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ENG301 Business Communication Assignment 2 Solution Fall 2012

Q1. “To write well, express yourself like common people, but think like a wise man.” Discuss the principles of business writing in the light of Aristotle’s saying. (10) Principles of Business Writing Business writing is different Writing for a business audience is usually quite different than writing in the humanities, social sciences, or other academic disciplines. Business writing strive to be crisp and succinct rather than evocative or creative; it stresses specificity and accuracy. This distinction does not make business writing superior or inferior to other styles. Rather, it reflects the unique purpose and considerations involved when writing in a business context. When you write a business document, you must assume that your audience has limited time in which to read it and is likely to skim. Your readers have an interest in what you say insofar as it affects their working world. They want to know the “bottom line”: the point you are making about a situation or problem and how they should respond. Business writing varies from the conversational style often found in email messages to the more formal, legalistic style found in contracts. A style between these two extremes is appropriate for the majority of memos, emails, and letters. Writing that is too formal can alienate readers, and an attempt to be overly casual may come across as insincere or unprofessional. In business writing, as in all writing, you must know your audience. In most cases, the business letter will be the first impression that you make on someone. Though business writing has become less formal over time, you should still take great care that your letter’s content is clear and that you have proofread it carefully. Pronouns and active versus passive voice Personal pronouns (like I, we, and you) are important in letters and memos. In such documents, it is perfectly appropriate to refer to yourself as I and to the reader as you. Be careful, however, when you use the pronoun we in a business letter that is written on company stationery, since it commits your company to what you have written. When stating your opinion, use I; when presenting company policy, use we. The best writers strive to achieve a style that is so clear that their messages cannot be misunderstood. One way to achieve a clear style is to minimize your use of the passive voice. Although the passive voice is sometimes necessary, often it not only makes your writing dull but also can be ambiguous or overly impersonal. Here’s an example of the same point stated in passive voice and in the active voice: Focus and specificity Business

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writing should be clear and concise. Take care, however, that your document does not turn out as an endless series of short, choppy sentences. Keep in mind also that “concise” does not have to mean “blunt”—you still need to think about your tone and the audience for whom you are writing. Business letters: where to begin Reread the description of your task (for example, the advertisement of a job opening, instructions for a proposal submission, or assignment prompt for a course). Think about your purpose and what requirements are mentioned or implied in the description of the task. List these requirements. This list can serve as an outline to govern your writing and help you stay focused, so try to make it through. Next, identify qualifications, attributes, objectives, or answers that match the requirements you have just listed. Strive to be exact and specific, avoiding vagueness, ambiguity, and platitudes. If there are industry- or field-specific concepts or terminologies that are relevant to the task at hand, use them in a manner that will convey your competence and experience. Avoid any language that your audience may not understand. Your finished piece of writing should indicate how you meet the requirements you’ve listed and answer any questions raised in the description or prompt.   (2) Principles of Business Writing So, what are these 6 Principles of Business Writing? And what, in a nutshell, do they mean? Simply said, it’s like this:

  1. 1. Focus:

Develop a blueprint of your writing before you start. Execute consistently.

  1. 2. Purpose:

Everything you write – be it a word, sentence, paragraph and the end result itself – should serve a purpose. If it doesn’t, change it or delete it.

  1. 3. Meaning:

Do not write what something is, explain what it means.

  1. 4. Substance:

Substantiate your claims. Provide proof – preferably from an outsider – or elaborate with additional information that allows your reader to judge your claim.

  1. 5. Clarity:

Write succinctly and consistently. Avoid fancy words.

  1. 6. Structure:

Organize your text in a consistent, transparent, supportive and logical way. These six principles all apply to the content or form of business writing. There is one additional principle that does not apply to either aspect of writing. That is why the next principle is only accorded half’ status: Humility: Critically judge your writing and apply all writing principles without regard to your ego. We can summarize these principles as: These 6 principles cannot be seen independently from one other. In practice, all 6 are interrelated, in that they depend on and influence each other:

  • Clarity cannot be achieved without Structure.
  • Purpose can only be realized through Focused execution.
  • Meaning depends on Purpose, which in turn requires Clarity.
  • The choice for Substance depends on the Purpose.
  • Humility clarifies Purpose and Substance.

This means that the success of business writing not only depends on the successful application of each of these principles individually. Success depends on their total sum, on whether the application of one does not reduce the effect of another. Application of these principles: These 6 principles are applied to any type of business writing, irrespective of language, audience or genre. They are principles because they apply to any aspect of business writing, be it a word, sentence, paragraph, chapter or the whole publication. They also apply to the tone of voice, the type of words, and the style you use.   If you apply these principles, you can learn two things. First, you can learn to write succinct, focused and structured copy that teaches or touches your audience and serves your own business purpose. Second, you can develop sound judgment as to what constitutes good business writing. This is of particular use when you are in a position where somebody else does the business writing for you! Q2. Identify and place against the categories where these phrases best fit. You can follow the given example for help. (5) Phrases: A. Would you like me to…? B. Could you possibly …? C. Please find enclosed… D. You will be pleased to hear that… E. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused. F. Thank you for your letter of 24th July referring to… G. If I can help in any way, please feel free to contact me. H. I look forward to meeting you next week. I. I am contacting you to inform you

Sr. Categories Representative phrases for help Phrases
Good news I am pleased to inform you You will be pleased to hear that …
Please write here under in Phrases where I given just (Alphabet) ………>>
1. Beginning I am writing to explain ( E)
2. Referring to previous situation With reference to your fax of April 9th … ( F)
3. Asking someone to do something Would you please …? ( A)
4. Offer help If you like we would be happy to… ( G)
5. Sending documents I am enclosing ( C )

     

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    .   “To write well, express yourself like common people, but think like a wise man.” Discuss the principles of business writing in the light of Aristotle’s saying.