July 2012  
UpWrite Press Writing eTips

Test Your Writing Acumen

Pronouns seem to be straightforward: They take the place of nouns. But be aware that different pronoun forms apply in different situations. To test your knowledge, pick the pronoun that correctly completes each sentence.

  1. No one understands the policy except (she, her).
  2. They asked Susan and (me, I) to lead the seminar.
  3. Susan and (I, me) led the seminar.
  4. Give the note to the person to (who, whom) it is addressed.
  5. (Who, Whom) is in charge here?
  6. The responsible party was (him, he).
  7. (We, Us) and the other onlookers stayed to provide details of the crash.
  8. The police questioned all of (we, us).

The answers can be found near the end of this newsletter.

The Communication Situation

Communication is more than just speaking and listening. For effective communication to occur, five elements must be addressed.

  • The Sender. Exactly what is your role in this message? How do you wish to be perceived? Understanding this will determine the language you use as well as the medium you choose.
  • The Message. What are you trying to communicate? What is the desired result? Do you want to present a lighthearted or a serious message?
  • The Medium. Consider how quickly the message needs to arrive. Would a letter, email, or telephone call work best? Also consider the level of privacy required. For example, if your computer is monitored by your employer, you wouldn’t want to send personal comments.
  • The Receiver. In shaping your message, consider what the receiver wants or needs to know.
  • The Context. Consider the history leading up to the message and the current situation. Are there any barriers between the message and the receiver? For example, if Ted is on vacation, an urgent interoffice memo wouldn’t reach him until he returns.

This five-point communication situation will help you to determine the best way to present your message and achieve your aim.

You can find more on writing persuasive messages beginning on page 137 in Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing and Communicating in the Workplace.

Trainer Tips

When you are setting up a training session, it helps to first lay a little groundwork. Of course, most important is determining exactly what training is needed for which employees. Then make sure those employees understand the need for the training, and what is expected of them. If you establish a link between the training and their ability to meet the needs of the company, you will find that employees will be quite receptive and even eager to master new information and tasks.

That Little Extra

With scorching summer weather comes the challenge of staying healthy despite extreme temperatures. If you spend your days and nights in air-conditioned spaces, you may think you are safe from the dangers of heat and humidity, but certain challenges remain.

Dehydration is perhaps the most serious danger. Air conditioning is drying, so be conscious of your fluid intake. You may not need gallons of water a day, but do drink when you are thirsty. Stick with water or fruit juices, and avoid sugared drinks. Here’s a cool trick—half-fill one of those large reusable drinking bottles with water or juice and toss it in the freezer the night before. Then, in the morning, fill it up and keep it on your desk as a reminder to hydrate. As the ice melts, your drink stays cold.

   

July Writers' Forum Topic

Here’s your chance to tell us how your work environment operates. Send us your responses to the forum question below, and we’ll print the most interesting in our eTips Mid-Month Mini.

We all have stories of a stressful first day on a new job. Think back on your own experience, and offer a helpful hint to our readers who are just starting out.

Email your response to writersforum@upwritepress.com. Write “July Writers’ Forum” in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

Answers to This Month’s Quiz

  1. No one understands the policy except (she, her). Objective pronoun: object of the preposition “except”
  2. They asked Susan and (me, I) to lead the seminar. Objective pronoun: object of the verb “asked”
  3. Susan and (I, me) led the seminar. Subjective pronoun: part of the compound subject “Susan and I”
  4. Give the note to the person to (who, whom) it is addressed. Objective pronoun: object of the preposition “to”
  5. (Who, Whom) is in charge here? Subjective pronoun: subject of the sentence.
  6. The responsible party was (him, he). Subjective pronoun: pronoun equated with the subject “party” by the linking verb “was”
  7. (We, Us) and the other onlookers stayed to provide details of the crash. Subjective pronoun: part of the compound subject “We and . . . onlookers”
  8. The police questioned all of (we, us). Objective pronoun: object of the preposition “of”

We Want to Hear from You!

This is your chance to be part of the UpWrite Press newsletters and blogs. What writing topics do you want to hear about? Have you any favorite communications tips you’d like to share? What words do you constantly mix up? Send us your ideas and you could see your name in Writing eTips or the Mid-Month Mini.

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Reviewing the Writing Process

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