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Revising and Proofreading Business Messages

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Revising and Proofreading Business Messages Powered By Docstoc
					                   The Writing Process




Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e   Chapter 1, Slide 1
                                                    Improving content and
                                                   sentence structure—may
         Revising
                                                        involve adding,
                                                       cutting, recasting


                                                       Correcting grammar,
    Proofreading                                       spelling, punctuation,
                                                      format, and mechanics


Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e             Chapter 4, Slide 2
                   Memo Revised for Conciseness




Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e   Chapter 1, Slide 3
                    Concise Wording
 Revise your messages to eliminate wordiness.

  Instead of this                                             Try this
  We are of the opinion that                                  We think
  Please feel free to                                         Please
  In addition to the above                                    Also
  At this point in time                                       Now
  Despite the fact that                                       Although

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e              Chapter 4, Slide 4
    Instructor Only Version
© 2007 Thomson South-Western
Wordy Prepositional Phrases
Instead of this                                         Try this
We don’t as a general                                   We don’t generally
rule cash personal                                      cash personal checks.
checks.
Students in very few                                    Students seldom get
instances receive                                       parking tickets.
parking tickets.
She calls meetings on                                   She calls monthly
a monthly basis.                                        meetings.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e            Chapter 4, Slide 6
                          Long Lead-Ins

    Instead of this                                           Try this
    This memo is to inform                                    All employees
    you that all employees                                    meet today.
    meet today.

    I am writing this letter                                  Thanks to
    to say thanks to                                          everyone who
    everyone who voted.                                       voted.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e              Chapter 4, Slide 7
            Outdated Expressions

   Outdated                                                   Modern
   as per your request                                        at your request
   pursuant to your request                                   at your request
   attached hereunto                                          attached
   under separate cover                                       separately




Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e                Chapter 4, Slide 8
                   Needless Adverbs
To sound more credible and to streamline
your writing, avoid excessive use of adverbs
such as definitely, quite, really, and actually.
 Instead of this                                       Try this
 The manager is                                        The manager is
 actually quite pleased                                pleased with your
 with your proposal                                    proposal because the
 because the plan is                                   plan is workable.
 definitely workable.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e          Chapter 4, Slide 9
                                        Fillers
Revise sentences to avoid fillers such as there
and it when used merely to take up space.
   Instead of this                                            Try this
   There are two                                              Two employees
   employees who should                                       should be
   be promoted.                                               promoted.
   It was Lisa and Jeff                                       Lisa and Jeff were
   who were honored.                                          honored.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e               Chapter 4, Slide 10
 Revise the following sentences to avoid a long
 lead-ins, wordy prepositional phrases, outdated
 expressions, needless adverbs, fillers, and/or other
 forms of wordiness.
 This e-mail message is to                                    We will probably
 inform you that in all
 probability we will actually
                                                   Quick      finish in two weeks.

 finish in two weeks.                              Check
 There are many brokers who Many brokers are
 are quite certain that these certain that these
 stocks are completely safe. stocks are safe.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e                Chapter 4, Slide 11
 Revise the following sentences to achieve
 conciseness.

  Pursuant to your request,                                   As you requested,
  there are two contracts that                                two contracts are
  are attached hereto.                                        attached.
                          Quick
  All employees are hereby   Generally,
                         Check
  informed that as a general employees may not
  rule computers may not be                                   use computers for
  used for activities that are                                personal activities.
  personal.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e                Chapter 4, Slide 12
                   Redundant Words
Avoid unnecessarily repetitious words. What
words could be omitted in these expressions?
    advance warning                                  necessary requisite
    close proximity                                  new beginning
    exactly identical                                past history
    filled to capacity                               refer back
    final outcome                                    serious danger


Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e          Chapter 4, Slide 13
                                      Jargon
 Avoid technical terms and special terminology
 that readers would not recognize.
   Computer jargon                                  Alternative language
   queue                                            list of documents
                                                    waiting to be printed
   export                                           transfer data from one
                                                    program to another
   bandwidth                                        Internet capacity
                  Is jargon ever permissible?
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e             Chapter 4, Slide 14
                                         Slang

Avoid slang (informal expressions with
arbitrary or extravagantly changed meanings).
    to “bag on”                               to tease, to nag, or to
                                              complain
    clueless                                  unaware, naïve
    turkey                                    someone stupid or silly
    chill/chill out                           relax


Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e       Chapter 4, Slide 15
                                         Slang

       An example from the world of Dilbert:




Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e   Chapter 4, Slide 16
                                      Clichés
    Avoid clichés (overused expressions).
    Substitute more precise words.

    Instead of this                                           Try this
    Last but not least, you                                   Finally, you should
    should keep your nose                                     work diligently.
    to the grindstone.
    We had reached the                                        We could go no
    end of our rope.                                          further.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e              Chapter 4, Slide 17
 Revise the following sentence to avoid slang,
 clichés, and redundancies.


 Ms. Miller, who shoots                            Quick Miller, who is
                                                      Ms.
 straight from the shoulder,                          straightforward,
 demanded final completion                         Check
                                                      demanded
 by January 1.                                                completion by
                                                              January 1.




Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e               Chapter 4, Slide 18
 Revise the following sentences to avoid slang,
 clichés, and redundancies.

  Last but not least, the                                     Finally, the attorney
  attorney referred back to an                                referred to an
  exactly identical case.  Quick                              identical case.

                          Check
  With a little advance warning, With warning, we
  we could have sold out                                      could have sold out
  before our stocks tanked.                                   before our stocks hit
                                                              bottom.


Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e                Chapter 4, Slide 19
                                                 Uses
                                                Precise
                                                 Verbs




        Includes                              The Best        Avoids Wordy
          Vivid                               Business         Verb/Noun
       Adjectives                              Writing        Conversions




                                                Uses
                                               Concrete
                                                Nouns


Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e        Chapter 4, Slide 20
                          Precise Verbs
Revise your writing to include precise verbs
instead of general, lackluster, all-purpose ones.
                      Market researchers said that
                         sales would improve.
     What more precise verbs could replace said?

   Market researchers forecasted improved sales.
   Market researchers promised improved sales.
   Market researchers predicted improved sales.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e   Chapter 4, Slide 21
                                Please contact their
                                  sales rep today.

                          What more precise verbs
                           could replace contact?
          Please telephone their sales rep
          today.
          Please fax their sales rep today.
          Please e-mal their sales rep today.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e   Chapter 1, Slide 22
                           Buried Verbs
    Revise verbs that have been converted to
    nouns.


                                        Look for words ending in
      Tip                               tion or ment. Could they
                                         be more efficiently and
                                     forcefully converted to verbs?



Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e   Chapter 4, Slide 23
     Instead of this                                          Try this
     The manager came to                                      The manager
     the realization that                                     realized that
     telecommuting made                                       telecommuting
     sense.                                                   made sense.
     A job seeker must                                        A job seeker must
     make application                                         apply before
     before May 1.                                            May 1.


Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e              Chapter 1, Slide 24
     Instead of this                                          Try this
     Once we have the                                         Once we
     establishment of a                                       establish a Web
     Web site, our                                            site, our business
     business will grow.                                      will grow.
     Please give serious
     consideration to a                                       Please seriously
     company intranet.                                        consider a
                                                              company intranet.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e                Chapter 1, Slide 25
 Revise the following sentences by using more
 precise verbs or by centering the action in a verb.

  The seller said he wouldThe seller promised to
  contact you.            e-mail [telephone or fax]
                          you.                     Quick
  We must give encourage- We must encourage
  ment to our team.       our team.                Check
  Consumers show a                                        Consumers prefer
  preference for buttered                                 buttered popcorn.
  popcorn.


Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e              Chapter 4, Slide 26
 Revise the following sentences centering the
 action in the verb.


  Please make an                                          Please assess the
  assessment of the
                                                   Quick  home's value.
  home's value.                                    Check
  Ann made a suggestion                                   Ann suggested that we
  that we hire Lee.                                       hire Lee.




Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e              Chapter 4, Slide 27
                      Concrete Nouns
 Revise your writing to include specific,
 concrete nouns instead of general, abstract
 ones.
  Instead of this                           Try this
  The man asked                             Jeff Jones asked for a 10
  for a raise.                              percent salary increasey.

  An employee                               Kelly Keeler, production
  presented a                               manager, presented a plan
  proposal.                                 to stagger hour.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e     Chapter 4, Slide 28
                       Vivid Adjectives
    Revise your writing to include descriptive,
    dynamic adjectives instead of overworked,
    all-purpose ones.
    Instead of this                               Try this
                                                  The report was
    The report was
                                                  persuasive (or detailed,
    good.
                                                  original, thorough).
    The report was                                Possible revisions?
    bad.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e         Chapter 4, Slide 29
                      What to Watch for
                       in Proofreading

   Spelling
   Grammar
   Punctuation
   Names and numbers
   Format


Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e   Chapter 4, Slide 30
                       Proofreading Marks




Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e   Chapter 4, Slide 31
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e   Chapter 4, Slide 32
                  How to Proofread
                 Complex Documents
 Allow adequate time.
 Print a copy, preferably double-spaced.
 Be prepared to find errors.
 Read once for meaning and once for
  grammar/mechanics.
 Reduce your reading speed.


Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e   Chapter 4, Slide 33
    For documents that must be perfect:
     Have someone read aloud the original
      while someone else checks the printout.
     Spell names.
     Spell difficult words.
     Note capitalization.
     Note punctuation.


Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e   Chapter 1, Slide 34

				
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