3. Definitions of business writing
Business communication is a type of professional writing that aims to serve one or more of the
following purposes in a utilitarian way:
To convey information.
To deliver news.
To explain or justify.
To influence someone to take action.
5. Setting e-mails
The tone of e-mail communication is often conversational and may invite questions and answers
as ongoing dialogue. However informal in tone, an e-mail must adhere to the basic rules of good
Be brief and get to the point of the message.
Include a subject line that gives the main idea of the message.
A friendly opening is acceptable: hello or good morning.
Avoid excessively formal language; use jargon sparingly and only when called for within a
Double check the recipient list; be careful of sending an unintended reply to all.
Proofread before sending: because once gone, it’s gone.
6. Before sending your e-mail message,
check for the following:
The date and subject of the message should be included. ✓
The salutation is formal, but the tone is friendly. ✓
There should be single spacing between sentences and double spacing between paragraphs. ✓
The message must be grammatically correct. ✓
The complimentary close is formal, yet friendly. ✓
The message is going out only to intended recipients. ✓
7. Email example
From: John Doe
To: Dan Kane
cc: Hatem Smith; Patricia Bartlett
Subject: Sales proposal from Speedy Transport
Dear Mr. Kane,
Thank you for your interest in our company. In reference to our telephone conversation on Tuesday, October 10th,
please find enclosed our company’s proposal for logistics services to manage the transport of your merchandise.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further details. Thank you again for considering our company.
We look forward to hearing from you.
8. Setting the memo
The term memo is short for memorandum. The plurals are
memoranda and memos, and the now popular
The memo was originally conceived to provide short,
precise, direct communication to employees within a
company without using the conventional openings and
closings common to a business letter.
A memorandum will name the writer, the person or group
being addressed, and the date and subject of the message.
9. Memo cont….
State the purpose of your memo in the subject line.
Make the subject line clear and precise.
Formal salutation and complimentary close is not required.
Be concise and use short, direct sentences.
Try to keep the length to one page, two if necessary.
Use lists, graphs, and charts as supportive material.
At the close of a memo, address any anticipated objections.
If required, end the memo with a call to action or a request for a response.
Do not use jargon unless useful for an industry-specific message.
10. Why are memos written?
To instruct or to inform staff
To request action
To remind someone or something
To make suggestions
To report on progress
To provide information of any kind
11. Memo structure:
Memo to :
2. Introduction : no loner than 4 lines.
3. Body : stick to the point.
4. Concluding / Recommendation Sections
12. TO: Jaber, Brigitte and Ralph
DATE: 16 June
SUBJECT: Feedback on the sales conference
As you know, we gave all delegates a satisfaction survey at the end of last
week’s sales conference. I have now had time to review most of the
comments. The majority were positive about the content of the conference
but unfortunately there was a lot of criticism about the venue. The most
common criticism included the following:
13. A very small electrical fire started during one of the sessions. The venue had not
explained procedures in case of emergency. As a result there was some confusion.
Thankfully, no delegates were hurt.
Some delegates had requested vegetarian options but on the first evening these dietary
requirements were not met. Consequently, a number of people were not satisfied with
the opening dinner.
The air conditioning didn’t work for two hours in the middle of the day, so delegates
were too hot.
In addition to this, the venue is increasing its rates by nearly 10% for next year.
Consequently, I’d ask you all to start researching an alternative venue for next year and
send me your suggestions. Note that suitable venues are difficult to find, so despite the
fact that it’s nearly twelve months away please give this your immediate attention.
14. Setting the letter
A letter is a message written on letterhead paper and addressed to someone outside the
organisation. It is usually sent through the mail.
The body of the letter is made up of the introduction, middle and conclusion.
The introduction opens the letter, establishes rapport and acknowledges any previous
correspondence or contact.
The middle of the letter contains all details and information.
The conclusion outlines any actions and/or information required along with a polite ending.
15. Optional parts of a business letter
Optional parts to a business letter may include an attention line (if you wish to use an attention
line place it two returns below the reader‟s address), subject line/reference initials/reference
number (placed two returns below the salutation), enclosure, file number, sender‟s telephone
number, email or website details.
16. Parts of a Business Letter
30 September, 2008
Attention: Reader’s name and position (optional)
Private and confidential (optional)
Dear Mr/Ms [reader‟s nam
20. Research has been conducted into the degree of understanding of sentences of
different lengths. Take a look at these figures :
NUMBER OF WORDS IN THE SENTENCE
27 words or more
PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION WHO WILL
UNDERSTAND ON FIRST READING
21. 6 tips for
For some people,
writing comes naturally
and they truly love
doing it. For others, it is
an arduous task that
they avoid and do so
only when necessary or
required. No matter
why you write though,
the best way to get
your point across
whenever you are
writing, is to make sure
your writing is done
22. Avoid being vague
One of the first things a writer must learn about good effective writing techniques is avoiding
vagueness. Effective writing means using concrete sentences and structures. When writing
effectively, a writer must be clear in his or her communication to the reading audience.
Conciseness and brevity, are also essential. Here are some examples of writing effectively and
Vague Writing: Sally did not like the jeans her sister gave her.
Concrete Writing: Sally did not like the jeans her sister gave her as a birthday gift. They were too
baggy and loose
23. Practice Makes Perfect
No matter what you decide to do in life, to get better at it, you must practice. The same goes for
Taking time to practice writing each day can make a huge difference as times goes on.
Most experts agree that using at least twenty minutes a day to write and practice are highly
As with everything you do, the more you practice, the better you will get at it.
24. Refrain from:
Another tip to remember for writing effectively is to avoid overusing certain phrases or terms.
Words such as ‘it was,’ ‘there are,’ ‘there is,’ ‘it is,’ and others should be avoided. It doesn’t mean
that you should not use these words or phrases when necessary. It just means that you should
refrain from overusing them too many times to get your point across.
Example: There is a killer on the loose as reported in the news.
Even More Effective Revision: The news reported about a killer being on the loose.
25. Research properly
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to write effectively is not doing proper
research. Some end up using sites such as Wikipedia or other pages as their sources. But these
sites are often filled with inaccurate information. That, in turn, can end up hurting how concrete
your writing is. Do your research properly and smarter so that it will show on your work.
26. Use short words, short sentences and
This tip is less about editing and more about keeping things simple. As much as you can, get to
your point quickly and use the most simple language you can.
27. Maintain Control, Honesty, Emphasis and
Effective writing lets the author express his or her personality, beliefs and ideas. That will mean
that it will vastly improve the communication between the author and reader.
Maintaining control of your writing will ensure that you always write accurately and forcefully.
The same goes for making sure your honesty, passion and emphasis are felt in your words.
Being able to put these emotions and feelings into your writing will make your essay or paper
that much be
28. Recognizing the hallmarks of effective
For starters, writers need to consider their audience and purpose. If you do not know who you
are writing to and why, the writing is probably already doomed. You also need to learn to trust
the writing process itself, for shaping content into meaning takes time. Beyond these concerns,
you need to consider what constitutes good writing. To this end, I find it helpful to think about
the hallmarks of effective writing, what I call the four Cs of effective writing. Effective writing is
clear, complete, concise, and correct.
29. Good writing is clear.
You need to express your thoughts in a way in which a reader will understand what you are
trying to say, the point. Clear writing is specific. It is precise. Clear writing is using the best words
you can find to convey meaning.
As a writer, you need to ask yourself: Would my audience understand what I am trying to say?
“to be terrific, you must be specific”
“My grandparents are getting old,” or “My grandparents are in their late eighties,”
Clarity, however, moves beyond words and must be applied to paragraphs and, indeed, to the
composition as a whole. What writers need to consider here is how the sentences are organized
to form paragraphs, and how the paragraphs are organized to form an essay.
For the writing to be clear, you need to present your content in a manner that is easy for the
reader to follow and, therefore, understand.
30. Effective writing is complete
Effective writing is also complete in that you develop your ideas for your audience. You need to
take your time and develop your points so that they make sense to someone else.
You need to prove that what you say is true and that takes time; depending on your purpose,
you will need to use examples, details, facts, quotes, statistics, and testimony to give meaning to
Complete writing is sustained writing. A statement with no proof, no development, is just an
assertion and an assertion is incomplete in the sense that it lacks sustained development.
When you express yourself in writing, you need to develop your thoughts completely, taking
your time and developing your point with specific, concrete details and examples so that you
communicate meaning to your audience.
31. Effective writing is the idea of being
Concise writing is when your ideas are understood quickly and easily. The idea of being concise,
on the sentence level, is to use only the number of words necessary to convey meaning. Being
concise does not suggest brevity; you do not want a lot of short, choppy sentences. If you need
fifty words to say what you need to say, use fifty words. But if you can express the same idea
with forty-four words, use forty-four words. Concise writing is tight writing.
Wordy: It is the depletion of natural resources which has caused men to search unceasingly for
decades to find alternative energy resources.
Tighter: For decades men have searched for alternative energy resources.
32. Effective writing concerns correctness
Effective writing is correct in that the writer has taken the time to ensure the writing is free
from as many possible errors as possible—errors not only of grammar, usage, and mechanics,
but also of format and content.
As a writer trying to communicate meaning to an audience, it is your responsibility to check and
recheck your document for errors.
33. Applying modern day business writing
The overall tone of a business document, as seen through the choice of words and commentary,
reflects the writer’s attitude. Business writers must consider the overall tone of their messages,
whether they are writing a letter or a formal report. To decide on the appropriate tone for your
documents, make sure you can answer the following questions:
■ Why am I writing this document?
■ For whom am I writing it?
■ What do I want the readers to understand?
The overall tone of a business document should be confident, courteous, and sincere. It should
use nondiscriminatory language and be written at the appropriate level for the audience. In
addition, your writing should focus on the benefits to the reader. To write with the appropriate
■ Be knowledgeable and prepared so that readers will accept your ideas.
■ Be persuasive so that readers will follow your instructions.
■ Don’t be arrogant or presumptuous.
■ Strive for politeness with sincerity to avoid sounding condescending.
■ Consider your word choices and think about how the reader will perceive them
■ Use strategies to emphasize key points by using short sentences, placing key points at the
beginning of paragraphs, and positioning subordinate information in the middle of paragraphs.
■ Use the active voice to describe what a reader should do, and use the passive voice to
describe actions being performed.
■ Avoid language that is sexist or biased based on race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual
orientation, or disability.
■ Write from your readers’ perspective and clearly explain the benefits for them.
■ Use language and details that are appropriate to the target audience’s level of understanding
36. Basic grammar
Term Function Examples
Nouns Names of persons, places, things,
qualities or concepts
Clinton, child, Jerusalem, plateau,
bicycle, sadness, freedom
Verbs Express action or being Fly, transmit, be, appear
Pronouns Substitute for nouns and function as
I, me, myself, mine
Adjectives Describe or qualify or modify nouns or
Tall, successful, joyful
Adverbs Modify verbs, adjectives, other
Quickly, here, soon, successfully
Prepositions Show relationships between a noun or
pronoun and other words in a
Across, on, top, above
Conjunctions Link words and groups of words And, because, but
Interjections Express feelings or attitudes. Wow! Hey! Say
37. Term Function Examples
Tense Describes when an action takes
I type/ I typed/ I will type/ I have typed/ I
was typing/ I will be typing
Articles Signals that a noun will follow The, a, an
Subject The word or group of words that
receives the action. It can be a noun or pronoun
She spoke at the meeting. The two managers
attended the function.
Object The word or group of words that
receives the action.
She spoke at the meeting. The two managers
attended the function.
Active voice. The subject in the sentence
performs the action.
I typed the document
Passive voice The subject is acted upon, or
receives the action.
The document was typed by me.
39. Writing considerations
A letter that is well written always contains a friendly undertone, polite terms and is written in
common language without jargon. To write well aim to appeal to the readers interest, engaging
them by presenting the information in a logical sequence and in an accurate and concise way.
Use plain English and avoid jargon.
Vary the length of your sentences.
Divide your written message into unified paragraphs.
Keep each paragraph to a single topic.
40. Introduce each paragraph with a strong topic sentence.
End each paragraph with a concluding thought.
Use transitional words and phrases to unify sentences and paragraphs.
Select the communication format that best suits your message.
Use a professional tone at all times.
41. Guidelines for sentences
Sentence structure is the order and arrangement of the clauses in a sentence, which is a group
of words that express a complete thought.
Three of the most common types of sentence structure are simple, compound, and
complex sentences. Each of these can be identified by the number and types of clauses found
Every word in a sentence serves a specific purpose within the structure of that particular
sentence. According to rules of grammar, sentence structure can sometimes be quite
complicated. For the sake of simplicity, however, the basic parts of a sentence are the subject
The subject of a sentence is the person, place, or thing that is performing the action of the
sentence. The subject represents what or whom the sentence is about. The simple subject
usually contains a noun or pronoun and can include modifying words, phrases, or clauses.
42. The predicate expresses action or being within the sentence. The simple predicate contains the
verb and can also contain modifying words, phrases, or clauses.
An independent clause (a clause is a group of words that contains at least one subject and one
verb) is one that can stand on its own two feet, independently. You can join independent clauses
if you want to. This is called coordination. An independent clause lacks nothing to stand on its
Jennifer put a new washer in the bathroom faucet before leaving for the party.
Mai figured out how to fix the garbage disposal.
43. A dependent clause is one that cannot stand on its own two feet--it needs an independent
clause to lean on. You must join a dependent clause to an independent one. This is
In contrast to an independent clause, a dependent clause is incomplete; it is a type of sentence
fragment. A dependent clause may contain a subject and a verb, but it begins a thought that it
Because Amy left the iron on.
When the firemen arrived at the dorm.
Because Amy left the iron on, the dorm's obsolete wiring melted and started a fire.
When the firemen arrived at the dorm, Jennifer and Mai had already put out the fire.
44. Simple sentences
A simple sentence has a subject, a verb and an object. This type of sentence is used for
direct and clear sentences. It is the most powerful type of sentence there is.
Example : The accounting department will conduct a detailed audit.
45. Compound sentence
A compound sentence links two simple sentences together because they are part of one
idea. These are also called coordinating sentences because you always use a coordinating
conjunction (such as and, but, so, for, yet) that links the two sentences.
The media heads have been appointed, and they have almost completed the project.
Sales were up this year at the European office and the marketing staff from that region will receive a
The main plant will be hiring this spring, but it is not yet known how many new positions will
46. Complex sentences
A complex sentence is one that adds some explanation to your primary statement. It links a
main clause with a dependent clause (a clause is a part of a sentence containing a verb
and a noun). They are joined by a relative pronoun such as whom, who, that, which, whose or by
a subordinating conjunction such because, since, that
The managing director of Coles Myer announced a new advertising strategy that would enable
the company's supermarkets to undercut their competition's ratings.
47. Compound complex sentences
A compound-complex sentence is made from two independent clauses and one or more
Country Road, which has survived two takeovers, had completed designs for overseas markets
so that new stores could be opened in the USA which was a hotbed of competition and also
subject to the changes in the Australian dollar exchange rate.
Although it will be costly at first, expansion into global markets is necessary and the firm will
investigate this option.
Employees will be moved to the fifth floor and they will share workspace because their regular
office is under renovation.
48. 1) The decision of the board of directors regarding expansion to North America was pending
further investigation. (2) Although the facts originally presented seemed conclusive, there was
concern that costs were too high. (3) However, cost was not all that was standing in the way of a
final decision and the board knew this. (4) Even though the expansion needed to be initiated in a
timely fashion, the board of directors decided to hire a consulting firm to do a feasibility study
and then they intended to discuss the findings with North American affiliates.
Sentence (1) is simple.
Sentence (2) is complex.
Sentence (3) is compound.
Sentence (4) is compound-complex.
49. What is a paragraph
A paragraph is a collection of related sentences organised together because they share the same
argument focused on one main idea. A paragraph is made up of a minimum of three sentences
and a maximum of five sentences
help us to organise our ideas in longer texts such as letters and essays.
make it easier for the reader to follow our ideas.
show where one topic or idea ends and another one begins.
50. Generally, paragraphs in English, have three principal parts. These three parts are the topic
sentence, supporting sentences, and the concluding sentence.
The topic sentence is often at or near the start of the paragraph and sets out what the
paragraph is about.
The supporting or developing sentences expand the topic sentence. This is the main body of the
The concluding sentence, at the end of the paragraph summarizes the information that has
been presented. You can think of a concluding sentence as a sort of topic sentence in reverse.
51. Example of a paragraph
Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live in. First, Canada has an excellent health
care system. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Second,
Canada has a high standard of education. Students are taught by well‐trained teachers and are
encouraged to continue studying at university. Finally, Canada's cities are clean and efficiently
managed. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. As a result,
Canada is a desirable place to live.
53. 7 traits for organized writing
Trait 1: Strong Ideas
If a good idea is stated clearly, the reader can understand it and use it. Construct a clear idea
statement by following this formula:
Formula: A specific subject + a specific thought, conclusion, opinion = a good idea statement or
Example: Rankin Industries needs to update its automated phone system.
Once you have clearly stated your main idea, you need to provide strong support.
The automated call system requires callers to wait through six options before they hear the
feature that handles 90 percent of calls: the catalog-request service.
54. Trait 2: Logical Organization
Before you begin writing, consider how your reader will respond to your message. Then choose
either a direct or an indirect organizational approach.
If your reader is likely to respond to your message as good or neutral news, be direct. Use the
SEA organization (Good- or neutral-news messages) formula:
Situation: Explain your reason for writing.
Explanation: Expand on the main point.
Action: Focus positively on what’s next.
55. When your reader may be indifferent or even resistant to your message, be indirect. Use the
AIDA formula (Persuasive messages):
Attention: Use a creative opening.
Interest: Create curiosity about your cause.
Desire: Encourage your reader to “take ownership” of your cause.
Action: Inspire your reader to take action.
56. If your reader will likely be unhappy or angry with your message, be indirect. Use the BEBE( Bad-
news messages) formula:
Buffer: Open with a neutral statement.
Explanation: Build toward the bad news.
Bad News: State the bad news honestly.
Exit: End as positively as possible
57. Trait 3: Appropriate Voice
Levels of Formality
Just because business writing is considered professional doesn’t mean it should be stuffy. The
key is to write with a conversational yet professional tone. That means making your writing
sound natural. When writing is natural, its tone or level of formality is right
58. Trait 4: Precise Word Choice
Choosing Precise Words
Good business writing is not filled with the biggest words; it’s filled with the most precise words. Use the
following information to incorporate precise words into your business writing. A precise word is fresh, clear,
energetic, fair, and respectful. In general, precise words are the simplest ones you can use to get your
Replace or clarify general words. Balance general words with concrete, precise terms. Choose specific nouns,
vivid verbs, and strong modifiers.
Rewrite unprofessional expressions. Slang terms and clichés weaken your writing’s authority, clarity, and
Avoid “business English.” Use plain English instead of language that sounds overly technical, vague, or trendy.
Use fair, respectful language. People want respect, and it’s the writer’s job to address readers respectfully.
Eliminate wordiness. Concise writing involves cutting unneeded words, irrelevant information, and obvious
59. Trait 5: Smooth Sentences
Sentence variety creates a pleasing rhythm. Try these tips for creating variety:
Vary beginnings: Start with an introductory word, phrase, or clause.
Vary lengths: Use long sentences for complex ideas, medium sentences for most ideas, and
short sentences to hammer home a point.
Vary types: Use statements, questions, and command
60. Trait 6: Correct Copy
An error-free document reflects well on the writer and avoids distracting the reader. When
editing for punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and usage,
61. Trait 7: Polished Presentation
Design with a Purpose
Effective page design is attractive and easy to read, and it reflects positively on the writer and
her or his company. When designing a document, do so with a purpose. The form that words
take on a page should relate to the function of the words.
62. Setting a purpose
Before you begin writing:
• What is the purpose of writing the mail / letter / memo / etc.?
• What information do you wish to exchange?
• What does your reader want to know?
• What action do you want the reader to take?
• What relationship do you have with the reader?
63. Purpose cont……..
The subject should:
•Subject should convey the purpose
• Subject field is the first thing reader will see before opening the communication sent
• Subject field of your message should be meaningful
• Subject field [when you use the ‘reply’ option in case of e-mails] should accurately reflect the
content of the message
• Subject should be brief – Does not need to be a complete sentence
64. Investigating your audience
When planning to write a business document, the most important consideration is to
understand your audience. You must adapt your writing to the needs and interests of the
audience. For most business documents, the audience falls into one of the following categories:
■Subject matter experts—individuals who know the content completely and who focus on the
■ Technologists—people who manufacture, operate, and maintain products and services and
who have a firm practical knowledge
■ Management—people who make decisions about whether to produce and market products
and services but who have little technical knowledge about the details
■ General audience—people who may know about a product or service but who have little
technical knowledge about the details
65. Investigating audience cont….
Another way to analyze your audience is to consider its characteristics:
■ What are their background, education, and experience?
■ Does your writing have to start with the basics, or can you work at a more advanced level?
■ What will the audience expect and need from your document?
■ How will your document be used?
■ Will users read it cover to cover or just skim the high points?
■ Will they use your document as a reference to look up information when it is needed?
■ What are the demographics of your audience?
■ Consider the age, sex, location, and other characteristics of your audience
Once you have analyzed your audience, you need to adapt your document to conform to its interests and needs.
66. Organizing content to match your
The purpose of business writing is to communicate facts and ideas. In order to accomplish that
purpose, each document has key components that need to be present in order for your reading
audience to understand the message.
Once you know the basic elements of your message, you need to decide in what order to
present them to your audience. A central organizing principle will help you determine a logical
order for your information.
67. Organizing Principle Explanation of Process Example
1. Time (Chronological)
Structuring your document by time shows a series of events or
steps in a process, which typically has a beginning, middle, and
end. “Once upon a time stories” follow a chronological pattern.
Before the First Transcontinental Railroad, the events
that led to its construction, and its impact on early
America. Additional examples may include the national
highway projects and the development of reliable air
Now we can consider the TransAmerican Transportation
System and the similar and distinct events that led us to
68. 2. Comparison
Structuring your document by comparison focuses on
the similarities and/or differences between points or
A comparison of pre– and post–First Transcontinental Railroad America,
showing how health and life expectancy improved with the increased access
to goods and services.
Another example could be drawn from air freight, noting that organ donation
in one part of the country can now save a life in another state or on the
In a similar way, the TransAmerica Transportation System will improve the
lives of the citizens of Mexico, the United States, and Canada.
69. 3. Contrast Structuring your document by using contrasting points highlights the
differences between items and concepts.
A contrast of pre– and post–First Transcontinental
Railroad America showing how much time it took to
communicate via letter, or how long it took to move out
West. Just in time delivery and the modern highway
system and trucking may serve as an example for contrast.
The TransAmerica Transportation System will reduce
customs clearing time while increasing border security
along the distribution network.
70. 4. Cause and Effect Structuring your document by cause and effect structuring
establishes a relationship between two events or situations,
making the connection clear.
The movement of people and goods out West grew considerably
from 1750 to 1850. With the availability of a new and faster way
to go West, people generally supported its construction. Both the
modern highway and air transportation systems may serve as
examples, noting how people, goods, and services can be
delivered in drastically reduced time frames. Citizens of all three
countries involved have increasingly been involved in trade, and
movement across common borders through the TransAmerica
Transportation System will enable the movement of goods and
services with great efficiency.
71. 5. Problem and Solution Structuring your document by problem and solution means you
state the problem and detail how it was solved. This approach is
effective for persuasive documents.
Manufacturers were producing better goods for less money
at the start of the Industrial Revolution, but they lacked a
fast and effective method of getting their goods to growing
markets. The First Transcontinental Railroad gave them
speed, economy, and access to new markets. Highways and
air routes have dramatically increased this trend. In a similar
way, this new system is the next evolutionary step in the
integration and growth of our common marketplaces.
72. 6. Ascending and Descending Structuring your document by ascending or
descending order involves focusing on
quantity and quality. One good story
(quality) leads to the larger picture, or the
A day in the life of a traveler in 1800. Incremental developments in
transportation to the present, expressed through statistics, graphs, maps, and
charts. A day in the life of a traveler in 1960, 1980, or even 2000, with visual
examples of changes and trends may also contribute to the document. A day in
the life of a traveler in 2009 compared to the relatively slow movement of
goods and services, constrained by an antiquated transportation network that
negatively impacts efficiency.
73. 7. Example
Structuring your document by example involves providing
vivid, specific examples (as opposed to abstract
representations of data) to support main points.
Just as it once took weeks, even months, for a simple letter to move from
coast to coast, goods and services have had a long and arduous process
from importation to market. For example, the popular Christmas toy X,
imported to Mexico from China in September, may well not be on store
shelves by December 25 under the old system. Now it can move from
importation to market in under two weeks.
74. Using clear, specific and positive writing
If you do not return your Form before 1st August you will be too late to attend the conference
Please return your form by 31st July so that we can register your name for the conference
75. Developing your business writing styles
The world of business writing can seem vast. Each office seems to have variations of documents,
each with their personalized templates and industry focus. Varying scenarios require varying
forms of business writing. However, the innumerable documents can be distilled into to four
76. Instructional Business Writing
Instructional business writing provides the reader with the information needed to complete a
task. The task may need be accomplished immediately or it may be for future reference. This
type of document must break down a process into steps that are understandable to the reader.
The written record must account for reader’s knowledge of the area, the scope of the task while
integrating variations or potential problems.
Specifications: a technical document which provides an outline of a product or process that
allows it be constructed or reconstructed by an unfamiliar but knowledgeable user, enabling
Memo: a short notification of new information shared within a large group in an organization.
The memo may include a direct instruction or be a reference on how to complete future tasks.
77. Informational Business Writing
Not all business writing requires action. A large volume of writing is created for reference or
record. This category can include some of the less glamorous but still essential documents.
Recording business information accurately and consistently is important for marking progress,
predicting future work, as well as complying with legal and contractual obligations.
◦ Report: perhaps the bulk of informational writing is report writing. Organizations rely on reports to act,
to communicate business and technical information, to capture work completed, to record incidents, to
finalize projects and recommendations, and to act as an archive. A well written report allows the reader
to easily grasp the content and, if applicable, make informed decisions.
◦ Minutes: a summary of the proceedings of a meeting. A record of discussions, decisions, and
assignments for attendees and others.
78. Persuasive Business Writing
When people think of business writing, they often think of the persuasive writing category.
These documents are generally associated with sales. The persuasive writing may be direct, with
focus on a specific item, or indirect, with focus on developing the client relationship.
The goal is to two-fold: to convey information and to convince the reader that the presented
information offers the best value. The text is written to impress the reader and sway their
◦ Sales Email: an email written to a large number of people to pitch a product or service.
◦ Press Release: a text written for journalists and media presenting new information. The text aims to
persuade the reader to share the content through their own channels
79. Transactional Business Writing
Everyday communication falls under transactional business writing. The majority of this writing
is by email, but also includes official letters, forms, and invoices. An easy way to quickly improve
your transactional business writing is to take an online course.
These documents are used to progress general operations. They are also used to convey good
and bad news, often associated with human resource processes.
Emails: documents used to quickly communicate information between staff or clients in
business activities. Read our guide on how to write a business email here.
Dismissal notice: this letter provides the official context and procedural details associated with
80. Read the following paragraph and
answer the questions that follow
Using foreign language as medium of instruction has a number of limitations. Firstly, learners
have little occasions to use it outside the classroom. Secondly, teachers tend to have inadequate
proficiency in it (foreign language). In South Africa for example, most of the teachers are not
sufficiently equipped to explain various subjects. Additionally, the other limitation is that using a
foreign language as medium of instruction can lead to the perception that indigenous languages
are inferior. Consequently, the Namibian government should consider introducing indigenous
languages as medium of instructions.
81. What is the topic sentence of the paragraph?
Write down three main supporting sentences.
Name the transitions used in the paragraph
82. Using visual
Statistical information can be presented in tables or graphs. Graphs in particular help the reader
conceptualize information that is not as easily seen in tabular form. Graphs can display the
relationships between sets of data. When creating graphs:
■ Don’t overly complicate graphs with grid lines and data points.
■ Use line graphs to show a relationship between two values.
■ Employ pie charts to show a relationship between multiple values that make up a whole.
■ Utilize bar charts to show comparisons, distributions, and trends.
■ Use pictographs like bar charts but with symbols to make up each bar.
■ Use organizational charts to show the hierarchy of an organization.
■ Employ flowcharts to show the steps in a process.
83. Complementing writing with tables and
Visuals in a business document should support the text and avoid confusing the reader. Visuals are a
part of the overall message and should be used to communicate important ideas. When creating and
placing visuals, keep the following in mind:
■ Readers must be able to understand a figure without having to read any of the surrounding text.
■ Introduce all figures by referring to them in the text.
■ Place visuals in a logical place close to the reference text.
■ Charts with content of interest only to specific audiences should be saved for an appendix.
■ Visuals should not repeat the content of the text.
■ Never use charts to distort research findings.
■ Be aware of what multicolored images and graphs will look like in black and white.
85. Organizing your thoughts
1. Define your purpose for writing.
2. Brainstorm and cluster.
3. Freeform write.
4. Revise, edit, format.
86. Pyramid structuring
Most documents you write will be
structured to support one single thought
– how your solution will solve a problem,
how a policy change will affect
employees, the request you’re making,
This thought should be the major point
you want to make, and all the ideas
grouped underneath will help explain or
defend that point in ever greater detail.
Principle. Each box represents an idea.
88. Basic rules of pyramid structuring
Ideas at any level in the pyramid must always be summaries of the ideas grouped below them.
Ideas in each grouping must always be the same kind of idea. If the first idea in a grouping is a
reason for doing something, the other ideas in the same grouping must also be reasons for
doing the same thing. There is no limitation on the kinds of ideas that may be grouped, but the
idea in each grouping must be of the same kind.
Ideas in each grouping must always be logically ordered. They must explain or defend the point
in ever greater detail. There must be a specific reason why the second idea comes second, and
cannot come first or third, e.g.: it answers a question about the first idea, provides clarification
of the first idea, or follows a chronology initiated by the first idea.
89. Developing a compelling story board
Storyboarding is a useful and flexible technique for arranging your data or ideas into logical
groupings and perfect for building your pyramid. To do it, write your ideas on separate sheets
and arrange them, ideally on a wall until you have a structure that works well. The power of
storyboarding is that it allows you to move material around while retaining a view of the overall
There are many ways in which you can group information. To work out the best groupings,
consider the questions your readers might raise and the purpose of your document. Group ideas
of the same kind together. For maximum impact, try to use each idea only once. Ask yourself: is
each idea in the right place? Is anything missing?
90. 3 parts of a message
When you create a message, it is often helpful to think of it as having five parts:
Each of these parts has its own function.
In your introduction you will make a clear statement your topic; this is also the time to establish
a relationship with your audience. One way to do this is to create common ground with the
audience, drawing on familiar or shared experiences, or by referring to the person who
introduced you. You may also explain why you chose to convey this message at this time, why
the topic is important to you, what kind of expertise you have, or how your personal experience
has led you to share this message.
After the introduction comes the body of your message. Here you will present your message in
detail, using any of a variety of organizational structures. Regardless of the type of organization
you choose for your document, it is important to make your main points clear, provide support
for each point, and use transitions to guide your readers or listeners from one point to the next.
At the end of the message, your conclusion should provide the audience with a sense of closure
by summarizing your main points and relating them to the overall topic. In one sense, it is
important to focus on your organizational structure again and incorporate the main elements
into your summary, reminding the audience of what you have covered. In another sense, it is
important not to merely state your list of main points again, but to convey a sense that you have
accomplished what you stated you would do in your introduction, allowing the audience to have
94. Achieving flow through effective
Transitions or linking words are words that are used to connect sentences within a paragraph, or
to connect paragraphs together in longer texts, e.g. essays. Below are some examples of
transitions that can be used within a sentence, paragraph or essay to illustrate relationships
also, again, as well as, besides, coupled with, furthermore, in addition, likewise, similarly.
accordingly, as a result, consequently, for this reason, for this purpose,
hence, otherwise, so then, subsequently, therefore, thus, thereupon, wherefore.
as a rule, as usual, for the most part, generally, generally speaking, ordinarily, usually
chiefly, especially, for instance, in particular, markedly, namely, particularly, including, specifically,
for example, for instance, for one thing, as an illustration, illustrated with, as an example,in this case
above all, chiefly, with attention to, especially, particularly, singularly
comparatively, coupled with, correspondingly, identically, likewise, similar, moreover, together with
aside from, barring, besides, except, excepting, excluding, exclusive of, other than, outside of, save
in essence, in other words, namely, that is, that is to say, in short, in brief, to put it differently
96. Contrast and Comparison:
contrast, by the same token, conversely, instead, likewise, on one hand, on the other hand, on
the contrary, rather, similarly, yet, but, however, still, nevertheless, in contrast
at first, first of all, to begin with, in the first place, at the same time, for now, for the time being,
the next step, in time, in turn, later on, meanwhile, next, then, soon, the meantime, later, while,
earlier, simultaneously, afterward, in conclusion, with this in mind,
after all, all in all, all things considered, briefly, by and large, in any case, in any event,
in brief, in conclusion, on the whole, in short, in summary, in the final analysis, in the long run,
on balance, to sum up, to summarize, finally
97. To show addition:
again, and, also, besides, equally important, first (second, etc.), further, furthermore, in addition, in
the first place, moreover, next, too
To show time:
after, afterward, as, as long as, as soon as, at last, before, during, earlier, finally, formerly,
immediately, later, meanwhile, next, since, shortly, subsequently, then, thereafter, until, when, while
To show place or direction:
above, below, beyond, close, elsewhere, farther on, here, nearby, opposite, to the left (north, etc.)
To indicate logical relationship:
accordingly, as a result, because, consequently, for this reason, hence, if, otherwise, since, so, then,
98. Applying pyramid structuring to your
Period or full stop A period or full stop ( . ) marks the end of a sentence, such as this one.
Ellipsis An ellipsis ( . . . ) shows a pause or omitted words.
Example: The hunter stopped and listened . . . and eventually heard the distinct sound of rams butting heads.
Comma A comma ( , ) is used for many purposes. These are four common uses:
To separate the elements in a series: Their flag is red, yellow, green and blue.
To connect two independent clauses joined by a conjunction: They went to the fair, and Paul and Wanda decided volunteer for
the dunk tank.
To set off introductory elements: The following morning, the team boarded the bus for the long trip home.
To set off parenthetical elements: The admission of guilt, offered without any prompting, sealed his fate.
Semicolon A semicolon ( ; ) connects two or more closely related independent clauses – or, to put it more simply, it connects related thoughts.
Example: The tree cut diagonally across the trail; a blackened portion suggested it was felled by lightning.
99. Colon A colon ( : ) is used for emphasis and to indicate a list, quotation or explanation follows.
Example: She had much to do that day: file her petition, buy groceries, drive her daughter to soccer practice, and take the dog to the vet.
Question mark A question mark ( ?) shows that a query has been posed.
Example: Why did you throw your trumpet across the band room?
Dash A dash ( –) is used for emphasis, to set off parenthetical material and to set off introductory material, among other things. The dash is quite
versatile – it can often be used instead of semicolons, commas and colons.
Example: When Josh took the shot – his first of the game – his sister Mary held her breath.
Exclamation mark An exclamation point ( ! ) is used (sparingly) to express strong feeling.
Examples: Great move! That was brilliant!
Quotation marks Quotation marks ( ” ” ) indicate dialogue, set off quoted passages, indicate a word is being emphasized and punctuate titles.
“The meeting will start in five minutes,” Paula said.
The car was “decorated” with toilet paper.
Apostrophe An apostrophe ( ‘ ) is used in contractions, to form some plurals and to form possessives.
If they’d left, they wouldn’t have seen the volcano erupt.
She got straight A’s.
Brian’s snowboard is expensive.
100. Deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning moves from generalized principles that are known to be true, to a specific
It is a reasoning method that deals with certain conclusions (logically certain inferences). It
reasons from certain rules and facts “down” to logically certain conclusions that necessarily
follow the premises of an argument.
For example, money is important for business -> we are a business -> money is important to us..
101. Abductive reasoning
The reasoning method that deals with guesswork.
Abductive reasoning is a method of reasoning that formulates a hypothesis, a type of probable
conclusion that doesn’t necessarily follow from the premises (it is therefore a type of induction).
It reasons by analogy, comparing an interesting observation to a certain rule, probable rule, certain
fact, probable fact, or another observation to make an educated guess about what might be the case
(which can then be explored using inductive reasoning).
Since abduction deals with guesswork, abductive reasoning simply produces a good guess (a thing we
would not know to be true or false without additional testing). A term that describes the result of
abduction well is “speculative hypothesis.
For example, Business uses money to function. Our business need money on human resources,
server maintenance and marketing.
102. Building a compelling introduction
Start with an attention grabber: a short story, example, statistic, or historical context that introduces
the paper topic.
Background information: Enough information necessary for your reader to understand your topic.
Move from general to specific
Open with a general statement on the subject that establishes its importance and then lead to the
more specific statement.
Use an anecdote
Tell an interesting incident that will interest the reader in the subject. Newspaper and magazine
writers often use this technique in articles.
Use a quotation
Quote an authority on the subject or use an interesting quotation from an article.
103. Ask a question
A question or 2 at the beginning is a good way to engage your readers in the topic. They will
want to read to get the answers to the questions.
Present facts and statistics
Interesting facts or statistics establish credibility
105. Applying George Orwell 5 rules for
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday
106. Promoting clarity in writing
1. Make few to no assumptions about the reader’s prior knowledge.
2. Watch your word choice. Delivery matters almost as much as content does.
3. Reduce and eliminate unnecessary verbiage.
4. Stay focused.
107. Avoiding miscommunication
• Address people according to their correct titles and sex.
• The structure of the document must be properly presented.
• The clearly state the purpose of the communication.
• The document must be written according to the level of formality that best cater the recipient.
• Make sure that important information is not omitted.
• The tone must be appropriate and polite.
• Make sure that there no are errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar.
108. Managing and delivering expectations
1. Set Clear Deliverables
2. Be Authentic
3. Establish Regular Communication
6. Set Realistic Expectations
7. Be Transparent
8. Be Honest
109. Responding to different email scenarios
Be clear and direct in your email replies, and avoid being ambiguous.
Make your replies one-to-one.
Keep it Short, Simple and Sweet (KISSS).
Imagine that you work for a language teaching company in London that proposes English classes
and that helps students find accommodations. You have received an email to request for
information about a two-week intensive English course. Write a response email informing about
the course content, schedule and fees, about the accommodation possibilities. Do not forget to
promote your company, as the competition for such language courses is stiff in London
111. Understanding different readers
Business communications require that you write for the benefit of your reader or design the
content and structure of your communication for your “user.” This mindset should be informed
by an understanding of your audience. Use these guidelines and ask yourself the following
Who is my target audience?
What is their perspectives on the topic, on me, and on the document I will write? What are
they expecting to do with the document? What is the document meant to accomplish? Why has
it been requested? What is my role and relationship to my readers? What does the reader need
to know? Already know? What does my reader NOT need to have explained?
What is my goal or purpose in writing to these readers? What am I trying to communicate?
What do I want them to do as a result of reading this document? How can I plan the content to
meet my readers’ needs?
What is my reader’s goal? Why does this audience want or need to read this document?
112. EXERCISE 2.2 Audience analysis
You are tasked to write a sales letter to a potential client detailing the products or services that
your company offers.
Perform an audience analysis, using the questions above to gain an understanding of the needs
of different audiences. Write a profile of your intended reader(s).
Using your audience analysis, determine the type of information your reader will need and why?
114. Writing considerations
Avoid contractions in formal language.
I can’t go to the meeting today.
I cannot go to the meeting today.
• Use relative pronouns relative pronouns in formal
The woman you are talking about is my boss.
The woman about whom you are talking is my boss.
• Do not separate prepositions from relative pronouns.
Who are you writing to?
To whom are you writing?
115. •Use linking words – avoid conjunctions.
The order did not arrive, but there is one in stock.
The order did not arrive. However, there is one in stock.
• Use modal language.
If you need help, give us a call.
Should you require assistance, please contact us.
•Do not start sentences with a coordinating conjunction.
Avoid “and,” “but,” “or,” “also”…
Prefer “additionally,” “moreover,” “however,” “alternatively,” “nevertheless”…
116. • Avoid using common colloquial words and expressions
Colloquial words and phrases are called "colloquialisms.” (eg. slang)
Avoid solecisms, such as "ain’t," which are grammatical errors.
Avoid non words, combinations of letters and characters that do not form real words, such as
”alot,” “kinda,” “sorta”
• Avoid the first and second person.
Formal writing often tries to be objective, and the pronouns "I" and "you" tend to imply
In the most formal writing, "we" replaces "I," and "one" replaces
117. Using power words to
influence your audience
EFFECTIVE BUSINESS WRITING USES POWER WORDS OR PHRASES
FOR STRONGER STATEMENTS. HERE ARE A FEW SUGGESTIONS FOR
STRENGTHENING YOUR WORDS
120. Presentation: less is more
Well-designed slides assist the speaker in emphasizing his or her point and the audience in
understanding the key takeaways from a presentation.
Add Graphic Elements
Break Up the Presentation
121. Using visual aids effectively
Keep visual aids simple.
Use one key idea per slide.
Avoid clutter, noise, and overwhelming slides.
Use large, bold fonts that the audience can read from at least twenty feet from the screen.
Use contrasting colors to create a dynamic effect.
Use analogous colors to unify your presentation.
Use clip art with permission and sparingly.
Edit and proofread each slide with care and caution.
122. Writing checklist
Spelling Grammar Punctuation Statistics Excessive words Clear
There versus their Verb tense Periods Interpretation Cut excess (e.g., very,
kind of, basically)
Pronoun Comma Number correct Eliminate
One idea per
It’s versus its Preposition Semi colon Avoid industry jargon
Lose versus loose Article Full stop Language used
123. How to be successful writer
Think Before You Start Writing.
Keep It Short
Avoid Pretentious Words.
Always Be Professional.
Clarify Your Call to Action.
Use Your Email Subject Line Appropriately.
Stick to One Topic in Emails.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!