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Professional & Technical Communication

  1. List and discuss seven goals of a negative news message.
  2. Write an effective negative news message.

The negative news message delivers news that the audience does not want to hear, read, or receive. Delivering negative news is never easy. Whether you are informing someone they are being laid off or providing constructive criticism on their job performance, how you choose to deliver the message can influence its response. Some people prefer their bad news to be direct and concise. Others may prefer a less direct approach.

How should a paraphrased passage be cited?

When paraphrasing a passage, it is essential to express the ideas of the author in your own original words; however, the author’s message and meaning should always be preserved.

Charges of plagiarism can be avoided by including the proper citation of the work you are drawing from in your paraphrase.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop professional/technical documents with a clear awareness of ethics.
  • Recognize and discuss important elements of how culture affects communication in collaborative workplaces.
  • Illustrate and analyze audience while creating various professional/technical documents with a sophisticated awareness of audience as a reader and a writer.
  • Demonstrate audience and rhetorical awareness in visual design while creating professional/technical documents to visually appeal to appropriate audiences.

“Journalism: Gathering Information and Writing Your Story” by Emma Sills, Kyle Olmstead and Shannon Hawley, The University of Delaware

JOURNALISM: Gathering Information and Writing Your Story

University of Delaware Professor Ben Yagoda defines journalism as, “uncovering timely and previously not well-known information that, according to agreed-upon standards, is important; and conveying it to the public clearly, accurately, concisely, disinterestedly, and independently.” As a journalist, the stories you write are meant to provide true facts to readers about issues or news going on in the world today. They are meant to be truthful, unbiased, and informative.

Memos

A memo (or memorandum, meaning “reminder”) is normally used for communicating policies, procedures, or related official business within an organization. It is often written from a one-to-all perspective (like mass communication), broadcasting a message to an audience, rather than a one-on-one, interpersonal communication. It may also be used to update a team on activities for a given project, or to inform a specific group within a company of an event, action, or observance.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the purpose and importance of diplomacy, emphasis, and tone in business communication
  • Gain the ability to write difficult professional emails without offending, frustrating, or confusing your reader
  • Learn to use strategies in written communication to make your own work clearer to get the response you need

 Learning Outcomes

  • Apply and adapt professional/technical writing conventions, including genre, tone, and style for particular writing situations.
  • Compose professional/technical documents and oral presentations for multiple audiences and specific purposes by using current technologies.
  • Design and implement information literacy strategies.

Now that you are familiar with some generally useful library and internet resources, here are some important journals in the field of professional and technical communication.

Create emphasis and define terms by interrupting the flow of a sentence by using a dash; know when the dash must be used as opposed to the comma.

Some stylists view the dash with great suspicion--the sort of suspicion that a man in the 1990s who wears a plaid leisure suit to work would arouse. Some people erroneously believe that the dash is acceptable only in informal discourse.

However, the dash can provide you with subtle ways to repeat modifiers and dramatic ways to emphasize your point.

Many business professionals need to write a formal report at some point during their career, and some professionals write them on a regular basis. Key decision makers in business, education, and government use formal reports to make important decisions. As opposed to informational reports that offer facts and information without analysis, formal reports provide the end product of a thorough investigation with analysis. Although writing a formal report can seem like a daunting task, the final product enables you to contribute directly to your company’s success.

Considering the rhetorical aspects of any writing situation, such as purpose, stance, and audience, is an essential part of adapting the style of a message for any audience. Adopting a you-centered business style can help you achieve your purpose, choose a stance, and analyze your audience.  A you-centered business style employs the you view and an audience-centered tone to choose particular words and adopt a targeted tone in a message.

The “you view” analyzes and emphasizes the reader’s interests and perspectives. Because the reader’s interest or benefit is stressed, the writer is more likely to help the reader understand information or act on a request.

Learning Objectives

  • analyze a writing problem and outline a plan for solving the problem that illustrates and analyzes audience while creating various professional/technical documents with a sophisticated awareness of audience as a reader and a writer.
  • operate current technologies in order to produce effective documents.

Types and Benefits of Planning

Course Description

This course offers an introduction to the techniques and types of professional writing, including correspondence and reports. It is designed to help strengthen skills of effective business and professional communication in both oral and written modes. After successful completion of this course, students will have the skills necessary to communicate effectively in a variety of professional situations.

Each project in the course is paired with a selection of readings and resources in order to provide the information necessary to complete the tasks required in each project.

You may wish to review the other parts of this webtext including:

Introduction

The body of a formal report begins with an introduction. The introduction sets the stage for the report, clarifies what need(s) motivated it, and orients the reader to its structure.

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Overview: This article will discuss the role of assembling and organizing relevant research and/or data in order to compose correspondence or a document that solves a writing problem.

  • Compose an evidence-based solution for a writing problem by assembling and organizing relevant research and/or data

Introduction

Composing involves more than putting your thoughts into words. Composing involves assembling ideas, words, sentences, paragraphs, and visuals to accurately, ethically, and coherently address a writing situation.

Functions and Audience

Short for “memorandum,” a memo is a type of document used to communicate with others in the same organization. Memos (or memoranda) are typically used for fairly short messages of one page or less, but informal reports of several pages may also employ memo format.

Format

Memos are distinguished by a header that includes DATE, TO, FROM, and SUBJECT lines. Other lines, such as CC or BCC, may be added as needed. An RE (“Reference”) line may be used instead of SUBJECT, but this use is becoming rarer as “RE” is often mistaken as “Reply” because of its use in email.

The term "professional writing" commonly refers broadly to texts written for business purposes such as business letters, reviews and recommendations, feasibility studies, progress reports, and application materials.  In turn, "technical writing" refers to documents that often explain technical processes or explain how to do something, such as technical descriptions and instructions and process reports.

Professional and Technical Writing texts share many similarities with traditional academic writing genres, such as an emphasis on clarity, succinctness, and thesis-driven, deductively organized texts.

You may wish to review the other parts of this webtext including:

Title Page

The title page provides the audience with the:

  • Name of the report

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss the purpose of a press conference.
  2. Discuss how to prepare and conduct a press conference.

Holding a press conference when you are unprepared can feel like standing in front of a firing squad, where all the journalists are armed so no one will carry the guilt of the winning shot. It can make you nervous, scared, and reluctant to speak at all. It can take your fear of a misquote, or a stumble, or a misstatement replayed across the Internet thousands of times in the next twenty-four hours and make you wish for a blindfold and a cigarette, but that won’t help.

Learn how to improve your problem-solving and persuasive skills. Employ your writing and reasoning skills to make a difference in the world. View samples and write a proposal to conduct research, develop a Web site, solve a problem, or provide a service. Proposals are persuasive texts that articulate ways to solve a problem, conduct needed research, or provide a service.

Proposals may attempt to persuade readers to act or they may seek funding. Writers of proposals support claims with reasoning, library and Internet research, and original research, including questionnaires, interviews, and ethnographers.

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