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Chapter 4 Revising and Proofreading Business Messages Ch. 4-1

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  • Chapter 4Revising and Proofreading Business MessagesCh. 4-*

  • Revising and ProofreadingRevising: Improving content and sentence structure. May involve adding, cutting, recasting.Proofreading:Correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, format, and mechanics.Ch. 4-*

  • Concise WordingInstead of this:We are of the opinion thatPlease feel free toIn addition to the aboveAt this point in timeDespite the fact thatTry this:We thinkPleaseAlsoNowAlthoughCh. 4-*Revise your messages to eliminate wordiness.

  • Wordy Prepositional PhrasesInstead of this:We dont as a general rule cash personal cheques.Students in very few instances receive parking tickets.She calls meetings on a monthly basis.Try this:We dont generally cash personal cheques.

    Students seldom receive parking tickets.

    She calls monthly meetings.Ch. 4-*

  • Long Lead-InsInstead of this:This memo is to inform you that all employees meet today.I am writing this letter to say thanks to everyone who voted.Try this:All employees meet today.

    Thanks to everyone who voted.

    Ch. 4-*

  • Outdated ExpressionsOutdated:as per your requestpursuant to your requestattached hereuntounder separate coverModern:at your requestat your requestattachedseparately

    Ch. 4-*

  • Needless AdverbsInstead of this:The manager is actually quite pleased with your proposal because the plan is definitely workable.Try this:The manager is pleased with your proposal because the plan is workable.Ch. 4-*To sound more credible and to streamline your writing, omit adverbs such as definitely, quite, really, actually, and so forth.

  • FillersInstead of this:There are two employees who should be promoted.It was Lisa and Jeff who were singled out.Try this:Two employees should be promoted.Lisa and Jeff were singled out.Ch. 4-*Revise sentences to avoid fillers such as there and it when used merely to take up space.

  • Try Your SkillRevise the following sentence to avoid a long lead-in, wordy prepositional phrase, outdated expression, needless adverb, filler, and/or other forms of wordiness. This e-mail message is to inform you that in all probability we will actually finish in two weeks. We will probably finish in two weeks.Ch. 4-*

  • Try Your SkillRevise the following sentence to avoid a long lead-in, wordy prepositional phrase, outdated expression, needless adverb, filler, and/or other forms of wordiness. There are many brokers who are quite certain that these stocks are completely safe. Many brokers are certain that these stocks are safe.Ch. 4-*

  • Try Your SkillRevise the following sentence to avoid a long lead-in, wordy prepositional phrase, outdated expression, needless adverb, filler, and/or other forms of wordiness. Pursuant to your request, there are two contracts that are attached hereto. As you requested, two contracts are attached.Ch. 4-*

  • Try Your SkillRevise the following sentence to avoid a long lead-in, wordy prepositional phrase, outdated expression, needless adverb, filler, and/or other forms of wordiness. All employees are hereby informed that as a general rule computers may not be used for personal activities. Generally, employees may not use computers for personal activities.Ch. 4-*

  • Redundant Wordsadvance warningclose proximityexactly identicalfilled to capacityfinal outcomenecessary requisitenew beginningpast historyrefer backthought and considerationCh. 4-*Avoid unnecessarily repetitious words. What words could be omitted in these expressions?

  • JargonComputer jargon:queue

    export

    bandwidthAlternative language:list of documents waiting to be printedtransfer data from one program to anotherInternet capacityCh. 4-*Avoid technical terms and special terminology that readers would not recognize.Is jargon ever permissible?

  • Slangcluelessturkeychill/chill outsweetpeepsunaware, navefoolRelaxnicefriendsCh. 4-*Avoid slang (informal expressions with arbitrary or extravagantly changed meanings).

  • ClichsLast but not least, you should keep your nose to the grindstone.We had reached the end of our rope. Finally, you should work diligently.

    We could go no farther.

    Ch. 4-*Avoid clichs (overused expressions). Substitute more precise words.

  • Try Your SkillRevise the following sentence to avoid slang, clichs, and redundancies. Last but not least, the accountant referred back to an exactly identical case. Finally, the accountant referred to an identical case.Ch. 4-*

  • Try Your SkillRevise the following sentence to avoid slang, clichs, and redundancies. With a little advance warning, we could have sold out before our stocks tanked. With warning, we could have sold out before our stocks hit bottom.Ch. 4-*

  • Try Your SkillRevise the following sentence to avoid slang, clichs, and redundancies. Ms. Miller, who shoots straight from the hip, demanded final completion by January 1. Ms. Miller, who is straightforward, demanded completion by January 1.Ch. 4-*

  • Precise VerbsRevise your writing to include precise verbs instead of general, lackluster, all-purpose ones.Market researchers said that profits would improve. Market researchers forecasted improved profits.Market researchers promised improved profits.Market researchers predicted improved profits.Ch. 4-*

  • Precise VerbsRevise verbs that have been converted to nouns.The manager came to the realization that telecommuting made sense.The manager realized that telecommuting made sense.An application must be made by the job seeker.The job seeker must apply.TIP: Look for words ending in tion or ment. Could they be more efficiently and forcefully converted to verbs?

    Ch. 4-*

  • Try Your SkillRevise the following sentence using more precise verbs. The seller said she would contact you. The seller will e-mail [telephone or fax] you.We must give encouragement to our team. We must encourage our team. Have you made an application for employment? Have you applied for employment?A duty of the general manager is the calculation of monthly sales. The general manager calculates monthly sales.

    Ch. 4-*

  • Concrete NounsRevise your writing to include specific, concrete nouns instead of general, abstract ones.The man asked for a raise.Jeff Jones asked for a 10 percent salary increase.An employee presented a proposal.Kelly Keeler, production manager, presented a plan to stagger hours.Ch. 4-*

  • Vivid AdjectivesRevise your writing to include descriptive, dynamic adjectives instead of overworked, all-purpose ones.The report was good.The report was persuasive (or detailed, original, thorough, painstaking, complete, comprehensive).The report was bad.(Possible revisions?)Ch. 4-*

  • ProofreadingSpellingGrammarPunctuationNames and numbersFormatCh. 4-*

  • How to Proofread Complex DocumentsAllow adequate time.Print a copy, preferably double-spaced.Be prepared to find errors.Read once for meaning and once for grammar/mechanics.Reduce your reading speed.Ch. 4-*

  • How to Proofread Complex DocumentsHave one person read aloud the original while someone else checks the printout.Recheck the spelling of names and difficult wordsVerify capitalizationFine-tune punctuation.Ch. 4-*For documents that must be perfect: