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Business communication building critical skill 6th module016

Revising
Sentences
and
Paragraphs

Module Sixteen

McGraw-Hill/Irwin

Copyright © 2014 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Learning Objectives
LO 16-1 Define good style in business
messages.
LO 16-2 Demonstrate appropriate tone in
business messages.
LO 16-3 Differentiate rules from writing
habits and conventions.

16-2



Learning Objectives
LO 16-4 Apply strategies for sentence revision.
LO 16-5 Apply strategies for paragraph
revision.
LO 16-6 Synthesize style with organizational
culture.

16-3


What is “good” style?
 Use friendly, conversational words.
 Avoid contractions, slang, and even minor
grammatical lapses.
 Edit your writing to sound confident, even in
uncomfortable situations.
 Allow for some individual variation

16-4


Different Levels of Style

16-5


Using the Right Tone
 Business writing should be businesslike and
friendly.
 In the past 50 years, social distance in the
United States has decreased.
 Tone is the implied attitude of the speaker or
writer toward what the words say.

16-6


Are there rules I should follow?


 None of the following is necessarily true—
decide what is appropriate based on
audience and discourse community:
 “Write what “sounds” good.”
 “Never use I.”
 “Use big words.”

16-7


Are there rules I should follow?

16-8


What should I look for when
I revise sentences?
 Use active verbs most of the time.
 Use verbs to carry the weight of your
sentence
 Tighten your writing

16-9


What should I look for when
I revise sentences?
 Vary sentence length and sentence
structure
 Use parallel structure
 Put your readers in your sentences

16-10


What should I look for when
I revise sentences?
Use verbs to present the information more
forcefully.
Weak: We will perform an investigation of the
problem.
Better: We will investigate the problem.
Weak: Selection of a program should be based on the
client’s needs.
Better: Select the program that best fits the client’s
needs.
16-11


Tighten Your Writing
 Eliminate words that say nothing
 Use gerunds and infinitives to make sentences
shorter and smoother
 Combine sentences to eliminate unnecessary
words
 Put the meaning of your sentence into the
subject and verb

16-12


Vary Sentence Length and
Sentence Structure
 Simple sentences have one main clause
 Compound sentences have two main
clauses joined with and, but, or, or another
conjunction.
 Complex sentences have one main and one
subordinate clause

16-13


Eliminate Repeated Words
in Parallel Lists

16-14


Use Parallelism
to Tighten Your Writing

16-15


What should I look for when
I revise paragraphs?
 Begin most
paragraphs with topic
sentences
 Use transitions to link
ideas

16-16


Transition Words and Phrases

16-17


How does organizational culture
affect style?
 Use the techniques in this module
 Help your boss (or co-worker) learn about
writing
 Recognize that style may serve purposes
other than communication
 Ask

16-18



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