Welcome to thewriterstoolkit.com!

The exercises at this site supplement your textbook. Work through the punctuation and grammar exercises first and then work on writing style. The more you practice, the stronger your skills will become. However, the most important step is applying the principles that you are learning to your own writing.

All the best,    

Dona Young    

 

The Writer's Handbook - A Guide for Social Workers, 2e

To purchase this book, contact us, call 219-763-9794 or write dona.young@thewriterstoolkit.com.

The Writer's Handbook, 2e

THE WRITER’S HANDBOOK

A Guide for Social Workers, 2e

Paperback: 534 pages | 7.5 x 9.25 inches
ISBN: 978-1-695-13149-1
Retail Price: $39.95
20% Discount for Bookstores + Free Shipping

Updated for APA, 7th edition:
See chapters 1, 4, 6, 13, 18, 19, 20, and 21

New Features
  • Chapter 1, Purpose, Voice, and Viewpoint, helps writers develop their academic, professional, and reflective voices, focusing on the third-person academic voice.
  • Chapter 4, Literature Review, covers more on the research question and annotated bibliographies.
  • Chapter 6, APA Style, 7th Edition, explains and illustrates APA citation and style, highlighting changes in the 7th edition
  • Chapter 13, Pronouns and Viewpoint, covers APA requirements for gender-neutral pronouns, including the use of they as a singular third-person pronoun.
  • Chapter 19, Unbiased Language and Word Usage, updates writers on unbiased and gender-neutral terms and develops word usage skills.
Brief Contents

Part 1: Academic and Professional Writing

Chapter 1 Purpose, Voice, and Viewpoint
Chapter 2 Documentation and Forms
Chapter 3 Research and Evidence-Based Practice
Chapter 4 Literature Review
Chapter 5 Critical Thinking and Reflective Practice
Chapter 6 APA Style, 7th Edition

Part 2: Process and Structure

Chapter 7 Writing: Process and Strategy
Chapter 8 The Sentence Core, Style, and Tone
Chapter 9 Cohesive Paragraphs and Transitions

Part 3: Mechanics of Writing

Chapter 10 Comma Rules Not Pauses
Chapter 11 Semicolon Rules

Part 4: Grammar for Writing

Chapter 12 Verbs
Chapter 13 Pronouns and Viewpoint
Chapter 14 Modifiers

Part 5: Editing for Clarity 259

Chapter 15 Active Voice
Chapter 16 Parallel Structure
Chapter 17 Conciseness
Chapter 18 Formatting

Part 6: More Mechanics

Chapter 19 Unbiased Language and Word Usage
Chapter 20 Citation and Quotation
Chapter 21 Capitalization and Number Usage
Chapter 22 Quotation Marks, Apostrophes, and Hyphens

Quick Guide: Getting a Job in Social Work

Contents

Brief Contents vii
Note to Students ix
Note to Instructors xi
Note about APA Style xiii
Online Learning xv

  • Best Practices Online xv
  • Online Classes xvi

Part 1: Academic Writing and Professional Writing 1

Chapter 1: Purpose, Voice, and Viewpoint 3

Purpose 4
Your Voice and Viewpoint 8
Voice and Viewpoint 13
Verb Tense 14
Purpose Statements and Theses 15
Introduction 18
Academic Papers 20
Structure for Academic Papers 19
Voice and Plagiarism 21
Recap 23
Writing Workshop 23

Chapter 2: Documentation and Forms 27

National Association of Social Work 28
Court Summary 29
Social History 32

  • New Client Intake 34
  • Treatment Plan 36
  • Case Notes 37

Use Gender-Neutral and Unbiased Language 39
DEAL Model 40
Recap 41
Writing Workshop 41

Chapter 3: Research and Evidenced-Based Practice 45

Research and social work 46
Evidence-Based Writing 47

  • Evidence: Data and Theory Versus Beliefs and Opinions 47

Data, Facts, and Interpretation 49
  • Assumptions 48
  • Primary and Secondary Sources 49

Collecting and Conducting Research 50
Reasoning and Research 51
Quantitative Research 52
Qualitative Research 54
Mixed Method 54
  • Reliability and Validity 55
  • Credible Sources 56
  • Research and Bias 58

Action Research 60
Interviews 61
Displaying Research 61
  • Graphics: Charts, Graphs, and Tables 62

Recap 65
Writing Workshop 65

Chapter 4: Literature Review 69

Literature Review: The Process 70

  • Getting Started 71
  • What Is Your Topic? 71
  • What Is the Problem? 72
  • What Is Your Question? 72
  • Why Is Your Question Important? 73

Finding the Right Resources 74
  • What Makes a Journal Article Scholarly? 74

Literature Review Preparation 75
  • What Is Your Selection Strategy? 76
  • What Is an Annotated Bibliography? 76

Journal Article Review 79
  • Step 1: Select an Article 79
  • Step 2: Summarize the Article 80
  • Step 3: Analyze the Literature Review 80
  • Step 4: Analyze the Research 80
  • Step 5. Define the Outcomes 81
  • Step 6: Recap or Reflection 82

Critique of the Literature 83
  • Abstract 85

Sample Literature Review 86
Project-Based Learning 96
Recap 96
Writing Workshop 96
Writing a Grant or Proposal 102

Chapter 5: Critical Thinking and Reflective Practice 105

Critical, Creative, and Reflective Thinking 106
The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives 106

  • Critical Thinking and Evidence-Based Writing 110
  • Deductive, Inductive, and Abductive Reasoning 111

Using Critical Thinking and Evidence-Based Research 112
Standards for Critical Thinking 114
  • Critical Thinking: An Open Mind and Paradigm Shifts 115

Reflective Practice 116
Recap 117
Writing Workshop 118

Chapter 6: APA Style, 7th Edition 121

Plagiarism 122
What to Cite 123
APA Citation System 124
Headings 126
Working List of References 127
References 129
APA Checklist - 7th Edition 130
Quick Guide to APA Style 131
Recap 143
Writing Workshop 143
Writing Tip: Page Breaks 144

Part 2: Process and Structure 145

Chapter 7 Writing: Process and Strategy 147

Managing the Process 148

  • Writing Blocks 148
  • Phases of Writing 149
  • The Centipede Syndrome 150
  • Composing and Prewriting 150
  • Planning Tools 152
  • Purpose: Content and Context 157

Developing a Strategy 158
  • Effective Response 159
  • Transitions 160
  • Signal Verbs 161
  • The PEER Model 162
  • Introductory Paragraph—Research Papers 162

Recap 164
Writing Workshop 164

The Sentence Core, Style, and Tone 167

Controlling the Sentence Core 168

  • Sentence Structure 168
  • Grammatical Subjects Versus Real Subjects 170
  • Verbs 171
  • Compound Subjects 171
  • Compound Verbs 172
  • Gerund and Infinitive Phrases 172
  • Dependent Clauses 174
  • Correcting Sentence Fragments 175

Simplifying Your Style 177
  • Control Sentence Structure 177
  • Control Sentence Length 178
  • Use the Active Voice 178
  • Use Real Subjects and Strong Verbs 179
  • Build Old to New Information Flow 180
  • Cut Empty Information 182
  • Use Parallel Structure 182

Clarifying Your Tone 183
  • Be Concise 183
  • Shift to the “You” Viewpoint 184
  • Focus on the Positive 184
  • Choose Simple Language 185

Recap 186
Writing Workshop 186

Chapter 9: Cohesive Paragraphs and Transitions 189

Paragraphing: Process and Length 190
Cohesive and Coherent Paragraphs 191
Information Flow 194

  • Paragraphs: Topic Sentences and Topic Strings 197
  • Paragraphs and Viewpoint 298
  • Transitional Sentences 199
  • Transitional Paragraphs 200

Connectors as Transitions 201
  • Coordinating Conjunctions 202
  • Subordinating Conjunctions 202
  • Adverbial Conjunctions 203

Recap 205
Writing Workshop 205

Part 3: The Mechanics of Writing 207

Chapter 10: Comma Rules Not Pauses 209

Rule 1: The Sentence Core Rules (SCR) 210
Rule 2: Conjunction (CONJ) 211
Rule 3: Series (SER) 213
Rule 4: Introductory (INTRO) 215
Rule 5: Nonrestrictive (NR) 216
Rule 6: Parenthetical (PAR) 218
Rule 7: Direct Address (DA) 220
Rule 8: Appositive (AP) 221
Rule 9: Addresses and Dates (AD) 223
Rule 10: Word Omitted (WO) 224
Rule 11: Direct Quotation (DQ) 225
Rule 12: Contrasting Expression or Afterthought (CEA) 227
Recap 228
Writing Workshop 229

Chapter 11: Semicolons, Colons, and Dashes 231

The Semicolon 232
Rule 1: Semicolon No Conjunction (NC) 233
Rule 2: Semicolon Transition (TR) 234
Rule 3: Semicolon Because of Comma (BC) 236
The Colon 237
The Dash 240
Writing Style: Punctuation and Flow 242
Recap 242
Writing Workshop 243

Part 4: Grammar for Writing 245

English and Its Varieties 246
Language Use and Context 247
Global Communication and Formal English 247

Chapter 12: Verbs 249

Action Verbs 250
Verbs in Past Time 251
Regular Verbs in Past Time 252
Irregular Verbs in Past Time 253
The –S Form: Third Person Singular 255
Verb Tense and Consistency 256
Active Voice 256
Parallel Structure 258
Mood 260
Past Subjunctive 261
Present Subjunctive 262
Recap 263
Writing Workshop 264
Irregular Verb Chart 266
Standard Verb Tenses 267

Chapter 13: Pronouns and Viewpoint 269

Pronoun Viewpoint 269

  • Viewpoint and Consistency 270
  • APA Style and Gender-Neutral Pronouns 272

APA and Gender Reference 274
APA Style and Viewpoint 275
  • Academic Writing and Third Person Viewpoint 275
  • I Viewpoint 276
  • We Viewpoint 277

Professional Writing and the You Viewpoint 278
Pronoun Basics 280
Subjects Versus Objects 282
  • Pronouns Following Between and Than 284
  • Relative Pronouns: Who, Whom, and That 286
  • Relative Pronouns: That and Which 287

Indefinite Pronouns 288
Colllective Nouns 290
Recap 291
Writing Workshop 292

Chapter 14: Modifiers 293

Modifiers: The Basics 294
Modifiers and Verbs 294
Comparative and Superlative Modifiers 296
Implied Words in Comparisons 297
Modifiers and Their Placement 298
More on Correct Placement 300
Double Negatives 301
Hedges and Emphatics 302
Fillers and Tag-ons 303
Quantifiers 304
Recap 304
Writing Workshop 305

Part 5: Editing for Clarity 307

Chapter 15: Active Voice 309

Grammatical Subjects Versus Real Subjects 310
Active Voice 311
Passive Voice, the Tactful Voice 313
Nominalization 314
APA Style, Active Voice, and Tone 317
Style and Process 318
Recap 319
Writing Workshop 319

Chapter 16: Parallel Structure 321

Nouns 322
Adjectives 322
Phrases 323
Clauses 323
Tenses 324
Lists and the Imperative Voice 325
Bulleted Lists on Resumes 328
Correlative Conjunctions 329
Recap 330
Writing Workshop 330

Chapter 17: Conciseness 331

Put Purpose First 332
Be Indirect for "Bad News" 333
Eliminate Redundant Pairings 335
Cut Redundant Modifiers 336
Cut Vague Nouns 337
Eliminate the Obvious 338
Update Outdated Phrases 338
Use Simple Language 341
Modify Sparingly 342
Edit Out Background Thinking 344
Leave Out Opinions and Beliefs 345
Recap 346
Writing Workshop 346

Chapter 18: Formatting 347

Special Features and White Space 348
Bullet Points and Numbering 349
Formatting Features and Marks 351
Font Size and Color 353
White Space and Balance 354
Manual Spacing Versus Automatic Spacing 354
Parts of a Business Letter 358
E-Mail Messages 360
Memo or E-memo 386
Fax Cover Sheet 363
Business Letters: Connect - Tell - Act 364
The Direct Message 364
The Indirect Message 364
Grant Letter Proposal 365
Recap 369
Writing Workshop 369
Sample Letter Proposal 371
APA Checklist 374

Part 6: More Mechanics 377

Chapter 19: Unbiased Language and Word Usage 379

Unbiased and Gender-Neutral Language 380
Gender-Neutral Language 381

  • Reducing Bias 383
  • Gender Versus Sex 384
  • Race and Ethnicity 386
  • Disability: Unbiased Language and Labels 387

Similar Words and Tricky Combos 389
Spelling Tips 397
Writing Workshop 399

Chapter 20: Quotations and Citation 403

Quotation Marks, Ellipses, and Parentheses 404
Ellipses 408
Parentheses 409
Citation 411
Reference Page 413
Recap 414
Writing Workshop 414

Chapter 21: Capitalization and Number Usage 415

Capitalization 416

  • Proper Nouns Versus Common Nouns 416
  • Articles, Conjunctions, and Prepositions in titles 417
  • First Words 418
  • Professional Titles 418
  • Titles Versus Occupations 419
  • Organizational Terms 420
  • Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Initialisms 420
  • Hyphenated Words 421
  • Apa Style: Title Case and Sentence Case 421
  • Two Common Capitalization Errors 422

Number Usage 423
  • Number Usage in APA Style 423
  • Address on Documents for Deliveries 425
  • Phone Numbers 426

Recap 427
Writing Workshop 427

Chapter 22: Apostrophes and Hyphens 429

The Apostrophe 430

  • Contractions 430
  • Possessives 431
  • Academic Degrees 435
  • Abbreviations 436

The Hyphen 437
  • Word Division and Page Division 437
  • Compound Modifiers 437
  • Compound Numbers 438
  • Prefixes 439

Recap 440
Writing Workshop 440

Quick Guide: Getting a Job in Social Work 443

Networking 444
Career Portfolio 445
Skills, Not Titles or Degrees 446
Transferable Skills 447
Work Experience 451
Business Cards 453
Job-Search Letters 454

  • Cover Letters 454
  • Follow-Up Letters and Thank-You Notes 456

The Résumé 458
  • Chronological Formatting 458
  • Electronic Formatting (E-Résumés) 460

Quick Introductory Pitch 462
Recap 463
Writing Workshop 463
Résumé Worksheet 465

Keys to Activities 467
Glossary 485
Index 499

 

The Writer's Handbook - 12 Workshops for Effective Writing

Use The Writer’s Handbook: 12 Workshops for Effective Writing as a supplement to The Writer’s Handbook: A Guide for Social Workers: Together they provide an excellent foundation for a writing class dedicated to social work majors.

For those professors who have adopted the workbook for a class, contact us for the teacher’s manual.

The Writer's Handbook
Brief Contents

About the method ix
Process Messages xi
Contents xiii

Workshop

Chapter 1 Get Started Quickly 1
Chapter 2 Put Purpose First 17
Chapter 3 Punctuate for Purpose, Not Pauses 37
Chapter 4 Keep Verbs Active 55
Chapter 5 Use Pronouns Correctly 71
Chapter 6 Be Concise 85
Chapter 7 Control Your Tone 95
Chapter 8 Use Words Effectively 103
Chapter 9 Avoid Writing Traps 119
Chapter 10 Write Effective Grants and Proposals 135
Chapter 11 Develop a Task-Group Charter 157
Chapter 12 Create Engaging Presentations 183

Best Practices for E-Communication 193

Quick Editing Tips 201

Keys to Activities 207

About the Method

As a supplement to The Writer’s Handbook, this book presents 12 workshops that develop editing skills needed to produce effective writing.

Each workshop can be completed in about an hour. The workshops are sequenced so that one concept leads to the next, simplifying the learning process. The workshops are designed to present a minimum of theory followed by practice. For more detailed explanations, refer to The Writer’s Handbook: A Guide for Social Workers.

  • The first step is gaining control of the writing process. Once you compose as a separate activity from editing, you are ready to build editing skills step by step. This first step is critical to the entire process.
  • The next step is working on the mechanics of writing. Punctuation is the key to effective editing because you focus on the sentence core: the most basic and powerful unit of editing.
  • Though you can work on your own, you gain more value by working with a partner or in a small group. By discussing principles, you are more likely to apply them.

Once you can compose freely, each editing principle that you apply improves your results. By gaining control of the sentence core, you gain control of the quality of your writing. By working in teams, you view solutions from several different perspectives, gaining insight and learning principles at a deeper level.

Principles of one topic are linked to principles of another topic—that is why it sometimes feels difficult to make progress. This book helps you focus on the sentence core so that you readily learn to make decisions that lead to accurate, clear, and concise writing. As you learn each new principle, your editing skills improve and, thus, the quality of your writing improves.

These workshops organize essential topics to expedite learning so that you develop proficiency. This approach simplifies the learning process, but your ultimate challenge is to apply what you are learning in your own writing. Only you can do that.

Write to Learn—Edit to Clarify

Contents

Brief Contents vii
About the method ix
Process Messages xi

Workshop 1: Get Started Quickly 1

Workshop 1 Inventory   1
Activity 1.1, What is difficult about writing?   2
Activity 1.2, Do you have a writing block?   3
Writing Tools   4
Activity 1.3: Mind Map   5
Activity 1.4: Freewriting | Focused Writing  5
Activity 1.5: Fishbone Diagram 6
Templates 7
Academic Writing: Summaries and Arguments 7
Sentence Prompts 8
Activity 1.6: Sentence Prompts 9
Activity 1.7: Process Message 9
Workshop Assignments 9

Application 1.1: What Is Difficult about Writing? 9
Application 1.2: Goals and Objectives 10
Application 1.3: Journaling 11
Application 1.4: Work Journal 11
Pre-Assessment 12

Time Management Tips for Writing 13

Workshop 2: Put Purpose First 17

Workshop 2 Inventory 17
Purpose: Problem and Plan 18
Purpose and Process 19
Activity 2.1: Analyze the Revision 20
Activity 2.2: Revise for Purpose 20
Information Flow 21
Cohesive and Coherent Paragraphs 23
Cohesive Paragraphs 24
Activity 2.3: Revise for Cohesion 24
Coherent Paragraphs 25
Activity 2.4: Revise Information Flow 27
Your Voice 28
Summarizing and Paraphrasing 29
Activity 2.5: Summarizing and Paraphrasing 30
Revising Sentences 31
Activity 2.6: Revising Sentences 32
Workshop Assignments 33

Application 2.1: Editing E-Mail 33
Application 2.2: Editing Paragraphs 33
Application 2.3: E-Mail Etiquette 34
Pre-Work for Workshop 3: Conjunctions as Signals 34

Workshop 3: Punctuate for Purpose, Not Pauses 37

The Plan 37
Pretest 38
Workshop 3 Inventory 39
Part 1: Comma Rules 40
Conjunctions as Comma Signals (chart) 41
Comma Rules (list) 46
Activity 3.1: Comma Practice 47
Part 2: Semicolon Rules 48
The Comma Versus the Semicolon 50
Activity 3.2: Commas and Semicolons 51
Posttest 52

Workshop 4: Keep Verbs Active 55

The Plan 55
Pretest 56
Workshop 4 Inventory 56
Part 1, Verbs—Tense and Mood 57
Irregular Verb Inventory 58
Regular Verbs in Past Time 59
Third Person Singular: The –S Form 59
Verb Tense and Consistency 60
Subjunctive Mood 60
Statements Following “Wish” or “If” 60
Present Subjunctive 61
Activity 4.1: Tense, Agreement, Consistency, and Mood 62
Activity 4.2: Subjunctive Mood 63
Activity 4.3: Consistent Tense 63
Activity 4.4: Past Tense 63
Part 2, Active Voice 64
Activity 4.5: Active Voice 65
Nominalization 66
Activity 4.6: Nominalization 67
Posttest 68
Irregular Verb Chart 69

Workshop 5: Use Pronouns Correctly 71

The Plan 71
Pretest 72
Workshop 5 Inventory 72
Part 1: Pronoun Case- The Basics 73
Pronouns Following Than 75
Activity 5.1: Pronoun Case 76
Part 2: Point of View-Academic Writing and APA Style 77
Point of View and Voice 77
APA Style and Gender Neutral Pronouns 78
Activity 5.2: Gender-Neutral Pronouns and Antecedent Agreement 80
Viewpoint and Consistency 81
Activity 5.3: Pronoun Consistency 82
Activity 5.4: Pronoun and Antecedent Agreement 82
Posttest 83

Workshop 6: Be Concise 85

Workshop 6 Inventory 85
Eliminate Redundant and Outdated Expressions 86
Choose Simple Language 86
Activity 6.1: Avoid Redundancy—Eliminate Unnecessary Words 87
Activity 6.2: Replace Wordy and Outdated Language 88
Activity 6.3: Remove Redundancy from Paired Expressions and Modifiers 88
Replace Formal Words with More Common Words 89
Avoid Dated Expressions 89
6.4: Get Rid of Empty, Redundant, and Outdated Language 90
Edit Out Background Thinking, Feelings, and Opinions 91

Activity 6.5: Editing for Background Thinking 91
Activity 6.6: Editing to Get to the Point 91
Activity 6.7: Editing to Stay on Point 92

Workshop 7: Control Your Tone   95

Workshop 7 Inventory   95
The You Point of View   96
Activity 7.1 and 7.2: The You Viewpoint   97
A Positive Focus   98
Writing in the Affirmative   98
Activity 7.3: A Positive Focus   99
A Thinker or Feeler Approach 100

Workshop 8: Use Words Effectively   103 

Pretest: Similar Words   103
Gender-Neutral Language   104
Unbiased and Gender-Neutral Language 104
Activity 8.1: Gender-Neutral and Unbiased Language   107
Tricky Combos   108
Tricky Verbs   110
Tricky Pronouns   112
Tricky Prepositions  113
More Similar Words   114
Activity 8.2: Similar Words   117
Posttest   118

Workshop 9: Avoid Writing Traps 119

The Plan 119
Workshop 9 Inventory 120
Pretest 120
Part 1: Plurals and Possessives 121
Nouns as Possessions 121
Singular Possessives 121
Activity 9.1: Possession and Word Order 122
Singular Nouns Ending in S 122
Regular Plural Possessives 123
Irregular Plural Possessives 123
Activity 9.2: Singular and Plural Possessives 124
Academic Degrees—Showing Possession 124
Group Words 125
Nouns in Series 125
Abbreviations 125
Possessives Standing Alone 125
Activity 9.3: Possessives Standing Alone 126
Activity 9.4: Possessive Review 126
Part 2: Capitalization 127
Proper and Common Nouns 127
Academic Degrees and Capitalization 128
Organizational Titles and Terms 128
Hyphenated Terms 129
Activity 9.5: Capitalization Review 129
Articles, Conjunctions, and Prepositions in Titles 130
APA Style: Title Case and Sentence Case 130
Activity 9.6: Capitalizing Book and Article Titles in APA Style 131
Posttest 132

Workshop 10: Write Effective Grants and Proposals 135

Grant Proposals 135
Request for Proposal (RFP) 136
Formal Proposals 137
Table 10.1. The Foundation Center – Components of a Proposal 137
Basic Parts of a Proposal 138

Statement of Need 138
Project Description 138
Organization Information 138
Budget 139
Evaluation 139
Authorization 139

Community Relationships 139
Cover Letter 140
Letter Proposal 140

Statement of Need 140
Description of Project 141

Proposal Details 141

What Is Your Vision? 142
What Is Your Project? 142
Who Will Do the Work? 143

Figure 10.2. Cover Letter for Grant Proposal 144
Figure 10.3. Grant Proposal 145
Letter of Inquiry 151
Executive Summary 152
Workshop Assignments 153

Application 10.1: Writing a Proposal, Part 1 153
Application 10.2: Writing an Executive Summary 153
Application 10.3: Identifying Resources for Grant Proposal Writing 155

Grant Proposal and Presentation Rubric 155
Informal Proposals 156

Workshop 11: Develop a Task-Group Charter 159

Exploring Group Dynamics 160
Forming a Group 161
Answering Core Questions 161

Purpose 162
Processes 162
Participation 163
Feedback 163
Diversity 163

Averting Groupthink 164
Writing a Task-Group Charter 164
Developing Purpose, Plan, and Results 165

Defining Purpose 165
Forming an Action Plan 167
Planning Logistics or Group Operations 167
Determining Results 168

Identifying Roles 169
Plus-Delta Feedback 170
Establishing Ground Rules 170
Giving Feedback 171
Constructive Feedback and Requests 174
Receiving Feedback 176
Writing in a Group 177
Workshop Assignments 178

Application 11.1: Writing a Proposal, Part 2 178
Application 11.2: Task Group Meeting 178
Application 11.3: Warm-Up Activities or Check In 179
Application 11.4: Developing Ground Rules 179
Application 11.5: Understanding How Groups Function 180
Application 11.6: Analyzing Group Dynamics 181

Template for Task-Group Charter 182

Workshop 12: Create Engaging Presentations 185

Workshop 12 Inventory 185
Respect the Purpose 186
Prepare 187

Determine the Purpose 187
Identify the Audience 188
Develop Your Topic: Map It Out 188
Choose a Design for Your Slides 188
Sketch Your Plan 189
Compose with Text and Graphics 189
Format Each Slide 189
Edit Text and Graphics 190
Prepare Your Handouts 190

Practice 191
Present 191
Let It Flow 192
Use Signal Anxiety to Your Benefit 192
Workshop Assignments 193

Application 12.1: Develop a PowerPoint for Your Proposal 193
Application 12.2: Analyze Presentation Tools 193

Best Practices for E-Communication 195

E-Mail Inventory 195
Professional Communication 196
E-Mail Facts 196
Best Practices for E-Mail 197
Social Media 200
E-Time Management 200
Voicemail Messages 202
Audiovisual Connections 202
Communication and Relationships 202

Quick Editing Tips 203

Keys to Activities 209

 

 

Business Communication and Writing

Business Communication and Writing
Brief Contents

Unit 1 Writing Skills 1

1 Communication and the Writing Process 5
2 What is Good Business Writing? 43
3 Developing and Revising Short Business Messages 77

Unit 2 Professional Communication 105

4 Office Communications 111
5 Persuasive Communication 143
6 Verbal Communication Skills 179
7 Cultural Competence 223

Unit 3 Applications and Careers 223

8 Teamwork and Conflict Resolution 257
9 Getting a Job 301
10 Communicating on the Job 351

The Writer’s Handbook Quick Guides 389

Part 1: The Mechanics of Writing 391
Part 2: Grammar for Writing 409
Part 3: Similar Words 427
Part 4: Formatting Business Documents 437
Part 5: Research: Collecting, Conducting, and Displaying 447

Glossary 465

Index 481

Note to the Student

Welcome to Professional Writing. Here are some major elements about the design of this text:

  1. Orientation and Assessment. The text takes a diagnostic approach by pro-viding pretests that give you a realistic picture of your skills and learning gaps. After you complete the assessments, your skill profile will reveal the areas of grammar, punctuation, word usage, and writing style that you need to work on. The Orientation and Assessment is located on pages ix through xvi.
  2. The Writer’s Handbook Quick Guides. The Quick Guides are located at the last section of this text and are tied to skill development. The Quick Guides introduce you to The Writer’s Handbook, which is a separate text that walks you step by step through an effective process to improve grammar and punctuation skills as well as improve writing style. Without expertise in these areas, business writers can lose credibility.

    The Quick Guides are designed for you to use individually, as part of a team, or in whole-class instruction.

    1. Parts 1 and 2 contain materials to assist you with developmental gaps in punctuation and grammar.
    2. Parts 3 and 4 deal with formatting business messages and conducting research.
    By fully developing these topics and more, The Writer’s Handbook is an important supplement to Business Communications and Writing. To support learners in overcoming their learning gaps, The Writer’s Handbook includes numerous exercises along with keys, functioning as both a learning tool and a reference guide.
  3. Methodology. You will learn to make editing decisions based on structure, first at the sentence level and then at the paragraph level.

    1. Unit 1 of the text focuses on structure not on content. After you have developed an editing strategy, you will move from simple pieces to more complex activities.
    2. Units 2 and 3 of the text relate to composing, editing, and revising business correspondence, reports, presentations, proposals, and research projects (including newsletters and Web sites), among other applications.
  4. Coaching Tips. Throughout the text, you will find coaching tips that offer guidance to assist your understanding of topics.

One of the premises of this text is that you will feel more freedom to write by becoming competent with mechanics (grammar and punctuation) and then syntax (active voice, parallel structure, removing redundancy, and information flow). Decisions about style are easier when you can understand and manipulate core sentence elements. Then, after you are proficient with structure and style, you will be ready to compose, edit, and revise effective business documents.

Learning is a process, and you are encouraged to use mistakes as learning opportunities rather than moments of failure. In the first chapter, you may be asked to write about your past experiences with writing. Once you understand that writing is difficult for everyone at times, you may no longer feel isolated in your mistakes or fears about writing.

You also have access to various types of resources and instructional assistance online at the Web site, www.youngcommunication.com.

Thank you for giving this class your best and for using this text to its max. Set your goals high, and you will achieve career success.

Write to Learn—Edit to Clarify

 

Dona Young   

Online Classes

To tailor learning for classes that have an online component, the last activity in each chapter is devoted to online learning.

Many online classes work in teams, and an important component of online classes is forum discussions. In forums, students post responses to questions and develop dialogues with their teammates.

Regardless of whether your class meets on site or online, communicating online will be an important element of your class and your career. Thus, let’s take a look at what online learning entails.

Forum Discussions

In a forum discussion, you will respond to questions and discuss what you are learning with your teammates. When you participate in forum, include key points from the chapter so that your teammates can learn from your posting. Share your insights about what you are learning and how you will apply it.

  • What is an effective substantial response?

    To compose a substantial response, summarize key principles from the chapter along with your insights and how you are applying what you are learning. Your teammates will respond to your posting by validating your points and adding new information.

    P = Principle explain key principles from the chapter
    I = Insight share insights that result from your learning
    E = Example give examples to show how you are applying what you are learning

    The following is the start of a substantial response:
    Chapter 1 covered principles in effective communication. An important part communicating is listening, which is something that’s hard for me to do effectively. For example, I always start to think about a response before the other person is even finish talking. To be a good listener, I need to learn how to become actively engaged in what the other person is saying. One technique that can help is mirroring. Mirroring is when . . . .

    The following is not a substantial response:
    I liked reading the chapter because I learned a lot about communication, which can really be hard at times. Communication is important, but I’ve never been a very good communicator and need all the help I can get. I’ve noticed other people aren’t good at communicating either.


Can you see the difference between the two postings? In the first example, the writer shares his or her experience and then begins to explain a key principle. In the second posting, the writer does not tie his or her experience to a principle from the chapter.

Substantial postings are generally two to three paragraphs or longer. Effective substantial postings spark a discussion among teammates.

  • What is an effective dialogue posting?

    As you respond to your teammates, validate points that resonate with your own experience. Add new information from the chapter to extend the reader’s knowledge. Share how you are applying what you are learning.

    S = Support support teammates by making thoughtful postings
    A = Apply apply key points that you are learning and explain your results
    V = Validate validate points by sharing your own experiences
    E = Extend extend the learning by including new information that adds value to the discussion


Online Classroom Management: Ground Rules

Communication is about building relationships based on trust and respect. Though electronic communication is different from face-to-face communication, you achieve the best results when you keep the human elements of communication in mind. By respecting your readers, you will achieve success in professional environments.

In other words, your class is an interactive process among people, not simply computer screens.

Here are some ground rules to help support that context:

  1. For all e-mail messages, use a salutation that includes the recipient’s name; also include a closing.
  2. When you reply to a message, do not delete the thread. By leaving the history, your reader understands the context in which to reply to your message.
  3. Upgrade the subject line so that the recipient can file your message effectively.
  4. Send assignments as e-mail attachments.
  5. When you save your assignment to Word, use the following format to label it: your last name and the name of the assignment; separate each part with a dot (no spaces needed); for example:

    “Jordan.Week 6.Complaint Letter”
  6. Respect all due dates: if you are not able to meet a due date, ask in advance for an extension.
  7. Each week, post a substantial response to the forum question.
  8. Respond to your teammates’ in their forums by validating one of their key points and adding one of your own.
  9. Understand that the more you participate, the more value you will achieve. As a result, minimum standards are not spelled out in numbers.
  10. Think of an online class as a part-time job in which you have leadership responsibilities—try to figure things out on your own before asking for help.

Your questions are welcome, but read your syllabus, reading schedule, assignments, e-mail messages, and forum descriptions before you seek outside assistance.

For example, when your class begins, here are some questions you might discuss:

Question 1

Forum: What’s difficult about writing?
Everyone has challenges with writing. The first step in improving any skill is to get a realistic understanding of what works and what doesn’t work.
Description: This is your chance to be honest and “say it like it is” when it comes to writing—what’s difficult about writing for you?

Question 2

Forum: Welcome to Class
Get to know your classmates by sharing some information about your background, interests, and goals.
Instructions: Tell us about yourself. When you post your response, you will be expected to start a new thread and post a substantial response.

To be successful in an online class, you must develop special skills:

  1. Read all instructions two or three times so that you understand exactly what is expected.
  2. Work independently—try to figure things out on your own before asking questions. This is good preparation for what will be expected of you on the job.
  3. Adapt to what is expected: start using salutations and closings when you write an e-mail, label your assignments correctly, and so on.
  4. Read the assigned chapter before doing the weekly assignment. Each chapter contains valuable information for doing the assignment correctly.
  5. Become confident in your ability to communicate effectively—the more you put into class, the more value you will gain.
Contents

UNIT 1: WRITING SKILLS 1

Unit 1 Opener 3

The Writer’s Handbook 3
Paragraph Settings for Formatting 3

Chapter 1: Communication and the Writing Process 5

Objectives 6

Section A: Communicating on the Job 6

Communication and Diversity 7
What Is Communication? 8
The Communication Exchange 8
Communication and Relationships 9
Listening Skills 12
Micro-Messages 14
The Smallest Team Unit: Working with a Partner 15

Section B: Writing as Process 16

Phases (Not Stages) of Writing 17
Critical Voices: Yours and Theirs 17
The First Steps of Composing 20
Tools to Organize and Prioritize 20
Composing Tools: Freewriting and Focused Writing 22

Section C: Purpose and Audience 25

Purpose 23
Academic Versus Business Writing 24
Modes of Writing 24
The Journalist’s Questions 25
Purpose Statements and Thesis Statements 26
Purpose and Process 27
Audience: Your Reader and Client 28

Section D: Controlling Tone 29

An Objective Response 29
The “You” Point of View 31
A Positive Attitude 31
Gender-Neutral Language 32
Slang, Slanted Language, and Jargon 32
Text Messaging Language 33
A Thinker or Feeler Approach 34
Chapter 1 Summary 36
Chapter 1 Checklist 36
End-of-Chapter Activities 36

Chapter 2: What is Good Business Writing? 43

Objectives 44

Section A: Simple, Clear, and Concise Style 44

Control Sentence Structure 44
Control Sentence Length 45
Control Sentence Content 46
Use Active Voice 46
Be Concise 49
Build Old to New Information Flow 50
Use Parallel Structure 52
Avoid Misplaced Modifiers 53
Use Conjunctions to Show Relationships 54
Bridge Ideas Effectively 55

Section B: Effective Tone 58

Focus on the “You” Point of View 58
Turn Nominals into Active Verbs 60
Use Real Subjects and Strong Verbs 62
Use Voice to Control Level of Formality 64
Choose Simple Language 66
Focus on the Positive 67
Use Voice to Control Tone 68
Chapter 2 Summary 69
Editing Checklist 69
End-of-Chapter Activities 70

Chapter 3 Developing and Revising Short Business Messages 77

Objectives 78

Section A: Developing Paragraphs 78

Cohesive Paragraphs 79
Coherent Paragraphs 81
Composing and Editing Paragraphs 82

Section B: Eliminating Empty Information 82

Background Thinking 83
Your Opinions and Beliefs 83
Reader’s Perceptions 84
Hedges and Emphatics 85
Fillers and Tag-Ons 86

Section C: Revising 87

Basic Structure: The Beginning, Middle, and End 90
Process and Structure 91
The PEER Model 91

Section D: Transitions and Connectors 93

Conjunctions as Connectors 93
Adding Flow to Choppy Writing 95
Phrases as Transitions and Connectors 96
Transitional Sentences and Paragraphs 97
Chapter 3 Summary 98
Chapter 3 Checklist 99
End-of-Chapter Activities 99

UNIT 2: PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION 105

Unit 2 Opener 107

The Entrepreneurial Project 107

Chapter 4: Office Communications 111

Objectives 112

Section A: E-Mail 112

E-Mail Facts 114
Best Practices for E-Mail 115
Purpose: Why Send an E-Mail? 117
E-Mail Format and Structure 118
E-Mail Versus Text Messaging 120

Section B: Business Letters 121

Purpose: Why Send a Letter? 121
Structuring Your Message 122
The Direct Message 122
The Indirect Message 124
Business Letter Format 126

Section C: Memos, Faxes, and Voice Mail 129

Memos and E-Memos 129
Memos and E-Mail 130
Structuring the Message 131
Faxes 132
What is a Fax? 132
Formatting a Fax Cover Sheet 133
Voice Mail 135

Chapter 4 Summary 137
Chapter 4 Checklist 137
End-of-Chapter Activities 138

Chapter 5: Persuasive Communication 143

Objectives 144

Section A: What Is Persuasion? 145

The Process of Informal Persuasion 145
Guidelines for Informal Persuasion 146
Client Relationships 149

Section B: Formal Persuasion 150

Product, Service, System, or Idea 150
Purpose 151
Audience 151
Motivation 152
Resistance 153
Evidence 154
Benefits 154
Credibility 155
Action Plan 155
Customer Service: Building Customer Loyalty 155

Section C: Writing Persuasively 158

Visual Persuasion 158
Routine Requests and Favors 161
Feasibility Reports 162
Complaints or Claims 164
Apologies: Responding to a Complaint 167
Sales and Marketing Letters 170
Chapter 5 Summary 171
Chapter 5 Checklist 172
End-of-Chapter Activities 172

Chapter 6: Verbal Communication Skills 179

Objectives 180

Section A: Informal Speech 180

Language Patterns 180
Edited American English and Community Dialect 181
Vocal Elements 182
Body Language 184
Micro-Messages 185
Anxiety 186

Section B: Giving and Receiving Feedback 187

Feedback Versus Evaluation 188
Objective Feedback Versus Subjective Evaluation 189
Specific Feedback Versus General Comments 191
Negative Feedback Versus Constructive Feedback 192
Constructive Feedback 192
Positive Feedback 194
Guidelines for Receiving Feedback 195
Perfection 196

Section C: Meetings and Agendas 197

Meetings 197
Establishing Ground Rules 200
Agendas as Planning Tools 201

Section D: Presentations 204

Choosing a Topic 204
Organizing Your Message 204
Knowing Your Topic 205
Presenting 206
Establishing Ground Rules for Feedback 206
Using Technology for Visual Support 207
Preparing a PowerPoint Presentation 207
Chapter 6 Summary 212
Presentation Evaluation Checklist 212
End-of-Chapter Activities 213

UNIT 3: APPLICATIONS AND CAREERS 223

Unit 3 Opener 221

Project 1: The Insurance Project 221

Project 2: Training for Success 222

Chapter 7: Cultural Competence 223

Objectives 222

Section A: Cultural Diversity 224

Culture Determines Communication 225
Global Communication and Diversity 226
Succeeding Across Cultures 227

Section B: Communication Styles 228

The Role of Context 230
Individualist Versus Collectivist Thinking 232
Business Cards, Greetings, and Naming 235
Best Practices for Intercultural Communication 236
Global E-Mail 237
International Conference Calling 239

Section C: Generational Diversity 240

Micro-Messages 240
Generational Styles 240
Veterans 241
Boomers 242
Gen Xers 242
Nexters 243

Section D: Personality Differences 244

Extraverts and Introverts 243
Sensors and Intuitors 244
Thinkers and Feelers 247
Judgers and Perceivers 248
Global Learners and Analytic Learners 249
Chapter 7 Summary 250
Chapter 7 Checklist 251
End-of-Chapter Activities 251

Chapter 8: Teamwork and Conflict Resolution 257

Objectives 258

Section A: Working in Teams 258

Characteristics of Effective Teams 259
Leadership and Management Style 260
Decision Making 261
Active and Engaged Team Members 262
Team Process 262
Gender Differences in Team Communications 264
Cooperation Versus Competition 265
Resistance and Team Thinking 266
An Open Mind 266

Section B: Developing a Team Strategy 269

Developing a Common Understanding 269
Establishing Purpose, Plan, and Results 270
Assigning Team Roles 274

Section C: Resolving Conflict 275

Identifying Conflict 276
Establishing Ground Rules 277
Giving and Receiving Feedback 277

Section D:Writing a Proposal 283

Client Relationships 283
Cover Letter 284
Formal Proposals 284
Letter Proposals 287
Team Writing 290
Chapter 8 Summary 291
Team Communication Checklist 292
End-of-Chapter Activities 292

Chapter 9: Getting a Job 301

Objectives 302

Section A: Job Survival Skills 302

Skills, Not Titles or Degrees 302
Transferable Skills 303
People Skills 303
Knowledge Base 305
Job Duties 306
Personal Qualities 308
Others’ Perceptions 309
Work Experience 311

Section B: Networking 313

Building a Network 313
Nurturing Network Relationships 316

Section C: Job Search Letters and Résumés 317

Researching Companies 317
Basic Guidelines for Letters of Application 318
Cover Letter 319
Employment Ads 320
Contact Letter 322
Follow-Up Letters and Thank You Notes 323
The Résumé 324
Basic Parts of a Chronological Résumé 326
Basic Parts of a Functional Résumé 328
Electronic Résumés 330
Résumés Versus Curricula Vitae 333
Career Portfolios 334

Section D: The Interview 336

Dress for Career Success 336
Be Prompt 337
Be Prepared 338
The Traditional Interview 339
The Behavioral Interview 340
Salary Requirements 342
Follow-Up 342
Job Offer 343
Chapter 9 Summary 344
Chapter 9 Checklist 344
End-of-Chapter Activities 345

Chapter 10: Communicating on the Job 351

Objectives 352

Section A: Leadership 352

Aspects of Leadership 353
Collaborative Versus Heroic Leadership 357
Nature or Nurture? 357
The Leader in You 358
Your Heroes 362

Section B: Performance Feedback, Objectives, and Action Plans 364

Performance Feedback 364
Feedback Systems 367
Job Descriptions 369
Action Plans 370

Section C: Purpose Statements 372

What Is Purpose? 372
Purpose Guides Work Choices 374
Purpose Drives Companies 376

Section D: Web Writing and Design 378

Writing for the Web 378
Designing Web Sites 379
Chapter 10 Summary 382
Chapter 10 Checklist 382
End-of-Chapter Activities 383

The Writer’s Handbook Quick Guides 389

Part 1: The Mechanics of Writing 391

The Plan 391
Pretest 392
Learning Inventory 393
Section A: Basic Comma Rules 394
Section B: Basic Semicolon Rules 400
Punctuation Practice 404
Key to Learning Inventory 407

Part 2: Grammar for Writing 409

The Plan 409
Pretest 410
Learning Inventory 412
Grammar Essentials 412
Section A: Verb Basics 412
Section B: Pronoun Basics 414
Section C: Parallel Structure 417
Section D: Modifiers 418
Grammar Practice 420
Posttest 424
Key to Learning Inventory 426

Part 3: Similar Words 427

The Plan 427
Pretest 428
Similar Words: Tricky Combos 429
Posttest 436

Part 4: Formatting Business Documents 437

Paragraph Settings for Formatting 437
Print Preview 438
Hard Copy Versus Soft Copy 438
Bullet Points and Numbering 439
Basic Parts of a Letter 440
Basic Parts of an E-Mail Message 442
Basic Parts of a Memo 444
Formatting Features and Marks 445

Part 5: Research: Collecting, Conducting, Displaying, and Citing 447

Collecting and Conducting Research 447
A Review of the Literature 448
Action Research 449
Surveys, Focus Groups, and Interview 450
Displaying Research 452
Quotations 452
Graphics: Charts, Graphs, and Tables 455
Citing Research 459
Plagiarism 459
What to Credit 460
Develop a Working Bibliography 461
Some Common Elements 462
The Writing Interview 463

Glossary 465

Index 481