Business Communication for Success Chapter 4: Effective Business Writing 4.0.1 Upon what does effective written communication depend? “Written communication is only as accurate as the writer’s knowledge of the subject and audience, and understanding depends on how well the writer captures the reader’s attention.” 4.1.1 How does written and Written and oral communication both rely on the 8 essential components of oral communication compare? communication: source, receiver, message, channel, feedback, environment, context, and interference. Both types also involve verbal and nonverbal information (in writing, the words are the verbal and the manner in which they are presented are the nonverbal). In oral communication, we often receive immediate, often simultaneous feedback, on our message; while with written communication, we often do not receive feedback about how the message was received until later, if at all. 4.2.1 How do reading, writing, Read business-related documents such as letters, reports, business proposals, and thinking critically and business plans, and read industry-related publications. In these documents contribute to becoming a you will see examples of the types of writing you will need to do. Before good writer? beginning a writing assignment, clarify the expectations and stay focused on the goal, looking to a mentor or supervisor for help. Thinking critically will help you make sure the audience will understand the message as you intend it. Read your own writing and ask yourself questions like: “Does this really make sense?” “Are there other, perhaps better, ways to explain this idea?” “Did you really write what you meant to, and will it be easily understood by the reader?” 4.3.1 What are the six basic Good business writing qualities that characterize follows the rules, good business writing? is easy to read, attracts the reader, meets the reader’s expectations, is clear and concise, is efficient and effective. 4.3.2 What are the rhetorical elements and cognate strategies that contribute to good writing? 4.4.1 What are three common styles of writing? The rhetorical element logos uses the cognate strategies of clarity to create clear understanding, arrangement to determine order, and conciseness to share key points. The rhetorical element pathos uses the cognate strategies of tone to express a specific emotion, emphasis to indicate relevance, and engagement to create a relationship with the audience. The rhetorical element ethos uses the cognate strategies of credibility to create trust, expectation to delineate norms and anticipated outcomes, and reference to provide sources. Colloquial: informal, conversational Casual: everyday words and expressions Formal: has a degree of formality, focuses on professional expression with attention to roles, protocol, and appearance. writers using a formal style tend to use a more sophisticated vocabulary—a greater variety of words, and more words with multiple syllables—not for the purpose of throwing big words around, but to enhance the formal mood of the document. They also tend to use more complex syntax, resulting in sentences that are longer and contain more subordinate clauses. 4.4.2 What is appropriate use of casual, formal, and colloquial writing? 4.5.1 What are the rules that govern written language? 4.5.2 What are the legal implications of business writing? 4.6.1 What are some barriers to written communication and how can I overcome these barriers? Colloquial writing is “suitable only for one-on-one internal communications between coworkers who know each other well (and those who do not judge each other on spelling or grammar)” or in a specific context such as “a marketing letter describing a folksy product such as a wood stove or an oldfashioned popcorn popper might use a colloquial style to create a feeling of relaxing at home with loved ones.” When you write for business, a casual style is usually out of place. Instead, a respectful, professional tone represents you well in your absence. Business documents, including emails, will utilize varying degrees of formality, depending on the audience and purpose. Effective communication requires as much knowledge of the specific audience as possible in order to create links between the known and the unknown. Knowing which words to choose and which to avoid based on different cultures is important. Written words are considered permanent because they can last so much longer than the spoken word. There is a record of written language. “They can become an issue if they exaggerate, state false claims, or defame a person or legal entity such as a competing company.” Plagiarism, using someone else’s words without their permission and/or without giving them credit is a violation of copyright law. “Libel is the written form of defamation, or a false statement that damages a reputation.” Libel is illegal and can result in lawsuits. 1. Failure to sweat the small stuff: use formal language and pay attention to spelling, grammar, and context. Self-edit every document. 2. Bypassing (when the receiver completely misunderstands the intended message): request feedback and ask for confirmation and clarification, even if you think you understand the intended message. 3. Nonverbal aspects can get in the way of understanding: pay attention to message elements like headers, contact information, context, subject lines, font, design, symbols, timing, and channel. 4. Neglecting to take the time to revisit, review, and revise: focus on the task at hand during the drafting stage, take another look before sending the documents taking into consideration audience and purpose, and revise so that the intended message is most clear.