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Gp Business Writing

Gp Business Writing

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Published by bossam

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Published by: bossam on May 17, 2007
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06/30/2013

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Imagine your reader putting down a report you spent a week writ-
ing because she doesn’t understand all of the jargon you used.
Knowing that she works in a different field should have tipped you
off that you needed to drop the jargon and write to your audience.

G

GOOF-PROOF IT! G

When you know your audience, you know how much back-
ground information they might need, how technical you can get,
and how familiar they are with the jargon in your field.
If you are writing to a fellow engineer who is familiar with your
work, you can use as much technobabble as necessary to convey
your point. If your audience works in a different field, however,
you will need to slow down and explain yourself in greater detail,
using language that is understood by all.

G

GOOF-PROOF RULE OF THUMB G

If you have been working in your field for many years, you may
have difficulty separating technobabble and jargon from plain
English. When in doubt about word choice, choose the simplest
option. Words classified as technobabble and jargon tend to have
more syllables, prefixes, and suffixes than words typically recog-
nized as plain English.

G

GOOF-PROOF SAMPLE G
LEGAL WRITING APPROPRIATE FOR A
FELLOW LAWYER,AND A CLIENT

Lawyers and those in other professions with their own “language”
need to be certain their message doesn’t get lost when writing to
an audience of non-lawyers. Compare these sentences:

32

goof-proofBUSINESS WRITING

A duty of care to the herein above mentioned plaintiff was breached by the

defendant when the slippery floor was left unmopped by the defendant.

The defendant breached her duty of care to the plaintiff when she failed to

mop the slippery floor.

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PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER G

Everything you write at work is meant to be read by someone
else—your audience. Your purpose in writing is to convey infor-
mation to that person or persons, with little or no chance that they
will misunderstand, be alienated, or otherwise turned off by your
communication. The best way to do that is to be aware of your
audience throughout the writing process.

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GOOF-PROOF GUIDELINES G

Remember these guidelines for organizing your writing:

•Writing at work is audience specific: What you say and how
you say it depends entirely on to whom you are saying it.
•The more you know about your reader, the better you will
be able to write to him or her, and successfully convey your
information.
•Aim to convey a positive tone by giving attention to what
exists, focusing on the positive, and sounding confident and
in charge.
•Using the first (Iand you) rather than third-person (sheand
he) and active rather than passive language will make your
writing more understandable and approachable.
•Remember the human element in your business writing; strike
a balance between sounding professional and being friendly.
•Use the appropriate format for your audience (e-mails are
less formal; letters are more formal).
•Give your readers all of the information they need to fully
understand your topic.

Being Unaware of Your Audience 33

When writingfor a business audience, you have
one chance to reach your readers. They are busy people who
won’t bother spending time decoding your communications. That
is why it is imperative that you say exactly what you mean as
clearly and as quickly as you can.
Remember that your goal is to convey information. That goal
won’t be achieved if your readers don’t understand your first few
sentences or paragraphs, and stop reading, or if they finish read-
ing but fail to grasp your message. Learning how to be a clear and
accurate writer will help make your business communications
successful.

sectionTHREE

THE GOOF-UP:

WRITING WITHOUT CLARITY

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