ENG201 Business and Technical English Assignment 2 Solution Fall 2012

Question No.1                                                                                                           (10)

Write an enquiry letter to the Haier Company about the new prices, margin for the dealers, new features in their split/AC before completing the final order.

 Example of Inquiry Letter:

Sample Letter of Inquiry

The Virtual Community Group, Inc.
17 Park Road
Rural Town, NH

January 2, 2011

Jane Smith, Executive Director
Xavier Foundation
555 S. Smith St.
Washington, D.C. 22222

Dear Ms. Smith,

I am writing to inquire whether the Xavier Foundation would invite a proposal from the Virtual Community Group, Inc., requesting an investment of $50,000 per year over two years to support our Enterprise 2000 initiative. This grant would provide part of the funds needed for us to train at least 1200 low-income entrepreneurs in rural New Hampshire in the computer skills they need to create sustainable businesses as we enter the twenty-first century. Your literature indicates that the Xavier Foundation is searching for innovative ideas to improve the lives of the rural poor; we believe Enterprise 2000 falls well within your area of interest.

Information technologies are a promising solution to one of the primary obstacles facing the small rural enterprise: the geographic distances which inhibit networking with other businesses, and which segregate them from a larger marketplace. The Internet and other networks are now making it possible for entrepreneurs even in the most remote locations to communicate and do business on a region-wide, national, or even international basis. Working in conjunction with other organizations, Enterprise 2000 gives program participants technical skills training adapted to individual need; and, in collaboration with organizations which recondition and redistribute used computers, we also assure that they obtain the necessary computer hardware, at low or no cost.

We believe that broadly-implemented technical skills programs such as Enterprise 2000 have the potential to transform the lives of many struggling entrepreneurs, and change the economic landscape of impoverished rural communities. Unlike many poverty alleviation initiatives, all of the Virtual Community Group programs are predicated on the assumption that these entrepreneurs already have 90% of what it takes to compete in the marketplace — intelligence, ambition, initiative, and talent. After two years of experimentation and program development, the Virtual Community Group has fashioned a superb, easily replicable model in Enterprise 2000, and established a high degree of credibility among community groups, policy makers, and funders. With your support, we can make that 10% difference in the lives of these hard-working people and the future of our rural communities.

Please feel free to call me with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Executive Director



Question No.2                                                                                                            (5)       

Identify five aspects of audience analysis in detail.

Conducting the Audience Analysis

Conduct either a formal — based on surveys and questionnaires — or an informal — based on discussions — analysis to create an audience profile.

Formal Audience Analysis

During formal analysis:

  • Conduct surveys,
  • Use structured interviews,
  • Gather questionnaires.

Some organizations often do formal analyses as part of marketing planning.

Informal Audience Analysis

Gather information about the audience by talking with people who will read the final document. For example, when writing

  • Product documentation, talk to people who use the product (or a similar product).
  • An article for a periodical or journal, talk to people who read that publication. Especially talk to those who have published in that or similar periodicals.

Interview marketing, development, and other staff. These specialists have market research results, as well as access to customers.

When interviewing marketing and development staff,

  • Ask open-ended questions and follow up on incomplete answers.
  • Ask about the users’ backgrounds: how they work, why they will read the document, and what they need from it.
  • Attend meetings at which the product or service will be discussed.

Find out about the audience by reading

  • Notes and reports by product trainers or maintenance personnel who have had contact with the audience,
  • Previous issues of a specialized periodical.

Identifying Audience Characteristics

Identify the audience characteristics and remember them while writing. Before you begin writing consider such important audience characteristics as

  • Educational and professional background,
  • Knowledge and experience levels,
  • English-language ability,
  • Reading situation.

Educational Background

Ask for information about educational background to assess the audience’s reading ability and its willingness to read. A college-educated audience should be able to read more difficult texts than a high school- or grade school-educated audience.

In most cases, simple language – common words or technical terms appropriate to a particular readership – and a direct style – typical sentences without unusual structures – offer the best approach for all audiences.

Professional Background

Know the basic requirements of the jobs the readers perform. Do not confuse a job title with professional functions. For example, readers of technical and science writing could perform many professional roles at the same time:

  • Scientists can be doctors, engineers, programmers, or technicians.
  • Legislators can be judges or lawyers.
  • Any professional could be a manager.

Job functions can imply different levels of knowledge. Compare, for instance, the difference between a design engineer’s and a technician’s knowledge of engineering theory.

Consider how a document will help readers do their jobs. Maintenance documents, for instance, must have less text and, perhaps, more illustrations to help these readers complete their work quickly.

Knowledge and Experience Levels

Use professional and educational background to determine the audience’s knowledge and experience on a subject. Use this information to evaluate what readers know and what information they need.

  • Categorize readers as a single-level audience if they are members of a specific group. While it is difficult to assign readers to such exclusive groups, a useful distinction can be novice, intermediate, and expert.
  • Novices have minimal knowledge or experience, and may even fear the product or subject. In reference information they want basic concepts and procedures. In instructional materials, novices need to see quick results; successful experiences reassure them.
  • Intermediate audiences have some knowledge or experience. For example, if a document shows how to operate a drill press, an intermediate audience may have experience with similar equipment.
  • Experts are typically very knowledgeable. For example, an expert using software documentation may be a programmer who uses many of the software’s applications.
  • However, a document that describes not only a particular subject matter (such as chemistry), but also the use of a particular tool (such as a computer) or technique (such as spectroscopy), complicates this view of the single-level audience.

Categorize readers as a multiple-level audience if they include technical experts (programmers, engineers, scientists) who are unfamiliar with certain tools or techniques. For example, the reader may have general knowledge and experience with mathematics, physics, electronics, and spectrometry. However, she may be an inexperienced computer user and may lack specific knowledge about emission spectroscopy. A document that describes how to use a software package to obtain emission data, and how to interpret that data using specialized mathematics, must address various levels of audience knowledge and experience.

Consider a document’s implied as well as explicit audiences. For example, a technical manual prepared for novices may also be read by financial managers. This same manual may also have to support product maintenance. Hidden audiences affect a document’s organization and style. In the above example, for instance, the document may have a benefits summary for sales purposes or provide a reference table for expert readers.

English-Language Ability

Consider the audience’s English-language ability. Many people employed in technical disciplines have graduated from U.S. universities but come from other countries; English may be their second or even third language.

Consider, too, that a second technical language may be quite different from a second conversational language. The technical author has advantages over other writers, because technical English uses a small subset of the English language.

Reading Context

Consider the physical and psychological conditions under which the audience reads the document:

  • A scientific article, for instance, may be read in a relaxed atmosphere at home or in an office.
  • A spreadsheet software tutorial may be read on the job, at the keyboard, while dealing with interruptions.
  • A heavy-equipment maintenance manual may be read while repairing the equipment in the field.

Identifying Audience Objectives and Needs

Use audience objectives and needs to shape how you approach the document:

  • Objectives reflect what the audience wants to do after reading the document; for example, install a videotape recorder.
  • Needs indicate questions the audience will have that the document should answer. Readers may not even know they will ask these questions, but the writer must anticipate them–and supply answers.

Audience objectives may be long-term, short-term, personal, or job-related. They may or may not be directly related to the document.

Note that most technical documentation is written for readers with job-related objectives. Identify those objectives. Find out whether the audience will read the document to do a task, or to expand its knowledge.

Addressing Diverse Audiences

To satisfy a diverse audience’s needs, address both different experience levels and different goals. Follow these general guidelines when writing for multiple audiences:

  • Rank goals in terms of the questions the document must answer first, second, third, etc.
  • Write for one audience group at a time, and indicate which group you are addressing. Expect that any other audiences may need the same information.
  • Produce one document for all groups, or divide the information into more than one document.
  • Include navigation aids–tables of contents and lists of figures and tables, page headers and footers, headings within the text, appendices, tab dividers, etc.–to make information easy to find.

 Creating an Audience Profile

Use the audience characteristics, objectives, and needs to develop an audience profile, or of each subgroup of a diverse audience. To create the profile:

  • Group related features in a written sketch of the typical reader,
  • For a diverse audience, do a profile for each kind of reader,
  • Form mental images of these composite people,
  • Get to know the profiles before writing anything,
  • Plan the document for typical readers and write to them,
  • Provide the kind of information and presentation the readers need to achieve their goals.