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ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS WRITING SERIES i. ii.

INTRODUCTION TO COURSE: Business Context Lesson Proper Nearly all aspects of international business involve writing; to customers, suppliers, partners, colleagues or even the media. This chapter will help you be prepared for the most common business situations. Lesson 1: Review of the use of English Grammar o Introducing Yourself o English around the World Lesson 2: Different Types of Business Correspondence and what makes them different in terms of structure and use Lesson 3: The Different Types of Styles of writing in terms of tone (being formal, neutral or informal) Lesson 4: Writing Effective Business E-mails o Formal or Informal? o Abbreviations o Text Messages Lesson 5: Introduction to Report Writing Lesson 6: Message Functions: A look at the range of business communication Lesson 7: Presentation

I.

INTRODUCTION TO COURSE: Business Context

Written communication will influence your business success. Its important to make sure everything is as correct as possible. The structures that Business English students have to learn are in principle the same as General English students. The main difference between learning General English and Business English is setting contexts so that students are practicing language in settings they may find themselves in. This course is specifically designed to teach and allow students to effectively utilize the language learning, giving students realistic situations and the opportunity to play an active role in the learning process. II. LESSON PROPER Lesson 1: Introducing Yourself and A Review of the use of English Grammar Introducing yourself There are many business situations where you have to introduce yourself and talk about your company and job, for example at meetings, training courses, workshops, and conferences. Introductions can be very difficult, particularly in another language. The language used is fairly formal and the following section will help you be prepared for this. Many of these phrases are also useful in other situations, for example, when socializing. Different ways of introducing yourself Examples Good morning everyone. My name is Jennifer Hudson from The Golden Kritch in Canada. We develop and market software for the travel industry. I joined the company in 2010. Im responsible for the companys international sales, which means that I spend most of my time travelling throughout Asia. I manage a team of 10 people. Your name and company My name is / Im I work for (not am working for) Im sales manager for (you are the only sales manager) Im an account manager at (you are one of several account managers) The company produces software / machines / We develop (or: we market) Im a freelance consultant / journalist. Your work and responsibilities Im responsible for European operations / I look after I work in banking. (alternatives: marketing, sales, accounting, product development, research, HR etc.) I manage a team of 8 people. I support our sales team.

My job involves I report to the Business Development Director. Job titles It is often difficult to translate Korean job titles and you may have to use a different job title when talking in English. The most important thing is to choose a title that reflects your position and level of responsibility. You will find that the word manager is used more often in English than in Korean. In international business, a manager title is normal if you are the only person responsible for a particular key function or activity in your company; for example Marketing Communications Manager instead of Marketing Communications Specialist. How long you have been with your current company I have been working for Whitehouse Electronics since 2003 / for 4 years. I have worked at Whitehouse Electronics since 2003. (not am working at) I joined Whitehouse Electronics in 2003. About you personally In my free time I enjoy reading, cooking and playing the piano. Outside of work I enjoy inline skating and Nordic walking. Im very keen on football and support our local team. Im married with two children and live in Kiel. The use of first names when talking to colleagues, business partners and even customers is standard practice (normal) throughout the English speaking world. It does not imply any special relationship. Using only your family name / surname may create barriers in business relationships. When introducing yourself or meeting someone for the first time, it is recommended to use both your first and family name. Many English speakers will then automatically address you by your first name; others may continue to use your family name until invited to call you by your first name. To invite someone to call you by your first name, simply say, for example, Please call me Gabi; or to ask someone if it is OK to use their first name, May I call you David?.

English around the world This Guide used American English and Spelling. American (US) English is very common in international business. Other English speaking countries (particularly Australia, Canada and New Zealand) also use their own particular. Check what your companys policy is! Many global organizations prefer American English. Many organizations with strong connections with the UK or its former colonies prefer British English. Most word processing software also offers other versions (Australian, Canadian, Indian etc.). Make sure that the spellchecker on your computer is set to the appropriate type of English you decide to use. You may receive documents where another type of

English has been preset or another language has been set by default. British English allows both the use of s and z in some words, where as in the US, only z is used (e.g. rationalize or rationalize). Be consistent. Try not to mix spellings, vocabulary or idioms. In many English speaking countries, neutral titles are replacing most job titles which have historically used man. Here are a few important examples: chair or chairperson (rather than chairman) firefighter (rather than fireman), spokesperson (spokesman), manager (for both men and women), fire-fighter(rather than fireman), police officer (rather than policeman).

Lesson 2: Different Types of Business Correspondence and what makes them different in terms of structure and use? In this lesson you think about the different types of business correspondence and what makes them different in terms of structure and use. You see that there is now a modern style of writing suitable for today's business people. The lesson also allows you to develop some of your existing knowledge of writing business letters.

How many different kinds of business correspondence can you think of? Make a list. Here are a couple of ideas to start with: letter notes / post-it notes Compare your list with the feedback sheet.

Which of the different kinds of business correspondence from the last activity would you choose for the following? The first one has been done for you. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Applying for a job Booking a conference room at a hotel Telling colleagues to attend a meeting Ordering stationery Telling colleagues about a new member of staff Complaining about a delivery service Thanking a customer Sending out a meeting agenda Resigning Apologising to an important business contact letter / e-mail attachment

There is not always one correct way of writing a business letter so these can be useful to compare with the examples given during this course. The contents of a business letter Here are some standard phrases for beginning and finishing a business letter:

Choosing the correct form of address. Today, use of Ms in business correspondence has become widespread, as a preferred title which does not focus on whether a woman is married or not. Unlike German, to address someone as Mrs in English implies they are married. If you do not know whether someone is married, then always use Ms in any kind of written communication. If a womans preference is known (i.e.

the person concerned has already signed a letter using the term Mrs), it is courteous to respect this. The use of first names in business is very common in English_speaking countries, even in formal business correspondence and meetings. However, first names should only be used if you already know or have met the person concerned.

Standard phrases to use in the text The following phrases are typical of many business letters. They may be useful when formulating your own text. Reference Thank you for your letter of 13 August. Further to our telephone conversation today. / yesterday. / last week. / on Friday. / on 6 February. Thank you for visiting our stand at the IT Expo in Frankfurt. / your enquiry regarding ... With reference to your recent telephone enquiry. / letter of 08 May. Purpose I am writing to enquire about the cost of Please could you send me a copy of your current brochure. / details of I am writing to confirm arrangements for our meeting on Positive reply We would be delighted to be of service to you on this occasion. I am pleased to confirm the following: ...

Negative reply Unfortunately, we are not able to provide details of the programme. / the event is already fully booked. We very much regret to inform you that your application has not been successful on this occasion. Attachments Please find enclosed information about / contract. We have pleasure in enclosing details of our Closing remarks I look forward to hearing from you in due course. / seeing you on 18 July. / meeting you at the conference. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. We thank you for your custom and look forward to being of service to you again in the future. We trust that our offer will be acceptable to you and look forward to receiving your confirmation in due course. Should you require any further information at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us. Written deadlines: How urgent is it? This table gives you a range of expressions in written English, depending on the urgency of the situation:

How you set out your letter is important. This is a layout of a letter but the different parts of the letter have been replaced with boxes. You have to decide what should go in each box. Choose from the list below. One has been done for you as an example. Choose from this list: opening sentence (reason for writing) greeting / salutation (Dear...) date signature receiver's name and address sender's name company logo l look forward... main body of text sender's title indication of an attachment subject heading Yours ... closing sentence (request for action)

The layout above is known as the block style layout and is now internationally accepted for business letters. The receiver's address is usually top left hand corner, especially if envelopes with 'windows' are being used. How the individual components are written is now looked at in more detail. Now decide whether the following statements are true or false when writing a business letter. Look at the example letter in the feedback from the previous activity if you need some help with this activity. True / False? 1. It is normal to write Mr John Tan in the first line of the receivers address, and underneath to write Dear Mr Tan without the initial. 2. The subject heading usually comes after Dear Mr Tan. 3. In a modern business letters Dear Mrs Lee and Yours sincerely are followed by a comma. 4. Even if you know the persons name, you dont have to use it, you can still use Dear Sir/Madam. 5. You should not use abbreviations in letters and emails. 6. Short, simple sentences are better than long complex ones. 7. Memos have a different structure to letters. 8. Bullets and numbers cant be used in letters, as theyre too informal. 9. Enc is used when you are sending something in addition to the letter e.g. a cheque. 10. In modern business documents punctuation is not used in the receivers address. 11. You should always, when possible, copy someone elses letter or memo. It will save you time!

How you address somebody is also important. Look at the letters below to different people and decide what is the correct way to start the letter. The first one has been done for you as an example. Addressee Company Dear Sir or Madam Man (name unknown) Woman (name unknown) Name and sex unknown Man Married woman or widow Unmarried woman Woman (the modern way) Woman (marital status unknown) Married couple Unmarried couple Friend / acquaintance Now decide what is the best way to close a letter. Addressee Dear Sir or Madam Dear Gentlemen Dear Mr / Mrs / Ms Jones Dear John Family and close friends British English Yours sincerely not appropriate American English not appropriate British English American English

What are the main differences and similarities between letters, faxes and e-mails? Think about the answers to Activity 2 - why would you not send a fax to apply for a job, and why would you send and e-mail if you're telling colleagues to attend a meeting?

Here are three different business writing tasks: a letter, a fax and an e-mail. They are all written by the same person, Andrew McDonald, but there is a different reason for writing each one.

A letter Read the letter first and then answer these questions: 1. What is the purpose of the letter? 2. Which day is Mr Conran asked to attend the conference? 3. Who should Mr Conran contact if he needs more information? 4. Who does Andrew McDonald work for? 5. What is his job? Dear Mr Conran 4 August 2004

I am writing to ask if you would be able to present the CCB Design Awards for Innovation at this year's conference. We would be delighted to have such a successful designer as our guest of honour. The conference takes place on October 14 and 15 at the Riverside Conference Centre. We would very much like you to be part of the awards ceremony which starts at 10.00 am on the second day. It would be much appreciated if you could confirm your availability as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to contact me, or my colleague Sara Hewson, if you require further details. I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely Andrew McDonald CCB Conference organiser

A fax Now look at the fax and answer the following questions: 1. Who is the fax to? 2. What is the purpose of the fax? 3. Where is the conference taking place? 4. How many participants are there for the conference? 5. How many nights are the participants staying at the hotel? To: Hotel Cosmopolitan Attn: The manager Re: Hotel accommodation From: Andrew McDonald CCB Date: 4 August 2004 Pages including this one: 1

CCB are considering booking the Hotel Cosmopolitan for participants attending the annual conference at the Riverside Conference Centre. Details as follows: Date No of Rooms Type of rooms 14 October 2004 (one night) 150 double with bathrooms internet connection bed and breakfast (other costs to be paid by guests)

I would be very grateful if you could give me a quotation based on the above. Best regards Andrew McDonald CCB Conference organiser

An e-mail Finally, read the e-mail and answer these questions: 1. Who is 'Chris'? 2. Who does Chris work for? 3. What does Chris have to do? 4. Who is 'Andy'?

Now you are going to write three types of business correspondence: a letter, a fax and an e-mail. The subject is the same for all three but the layout and style will be different. Look back at the information and examples in this lesson to help you. Use the following information: You are organizing the annual conference for your company. The conference will take place at the Hotel Intercontinental on 27 September 2004. You need somebody as guest speaker, you need to book the hotel conference room and you need your colleague, Paul Walker, to register the 250 participants.

A letter (15 mins, 100 words) Invite Ms Jo Smith to be the guest speaker. Say why you think she would be suitable, and ask if she is available. Make sure she knows when and where the conference will be.

A fax (10 mins, 70 words) You are considering the Hotel Intercontinental as a place to hold your annual conference. Write them a fax requesting a quotation. Think about what information they need to give you a quote (Do you want the hotel to provide lunch and coffee?). Also ask what conference facilities they have.

An e-mail (5 mins, 40 words) Tell Paul Walker to register the participants on their arrival at the conference. Each participant should also receive a name badge. Attach a list of the participants for him. Although there are some suggested answers to these tasks in the feedback keep your writing as you are going to look at them in the following lessons.

In this lesson you have: looked at the structure (layout and letter writing conventions) for a modern business letter identified different letter types and considered their appropriateness for different tasks had model texts for letters, faxes and e-mails written three forms of correspondence (which you will keep for future lessons) Lesson 3: The Different Types of Styles of writing in terms of tone (being formal, neutral or informal)

In this lesson you look at different types of styles of writing in terms of tone (being formal, neutral or informal). You may be surprised to find out that nowadays letters are less than formal than in the past, and that a friendly but business-like tone is more important. In the previous lesson you wrote a letter and a fax. You need both of these for this lesson.

Look at the letter you wrote to Ms Smith asking her to be the guest speaker, and your e-mail to Paul Walker. Is there any difference in the style of writing? Is one more formal than the other? Or are they both formal? Are they very different in style to the suggested answers? Or did you use the examples to help you?

Here are six different types of correspondence. Read each one and decide why each one has been written. Choose from the list of reasons below.

Which of the above is complaining about something? giving a personal message? providing information? advertising? apologizing? asking someone to do something?

Read the six types of correspondence again and decide which of the above is very informal very formal neutral informal formal very formal (the two people know each other very well) (it is written to an individual the writer does not know) (the two people are work colleagues) (it is written as if the writer knows who they are writing to) (it is written to an individual the writer knows but not very well) (the two people know each other well)

Anita Keedwell, a training officer in Sri Lanka, wants to arrange a course on negotiations. She is writing to a lecturer at Trentville University who is not an English teacher but who has had a great deal of experience in training. She would like him to help her. Read the two correspondence below (A is an e-mail and B is a letter) and answer the following questions.

1. Which message is written to somebody the writer knows well, and has an informal tone? 2. Which message is written to a stranger, and has a very formal tone? 3. Which message is more personal? 4. Which message uses standard phrases? 5. Which message uses the passive (the meeting was arranged by Tim) and which uses the active (Tim arranged the meeting? 6. Which message uses contractions? (I'm, we're, I've and not I am, we are, I have) 7. Which message does not have complete sentences? (See you soon and not I'll see you soon) 8. Which message uses a lot of exclamation marks? (!!!!) 9. Which message uses less phrasal verbs? (take off, sit down, hurry up) 10. Which message uses the first person singular more? (I)

It is important to know when to write formally, neutrally or informally to somebody. If the tone is too formal, especially if the reader is somebody you have met, the writer can seem unfriendly. Match the two parts of the sentences to make important statements about business writing. One has been done for you.

Mary McCartney works for an international publishing company (Blackbird Books) which have their headquarters in Liverpool. She works in the sales department of a branch in Delhi. Last week Mary McCartney went to Liverpool for a conference. During the conference she met the director, Paul Harrison, of her department for the first time. Now back in Delhi she has written him an e-mail. Read the e-mail: what are her two reasons for writing?

Read the e-mail again. Do you think the tone is a) formal b) neutral c) informal? Do you think the tone is correct for this e-mail?

Now look at a neutral version of the same e-mail:

Look at the main differences between the first e-mail which is formal, and the second e-mail which is neutral. Fill in the chart below. The first one has been done for you as an example. Formal Dear Mr Harrison It was a great pleasure I trust you have fully recovered I am writing to thank you These will be very useful indeed If you are ever in Delhi please do not hesitate to contact me. Yours sincerely Neutral Dear Paul

The following e-mail is to your boss. However, as you have worked with your boss for a number of years now it is far too formal. Rewrite the same e-mail but use a more neutral tone. Decide which information can be omitted. Your boss is called Sarah Wellington.

Look at the letters you wrote for homework again. The e-mail to Paul Walker needs an informal tone as he is a work colleague you know well. There are examples of informal correspondence in activities 2 and 4. Look at these again and, if necessary, rewrite the e-mail. The letter to Ms Jo Smith needs a more formal tone as she is somebody you do not know. There are examples of formal correspondence in Activities 2, 4, 6 and 9. Look at these again and, if necessary, rewrite the letter. Remember that when writing to people you know it is better to use a neutral tone rather than a formal tone even if they are more important than you.

In this lesson you have: identified the different tones found in correspondence (formal, neutral and informal) identified the reason for writing different correspondence looked at how the style of writing changes the tone rewritten a formal e-mail so that it sounds more neutral

Lesson 4: Writing Effective Business E-mails

People have been writing business letters for a very long time so the style of writing them has developed slowly. Writing e mails is relatively new. However, their use as a form of business correspondence is increasing at great speed. They are als written and sent much faster too.

We do not say e-letter, or e-note or e-message. All correspondence sent electronically has the same name and therefore th differences in style has become less clear. Because of this there is a less accepted convention about how business e-mai should be written. This lesson looks at guidelines for the etiquette of writing e-mails.

Formal or informal? The following examples show some formal and informal styles: Examples Very Formal

Dear Mr Stephens,

I refer to your email from 25 February and thank you for your enquiry. We would be delighted to provide the services you require for the Frankfurt Book Fair. Please find attached a quotation, which I trust will be acceptable to you. Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us. I look forward to hearing from you in due course. Yours sincerely, Michael Landmesser Sales Director GHW Marketing GmbH

Fairly Formal

Dear Andrew,

Thank you for your email from 25 February enquiring about services for the Frankfurt Book Fair. I hope that the attached quotation is acceptable to you. If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us I look forward to hearing from you. With best regards, Michael Landmesser Sales Director GHW Marketing GmbH

Informal Hallo Andrew, Thank you for your email from 25 February enquiring about the Frankfurt Book Fair. We would be pleased to provide the services you require. Our quotation is attached I hope you will find it acceptable. If you need any other information, please let us know. I look forward to hearing from you. Best regards, Michael Landmesser Sales Director GHW Marketing GmbH

Very Informal Hi Andy! Thanks for your email of 25 February. We would be very pleased to provide the services you require for the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Please find attached quotation, which I hope you will find OK. Please let me know if you need anything else. Kind regards, Michael

How do I know whether to use formal or informal language? Finding the right tone and level of formality for an email sometimes difficult. If in doubt, use formal English. Grammar and punctuation should be correct in all business emails. Yo should always use lower and upper case letters as appropriate. However, you may not always receive emails that ar correctly written and in good business English! The use of slang and over friendly expressions should be avoided unless yo are really sure that it is OK to use them. If in doubt, exercise caution and be conservative.

Abbreviations The use of abbreviations is very common in emails. A list of the most common standard abbreviations in English can be found in the table below. Using abbreviations saves time and space, but only use expressions that you are sure the recipient of the email will understand! Take a look at the following text written with and without abbreviations: Dear Angela, Thank you for your email of 17 December. For your information, I am attaching a full programme for the event. If you need accommodation next month, please let me know as soon as possible. I will be at Headquarters on Monday (arriving around 10.30 hours). Perhaps we could meet for lunch? With kind regards, Gnter PS: Please give my best regards to Roger and everyone in the Operations Department! Dear Angela, Tks for yr email of 17 Dec. FYI: I am attaching a full programme for the event. If you need accommodation for next month, pls let me know ASAP. I will be at HQ on Mon. (arr. ca. 10.30 hrs). Perhaps we cld meet for lunch? Kind rgds, Gnter

PS: Pls give my best regards to Roger and everyone in the Ops. Dept.!

The first activities ask you to think about how you send and receive e-mails now. It would be very useful to have Lesson 2 with you while doing this lesson.

How many e-mails do you send a day? How many do you receive? What percentage of your e-mails are pure business transactions, and what percentage are quick messages to colleagues or friends?

When you receive e-mails can you tell immediately if they are business letters? When you write an e-mails do yo think about a different style depending on who you are writing to, or do write the same to everybody? (Think abou writing styles from Lesson 2).

Finally, do you read all the e-mails you receive? What percentage do you delete without reading? How often do yo check your e-mails? Do you read e-mails faster than you would a conventional letter arriving in an envelope? Do yo sometimes receive e-mails that you dont need? Do you send e-mails to the person sitting next to you? Text messages

Texting (sending and receiving messages via mobile phone) is useful in certainircumstances to convey important business information. In order to use as few characters as possible, special abbreviations and unique expressions have developed.

More of these are given in the Table below. Examples ARR 19:30 FLT BA902. CU AT HOTEL. RGDS MARIAN (Arriving 19.30 hours with flight BA902. See you at the hotel. Regards, Marian) TKS 4 YR MSG. PLS CALL ASAP WHEN U ARR AT APT. TKS ROBERT (Thanks for your message. Please call as soon as possible when you arrive at the airport. Thanks, Robert) SRY, HAVE BKD A TABLE FOR 8PM. SPK 2 U L8R (Sorry, I have booked a table for 8.00 PM. Speak to you later)

What do the following mean? 1. cc 2. bcc 3. Format plain text / html 4. A draft 5. Threads 6. Forward 7. Insert a file 8. Signature 9. Abbreviations 10. Emoticons

Are the following questions true or false? 1. Business e-mails should always be very formal. 2. Legal documents can be sent by e-mail. 3. Internal e-mails in general can be very informal. 4. Business e-mails dont need the traditional opening and closings (as discussed in Lesson 2). 5. E-mails are confidential and private.

Look at the e-mail below and answer the following questions: Who is the e-mail to? Who is it from? Is there a signature? Who has received a copy? Is there a clear subject heading? Why was it sent? What action is required of the readers? Is the tone appropriate? (See Lesson 2)

The subject you give an e-mail is very important. People often receive many e-mails every day so its important to give as much information as possible in the subject if you want your e-mail to be read. The e-mail above did not have a clear subject heading. Look at the following headings and decide which one is best and why: Visitor tomorrow Regional Director visit 12/12/03 Mr Ahmed is visiting

What subject heading could you give for the following e-mails? 1. You want to take two weeks leave next month.

2. Youre e-mailing a client with product information after they telephoned you with an enquiry. 3. There has been a policy change regarding working hours. 4. Communal e-mail about an in-house customer care training course next week.

Look at the following two e-mails and compare the language and layout. Which one is better for a business e-mail following a first telephone conversation? Try and identify the differences between The subject heading The typeface The style The signature The tone

Look at the following examples of abbreviations from e-mail and online chats. Can you understand them? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. IDK what the answer is ATM. Ill tell U ASAP. TYVM for the proposal. BTW, Im going away on holiday next week so CU when I get back. so its quite difficult, UC. Im busy now. PLS can we call me L8R? OK, CUL8R. FYI Im not here tomorrow. THX for your MSG. What are the advantages of using abbreviations? What are the disadvantages? 10. Do you think it is possible, after you have developed an e-mail relationship with a client, that abbreviations can be used?

Look at the following suggestions about using e-mails for business writing. Which ones are good advice, and which ones are bad advice? 1. All e-mails look the same so the subject heading should be clear. 2. E-mails are normally read quickly and need to be easily understood. It is important that the first paragraph includes any action that is requested. 3. If an e-mail is too long it may not all be read. Remember the four Ss when writing an e-mail: keep it Short, Simple and Straightforward, and Spell correctly. 4. Only include one subject in each e-mail. A new subject needs a new email with a new subject heading. 5. People often reply very quickly to e-mails and this means that the message is not always clear. Make sure your e-mails are as long as possible. 6. Before you press reply to all make sure that everyone needs to see your reply. Copying unnecessary mail to colleagues can add to e-mail overload.

7. Some internal message systems show the first line of a message on the screen before it is opened so imagine how this will read. 8. Dont use emoticons. Many people dont like them, and some people dont understand them. 9. Avoid using abbreviations unless you are sure that your reader will understand them. 10. Dont type words IN CAPITAL LETTERS this looks like you are shouting. 11. If somebody hasnt replied immediately to an e-mail, dont resend the message. They may be away from the office or busy, and will feel that you are bothering them. 12. If your message is very urgent, follow it up with a phone call, or consider phoning rather than e-mailing. 13. The law regarding e-mailing is still unclear. It is safest to treat an email, even one sent on an internal system, like any other form of published material. 14. Dont use bcc many companies disapprove, and it can cause problems. Turn off you you have mail function so that you dont stop what you are doing to read it.

Frank Sony has replied to Peter Philips about the delivery of the computers. However, the e-mail that needs to be improved. Look at all the advice and examples of good practice, including the examples in the answer key, and re-write the message.

In this lesson you have: considered the role of e-mailing for business correspondence identified problems associated with e-mailing had model texts for good e-mails identified good practice when sending e-mails re-written and improved a poor e-mail

Lesson 5: Introduction to Report Writing

Report writing may seem very difficult to do. However, if the report is well organised and if it is clear why each paragrap has been written then it is possible to write a concise, structured report. This lesson provides steps toward effective rep writing.

Can you think of a report that impressed you? What did you like about it? Was it the structure of the report? Was it we researched? Was there a clear recommendation?

There are different reasons for writing a report. Here are the three main reasons. Match the reasons for the report with their name. Name of report 1 The debriefing report 2 Information-only reports 3 The research report Reason for writing a To provide an update on a project b To evaluate a market or other commercial opportunity c To tell colleagues what took place at a conference, meeting or visit

Before writing a report it helps to ask the following questions. Try and answer them and then add another question to e of the reports. The debriefing report 1 2 3 How much do the readers already know about the subject? Should I give some background to it? Do I need to make recommendations? (For example recommending that your organisation should have a stand at a conference) ___________________________________________________________

Information-only reports 1 2 3 Which information is not relevant or useful and should be left out? What is the logical order to present the information? ___________________________________________________________

The research report 1 2 3 4 5 What is the objective of this report? How can I prevent it from being too long? How can I present facts and figures concisely? What recommendations should I make? ___________________________________________________________

You may give both opinions and facts in a report. However, it is important when writing a report that the readers know when you are giving an opinion, or stating a fact. 1 Look at the following information you have about attendance at a supervisors course. Decide if the information is fact or opinion. The first one has been done for you. Information 1. Poor attendance at supervisors' course 2. Course not interesting or relevant 3. Course badly time-tabled 4. College too far from the factory 5. Supervisors not good enough for the course Look at an example report and check you answers: The company certainly has a problem with staff attendance at special training courses. This is particularly true for the supervisors' afternoon college courses. I think there are a number of reasons for this situation. First of all, I have the feeling that the course is not made interesting or relevant for our staff. Secondly, the timing of the course on Friday afternoons is not suitable because the trainees are tired at the end of the week. A further point is the distance of the college from the factory. It is nearly one hour's journey. And finally, it is my view that many of the supervisors fact opinion

attending these courses are not suitable for them. The work is too hard for them. 2 Look at the phrases in bold. These make it clear that the information is the opinion of the writer. What other phrases can you use to show you are giving an opinion and not stating a fact?

Your boss wants to introduce a dress code. She has asked you to write a short report about they style of clothes employees usually wear to work. Use the information below. Make sure you make it clear when you are giving your opinion or stating a fact. Use the example above to help you.

When writing a report it is important that you recognise the difference between facts and opinions. Which of the statements below are facts, and which are opinions? a) Smoking is a silly habit. b) Ten times as many smokers get lung cancer as non-smokers. c) People smoke much more when they are worried. d) There is a link between lung cancer and cigarette smoking. Which of the statements above would be best to support the argument that smoking is harmful to health?

Look at these three statements (a), (b) and (c). Which one does not support the main idea? It is good to get your companys name in the papers (main idea) a) It is a cheap and effective form of advertising b) Journalists are always looking interesting stories c) There are many different kinds of publications The answer is (c). Both (a) and (b) support the main idea, and (b) provides additional support to make the argument stronger. It reinforces (a). You can show this by using: Furthermore In addition Besides Moreover

It is good to get your companys name in the papers because it is a cheap and effective form of advertising. Furthermore journalists are always looking for interesting stories. Now do the same with these main ideas. First decide which statement (a), (b) or (c) does not support the main idea. Then write two sentences that include the main idea, a supporting fact and a reinforcing fact. Look at the motorbike example above to help you. It is important to wear smart clothes to work a) Most people wear casual clothes b) It gives a good impression to customers c) It shows that employees are professional The company should get a new photocopier a) The present photocopier is always breaking down b) Modern photocopiers are much more efficient and reliable c) Modern photocopiers can be bought or rented The company needs a restaurant a) Staff bring their own food for lunch b) There is nowhere to eat near the company c) Staff spend too long having lunch when they go out

In a report there is often a section with recommendations based on the information in the report. Look at the following ways for making recommendations:

It is recommended that management reconsider the working hours of all employees and draw up a proposal for an alternative. All sections should state the minimum level of cover needed and establish a system for the organisation of leave.

1 Look at this report written by a visiting director to a company. It makes recommendations for future staff training. What are the phrases for making recommendations? In the light of poor performance of certain members of staff, this report proposes several courses of action.

It is recommended that all managers attend a series of workshops that should focus on managerial skills, presentation skills and teamwork. They urgently need to be made aware of what is expected of staff at their level. Certain members of staff in particular, Mr. Bolt and Mr. Chubb, need to be informed by their line managers that their conduct towards female staff is totally unacceptable. It might be advisable to draw up an improvement plan and place it on file for future reference. Ms. Latch should receive some additional responsibilities and be promoted in the near future. 2 What other phrases are there for making recommendations?

1 Read this report. What is the overall purpose of the report? 1 This report examines whether there is a need for the company to have a dress code. There has never been a dress code before, and at the moment employees are able to wear whatever they like to work. However, there is a clause in all contracts which states that employees should dress smartly. 2 In my opinion most employees dress very badly. For example some employees wear jeans to work, especially the younger members of staff. Sometimes the jeans are neither new nor clean. There are also very few men who wear ties, in fact only the senior members of the finance department wear ties. An increasing number of employees wear t-shirts. Moreover it is my view that some of the women in the summer look unprofessional when they wear sandals. 3 It is important to wear smart clothes to work because it gives a good impression to customers. In addition it shows that employees are professional. Wearing casual clothes suggests that we are also casual about our work, which is certainly not the case. 4 This report therefore proposes that a clear dress code needs to be introduced with effective guidelines for employees to follow. It is recommended that all men wear ties although not necessarily suits. The report proposes women should wear shoes all year round. The wearing of jeans and t-shirts should be prohibited for both men and women with the exception of the dispatch department. 2 There are four paragraphs. Read through the report again, why has each paragraph been written?

Your company is considering banning smoking in all the offices. You have been asked to write a report into the smoking habits of employees in the company. You must also recommend whether a ban is necessary or not. Write a short report and use the information in the table below to help you. Information 1. Employees can smoke where they like at work 2. Smoking is harmful to health 3. Most employees who smoke want to stop 4. Employees who dont smoke are unhappy 5. Smokers would be willing to go outside the building to have a cigarette. Write four paragraphs. This is the reason for each paragraph: Paragraph 1 introduces the reason for the report. Paragraph 2 provides facts and opinions about people who smoke at work. Paragraph 3 gives a reason for banning smoking. Paragraph 4 makes recommendations for a smoking ban and gives some suggestions. Use the example in activity 9 above to help you. fact opinion

In this lesson you have: identified different reports and the reasons for writing them compared presenting facts with opinions used reinforcing facts to support ideas used phrases for making recommendations identified the different parts of a short report written a short report

Lesson 6: Message Functions: A look at the range of business communication

There are many different reasons for writing a letter, e-mail or fax. You may want to write an e-mail to everyone in your new job to introduce yourself, or you may receive a fax from a hotel confirming a reservation. These messages have different functions: to introduce, or to confirm. This lesson looks at the most common reasons for business writing and it gives advice on how to write these. This lesson only looks at the content of the communication. Have a copy of lesson 1 and 2 with you to remind yourself of the layout for different types of business correspondence.

The introduction mentions an e-mail for introduction and a fax for confirmation. What other functions can you think of?

1 What is Feng Shui? 2 Mr Donaldson works for a company that has many problems. Productivity has fallen and it is not making any money. Nobody is happy in the company. He has written to a Feng Shui consultancy company called Wind and Water. Read his message. What is the function? 3 What four things does Mr Donaldson want Wind and Water to do? 4 What is the reason?
Dear Wind and Water I am writing to enquire if it would be possible for you to have a look at a plan of our office and redesign it according to Feng Shui principles. This is in order to improve our companys present difficulties. We would be most grateful if you could let us have an estimate for this service. In addition, please could you tell us when would be a suitable date for a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you. Yours faithfully Dan Donaldson

5 What words or phrases are used for the function? 6 What other words or phrases can be used?

You are going to spend a few days in Delhi on company business. You are interested in staying at the Palace Hotel. Write a fax to the hotel. Include the following information: 1. Ask about the services they offer 2. Give a reason for making the enquiry. 3. Ask them to send you information on Room rates Restaurants Gym facilities and swimming pool Accepted credit cards or methods of payment 4. Also ask what the latest time for checking-out is Look at the example above to help you.

When relying to an enquiry you must make sure that you answer all the enquiries exactly. A good method is to go through the original letter (e-mail or fax), and make a list of all the enquiries / key words. Then to answer the enquiries. Here is an example: The list of enquiries to Palace Hotel looks like this: 1. Room rates 2. Restaurants 3. Gym facilities and swimming pool 4. Accepted credit cards or methods of payment 5. Latest time for checking-out And the answers from the Palace Hotel looks like this: 1. $140 per night, does not include breakfast 2. three excellent restaurants 3. Gym facilities, yes and large swimming pool, free to guests 4. cash or credit cards. Accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express 5. 3pm for extra charge $15

Now look at how the answers have been included in this reply. Dear Mr Hewson

Thank you for your fax requesting information about the Palace Hotel in Delhi. The room rates for a double room are $140 per night. I am afraid that this rate does not include breakfast. However, we are pleased to inform you that we have full room service or you may visit any of our three excellent restaurants in the hotel. I can confirm that we have a large outdoor swimming pool and gym facilities. These are available free of charge to all guests. In addition you may settle your account by cash or credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Finally, we are happy to offer you late checkout until 3pm for an extra charge of 15. If you would like to arrange this service, please inform the reception on arrival. If there is anything else you require, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to receiving your booking. Yours sincerely Tapash Roy Manager Customer Service Now do the same. First, your name is Dora Lewis and you work for Air Fresh International. You have received this enquiry from ETG Services. 1 What is the reason for writing? Dear Sir/Madam Fresh Air-Conditioner, model number 2V3 ETG Services needs to replace its air-conditioners. I am writing to enquire about the cost of your model 2V3, and if there is any discount for bulk purchase. Could you also let us know the estimated delivery time, and if there is a guarantee with the equipment. If so, how long does it last? Finally, we should like to know if your company operates a maintenance service. I look forward to hearing from you. Patricia Butler ETG Services

2 Now fill in this table. The first one has been done for you. Decide the answers yourself.

List of enquiries: 1 cost 2 3 4 5 6

Answers: 1 $1,200 2 3 4 5 6

3 First look at the table in the answer key to check. Now write a reply to the enquiry. Dont forget to thank Ms Butler for her enquiry. Look at the example to Mr Hewson above to help you

Read this complaint. 1 Where does Mr Bevan work, and why is he complaining? Dear Mr Brown We have just received delivery of order no. 2601 placed with you on 16 February. We regret to say, however, that the goods delivered do not meet our requirements. The quality of the goods appears to be far below that of the samples which were sent earlier and are therefore not acceptable. Furthermore, as you can see in the copy of the invoice we enclose, we requested 1,500 shirts but have only received 1,400 of those. We have received many requests from our regular customers for these shirts but have been unable to fulfil the orders and have lost considerable revenue as a result. We therefore hope you will let us know by March 20 what action you can take to help us solve this present difficulty. If we do not hear from you by that date we will regretfully be forced to cancel the order and ask for compensation. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Yours sincerely Winston Bevan 2 Read the message again. What is the tone? What is the main aim of each paragraph?

1 In the first paragraph it is a good idea to start by giving your reader the background details about the event that has caused you to complain: I spent three nights, 2 4 March, at your hotel. The room number was 310. I wanted to buy some equipment in your electrical department yesterday, 18 March, 2004. 2 The second paragraph should explain the exact problem or complaint you are writing about: On my third night, there was so much noise from a party being held in room 314 that I could not get to sleep. I am sorry to tell you that the members of staff on duty were very unhelpful and could not give me any details about the CD player I was interested in buying. You should then give the details of any action that you took to try and solve the problem: I complained to your staff on night duty but they were unable to persuade the guests to keep quiet. I asked to see the department manager but was told that he was not on duty. 3 The last paragraph is important because it can be used for two purposes. a) to save face of the organisation to which you are complaining by paying a compliment. I had thoroughly enjoyed my stay up until then, but this incident rather spoilt my visit. I was surprised by this lack of politeness, as I had been very impressed by the helpfulness of staff in other departments. b) to suggest ways of solving the problem or of preventing it from happening again. May I suggest that staff on night duty should get the security staff to follow up complaints if necessary. Perhaps it would be a good idea to give your staff some training in customer-care. Paragraph 3 also includes a request for action: I would be grateful if the hotel could compensate me for the inconvenience caused. Meanwhile I am reluctant to return to your shop until I receive an apology.

Your name is Mr Martin Black and you work for a shoe shop. You are not happy about a delivery you received and you want to complain. Write to the company Instep using these notes. The managers name is Mr Gordon Richards. Paragraph one includes details about the event that has caused you to complain: 24 March received order PB327, 3 dozen pairs of sports shoes Paragraph 2 explains the exact problem:

several pairs incorrectly labeled laces missing from some shoes Paragraph 2 also includes action you have taken: repacked faulty shoes to be taken away Paragraph 3 pays compliment and requests action: dealt with Instep for several years, first complaint replace faulty pairs Remember to remain polite when complaining!

We all make mistakes. It is important to be able to apologise sincerely, it has a positive effect on the people you work with or do business with. 1 Ms Jones has received an apology from the hotel she was staying at. Read it and say what the main aim of each paragraph is. Dear Ms Jones Thank you for your letter dated 5 March complaining about the noise while you were staying at our hotel. We are very sorry that you were unable to sleep because of the loud music from a nearby room. This was because of a small party the occupants were having to celebrate a 21st birthday. Please accept this voucher for two free dinners at our hotel restaurant which you may use anytime during the next 6 months. We apologise for any inconvenience that this has caused you and assure you it will not be repeated. As a valued customer we look forward to you staying with us again in the future. 2 What words or phrases are used for the function of apologising? 3 What other words or phrases can be used?

You are Mr Gordon Richards, the manager of Instep. You have received the e-mail from Mr Martin Black complaining about the sports shoes he received. Write a reply to

apologise. Look at the example above to help you.

In this lesson you have: identified different functions for corresponding written an enquiry replied to an enquiry written to complain written to apologise

Lesson 7: Presentation