ENG201 - Short Notes

ENG201 - Business and Technical English Writing

Short Notes - Lecture 1 - 22

Notes for Midterm Preparation:

Effective oral communication is a combination of many skills:

  1. Outlining and planning
  2. Preparing overheads or other display media
  3. Rehearsing
  4. Delivery
Formal and informal oral reports:
An oral report may be delivered around a small table with just a few listeners or in a large auditorium to hundreds of people. Oral presentations in professional environment generally fall into two categories:
  1. Informative speaking 
  2. Persuasive speaking
Informative speaking:
Informative speaking has audience learning as its primary goal. An informative speech may explain a concept, instruct and audience, demonstrate a process, or describe an event. Forms:
  1. Individual or group report 
  2. Oral briefing
  3. Panel discussion
  4. Oral critique
Persuasive speaking:
Persuasive speaking is used to influence what an audience thinks or does. Some of the goals of persuasive speaking include:
  1. To reinforce the attitude, beliefs and values an audience already holds
  2. To inoculate an audience against counter persuasion 
  3. To change attitude
  4. To motivate and audience to act
Delivery methods:
There are four methods.
  1. Extempore
  2. Impromptu
  3. Memorization
  4. Reading
Parameters are as follows:
  1. Knowledge of the audience
  2. Knowledge of subject
  3. Use of time
  4. Rehearsal
  5. Personal appearance and grooming…
Presentation delivery:
  1. Poise and enthusiasm
  2. Eye contact
  3. Use of voice
  4. Use of time
Writing your letter of application:
  1. Defining your objectives
  2. Planning
  3. Drafting 
  4. Evaluating 
  5. Revising
Writing for experts:
  1. General experts
  2. Specific experts
Purpose of read a document:
  1. To acquire information
  2. To help make decisions
  3. To learn how to do something
Document purpose:
  1. To provide information 
  2. To give instructions
  3. To persuade the reader
  4. To enact something
Explicit purposes:
  1. To provide information
  2. To give instruction 
  3. To persuade the reader
  4. To enact
To provide information reports:
Document types: 
  1. Literature reviews 
  2. Specifications
Sections in documents
  1. Background
  2. Theory
  3. Materials
  4. Results
  5. Tables
Phantom readers:
In some situations most important readers may b hidden from you. Written communications addressed to one person are used by others. These real but unnamed recalled phantom readers.

Future readers:
While identifying your readers you should keep in mind the possibility that your communication may be used weeks, months or even years from now.

Complex readers:
Readers consisting of diverse groups with widely varying backgrounds and responsibilities, each with a different agenda and each with a different way of functioning and communication.

Characteristics of effective technical communications:
  1. Accurate 
  2. Clear
  3. Concise 
  4. Coherent
  5. Appropriate
Accuracy, which is the careful conforming to truth or fact, has three main aspects:1.
  1. Document accuracy
  2. Stylistic accuracy
  3. Technical accuracy
Document accuracy:
Refers to the proper coverage of your topics in appropriate detail. Often an accurate document needs to focus clearly on a problem.

Stylistic accuracy:
Concerns the careful use of language to express meaning. Accurate language requires the careful use of paragraph and sentence structure and word choice to describe and analyze your topics effectively. It is also a mater of using words precisely.

Technical accuracy:
Requires stylistic accuracy but is not based on solely on it. The effective document in science and technology must be grounded in a technically accurate understanding and representation of the subject.

Which refers to ease of understanding, is a special problem in technical and professional writing? Specialized languages, mathematically detailed analyses and complex conceptual schemes can make technical subjects hard to grasp even when prepared by skilled writers and read by expert readers.

We can increase the clarity of our material in following ways. 
  1. Structural clarity
  2. Stylistic clarity
  3. Contextual clarity
Structural clarity:
At the level of the whole document, you can promote structural clarity, making it easy forth reader to get the large picture, use abstracts and other forecasting strategies such as introductions that state the purpose and scope of the document.

Stylistic clarity:
Is promoted by simple, direct language. Simplicity in language is obtained with directly worded sentences. Word choice is a factor in stylistic clarity.

Contextual clarity:
In which the importance. Authorization and implications of your word are made available, also contributes to ease of understanding.

Conciseness has a special value in technical fields. At the level of the whole document, conciseness is helped most by focus, the narrowing of document scope to a manageable problem and response.

Coherence is the quality of hanging together, of providing the reader an easily followed path. Writers promote coherence by making their material logically and stylistically consistent, and by organizing and expression their ideas in specific patterns.*paragraph development is achieved partly through the specific strategies of
  1. Exemplification
  2. Analysis
  3. Comparison and contrast
  4. Definition
  5. Enumeration
  6. Description
The 7 C’s of effective communication:
  1. Completeness
  2. Conciseness
  3. Consideration
  4. Concreteness
  5. Clarity
  6. Courtesy
  7. Correctness
Your message is complete when it contains all the facts, reader of listeners need for there action you desire.
  1. Complete messages are more likely to bring the desired results.
  2. They do better job at building goodwill.
Conciseness is saying what you want to say in the fewest possible words without sacrificing the other C qualities. A concise message saves time and expense for both the sender and the receiver.
To achieve conciseness, observe the following suggestions. 
  1. Eliminate wordy expressions
  2. Include only relevant material
  3. Avoid unnecessary repetition
  4. Use single-word substitutes instead of phrases whenever possible without changing meaning.
Consideration means preparing every message with the message receiver in mind.

Communicating concretely means being specific, definite, and vivid rather than vague and general.
  1. Use specific facts and figures
  2. Put action to words
  3. Use vivid image building words
Getting the meaning from your head accurately to the reader is the purpose of clarity. Choose precise, concrete and familiar words. Clarity is achieved through a balance between precise language and familiar language.

True courtesy involves being aware not of the perspectives of others, but also their feelings.

The following things are at the core of concreteness.
  1. Grammar
  2. Punctuation
  3. spelling
Construct Effective Sentences and Paragraphs:
At the core of clarity is the sentence. Important characteristics to consider are:
  1. Length
  2. Unity
  3. Coherence
  4. Emphasis
Formal Writing:
Formal Writing is often associated with scholarly writing.

The composition process:
The composition process helps you gain control over your message.
The composition process can be viewed as ten separate stages that fall into three simple categories.
  1. Planning
  2. Composing
  3. Revising
  1. Define purpose
  2. Analyze audience
  3. Establish main idea
  4. Select channel and medium
  1. Organize the message
  2. Formulate the message
  1. Edit the message
  2. Rewrite the message
  3. Produce the message
  4. Proofread the message
Common purpose of business message:
  1. Inform
  2. Persuade
  3. Collaborate
Brainstorming techniques:
  1. Storyteller’s tour
  2. Random list
  3. FCR worksheet
  4. Journalistic approach
  5. Question and answer chain
Direct approach= deductive*
Indirect approach= inductive

Word choice:
  1. Correctness
  2. Effectiveness
Plain English: is close to spoken English and can be more easily understood.

Functional words and content words:
  1. Conjunctions
  2. Prepositions
  3. Articles
  4. Pronouns
Strong words:
Verbs and Nouns are more concrete than adverbs and adjectives.
5 ways to develop a paragraph:
  1. Illustration
  2. Comparison and contrast
  3. Cause and effect
  4. Classifications
  5. Problems and solutions
Types of sentence:
  1. Simple
  2. Compound
  3. Complex
Bias-Free language: 
  1. Cultural Bias
  2. Gender Bias
  3. Racial and Ethic Bias
  4. Disability Bias
Design Decisions:
  1. Consistency
  2. Balance
  3. Restraint
  4. Detail
Memoranda are brief, informal reports used to establish a record. They generalize the communication process by transmitting the message from one or more authors to one or more recipients. E-mail messages typically take the form of memoranda.

Meeting documents:
Use meeting documents as a tool to encourage productive and efficient meetings. The two principal meeting documents are the agenda, which tells participants what topic will be discussed at the meeting and minutes, which record what actually occurred.

In a proposal, identify a specific problem and state how you will solve the problem. Proposals share a general document architecture, which is usually modified to suit specific circumstances.

Structure of proposal;
Front matter
Technical approach
Management requirement 
End matter

Front matter:
  1. Letter of transmittal
  2. Title page
  3. Summary
  4. Table of contents
  5. List of figures and tables
End matter:
  1. End matter
  2. Bibliography
  3. Resumes
  4. Appendixes
Types of letters:
  1. Job application letter
  2. Acceptance letter
  3. Transmittal letter
  4. Inquiry letter
  5. Technical-information letter
  6. Letters of recommendation
Elements of a letter:
  1. Heading
  2. Date
  3. Recipient’s address
  4. Salutation
  5. Body
  6. Closing
  7. End notations
5 planning steps:
To communicate effectively, the following steps are as:
  1. Identify your purpose
  2. Analyze your audience
  3. Choose your ideas
  4. Collect data to support your ideas
  5. Organize your message
Purpose of business communication:
  1. To convey information
  2. To produce favorable attitude or response in the audience
Indirect plan:
  1. A buffer 
  2. Reasons supporting the negative decision
  3. A clear, diplomatic statement of the negative decision
  4. A helpful, friendly and positive close
Motivating with persuasive message:
When writing persuasive messages, 4 things to keep in mind about your audiences are:
  1. Needs and appeals
  2. Emotions and logic
  3. Credibility
  4. Semantics
Organizing persuasive messages:
Persuasive requires the indirect approach. One specialized version is the AIDA plan, which has 4 phases;
  1. Attention
  2. Interest
  3. Desire
  4. Action
Planning sales letters:
  1. Determine the main idea
  2. Define the audience
  3. Choose the approach and format
Good report:
Good reports have 3 things in common;
  1. The information in accurate
  2. The content shows writer’s good judgment
  3. The format, style and organization respond to reader’s needs.
Good judgment:
  1. Getting the main idea at the beginning of the report:
  2. Seeing the facts
  3. Receiving the whole story
  4. Reading language they can understand
  5. Learning something that will make their jobs easier
What is a report being prepared?
  1. Analysis
  2. Interpretation
  3. Conclusions
  4. Recommendations
Decisions about the format, style, organization of a report consider its;
  1. Origin 
  2. Subject
  3. Timing
  4. Distribution
  5. Purpose
  6. Probable reception
Planning short report:
When planning short reports be sure to follow the report-writing customs your audience expects. Following 3 elements influence length and format of your report;
  1. Audience
  2. Purpose
  3. Subject matter
Developing structural class:
4 tools are particularly essential for giving readers an overall structure of your document and for keeping them on track when they read:
  1. The opening
  2. Headings and lists
  3. Smooth transitions
  4. The endings
The opening:
A good opening accomplishes at least 3 things; 
  1. Introduces the subject of your report
  2. Indicates why the subject is important
  3. Gives the readers a preview of main ideas and the order in which they will be covered.

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