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Business Communication Today, 12e (Bovee/Thill)

Chapter 5 Writing Business Messages


1) Which of the following statements that would appear in a business message best reflects the
"you" attitude?
A) You failed to enclose a check for $25.
B) We need a check from you for $25 so that we can send the merchandise by May 15.
C) We will send you the merchandise as soon as we receive your check for $25.
D) You will have your merchandise by July 15 if you send us your check for $25 today.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) Focusing on the merchandise, what the customer is looking for, rather than the
$25 the company is looking for qualifies this statement clearly as a "you" statement.
Diff: 2
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
2) The best way to convey the "you" attitude is to express your message in terms of
A) the needs and interests of your organization.
B) your own personal needs and interests.
C) a universal set of needs and interests.
D) the needs and interests of your audience.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) The "you" attitude is best implemented by expressing your message in terms of
the audience's interests and needs.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Multicultural and Diversity Understanding
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world

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3) Use ________ to avoid categorizing or stigmatizing people based on their gender, race,
ethnicity, age, level of ability, or other personal characteristics.
A) abstract language
B) descriptive language
C) bias-free language
D) denotative language
Answer: C
Explanation: C) Bias-free language avoids words and phrases that unfairly and even unethically
categorize or stigmatize people in ways related to gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, or other
personal characteristics.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Multicultural and Diversity Understanding
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
4) Select the sentence with the best "you" attitude:
A) Because your report was poorly written, we cannot accept it.
B) Your report failed to meet company requirements.
C) When we receive a report that is professional, we can act on your recommendations.
D) Once your application is complete, you should receive a response within two weeks.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) A "you" statement should focus on what the reader is looking for, not what the
writer is looking for. Informing the reader of how he or she can make a complete application puts
the focus on "you," the readeras opposed to pointing out what was wrong with the submitted
application.
Diff: 3
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
5) It is best to limit your use of the word "you" in business messages if
A) you know your audience well.
B) your organization prefers an informal, personal style.
C) you are filling your audience's informational needs.
D) it will make your message sound overly authoritative or accusing.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) While focusing on "you" is advised for business correspondence, overuse of the
actual word "you" can result in a message that sounds bossy and dictatorial.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
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6) In part because of limited opportunities for feedback, written and most forms of electronic
communication require ________ than oral communication.
A) less care
B) fewer nouns
C) more tact
D) more informality
Answer: C
Explanation: C) Lacking all forms of nonverbal communication, written formats can be fraught
with misunderstanding, especially when emotional issues are expressed. For that reason it is best
to exercise extra effort in being tactful when using written forms of communication.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Explain how to create brief messages for different electronic media
7) Select the sentence with the most positive emphasis:
A) We failed to complete the process audit on time.
B) We hope to complete the process audit by Friday.
C) We haven't completed the process audit.
D) Because of Joan's inaccurate figures on the Haymen project, we are not finished with the
process audit.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) Emphasizing the positive is something that should be exercised in all business
communications. Knowing how to deliver unpleasant news in the most positive possible way can
make the difference between failure and success in business.
Diff: 3
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
8) When you are criticizing or correcting, it is best to
A) focus on what the audience members can do to improve.
B) emphasize the audience's mistakes so that they will not make the same ones again.
C) be honest and call attention to the audience's failures or shortcomings.
D) single out the guilty audience members as an example for everyone else to learn from.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) Dwelling on a person's failures does little but make the person feel bad. Since
your goal is productivity, the best way to criticize is to focus on how to improve things in the
future, not what went wrong in the past. Past errors should receive a lot of focus only if they offer
keys in how to improve in the future.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
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9) A euphemism is a word or phrase that is


A) possibly offensive.
B) general or abstract in meaning.
C) highly technical.
D) a milder term for one with negative connotations.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) An example of a euphemism is to call an overweight person "full figured." The
phrase communicates the idea that the person is overweight without using the label of "fat" or
"overweight."
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
10) The preferred title for women in business is ________, unless the individual says otherwise.
A) Mrs.
B) Miss
C) Ms.
D) Madam
Answer: C
Explanation: C) Though many women do not use the term, in business the default title for
women is Ms., mostly because it allows the woman to keep her marital status private.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Multicultural and Diversity Understanding
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world

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11) Using the term crippled in business communication is an example of


A) the "you" attitude.
B) emphasizing the positive.
C) disability bias.
D) none of the above.
Answer: C
Explanation: C) The term crippled has connotations that imply that the entire person has been
damaged by a disability, not just, for example, the person's ability to walk. People with handicaps
want to be considered as people who happen to have handicaps, not people who are defined by
their handicaps. Therefore, the word crippled should be avoided in all instances.
Diff: 1
Skill: Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Multicultural and Diversity Understanding
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
12) To establish credibility with your audience, you should
A) impress them with a long list of your accomplishments.
B) be modest and deferential.
C) show that you are confident and that you believe in yourself and in your message.
D) use hedge words ("maybe," "perhaps") to demonstrate your knowledge that no issue is fully
cut and dried.
Answer: C
Explanation: C) People respond well to confidence. If you show that you believe in yourself and
your product, people usually find you credible. On the other hand, if you show a lack of
confidence in either yourself or your product, your audience typically views you in a very
negative light.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe best practices in team and interpersonal communication

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13) In business messages, using terms such as "if," "hope," and "trust" is
A) usually a bad idea since it takes away from the writer's credibility.
B) a good way to show your modesty.
C) common courtesy.
D) acceptable for very formal contexts.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) On their own, the words "if," "hope," and "trust" are acceptable. However,
when used too frequently they tend to give a message a highly "conditional" tone, suggesting that
you are "hoping" that events will turn out well rather than being confident that things will turn
out well.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
14) The acronyms and shortcuts used in texting and IM are
A) incompatible with professional business writing.
B) your ticket to the inside track in today's multinational corporations.
C) a great way to show coworkers and managers that you're tech-savvy.
D) commonly used to communicate with top management.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) Shortcuts used in IM and texting are okay for casual messages. However, such
shortcuts are inappropriate for professional business writing.
Diff: 2
Skill: Synthesis
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Use of IT
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
15) What's the problem with phrases such as "attached please find" and "we are in receipt of"?
A) They are rude.
B) They are too intimate.
C) They are stale and pompous.
D) They involve preaching and bragging.
Answer: C
Explanation: C) Effective business writers avoid stale or pompous language. Instead, they use
plain language to write business messages in a conversational tone.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages

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16) Most business communication should aim for a ________ tone.


A) formal
B) colloquial
C) conversational
D) confrontational
Answer: C
Explanation: C) Most business communication uses a conversational tone: plain language that
sounds businesslike without being stuffy at one extreme or too informal at the other extreme.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept/Application
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Multicultural and Diversity Understanding
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
17) Using humor in business messages is
A) an effective way to build strong relationships with international clients you are not familiar
with.
B) usually not effective, and is always inappropriate for formal and intercultural messages.
C) appropriate for external messages, but never for internal.
D) none of the above.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) Humor can be effective, but it can also backfire and cause problems and
misunderstanding. In a face-to-face meeting you might use humor to charm a client. But in a
business message humor is almost never worth the risk.
Diff: 2
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
18) Plain language is a style of writing
A) used only for casual correspondence.
B) designed to make complex materials more understandable to the audience.
C) aimed primarily at readers for whom English is a second language.
D) inappropriate for business communication.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) The goal of your message should always be to get your point across.
Unnecessary complexity never helps you communicate your message so it should be avoided and
replaced by the simplicity of plain language. The only goal of plain language is to be understood.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
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19) Which of the following sentences contains the strongest and most effective wording?
A) Given the parameters of the situation, the most propitious choice would be to make
adjustments in certain budget areas.
B) We need to cut the operating budget by 12 percent or profits will decrease.
C) Someone's going to need to do some budget cutting around here or heads will roll.
D) Perusal of budgetary figures reveals that a 12 percent reduction in operations is called for if
we are to stave off a negative impact on profits.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) This choice uses plain language. It gets the message across without any
unnecessary terms or complexity.
Diff: 3
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
20) Identify the voice in the following sentence: "Based on negative client feedback, the
marketing department abandoned the campaign."
A) Active
B) Passive
C) Vocative
D) State of being
Answer: A
Explanation: A) In the active voice the subject performs the action and the object receives the
action. Here, the subject, the marketing department, performs the action, abandonment, of the
object, the campaign.
Diff: 3
Skill: Application
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
21) Using the passive voice makes sense when
A) you want to be diplomatic in pointing out a problem or error.
B) you want your sentence to be easier to understand.
C) you need to make your sentences shorter.
D) you want to emphasize the subject.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) With the passive voice, the subject is often left unnamed. This can be useful
when you want to avoid placing blame on someone. Using "Mistakes were made," a passive
voice sentence, avoids placing blame like this active voice sentence: "You made mistakes."
Diff: 2
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
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22) If your workplace writing contains grammar errors and word choice mistakes, your readers
will
A) suppose that you're uninformed.
B) question your professionalism.
C) think that you don't respect them.
D) all of the above.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) If you make grammatical or usage errors, you'll lose credibility with your
audience, even if your message is correct in other respects.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
23) The connotative meaning of a word is
A) its dictionary meaning.
B) its literal meaning.
C) all the associations and feelings the word evokes.
D) its objective meaning.
Answer: C
Explanation: C) The connotations of a word include all of the "baggage" that goes with the
word. For example, calling your boss a "rigid" thinker has connotations that are negativethat
your boss is stubborn, inflexible, and closed-minded. When "rigid" is used to describe a top for a
convertible sports car, it implies that the top is tough, strong, and durable.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
24) When choosing words to convey a message, successful writers pay attention to
A) convenience and mannerisms.
B) correctness and effectiveness.
C) metaphors and euphemisms.
D) connotation and vocalization.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) Successful writers pay close attention to the correct usage of words. They also
seek out the most effective words and phrases to convey their meaning.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Multicultural and Diversity Understanding
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
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25) The ________ of a word is its literal or dictionary meaning.


A) figurative meaning
B) denotative meaning
C) connotative meaning
D) contextual meaning
Answer: B
Explanation: B) The denotative meaning of a word is its literal or dictionary meaning. For
example, a desk is "a piece of furniture with a flat work surface and various drawers for storage."
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
26) As you create and refine your messages, evaluate your writing at all of the following levels
except
A) strong words.
B) effective sentences.
C) coherent paragraphs.
D) multimedia enhancements.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) Effective writers view their writing at three levels: strong words, effective
sentences, and coherent paragraphs.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept/Application
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
27) Some terms and phrases called ________ have become so common that they have lost some
of their power to communicate, and ________ are newly coined terms often associated with
technology, business, or cultural changes.
A) euphemisms, idioms
B) clichs, buzzwords
C) colloquialisms, clichs
D) pull quotes, derivations
Answer: B
Explanation: B) Clichs are so common that they have lost some of their power to communicate.
Buzzwords are often associated with technology, business, or cultural changes.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages

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28) Most ________ express a concept, quality, or characteristic. Most ________ represent
something you can see, touch, or visualize.
A) abstract words, concrete words
B) interpretive words, explanatory words
C) incisive words, generalized words
D) selective words, common words
Answer: A
Explanation: A) An abstract word encompasses a category of ideas, often academic, intellectual,
or philosophical. A concrete word is anchored in the tangible, material world.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept/Application
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
29) Which of the following words are the most abstract?
A) Two, contract, performance comm
B) Software, code, signal
C) Kick, move, walk
D) Productivity, excellence, motivation
Answer: D
Explanation: D) Abstract words express a concept, quality, or characteristic. So excellence, for
example, is abstract because it describes the quality of being superior, or better than other things.
Diff: 3
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
30) "Although our servers are stable, the telephone system is a serious concern" is a
A) simple sentence.
B) compound sentence.
C) complex sentence.
D) compound-complex sentence.
Answer: C
Explanation: C) A complex sentence contains one main thought, "the telephone system is a
serious concern," and one supporting thought, "Although our servers are stable." Note that the
supporting thought is not independentit makes no sense if it is left to stand alone without the
main independent clause.
Diff: 3
Skill: Application
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages

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31) "Insurance premiums have increased, and cost-of-living raises have not kept up" is a
A) simple sentence.
B) compound sentence.
C) complex sentence.
D) compound-complex sentence.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) A compound sentence contains two completely independent clauses, both of
which could stand as sentences on their own. The clause "Insurance premiums have increased,"
could stand as a sentence on its own. Similarly, "cost-of-living raises have not kept up" could
also stand as a sentence on its own.
Diff: 3
Skill: Application
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
32) Which of the following is a compound sentence?
A) Interest rates are low, and now is an excellent time to buy a home.
B) Because interest rates are low, now is an excellent time to buy a home.
C) Low interest rates make this an excellent time to buy a home.
D) With interest rates low, now is an excellent time to buy a home.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) A compound sentence contains two completely independent clauses, both of
which could stand as sentences on their own. The clause "Interest rates are low," could stand as a
sentence on its own. Similarly, "now is an excellent time to buy a home" could also stand as a
sentence on its own.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
33) A complex sentence consists of
A) two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction.
B) a single subject and a single predicate plus any modifying phrases.
C) two or more independent clauses along with all modifying phrases.
D) one main thought and one or more subordinate thoughts.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) A complex sentence contains one main thought that could stand as an
independent sentence on its own, and one subordinate thought that would not make sense if it
were left to stand alone without the main independent clause.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
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34) You can emphasize key points by


A) using extra words to describe them.
B) making important ideas the subject of the sentence.
C) placing them at the beginning or end of a sentence.
D) doing all of the above.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) In general, the way to emphasize a key thought in a text is to give it extra
attention in some way. Adding an extra phrase, a qualifying sentence, or placing the idea in an
important position will put extra emphasis on the item.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
35) To downplay a dependent clause in a complex sentence, you should
A) place it at the beginning of the sentence.
B) place it at the end of the sentence.
C) place it in the middle of the sentence.
D) set it off with a semicolon.
Answer: C
Explanation: C) Placing the dependent clause at the end or the beginning of a sentence generally
gives the clause the most emphasis. Placing the independent clause in the middle of the sentence
between other clauses generally deemphasizes the importance of the clause.
Diff: 2
Skill: Synthesis
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
36) A typical paragraph contains the three basic elements of
A) a topic sentence, support sentences, and transitional words and phrases.
B) simple, compound, and complex sentences followed by compound-complex sentences.
C) the main idea, supporting ideas, and evidence.
D) a problem, discussion, and a solution.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) The topic sentence introduces the subject or main idea of the paragraph.
Support sentences enhance and justify the topic sentence by providing explanation, details,
examples, reasoning, and other forms of evidence that make the topic sentence more meaningful,
truthful, convincing, or believable.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 6
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages

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37) Words such as "nevertheless," "however," "but," and "therefore"


A) are called pointer words.
B) introduce modifiers.
C) occur only in complex sentences.
D) are useful for making transitions.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) Conjunctions such as "nevertheless," "however," "but," and "therefore" are
useful for connecting one paragraph, phrase, or sentence to another.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 6
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
38) Skillful writers use transitional elements to
A) automate text entry and correction.
B) track footnotes and endnotes.
C) ensure consistent formatting throughout a document.
D) connect ideas and show the relationships between them.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) In addition to helping readers understand the connections you're trying to make,
transitions give your writing a smooth, even flow.
Diff: 2
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 6
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
39) In business writing, the topic sentence of a paragraph is
A) usually implied and is rarely included in the paragraph.
B) generally explicit and is often the first sentence in the paragraph.
C) often vague and is usually placed in the middle of the paragraph.
D) most often understated and normally is the last sentence in the paragraph.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) In business writing, the topic sentence is generally explicit and is often the first
sentence in the paragraph.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept/Application
Objective: 6
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages

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40) In ________ paragraph, a writer analyzes the reasons for and/or the consequences of an
action, an event, or a decision.
A) an illustration
B) a comparison and contrast
C) a cause and effect
D) a problem and solution
Answer: C
Explanation: C) A cause and effect paragraph focuses on two things: an event that took place
and why that event took place. The event that took place is the effect. The reason for why the
event took place is the cause.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 6
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
41) When you want to develop a paragraph by showing how a general idea is broken into
specific categories, which of these methods would you use?
A) Illustration
B) Comparison and contrast
C) Cause and effect
D) Classification
Answer: D
Explanation: D) A classification paragraph focuses on putting items in categories. For example,
a paragraph that focuses on identifying movies as "hit," "blockbuster," "disappointment," or
"bomb" would be a classification paragraph.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 6
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
42) To ensure a consistent look for all company documents, many organizations provide
employees with approved
A) autocompletion software.
B) spreadsheets.
C) macros.
D) style sheets.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) Style sheets function as templates to give all documents within a single
organization a similar approach to formatting documents.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 7
AACSB: Use of IT
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
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43) Two common examples of ________ are the mission statements of companies and the
biographies of executives.
A) key frames
B) boilerplate text
C) pulled quotations
D) automatic writing
Answer: B
Explanation: B) The term boilerplate refers to a standard unit of writing that can be used,
without change, in multiple documents.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 7
AACSB: Use of IT
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
44) A piece of text copied from the main body of the document and formatted as a large, eyecatching visual element is known as a
A) boilerplate.
B) pull quote.
C) template.
D) style sheet.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) The purpose of a pull quote is to attract the eye of the reader with an intriguing
highlight from the text. Choose pull quotes carefully to have maximum impact on your audience.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 7
AACSB: Use of IT
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
45) Which type of software feature inserts a ready-made block of text when you type the first
few characters?
A) Machine translation
B) Mail merge
C) Autocompletion
D) Autocorrection
Answer: C
Explanation: C) Autocompletion must be set up by the user. For example, if you want a word
processing program to print out your email address, Facebook page, URL, and phone numbers
each time you identify yourself, you must insert a command into the program to make this
autocompletion.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 7
AACSB: Use of IT
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
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46) Adopting a "you" attitude in business writing is simply a matter of using the pronoun "you"
as much as possible.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: A "you" attitude means that the text is focusing on the audience rather than the
writer.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
47) In general, the word "you" should be avoided when you are assigning responsibility for a
mistake or problem.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: To avoid seeming like you are placing direct blame, avoid the word "you." Include
the word "you" only if you want to place direct blame.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
48) You should always avoid using euphemisms, because they are inherently dishonest.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: Euphemisms can be useful in avoiding hurt feelings. However, euphemisms can
seem like an evasion of the truth if they are used without discretion, and overuse of euphemisms
can cause a writer to lose credibility.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
49) Using the word "young" to describe an employee can have negative implications.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: The negative connotations of "young" could include "inexperienced," "naive," and
"immature."
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Multicultural and Diversity Understanding
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world

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50) Being too modest can reduce your credibility with your audience.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: Modesty can be an admirable trait, but in business confidence is the key. Modesty
is preferred over false confidence, but ideally you should strive for projecting a sense of
confidence that is based on hard work, conscientiousness, and preparation.
Diff: 2
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
51) Bragging about your company's accomplishments can be offensive to readers.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: Make sure that you mention major accomplishments of your company, but avoid a
boastful or bragging tone by letting the accomplishments speak for themselves. Writing
"Opponents quake in fear when they realize that they need to face our litigation service," sounds
like an empty boast that can't be proven. Instead, write, "Our litigation service has been top rated
by rating services for eight years running" to allow readers to draw their own conclusions.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe best practices in team and interpersonal communication
52) A conversational tone is not appropriate for most business messages.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: A conversational tone is now the preferred tone for most business correspondence.
Just be sure that "conversational" doesn't slip into being overly informal or folksy.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
53) Plain language is a style of writing used primarily for communicating to those who do not
have a college degree.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: Plain English works best in any kind of business communication. The simpler and
more easily comprehensible the language, the more likely that the message will be understood
and acted on.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages

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54) "The evaluator noted several shortcomings" is written in the active voice.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: In the active voice, the subject performs the action and the object receives the
action. In this case, the evaluator is the subject who is performing the action, noting, on the
object, shortcomings.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
55) Most companies expect you to use texting acronyms in professional business writing.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: Texting is great for casual communication. However, if you want to be taken
seriously on the job, don't include texting acronyms and jargon in business writing.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
56) When composing a draft, you should never skip to another section of the document until
you've finished the current one.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: The idea behind drafting is to get your thoughts into writing. If one part of the text
doesn't come easily, move on to another part. The act of finishing later parts of the text may show
the way toward the earlier parts that you skipped over.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
57) Grammarians and professional editors agree on the rules of grammar.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: The rules of grammar and usage are complex, and some rules evolve. Even editors
and grammarians can disagree about correct usage.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world

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58) In business communication, it is best to use words that are low in connotative meaning.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: To avoid misunderstanding and ambiguity, try to avoid words that are loaded with
connotative meaning. For example, keep in mind that a word like "creative" can have two
different sets of connotations. In the positive sense "creative" means someone who solves
problems in unique and efficient ways. In the negative sense, "creative" can mean someone who
is shady or less than honest when it comes to dealing with money.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
59) Honor and progress are concrete words.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: Honor and progress are abstract words because they refer to concepts rather than
something that can be touched or visualized.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
60) Abstract words should be completely avoided in business writing.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: It is impossible to avoid abstract words, but writers should be careful when using
them. For example, saying that "we are making great progress in the construction of our new
stadium" is too abstract and gives little meaning to the reader. A much better way to express the
idea is to provide concrete details: "Progress in the construction of our new stadium has led to a
completion date of April 30."
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world

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61) Clichs are a valuable tool in business writing, as readers find such words and phrases to be
comfortable and familiar.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: Overuse of clichs makes writing sound stale and gives the reader the impression
that you lack judgment, creativity, and are out of touch with the culture. Try to eliminate
overused clichs such as "We pride ourselves for thinking outside the box" that make you sound
unimaginative and lazy because you resort to tired, overworked phrases that long ago stopped
having impact on readers.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
62) The amount of jargon you use in a message should reflect your audience's level of familiarity
with your topic.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: Jargon can be acceptable when you are communicating with someone who shares
your particular dialect of jargon. In that case, jargon can be a useful shorthand for
communicating complex ideas quickly. In all other contexts, jargon constitutes a barrier to
effective communication.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
63) A compound sentence contains one main thought (independent clause) and one or more
subordinate thoughts (dependent clauses).
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: A compound sentence has two complete thoughts as clauses, each of which could
stand as an independent sentence.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages

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64) "Our clients have become more knowledgeable, and we need to accommodate them" is a
complex sentence.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: This is a compound sentence because it has two complete clauses, each of which
could stand as an independent sentence. "Our clients have become more knowledgeable" could
stand as an independent sentence and "we need to accommodate them" could also stand as an
independent sentence.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
65) "The startup costs on this project increased considerably" is a simple sentence.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: The sentence is a simple sentence because it has only one main clause that is
modified by a prepositional phrase, "on this project."
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
66) "If we can't meet the deadline, our losses will be significant" is a compound sentence.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: This is a complex sentence because it contains one main independent clause, "our
losses will be significant," preceded by a dependent supporting clause, "If we can't meet the
deadline." Note that the supporting clause, "If we can't meet the deadline" cannot stand as an
independent sentence on its own.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
67) To emphasize a dependent clause, it is better to place it at the end of a sentence rather than in
the middle.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: Placing a dependent clause at the beginning or end of a sentence provides it with
more emphasis in most cases.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages

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68) Coherence between thoughts is achieved through the use of transitional words and phrases.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: Transitional words and phrases function as links between different thoughts and
ideas. For example, after a sentence that explains one idea Similarly is used as a transitional word
to compare the first idea to the second: "Costs have been falling in the public sector for years.
Similarly, private sector costs have also been dropping."
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 6
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
69) When developing paragraphs, you should use only one method within each paragraph and
throughout a document.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: A well written document uses a number of different writing methods, sentence
styles, and organizational techniques. One of the hallmarks of good writing is that it provides
meaning by approaching ideas from a variety of different angles.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 6
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
70) Templates and style sheets can both help to ensure a consistent look for all company
documents.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: Smart companies provide templates and style sheets to give a uniform look and
tone to its correspondence. Templates and style sheets help improve the brand of the company by
giving it a recognizable format, tone, and look.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 7
AACSB: Use of IT
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
71) Using the ________ attitude allows you to establish empathy with your audience.
Answer: "you"
Explanation: The "you" attitude instills the idea in the writer to give priority to the needs of the
audience first in all cases.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages

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72) In messages that need to deal with difficult negative situations, it is best to emphasize the
________ aspects of your topic.
Answer: positive
Explanation: With difficult, negative issues the positive should be emphasized as much as
possible. However, be sure that the full extent of the negative news is expressed, and that nothing
misleading has been communicated to the audience.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
73) Replacing harsh, unpleasant terms with milder words, or ________, can avoid negative
connotations for your audience.
Answer: euphemisms
Explanation: If used judiciously, euphemisms can be helpful. For example, in a controversial
and highly contested sexual harassment case, referring to what happened using a neutral term
such as "the incident" rather than a more loaded term such as "the abuse" can avoid having
people seeing the need to re-argue the case every time the term is brought up.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
74) To avoid embarrassing blunders in language related to gender, race, ethnicity, age, or
disability, use ________ language.
Answer:
bias-free
Explanation: Being aware of biases, whether positive or negative, can avoid problems. For
example, referring to a person as "the black lawyer" unnecessarily calls attention to the person's
race. A way to avoid bias would be to identify the lawyer simply by name.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world

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75) Terms such as "handicapped employees" are examples of ________ bias.


Answer: disability
Explanation: A much better way of referring to these people would be to identify them as people
first and the disability second as: "employees with physical handicaps."
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Multicultural and Diversity Understanding
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
76) If your audience is unfamiliar with you, you need to devote the initial part of your message
to establishing ________: a measure of your believability based on how reliable you are and how
much trust you evoke in others.
Answer: credibility
Explanation: Credibility is a quality that involves a variety of attributes that include honesty,
fairness, consistency, credentials, loyalty, performance, genuineness, and objectivity. No single
personal quality or incident can establish credibility, but rather it is something that is earned over
time.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
77) Style is the way you use words to achieve a certain ________, or overall impression.
Answer: tone
Explanation: The language style choices you make establish your tone, the impression you make
on your audience. Tones can range from highly formal and official to folksy and friendly, and
everything in between. The tone your writing adopts should help express the message you want
to send.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages

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78) ________ ________ is a way of presenting information in a simple, unadorned style so that
your audience can easily grasp your meaning.
Answer:
Plain language
Explanation: Plain language is recommended for business communication because it is the
simplest way to communicate and has the fewest number of communication barriers.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
79) A sentence is in the ________ voice when the subject performs the action and the object
receives the action.
Answer: active
Explanation: In the active voice sentence, "Bob ate the sandwich," Bob is the subject who is
performing the action, eating, on the sandwich, the object.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
80) The ________ meaning of a word is its literal, dictionary meaning, whereas the ________
meaning includes all the associations and feelings it evokes.
Answer: denotative, connotative
Explanation: The denotative meaning of the word "abrupt" is "sudden, unexpected, or brief."
The connotative meaning of "abrupt" when describing a restaurant waiter implies that the waiter
is impatient, cold, and lacks sympathy for his customers.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
81) ________ words express a concept or quality, not a tangible object.
Answer: Abstract
Explanation: Examples of abstract words include loyalty, devotion, and efficiency. None of these
words can be visualized.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages

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82) ________ sentences express two or more independent but related thoughts of equal
importance.
Answer: Compound
Explanation: The two clauses in a compound sentence must be able to stand as independent
sentences. Thus, "Marge washed the dishes and Bill dried them" is a compound sentence because
"Marge washed the dishes" can stand as an independent sentence and "Bill dried them" can also
stand as an independent sentence.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
83) ________ sentences express one main thought and one or more subordinate thoughts related
to it.
Answer: Complex
Explanation: A complex sentence contains one main thought that could stand as an independent
sentence on its own, and one subordinate thought that would not make sense if it were left to
stand alone without the main independent clause. In the sentence "When I get home I'll walk the
dog" the clause "When I get home" is the main independent clause and "I'll walk the dog" is the
subordinate, dependent clause.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
84) A(n) ________ is a cluster of sentences related to the same general topic.
Answer: paragraph
Explanation: A paragraph consists of a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and transitional
words and phrases.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 6
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
85) A standard block of text used in various documents without being changed is called
________.
Answer: boilerplate
Explanation: Boilerplate is used when a document requires the exact wording of an official point
of view or policy so there is no ambiguity or room for misinterpretation.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 7
AACSB: Use of IT
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
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86) List three strategies to become more sensitive to your audience's needs.
Answer: You should adopt the "you" attitude, maintain good standards of etiquette, emphasize
the positive, and use bias-free language.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
87) You are scheduled to discuss a negative performance evaluation with one of the employees
you supervise. How can you emphasize the positive during your conversation?
Answer: In cases like this, it is best to emphasize what the person can do to improve, rather than
dwelling on his or her mistakes and shortcomings. Emphasizing the positive is more likely to
yield the results you want.
Diff: 2
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 1
AACSB: Reflective Thinking skills
Learning Outcome: Describe best practices in team and interpersonal communication
88) Define bias-free language.
Answer: Bias-free language avoids words and phrases that unfairly and even unethically
categorize or stigmatize people in ways related to gender, race, ethnicity, age, or disability.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Multicultural and Diversity Understanding
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world
89) List at least two types of biased language and explain how to avoid each type.
Answer: (1) Gender bias: Avoid sexist language by using the same label for everyonepolice
officer instead of policeman. (2) Racial and ethnic bias: Avoid language that suggests that
members of a racial or ethnic group have stereotypical characteristics. (3) Age bias: Mention the
age of a person only when it is relevant. (4) Disability bias: Avoid mentioning a disability unless
it is pertinent. Put the person first.
Diff: 3
Skill: Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Multicultural and Diversity Understanding
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world

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90) List at least three personal characteristics that can help establish credibility with your
audience.
Answer: Audiences assign credibility to individuals who display (1) honesty, (2) objectivity, (3)
awareness of audience needs, (4) credentials, knowledge, and expertise, (5) endorsements, (6)
performance,, and (7) sincerity.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe best practices in team and interpersonal communication
91) What is the difference between tone and style in business writing?
Answer: Your communication style involves the choices you make to express yourself: the
words you select, the manner in which you use those words in sentences, and the way you use
individual sentences to build paragraphs. Your style creates a certain tone, or overall impression,
when you write. The right tone depends on the nature of your message and your relationship with
the reader.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
92) List at least three guidelines to follow if you want to achieve a conversational tone in
business messages.
Answer: (1) Understand the difference between texting and writing; (2) Avoid obsolete and
pompous language such as "in due course" or "we are in receipt of"; (3) avoid preaching and
bragging; (4) be careful with intimacydon't be overly friendly or chatty; and (5) be careful
with humor.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
93) Briefly explain the difference between the active voice and the passive voice. Include an
example of each one.
Answer: You are using the active voice when the subject performs the action, and the object
receives the action: "John rented the office." You are using the passive voice when the subject
receives the action: "The office was rented by John."
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept/Application
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages

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94) How is the denotative meaning of a word different from its connotative meaning?
Answer: The denotative meaning is the literal, or dictionary, meaning of a word. The
connotative meaning includes all the associations and feelings evoked by the word.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
95) Give the definition of a complex sentence, then provide an example of one.
Answer: A complex sentence expresses one main thought (the independent clause) and one or
more subordinate thoughts (dependent clauses). An example is, "Our company's financials are
impressive, despite current challenges in the economy." (Answers will vary.)
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept/Application
Objective: 5
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
96) What is the difference between delivering negative news and being negative?
Answer: Sensitive communicators understand the difference between delivering negative news
and being negative. Without hiding the negative news, they look for ways to emphasize positive
aspects. When offering criticism or advice, for example, they don't focus on a person's
shortcomings; instead, they focus on what he or she can do to improve. In persuasive situations,
they help audiences see the benefits of taking specific actions. Finally, they use euphemisms
carefully and ethically to soften the impact of negative news and avoid words that carry negative
or unpleasant connotations.
Diff: 3
Skill: Synthesis
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing negative messages
97) List three situations in which the passive voice can help you demonstrate the "you" attitude.
Answer: The passive voice can be helpful when you need to shift emphasis away from the
person who is the subject of your message. These situations include (1) when you need to be
diplomatic in pointing out a problem or error, (2) when you want to point out what's being done
without taking or attributing either the credit or the blame, and (3) when you want to avoid
personal pronouns in order to create an objective tone.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe the opportunities and challenges of communicating in a diverse
world

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98) Explain what it means to choose "words that communicate well," then list four techniques for
selecting the best words when writing business messages.
Answer: Choosing words that communicate means finding the most powerful words for each
situation. Selecting the best words in business messages involves (1) choosing powerful words
verbs and nouns are better than adjectives and adverbs; (2) choosing familiar wordsterms that
are familiar to both you and your readers; (3) avoiding clichs and buzzwords; and (4) using
jargon carefully.
Diff: 3
Skill: Synthesis
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages
99) What are the five most common techniques for developing paragraphs?
Answer: There are several common techniques for developing paragraphs. Illustration involves
giving examples to demonstrate the general idea. Comparison and contrast both involve using
similarities or differences to develop the topic. Cause and effect requires focusing on the reasons
for something. Classification involves showing how a general idea is broken into specific
categories. Finally, problem and solution requires presenting a problem and then discussing the
solution.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 6
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Plan and prepare business messages
100) Briefly describe at least four software capabilities that can help business writers shape their
writing.
Answer: Although the names and details vary from system to system, most word processing
programs contain features that can help you write more efficiently and effectively. These include
(1) style sheetscollections of formatting choices for words, paragraphs, and other elements; (2)
templates, which usually set overall document parameters such as page size and provide a
specific set of styles to use; (3) boilerplate, which refers to a standard block of text that is reused
in multiple documents; (4) autocompletion, which inserts a ready-made block of text when you
type the first few characters; (5) autocorrection, which instantly corrects spelling and typing
errors and converts texts to symbols; (6) file merge, which makes it easy to combine files; (7)
mail mergea feature that makes it easy to personalize form letters by inserting names and
addresses from a database; and (8) endnotes, footnotes, indexes, and tables of contentsall of
which are easy to produce with the help of word processing software.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 7
AACSB: Use of IT
Learning Outcome: Compose and shape business messages

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