eTips Mid-Month MiniTM

November 2006

Welcome to the eTips Mid-Month Mini, an UpWrite Press extra
designed to get you actively involved with writing.

| E-Mail in the News | Business Writers' Forum | Word Pair of the Month | Personal Coaching |
| Coming Next Month | Writing Tips | Suggestions | Our Products | Blended Learning |


"Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret."
—Matthew Arnold



GSB Study: Half of All E-Mails Misunderstood

A study at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business reports that the tone of e-mail messages is misunderstood roughly half the time. This happens despite the fact that senders feel 80 percent confident of their writing and recipients 90 percent confident of their reading. Learn more.

Let Writing Effective E-Mail help you beat the odds!


This month's forum topic:
If you could offer your new hires one writing tip to help them in creating your company's business communication, what would it be?

Thank you to all those who responded to our November eTips question. Below are some of the responses we received.

Writing Aides

Rosalind Hebert of Houston-Galveston Area Council had this to say:

The one tip I would pass along to my new hires (besides correct grammar and punctuation) is organization. Regardless of the type of communication (correspondence, newsletters, instruction manuals, reports, etc.) all should include an introduction that identifies the purpose, a body that communicates the main thrust or "meat" of the communication, and a conclusion that provides a brief summary leading to a decision or a solution in response to the message.

Bud Bilanich, who calls himself "The Common Sense Guy," also suggested several helpful tips. We especially liked the following:

  1. Write the way you speak. Say what you mean simply and directly.
  2. Use the active voice. Say "I recommend," not "It is recommended that. . . ."
  3. Use simple, declarative sentences. Sentences constructed in a subject-verb-object format get your ideas across clearly.
  4. Proofread what you have written. Spelling and grammar-check programs can miss errors. A spell-checker might change a misspelling to an entirely different word. If you write the wrong word (their instead of there), the program might miss it entirely.

WORD PAIR of the MONTH: compose, comprise

These often-confused words have entirely different meanings.

The word "compose" means "to create by putting parts together."

The committee is composed of our research supervisor, two engineers, and a member of the finance department.

The word "comprise" means "to contain or consist of." The whole comprises the parts.

The committee comprises a research supervisor, two engineers, and a member of the finance department.

Tip: It is never correct to write "is comprised of."

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UpWrite Press Offers Personal Coaching
for Business Writing Skills

What's the quickest way to improve your business writing skills? Personal coaching may be the answer.

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Primary Research

Coming in the December eTips:

Appreciating Diversity at the Holidays

Writing Tips

Typing

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eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, Inc., P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2006, UpWrite Press. All rights reserved. Visit www.upwritepress.com.