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Table of Contents

Checklists
Preface

PART ONE: PRINCIPLES

1. Characteristics of Writing at Work
Writing at Work versus Writing at School

Requires Acute Awareness of the Need for Strict Security Procedures; Poses Legal Liability for the Writer and the Organization; May Be Read by Readers Unknown to the Writer, Inside or Outside the Organization, for an Infinite Time
Achieves Job Goals
Addresses a Variety of Readers Who Have Different Perspectives
Creates Excessive Paperwork and E-Mails
Uses a Variety of Documents

The Foundations of Effective Writing at Work
The Qualities of Good Technical Writing
Exercises

2. Writing for Your Readers
Understand Your Readers—The Heart of the Planning Process

Business Readers Want Answers Now
Determine Your Readers and Their Perspectives
Determine Your Purpose
Understand Your Role as a Writer
Plan the Content
Anticipate the Context in Which Your Writing Will Be Received
Case 2–1
Case 2–2

The Basic Parts of the Composing Process

Analyzing the Writing Situation—Purpose, Readers, and Context
Choosing/Discovering Content
Arranging Content
Drafting
Revising
Editing
Case 2-3

Planning and Revision Checklist
Exercises

3. Writing Ethically
Your Professional Obligations
Codes of Conduct
Recognizing Unethical Communication

Plagiarism and Theft of Intellectual Property
Deliberately Imprecise or Ambiguous Language
Manipulation of Numerical Information
Use of Misleading Illustrations
Promotion of Prejudice
Uncritical Use of Information

Managing Unethical Situations
Ethics Decision Checklist
Exercises

4. Achieving a Readable Style
The Paragraph

Examples for Study
Basic Principles of Effective Style
Determine Your Readers’ Knowledge of the Subject
Determine Whether a Particular Style Will Be Expected
Adjust the Style to the Readers, the Purpose, and the Context Keys to Building Effective Sentences
Select Your Level of Language; Adjust the Density of Information
Watch Sentence Length
Keep Subjects and Verbs Close Together
Write Squeaky-Clean Prose
Avoid Pompous Language; Write to Express, Not to Impress
Avoid Excessive Use of Is/Are Verb Forms
Use Active Voice for Clarity

Word Choice
Style Checklist
Exercises

5. Designing Documents
Understanding the Basics of Document Design

Know What Decisions Are Yours to Make
Choose a Design That Fits Your Situation
Plan Your Design from the Beginning
Reveal Your Design to Your Readers
Keep Your Design Consistent

Designing Effective Pages and Screens
Use Blank Space to Frame and Group Information
Space the Lines of Text for Easy Reading
Set the Line Length for Easy Reading
Use a Ragged Right Margin

Helping Readers Locate Information
Use Frequent Headings Write Descriptive Headings Design Distinctive Headings Use Page Numbers and Headers or Footers
Document Design Checklist
Exercises

6. Designing Illustrations
Creating Illustrations

Tables
Bar and Column Graphs
Circle Graphs
Line Graphs
Organization Charts
Flow Charts
Diagrams
Photographs
Animation Clips
Film Clips

Designing Illustrations Ethically
Illustration Checklist
Exercises

PART TWO: APPLICATIONS
7. E-Mails, Texts, Memos, and Letters

E-Mail and Text Messages
Memos and Letters
Guidelines for Ensuring Quality
Appropriate Tone in E-Mails, Texts, Memos, and Letters
Guidelines for Dealing with Tone
Planning and Writing Correspondence

Case 7-1: Informational E-Mail Message
Case 7-2: Instructional Memo
Case 7-3: Letter Requesting Information
Case 7-4: Unfavorable News Letter
Case 7-5: Letter of Reply

Correspondence Checklist
Exercises

8. Technical Reports
Kinds of Reports
Report Categories—Informal and Formal
Informal Report Heading

Subject Line
Reference
Action Required
Distribution List

Parts of an Informal Technical Report
Introduction
Summary
Discussion
Conclusion
Recommendation
Attachments
Developing Reports
Case 8-1

Elements of Formal Reports
Prefatory Elements
Abstracts and Summaries
Discussion, or Body of the Report
Collecting and Grouping Information
Case 8-2
Case 8-3
Conclusion(s)
Recommendations
Appendices

Letter Reports
Example Report for Study
Writing Collaboratively
The Team Leader
Requirements of Team Leaders
Requirements of Team Members

Report Checklist
Exercises

9. Proposals and Progress Reports
Proposals

Example RFP
The Context of Proposal Development
Effective Argument in Proposal Development
Standard Sections of Proposals
Case 9-1: Research Proposal
Case 9-2: Project Proposal

Progress Reports
Structure of Progress Reports
Case 9-3
Case 9-4

Style and Tone of Proposals and Progress Reports
Checklist for Developing Proposals and Progress Reports
Exercises

10. Instructions, Procedures, and Policies
Instructions versus Procedures
Critical Role of Instructions and Procedures in the Workplace
Planning Instructions and Procedures
Structure and Organization

Introduction
Theory Governing the Procedure or Instruction
Warnings, Cautions, Hazards, and Notes Regarding Safety or Quality
Conditions under Which the Task Should Be Performed
Name of Each Step
Case 10-1: Process Instructions
Case 10-2: Job Instructions
Case 10-3: Instructional Letter

Online Instructions
Case 10-4
Checklist for Developing Instructions/Procedures
Exercises

11. Oral Reports
Understanding the Speaking-Writing Relationship
Analyzing the Audience
Determining the Goal of Your Presentation
Choosing and Shaping Content
Analyzing the Context
Choosing the Organization
Choosing an Appropriate Speaking Style
Choosing Visuals to Enhance Your Purpose and Your Meaning
Planning Your Presentation—Questions You Need to Ask

Audience
Purpose
Context
Content
Graphics
Style

Speaking to Multicultural Audiences
Designing Each Segment
Choose an Interesting Title
Develop Your Presentation around Three Main Divisions
Plan the Introduction Carefully
Design the Body
Design the Conclusion

Choose an Effective Delivery Style
Techniques to Enhance Audience Comprehension
Designing and Presenting the Written Paper
Structuring the Written Speech
Writing the Speech
Practicing the Presentation

Checklist for Preparing Oral Reports
Exercises

12. Resumes and Job Applications
The Correspondence of the Job Search

Letter of Application
The Resume
Follow-Up Letters

Interviewing
The Interview
Negotiation
Before and After the Interview

Job Search Checklist
Exercises

Appendix A. Brief Guide to Grammar, Punctuation, and Usage
Appendix B. Using Information Sources
Appendix C. Annotated Report for Study
Index


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