the bell rang.

9. Use of ‘scarce’, ‘scarcely’ – ‘Scarce’ as an adverb means hard to find.

E.g.: Coal has become scarce in England.

‘Scarcely’ as an adverb is almost synonymous with ‘hardly’.

E.g.: I can scarcely hear you.

* ‘hardly’ and ‘scarcely’ are followed by when. ‘No sooner’ is followed by than.

E.g.: Hardly had the bell rung when the children ran out of the classroom.

No sooner had the bell rung than the children ran out of the classroom.

6. Prepositions

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Prepositions are the words, which tell us about the relations of the nouns, pronouns, and
adjectives in a sentence. Their position is before (pre) the noun. Hence they are said to
govern the noun. The noun which follows is said to be the object of the preposition.
There are two types of prepositions. They are:

1. Simple Prepositions: in, on, after, at, with, under, above, etc.

E.g.: He wrote the notes with a pen.

2. Complex Prepositions: along with, apart from, as for, as to, away from, onto, out of,
together with, upto, such as, except for, owing to, due to, but for, because of, by means
of, on account of, in comparison with, in accordance with, in view of, in spite of, instead

Use of Prepositions:

1. A preposition can be used at the beginning of an interrogative sentence.

E.g.: At what time do you leave for office?

2. A preposition is placed at the end of the sentence in the following ways

· If a preposition governs a relative pronoun.

E.g.: This is the book which I mentioned about.

· When the relative pronoun is ‘that’.

E.g.: This is the school that I went to.

· When the relative pronoun is understood.

E.g.: This is the person you spoke to.

· If a preposition governs an interrogative pronoun or an interrogative adverb.

E.g.: What are you looking at?

· When the preposition is used with the infinitive at the end of the sentence.

E.g.: Do you have a chair to sit on?

3. A word is considered a preposition when it governs a noun/pronoun. Otherwise it
becomes an adverb. The most important words are: about, above, across, along, after,
before, below, behind, besides, by, down, in, on, near, off, over, past, round, through,
under, up etc.

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i) He got off the bus at the corner (preposition)

He got off at the corner (adverb)

ii) Peter is behind us (preposition)

He’s a long way behind (adverb)

iii) She climbed over the wall (preposition)

You’ll have to climb over too (adverb)

Relations expressed by prepositions:

1. Preposition of time: on, in, at, for, before, after, until, till, between, by, upto.

E.g.: She was healthy till yesterday.

2. Preposition of place: to, at, from, away, on, onto, of, in, into, out, upon, inside, within,
by, over, above, on top of, behind, in front of, below, beneath, across, through, all over,
throughout, between, among.

E.g.: Where do you come from?

3. Preposition of method and manner: by, with

E.g.: The boys skipped going to school with audacity.

4. Preposition of reason and purpose: with, of, for,

E.g.: I rented a house for my holidays

5. Preposition of possession: of, with, by

E.g.: The tomb of Akbar is in Sikandarabad.

6. Preposition of direction and motions: into, towards, up, round, across.

E.g.: They climbed into the lorry.

7. Preposition of contrast: despite

E.g.: Despite his mistakes, he is a sincere worker.

Correct Use of some of the Prepositions:

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· beside, besides

a) The house is beside the river. (by the side of)

b) Besides being good at Tennis, he is also an excellent player of Golf. (in addition to/

· since, for

a) He has been absent since Monday last. (point of time)

b) He was absent for four days. (length or period of time)

· between, among

a) I have to choose between the two pictures.(two persons/things)

b) This is the custom among the tribes. (more than two)

· by, with

a) He was killed by a servant. (doer of the action)

b) He was killed with a knife. (instrument of action)

· in, at

He lives at Juhu in Mumbai. (‘at’ – smaller area/ ‘in’- bigger area)

· in, into

a) He is in bed (indicates rest or motion inside anything)

b) He fell into the well (motion towards the inside of anything)

· on, upon

a) He sat on a chair (things at rest)

b) He lives on his maternal uncle (denoting support)

c) I wrote books on philosophy (denoting concern)

d) He jumped upon the horse. (Things in motion)

· in, within

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a) The loan will be repaid in a year. (end of a period of time)

b) The loan will be paid within a year (any time before the specified period.)

· over, above

a) They saw the peaks towering above them (higher)

b) We hung the picture over the fire place (vertically above)

7. Conjunctions

A Conjunction is a word which connects words, phrases, clauses or sentences. There are
two classes of conjunctions. They are:

1. Co-ordinate conjunctions

2. Subordinate conjunctions.

Co-ordinate conjunctions join two clauses or sentences which are at par in terms of
importance. They also join two words of equal grammatical rank. The chief co-ordinate
conjunctions are – and, but, for, nor, or, otherwise, else, also, either ——– or, neither —
—- nor, both ——- and.

Co-ordinate conjunctions are further divided into:

1. Cumulative conjunctions: They add one statement/fact to another. They are – not only
— but also, both — and, as well as, too, also, moreover, and.

E.g.: They sang melodiously, and played the guitar well.

2. Alternative conjunctions: They express a choice between two alternatives. They are –
or, else, Either—or, neither—nor, otherwise.

E.g.: She is good neither at games nor at studies.

3. Adversative conjunctions: They express a contrast between two facts or statements.
They are – however, but, only, yet, still, whereas, nevertheless.

E.g.: I would have been there; only I am too busy this week.

4. Illative conjunctions: They show that a statement/fact is proved or inferred from
another. They are – hence, therefore, so, subsequently, consequently, for.

E.g.: He is honest and amiable, hence is revered.

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Subordinate Conjunctions: are the conjunctions that connect the subordinate clauses to
the main clauses in sentences.

1. Subordinate conjunction of time. E.g.: The patient had died before the doctor arrived.

2. Subordinate conjunction of reason. E.g.: Since you insist, I will come to your home.

3. Subordinate conjunction of purpose. E.g.: We eat so that we may live.

4. Subordinate conjunction of condition. E.g.: I wonder why you left the company.

5. Subordinate conjunction of consequence. E.g.: The baby was so tired that it slept

6. Subordinate conjunction of concession. E.g.: Though you insist, I will not talk to her.

7. Subordinate conjunction of comparison. E.g.: You are taller than I (am)

8. Interjections

A word which expresses a sudden and intense feeling of surprise, joy, fear, sadness is
interjection. It is indicated by the exclamation mark put after it. (Ah! Hurrah! Well! Dear!
Oh!) Interjection is not grammatically connected with the rest of the sentence.

E.g.: Hurrah! We have won the match.


A group of words that makes a complete sense or gives complete meaning is called a
sentence. It expresses the thought of the person, who speaks or writes the sentence.
Traditionally, a sentence is considered as a largest grammatical unit. It is also imperative
that a sentence has a verb in it to consider it as a sentence.

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The shortest legal sentences in the English language are “I am” and “I do” – although
with some bending of the rules, the imperative “Go!” can be considered the shortest
correct sentence.

According to, A sentence is a group of words that expresses a
thought. A sentence conveys a statement, question, exclamation or command. A sentence
contains or implies a subject and a predicate. In simple terms, a sentence must contain a
verb and (usually) a subject. A sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with a full
stop (.), question mark (?) or exclamation mark (!).

Kinds of Sentences

From the point of view of expression of thoughts, the sentences are divided into four

1. Declarative sentences: They state or assert certain facts. So they are called declarative
sentences. A declarative sentence makes a statement. It begins with a capital letter and
ends with a period. E.g.: Veena is playing word zap

2. Interrogative Sentences: The sentences that ask questions are called Interrogative
sentences. E.g.: What is your name? Where are you going?

3. Exclamatory sentences: The sentences in the example express strong feelings either of
happiness or sadness. The feelings are also sudden. Also notice the exclamatory mark at
the end of the sentences. Such sentences are called Exclamatory sentences. E.g.: Wow,
what a win that was ! What alert animals the dogs are!

4. Imperative sentences: The sentences that are used to express order, request or wish are
called as Imperative sentences. E.g.: Go out of the class, Call the electrician, please, May
the Lord bless. Among the given examples, The first sentence is an order, the second, a
request and the third is a wish. We use the above sentences when we are talking directly
to someone. Hence the subject (you) is omitted because it is understood in the meaning.

Elements of Sentence Construction

We have already learnt the different parts of speech and also understood that they string
together to make a sentence. However, we should not forget that the parts of speech have
a specific task to perform in a sentence. In English, every sentence has two essential
parts: a subject and a Predicate, which are inclusive of clauses and phrases.

Subject: The complete subject is the simple subject (a noun or a pronoun) plus any
words or group of words modifying the simple subject that tell who or what the
sentence is about. Thus, a subject is the person, place, or thing that acts, is acted on, or
is described in the sentence.

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Additional Facts about Subject:

1. The “Understood You” : Sometimes, as in the case of imperative sentences, the
subject does not actually appear in the sentence. At such times the invisible subject is
called the “understood you”.
e.g.: (You) Go out of the house.

2. Positioning: Although the subject most commonly appears before the verb, it can also
appear afte
r the verb. This is called the inversion of the Subject and Predicate. E.g.: Here come
my friends and their parents.

Predicate: The predicate is the action or description that occurs in the sentence.
Sometimes a verb will express existence instead of an action. Verb is an essential
part of the predicate. In other words, we can say that the predicate is the ‘telling
part’ of the sentence because it tells us what the subject is doing and to whom.
Sometimes the ‘predicate’ consists of two or more verbs.

One or two ‘auxiliary’ or ‘helping’ verbs precede the main verb.

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Note: An ‘ing’ ending verb should always have a helping verb with it to make it a
predicate. ‘ing’ ending verb without a helping verb cannot be a predicate in a sentence.

Phrases: A group of words without a finite verb is a phrase. In other words, phrases are
just a group of related words that do not express a complete thought. They also do not
have a subject and predicate pair. So, they cannot be considered as a sentence.

E.g.: The house at the end of the street is very beautiful.

The astronaut chosen to ride the space shuttle to Mars is afraid of heights.

Alix walk down the ramp to the beach.

The flying saucer appeared above the lake before it disappeared into space

Clauses: Words and phrases can be put together to make a clause. A
group of related words that contain both a subject and a predicate and
that functions as a part of a sentence is a clause. A clause is
different from a phrase because a phrase is a group of related words
which lacks either a subject or a predicate or both. Look at the
following sentence.

The boy climbed when the bus stopped.

In the above example, there are two clauses. Only one of them is a sentence. i.e. which
makes a complete sense.

Clause I : The boy climbed. This gives a thought or an idea that is complete. It can stand
by itself. In other words, it is independent of other words. So, it is a Principal clause.

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Clause II: When the bus stopped. This gives an incomplete thought or idea, one that
cannot stand by itself, one that needs some more words to make it whole. The word
‘when’ changes the meaning, making the thought incomplete. After reading this clause,
we are left hanging.

So the second clause which depends on the first to give meaning to it is called a
Dependent Clause.

Structural Categorization of Sentences

Structurally, a sentence may be categorized as SIMPLE, COMPOUND and COMPLEX.

A sentence can be recognized by the number of clauses it contains.

Simple sentence: A simple sentence, also called an independent clause, contains a subject
and a verb, and it expresses a complete thought. E.g.: Some students like to study in the
morning. ( Some students — Subject ; like — Verb)

Compound sentence : A compound sentence contains two independent (main) clauses
joined by a coordinator. It may or may not have a subordinate clause. The coordinators
are as follows: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. (Helpful hint: The first letter of each of the
co-ordinators spells FANBOYS.) . E.g.: Alex played football but Manu went shopping.

Alex played football (Clause I); But (Coordinator) ; Manu went shopping (Clause II)

Complex sentence: A complex sentence has an independent clause joined by one or more
dependent clauses. A complex sentence always has a subordinator such as because,
since, after, although, or, when or a relative pronoun such as that, who, or which. E.g.:
The teacher returned the homework after she saw an error.

The teacher returned the homework (Main clause); after (Subordinator); She saw an error
(Subordinate clause)

Subject Verb Agreement

We have thus far learnt various types of sentences and the elements that make up a
sentence. We shall polish this a little further to understand the nuances that we should
keep in mind while writing or conversing in English. The rules that one should follow
while constructing a sentence and while conversing may be different. The formal and
informal usage of English differs.

The subject and verb agreement is an important aspect of the English language. It is very
important that the verb and subject agree in number and person.

The two smart girls in the class were chosen to win the award.

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In the given example there are three ways in which the subject (girls) is shown to be

1. the verb ‘to be’ in its plural form ‘were’.

2. the adjective ‘two’.

3. the plural marker ‘s’ attached to the subject ‘girl’.

* While trying to determine whether a verb should be in singular or plural form, find the
subject and ignore all the words coming after it. If the subject is singular, then the verb is
singular or vice versa.

The problems with the student have not yet been resolved.

In this example, the subject is ‘problems’ which is in the plural form. So the verb should
be in the plural form. Hence we use the verb ‘have’ (plural form).

1. When two subjects are joined by ‘and’, the verb is plural.

e.g.: John and Jinny are friends.


· When two singular nouns are joined by ‘and’, but refer to the same person, then the verb
is singular.

E.g.: 1. The secretary and treasurer is on leave. (article ‘the’ is used only once.)

2. The secretary and the treasurer are on leave. (article ‘the’ is used twice).

· When two different singular nouns express one unit, the verb is in singular.
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E.g.: Rice and curry is my staple diet.

· When two singular subjects are practically synonymous, the verb is in singular. E.g.:
Peace and Prosperity is the need of the day.

· When two singular subjects are joined by ‘and’ which are preceded by ‘each’ or ‘every’,
the verb is in singular. E.g.: Every man, woman and child has been rescued.

E.g.: The United States doesn’t have a centralized governing body for educational affairs.

Mathematics was my favorite subject in school.

Measles is a serious childhood disease if not treated properly.

The committee doesn’t have to come up with a solution until next week.

Exception: However, the nouns ‘people’ and ‘police’ are considered plural, so they take
a plural verb.

E.g.: The police are here to protect us.

The people were happy to see the return of their king.

4. The expression of time, distance, and money are often seen as collective items and
hence take a singular verb.

E.g.: Five hours has already passed since his surgery ended.

Five thousand rupees is a fair price for such an old painting.

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5. When the words ‘all’, ‘most’, ‘some’, and ‘any’ are followed by a non-count noun, the
Verb is singular.

E.g.: All of the cake has been eaten.

Some fat is good for you.

Most car exhaust contains pollutants that threaten all living things.

Exception: However, if the words are followed by a plural count noun, the verb is plural.

E.g.: All men are created equal.

6. “None” and “neither” always take a singular verb, whether followed by a plural or a
non-count noun.

E.g.: None of the cats belongs to me,

Neither of the women is the one who spoke to me yesterday.

7. When the subjects are joined by “either …or”, “neither … nor”, “not only … but also”
“both … and”, the verb agrees with the subject which is close to it.

E.g.: Neither the children nor the mother wants to leave.

Either you or I am going to call an end to this charade.

Not only she but all her friends also were in the list of failures.

Both my brother and I am interested in joining the team.

8. When two subjects are joined by ‘as well as’, ‘with’, ‘together with’, ‘accompanied
by’, the verb agrees with the subject mentioned first.

E.g.: The President of India as well as his secretaries is invited to the function.

Her friends along with Sheela are arriving by the first flight.

9. “The + adjective” takes the plural verb because it refers to the whole group.

E.g.: The sick were taken to the hospital immediately.

10. A plural verb is used when “a lot of”, “a great deal of”, “plenty of”, “most of”, “some
of” are used while referring to number.

E.g.: A lot of people were present in the theatre and some of them were students.

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Exception: However, if the expressions refer to amount, the verb is singular.

E.g.: A lot of home work is given to the students. (singular)

11. When the expression ‘a number of’ is used with a plural noun, it takes plural verb.
The expression, ‘the number of’, along with a plural noun takes a singular verb.

E.g.: A number of students are going to the picnic.

The number of students to volunteer is dwindling by the day.

12. In sports, while referring to the players, the name of the country is followed by plural

E.g.: England have won the world cup.

13. When the percentage or a part of something is mentioned with plural meaning, the
verb used is plural.

E.g.: 30% of the Indian women are literate.

14. “Majority” can be singular or plural.

· If it is followed by a plural noun, plural verb is used.

E.g.: Majority of the pens were blue.

· If it stands alone, singular verb is used.

E.g.: The majority believes in easy work.

Exercise : Underline and correct the mistakes in the following sentences

1. It is common to move from the countryside to find job.

2. More must be done to solve that problems of development

3. There are two sorts of college in Japan

4. Many culture from around the world are found in the city.

5. In the country the people is more friendly.

6. Huge number of cars use the motorway.

7. The city have disadvantages such as a high rate of crime.

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8. Public transport lets us move to another places easily.

9. There are bad pollution due to traffic congestion.

10. People should not ignore important factors that affect their life.

11. The attitude towards this issue vary form person to person.

12. According to Hoffman, small firms responds more rapidly to changes.

13. The forecast conclude that interest rates will reach 7.5% next year.

14. But as with many other things, fashion had a habit of making a comeback, and short
skirts are very much the “in” thing today.

15. Neither John nor Wendy want to go dancing.

(Ans: 1. a job / jobs 2. those problems 3. colleges 4. cultures 5. are 6. A huge number/
Huge numbers 7. has 8. other places 9. is 10. Lives 11. varies 12. respond 13. concludes
14. fashion has 15. wants)

Active Voice and Passive Voice

Based on the types of verbs, we have ‘active voice’ and ‘passive voice.’

The sentences which have ‘transitive verbs’ can be changed from “active voice” to
“passive voice.”

E.g.: The Principal read the report. (Active voice)

The report was read by the Principal. (Passive voice)

   i. Active Voice: In this type of voice, the subject of the sentence acts on the agent.
   You can say that the “verb” is active when the action is done by the “subject” on the

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ii. Passive Voice : In this voice, the subject is acted upon by the agent. You can
consider the verb as “passive” when the subject takes the action upon itself.

Degrees of Comparison

There are three degrees of comparison.

Suzie is a tall girl.

Suzie is taller than May and Jenny

Suzie is the tallest girl

Pattern of change in the degrees of comparison.

1. One syllable adjectives and one syllable adverbs that do not end in –ly form their
comparative and superlative by adding –er and –est to the positive form.

big bigger biggest

white whiter whitest

hard harder hardest

fast faster    fastest

2. Adjectives of three or more syllables and Adverbs ending in –ly form their
comparative and superlative by adding ‘more’ and ‘most’ before the positive form.

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useful more useful most useful

loathsome more loathsome most loathsome

quickly more quickly most quickly

softly more softly most softly

3. Adjectives of two syllables follow either the first or the second rule given above.

· Those words ending in –ful or –re usually take ‘more’ and ‘most’.

Doubtful more doubtful most doubtful

Obscure more obscure most obscure

· Those words ending in –er, – y or –ly take ‘er’ and ‘est’.

clever cleverer cleverest

pretty prettier prettiest

silly sillier silliest

4. Irregular comparative forms. These are adjectives which do not bear any
resemblance to the positive degree.

good (adjective) better best

well (adverb) better best

bad worse worst

far farther farthest (of distance only)

further furthest little less least

(used more widely)

many/much more most

old older oldest (of people and things)

elder eldest (of people only)

    Direct and Indirect Speech

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In our daily communication, we come across various types of conversations. Of these,
there are two ways of what one person has related to the other. They are-

   1. Direct Speech: This refers to the relating of the spoken words of one person to
   the other verbatim. We can recognize a direct speech with the help of the
   punctuations. It is written within the inverted commas. A coma or colon is placed
   immediately before the spoken words.

   Note the inverted comma in the above presentation of the conversation between
   Mr. Rooster and Mrs. Hen. They are talking to each other. So it is a direct

   2. Indirect Speech: This is also called as ‘Reported Speech’ because it refers to the
   meaning of the word spoken by one person though the exact spoken words are not

      Furry, the squirrel in conversation with his friend, relates what he heard between

      Mr. Rooster and Mrs. Hen. Note the absence of inverted comma and the change in
   tense of the verb. This is indirect speech.

Question Tags

Question tags are used in conversation and in informal letters. They are added to a
statement to either indicate force or draw attention to the statement.

The Question Tag consists of the ‘helping verb’ followed by the ‘subject’ in the form of a
suitable pronoun.

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Rules to construct a question tag:

1. A positive statement takes a negative tag.

E.g.: Meena is a good swimmer, isn’t she?

2. A negative statement takes a positive tag.

E.g.: I did not tell you, did I?

3. The tense of the verb in the tag should be the same as the one in the statement.

E.g.: You are going to the cinema, aren’t you?

4. When the statement doesn’t have a helping verb, use ‘do’ form (does, did, don’t,

E.g.: We lived in Nigeria, didn’t we?

5. When the helping verb is ‘am’, the tag will always be aren’t.

I am singing, aren’t I?

6. When the subject of the sentence is anyone, anybody, no one, nobody, none, neither,
we use the pronoun ‘they’ as the subject of the tag.

E.g.: No one would object, would they?

7. Semi-negatives (hardly, few, little) take a positive tag.

E.g.: Few students knew the answers, did they?

· A few and A little are positive and take a negative tag.

A little progress was made, wasn’t it?


In this unit, we have learnt the rules that are involved to put in all the different parts of
speech into a sentence. Understanding the meaning and usage of the different parts of
speech (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and
interjections) is the primary step in learning grammar. It helps in the systematic study of
the fundamentals of Grammar, which in turn will aid in the co-ordination of linguistic
skills necessary for particular patterns of expression. It is learnt that the subject and verb
coordination is of paramount importance while we construct a sentence in the process of
writing or in our conversation.

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In this unit, we have learnt in detail the four types of sentences – declarative, imperative,
interrogative and exclamatory. We have also learnt to recognize the different types of
sentences with the help of the punctuation marks that end the sentence. While the
declarative and imperative sentences end with a period (full stop), the interrogative has a
question mark (?)and exclamatory sentence has an exclamation mark (!) in the end of the

We have also learnt different elements that comprise a sentence. The subject (noun or
pronoun that does the action in a sentence) and the predicate (verb and other
complementary elements) are the essential items that are mandatory in a sentence.

The important complementary elements in a sentence are phrases and clauses. Phrases
may function as nouns, adjectives or adverbs. The clauses may be main clause and
subordinate clause. Understanding and identifying different subordinate clauses like noun
clause, adjective clause and adverb clause would enable the learners to differentiate as
well as construct simple, compound and complex sentences easily. This in turn will help
in improving the writing and communication skills.

Again, the change of active voice into passive voice and the importance of their usage are
also dealt in this unit. While changing the active voice into passive voice, the meaning
and the tense of the sentence do not change. It is also important to understand and learn
the different degrees of comparison and their appropriate use in the context, which is
aptly dealt in this unit. Furthermore, the introduction of direct and indirect speech is a
connection to the way we converse. It is learnt that while we report any precisely written
or told sentence (dialogue), we have to make some changes in our report. The most
important change is that of distance. While converting the direct speech into the indirect,
the tenses and distance change but the meaning of the sentence remains the same. Finally,
the question tags and their usage are learnt. They are essential in the conversational
English. Once we learn their right usage, it is easy to develop fluency in our day-to-day

Terminal Questions

1. Name different parts of speech and give one examples for each.

2. How many types of pronouns are there. Give examples for each type.

3. What do you mean by subject-verb agreement? Explain the rules that you should
follow while constructing a sentence.

4. When do you use question tags? What key rules help you to write the correct question

5. What are the different relations expressed by prepositions. Explain their usage with an
example each.

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Answers for TQs(View in SLM)

1. Refer 2.2 2. Refer 2.2 ( Pronoun) 3. Refer 2.4

4. Refer 2.8 5. Refer 2.2 (Prepositions)

                    Unit 3 Oral Skills for Effective Communication

   •   Spoken English is the call of the day. So, it is explained in this unit while
       accentuating on the skills of effective oral presentation, telephonic conversations,
       giving directions, etc.Essential qualities that make up a good speaker are also


Among the types of communication, Oral communication is the most important type that
helps a man to express clearly his intentions to the listener. Communication through
words can be both informal and formal. At the informal stages, at your home, or among
your friends, yuu do not pay much attention to the skills of oral communication. You
communicate with them freely, without any inhibitions. However, in the cases of formal
environment, be it at your office, or any seminar and conference, oral communication, to
be effective, needs special attention. You may hesitate about your vocabulary usage or
your mannerisms while talking. So, you need to learn and practise the art of oral
communication to make it effective. This unit deals with the different types of oral
communication, the general communication like asking for directions, telephonic
conversations, taking messages as well as basic principles of oral presentation and
various visual aids used in such presentations.


After studying this unit, you will be able to:

· use some polite expressions/phrases in their appropriate contexts.

· make effective conversation over the telephone.

· refer to a map and then give oral instructions or ask for information.

· differentiate between various types of visual aids and use them.

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· prepare OHP transparencies and Power Point slides effectively.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Oral Communication

When you seek permission from your father to visit a nearby museum, he might say ‘yes’
or ‘no’. Thus, in oral communication, there is a possibility of immediate response. This
ensures speedy interaction and makes immediate feedback possible. This is the greatest
advantage of oral communication.

Another advantage is that the speaker can observe the listener’s reaction to what is being
stated. For instance, if someone brings to you your exam results and tells you that you
have passed in first class; your reaction to the message will show that you are happy.
Similarly, if someone tells you that your friend met with an accident and got injured, you
will be shocked and the person who gave you the message will notice it.

The disadvantage of oral communication is that it does not always save time. People have
to meet each other all the time to communicate orally, which is impossible. It may result
in spending a considerable amount of money, time and other important resources.

Improving Oral Communication

Speaking to friends and family members is easy, because you know them. But when you
are asked to go and speak to a stranger you may hesitate. It is even worse when you have
to address an angry client or present a project proposal in front of your higher authorities
at the organisational meeting.

Oral skills should be paid adequate attention because learning to speak well will improve
one’s personal and professional life considerably. You should remember that even if the
listener cannot see you, while you are engaged in telephone conversation, it is easy to
deduce your personality with the help of the quality of your voice. Your tone indicates
your age, sex, intelligence etc. It also reveals whether you are confident or not. Even your
geographical origin can be traced by noting the accent you use while speaking.

Self Assessment Question 1:

i) While you are engaged in telephone conversation, it is easy for the listener to trace
your geographical origin by__________.

ii) The greatest advantage of oral communication is_______.

iii) Which of the following statements regarding oral presentation are true?

a. In oral communication, there is a possibility of immediate response.

b. The speaker can observe the listener’s reaction to what is being stated.

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c. Oral communication always saves time.

One-to One Oral Communication

In your day- to- day dealings, you have to interact with people on a one- to- one basis. It
is central to developing positive working relationship with the clients as well as your co-
workers and superiors. There are two ways in which we communicate orally:

i) Face to face and ii) Telephonic conversation

Face- to- face Communication

This normally takes place when sales executive deals with his/her clients, or when the
employee converses with the employer. When you have a face-to-face conversation with
someone, you’re near them and you can see them. You can listen to them and speak to
them by actually looking at them (noticing their facial expressions and gestures) and at
the surroundings. When you have a face-to-face conversation with somebody, you don’t
need to spell out everything in words. Many of the things you want to communicate
would be clear to them by the gestures or the context itself.

Making an appointment:

Given below are two situations which will help you to learn the art of making an
appointment. In the first situation, Mr. Manish has already taken an appointment. Look at
the way his conversation goes on with the receptionist.

Situation 1:

Receptionist: Good afternoon, Can I help you?

Mr. Manish: Yes, I’ve got an appointment to see Mrs. Kiran Kher at half past two.

Receptionist: Could you give me your name, please?

Mr. Manish: It is Manish from XYZ consultants.

Receptionist: She won’t be long, Mr Manish.

Mr. Manish: That’s o.k. I don’t mind waiting.

Now, we have another situation where Mr. Manish has not taken an appointment.

Exercise 1: Choose the words from the list given below and fill in the blanks to
complete the conversation.

(would, somebody, appointment, don’t, arranged, while, kind, afraid, is, have)

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Receptionist: Good morning

Mr. Manish: Good morning, I____ come to see Mrs Kher

Receptionist: Have you got an _____?

Mr.Manish: Sorry…

Receptionist: Have you _____ to see Mrs. Kher?

Mr. Manish: No, I’m, ____ not. ___it inconvenient?

Receptionist: Well, She’s with _____ at the moment. If you ____mind waiting, I’ll ask
her if she can see you.

Mr.Manish: That’s very ___of you.

Receptionist: ___you like some coffee ____ you wait?

Asking the way: We meet many people in our day to day life – people from different
cultural background and with different accents. It would be very difficult to comprehend
most of the expressions and words spoken. But we need to develop certain skills of
acquiring this technique for finding out the necessary information/enquiry by asking
relevant questions.

For examples of asking the way or direction and giving directions, let’s go though the
following instances.

Direction I

A: What’s the matter?

B: I need a little assistance (a little information / some information)

A: Please go to that desk over there (across the room/ opposite that door)

B: Thank you very much.

Direction II

A: Can you help me, please?

B: I’ll try to.
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A: How can I get to this address? (What’s the fastest /easiest/shortest way to get to this

B: You should go there by taxi.

A: Isn’t there any other way?

B: Yes, by bus, but its complicated. Walk straight ahead one block to the bus stop, which
is at the next corner.

A: Alright. Do you know which bus I take?

B: Watch for number 2C. Are the instructions too complicated for you?

A: Well, would you mind repeating them?

B: I’d be glad to.

A: Oh ! That is wonderful…I’d like to write them down this time. Thanks very much for
your help.

B: Don’t mention it. (That’s alright)

Exercise 2: Given below is the sketch of a hospital premises. Use the map to ask and
give directions:

(Legend (noun): map key; an explanation of the symbols used on a map.)

The Patient (P) is at the Information Desk (ID) asking for directions.

P: Excuse me, can you tell me the way to the x-ray reception?

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I D: Certainly ! go along the registration desk passage, turn a b outpatient medical, and
the x-ray reception is on the right. You can’t miss it.

P: Excuse me; I need to go to the Gift-shop. Could you help me?

I D: Oh! It’s easy! It’s just here, to my __c__.

P: Excuse me, could you tell me the way to the ATM, Please?

I D: Sure! You have to walk _d__ this passage to my _e__. You will get radiology dept.
to your f . Go further, till you reach _g__ lab to your right. ATM is _h_ to the cath lab.

3.3.2. Communication through Telephone

This communication is possible while responding to the calls of the customers or when
you initiate the calls either to converse with an in-house individual or an outsider. When
you have a telephone conversation, the strongest point of oral communication, body
language as well as expressions, are absent and you’ve got to depend mainly on the actual
words you use in order to convey your meaning. So, you cannot rely on the extra-
linguistic expressions to add meaning to the words that you use. At the same time, you
cannot be explicit during a telephonic conversation because you speak under the pressure
of time and you can only express yourself by composing and speaking at the same time,
just as you do when you have a face-to-face conversation. Therefore, this puts more
emphasis not only on the words that we choose, but also, on how we modulate our voice
or tone.

There are two telephone situations: Receiving and Initiating calls.

A. Receiving a customer’s call:

The way you handle a call creates a positive or negative impression about you and your
organization. Bear in mind the following points:

a) Be prepared; have a pen, notepad… always make a note of the call.

b) Answer the phone as quickly as possible. “All calls must be answered within three

c) Give the call your full attention.

d) Smile before you speak.

e) As soon as you pick up the phone to answer a call, let the caller know that you’ve
picked up the phone and that he has your attention. You can do this by saying “Hello”.
You can alternatively use the name of the organization where you are working, or your
telephone number.

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E.g.: • Hello, 3468953. • Hello, Sikkim Manipal University, Good morning.

f) If the caller starts stating the purpose of his call without announcing his identity, you
can ask him who he is before telling him anything or helping him — if you find it
necessary to do so.

g) Find out the caller’s name and use it. This personalizes the communication.

h) Use your skills to build and maintain rapport, listen actively and question effectively.
If you have to transfer the call, explain why and what you are doing; to whom the call is
being transferred.

i) If you have to put the call on hold for any reason, explain why, and offer the caller the
alternative to be called back.

j) If you need to phone the caller back, agree when you’ll do it- and make sure you do !

k) When you end the call, summarize any action that has been agreed upon and check if
the caller is happy with the outcome. It’s courteous to thank him for calling.

Exercise 3: Given below is a telephonic conversation. Fill in the blanks with
appropriate verbs:

Receptionist: Sikkim Manipal University. Can I ___ you?

Ritu: Could I ___ to Mr. DCruz, please?

Receptionist: Who’s ___ please?

Ritu: Ritu Deshmukh of Four Dots International.

Receptionist : Sorry. What did you __ your name was?

Ritu: Ms. Ritu Deshmukh of Four Dots International.

Receptionist: Could you ___ your name for me?

Ritu: D-E-S-H-M-U-K-H. Ritu Deshmukh.

Receptionist: Of course, Ms. Deshmukh. I’ll ___ you through

B. Initiating a call:

Whenever you dial a number and someone picks up the phone at the other end, you
should follow these rules:

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a) Ask the person who picks up the phone at the other end,

• Is it 3467983? / Mr. —- or Is that 3467983?

b) If he says it is the right number, it’d be a good idea to go ahead and ask him if it’s
really the place (office, house, etc.) that you want.

E.g.: • Is it Siam Enterprises? • Is it the Infosys?

c) Then you should announce your identity. If the person on the other end has not
recognized you, tell him who you are and where you’re calling from — that is, the place,
office etc. you’re calling from.

d) After announcing your identity, you can straightaway ask him if you could speak to
such and such a person — without asking him who he is. Of course, if you recognize his
voice, and if he’s the person you want to speak to, you can straight away launch into a

e) If the person who picks up the phone at the other end voluntarily announces his
identity, and if he’s not the person you want to speak to, tell him you’d like to speak to
such and such a person — or ask him if you could speak to that person.

f) Suppose that the person who picks up the telephone at the other end tells you that the
person you want is not available or that, for some reason, you can’t speak to him at that
point of time. Then if you want, you can ask the person who has picked up the phone who
he is — before you start telling him anything else.

Eg: • Who’s this, speaking? • May I know who is speaking, please?

But remember one thing: In general, nobody likes to tell you who they are if you don’t
tell them who you are first. So the best policy is to announce your identity first, before
asking for the identity of the person at the other end.

g) Before you speak to the person about anything important, start by telling him that
you’re going to speak to him about such and such a thing or such and such a person or
such and such a topic. In this way, you must always build an expectation in him about
what you’re going to say — before you actually say it. This step is very important if your
telephone communication is to be really effective.

h) Before you actually ring off, say something appropriate that’d indicate to the person at
the other end that you’re going to ring off. Depending on the context, word groups like
the following would help you do this:

• Bye, then. • I’ll get back to you soon. • Well, that’s settled, then.

• Thanks a lot. Goodbye. • Until tomorrow, then. Goodbye.

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Exercise 4: Given below is a telephonic conversation. Fill in the blanks selecting the
words from the brackets:

· Good morning. This is Disha Rani. Could I ____ to Mr. Vijay, please?

· I’m _____he’s in a meeting. (afraid / scared/ unfortunate)

· Ah. Could I ___a message? (ask/send/leave)

· Of course.

· Could you ask him to call me ___? My number is one-eight-six, three-two-three- three.

· OK. I’ll tell him you called.

· Thank you.

Standard etiquettes while using a telephone: Read the following suggestions that make
your handling of telephone communication an easy task.

· Answer promptly: Try to answer on the first ring if possible. All calls should be
answered within three rings.

· Be alert: A cheerful, wide-awake greeting sets the tone for any conversation and shows
you are ready to help. Be a good listener.

· Be natural: Use simple language, avoid slang and technical terms.

· Be expressive: Speak at a moderate rate and volume, but vary the tone of your voice to
add vitality and emphasis to what you say. Avoid a monotone delivery. No one wants to
talk to a computer voice.

· Be distinct: Pronounce your words clearly and carefully. Always speak directly into the
telephone transmitter. Pay particular attention to word endings.

· Be pleasant: Show that you are interested in being helpful. Personalize your
conversation by using the caller’s name.

· Be courteous: Good telephone habits are nothing more than good manners. Building
confidence in you starts with personal consideration for the caller. Do not treat every call
as “routine”.

· Never leave a caller on ’hold’: If the caller chooses to stay on the line be certain that you
give progress reports every 30 seconds to assure the caller that your are working on the

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request. Thank the caller for waiting. Show your appreciation for the caller’s patience. A
phrase such as, “Thank you for holding, Mr. Gray” helps you smile over the telephone.

· Transfer calls only when necessary: Handle the call yourself, if you can. Make certain
that you know how to complete the transfer procedure successfully. Inform the caller of
new person with whom they are being connected.

· Be discreet: Be careful not to create the wrong impression with statements such as “He’s
still on his coffee break” or “I don’t think he has come in yet.” When a person is not
available to answer a call, an appropriate response would be “I am sorry, he’s away from
his desk right now, may I take a message?

· Always know where your people are: When you expect their return, and/or where they
can be reached.

· Be prepared to take a message: Be accurate when you take a message. Include the

1. The caller’s name

2. The caller’s phone number

3. If offered, the caller’s firm or department

4. The date and time of message

5. A message, if the caller chooses to leave one

6. Your name.

Now-a-days, in keeping with the latest technological gadgets, we should also be familiar
with the voice mail messages. These are the mails that you can leave for the person, who
is not available at the time you call and who would listen it at a later time and respond
accordingly. While giving a voicemail message, you should be clear and to the point.
Don’t digress from the intention of your making the call. You should use as few words as
possible and try to give the entire message in simple English. Given below is an example
of a voicemail message.

Rahul, It’s Nina. I cant make next Monday’s meeting after all.

Something has come up and I have to fly to Mumbai.

Would Thursday be possible for you?

If not, we’ll have to put it off until the week after.

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I’ll be in touch soon. Bye.

Self Assessment Question 2:

i) All calls should be answered within _________rings.

ii) In a telephone conversation, one has to rely mainly on ____ in order to convey

iii) Pick out the correct statements with regard to telephone conversation:

a) The best policy is to ask for the identity of the person at the other end first before
announcing your identity.

b) Never leave a caller on ’hold’.

c) Use simple language, avoid slang and technical terms.

d) Building confidence in you starts with personal consideration for the caller.

Oral Presentations

We have learnt the nuances of face- to- face communication. Now, we should also have a
fair exposure to oral presentation because it is an essential part of the oral
communication. Speaking to a group in official gatherings is called Oral presentation.

An oral presentation consists of the following: If you are making a presentation outside
your organization you must first introduce your organization. In other words, you have to
give the audience a background. This gives information on the organization you represent
– a brief description of what your organization does, its mission and work. This
information will tell the audience where you are from and establish a link between you
and the audience. If you are making a presentation within your own organization then
you could give background information on your department and its present activities as
well as future aims. Background information usually relates to the larger group which the
speaker represents.

Exercise 5: Choose the best word to complete the introduction of a company
(background) by one of its employee.

I’m Shiv Krishnan, production manager at Bajaj Private Limited Company. We make
spare parts for high performance motor bikes. Here we believe in ____(full/total/all)
quality management. The ___(dimensions, pieces, components) of each part are given to
one-hundredth of a millimetre. At every stage, we _____(check, cheque, caution) that our
products ____(work, conform, exact) ____ to the specs. We try to get it right ___(one,
first, last) time because, if there is a defect, _____(reworking, repairing, recalling)is very

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expensive. We are always looking for ways to improve quality and so our motto is
___(classy, pricey, faulty) service.

You will then proceed to tell them why you are there. This means that you will introduce
yourself, your area of specialization and your aim in presenting the subject. This is called
introduction. At this stage you will introduce the topic to them. How will you do that?
You may have the habit of watching television news. What happens when the news
begins? The newsreader first reads out the headlines. Similarly, you can tell your
audience what you are going to tell them.

The next stage is to give a description of methods and results. This will vary from subject
to subject. But here you will cover the entire subject or topic of your presentation. In
other words, this is the body of your presentation. This is where you will be using visual
aids to clarify, highlight and explain points. This is where you will tell your audience
what you had planned to tell them.

You will then end your presentation with Conclusions, suggestions and a summary. You
will sum up what you had presented. Draw some conclusions and suggest ways to deal
with those conclusions. In fact, you may even present an action plan that the audience
could follow. This is where you will tell your audience what you have actually told them
and what it means in terms of future course of action, just as a newsreader concludes the
daily news on TV by repeating the headlines.

After this, the listeners are allowed to clarify their doubts during an audience questions
session. It is better for a speaker to anticipate the questions that are likely to be asked and
have some additional, supplementary information ready before hand.

Let us now see how we can make a good oral presentation.

Making an Effective Oral Presentation

The first problem with oral presentation is that most of us suffer from what is called
‘Stage Fright’ – a fear of standing before an audience and addressing them. Let me tell
you even many years of public speaking do not remove stage fright. It is only an
expression of the fear of looking foolish before other people.

How can a speaker cope with stage fright? Bear in mind the following:

· You are not alone. Even great speakers suffered from this problem.

· Your audience knows the problem and they sympathize with you. They will forgive
honest mistakes.

· While your nervousness appears to be great to you, it is usually not visible to your
audience. They will not notice the tremor in your voice and a few occasional mistakes.

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· Try to compose your self. Before the actual speech you may rehearse in private before
friends or even a mirror.

· Begin with a familiar statement or story. Let your introduction be slow but well

· Check out physical facilities: The stage, the lighting, sound system and space etc.

· Concentrate on the message.

· The most important thing to do is to prepare well in advance and practise as often as you

These suggestions will go a long way in helping you minimize and even overcome your
stage fright.

Basic Steps for Oral Presentations

Plan your presentation keeping in mind the audience profile. In other words, develop a
strategy bearing in mind, the specific needs of your audience. If you know your audience,
their expectations and the importance of the occasion in which the presentation is being
made, you will be able to make a worthwhile presentation. For example, if your
presentation is on the occasion of the opening of a new Department of Surgery, and if it is
meant for patients suffering from a particular symptom for which no treatment is
available in your town, you are attempting to throw light on the necessity of the new
Department. But if it is for your team of doctors during a month in which, the team’s
performance has not been up to expectations, you are trying to present a situation where
your team will be motivated to improve their performance.

Relate your presentation to your audience. Tailor your message to the audience – you
should understand their needs, desires, knowledge level, and attitude toward your topic.

At the time of presentation, be concrete, specific, practical, and relevant. Don’t give
elaborate details. Your audience will think that you do not have sufficient content and so
you are simply repeating the same point unnecessarily. Clarify your objectives – is it to
motivate? … inform? … persuade? … teach? – Remember, each of these motives calls
for a different approach. You should also be sure about your role as a presenter. Are you
a coach? advocate? teacher? This will help the audience understand your position and
will have an influence over the outcome of the presentation. Tell them logically as to how
your presentation will help your audience in their work. Will it solve a problem
effectively without waste of time and resources? Present a sound case. Let the
presentation lead to a common goal. You should be a director towards this end. If you
want to achieve this goal, you must research your subject extensively. There are no short
cuts. You must be thorough with your subject and be sure of achieving the goals of the

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Give your presentation a structure. Convert information into a meaningful message. Let
the audience see a logical sequence, not a collection of bits and pieces of information.
Organize your message. Start with the simple points and move to the more complex. Let
the audience recognize the importance of the message. Let your ideas be made clear to
them so that they will understand not only the significance of the subject but also the
importance of your ideas in relation to the subject. Justify your ideas. Let the audience
know what is expected of them. Let your topic be placed in context. Tell them why you
are presenting the topic and how it will solve the problem successfully. Tell the audience
how the presentation will progress and what you expect from them. Encourage their

Bear in mind the following suggestions while doing an oral presentation. They will
help you to retain the interest of the audience.

1. Provide variety and relief if possible. Any new method and uniqueness will increase
the impact.

2. Use physical space and body movement to enhance your message.

3. Try to add stories, anecdotes, testimonials, analogies, demonstrations. Use humour
appropriately. They add to attracting the audience.

4. Eye contact is your primary tool for establishing audience involvement; look at your
audience in random rotating order. Simultaneously, use gestures naturally; do what is
natural to you: Avoid distracting gestures like – jingling change in a pocket, toying with
notes, shifting from one foot to the other; and any repeated gesture.

5. Question your audience to draw their attention and help them participate actively in the
presentation. Ask “friendly” questions which do not embarrass the audience. Make the
interchange a mutually satisfying experience; give respondents time to think and phrase
their answer; help people save face by summarizing what they have said so far and asking
if anyone else has something to add. However, don’t let respondent wander or attempt to
take control of the presentation; a polite “thank you, that’s what I was looking for” can
get you back on track. Avoid isolated one-on-one dialogues with specific individuals.
When challenged, be candid and firm but avoid over responding. Be firm and assertive
without being aggressive or defensive. Anticipate questions and prepare responses;
rehearse answers to difficult questions. If necessary, offer to obtain additional
information and follow up. While answering questions, understand the question first.
Rephrase loaded questions. If you do not know the answer say so. Do not be evasive. Try
to gain audience support if a participant is trying to trap you or make you look foolish.
Do not digress. Let your answers be to the point. The best way to handle questions is to
anticipate them and be prepared. Plan your answer especially to anticipated questions.

6. Summarize your presentation using the last question.

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Let the use of visual aids be smooth and effective. Be prepared for contingencies like the
blow out of a bulb in the projector etc. Don’t let the machines spoil your message.
Conclude on a positive note giving suggestions, action plan and alternatives.

Visual Aids

In case you want to make your oral presentation very interesting, you can do so with the
help of ‘Visual aids.’ However, they must be relevant to what you want to say. A careless
design or use of a slide which does not correspond to the matter that you are presenting
can simply get in the way of the presentation. What you use should depend on the type of
talk you are giving. Here are some possibilities:

· Overhead projection transparencies (OHPs)

· 35mm slides

· Computer projection (Power Point, applications such as Excel, etc)

· Video and film

· Real objects – either handled from the speaker’s bench or passed around

· Flip-chart or blackboard – possibly used as a ’scratch-pad’ to expand on a point

There are certain precautions that you have to take while preparing these visual aids.
While preparing a Power Point presentation, if we get the slides that we are looking for,
we are tempted to be over-enthusiastic about it and keep adding the slides even if it is not
so essential. Be careful and don’t heed to such temptations! Keep your presentations
simple because a complex set of hardware can result in confusion for speaker and
audience. Make sure you know in advance how to operate the equipment and also when
you want particular displays to appear. If you are assisted by a technician to operate the
equipment, arrange with him beforehand, the order of the displays and what signals you
would use to convey the changes. Edit your slides as carefully as your talk – if a slide is
superfluous then leave it out. If you need to use a slide twice, duplicate it. And always
check your slides – for typographical errors, consistency of fonts and layout.

Slides and OHPs should contain the minimum information necessary. If your slides are
loaded with text matter, they become unreadable. It also may divert the attention of your
audience, so that they spend time reading the slide rather than listening to you. Slides or
OHPs should be used to display a few headings which are taken as prompts. Do not
simply read the material off them: supplement or explain what is written. Try to limit
words per slide to a maximum of 10. Use a reasonable size font and a typeface which will
enlarge well. Typically use a minimum 18pt Times Roman on OHPs, and preferably
larger. A guideline is: if you can read the OHP from a distance of 2 metres (without
projection) then it’s probably OK. Making coloured slides will attract the attention of the

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audience. But avoid orange and yellow which do not show up very well when projected.
For text only, white or yellow on blue is pleasant to look at and easy to read.

Avoid using a diagram prepared for a technical report in your talk. It will be too detailed
and difficult to read.

Another thing that you have to avoid is adding to OHPs with a pen during the talk.
Sometimes you tend to be so immersed in your presentation that you go on drawing
circles or underlines on the transparencies. It will look messy and the audience will be
fascinated by your shaking hand!

It is very important to consider the proper lighting in the room where you are presenting.
Too much light near the screen will make it difficult to see the detail. On the other hand,
a completely darkened room can send the audience to sleep. Try to avoid having to keep
switching lights on and off, but if you do have to do this, know where the light switches
are and how to use them.

Using Overhead Projectors

Overhead projectors are commonly used for screening information during presentations.
It is a simple and rather primitive contraption, but serves well. The operation is fairly
easy. Acetate film transparent sheets are used to present information. The projector has a
heavy glass screen on which the film is placed. A high voltage bulb lights up below the
screen. The matter on the transparency is projected on to a reflector mirror through a lens,
which then displays the matter on a white screen on the wall. The resultant image is
bright and enlarged. The position of the lens and reflector mirror is adjustable to provide
the best focus. The over-head projector is popularly called OHP. It is a bulky device,
which is not easily portable.

Since the information is written on the acetate film for projection, it is important to know
what type of letters should be used to write on transparencies. Different types of letters
used for printing are called Fonts. Each type of letters has a name. For example let us
look at the names of Fonts given below. The names of fonts have been printed using the
they describe:

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As you can see from the above examples different Fonts have different names and they
look different from each other. The fonts can also be given different sizes. These sizes are
called font sizes. For example let us look at one font in different sizes:

As you can see the same font namely ‘ Courier New’ has been printed in different sizes.
Choosing the right type of font and the right size for the font will vastly improve the
appearance of visual aids in presentations.

There are certain important points to remember while using overhead projections.

1. Focus attention – You can use the On – Off switch to draw the attention of the
audience. If you switch off the light of the projector, the audience will focus their
attention on you, the speaker. If you switch the light on they will look at the display on
the screen. When there is a big interval between the display of one transparency and
another, it is advisable to switch off the light so that the audience will not be distracted.
Limit the number of overheads used. Allow 1 to 2 minutes per overhead.

2. “Chalk boarding“- You can use blank acetate film sheets or roles to write a new
transparency during the presentation using the projector like a black board. This is called
Chalk boarding. For this, you would require a pen that can write on transparencies. These
pens may have water-soluble ink so that you can erase unwanted information as required.
The notes for presentation also can be projected with presentation. If there is a group
discussion, the points of discussion can be listed to verify what is being communicated
and to focus further discussion. Charts, illustrations and graphs can be prepared in
skeletal form before presentation and modified during presentation. All these things are
possible during chalk boarding.

3. Using a pointer – You can draw attention to important points by using opaque objects
such as pens, pencils and scales as pointers.

4. Highlighting – You can use different colour pens, bullets, arrows or underlined text to
focus attention of the audience on the presentation. This is called highlighting.

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5. Progressive Disclosure – You can reveal information line by line using an opaque
sheet to cover the transparency. This will help focus the attention of your audience and
minimize their distraction.

6. Overlays - This is a technique used to help the audience understand complex matter.
For example, if you are showing the diagram of a machine and its parts, you could have
the outline of the machine on one transparency. You could have a second transparency
with its parts. A third could contain the electrical circuit. You could then explain by
showing the first transparency. Once the audience understands that, you could explain the
second; and by keeping the second on top of the first transparency, you could show how
the parts fit in. Similarly, you can place the third transparency on the second one, to show
how the machine receives power to function.

Advantages and Disadvantages of OHP

First of all, an overhead projector helps the speaker have eye contact with the audience.
Secondly, it provides easy access to the presenter; as it is in front of the hall or room,
where the presentation is taking place. As we learnt earlier, by switching on or off the
light of the projector, we could help the audience focus attention. Even in a well-lit room,
the audience can see the transparencies clearly. We can modify presentations, as we go
along. Mistakes in transparencies can be corrected on the spot. Sequence of materials can
be changed as required. Overlays can be used to present complex information. It does not
take much time to prepare an OHP presentation. Cost of transparencies is lesser than that
of slides. Transportation of unframed transparencies is easy.

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages. The OHP is too bulky to transport.
Pages of books will require major modifications if they have to be projected on
transparencies. In comparison with the slide presentation, overhead projection appears
less professional.

Using Slide Projectors

We have learnt about overhead projectors. Let us now look at OHP’s more sophisticated
cousin called Slide Projection. Slide projectors are a little more expensive. However
because of the length of time required to prepare slide projections you can plan a
presentation very well. Slides look a lot more impressive than transparencies. A slide
presentation is considered more professional because you need greater skill to change
slides, while maintaining the pace of presentation.

There are certain important presentation techniques for slide projectors. Let us consider
them. You can use blank slides to draw the attention of the audience to the speaker. When
there is a display on screen, the audience will focus on the visual and when there is a
blank slide, they will turn their attention to the speaker. Slide projection can be carefully
handled to focus attention.

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You can also disclose information progressively by revealing one point at a time per slide
or by adding to lists on screen. By using a dissolve unit and two slide projectors, you can
create a transition fade in and out effect. In other words, you can move from one slide to
another, creating a fade in effect for the new slide and fade out effect for the slide that has
already been displayed. A slide projection can also be linked to an audio track using a cue

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Slide Projector:

Slide projectors are portable and easy to store. Colour images are comparatively cheaper
to produce. Many kinds of materials can be converted into slide form. In other words,
many kinds of materials can be copied or captured; for example, photography, video
frame, slide scanner etc. Audiences consider slides as more professional. Slides also use
overlays to simplify complex information.

Nevertheless, they are not free from disadvantages. First of all, there is no face- to -face
contact due to the darkening of the room. The projector is away from the speaker and at
the back of the room. Slides are not effective in a well-lit room. You cannot modify slides
or their sequence during presentation. You need a long time to prepare slides.

Making PowerPoint Slides

The MSOffice computer software has presentation software called PowerPoint, which
helps you prepare overheads and slides. Some of the points given below will be useful in
preparing PowerPoint slides.

1. If you are preparing for a 35mm image the PowerPoint slides also must be formatted
for 35mm. You can do this by using the File… Slide Setup Menu in PowerPoint.

2. Keep images away from the edges of a slide as they may get cropped while mounting
the slide.

3. All the slides must be part of a single PowerPoint file as it saves time.

4. Use fonts that will not get distorted while processing. For example do not use
Monotype Sorts fonts but you can use Helvetica, Courier, Book Antiqua and Times New
Roman. Use the right format for graphics and illustrations, as they can otherwise get
distorted during insertion into PowerPoint.

Self Assessment Question 3:

i) While making a presentation outside one’s organization, the first step is________.

ii) While making a slide, the number of words should be limited to a maximum of ___
per slide.

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iii) _________are used to present information using Overhead Projectors.

iv) The colours that should be avoided while making a slide are_____ and ______.

v) Different colours, bullets, arrows or underlined text are often used to focus the
attention of the audience on the presentation. This is called_______.

vi) During presentation using an OHP, one can reveal information line by line using an
opaque sheet to cover the transparency with a view to minimize distraction. This
technique is called_________.

vii) Different types of letters used for printing are called_________.

viii) Pick out the statements that are true:

a) It is possible to modify slides or their sequence during presentation.

b) By using a dissolve unit and two slide projectors it is possible to create a transition
fade in and out effect.

c) Slides are more effective in a well-lit room.

d) Audiences consider slides as more professional.

e) A slide projection can be linked to an audio track using a cue tape.


Most of the communication events that take place in our life are in the form of oral
communication. Oral skills should be paid adequate attention, because learning to speak
well will improve one’s personal and professional life considerably. While
communicating with the customers, polite phrases and expressions have to be used in
their appropriate contexts. Giving or asking for directions and telephone conversation are
among the common oral skills that an individual has to learn and use in a day to day life.
Adopting a good presentation style helps to gain the attention of the audience and
maintain it. When one is making a presentation outside one’s organization, the following
steps may be followed:

1. Giving the audience the background

2. Introduction

3. Description of methods and results

4. Conclusions, suggestions and a summary

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5. Audience questions session

Visual aids such as the overhead projector and the slide projector help to enhance the
effect of oral presentations. There are some basic techniques for preparing and presenting
overheads and slides. We can focus the attention of the audience on the visuals or the
speaker in both types of projection. Overlay technique is possible in both. Similarly
progressive disclosure is also possible. Highlighting and Chalk-boarding are possible
with overheads while ‘fade in’ and ‘fade out’ is possible with slides. Overhead Projector
is not easily portable, but less expensive; while slide is easily portable, but more
expensive. Some tips have been given for making slides using the MSOffice PowerPoint

3.6 Terminal Questions

What are the basic guidelines to be followed during an Oral Presentation?

1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Overhead projectors.

2. List guidelines for preparing effective PowerPoint slides.

3. Write briefly about different techniques used in overhead projection.

4. What are the disadvantages of slide projection?

Here are some telephone conversations where one speaker is checking some information. Tick
(√) the correct option.

A: Did you say your extension is
                                        203                         2033
B: “two-oh-double three”
A: Is that with one T or two at the
                                        Hewit                       Hewitt
B: Its’ double T.
A: Is that all one word?
B: No. It has an underscore.
A: Do you know if that’s with a
capital D?
                                        D’Souza                     d’Souza
B: She writes it with a small letter.
A: Was that a P or a B?
                                        BA 222                      PA 222
B: It’s Bravo Alpha 222.
A: Can you repeat the address,

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B: It’s www dot shine dot arts dot
org, forward slash paints.


A. Self Assessment Questions

1. i) the accent used while speaking ii) Immediate feedback

iii) a& b only

2. i) Three ii) the actual words iii) b, c & d only

3. i) to introduce one’s organization ii) ten iii) acetate film transparent sheets iv) Orange;
yellow v) highlighting vi) progressive disclosure
vii) fonts viii) b, d & e only

B. Terminal Questions(View in SLM)

    1.   Refer 3.4.2
    2.   Refer 3.4.4
    3.   Refer 3.4.6
    4.   Refer 3.4.4 & 3.4.5
    5.   Refer 3.4.5

Exercise 1: Making appointment

Receptionist: Good morning

Mr. Manish: Good morning, I have come to see Mrs Kher

Receptionist: Have you got an appointment?

Mr.Manish: Sorry…

Receptionist: Have you arranged to see Mrs. Kher?

Mr. Manish: No, I’m, afraid not. Is it inconvenient?

Receptionist: Well, She’s with somebody at the moment. If you don’t mind waiting, I’ll
ask her if she can see you.

Mr.Manish: That’s very kind of you.

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Receptionist: Would you like some coffee while you wait?

Exercise 2: a) right b) into c) left d) along e) right f) left g) cath. lab

h) adjacent/next
Exercise 3

Receptionist: Sikkim Manipal University. Can I _help__ you?

Ritu: Could I _speak__ to Mr. DCruz, please?

Receptionist: Who’s calling___ please?

Ritu: Ritu Deshmukh of Four Dots International.

Receptionist : Sorry. What did you say your name was?

Ritu: Ms. Ritu Deshmukh of Four Dots International.

Receptionist: Could you spell your name for me?

Ritu: D-E-S-H-M-U-K-H. Ritu Deshmukh.

Receptionist: Of course, Ms. Deshmukh. I’ll _put you through

Exercise 4: Speak, afraid, leave, back

Exercise 5: Total, dimensions, check, conform, first, reworking, classy

                                       Unit 4 Listening Skills

     •       Listening is one of the most essential elements of effective communication, which
             is discussed in this unit. The meaning of ‘listening’ is defined along with different
             types of listening. While the barriers of listening are listed out, the solutions to
             overcome them are hinted at, by explaining various strategies, which may be
             incorporated for effective listening.


In the previous unit, we have dealt with the techniques of oral communication. The
success of oral communication largely depends on the listening capacity of the listener. In

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this unit, you will be introduced to one of the fascinating areas of language learning, i.e.
“listening”. This is a skill, which is not given its due importance in language teaching.
We take it for granted that naturally all listen to language automatically and therefore,
there is no need to develop listening as a language skill. However, this is not true. This
unit deals with different types of listening, barriers to listening and different strategies
that can be adopted to make communication process easy and productive.


After studying this unit, you will be able to:

· state the difference between ‘hearing’ and ‘listening’

· comprehend speech/ messages in English correctly.

· communicate effectively by listening properly and correctly.

· develop the ability to integrate listening and speaking.

· listen to telephonic conversation and respond correctly.

· listen to recorded audio material and comprehend the gist of it.

· identify and use ‘semantic markers’ in appropriate contexts.

4.2 What is Listening ?

Listening is a highly complex, interactive process “by which spoken language is
converted to meaning in the mind” (Lundsteen, 1979). As this definition suggests,
listening is more than just hearing, although these two terms are often used
synonymously. Hearing is only an important component of listening. Listening is a
specialized form of hearing and is the primary function of the ear. The most crucial part
of the listening process is thinking or converting to meaning what one hears.

i) Hearing is a passive process. It is merely the detection of sounds around us. Normally,
we come across ‘hearing’ in certain situations. E.g.: You get a tele call about the new
product of an insurance company when you are busy conducting a meeting. You may just
‘hear’ a sentence or two before deciding to ring off the phone.

ii) Listening: It is an active process. It involves the conscious desire to determine the
meaning of what is heard. While listening, one is engaged in processing the data,
reconstructing the data and also giving meaning to the data. In the above stated example,
if you really were interested in the insurance product, you would clarify the introduction
of the person. Then, get his/her contact details and after assuring to call back, would ring
off. In this situation, you were ‘listening.’

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Types of Listening

1. Discriminative listening:

As the name itself suggests, Discriminative listening is the most basic type of listening,
whereby the difference between the sounds is identified. If you cannot hear differences,
then you cannot grasp the meaning that is expressed by such differences.

We learn to find the difference between sounds within our own language early, and later
are unable to discriminate between the phonemes of other languages. This is one reason
why people belonging to one country find it difficult to speak the language of another
nation, as they find the sounds similar, but cannot distinguish the subtle sounds that are
required in that language.

Likewise, unless a person is attentive to the slight variation in the tone of the speaker’s
voice, he is less likely to discern the emotions experienced by the speaker.

2. Comprehension listening:

When the discrimination between sounds is achieved, one should learn to make sense of
the perceived sound. To comprehend the meaning, one requires a lexicon of words and all
rules of grammar and syntax by which one can understand what others are saying.

The same is true with regard to the visual components of communication. An
understanding of the body language helps us understand what the other person really

In communication, some words are more important and some are less, and
comprehension is often facilitated by the extraction of key facts and words from a
verbose communication.

3. Evaluative listening:

Evaluative listening is also called ‘critical listening’ because we make judgments about
what the other person is saying. We seek to assess the truth of what is being said. We also
judge what they say about our values, assessing them as good or bad, worthy or
unworthy. Evaluative listening is particularly relevant when the other person is trying to
persuade us, perhaps to change our behavior or belief held by us.

4. Appreciative listening:

In appreciative listening, the main intention is to seek certain information which will be
appreciated. For example, the information that helps meet our goals and needs are looked
for. We use appreciative listening when we are listening to good music, poetry or maybe
even the stirring words of a great leader.

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5. Empathetic listening:

When we listen empathetically, we seek to understand the beliefs, moods, emotions and
goals of other people. This requires excellent discrimination and close attention to the
nuances of emotional signals.

In order to make others expose their deep emotions to us, we also need to demonstrate
our empathy in our demeanor towards them, asking sensitively and in a way that
encourages self-disclosure.

6. Therapeutic listening:

In therapeutic listening, the listener has a purpose of not only empathizing with the
speaker but also to use this deep connection in order to help the speaker understand,
change or develop in some way.

This not only happens when you go to see a therapist but also in many social situations,
where friends and family seek to both diagnose problems from listening and also to help
the speaker find a remedy for those problems. This also happens in work situations,
where Managers, HR people, trainers and Coaches seek to help employees learn and

7. Dialogic listening:

The word ‘dialogue’ stems from the Greek words ‘dia’, meaning ‘through’ and ‘logos’
meaning ‘words’. Thus dialogic listening means learning through conversation. It is an
engaged interchange of ideas and information in which we actively seek to learn more
about the person and how they think. Dialogic listening is also known as ‘relational
listening’ because with the help of exchange of ideas while listening, we also indirectly
create a relation.

Self Assessment Question 1:

i) Dialogic listening is also known as ___________.

ii) To extract key facts from a verbose communication, one should have the skills of
_________ listening.

iii) The type of listening where different types of sounds are recognized and
differentiated is called as __________.

iv) Listening to good music is a type of ____ listening.

v) Evaluative listening is also called_____________.

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vi) In __________ the listener not only empathizes with the speaker but also suggests
some change so that the speaker develops himself in a desired way.

Barriers to Effective Listening

Listening is the most important part of the communication process. However, listening
skills do not come naturally to most people; these require willingness, practice, and
patience to develop on the part of the person, who wishes to acquire these skills.

There are many reasons as to why individuals fail to listen successfully. These include:

1. Interrupting

2. Faking Attention and tuning out

3. Becoming emotional

4. Jumping to conclusions

5. Getting distracted

6. Pre-judging the subject

7. Wrong focus

8. Gathering only facts

9. Inflexibility while listening

10. Avoiding complicated subjects

1. Interrupting is a problem for many reasons. First, it is an aggressive behavior and will
most likely bring a negative response from the speaker being interrupted. Second, it is
difficult to listen and speak at the same time. When the listener is interrupting, that means
he/she is certainly not listening fully.

2. Faking attention and tuning out can be offensive and is usually hard to hide. This hurts
the speaker as it sends him the message that the listener doesn’t really care about what the
speaker is saying. If an individual cannot listen actively at a given moment, it is better to
let that be known to the speaker and suggest that the communication process be put off
until a point when there are no distractions.

3. Becoming emotional can hinder one’s ability to listen. It is important that the receiver
be aware of his or her emotions. If the sender is sending a message that is offensive, it is
important to acknowledge that fact and be aware of the fact that something is threatening

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a breakdown in the process. When a receiver is vexed, it is easy for him or her to miss the
most important part of the sender’s message.

4. Jumping to conclusions is often considered as the most common barrier to listening.
The listening, to be effective, should be done with full attention to whatever the speaker
has to say. Only then there can be any reaction. More often, we tend to jump to
conclusion regarding the speaker’s message, which is one of the important barriers to
effective listening. It may be helpful for the listener to wait until the speaker completes
his utterance before responding. It can also be helpful to ask questions throughout the
conversation to clarify issues, or to let the speaker know that he or she is communicating
in a way that suggests a certain thing, which may not be what they are intending to say.

5. Getting distracted is common while trying to communicate. Often, one has many tasks
to do or there is a lot of other activity taking place while someone is trying to
communicate. This can be a problem because it leads to miscommunication, faking
attention, and tuning out all together—all of which threaten future communication.

6. Pre-judging the subject: Often, instead of listening to the speaker, many people tend to
assume that the subject is boring or dull. During any conversation, presentation or speech,
they turn their attention to other things or simply day-dream.

7. Wrong focus: Another barrier of listening is the focus of the listener on appearance and
delivery of the speaker. The listeners observe the appearance and the delivery style of
speaker instead of listening to what is being said. They keep looking for faults in the
speaker’s appearance instead of judging the speaker by the content of his speech.

8. Gathering only facts: Many people listen to gather facts instead of trying to understand
the underlying idea and integrating it with non-verbal communication. By focusing too
much on the facts, the listener may miss the message that the speaker is intending to

9. Inflexibility while listening: Many formal speeches are not carefully outlined and
organized. As a result, many listeners try to mentally outline the presentation instead of
paying attention to what is being said.

10. Avoiding complicated subjects: When the subject is technical or complicated, many
people stop listening altogether. The listeners decide beforehand that since the subject is
not familiar, they will not be able to understand what the speaker is trying to say.

Self Assessment Question 2:

i) ________ is an aggressive behavior and will, most likely, bring a negative response
from the speaker.

ii) A listener is concentrating on the appearance and delivery style of the speaker instead
of the subject. In this case, the barrier to listening is______________.

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iii) Which of the following statements regarding listening are not true?

a) Paying attention to the appearance of the speaker instead of the subject facilitates

b) Jumping to conclusion at the beginning of the speech without waiting for the speaker
to complete the facts and messages that he intends to pass on to the listener is a quality of
a good listener.

c) If an individual cannot listen actively at a given moment, it is better to let that be
known to the speaker and suggest that the communication process be put off until a point
when there are no distractions.

d) By focusing too much on the facts, the listener may miss the message that the speaker
is intending to convey.

Strategies for Effective Listening

Although the reasons for breakdowns in listening are numerous, there are many ways to
improve listening skills. You can improve your listening skills by following some of the
strategies mentioned below:

Maintain eye contact with the speaker.

1. Provide clues that you are actively involved in listening.

2. Focus on content, not delivery

3. Avoid emotional involvement

4. Avoid distractions

5. Refrain from formulating an immediate response.

6. Ask questions

7. Use the gap between the rate of speech and your rate of thought

8. Be willing to accept revisions

9. Choose the right environment

10. Stay active by asking questions for yourself

11. Treat listening as a challenging mental task.

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1. Maintain eye contact with the speaker: Eye contact keeps you focused on the job at
hand and keeps you involved in the lecture/ speech. It is important to position yourself in
such a way that helps you to maintain eye contact while allowing you to watch for body
language and other non-verbal forms of communication.

2. Provide clues that you are actively involved in listening: Clues that you are actively
listening can go a long way. It is important to make the speaker feel that you care about
what he/she is saying. Sit up straight and look directly at the speaker. Now and then, nod
to show that you understand. At appropriate points you may also smile, frown, laugh, or
be silent. These are all ways to let the speaker know that you are really listening.
Remember, you listen with your face as well as your ears!

3. Focus on content, not delivery: Have you ever counted the number of times a teacher
clears his/her throat in a fifteen minutes period? If so, you weren’t focusing on content.
Focus on what the speaker says and not on how his looks are or how his delivery style is.

4. Avoid emotional involvement: When you are too emotionally involved in listening,
you tend to hear what you want to hear–not what is actually being said. Try to remain
objective and open-minded.

5. Avoid distractions: Don’t let your mind wander or be distracted by anything. It is
necessary that you must concentrate. Concentration requires willingness and practice.
Practising active listening helps to develop concentration but there are other elements that
contribute to your ability to concentrate on what someone is saying. When you’re
involved in an exchange of information, you can’t involve yourself in multi-tasks. You
have to concentrate on the speaker’s words completely without being distracted by

6. Refrain from formulating an immediate response: It is important to refrain from
formulating an immediate response. Let yourself finish listening before you begin to
speak. You can’t really listen if you are busy thinking about what you want to say next,
whenever it is your turn to talk.

7. Ask questions: If you are not sure you understand what the speaker has said, just ask.
It is a good idea to repeat in your own words what the speaker said, so that you can be
sure your understanding is correct.

8. Use the gap between the rate of speech and your rate of thought: You can think
faster than the speaker can talk. That’s one reason why your mind may tend to wander.
All the above suggestions will help you keep your mind occupied and focused on what is
being said. You can actually begin to anticipate what the speaker is going to say as a way
to keep your mind from straying. Your mind does have the capacity to listen, think, write
and ponder at the same time, but it needs to be trained.

9. Be willing to accept revisions: It will keep the communication process running
smoothly. Often people are so busy trying to defend their positions that they fail to really

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stop and think whether they could be improved upon or viewed in a different way. This is
what is often referred to as “spending 90 seconds expressing an opinion and 900 seconds
blindly defending it.”

10. Choose the right environment: It is important because it will help the listener focus
on what he is listening and avoid distractions. Although you cannot always create or call
an environment ‘perfect’ for all types of communication, in general, it is best to avoid
areas where there are high levels of activity, loud noises, an uncomfortable temperature,
poor air flow, etc.

11. Stay active by asking questions for yourself: Active listening keeps you on your
toes. Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you listen: What key point is the
speaker making? How does this fit with what I already know? How is this lecture/speech

12. Treat listening as a challenging mental task: Listening to an academic lecture is
not a passive act-at least it shouldn’t be. You need to concentrate on what is said so that
you can process the information thoroughly.

Implementing all or some of these strategies needs willingness and patience. The effort is
worthwhile however, as the long-term benefit of improved communication skills will
greatly increase one’s chances of success in the business world.

Listening activities

A. Listen to an audio tape which contains the following information:

Marketing consultant:

Good morning. Welcome to this talk on Space Management. And today, I’, going to look
particularly at space management in the supermarket.

Now since the time supermarkets began, marketing consultants, like us, have been
gathering information about customers’ shopping habits.

To date, various research methods have been used to help promote the sales of
supermarket products. There is, for example, the simple and direct questionnaire which
provides information from customers about their views on displays and products and then
helps retailers make decisions about what to put where.

Another method to help managers understand just how shoppers go around their stores
are the hidden television cameras that film us as we shop and monitor our physical
movement around the supermarket aisles: where do we start, what do we buy last, what
attracts us, etc.

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More sophisticated techniques now include video surveillance and such devices as the
eye movement recorder. This is a device which shoppers volunteer to wear taped into a
headband, and which traces their eye movements as they walk round the shop recording
the most eye-catching areas of shelves and aisles.

But with today’s technology, Space Management is now a highly sophisticated method of
manipulating the way we shop to ensure maximum profit. Supermarkets are able to invest
millions of pounds in powerful computers which tell them what sells best and where.

Now, an example of this is ‘Spaceman’ which is a computer programme that helps the
retailer to decide which particular product sells best in which part of the store. Now
Spaceman works by receiving information from the electronic checkouts (where
customers pay) on how well a product is selling in a particular position. Spaceman then
suggests the most profitable combination of an article and its position in the store.

So, lets have a look at what we know about supermarkets and the way people behave
when they walk down the aisles and take the articles they think they need from the

Now here’s a diagram of one supermarket aisle and two rows of shelves. (Listen to the
description that follows and label the diagram)



First shelves- Checkout – often

Customers usually used to sell

1.——————– 2.——————-

these ———————-


Products placed here

sell well particularly

if they are placed

3. ———————


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These areas are known as

4. ————————–


Gondola end-

Gondola end-

prime position;

often find

used to launch 5.—————

new products —————-

displayed here.

Here’s the entrance at the top left-hand corner. Now products placed here, at the
beginning of aisles, don’t sell well. In tests, secret fixed cameras have filmed shoppers’
movements around a store over a seven day period. When the film is speeded up, it
clearly shows that we walk straight past these areas on our way to the centre of an aisle.
Items placed here just don’t attract people.

When we finally stop at the centre of an aisle, we pause and take stock, casting our eyes
along the length of it. Now products displayed here sell well and do even better if they
are placed at eye level so that the customer’s eyes hit upon them instantly. Products here
are snapped up and manufacturers pay a lot for these shelf areas which are known in the
trade as hotspots. Naturally everyone wants their products to be in a hotspot.

But the prime positions in the store are the ends of the aisles, otherwise known as
Gondola ends. Now these stand out and grab our attention. For this reason new products
are launched in these positions and manufacturers are charged widely varying prices for
this privileged spot. Also, the end of an aisle may be used for promoting special offers
which are frequently found waiting for us as we turn the corner of an aisle.

Well, now, eventually of course, we have to pay. Any spot where a supermarket can be
sure we are going to stand still and concentrate for more than a few seconds is good for
sales. That’s why the shelves at the checkout have long been a favourite for
manufacturers of chocolates – perhaps the most sure-fire ‘impulse’ food of all.

Now, answer the following questions:

Complete the table. You should use only three words to fill in each blank space.

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1. walk (straight/right) past / ignore/ pass

2. special offers

3. at eye level/ near customers’ eyes

4. hotspots

5. special offers

6. displays/products/ displays and products

7. (hidden) TV cameras

8. recorder / recording

9. ‘spaceman’

10. position / shelf/ spot/ place

B. Listen to a radio talk on any topic and try to recall important points once the talk is

Self Assessment Question 3:

i) Pick out the statements that are true:

a) While listening, it is important to make the speaker feel that you care about what
he/she is saying.

b) Concentration requires willingness and practice.

c) While listening to a speaker, you can involve yourself in multi-tasks.

d) Practising active listening helps to develop concentration.

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Semantic Markers

When you are listening to a lecture or reading a text, you need to pay attention to the use
of ‘semantic markers.’ They are the links between two sentences. So they mark the
beginning of a sentence. They indicate a shift or change in the tone of the speaker. The
semantic markers should not be limited to listening skill alone. They also help you to
improve your writing skill. In an analysis, the writing must be logically organized,
whereas narratives require a chronological ordering; and a commentary presents an
opinion with supportive facts. Whatever the case, organizing a paragraph or a text
requires an understanding of semantic markers.

The semantic markers are used according to the functions they perform:

1. To indicate how ideas are being developed or to list the ideas: e.g., primarily, secondly,
finally, to begin with, first and foremost, next, etc.

2. For illustrations and examples: e.g., for instance, for example, let’s take for example,

3. To introduce an idea that runs against what has been said earlier: e.g., but,
nevertheless, yet, although, by contrast, on the other hand, however, in spite of etc.

4. To show a cause and effect relationship between one idea and another: e.g., so,
therefore, because, since, thus, hence, consequently etc.

5. To show the speaker’s intention to sum up his message: e.g., to summarize, in other
words, it amounts to, etc.

6. To indicate the relative importance of different items: e.g., it is worth- noting, it is
important to note that, the next crucial point is, etc.

7. To rephrase what has already been said: e.g., in other words, put differently, that is to
say, let me put it like this, etc.

8. To express a time relationship: e.g., then, next, after, while, when, previously.

Self Assessment Question 4:

i) __________ mark the beginning of a sentence and indicate a shift or change in the tone
of the speaker.

ii) The semantic markers used to indicate the development of ideas or to list the ideas are:
a) Primarily b)Secondly c) Finally
d) Consequently

iii) The semantic markers used to express time relationship are:

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a) Next b) While c) Hence d) Previously

Listening to Customer Complaints

A career in any industry, be it at the front office, managing the other staff or dealing with
customers, can be managed smoothly if one develops his/her listening skills, especially
when facing customer complaints. Listening skills have to be mastered because the
customers you face are not the same always. You may come across a customer, who is
drunk, may get belligerent or even violent if offended. Listening and being sympathetic
are your best first lines of defense. You may sometimes come across another category of
customers who are not satisfied with the treatment that they have received. These also
should be attended with patient hearing.

Handling customer complaints need not have to be a battle always. With the right tools
and responses you can turn complaints to your advantage; to help you build your
business. How do you deal with your customer complaints? The easiest way to find out is
to pick up the phone and play the role of the complaining customer. If you are very much
irritated with the service you get or if the person on the other side doesn’t listen to your
complaints, would you return to the same place? In such cases, you need to create a
standardized method for dealing with your complainers and turn them into loyal

One of the great tools used in this connection is the technique of BLAST. The acronym
stands for:

1. Believe: This is the cornerstone of handling a customer complaint. The customers may
be lying and be incorrect about their situation. It is important to understand that your
customers believe that your establishment has wronged them. You should listen to the
problem and show that you believe in what they say. “The customer is always right!!”

2. Listen: Stop and listen to your customer’s complaint. While listening, engage in active
listening where you either nod or repeat some words to assure the customer that you are
‘really’ listening to the complaint. It is a natural instinct that as soon as a customer starts
to complain, we start to think of how we will respond to the accusation before we listen
till the end. We will be rehearsing the response to be given to the complainer and keep
ourselves ready to fight back. Take a second, relax, and listen. There are occasions where
a complaining customer will be rude, angry, and use vulgar language. As a professional
and a practised listener, stay the course and remain calm and level headed. When the
customer is done venting; in a calm, non-judgmental tone, repeat their problem. Here is
an example of how a sales assistant at a medical shop deals with an angry customer
“What I hear you saying is that you came in, asked for and paid for 20 tablets of
Bitahistine and when you got home, you discovered that you only received 18, is that

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By repeating the problem at hand, you’ve demonstrated your ability to the customer that
you heard and understood his problem. Never defend or justify. A patient and active
listening is the best answer to satisfy even the most short-tempered customer.

3. Apologize: Always apologize even if you did nothing wrong. From your customers’
perspective, they have a legitimate complaint, and they expect an apology. It could be as
simple as “I’m sorry we’ve caused you terrible inconvenience.” A sincere apology will
usually diffuse a lot of frustration that the customer has. There is an exception to this rule
though, if a customer calls with a critical complaint, such as allergic reaction of a
medicine which has been just administered to him, don’t apologize, it may be construed
as an acceptance of guilt! Instead, refer to your company’s procedures for such events.

4. Satisfy: Satisfied customer not only returns to your organization for a second time, but
also advertises about his satisfaction to many of his friends and thereby improves your
business! Be the judge of what is fair but allow them the opportunity to feel empowered
over the situation. Many times they may ask for the problem to be set right before their
next visit or that you must talk to the person, who made the mistake and correct him. You
can also develop a system of sending out a personalized postcard apologizing for the
mistake. You can also extend a special treat to your regular customer to show that you
care for him.

5. Thank: At the beginning, at the end, in the middle; it doesn’t matter, thank the
customer for calling and complaining. Always try to think positively. With the simple act
of complaining, your customer is telling you “I care about your business and your
success”. They are giving you the opportunity to fix the problem and invite them back so
they can give you more of their money. Thank them for giving you that second chance,
for letting you know that something in your organization didn’t work like it normally
does, for giving you the chance to make it right, and for the opportunity not to damage
your reputation !

Self Assessment Question 5:

i) One of the great tools that is used to handle the complaining customers is the technique
of BLAST. The acronym stands for:

a) Believe; Listen; Apologize; Satisfy; Thank

b) Believe; List; Apologize; Satisfy; Thank

c) Believe; Listen; Apologize; Suggest; Thank

d) Believe; Listen; Apologize; Satisfy; Treat

ii) Pick out the statements that are true:

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a) Nodding of the head and repeating some words of the speaker is a strategy to be used
while practising passive listening.

b) When a customer calls you to complain about the service offered by you, you should
tell him to call some other time.

c) A sincere apology will usually diffuse a lot of frustration that the customer has.

d) The complaining customers are not of the same type always and require different types
of handling.

e) When a customer brings a complaint, you should listen to the problem and show that
you believe in what he says.


Hearing is a passive, generally involuntary process, in which the brain receives and
interprets sounds from the external environment. In contrast, listening is an active,
voluntary process in which the listener deliberately pays attention to, interprets the
meaning of, and responds to a message. There are many types of listening such as
Discriminative, Comprehensive, Evaluative, Appreciative, Empathetic, Therapeutic and
Dialogic listening. Listening skills are not innate. Good listening needs exhaustive

There are barriers which hinder the listening process. Interruption, faking attention,
becoming emotional during conversation, jumping to conclusions even before dialogue is
completed and becoming distracted- are all barriers to effective listening. Even though
one is not a born ‘perfect listener’, one can train oneself to be a very good listener. The
strategies that one has to develop in order to be a good listener are: Providing clues that
one is actively involved, concentrating while someone is talking, refraining from
formulating an immediate response, trying to prepare beforehand, being prepared to
accept revisions and being sure that the environment is conducive to listening.

The best way of making the task of listening easy is by concentrating on the use of
semantic markers. These establish a link between two sentences and mark the beginning
of a sentence. They also indicate a shift or change in the tone of the speaker. The last part
of the unit deals with the ways of handling dissatisfied or complaining clients. A patient
listening comes a long way in satisfying the annoyed clients. The technique of BLAST
(i.e. Believe, Listen, Apologize, Satisfy and Thank) should be mastered to handle
displeased clients.

4.9 Terminal Questions

1. Differentiate between ‘listening’ and ‘hearing’

2. List the types of listening and briefly explain any three.

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3. What do you mean by the barriers to effective listening? Explain any two barriers.

4. “Handling customer complaints need not have to be a battle always.” How far do you
agree with this statement?

4.10 Answers (View in SLM)

A. Self Assessment Questions

1. i) Relational listening ii) Comprehension listening

iii) Discriminative listening iv) Appreciative listening

v) Critical listening vi) Therapeutic listening

2. i) Interrupting ii) Wrong focus iii) a & b

3. i) a b & d only

4. i) Semantic markers ii) a, b & c only iii) a, b & d only

5. i) a ii) c, d & e only

B. Terminal Questions

1. Refer 4.2 2. Refer 4.3 3. Refer 4.4

4. Refer 4.7

                                   Unit 5 Reading Skills

    •   This unit is designed to initiate you into some of the basic skills of reading. It has
        the added advantage of passages to practice reading skills.

5.1 Introduction

We require several skills for acquiring knowledge and wisdom. The foremost skill
required for learning a language is reading skill. Therefore, it is the primary skill that
helps us acquire knowledge about everything in this world. Those who cannot read or
write are prone to exploitation and suffering. Hence, it is important for all human beings
to read and learn. In this unit, we will learn about the various aspects of reading, as a

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skill. This will help us not only to improve our learning ability, but also our
communication skills.


After studying this unit, you will be able to:

· read actively, thus aiding comprehension and retention.

· understand the text that is read and relate it to other texts

· select and use different types of reading for different purposes

· scan the passage for specific information

What Is Reading ?

The following are a few definitions/descriptions regarding the process of reading.

· Reading is thinking under the stimulus of the printed page (Webster, 1982:30)

· Reading is a Psycho-linguistic guessing game (Webster, 1982:19)

· Reading Comprehension means understanding a written text. Understanding a written
text is extracting the required information from it as efficiently as possible. Francoise
Grellet 1991:3)

The above definitions/descriptions suggest that when we read any piece of text, we
understand the given text at three levels-

i) Pure, literal response to the familiar words on the page – there is no in-depth

ii) Recognition of the writer’s meaning. In other words, we read and recognise the
intention of the author in writing the given text.

iii) Personal experience, which aids you to understand the given matter.

All these three levels could be described thus: When you read, you read the lines, read
between the lines and also read beyond the lines. So reading is nothing but a decoding

Purposes Of Reading

We read many things in our day-to-day lives. Let us name a few of them:

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· Newspapers and magazines

· Advertisements, leaflets, pamphlets

· Textbooks, novels, short-stories

· Letters, telegrams

· Recipes, puzzles, menus

· Articles, reports, legal documents

· Dictionaries, telephone directories

· Cartoons, comic strips

· Time-tables, maps, statistical graphs and diagrams etc

We have just listed the different texts that we normally read with certain definite purpose
in mind. They are read either for personal interest, for pleasure, to acquire information or
to participate in society. For you, as students, the purpose of reading is emphasised on
either for interest or for pleasure and reading to acquire information and knowledge.
Reading for interest or pleasure is usually fulfilled through reading fiction, while reading
to learn is associated with informative articles. Reading for information may be both
internal and external. When you read for necessary background information about what is
going on within the company where you work, or within your group, it is called reading
for internal information. Reading for the information of what is going on in your field,
but outside your own company is called External Information. You may need to do
something concrete in the not too distant future after you have read whatever it is you are
reading- this is Action Reading. Professional reading is done when you need to continue
learning and studying so that you develop your own thinking and skills. But you should
bear in mind that the text itself is not written strictly for any one purpose. For instance,
any biography or autobiography will be read as personal interest to understand the life
story of an individual. The same maybe read by a research scholar for his research
purpose. People’s interest in reading is so varied, that any text could meet any purpose.

Reading As A Skill

Reading, for most of us, is a ‘passive process’, where we sit down, relax and run our eyes
through the words on the page. This is the method we incorporate to understand the
information that is given in the book. But today, reading is considered an active process.
A reader can understand a text only when s/he actively uses his/her mental faculties.
Hence, to read efficiently one has to have:

· the knowledge of the writing system of the language

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· the knowledge of the language (grammar, vocabulary)

· the ability to interpret

· a reason for reading and the appropriate method of reading

· the knowledge of the world (experience/background knowledge)

When all these requirements are used efficiently while reading, understanding would be
effective and meaningful. Thus, reading is a skill, which has to be acquired by constant
experimentation and struggle.

Self Assessment Question 1:

Say whether the following are true or false.

i) We cannot understand the intention of the author while reading any given text.

ii) A book is read only for the pleasure of reading it.

iii) The intention of reading a medical report is to gain information.

iv) Reading is an encoding process of communication.

Types Of Reading

As we have already said, we read in different ways depending on the purpose for which
we are reading a text. Let us look at a few types of reading.


Let’s say that you are a student of Management; and as suggested by your professor, you
need to buy a reference text book on Investment Management or you need to write a
paper on Computer Graphics. You go to a book store and see a rack full of books, with
the same title, but different authors. You don’t have time to read the pages before
deciding on buying the book. Hence, you quickly go through the contents, title page and
the blurb(It is a slang meaning, a short piece of writing that praises and promotes
something, especially a paragraph on the cover of a book). By now, you have decided to
buy one book. The type of reading that you did in the bookstall is ‘skimming.’ Thus,
skimming means, “looking quickly over a text/book to get a general superficial idea of
the content.”

Activity 1 (An exercise in Skimming):

Match these business publications to the extracts below:

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1. A text book on modern management

2. A travel guide for businessmen

3. A company’s monthly newsletter

4. a computer software manual

5. a company’s annual report

6. a leading business daily

a) One of the most popular hill stations in India, Munnar is situated at the confluence of
three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 Mts
above sea level, it has an area of 26.2 sq. km. with the temperature of 15.2º -25ºC in
summer and
0º to 10º C during winter. The best time to visit Munnar is From September to May.

b) Tokyo stocks drifted downwards on Tuesday amid light trading, with the Nikkei 225
losing 0.41 per cent to 17.760.91, as investors waited for fresh data from Japan and the
US at the end of the week

c) To be an effective manager in today’s competitive world, you must keep up-to-date
with the latest developments in technology. Technology is changing rapidly and the pace
of innovation is accelerating. New technologies are being developed all the time, and this
puts even more pressure on managers.

d) The line, rectangle and oval tools in Flash function as you would expect from using
other graphic programmes.

i) Click the Oval tool.

ii) Drag the work area to the right. Don’t worry about the color or fill.

iii) Click the white triangle at the right when you are ready to continue.

e) We are pleased to announce the appointment of Shashank Bhat as our new Director of
Human Resources. Shashank began his career at Nimbus after leaving University. He has
been working at Head Office since last year. Shashank is married and has one daughter.

f) Towards the end of the year we saw a slight improvement in our market share in the
United States. A more optimistic economic situation there helped our sales to grow by
just under 15% in the second half of the year. This was partly due to some very strong
competition from other firms.


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As you read a text, editorial or an article, you suddenly come across a word that is not
familiar to you. Naturally, you would like to know the meaning of the word, for your own
benefit. So you get the dictionary and carefully find the word. You see the spelling,
pronunciation, meaning and also the various uses of the same word (if any). This type of
careful reading, to find out the specific, clear details, is known as Scanning. Here, you
don’t just run your eyes across the page, but look into the information for specific details.
Let us go through the following exercise to be familiar with what scanning is all about.

Activity 2 (An exercise in Scanning):

Read the article and answer the questions that follow:

Simon Harris, a senior executive in the London branch of the computer firm Samex
Systems, regularly arrives at work wearing jeans, trainers, and a colourful pullover. His
secretary, Martine, is seen dressed in a bright yellow T-shirt and designer jeans. Samex
Systems recently decided to allow its 1,500 employees to leave their pin-stripe suits and
smart frocks in the wardrobe and to wear casual clothes to work.

Samex’s Human Resource Director, Norma Leaman is responsible for introducing the
new policy. “I travel quite a lot to the USA. Many of the companies I visit there no longer
have strict dress codes. In fact, many employees wear practically what they like.”

Norma decided to introduce casual dress as an experiment in the company. “We started
off by allowing people to dress in a more relaxed way once a week. Then we extended it
to two days a week. Now most employees can wear more relaxed dress when they like.”

There are, of course, still some rules. Dirty or untidy clothes are not allowed. Male
employees are told not to wear earrings at work. And for some people there is till a dress
code. Sales staff do not go out on visits wearing jeans. Overseas visitors – especially if
they come from the Far East – are not welcomed by executives in Bermuda shorts and
beach shirts.

The fashion for casual dress at work started on the west coast of the United States.
American hi-tech companies found that younger employees were happier with a less
formal style. “In the information technology industry, the division between office and
home is not very important,” says consultant Luis Rodriguez. “Many people work at
home wearing the clothes they feel most relaxed in. When they are in the office, they just
don’t see the need to dress very formally.” Rodriguez has carried out a survey on dress
among 700 US companies. “We found that about 70% of companies allowed employees
to wear casual clothes on some occasions.” There are a number of explanations for the
more relaxed modern style, according to Rodriguez. “Companies with a higher
proportion of women employees tend to be more relaxed about dress codes.”

It is also significant that there are many more younger people in positions of power. “You
now find senior managers in their early thirties or even younger. They just don’t want to
dress like their grandfather did.”

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Even the most traditional companies have been caught up in the new fashion. Take MFD
Securities, a City of London investment firm. For many years executives had to wear
white shirts, dark suits, and ties. Now they are allowed to wear more casual jackets and
trousers. Jeans, however, are not allowed. “Our customers are getting younger and
younger,” says MFD spokesperson Jan Martin. “Often they are happier dealing with
someone of their own age and background. And that means dressing in a more informal

However, not all companies are following the trend. A junior executive in a Paris bank
recently arrived at work to find four brand new white shirts on his desk. This was his
company’s way of saying that blue and yellow striped shirts were not acceptable.

Answer the following questions:

1. How have Samex changed their dress policy recently?

2. How was the change introduced?

3. What rules still exist in Samex?

4. What were the results of the Rodriguez survey?

5. Do all City companies have a strict dress code?

6. What experience did a French executive recently have?

(Taken from: Milne John Morrison. Business Language Practice.

Extensive Reading

Does reading give us pleasure?

As we have already mentioned our way of reading is influenced by the purpose of our
reading. Most of us have the habit of reading especially when we are free or have a lot of
leisure time. We might get hold of a novel, a comic strip, a magazine etc. When we read
for the pure pleasure of reading we call it extensive reading. But, we should not give it a
lesser priority because it is extensive reading. It is enjoyable as well as informative. Here,
we practise rapid reading to get the global/overall understanding of the matter.

Activity 3: Read the passage given below and try to insert words in the blanks. The
words that you choose should be contextual based.

In a successful negotiation, no one should feel that they have lost. You should reach a
win- __1___ solution. After one side makes a proposal, the other should make a 2___ -
offer. If both sides make 3_ you can work towards a compromise. By making a goodwill
___4___ you may get something from the other side. It is this __5__ -trading that moves

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the negotiations along. IF you are not prepared to make a 6_ -off, there is a chance that
the talks will break down.”

(Note: Now see the possible answers and try to check whether you have selected the
appropriate words. This exercise proves that you can understand the overall meaning of
the passage even if some words are missing.

Intensive Reading

When we read shorter texts like a research paper, for getting specific details/ information
we read slowly with a lot of concentration. This is intensive reading. When you read a
book as a resource material for research you read it intensively because the overall
understanding is not the objective/purpose of our reading. When you read an article in
order to write a review on it, you read it intensively. We use all the skills of reading when
we do intensive reading.

Activity 4: Read the following paragraph. At the end of each sentence you will find the
letters M (main idea) and S (supporting detail). Identify in each case, whether it is M or S
and tick the correct letter.

The moon’s gravity pulls the earth’s oceans towards it as it moves round the earth. (M/S).
Then it lets them go again. (M/S) These movements of the oceans are the tides. (M/S)
The sun also affects the tides. (M/S) At the seaside you can see that sometimes the sea
covers the beach completely. (M/S) These are called high tides. (M/S) At other times, the
water goes back, leaving the shore uncovered. (M/S) These are called low tides (M/S)
Most seaside places have two high tides and two low tides every day. (M/S)

Activity 5: Read the following passage and underline the main ideas.

Every bright star is a sun, like our own sun. This means that stars are huge balls of
glowing gases. They are so hot that if a piece of steel were placed there, it would
disappear in a cloud of gas! In many of the stars, the gases are very thin. This is because
the particles or atoms of matter in the gas are far apart.

But stars do have matter in them. We know, for example that the sun contains more than
sixty of the chemical elements present in the earth. Among the elements in the sun are
hydrogen, helium, iron, calcium and magnesium.

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In cooler stars, the matter may be more nearly liquid, somewhat like the boiling iron in a
blast furnace. In some very old and cold stars, the matter may be so closely packed that a
cubic inch of it would weigh a ton. Such stars are called ‘dead’ or ‘dark’ stars.

Astronomers can find out all this by using instruments called “spectroscopes”. The
spectroscope studies the light a star gives, and from this we can learn what kinds of
matter it contains and how hot it is.

The different colours of the stars– white, blue, yellow, or red – show us what chemical
elements are present in them. Different temperatures of stars also cause differences in the
light they give, in their ’spectrum’. In this way the temperature of a star can be


Elements – Simple substances

Blast furnace – a steel container, where iron is separated from iron ore, by the action of
heat and air blown through, at great pressure.

Activity 6: Now write a paragraph on “What is a star made of?” using only the main
ideas you have identified.

Loud And Silent Reading

Most of our day-to-day reading is done silently. When we read an article or an
advertisement, we are engaged in the process of deriving meaning from the passage.
Actually when we read aloud our concentration is divided between reading and speaking.
This makes reading difficult and may cause problems in understanding the matter. But
there are situations when we have to read things aloud, like the notices and circulars,
when others don’t have access to it. You need to read the instructions aloud to students or
employees so that there is no confusion later. Besides these extra-ordinary situations,
most of the time the natural way of reading is silent reading which is ideal and helps

SQ3R Technique Of Reading

This technique of reading is evolved by Robinson in his book “Effective Study” (1970).
SQ3R stands for the initial letters of the five steps in studying a text.

Survey S

Question Q

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Read R

Recall R

Review R

Let us briefly go through these steps in the given order:

1. Survey: Survey refers to a quick glance through the title page, preface, chapter
headings of a text. By surveying, you will be able to gauge the main ideas of the text.
Besides, the author’s name, date and place of publication and title page can give the you
an idea of the general subject area. The table of contents, preface or foreword in a book
would give you an idea of the themes and how they are organised. A survey of the index
or bibliography tells you immediately whether the book contains what you need.

Let’s take an example. Choose the appropriate reference by a quick survey:

Here is a Bibliography (List of Books) on POLIMERIZATION. Decide which of the
publications in the list are likely to give you: (encircle the appropriate letter)

A brief Introduction to the subject: a b c d e f

Current development in the field a b c d e f

Historical study of the subject a b c d e f

Various opinions by experts on the subject a b c d e f


(a) Billmeyer, F.W. 1962. A Text Book of Polymer Science

New York: John Wiley and sons

(b) A condensed Chemical Dictionary

(c) International Encyclopaedia of Sciences

(d) Encyclopaedia Britannica

(e) Stille, J. K. 1962. Introduction to Polymer Chemistry: New York: John Wiley and
sons. Wassermann, Leonard G 1974,

(f) Chemistry: Basic Concepts and Contemporary Applications California: Wadsworth
Publ CO Inc.

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(Adapted from ELT Documents, 1980)

2. Question: The second step in SQ3R technique of Reading is ‘question.’ A Survey of
the text will surely raise a few questions in your mind, regarding the text. Some of the
questions could be:

· Is the book useful or relevant to my study ?

· Does it provide some guidelines/information on the subject at hand ?

But, as you go through the individual chapters, you might get specific questions
regarding the topic. This will surely lead to gaining some insights into the text, topic and
the author’s comments. We will be surprised to see how our questions are answered in
the process of reading and understanding the text. Hence don’t take reading as an
automatic process. It has to be conscious, deliberate, and purposeful with a definite
purpose where you interact with the topic and the author.

3. Reading: After surveying and questioning, you begin the actual reading. You need to
develop a critical approach in reading anything for that matter. Read the text over and
over again and each time with a different question in mind and a different purpose in
mind. “I read it once and understand everything” kind of attitude is nothing but a myth.
Hence, while reading for the first time, you just focus on the main points/ideas and
supporting details only.

4. Recall: The fourth stage in Reading Comprehension is recalling. Reading is not an
isolated activity. Every reading exercise increases your background knowledge. You
should be able to connect the information gained to the already existing background
knowledge. Recalling whatever you have read would enable you to connect, relate the
content to the previous and future learning of the subject. This leads us to the next stage
in reading i.e., Review.

5. Review: Reviewing is nothing but checking whether we have followed the earlier
stages promptly and efficiently; whether we have surveyed the book, article, and
magazine properly. Have we asked the appropriate questions relating to the content, have
we read critically and have we recalled the most significant details/information required
for our study? These are questions that we would like you to ask in the final stage of
reading. Review will sharpen your critical faculty and you would be able to form your
own opinions on the topic and express them to others.

Isn’t this process a rewarding experience? Try to practise these stages consciously in your
reading and research and know for yourself what a revelation this could be to you.


In this unit, we have discussed what reading is, and the various purposes of reading. We
have learnt the different types of reading like, Scanning, Skimming and SQ3R method of

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reading You have to interact with the given piece of writing/information and derive
meaning out of it. For this, a basic knowledge of the language system, vocabulary,
grammar and some background knowledge of the topic is required. You should also vary
your speed of reading according to your purpose of reading. We have given you
examples of how you can practise the different skills of reading in your day-to-day life. It
is up to you to exercise your knowledge on reading skills and systematically put the same
to practice.

5.6 Terminal Questions

1. Read the TV programme guides given in a daily newspaper and then answer questions
such as those given below.

a. Programmes of how many channels have been printed?

b. How many channels offer programmes in regional languages?

c. What are the different types of programmes each channel specialises in?

d. Which music channel has a wider variety of programmes?

2. Write a short note on the SQ3R technique of reading.

3. Explain how you will practice skimming and scanning in everyday reading activities
through suitable examples.

5.7 Answers

A. Self Assessment Questions:

1. i) False ii) False iii) True iv) False

A. Terminal Questions

1. Refer 7.3.2

2. Refer 7.3.5

3. Refer 7.3.1 and 7.3.2


1. 1-c, 2-a, 3-e, 4-d, 5-f, 6-b

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2. 1. They now allow employees to wear more informal clothes

2. The change was introduced gradually.

3. Dirty or untidy clothes are not allowed. Some employees still have to dress more

4. Mr. Rodreguez found that most American companies allowed some degree of informal

5. No, they don’t.

6. He arrived at work to find some shirts on his desk.

3. 1-c 2-a 3-c 4-a 5-b 6-c

4. The moon’s gravity pulls the earth’s oceans towards it as it moves round the earth.
(M/S). Then it lets them go again. (M/S) These movements of the oceans are the tides.
(M/S) The sun also affects the tides. (M/S) At the seaside you can see that sometimes the
sea covers the beach completely. (M/S) These are called high tides. (M/S) At other times,
the water goes back, leaving the shore uncovered. (M/S) These are called low tides (M/S)
Most seaside places have two high tides and two low tides every day. (M/S)

5. Every bright star is a sun, like our own sun. This means that stars are huge balls of
glowing gases. They are so hot that if a piece of steel were placed there, it would
disappear in a cloud of gas! In many of the stars, the gases are very thin. This is because
the particles or atoms of matter in the gas are far apart.

But stars do have matter in them. We know, for example that the sun contains more than
sixty of the chemical elements present in the earth. Among the elements in the sun are
hydrogen, helium, iron, calcium and magnesium.

In cooler stars, the matter may be more nearly liquid, somewhat like the boiling iron in a
blast furnace. In some very old and cold stars, the matter may be so closely packed that a
cubic inch of it would weigh a ton. Such stars are called ‘dead’ or ‘dark’ stars.

Astronomers can find out all this by using instruments called “spectroscopes”. The
spectroscope studies the light a star gives, and from this we can learn what kinds of
matter it contains and how hot it is.

The different colours of the stars– white, blue, yellow, or red – show us what chemical
elements are present in them. Different temperatures of stars also cause differences in the
light they give, in their ’spectrum’. In this way the temperature of a star can be

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                                      Unit 6 Writing Skills

   •   This unit contains the necessary skills required for writing, like note making and
       developing them into drafts while using cohesive devices and abbreviations.
       Different types of letters, with samples, are covered in this unit.


We have already covered the basic forms of communication, oral and listening. Now we
have come to a juncture where advanced form is necessary to communicate in a more
formal setting. Writing is one such skill which can be mastered, if right skills are learnt
and practised. Faced with an intense or complicated writing task, you may often struggle
to write. However, the best style of writing is clear and simple English, contrary to the
belief that the writing overflowing with difficult sounding words will be more effective!
More than being methodical – typing neatly, following all structural formats, etc., you
should also know to use the right word at the right time. To make your writing task easy,
you should learn to put yourself in the shoes of the reader of your letter. When writing a
letter or report, think of your readers’ likely response to the contents, the style and the
tone. If your readers are laymen, the technical jargon that you use may not be understood
at all. At the same time, if the readers are experts, who understand technical language,
you should not go on explaining the terms in the detail. While concentrating on the style
of writing, use formal tone for the business letter and try not to impress your readers with
complicated words. The simpler you write, the better it is understood. Or it may just not
serve the purpose and land unread in the trash bin. Now we don’t want that to happen, do


By the end of this unit you will be able to:

· prepare notes while there is a oral presentation

· write notes from reference books and reproduce it into an essay.

· paraphrase a given text or matter.

· differentiate between letters and use effective language and style for different letters

· write an effective covering letter to apply for a job

· draft an effectual resume.

· write a fax, telegram and e-mail.

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Note Taking

Note taking is the foundation or road map of good presentation either oral or written.
Well-prepared notes are a result of organization and mental preparation prior to
presentation. Practice and methodical approaches to note taking help you to maintain
concentration and have more organized set of notes. Although you are the only person
who will read your notes, clarity and organization are of utmost importance while taking
or making notes.

The key to writing skills is effective note-taking. The practical uses of note taking are:

· A good note-making technique leads to accurate essays or final drafts.

· To keep a record of reading / lectures

· To revise for exams

· To help remember the main points of instructions

As mentioned above, a correctly written down note can be developed into a well
organized draft. It could also lead to a productive presentation.

Effective note taking is a part of the sequence: The note-taking forms the link in the
sequence of communication. Prior to note taking, there is the aspect of listening or
reading. Then you have to recognize and select the key items or concepts. These are
taken down as notes in your own style. You can equip your own method for taking down
notes, develop your own abbreviations, short-cut methods, etc. However, remember that
you will be building up the draft or presentation with the help of these notes. Therefore,
you have to be careful while selecting the abbreviations and any symbols because later
on, you should know what it means. From this stage, note taking is further linked to
‘writing or speaking.’ The written down notes are expanded to explain the concept either
in writing draft or presenting it orally.

Strategies of note-taking:

There are strategies that help you to organize a note card and view it in the process of
presentation. Some of the important strategies are discussed below.

1. An effective strategy includes an efficient, systematic approach that assists in
identifying major points of emphasis and separates them from minor considerations. A
format should be developed to write the notes and understand it without difficulty.
According to this strategy you have to recognize the major and minor points. Then they

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should be separated with the help of indicators that you develop. E.g.: The main points
can be written in bold (if you are using computer) or underlined or written in all capitals.
The minor points can be written as bullets under this main point. They can also be written
in different coloured inks.

2. An effective strategy should include abbreviations, emphasis and important indicators
such as circling, underlining, numbering, asterisks, etc. These are used to give clear
indication to the writer who develops the notes or the speaker who uses the notes for

3. The next strategy is that you should follow a proper writing order to assist you during
the writing /presentation period. Your note taking should have continuity of thoughts, so
that the development of that notes into draft or presentation is well organized.

4. It is often helpful to write out opening statements, support statements that may be

5. A review often can reduce errors and quality note preparation provides an opportunity
to have outstanding results in writing or presentation. You should not forget to review the
note to check for the continuity or if the matter taken down is correct or not. This will
avoid the dilemma at the stage of developing the notes into draft or at the time of
presenting the matter to the audience.

Note-Taking Practice

After selecting and understanding the most relevant texts, or speech / instructions, the
next step is usually to make notes on the important sections of the texts or instructions
that you require. Now we shall learn the method of taking notes-

i) Selecting Key Points

The first stage of note taking is to identify the key points in the text, for your purpose.
Study the following examples:

Example 1: Leadership Style

The leadership style of a manager determines how good his relationships are with his
subordinates, and how easily he can communicate with them. Leadership is the quality in
a manager, irrespective of his craft skills, education or position, which directly influences
people’s behavior towards him and their work. In other words, it is the quality by which
people can be motivated to move enthusiastically and with confidence towards
established goals. Leadership qualities are inborn to a certain extent, but can also be
acquired by training, and experience. Leadership styles adopted in the management of
group work are closely related to the personality of individual managers and their social
skills. It is debatable, how far social skills can be taught, because extrovert personalities
develop easy relations with other people while introverts find it more difficult.

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The different leadership styles that are used in the catering field ca be easily classified.
Some distinctly make people work by order or force, others join the group and initiate
activity, still others use persuasion while some, by their pleasant and endearing manner
generate the enthusiasm for work and achieve goals in the best possible manner. Thus,
through a manager’s personality, referred to by Doswell and gamble as the ‘Manager
Factor,’ a manager can build an image for himself in his work environment. For the
establishment he is responsible for how customers view the food service.

Leadership style is used as an effective tool of management both in formal as well as
informal structures. This is evident from the fact that even when placed formally in
positions of power, managers can exercise authority over people only if they will accept
it. Some managers who are good planners and organizers fail to achieve results because
they are not good leaders. Reference has already been made to the development of
informal organization patterns within the formal frame work. In catering situations one
often sees the emergence of a leader within a group, that is, a person who will be
followed in whatever he says or does, even though he may not have been placed in a
position of authority through the formal structure.

Thus a manager does not and cannot use any one leadership style in isolation at all times.
He may be autocratic in an emergency like when an accident takes place or a fire breaks
out in the kitchen. Also, in situations where only he has the answer, such as deciding on
the number of customers to be catered for.

Leadership style is thus a powerful tool of management, especially in people oriented
spheres such as catering, in which the degree of concern managers have for people can
create a comfortable working environment harbouring trust and respect for each other.

This of course is based entirely on the personality and other traits of the manager and his
ability to inspire confidence in people, who then get committed to the goals of the

The key points of the essay “Leadership Style” is identified for you. Notice that the
examples, illustrations and explanations are not underlined. You have to pay attention to
the key words in a sentence or key phrases in a paragraph. Later these key points may be
developed into notes.

ii) Using Abbreviations: As already suggested, you shouldn’t attempt to take down
every single word of the lecture or text. Hence a lot of time and effort can be saved by
using abbreviations and symbols. They are used for convenience; and familiarity with
abbreviations makes both academic reading and writing easier. Abbreviations may be
formed in the following types.

a) Shortened words- We often use many words which are shortened without being aware
of their original form.

E.g.: bus omnibus

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fridge refrigerator

pub public house

pant pantaloon

telly television

advert / ad advertisement

perk perquisite

b) Acronyms- These are the abbreviations which are made up by writing the first letters
of the words in a name or phrase.

E.g.: AGM Annual General Meeting

CV Curriculum Vitae

CALL Computer Assisted Language Learning

GM General Manager / General Motors

c) Others- They include abbreviations that are read as sets of individual letters. They
include names of countries, organizations and companies and also abbreviations that are
found only in written English.

PTO Please Turn Over

Rd Road

BBC British Broadcast Corporation

USA United States of America

The abbreviations can be of three types.

a) Field abbreviations: The student specializing in a certain field will learn certain
abbreviations as a part of the study in that particular field. For example, a student of
Chemistry will know that ‘C’ stands for carbon and ‘Ca’ for Calcium. A student of
Management or IT needs to know certain abbreviations in different fields such as

PRO (Public Relations Officer)

CEO (Chief Executive Officer)

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USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

R &D ( Research & Development)

C & F (Cost and Freight)

FAS (Free alongside Ship)

FOB ( Free on Board)

OHP (Over Head Projector)

ATM (Automated Teller Machine)

HR (Human Resources)

IT (Information Technology)

CEO (Chief Executive Officer)

CAD (Computer Assisted Design)

RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)

PLC (Public Limited Company)

TQM (Total Quality Management)

BPR (Business Process Re-engineering)

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

B2G (Business to Government)

COGS (Cost of Goods Sold)

FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods)

b) Commonly used abbreviations: These abbreviations are generally used by
everybody. It is in common use or easily understood. Some of the examples are ‘that is’
(i.e.), ‘equal to’ (=) similarly (IIIly) etc.

Refer to the following examples: The abbreviations given below are used while taking
down notes.

·           ca.(circa)                         approximately

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·               cf.(confer)                  compare
·               e.g.(exempli gratia)    for example
·               et al.(et alii)                 and the others
·               etc.(et cetera)            and so on
·               ibid.(ibidem)               in the same place as the previous
·               i.e.(id est)                   that is
·               N.B.(Nota Bene)        note well
·               P.S.(post scriptum)    an addition to the main text
·               viz.(videlicet)              namely
·                <                                lesser than
·               >                                 greater than
·               =                                 equal to
·               –                                 minus, less, decreases
·               +                                 plus, and, more
·               ≠                                 is not equal to
·               «                                 much less than
·               »                                 much greater than
·               @                               at the rate of (at)
·               ^                                 insert (which has been
·               Ð                                 angle

· ≡ identical to

· \ therefore

· \ because

· St. saint

· Fig. figure

· K thousand

· Op.cit. in the source mentioned previously

· p.a. per annum / yearly

· pp. pages

· ref. with reference to

c) Personal abbreviations: These are the abbreviations that the learner has himself
made. According to your convenience and appropriateness of the topic, you can develop
your own abbreviations, which you can recall and review while developing the notes into
a fair copy either of an essay or during a presentation.

Read the example given below. It is a short article on the theme “Why women live
longer?’ The key words and phrases are identified and further made into notes. Observe

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the markers ‘>’ or abbreviations (British) used. You need not write complete sentences in
the note-writing exercise. It is just for your understanding because you are going to
develop these notes into a final draft for either oral or written presentation. However, the
clarity and continuity of the thought should not be ignored. Also, do not abbreviate too
much, or you may find the notes impossible to understand in the future.

Self Assessment Question 1.

1. ___ and ___ are of utmost importance while taking or making notes.

2. The first step of note taking is …….

3. To master the art of note taking, one has to be an ____ learner.

4. While taking notes, the major and minor points should be separated with the help of
____, like writing in bold or underlining that you develop.

5. ____ are the abbreviations which are made up by writing the first letters of the words
in a name or phrase.

6. The full form of the abbreviation ISP is ____.


Paraphrasing is a technique that involves changing a text matter, so that it is quite
dissimilar to the main source. But we should be careful to retain all the meaning of the
passage. This skill is useful while expanding the taken notes or vice versa. Effective
paraphrasing avoids the risk of plagiarism. You should remember some important points
in the process of paraphrasing. They are –

1. Although paraphrasing techniques are used in summary writing, it does not aim to
shorten the length of a text, merely to restate the text.

E.g.: Evidence of a lost civilization has been found off the coast of China.

This could be paraphrased as –

Remains of an ancient society have been discovered in the sea near China.

2. A good paraphrase is significantly different from the wording of the original, without
altering the meaning at all. Read the text below and then decide which is the best

Text: Ancient Egypt collapsed in about 2180 BC. Studies conducted of the mud from the
River Nile showed that at this time the mountainous regions which feed the Nile suffered

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from a prolonged drought. This would have had a devastating effect on the ability of
Egyptian society to feed itself.

a) The sudden ending of Egyptian civilization over 4000 years ago was probably caused
by changes in the weather in the region to the south. Without the regular river flooding
there would not have been enough food.

b) Research into deposits of the Egyptian Nile indicate that a long dry period in the
mountains at the river’s source may have led to a lack of water for irrigation around 2180
BC, which was when the collapse of Egyptian society began.

3. Techniques:

i) Changing vocabulary – studies > research

society > civilization

mud >deposits

ii) Changing word class – Egypt (n) > Egyptian (adj.)

mountainous regions (adj.+ noun) > in the mountains (n)

iii) Changing word order – Ancient Egypt collapsed > the collapse of Egyptian society

Self Assessment Question 2

i) What is paraphrasing?


Given below are sentences with words underlined. Write one word to replace the
underlined words.

i) I look after our large and important accounts.

ii) I’m also responsible for chasing people who owe us money.

iii) We always pay our suppliers and other people we owe money to on time.

iv) We give our best customers a 10% reduction in the price they have to pay.

v) We don’t give credit so our customers have to pay before they receive the goods.

vi) We raise an invoice and send it to the customer immediately.

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Elements of writing

There are various skills that prove helpful and are needed for most types of formal
writing, whether a short invitation, or a longer letter, report or essay. Many essays, for
example, begin by defining a term in the title, then make some generalizations about the
subject, before going on to provide examples of the main areas the writer or presenter
wishes to examine. Most of the reports also require discussion of numbers, graphs and
charts. Comparison and discussion of certain aspects also become a part of some of the

There is no fixed order for working on the different elements of writing. They have to be
accessed according to the priorities.

Cause and Effect:

The relationship between two situations can be shown in a variety of ways:

Heavy rain causes flooding

Heavy rain leads to flooding

Heavy rain results in flooding

Heavy rain produces flooding

Flooding is caused by heavy rain (note the use of Passive Voice)

Flooding is produced by heavy rain

Flooding results from heavy rain

2. It is also possible to use conjunctions that demonstrate cause and effect.

Cause Effect

Because (of) so

Since therefore

As consequently

Owing to which is why

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Due to

· Because it rained heavily, the flooding was severe (because +verb)

· The flooding occurred because of days of heavy rain (because +noun)

· Owing to the heavy rain the flooding was severe

· It rained heavily for days, therefore the flooding was severe (used in mid sentence)

(It is more common to use conjunctions to illustrate particular situations. The different
types of conjunctions are discussed in unit 2)

6.4.2 Cohesion

cohesion means linking words or phrases together so that the whole text is clear and
readable. It acts as a link of ideas in different parts of the same sentence or ideas in
different sentences. This helps in developing consistency in writing and improves the
organization of the text. Cohesion is achieved by several methods, such as the use of
conjunctions, pronouns, transitions, definite articles and synonyms (words with a similar
meaning to another word).

E.g.: This is the third in Hatchman’s “Business Abroad” series and their most useful
publication to date. It’s a comprehensive guide to doing business in six Eastern European
countries. This well-designed book includes everything from how to present your
business card, to how to order in a Hungarian restaurant. The book contains useful
information on leading companies and government agencies. There are also detailed
street maps of Eastern Europe’s major business cities to help you find your way around.

1. Transitions and subordinating conjunctions are two of the most common types of
words used to improve cohesion. Transitions are words and phrases such as: first of all,
similarly, and in brief. Subordinating conjunctions are words such as: whereas and while.
Read some examples of each type of word which are given below.

a) Shows time or lists items in order – In the first place, To begin with, First of all, After
that, Then, Next, First, Second, Third, Finally,

b) Adds an idea – Furthermore, In addition, Also, Moreover, another…

c) Indicates similarity – Likewise, Similarly, In the same way,

d) Provides an example – For instance, In particular, …such as… For example,

e) Shows a result – Consequently, Hence, As a result, Therefore,

f) Refers to an alternative – On the other hand, Then again, Alternatively,

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g) Says an idea more simply – To put it simply, In other words,

h) Compares, contrasts or contradicts – In comparison, by contrast, while, whereas
Instead, Conversely, On the contrary, Despite… , however,

i) Indicates other ways of considering something – although… though… even though…
in spite of …however, Still, After all, even if… Nevertheless,

j) Generalizes or summarizes – In brief, To sum up, In short, In general, Overall, It is

Self Assessment Question 3

i) –––––––––– means linking words or phrases together so that the whole text is clear and

i) ––––––––––– and ––––––––––––––––––– are two of the most common types of words
used to improve cohesion


Complete the following sentences with appropriate conjunction from the list given below.

(when, but, before, since, although, so, and)

i. The report will be reviewed by the supervisor _____it is sent to the manager

ii. Errors were found in the self-audit, ____steps have been taken to correct them

iii. The current status report has been attached, ____I have highlighted the important

iv. I’ll tell her ____ I see her.

v. _____you left, the atmosphere in the office has not been as nice

vi. ______ he was the best qualified candidate, he didn’t get the job.

vii. ______ you think of all the people who could have got the job, it seems ridiculous
that he was chosen.

viii. _____ you already know Mary, you should go to meet her at the airport

ix. ____ we would like to open a branch in Oxford now, we will probably wait for
another year or so.

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x. The job is badly paid ____ I’m looking for another one.

xi. ______ we have so much to do, let’s delay discussing this until our next meeting.

xii. We’re not making much profit ____ we need to raise our prices.

Business Letter Writing

When you enter any profession, you will come across one task that you have to perform
which is of utmost importance, writing letters as a part of your routine work. You will be
writing letters to other organizations and institutions, customers, clients, suppliers,
government officers, credit agencies, employees etc. These letters are commonly called
‘business letters.’ Business letters are usually written to inform readers of specific
information. However, you might also write a business letter to persuade others to take
action or to propose your ideas. Business letters can be challenging to write, because you
have to consider how to keep your readers’ attention. This is particularly the case if your
readers receive large amounts of mail and have little time to read.

Writing business letters is like writing any other document: First you must analyze your
audience and determine your purpose. Then you gather information, create an outline,
write a draft, and revise it. The key to writing business letters is to get to the point as
quickly as possible and to present your information clearly. While doing this you should
always bear in mind the ‘audience’ of your letter, the person who is going to read your
letter. So your letter should appeal to the reader. The best way of doing this is to put
yourself in the shoes of your reader and foresee his reaction on reading your letter. Ask
yourself “How would I react if I received this letter?” The answer to this question will
help you to decide about editing your letter. Sir Ernest has remarked aptly while he was
advising about handling official correspondence, If he (the person you are replying to) is
rude, be specially courteous. If he is muddle-headed, be specially lucid. If he is pig-
headed, be patient. If he is helpful, be appreciative. If he convicts you of a mistake,
acknowledge it freely and even with gratitude.”

Principles of writing letters

We have discussed the purpose of writing business letters. Now let us learn how to write
them efficiently; we shall find out the principles that should be followed to make our
letters effective.

1. Courtesy and Consideration: The basis of any relationship is built on the strong edifice
of feelings for others. Courtesy is like the oil which removes the friction, it makes life
smooth and helps win friends. It softens the sting of an unpleasant piece of information,
creates goodwill, and produces a favourable response. Look at the following sentences
that help you word your business letter in a polite manner.

Many thanks for your letter of ….

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Thank you very much for your letter of …

We are glad to note that you are now in a position to pay our bill.

We appreciate your writing to us so promptly.

We regret to inform you that we cannot meet your order immediately.

We are sorry that you did not receive the your order in time.

The more you use the phrases that are given above, you should avoid the following
phrases as much as possible because they may irritate your reader for considering him
inferior to you!

You state…

You are wrong in saying …

We find it difficult to believe…

Your claim that…

We must firmly state …

Your complaint that …

We cannot accede to your request …

We are forced to refuse …

We demand …

2. Conciseness: While writing a business letter it is important that your letter be concise
and direct. Avoid old fashioned, stuffy phrases and long winded sentences associated
with classic formal letter writing. In the present times, people are very busy and will be
easily irritated to read unnecessarily lengthy letters. So you should focus directly on the
message to be told. Express your idea in straightforward, plain English.

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3. Clarity and Precision: Whenever you write a letter, be clear about what you want to say
and say it clearly. Use short, simple words and language to relate whatever you want to
tell in the letter. Use concrete words – two words in English will have similar meaning –
in such cases, use the word which is commonly understood. E.g.: if you use the word
‘house’ and it conveys the meaning that you intend, don’t use the word ‘residence’ which
will make the message more complicated. Avoid long winded sentences (running into
five lines and more). Spare your reader the tedious task of understanding your letter and
try to make smaller sentences. To make your letter clear, break it into different
paragraphs when you have to discuss more than one main point. Finally, you have to
understand that writing a good business letter involves a lot of practice which will
gradually enable you to be an effective writer.

Structure of a Business letter

We have discussed in detail about the language that you should adopt while writing a
letter. Now, let us come to the arrangement of a business letter. To make your letter
effective, remember that your presentation of the letter also has to be effective. Usually,
the letter is drafted in two styles – Blocked and Semi Blocked.

Blocked – Every line in this style begins flush with the left hand margin. Paragraphs are
differentiated by leaving a blank space in between them.

Semi blocked – The first line of each paragraph is indented in this style of writing letters.

You can follow any one style of writing a business letter.

The business letter contains the following elements:

1. Heading: Many organizations use their letter head for writing business letters. This
covers one fifth of the total space of the page. The name and address of the organization
is centred at the top and other information like the telephone numbers, telegraphic
address, etc. are divided in the margin space.

2. Date: This is very important as it might act as a proof that you wrote on a particular
date. Type the date two spaces below the last line of the heading at the left hand margin
of the letter. E.g.: Remember to give the name of the month. Avoid the form 10/9/2005.
In Britain it means 10th of September(first date and then month is written) whereas in
USA, people understand it as 9th of October(first month and then date is written). E.g.:
14th July, 1995; 14th July 1995; 14 July 1995; July 14th 1995, July 14, 1995.

3. Reference: The advantage of writing a reference is that it helps to trace the letter at a
later date. Writing reference number is of two types – one indicates the reference number
that you allot for the letter that you write; the other indicates the correspondent’s previous
letter to which you are replying now. This is placed on the left hand side, two lines after
the salutation. However, some prefer to write it in the body of the letter. E.g., With
reference to your letter no.,…. dated …. Or Thank you for your letter no. ….

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4. Inside Address: The complete address of the person whom you are writing to should be
written. You should place it two line-space after the date. Do not abbreviate or spell
wrongly the name of the person. Add Mr. before the name of a man, Miss before the
name of a woman if she is unmarried, Mrs. if she is married. Nowadays, the trend is
towards writing Ms. before a woman’s name irrespective of her marital status. If the lady
whom you are addressing to has a special title, such as Dr. or Professor, you can mention
the titles and put Ms. inside the brackets after the title E.g.: Dr. (Ms.) Anita McGrath

5. Salutation: This is the vital part of the letter which is as good as wishing the person. It
is important that you address the name of the person if you know it. E.g.: Dear Mr.
Blackwell. You may use Dear Sir/ Sirs or Dear Madam only if you do not know the name
of the person. In government departments, letters that are addressed by name is known as
‘demi-official letters.’ They are written to draw the attention of the concerned officer so
that prompt action is taken. Sales and circulars are addressed as ‘Dear Customer’, ‘Dear
Reader’, ‘Dear Subscriber’ etc. Salutation is written two line space after the last line of
the address.

6. Subject: This indicates to the reader of the letter what the letter is about. It saves the
time of the reader. The subject of the letter is written two line-spaces after the salutation.

7. Body: This contains the text of the letter that you write. You should organize the body
of the letter into paragraphs depending upon the matter of your communication. In the
opening paragraph, indicate reference to any previously corresponded letters. If it is the
first letter, then write the intention of writing the letter. The second paragraph should
contain the main message and the following paragraphs, further details if any. Finally,
while concluding, you should clearly state any action that you would take or expect the
reader to take.

8. Conclusion: The conclusion is also known as ‘complimentary close.’ You should
always end the business letter with a firm or positive note. Don’t be vague in your
closings such as, ‘ Thanking you …’ ‘Hoping to hear from you’ etc. The close should
agree with the salutation that you have written. The following examples will help you
decide the correct conclusion.

Note: Yours obediently is written by a student when he addresses his teacher.

Yours respectfully is written if you are addressing a high dignitary (even in business

9. Signature: You should place your signature below the complimentary close. Four line
spaces are left after the complimentary close to write your name in full. This space is

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meant for your signature. Do not write any title (Mr. Ms. Mrs.) before the name.
However, a woman may put a title after the name in brackets. E.g.: Kiran (Mrs.). Beneath
the name you may specify your position- CEO, Manager, etc.

10. Enclosure: If you have to enclose any documents along with the letter, you must
mention it. The word in abbreviated form encl. is typed two line space below the name/
position that you had specified after the signature. If the documents are important you can
specify the names of the documents or only the number of documents is indicated.

Given below is a sample of business letter.

Sikkim Manipal University

of Health, Medical and Technological Sciences

Directorate of Distance Education

1st Floor, Syndicate House,

Manipal 576104

27th June 2007

Ms Sonia Crasta

Flat No. 230

Nishigandha Appartments


Dear Ms Crasta

Sub.: MBA / MCA courses and fees

Thank you for your letter of 23 June, enquiring about our MBA and MCA courses.

Sikkim Manipal University offers a full range of specializations in the post graduation
courses of Business Administration and Computer Applications to help you choose from.
I have pleasure in enclosing our latest prospectus and corresponding fee list from which
you can see that our fees are highly competitive.

I look forward to calling you in a few days.

Yours sincerely,

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(Dina T Brown)
Program Coordinator

Enc: 3

Types of Business Letter

Letters have to be drafted differently for different occasion. The tone, language and style
vary based on the circumstance which makes you write the letter. The different letters are
complaint letter, invitations, apology letter and, covering letter for job application. Now,
we shall learn how to write these letters which are very essential in our career.

1. Complaint letter: Writing a complaint letter is often an undesirable task, but if it is
done well, the end result can be very rewarding. Complaint letters can be used for the
purpose of having products replaced or money refunded, for changing company policy or
government legislation, for influencing the media, and so forth. Often a complaint letter
is more effective than a simple phone call or e-mail message. Furthermore, in many
cases, the formality of a complaint letter can add a seriousness to the situation that will
bring results. When writing your complaint letter, identify a definite purpose and
outcome that you want to achieve, and indicate those ideas clearly in your letter.

Points to keep in mind while writing complaint letters

· Be sure that the complaint you are making is legitimate. Check out the facts of your

· Let your language be diplomatic. Avoid being sarcastic, angry or threatening even if
your complaint is genuine. Remember that the person to whom you address your letter
may not, after all be the person responsible for the problem.

· Let your letter be concise and limit it to one page if possible. However, include
important dates or places (for example, when and where you bought the product or
received the service), and include any additional relevant information you can (such as
the product number or type of service).

· If you have to enclose any documents do so but remember to send only the photocopy
and keep the originals with you. Also keep a copy of your complaint letter for your

1. Apology letter: Now that you have learnt to write a complaint letter, you should also
learn to write an apology letter. An effective apology letter is an important part of the
business correspondence that would make your life in work place easy. To err is human,
so instead of dwelling on the mistake committed, it is better to act quickly in order to
resolve the problem.

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Points to keep in mind while writing apology letters

   •   While writing an apology letter, concentrate on the rectification of the error
       committed than on the problem that you have caused the receiving person.
   •   If possible along with the apology, state any compensation that you can give to
       the person who has suffered the damage.
   •   Take full responsibility on the problem caused.
   •   Don’t be dramatic while apologizing. Your words should express your feelings
       clearly and simply. The tone of your letter should be considerate and respectful

3. Invitations: If you are placed in the public relations department of the company where
you are working, you may come across situations where you have to invite corporate
guests or other guests to your place on various occasions. These may be introduction of a
new wing in the hotel, business anniversary, special sale, etc. The format of the
invitations is generally the same as any wedding invitation. They are usually printed on a
white card or a special card printed for the occasion. You may also write it on the letter
head of your company. Read the sample letter where the public relations manager of a
book store invites one of the valued customers to participate in the Sale.

Readers’ Delight Inc.
22 Seasme Street, Kolkatta
Tel: 416-223-8900

June 27th, 2007

Dear Valued Customer:

Our records show that you have been a customer of Readers’ Delight Inc. since our grand
opening last year. We would like to thank you for your business by inviting you to our
preferred customer Spring Extravaganza this Saturday.

Saturday’s sales event is by invitation only. All of our stock, including Management and
IT books will be marked down from 50-80% off.* Doors open at 9:00 AM sharp.
Complimentary coffee and donuts will be served. Public admission will commence at

In addition, please accept the enclosed Rs. 500 gift certificate to use with your purchase
of Rs. 1000 or more.

We look forward to seeing you at Readers’ Delight on Saturday. Please bring this
invitation with you and present it at the door.


Ankit Reddy

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(Ankit Reddy)
Public Relation Manager

*All sales are final. No exchanges.

Enclosure: Gift Certificate Rs. 500 (not redeemable for cash)

Admission card: When you invite any guests to a function, you have to clearly write the
time and venue. When you include the time of the function, you may indicate, “ Guests
are requested to be seated by 4.00p.m.” Also to prevent gate crashers, you may include, “
Please bring this card with you.” at the bottom. Another practice is the enclosure of a
separate admission card which may be either sent along with the invitation or sent after
the acceptance of the invitation. They should be small enough to fit into a pocket. They
may also be used to allocate seats to the guests.

Given below is a sample of admission card that may be given along with the invitation to
attend the function:

Accepting and Declining invitations

It is a good business etiquette to write any acceptance or declination of an invitation. This
helps the host in arranging the seats for the invitees or make any other business
arrangements. As a rule, you can decide the formality or informality of the letter
depending on the style of the invitation. You should be gracious when accepting the
invitation. In the first paragraph you should thank the person/organization that has invited
you. In brief, identify the subject of the invitation. In other words, write in short what you
are accepting. If you are accepting an invitation to a social event, express your
anticipation that the event will be a success. Clarify any details about the event, if needed,
such as date or time, location, dress, etc.

Even if you have to decline an invitation don’t forget to thank the person who has invited
you. Be clear while stating that you are not accepting the invitation. Also, briefly write
the reason for declining the offer. Given below is a sample letter where the writer
declines the offer made in the previous letter. Note that though the letter is declining the
business offer, it is written in a positive note suggesting chances of business in the future.

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25th November 2006

Dear Mr. Keith

Thank you for inviting us to The Conference Room of your prestigious hotel, Valley
View, for review and evaluation.

Though we were impressed with the quality of your service, our marketing review
committee has made the decision not avail the benefit of this type at the present time.
Should our policies change in the future, we will consider your service as an advantage
for our business.

Should you develop or wish to submit other services in the future that you feel may be of
interest to us, please feel free to contact us.

Again, thank you for considering Sikkim Manipal University as a potential guest.

Thank you

Yours sincerely

Nisha Shetty

Assistant General Manager, Marketing.

Job Application

Advancement in the career front is the most desired aspect of an individual’s life. Writing
a job application is the first step towards such goal. A job application is nothing but a
medium to sell your services. So it should show all qualities that are required by the
buying agent i.e. the employer. Normally a job application contains two parts: a covering
letter and a Resume. It is also known as Bio-data or Curriculum Vitae. We will learn in
detail the method of drafting the covering letter and a Resume.

i) Covering Letter: This is the first paper that is read by a Personnel Manager which
suggests to him whether you are fit or not for the requirements of his company. The
covering letter will have the following elements.

· The position you are applying for. You have to give the reference of the post that you
have applied for. It is important to indicate where you came across the advertisement of
the job vacancy. Your opening paragraph should be very effective to attract the
employer’s interest in you.

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· Your interest in the job. You should indicate your keenness to get the job.

· Your suitability for the job. Here you can give a brief about your experience and skills
that make you fit for the job. Your most impressive details from the Resume may be
included here.

· A statement of your availability for interview.

· Make sure you use good English and do the proof reading before
you send the letter with the resume

Structure of the Letter:

1. Address of the applicant and date: This is written on the top of the letter flush with the
right margin. It may also be written on the left margin. The address is written first and
after two line spaces the date is written. However, some may start with the date and then
after two line spaces the address is written.

2. Salutation: Even if you know the name of the person whom you are addressing to, it is
better to keep the salutation as ‘Dear Sir’ or ‘Dear Sirs.’ If you know that you are writing
to a lady, make it ‘Dear Madam’ This is typed two line spaces after the last line of the
address written above.

3. Subject: It is better to write the subject which contains the vacancy you are applying
for. This is written immediately below the salutation. Make it bold if you are printing it,
or you should underline it in the case of written application.

4. Body: We have already discussed how to write a covering letter. You may follow those
hints while writing the job application. Leave two line space after writing the subject to
start the body of the letter.

5. Complimentary Close: You can follow the rules given in the unit ‘structure of business
letter.’ Leave four spaces to sign in your name after the complimentary close.

6. Signature: After your signature don’t forget to write your full name clearly below it.

7. Enclosures: This is written two line spaces after writing your name. Write clearly all
the documents that you are enclosing with your covering letter.

Check out this sample covering letter which may help you to make a start in writing
impressive covering letters!

Ms. Mita Hema

5th Main
R.T Nagar

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Bangalore – 95

June 20, 2007

Mr. Ronald Sequeira
Personnel Manager
Pat’s Party Supplies, Inc.
65 Sampige Street
Bangalore – 29

Dear Mr. Sequeira:

Sub: Application for the post of Marketing Manager

I saw your listing on The Deccan Herald dated 19th June 2007, for a marketing manager. I
feel well suited to such a position and am writing this cover letter today to apply for that

I’m a graduate of Bishop Cotton College with a degree in marketing and a minor in
business ethics. I’ve worked in the entertainment and hospitality industry for the past ten
years, working as a marketing manager for Celebrate, Inc. Now I am relocating to your
city and would like to join your team at Pat’s Party Supplies.

Well-trained marketing managers are needed in every industry and I’m happy to be
considered one of them. May we meet in person to become acquainted and to see if we’re
a good match?

Please call me at 222-222-2222 anytime of the day to arrange an appointment that best
fits your schedule. Thank you for your time and attention.


Mita Hema
Enc. Resume

Writing a Resume:

When you apply for a job, you should always remember that your application is not the
only one which is seen; but your aim is to see that you write a resume that makes you
really stand out as a superior candidate for a job you are seeking. So, even if you face
fierce competition, with a well written resume, you should be invited to interview more
often than many people more qualified than you. Such a resume needs conceptualization
of your accomplishments and experiences all into one document. Your focus should be
on the requirements of the employer. Therefore, your resume should contain

· Your aims, goals, work experiences, achievements, qualifications

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· Your projects or researches if done.

· Your skill sets

· Your objectives

· References

· Your experience in the previous company

· Your strengths and weaknesses depending on what is the requirement of the job. Be
careful while writing the weaknesses; they should appear as if in the long run they are,
after all, your strengths!

· Your detailed contact information where the employer can reach you.

· Any other information that you fee can be relevant for you to portray yourself to get the
job based on your experience and qualification.

All these matters that are the requirements of the vacancy you are applying to should be
written in a precise and concise manner. Remember that no employer has enough time to
go through extensive and detailed resumes. So your resume should be easy to read and
should impress the employer at the first glance.

Structure of Resume (Ref.: Katharine Hansen)

1. The ‘one-page resume’ rule is now outdated. Try to keep your resume very compact
and to the minimum required pages. The language should be very official and not

2. Include and highlight all important words so that they stand out and your resume gets
recognized among others.

3. Avoid using the personal pronouns – I, You, Me.

4. List your job information in order of importance. In listing your jobs, what’s generally
most important is your title/position. So list in this preferred order: Title/position, name
of employer, City/State of employer, dates of employment.

5. List your jobs in reverse chronological order. Your present job being the first, the
previous being second and so on.

6. Education also follows the principle that you followed while listing jobs. Thus the
preferred order for listing your education is: Masters, Graduation, Pre-University Exams.

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7. Avoid mentioning the reasons for leaving previous job(s), names of former
supervisors, specific street addresses or phone numbers of former employers, salary
information, the title “Resume,” or any information that could be perceived as
controversial, such as religion, church affiliations, or political affiliations.

8. Don’t list references right on your resume. References belong in a later
stage of the job search. Provide them only when they are specifically requested.

9. Proof read carefully. Misspellings and typos are deadly on a resume. Grammatical and
other mistakes are to be totally avoided since that shows the incompetence of the


Arun Rao, 17 River St, Baruch, Gujarat
Phone 617 2478459 Mobile 617 8471269

OBJECTIVE: To obtain a position within retail management that will further develop
my strong leadership and organizational skills.


· Excellent organizational, analytical and interpersonal skills.

· Expert in forecasting, planning and creating new opportunities.

· Specialist in cost and inventory control.

· Increased percentage of store sales from 12% to 21%.

· Adept in the innovative and profitable presentation of products.

· Interact with customers on a personal level providing exemplary customer service.


Home Improvements Department Store, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
2000 –Present

General Manager

· Managed the above department store specialising in DIY products, with responsibility
for 200+ employees.

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· Implemented challenging sales targets designed to grow the business by 12.5% quarter
on quarter.

· Planned and executed new product launches and sales promotions.

· Responsible for all financial transactions and returns.

· Grew sales by 22% plus in 2001 as a result of the competitive sales targets, winning 2nd
prize within the Company in the Increased Sales category.

· Responsible for the day to day management of a large staff, dealing with all HR issues
and resolving any staff conflicts that arose.

Home-wares Department Store, Jaipur, Rajasthan
1998 – 2000


· Supervised the furniture department of a large department store.

· Managed eight employees within this department.

· Assisted the promotions team with the display of new items of furniture for the
Spring/Autumn ranges.

· Coordinated the scheduling of staff holidays and the implementation of new sales

· Provided direction for the staff within my team, completing performance assessments,
providing constructive feedback and resolving tensions.

Home Designs, Bangalore, Karnataka

Sales Assistant

· Provided advice and assistance to customers within the store.

· Responsible for opening and closing the store on a day-to-day basis.

· Responsible for the reconciliation of sales transactions and the balancing and lodging of
the day’s finances.

· Created window displays on a monthly basis to promote new merchandise.


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BA in Business Management, MS University
1994 – 1997

Graduated with Honours

BS in Computer Science (Distance Education)
1999 – 2002

Other Business Communications

We have already learnt various methods that enable effective communication an
organisation. We should now divert our attention to some other mediums of
communication that enable the smooth functioning of a restaurant or a tourism
organization. These include press releases and other short message methods like fax,
telegram and more modern style of communication through e-mails.

Press release

A press release is pseudo-news story, written in third person that seeks to demonstrate to
an editor or reporter the newsworthiness of a particular person, event, service or product.

It is an effective form of publicity for any organization. It can be used to announce
events, developments, meetings, appointments, promotions, and the like. It should be
prepared meticulously and concisely with the exact information you wish the public to
receive. It must be interesting, newsworthy, and timely. Accuracy and completeness are
essential, or it probably will not be used. Releases should be written like the best of all
possible “stories” coming out of your event. You want reporters to use the information it
contains to write stories of their own.

Another form of writing effective publicity material is writing a media advisory. It is
written to announce an event, which you want the media to attend. A press advisory is
designed to bring an event to the media’s attention and entice journalists to attend. It
should be written in a simple form, including all pertinent information – the what/topic,
where, when, and who/speakers for the event. It should not be more than one page. You
should clearly write what the journalists can expect to take place. A contact name and
number for questions should be written at the top. These advisories are printed on the
sponsoring group’s letter head.

The Press Releases should be sent to:

· Beat reporters who cover your issue, e.g. environment, education, etc.

· Assignment editors at television or radio stations.

· Radio and TV producers or bookers who schedule for shows that may cover your matter

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Structure of Press Release: It should be written in a specified format. Usually the
inverted pyramid style of writing is used. According to this style, start with the
conclusion, then support the conclusion. You should begin the matter with an attention-
grabbing lead. Then tell the media who, what, when, where, why, and how, and includes
quotes from appropriate spokespeople.

· If your matter must be released immediately make it a point to write ‘For immediate
release’ at the top of the press release.

· While writing a heading, capitalise all first letters of the words. Make your heading
interesting and it should be framed in one sentence. ‘Do not put exclamation at the end.’

· In your first paragraph state the name of the City, State, Month, Day, Year – Begin with
a strong introductory paragraph that captures the reader’s attention and contains the
information most relevant to your message such as the five W’s – who, what, when,
where, and why. This paragraph should summarize the press release and include a hook
to get your audience interested in reading more.

· The following paragraphs constitue the body of the press release. They should contain
more detailed important information. You should relate it with the information provided
in your first paragraph, including quotes from key staff, customers or subject matter
experts. Make sure you use correct grammar so as not to affect your credibility
negatively. It is very important to maintain factual accuracy, make sure you are cleared to
use quotes or information about businesses, and most importantly have an angle that will
appeal to journalists.

· Try to keep the press release to fewer than 400 words total. Remember, succinct and to
the point works best. T

· As you have learnt, the body of the release should be more than one paragraph and don’t
forget the last paragraph which is very important because it should summarize the key
points of your release.

Sample press release

Teens: Ultra-Thin Movie, Pop Stars Set Bad Example

Website Forum goers Weigh In: Teens Don’t Find Ultra-Thin Celebs Attractive;
Girls Say Negative Self-Images Reinforced by Hollywood’s Super-Skinny

America’s teenagers are angry at Hollywood for glamorizing ultra-thin bodies, and many
girls say they feel too self-conscious about their bodies as a result of watching TV,
movies and music videos. The findings are gleaned from more than six months of
ongoing discussion and debate at the website According to President John Smith, anger and resentment toward the
Hollywood ultra-thin runs deep, particularly among teenage girls.

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“I was surprised by the level of anger expressed in these messages,” Smith said.
“Teenagers are far more clued into this issue than most people would imagine.”

“This demonstrates once again the need to teach young girls and boys about how to
develop a positive self-image,” said Jane Doe, author of “I Like My Body Just As It Is”.
“ has done a true service by bringing these attitudes to the public’s
attention.” was founded in 1997 to provide consumers with a wide choice of
vitamins, supplements and herbal products. The site offers a range of articles, research
materials and message forums for the health conscious consumer.


If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with John
Smith, please call Pat Brown at 555/555-2222 or e-mail Pat at

6.6.2 Fax, Telegram and E-mail:

Now we shall focus our attention on writing smaller messages. These depend on the
technical instruments that are used while sending the message. Hence concentration
should be on writing short messages. Avoid all words and phrases that do not add
significantly to the message that you want to send. Brief reference to the context should
be provided to make your message complete. So you may skip writing salutation,
complimentary close, etc. But don’t forget to include your name at the bottom. Fax and e-
mail are used to send formal business letters. E-mail may also be used as informal
medium of communication.

While composing a telegraphic message (telegram), only key words and phrases are used.
Function words such as articles and prepositions should not be included. If essential, they
may be used to a minimum. See the samples given below.

1) Fax: You should take much care while writing faxes.

1. Use fax template for cover document. This will have the layout of recipient’s name,
institution, fax no. etc.

2. In formal faxing,

· Do not hand-write.

· Use the formal conventions for starting and finishing as explained in formal letter

· The content should be structured as you would structure a formal letter.

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2) Telegram

3) E-mail: As a means of communication, emails have features of immediacy of both
receiving and sending. The following guidelines will help you to use the proper style of
formal communication through e-mails.

1. Style of writing:

   •   Take much care of what you say and how you say it.
   •   Avoid shortcuts or pop-conventions of e-mail culture like lower case letter at the
       beginning of a sentence: ‘i’ instead of I, ‘ur’ instead of your, etc. will make a poor
   •   If you know the person to whom you are writing you may begin with his / her
       name followed by a colon.
   •   If you don’t know the person or are in very formal terms, start with the
       conventional format that is discussed earlier. Close with the corresponding
   •   The content should be structured in the same way as you would, in a formal letter.

1. Confidentiality: Keep your formal mails confidential by avoiding any message that you
would not want others to read.

2. Permanence: Since the networks are not fail-safe, don’t consider the files that you have
sent or received as ‘safe.’ Print out hard copies of anything that is very important.

3. Commercial Sensitivity: Don’t send commercially sensitive material by e-mail

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4. Contractual material: Avoid sending contractual material by e-mail. Even if you have
to send it, follow it up with hard copies.

5. Attachments: While sending and receiving, scan for virus. If files are large, zip them.

6. Unnecessary messages: Don’t send unnecessary messages, while forwarding to large
groups. It can cause irritation to the receiver, who is not concerned with your message.

Content of Auto signature: Your auto-signature should contain your name, address of
your institution, telephone / fax numbers. You can also include the
URL of a personal website


6.7 Summary

Writing effectively is an art that needs to be practiced to be perfect. The language used,
structure and tone all reflects the character of the person writing. It is the same with the
writing of the letters, be it a formal or informal letter. The letters written by you in any
position of your career reveals the character of your organization. There are different
circumstances that come across when a business letter is written. It may be a letter of
booking a room, a complaint letter, an apology letter, business proposal, invitations,
accepting the invitation or declining it, a covering letter for a job, a fax, press release, e-
mail so on. Though there are many styles and structure of writing such letters, one should
follow what is widely practiced in the world of business. A successful business letter is
one which is courteous, clear and concise. The readers’ interest is of prime consideration
while writing a letter. This would ensure quick transmission of message and evoke the
desired response

6.8 Terminal Questions

1. Write the important details that your resume should contain.

2. What is a press release? Explain its structure in detail.

3. What are the principles that you should follow while writing a formal letter.

6.9 Answers (View in SLM)

A. Self Assessment Questions

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1. i) clarity and organization

ii) identify key points in the text]

i) active

ii) indicators

iii) Acronyms

iv) Internet Service Provider

2. It is a technique that involves changing a text matter so that it is quite dissimilar to the
main source


i) key ii) debtors iii) creditors iv) discount v) upfront

vi) invoice / bill

3. i) cohesion ii) transitions and subordinating conjunctions


i) before ii) but iii) and iv) when v) since vi) although vii. when viii. Since ix. Although
x. so xi. Since xii. so

B. Terminal Questions

1) Refer 6.5.4

2) Refer 6.6.1

3) Refer 6.5.1

                          Unit 7 Organizational Communication

    •   To achieve the goals of an organization, one needs to interact with his/her
        superiors, subordinates, and various external parties. These involve different
        levels of communication, which are discussed in this unit. In the process of
        communication, the conducting of meetings, which also involves writing memos,

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       circulars, notices etc., are explained. One of the most important demands of
       writing, ‘technical report writing’ has been discussed here with the method of
       writing it.

7.1 Introduction

The society where we live is an organized society. Here, people depend on each other for
their existence. The lifeblood of organizations is communication. Without
communication there can be no organization. It is proven by the researchers that the
members in the organization called society spend 50 to 80 percent of their time engaged
in communicating with each other. This holds testimony to the fact that communication is
very important. Communication integrates knowledge, organization and power. It runs as
a fine thread linking the earliest memory of man to his noblest aspiration through
constant striving for a better life.


By the end of this section you will be able to:

· distinguish between the types of communications in an organization.

· distinguish between the types of meetings and explain their uses.

· organise a meeting, prepare an agenda and write the minutes of the meeting.

· write memos, circulars and notices.

· write technical report and proof read for the accuracy.

Communication in an organization

The organization is made up of people. People cannot interact with each other without
communication. In the absence of communication, everything would grind to a halt. For
e.g.: When we consider an organization, effective communication should be the primary
focus to run it effectively. If the subordinates are not communicated their duties by the
supervisors or managers, they would not strive to achieve their objectives, to create a
productive ambience. If they are not aware of their objectives in the company, to
maintain discipline, complete the assigned duties on time, they would not bother about
communicating the arrangement and the rules to be followed in the work place. If the
higher authorities do not follow the ‘be polite’ attitude with their low-cadre workers, they
cannot expect the same behaviour from them towards their clients. The list can go on….
As communication is a two way process, it is interactive by its very nature. Hence, this
concept of communication demands participation. It is through communication that

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members of a team work together influencing each other and reacting to each other, all
for achieving the desired goals.

Types of Communication

Organizations cannot operate without communication. Communication can take various
forms; but all forms involve the transfer of information from one party to the other. In
order for the transfer of information to qualify as communication, the recipient must
understand the meaning of the information transferred to him. If the recipient does not
understand the meaning of the information conveyed to him, communication has not
taken place. Depending upon the channels, ‘communication’ can be categorised as,

1. Internal or Organizational communication

2. External communication

3. Formal communication

4. Informal communication

Internal/Organizational Communication: The communication that takes place between
the members of an organization – within themselves, is internal communication. It takes
place across the organization. In addition to the usual face-to-face, telephone, fax or mail,
modern organizations may use technology to communicate internally. Internal
communication system may be linked with the help of technology, such as the intranet –
which is an internet system designed solely for use by those working for the organization.

External communication: External communication is communication between the
organization and those outside the organization. Modern organizations may design
technological systems so that they can communicate with customers and undertake e-
Commerce. Alternatively, they communicate with other businesses through the internet
or similar systems and undertake e-Business. The communication is carried out through
Letters, fax, direct mail, internet, video, telephone, advertising and websites.

Formal Communication: Formal communication is defined as communication, which
occurs through the official channels. It is undertaken by an employee to do his job.
Official meetings, letters, circular, memos and a manager asking an employee to carry out
a particular task, are considered as formal communication.

Informal communication: Informal communication is that which occurs outside the
recognized communication networks such as talking in the canteens or hallways between
employees. Informal communication can be productive or negative. Since the employees
are in the relaxed atmosphere, the informal communication has the potential to build
teams, improve working relationships and generate innovative ideas. Too much of
informal communication in the work space may also prove negative. It may lead to
negligence of work or disobedience.

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Self Assessment Question 1:

i) Communication which occurs through official language is _____

ii) An in-house magazine is the written form of ___

iii) A memo given by the department head to his subordinates is an example of ___

iv) Too much of _____ communication may lead to negligence of work or disobedience.

v) Although communication takes various forms, it involves transfer of_____ from one
party to another.


In any organization, meeting is an important vehicle for human communication. In a
meeting, two or more people come together for the purpose of discussing a (usually)
predetermined topic, often in a formalized setting. In addition to coming together
physically (in real life, face to face), communication lines and equipment can also be set
up to have a discussion between people at different locations, e.g. a conference call,
teleconference or an e-meeting. Meetings are so common and pervasive in organization
or institution, however, that many take them for granted. It is usually forgotten that,
unless properly planned and executed, meetings can be a terrible waste of precious

Styles of Meetings

Formal Meetings: These are the meetings that are governed by a set of rules or standing
orders, which are agreed earlier. These rules determine how the meetings should be
conducted. If you have to participate in a formal meeting, you should find out about the
set of rules and procedures that you have to follow and act in accordance. These rules
which are formulated may vary from one organization to another. To conduct a formal
meeting, one requires a ‘chairperson’, ’secretary’ and a standard period of notice. The
notice of the meeting also contains the ‘agenda’ of the meeting determining the sequence
of items to be discussed. The formal meeting may also require the attendance of a
minimum number of members, so that any valid agreements can be reached. This group
of members, who attend a meeting, is called as a ‘quorum’ and the meeting is termed as

Semi formal meetings: Not all meetings require a formal setting.

Nevertheless, even semiformal meeting benefits from well chosen surroundings and a
basic structure or protocol. Small semiformal meetings are ideal for problem solving,
brainstorming, discussion of local issues, giving feedback and appraisal workshops. They
include mealtime meetings, such as breakfast, lunch or dinner meetings. The semi formal

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meetings are usually held due to time constraints of the participants, if no other time can
be found for a meeting.

Informal meetings: Informal meetings are the meetings which mark the immediacy of the
problem. These types of meetings are useful for resolving issues or problems quickly and
easily. Informal meetings can take a range of difficult forms and can serve a variety of
purposes like,

i) Impromptu Meetings, such as in the corridor, by the water cooler or in the canteen.
They can be held without any preparation to provide immediate resolution of minor

ii) Virtual meetings, are a type of informal meeting which can take place via Video
Conferencing, E-mail discussion groups or Chatrooms. A face to face meeting might not
be always necessary or possible because of the restraints of time and distance. Thanks to
the new media technology, a virtual meeting can go on either in real time for an agreed
time period as a digital version of a face to face meeting. It can also go on over several
days or weeks where people can join in at any time to ‘chat’ to each other about agreed
topics. It also allows them to leave messages on a bulletin board and gather opinion from
across a range of participants. However, the limitations of this type of meeting are that it
depends on restrictions of access. There may be a protocol imposed by the host server,
regulating access and agreement of meeting topics in the Chat rooms and Bulletin

7.3.2 Agenda of a Meeting

The word ‘agenda’ is derived from Latin, meaning the actions to be taken. Note that it
was a plural word. Originally the singular term was ‘agendum’. In modern days however,
we accept ‘agenda’ to refer to the list as a whole and the plural is ‘agendas’. Every
meeting should have an Agenda. It is a document, which provides an advance outline of
the business of the meeting, thereby allowing participants to prepare themselves. In other
words, agenda refers to a list of points that needs to be discussed at a meeting.

In business meetings of deliberative bodies, the agenda may also be known as the ‘orders
of the day.’ The agenda is usually distributed to the participants of a meeting prior to the
meeting, so that they will be aware of the subjects to be discussed, and are able to prepare
for the meeting accordingly.

An agenda helps the chairperson to structure the meeting and the secretary/ minute taker
to keep track of what is being discussed. It needs to include the most important items and
be sent out in advance. This allows the participants to research agenda items before the
meeting. An agenda can be a list of items to be discussed at the meeting or may include
more information advising the members on action related to the topics.

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Planning an agenda: Planning and designing an agenda before a meeting is very
important. It should give as much information as possible in advance. It should list not
only the topics to be discussed during the meeting, but also the proposed goals of the

The following are guidelines to follow, when preparing an agenda for a formal meeting.

1. Make the agenda specific

2. Keep the number of items within reasonable limits so that enough time is allotted for

3. Avoid topics best handled by individuals or subgroups. These topics can be discussed
in other informal meetings or discussions.

4. Separate the information exchange and problem analysis from problem solving. The
‘real’ problem solving would need more time or a different atmosphere.

5. Specify start and finish time.

6. Circulate the agenda to the members, who have to attend the meeting; and supply any
relevant background information before the meeting – but keep it brief.

7. Consider the approach you will take as a meeting leader, any opening remarks you will
make and how you will introduce each topic on the agenda

8. Gather any materials that will be needed (handouts, visual aids etc).

Form of agenda – Just as you write a business letter, the agenda also has a specific
format. It consists a ‘Heading’ and a ‘Body.’

a) Heading: The heading of the agenda usually contains the date, time and location of the

b) Body: The body of the agenda comprises of a series of points outlining the order of the
meeting. They are the items that would be discussed in the meeting.

Points on a typical agenda may include:

i) welcome/open meeting

ii) support for absence

iii) approval of the minutes of the previous meeting (reading the minutes of the previous
meeting which gives the link to the matter to be discussed.)

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iv) matters arising from the previous meeting

v) a list of specific points to be discussed – This is the crux of the meeting. Usually the
bulk of the discussion in the meeting takes place in this section

vi) any other business (AOB) – Here a participant is allowed to raise another point for

vii) arrange/announce details of next meeting

viii) close meeting

Example of an agenda

7.3.3 Minutes of Meeting

The minutes of a meeting are the official record of the key points of a meeting. They are
recorded instantly at the moment of hearing the discussions.

The minute taker of the team takes responsibility for the writing up of the minutes. The
minutes may be first taken down and then typed. The copies of the minutes should be
sent/given to all participants of the meeting. Alternatively, the proceedings of the meeting
may be audio-recorded, later typed, and then issued to the participants.

Generally, minutes begin with the organization name, place, date, list of people present,
and the time that the meeting was called to order. Minutes then record what actually
happens at a meeting, in the order that it actually happens, regardless of whether the
meeting follows (or ignores) any written agenda.

Since the primary function of minutes is to record the decisions made, any and all official
decisions must be included. If a formal motion is made, seconded, passed, or not, then
this action and the vote tally must be included. If a decision is made by calling votes, then

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all of the individual votes must be recorded by name. If it is made by a unanimous
agreement, without a formal vote, then this fact is recorded.

Minutes in businesses and other private organizations are normally submitted by and over
the name of an officer of the organization (usually the Secretary, and never the typist,
even if the typist actually drafted the document) at a subsequent meeting for review. The
traditional closing phrase is “Respectfully submitted,” (although that phrase is slowly
falling out of use) followed by the officer’s signature, his or her typed (or printed) name,
and his or her title.

The minutes are approved only if the participants of the meeting agree that the written
minutes reflect what happened at the meeting. Their approval is recorded in the minutes
of the current meeting. If there are errors or omissions, then the minutes will be re-drafted
and submitted again at a later date. If there are minor changes, then they may be made
immediately, and the amended minutes may be approved “as amended.” in the current
meeting. It is not appropriate for you to approve the minutes if you have not attended the
meeting or if you have not read the minutes of the meeting that you have attended.

Preparing minutes

Your note taking skills come handy here. Practise note taking exercises well to master the
skill. When writing minutes, keep the following key points in mind:

· they are key points only

· they are a summary except motions, which are verbatim

· they must be entirely accurate – what was said, not how you interpreted what was said
or what you would have preferred was said. Your point of view should not be given here,
whether you agree/do not with the speaker’s statement.

· keep a record of every motion and vote; who said what and who moved and passed

· use simple, short words and use simple sentence construction

· use consistent grammar and use past tense eg. it was concluded, the matter was

· if something is important and you are unsure what was said or who said it, don’t hesitate
to ask for clarification.

As soon as the meeting has concluded, begin to work on the minutes. The notes taken
during the meeting act as a memory prompt and will be more reliable if the meeting is
fresh in the secretary / minute taker’s mind. The minutes should include the following

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The minutes that are taken down during the meeting must be transcribed into the style
that was previously followed. It is best to keep the minutes in the same style as they were
recorded in the previous meetings. There are three basic styles for minutes.

a. Report – this is a full record of all discussions that includes the names of all speakers,
movers and seconders of any motions, written in a narrative style.

b. Minutes of Narration – these include some of the discussions that took place and
important details. This style of minutes is considered a legal document.

c. Minutes of Resolution – these are limited to the recording of the actual words of all
resolutions that were passed. Movers and seconders are not recorded. Each resolution that
is made commences with the phrase, ‘RESOLVED THAT’. This style of minutes is also
considered a legal document.

Contents of the minutes: The minutes of any meeting should contain the following
items. They may not be in the order that is given below.

i) The name of the unit . E.g.: Finance Committee, Food Committee, Board of Governors.

ii) The date, time and place of the meeting.

iii) The number of the meeting if it is in a series. E.g.: Second Fortnightly meeting.

iv) Name of the chairperson of the meeting.

v) Names of members present, of those who could not attend, and those who attended by
special invitation.

vi) Record of transactions
Signature of the secretary and the chairman.The following example will show you how to
draw the minutes of a meeting.

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7.3.4 Participating in meetings

It is very important that one attend meetings. There is a mixed feeling about attending
meetings among people. Some members are happy to just attend the team meetings. It is
as though they are physically present in the meetings without contributing anything
constructive. Meetings are only way of passing time for them. Others feel as though their
opinions aren’t valued. They have a lot to contribute but go unnoticed. There are still
others who just can’t get a word in. Unequal participation reduces the outcomes of the
meeting and can be frustrating for all the participants. Any meeting to be successful
needs careful attention of honing of communication skills. The success or failure of a
meeting can be attributed to the way it is conducted as well as the way how people
have participated in its proceedings.

If people make the effort to attend a meeting, it is in everyone’s interest to have
thoughtful contributions from all. For the success of a meeting, the participants should
follow certain regimen. They are

· arrive on time

· be prepared to discuss the agenda items

· keep their contributions relevant to the subject under discussion

· present their ideas clearly

· listen carefully and with an open mind to points raised by others

· encourage good ideas from others

· keep their interests in check

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Some participants are responsible for the failure of the meetings. The outcome of
the meetings is reduced because of their typical character. They could be compulsive
talkers, never contribute, digress or carry on private conversations while the others are
busy discussing important issues.

7.3.5 Chairing meetings

The success or failure of a meeting depends on the chairperson’s ability to organise and
chair the meeting. Once the agenda is sent, and the meeting ensues, it is important that
the chairman steps into his role. Following is a list of actions that mark him as an
efficient chairperson.

· arrives early

· calls the meeting to order at the time specified on the notice

· declares the meeting open

· calls for apologies

· leads discussion, item by item

· encourages a free exchange of ideas on matters of importance to the team

· sees that debates are conducted correctly so that the business of the meeting runs

· rules on disagreements

· answers questions put by members

· sums up the debate frequently

· follows the agenda exactly as set out

· ensures that a correct record of decisions is being recorded

· announces the date of the next meeting

· closes the meeting.

The meetings may be effective or ineffective depending upon the control over the
communication. If you master your communication skills, you can turn a meeting into
effective. At the same time poor communication skills lead to ineffective meeting. So, the
key to turn your meetings into a success story is to improve your communication skills.

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Self Assessment Question 2

A. Fill up the blanks

i) Agenda is also called as ____

ii) In a meeting, usually a ___ becomes the minute taker.

iii) Agenda discusses ___ and ___ of a meeting

iv) The main parts of an agenda are ___ and ___

v) The heading of the meeting contains ___, ___, and ___ of the meeting

B. Say whether true or false.

i) Minutes are submitted by the name of the typist who has typed the minutes

ii) The draft of the minutes should be sent/given to all the participants who attended the

iii) The minutes of the meeting should contain the point of view of the minute taker.

iv) While writing the minutes, use simple, short words and the sentence construction
should be simple.

v) The sentences used in the minutes should be in present tense.


The term ‘memo’ comes from the Latin word ‘memorandum’ which means “a thing
which must be remembered.” The plural form is memoranda. The document that you use
to communicate within the organization is called as memorandum. It has to stay within
the organization. So, it is also called ‘inter office memorandum.’ When you need to
convey information and decisions or to make short requests with the members of your
department, upper management, employees at another branch in another city, etc, the best
way to do is to write a memo. The exception to this is if you are preparing a document for
a reader several levels above you or for a formal situation. One colleague can write a
memo to another; except for memos which concern disciplinary action. Only officers
authorized to issue them can issue memos concerning disciplinary action.

Language of a Memo

Before you learn the format of the memo, it is very important that you learn the correct
language that you should use in a memo to achieve its purpose.

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1. Concise: A memo is always short. It is apt for a memo to be of two pages; after which
a memo starts to turn into a report. Keep the paragraphs short; limit each paragraph to
five lines or less. Put each reason in a separate paragraph rather than bunching them up in
a forbidding 20-line block of type. Equally important, memos are written to get someone
to do or understand something–be it to spend money, meet a deadline, constructively
criticize, or say yes or no.

2. Personal: Use words like I, you, and we. It’s a lot more human to say, “I would like
you to do this.” Use active voice (not passive ) to get the action done.

3. Simple language: Let your language be lucid, and easy to understand. You should not
make emotional statements in a memo. Plain and direct statements of facts are made to
achieve all that is required. Avoid scholarly words and technical jargon if you can convey
the message in simple English. An example of unnecessary complication of the
communication is, using language like: “R & D wants your input because temporal
considerations are of primary importance.” when you really want to say, “Our research
people need your answer today.”

4. Avoid confusing words: While writing a memo, try to use the right words at the right
place. When you have to use simple root words, don’t complicate them by using fancy
suffixes like ‘tion’, ‘ance’, ‘ent’, ‘ment’, ‘ize’, and ‘ility.’ Look at the following sentence
to understand how you normally complicate the message by tacking unnecessary endings.

   •   E.g.: “The continuation of our issuance of increments is dependent upon the
       prioritization by employees of institutional objectives.” Translated to simple and
       direct language it reads, “If you want to get increments, meet institutional goals.”

5. Don’t be trite: Try to avoid statements that are out of date and do not mean anything in
the present context. One commonplace expression that you can avoid is “Please don’t
hesitate to call.” Normally this phrase gets no results and turns people off. A more sincere
ending could be, “If you need help, I’m available. Give me a call.”

6. Don’t give too many ‘whys’. Though it is important to explain why you want
something done, don’t overdo it. One expert cautions that a reader can probably only
absorb no more than six or seven reasons at once. If you must cite more whys, put them
on a separate sheet of paper, and staple the sheets together. This way, the basic memo
message doesn’t get lost in a sea of details.

7. Check before you send the memo. It is a human tendency to commit mistakes
especially in names, dates, or numbers. But such mistakes may cost you dearly. You
should remember that memo establishes accountability. It is a record of facts and
decisions, which can be referred in future if there is a need to find out who went wrong
and at what stage.

8. Close with a call to action. Many memos don’t close with anything, leaving the reader
hanging. If you want a response by Friday at 3 p.m., say so.

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Components of a Memo

The following are the components that make up a memo.

1. Header: This should appear at the top of a memo. This compact block of information

a) Date – Remember to write the date in words (12th December 2006)

b) Name of the receiver(s) – In general, the title such as Professor or Mr. is omitted.
However, it is left to your discretion to follow the style that your organization prefers.
Do not use a salutation (Dear …) or a closing (Sincerely…)

c) Name of the sender(s) – Write your initials after your name on the “From” line.

d) Subject of the memo – Be specific when you write the subject. You should not be too
vague (e.g. Purchase). This example is unclear because it could be a purchase of
anything. Take another example, ‘Purchase of specimen jars for the month of January
2007’. This is acceptable because it is more informative and focused. (the particular
relationship of this memo to the general topic.)

e) c.c. It is the abbreviation for Carbon Copy. Though it is an obsolete term, it is still used
to mean that the copy of the memo will go to the person mentioned.

f) bcc – It means Blind Carbon Copy. This copy goes to a person, who may not be
directly involved. (may be an office assistant or a secretary), but who should know what
is going on. The people mentioned in the cc list will not see the names mentioned in the
bcc list.

2. Purpose: This states the reason for writing the memo. If you answer the questions
who, what, when, where, and why, then your purpose is fulfilled. E.g.: The purpose of
this memo is to request the purchase of Specimen Jars for our lab at M.G.Road for the
month of January 2007.

3. Summary: This is the miniature version of a memo. The summary should not be
limited to the contents of the memo alone, all important information have to be
mentioned here.

4. Action: Unless the purpose of the memo is simply to inform, you should finish with a
clear call for action. Who should do what, and how long do they have to do it? Include
alternatives, in the event that your readers disagree with you. Be polite when you ask
others to do work for you, especially when they are not under your supervision. You may
wish to mention the actions that ‘you’ plan to take next, and what your own deadlines are,
so your reader can gauge how important the project is to you.

Format of the memo

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Whenever you type the memo or write one, see that the space in between two lines is
single (single spaced). In between two paragraphs, you have to give two spaces. In other
words you will have to give a double space to separate paragraphs. Use of charts, graphs
and pictures to explain the content of a memo is permitted. Usually the right side margin
of text in a memo is not justified (all lines need not be equal in length.)

When a paragraph begins in an essay or reports it is accepted practice to start the first line
after some space. Usually 5 Character spaces are given. This is called Tab ’setting’ or
‘indenting’. However, in a memo, the paragraphs are not indented. The example given
below will be able to help you to write a memo.

Self Assessment Question 3:

Say whether true or false

i) Only officers authorized to issue them can issue memos concerning disciplinary action.

ii) The miniature version of the memo is called as action.

iii) Use simple language without clichés while writing a memo.

iv) A memo begins with salutation and ends with conclusion like ‘yours truly.’

v) You can use tables and charts in a memo.

Circulars and Notices

A circular is also a document that is circulated within an organization. It is usually an
announcement sheet that is sent to specific groups of people. For instance, if a manager
wants to call a meeting of heads of department, he will send a circular to only heads of
department requesting them to attend that meeting.

On the other hand a notice, depending on the information that is to be conveyed, could be
for employees alone or for the general public. A notice is a legal document, which has to
be put up on an official notice board. However, some types of notice are addressed to
individual employees also.

Let us look at some examples of circulars and then at some notices.

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If you are the President of the science club in your college, and want to conduct a
meeting to plan for Science Project competition, you will have to send some information
to those whom you want to involve in organizing the programs. If it is just a meeting to
decide on how to conduct the competition, you will probably call your Vice President,
Secretary, Treasurer and a few senior members of the club to attend this meeting. You
may not want all the members to attend because it will take a lot of time and there may be
too many suggestions. You may not be able to take any firm decisions.

Therefore, to invite only a few people you will send them a circular, but you will not put
up a notice. At this meeting if all of you agree on the rules of the competition, date, venue
and so on, you may decide to raise funds through donations etc. You will not be able to
raise enough funds without the support of all the club members. So you will put up a
notice announcing the decisions taken at your meeting and requesting all the members to
help with fund raising.

A notice and circular both have similar functions but are used differently depending on
the nature of announcement or information that needs to be passed on. A circular is meant
for distribution to a small group while a notice is meant for a large group of people.

A circular may also be sent when an immediate feedback is expected. You want to donate
money for flood affected areas. What will you do? You may think of requesting your
classmates to make a contribution. Keeping in mind, the economic capacity of the
students, you may want to request only a voluntary contribution. In other words, you may
allow each student to contribute only what they can afford. You may not suggest the sum.
You may then send out a circular along with a feedback sheet on which students will
have to write their names, the sum they wish to contribute and put their signature. This
document will help you estimate the total collection and also help collect from those who
have signed up.

Let us look at an example of a circular:

Technical / Scientific Report Writing

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Reports are important management tools for influencing future actions. Through reports,
information can be shared and consequently lessons learned. However, good report
writing is not easy and it is very time consuming. In addition, if a report is not easy to
read, it probably will not be read at all.

A technical report is essentially a statement of facts of a situation, project or process or
test and it should be supported by evidence. It is a categorical statement of how these
facts were ascertained and what the significance of these facts is. The report should also
confirm that the facts are objective, reliable and consistent. The reliability and
consistency of the findings is assured by the author by explaining the procedures he used
for the collection of data. These procedures may include different types of surveys, or
devising and performing an experiment etc. The report also critically analyses the data
gathered by following the procedures. Thus, it brings out the significance of the collected
data and draws certain conclusions. When it is said that the report should be objective, it
is meant that the author strictly interprets the data on the basis of facts collected. In other
words, while writing reports, there is no room for the author’s own feelings or opinions.
The author of the report may also make certain recommendations based on the facts
presented, but not all reports need to carry recommendations. Also reports are written and
presented for specific, targeted audience and not to every one.

Depending on the purpose of the report, you can choose different ways of arranging the
content. The following division is the most common:

1. The cover

2. Title page

3. Table of Contents

4. Foreword

5. Executive summary

6. Main Text – introduction, clarification of the problem statement, methodology,

7. Recommendations

8. Annexure

9. Reference

The cover: (preferably of a heavier quality of paper than the rest of the report). On the
cover you should mention:

· The title of the report;

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· The sub-title (if appropriate);

· The name of the author(s);

· The date of the presentation of the report.

Depending on whether your report is for internal or external use, you can mention your
own organisation and/or the organisation for which the report is written.

The title page: This should convey the area and scope of the project.

For example, “Guidelines and Suggestions for the Project Report”

Table of Contents: This should be a separate page on which different chapters (sections)
should be listed and are next to the appropriate page number. Only the first page number
of each chapter is listed.

The Foreword: This is not always needed; again it depends on the type of report. In the
foreword, issues are mentioned which are not essential to the contents of the report, like:
words of thanks, for whom the report was written, by whom and why etc.

The executive summary: The executive summary is very important because not
everybody has time to read the whole report. In the executive summary, the most
important points are presented:

the reason why the report was written;

· the questions which are to be raised (problem statement);

· the solutions;

· the arguments used for the solutions;

· important conclusions and advice.

The main text of the report: The main text is most commonly divided into the
following chapters:

Introduction: This indicates the structure of the report. In the introduction, often issues
are described which are obvious to the writer of the report, but not to the reader. By
reading the introduction, the reader should understand what exactly the report is all about;
which topics are included, which are not and why; how the information was obtained;
why the report was written; what the aims of the report are (e.g. Is the report written to
present information, to advise, to evaluate?) etc.

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Clarification of the problem statement: This chapter explains why the information is
needed, which information is needed and how the information obtained will be used. (or
what the problem is, why the problem needs to be solved and which information is
needed to be able to solve the problem).

Methodology: A short description of the methods that were followed in carrying out the
experiment is given here.

Conclusions of the results: ‘Results’ part of the report should provide all the
experimental results that you have gathered over the duration of the project. The
presentation of the data in proper format is important. Results could be presented in
tabular form or by way of pictorial representations such as graphs, bar diagrams,
histograms, pie charts etc. Wherever it is necessary, the results should be supported by
figures and photographs. It is the ‘Results’ section of the report that confers authenticity
to your work. Hence, it is all the more necessary to report the results in a credible
manner; without exaggerating your findings and emphasizing the statistical significance
of the data.

Recommendations: It is better to make recommendations for each conclusion or group
of conclusions.

Annexure: If information or explanations, which take up a lot of space and attention, are
in the text then they can make the report difficult to read. This type of information is
often put in the Annexes. For example: a literature list (references to literature used in the
report), detailed explanations, examples, drawings, maps, list of abbreviations etc.

Annexes should be numbered and should have a title. In the main report, references
should be made to the annexes when needed. Annexes are also listed in the

It is essential to acknowledge the work that you have referred while writing the report.
You should cite such works in the text matter (main body) of your report and list them in
an alphabetical order at the end of the report. You can use the styles ‘footnotes’ or
‘endnotes’ to list your references.

· Footnotes: include citations that are placed numerically at the bottom of same page
where direct references are made.

· Endnotes: are the citations and reference lists placed numerically at the end of each
chapter or at the end of the essay on a separate page entitled ‘Endnotes’ or ‘Notes.’

Follow the tips given below while writing the footnote or endnote.

1. Only one sentence is used in a Footnote or Endnote citation, i.e., only one period or
full stop is used at the end of any Footnote or Endnote citation.

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2. When mentioning a work for the first time, make a full and complete Footnote or
Endnote entry.
 G. Wayne Miller, King of Hearts: The True Story of the Maverick Who
Pioneered Open Heart Surgery(New York: Times, 2000) 245.
3.   For second or later mention of the same work with intervening
entries, where previously op. cit. was used, now only the author and
page number or numbers are used. E.g.: 5 Miller 198.

4. You should –

· Indent Footnote and Endnote entries 5 spaces from the left margin.

· Leave one space between the superscript number and the entry.

· Do not indent second and subsequent lines.

· Double-space between entries.

· Number Footnotes and Endnotes consecutively using a superscript, e.g., 7.

Note: Do not confuse Footnote and Endnote citations with Explanatory Notes that some
authors refer to as “Endnotes.” These Notes are not considered to be citations but are
used to add comments, explanations, or additional information relating to specific
passages in the text.


The last section will be ‘References’, referred to as ‘Bibliography’. Here, you have to list
all the books, journals and scientific papers that you have referred to in your report.
When we present a Report/Thesis/Dissertation, we do a lot of research. We present
documented evidence in support of our statements. It reveals not only the depth of our
study, but also gives corroborative evidence from people who are considered authorities
in that particular subject. Thus, the bibliography we present at the end of a written work
is very important. We have to give due credit to the works of writers we have consulted
or we may be accused of plagiarism, (copying) which is a very serious offence.
Bibliographies can consist of books, journals or periodicals, audios and videos as well.
You are permitted to make use of the Internet as a valuable source of material. In other
words, a bibliography is a comprehensive list of the various sources of information we
have used in our writing. Such a listing should be uniform and consistent. For instance:

Wells, R.D. (1988) Unusual DNA structures. J. Biol. Chem. 263,

· This citation, as you could observe, mentions first the name of the author followed by
the year of publication in parenthesis. Then there is the title of the publication. This is
followed by the name of the jounal/book usually in italics. Then the volume of the

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journal/book in bold and finally the page numbers relating to the article are mentioned.
This is a standard and accepted format for citing under ‘References’ and may be followed
consistently. Most of the journals/books follow such a format but there can be slight
variations to this format. Omit titles such as Lady, Sir, Sister, and degrees like M.D.,
Ph.D. etc that precede or follow names.

A suffix that is an essential part of the name, such as Jr., Sr. or a Roman numeral appears
after the given name, preceded by a comma.

Please remember that every comma, period, semi-colon or colon is very important; even
the spaces between each word have to be accurate.

Refer the following books for details of writing bibliography

· 1. APA : American Psychological Association – used for psychology, education, and
other social sciences.

· 2. MLA : Modern Language Association – used for literature, arts, and humanities.

· 3. AMA : American Medical Association – used for medicine, health, and biological

· 4. CHICAGO: – used for all subjects in the “real world” by books, magazines,
newspapers, and other non-scholarly publications

i) Glossary: When you use extensive technical words or typical conceptual words you
should explain the meaning of the words in the Glossary section. This depends on your
reader. If the report is meant for a person who is from similar field of expertise, you can
omit the glossary; writing glossary is mandatory if the reader is from a different field. In
addition, if the number of such words is small, you can put them in the footnotes.

j) Index: The index page is included only if the report is large and it is not possible to put
all aspects in the content page. The index is meant for the cross reference of terms,
concepts, words that are used in the report. All the page numbers where you can find that
particular term/word/aspect is mentioned. The words are written in alphabetical order.
The index is incorporated to enable the reader to locate easily any topic/concept that is
mentioned in the report.

Self Assessment Question 5:

i) The language of the report should be ____

ii) In a report _____ must be supported by evidence of the investigation.

iii) The serious offence of copying any matter without acknowledging is called as ____

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iv) ___ and ___ contains the information about the report in a nutshell.

v) ____ talks about the report and the ____ talks about the substance of the report.

Principles of proof reading

The problem with proof reading is that you will have to be good at spelling and
punctuation. But this is not impossible. There are ways to learn to spell words correctly,
if you are willing to spend time in reading a dictionary.

Today word-processing software programs in computers are equipped with Spell-
Checkers. However these can help you identify a misspelt word and not a word in the
wrong place. For example if I write ‘The boy of a report’ where I actually have to write
‘the body of a report’ the Spell-Checker will not notice the mistake.

English is widely spoken in many countries therefore the language is affected by certain
local influences. However the standards for English language are based on the way
English is spoken in United Kingdom (U.K) which means England and United States of
America which is simply called United States (U.S). If you check a computer’s English
dictionary it will tell you whether the word-processor is using U.S. English or U.K.
English. We have to be aware of some basic differences in the way in which words are
spelt in U.K. and U.S.

One way to remember spelling is to use mnemonics. This simply means that each letter in
a word is given another word to construct a funny sentence. For example the word
‘geography’ used to be remembered as ‘George Eliot’s Old Grandfather Rode A
Pig Home Yesterday’. If you add all the first letters in that sentence you will get the
spelling of Geography.

There are words, which sound almost the same but are spelt differently and have different
meanings. For example there and their, affect and effect , see and sea. We will have to
know the correct meaning of such words and also their correct usage in order to spell
correctly. Words that have different spellings and meanings but the same sound are called

These are some of the points a proofreader should bear in mind. Now let us look at some
words that are spelt differently in U.S and U.K. English.

                                         AMERICAN                   BRITISH
 SPELLING          SPELLING              SPELLING (U.S.)            SPELLING (U.K.)
 (U.S.)            (U.K.)
 color             colour                judgment                   judgement
center            centre                 labor                      labour
check             cheque                 license                    licence

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counseling        counselling           organize                   organise
favor             favour                realize                    realise
gray              grey                  theater                    theatre
humor             humour                tire                       tyre

There are some general rules for spelling. Let us study them. You must remember that
there will be exceptions to these rules. However in most situations these rules work and
are helpful while proof reading.

    1. I before E except after C: It means that when a word has the letters ‘I’ and ‘E’
       following each other then this rule can be applied to put them in the correct
       places. For example in words such as achieve, believe and thief the letter E
       follows I. In other words I is before E. But in words such as ceiling, deceive,
       conceive and receipt the letter I follows E because there is the letter C before
       them. In other words when E and I come after C the letter I will follow E. But
       there are exceptions to this rule. Words such as neither, freight and weight, which
       have the ‘ay’ sound, do not follow this rule.

       2) Dropping the final E: When a word like surprise, advance and dance which
       have a silent ‘e’ at the end combine with an ending that starts with a vowel such
       as ‘ing’ the final ‘e’ is dropped. For example advance + ing gives you
       advancing. Similarly you will have surprising and dancing when surprise and
       dance combine with ‘ing.’ If the word with final E combines with an ending that
       starts with a consonant this will not happen. For example advance+ment gives
       you advancement. But in words where the final E follows another vowel you
       have to drop the final E when it combines with any ending. Argue+ment will
       give you argument and argue+ed will give you argued and argue+ing will
       become arguing.

       3) Dropping the final Y: When you add an ending to a word that ends with Y
       change the Y to I if there is a consonant before the Y. For example if you
       combine the word supply with the ending ‘ed’ it will become supplied. Similarly
       supply+es will result in supplies. However this rule does not apply when such
       words combine with ‘ing’. Supply+ing will give you only supplying. The rule
       does                                   not                                apply
       when the final Y is after a vowel. For example obey+ed results in obeyed.

       4) Adding a prefix: You may already know that a prefix is a word that does not
       have a specific meaning but it combines with another word at the beginning to
       give a new meaning. For example the prefix Un does not have any meaning but it
       combines with helpful and gives you the word unhelpful. Adding a prefix will
       not change the spelling of the word to which the prefix
       is added. For example mis+spelling becomes misspelling and dis+satisfied gives
       you dissatisfied.

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       5) Doubling final consonants: This is a slightly complicated rule. You will have to
       first count the number of syllables in a word before you apply this rule. When you
       add an ending to a word that ends with a single consonant you will have to ask the
       following questions:

Is the last syllable of the word accented? For example in the word transmit there is
accent on the last syllable. Does the word end with a single consonant, which follows a
single vowel? Again the word transmit ends with a consonant which is after a single

If the answer is yes to both the above questions then if you add an ending, which begins
with a vowel such as ‘ing’ or ‘ed’ to the word the final consonant, will be doubled. For
example in Transmit+ing and transmit+ed, the final consonant T will be doubled and
the words transmitting and transmitted will be formed. Now the rule for doubling
consonants can be summarized as follows: Double the final consonant when adding an
ending, which begins with a vowel if the last syllable of the word is stressed or accented
and that syllable ends in a single consonant which follows a single vowel.

We have seen the importance of words and their spellings. Let us now see how proof
reading is actually done. Proof reading is done with the help of some symbols and
abbreviations. Let us first consider the symbols.

Proof reading symbols

Once your written draft is complete, you have to give it to type or print. To read the typed
script and approve it for the final print, you have to acquaint yourself with certain
symbols which suggest corrections or changes that you require. Mostly these symbols are
made in the margin of the script to draw the attention of the typist or the printer. Go
through the list of symbols which are given below. They are the standard proof reading
symbols that will help you during proof reading.

Symbol Meaning Example

       insert a comma

       apostrophe or single

     quotation mark

          insert something

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                  use double quotation �

          use a period here �


         transpose elements

       close up this space

        a space needed here

      begin new paragraph

          no paragraph

The abbreviation would appear in the margin, probably with a line or arrow pointing to
the offending element. The common proofreading abbreviations are,

                  Abbreviation Meaning �

                  Ab a faulty abbreviation

                  Awk awkward expression or construction

                  Cap faulty capitalization �

                  DICT faulty diction �

                  - ed problem with final -ed �

                  | | problem in parallel form �

                  Pron problem with pronoun �

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                 Rep unnecessary repetition �

                 Sp spelling error �

                 - s problem with final -s �

                 STET Let it stand (the proof reader uses this Latin term to indicate that
                 proofreading marks calling for a change should be ignored and the text
                 as originally written should be “let stand.”)

                 S/V subject/verb agreement �

                 Wdy wordy �

                 WW wrong word



Effective communication is the base for any organization to be a success story. This
communication depends upon the persons involved and the type of communication. The
different types of communication are internal, external, formal, informal, upward,
downward, lateral, and diagonal communication. The meetings held in an organization
are the channel through which the communication is possible. Conducting meetings is an
art which involves proper planning and organizing where the message is related and the
desired effect is achieved.

We have learnt in this unit that there are certain types of documents used in organizations
for communication. A memo is for internal communication between colleagues, superiors
and subordinates and it is usually sent to a person who is expected to take some
responsive action. We then learnt about circulars, which are also, documents for internal
communication. Circulars are sent to groups of staff. We found out that some notices are
meant for staff and others are meant for clients and the general public. There are notices,
which are sent to individuals also.

All these documents are written according to certain conventions and rules. For example
there is no paragraph indenting in memos, a memo does not begin or end like a letter etc.
Everybody cannot put up notices. Only authorized officials can put up notices and send
circulars. There are different types of memos namely memos that report on decisions,
memos that reflect understanding reached in conversations and meetings, request memos,
memos that clarify previous memos and so on. We also learnt to write an agenda whose
first item is confirmation of the minutes of the previous meeting and the last item, any
other matter with the permission of the chairman. The minutes are recorded sequentially

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                                Communication Skill

by the secretary of the concerned group. Minutes, which are the most important record of
any organization, normally form the basis for further action and decision.

We then learnt about report writing. Reports are records of proceedings of meetings or
investigations. They have a standard format, which should be written in a formal manner,
objectively. Emotionally charged language should not be used in reports and conclusions
in a report must be supported by evidence. A report writer must explain how he arrived at
his conclusions. Notices and reports may have legal implications.

We then learnt that in order to write error free official documents we must know
proofreading. To be able to proofread one must know correct spelling. This can be learnt
by practice. We also learnt about mnemonics and homonyms and the five rules of
spelling namely I before E except after C, dropping the final e, dropping the final y,
adding prefixes and doubling the final consonant. We learnt about U.S. and U.K. English.
We also saw some examples of U.K and U.S. spelling.

Finally, we learnt some important proofreading symbols and abbreviations.

7.9 Terminal Questions

1. Mention the different types of communication in an organisation.

2. What are the contents of minutes of a meeting?

3. What are footnotes and endnotes?

4. Write a note on the principles of proof reading.

Answers (View in SLM)

Self Assessment Questions

1. i) Formal ii) organisational /internal communication iii) downward communication iv)
informal v) information

2. A. i) Order of the day ii) secretary iii) topics and proposed goals

iv) Heading and Body v) date, time and location

B. i) False ii) True iii) False iv) True v) False

3. i) True iii) False v) True vi) False v) True

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4. i) circular; notice ii) circular iii) date iv) officer designated for the purpose v) notice vi)

5. i) formal ii) conclusion; iii) plagiarism iv and v) abstract and summary

Terminal Questions

1. Internal, External, Formal and Informal.

2. The minutes of any meeting should contain the name of the unit, date, time and place
of the meeting and the number of the meeting, if it is in a series. It should also contain the
chairperson’s name, names of the members, who were present as well as those who were
absent and those who attended by special invitation. Record of transactions and the
signature of the secretary and the chairman are mentioned in the minutes.

3. ‘Footnotes’ are citations that are placed numerically at the bottom of same page where
direct references are made whereas ‘Endnotes’ are the citations and reference lists placed
numerically at the end of each chapter or at the end of the essay on a separate page.

4. Refer 7.7

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