ENGL 210F – Chapter 4,5,6

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Three-Step Writing Process
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The three-step writing process consists of planning, writing, and completing your messages.
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4 tests for purpose of message?
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1. Will anything change as a result of your message? 2. Is your purpose realistic? 3. Is the time right? 4. Is your purpose acceptable to your organization?
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Ask yourself key questions about youraudience to help achieve your purpose.
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1. Identify your primary audience. 2. Identify the secondary audience. 3. Determine audience size and geographic distribution. 4. Determine audience composition. 5. Gauge audience members’ level of understanding. 6. Understand audience expectations and preferences. 7. Forecast probable audience reaction.
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Discuss gathering information for simple messages, and identify three attributes of quality information
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1. Be sure the information is accurate 2. Be sure the information is ethical 3. Be sure the information is pertinent
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List factors to consider when choosing the most appropriate medium for your message
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Media richness, the value of a medium for communicating a message,is a factor to consider for message transmission. Richness is determined by the medium’s ability to (1) convey a message using more than one informational cue (visual, verbal, vocal); (2) facilitate feedback; and (3) establish personal focus. Other factors to consider when selecting media include the message’s formality, media limitations, sender intentions, urgency and cost, and audience preferences.
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Explain why good organization is important to both you and your audience
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Audiences benefit from good organization in several ways. A well-organized message saves your audience time, because they don’t have to read and reread a message to make sense of it. They are also better able to understand the content, so they can accept the message more easily and can make better decisions based on its information. Communicators also benefit from good organization: well-organized messages consume less creative energy, speed the drafting stage, make it easier to get input from colleagues, and allow communicators to divide portions of the writing assignment among co-workers.
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Summarize the process for organizing business messages effectively
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First,define the main idea of the message by making a specific statement about the topic. Second, limit the scope of the message by adjusting the space and detail you allocate to major points. Third, choose either a direct or an indirect approach by anticipating the audience’s reaction to the message and by matching the approach to message length and message type. Fourth, group the points by constructing an outline to visualize the relationship between the ideas and the supporting material.
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Explain the importance of adapting your messages to the needs and expectations of your audience
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Audiences greet most incoming messages with a question: “What’s in this for me?” To adapt your message to your audience, be sensitive to their needs, build a strong relationship with them, and control your style to maintain a professional tone.
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Explain why establishing credibility is vital to the success of your communication efforts
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Your audiences more likely accept your messages if you establish your Summary of Learning Objectives credibility with them. Behaving honestly, objectively, reliably, and sincerely, and showing your awareness of your audiences’ needs, demonstrate your credibility and will make your audiences more likely to respond positively to you. Establishing your credentials and expertise will communicate your credibility to audiences that don’t know you, thus making them more receptive to your messages.
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Discuss how to achieve a business like tone with a style that is clear and concise
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You can achieve a businesslike tone by using plain English, which is language that is easily understood. Plain English avoids pompous and out-of-date phrases; in their place, it uses accessible and current vocabulary that audiences with a grade-eight or grade-nine education can easily understand. Using the active voice instead of the passive voice is another way to achieve a businesslike tone. Where the passive voice tends to create a dull and indirect style, the active voice is lively and direct. However, the passive voice is useful when you must be diplomatic with your audience, because its indirect nature can create an objective tone.
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Briefly describe how to select words that are not only correct but also effective
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First, check grammar and usage guidelines. Second, make sure the words are functional and content words. Choose words that have fewer connotations and no negative connotations. Blend abstract words with concrete ones, narrowing from the general to the specific, and select words that communicate clearly and specifically. Avoid clichés, and use jargon only if your audience will understand it.
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Explain how sentence style affects emphasis within your message
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The emphasis of key ideas in your message is influenced by sentence style. For example, using more words to describe ideas will give them greater stress. You can also make your ideas the subject of sentences or place them at the beginning or end of sentences; these techniques will highlight your ideas. Being familiar with the four types of sentences (simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex) will assist you in giving emphasis to your information and thoughts.
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Cite five ways to develop coherent paragraphs
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Each paragraph should have a topic sentence that expresses the main idea and use transitional elements for unity. Paragraphs can be developed by illustration (giving examples), by comparison and contrast (pointing out similarities or differences), by focusing on cause and effect (giving reasons), by classification (discussing categories), and by focusing on the solution to a problem (stating a problem and showing how to solve it).
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Discuss the value of careful revision,and list the main tasks involved in completing a business message
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Careful revision will produce a correctly written and professional document that will impress your readers and help them in their own tasks. Revision consists of (1) evaluating content and organization; (2) reviewing style and readability; and (3) proofreading the final version after it has been produced.
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Explain four writing techniques you can use to improve the readability of your messages
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(1) varying sentence length (2) keeping paragraphs short to medium length to create an inviting document; (3) using headings and subheadings to guide the reader through your message and attract attention; and (4) using bullets and lists, which will clarify information through highlighting it and create a visually appealing document for complex subjects.
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Describe the steps you can take to improve the clarity of your writing
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Divide overly long sentences to tighten your writing and rewrite hedging sentences to sound confident. Use parallelism to highlight related ideas and correct dangling modifiers so that your meaning is accurate. Reword long noun sequences and replace camouflaged verbs to be concise. Clarify sentence structure and awkward references to enhance readability and avoid confusion. Moderate your enthusiasm to maintain your credibility.
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Discuss why it’s important to make your message more concise,and give four tips on how to do so
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Business people are more likely to read documents that give information efficiently. To make business messages more concise, include only necessary material and write clean sentences by: (1) deleting unnecessary words and phrases; (2) shortening overly long words and phrases; 3) eliminating redundancies; and (4) recasting “It is: and :There are” starters.
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Explain how design elements help determine the effectiveness of your documents
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When selecting and applying design elements, ensure their effectiveness by being consistent throughout your document; balancing space between text, art, and white space; showing restraint in the number of elements you use; and paying attention to every detail. White space provides contrast and gives readers a resting point. Margins define the space around the text and contribute to the amount of white space. Headings and captions invite readers to become involved in the message. Fonts influence the tone of the message. Font styles provide contrast or emphasis.
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Highlight the types of errors to look for when proofreading
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When proofreading the final version of your document, always look for errors in grammar, usage, and punctuation and watch for spelling mistakes and typos. Ensure that nothing is missing, such as a source note, figure, text, or exhibit. Check for design errors, such as elements that appear in the wrong font, misaligned elements (e.g., columns in a table or figures on a page), and formatting mistakes (including uneven spacing between lines and words and incorrect line breaks). Finally, ensure that your layout conforms to company guidelines.
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Discuss the most important issues to consider when distributing your messages
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Keep in mind cost, convenience, time, security, and privacy when distributing your message. Balance cost versus benefits when selecting your distribution method for long documents, because printing, binding, and delivering long reports can be expensive. Choose a method that works best for your audience; some people might be using slow wireless connections or devices with small screens. Furthermore, ensure that your reader needs your document immediately to justify an expensive delivery method (e.g.,overnight express). Finally, use secure transmission methods for sensitive documents, follow company guidelines for recipients, and use Adobe PDF instead of Word files to avoid viruses.

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