Business 100W Midterm Study Guide
Business 100W Midterm Study Guide Bus100w
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This 18 page Study Guide was uploaded by Tina Tan on Monday May 23, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Bus100w at University of California Riverside taught by Dr. Beehler in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Management writing and communication in Business at University of California Riverside.
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Date Created: 05/23/16
Business 100W Midterm Study Guide 25 twopoint questions, 50 points total Half of the midterm drawn from lecture, other from reading and quizzes Voices of Authority o Official Style o Entrepreneurial Style o Official Poetic Diction o Royal Proclamation o Bureaucratic Language o Typography o Lard Factor Understand the writing process and main forms of business messages o When writing the report: remain objective, be consistent with time, use transitions between ideas, maintain interest o Planning/drafting/revising letters, memos, email, new media Letter writing Emphasize you more than me Memo writing Most common forms of communications in business Email Four core elements o Establish yourself as professional, qualified, willing to do activity apable (friendly) Always begin with a positive or neutral statement to buffer Put the other person at ease, explain what is going well Try to remove defensiveness, always room for success Bring specific areas of concerns that can be addressed Avoid 2 extremes: thirdrail issues and frivolous issues o Print vs. Online documents Paramedic method o Clear, crisp approach allows you to streamline ideas o Circle prepositions and consider their removal (stop and think “is this a good use of PP”) o Circle “to be” forms and consider alternatives with action verbs Ask “who is kicking who” find subject and object o Remember typical word order of an English o Replication of words, subjects, objects o Start fast and only include what is necessary o Why we write (five reasons) 1. To reinforce our confidence (can be wordy if unchecked) 2. To work out ideas (partially formed thoughts) 3. As a function of ego (wordy) 4. As a form or denial or to obscure action (strategic writing seen in politicians) 5. To show of our prowess (weird syntax, strange phrasing) Coordination: The combination of 2 or more independent clauses o Use this method to combine two clauses Two or more clauses combined through coordination create a compound sentence Formula: independent clause, comma, coordinating conjunction, independent clause Ex: Milton slept, and he dreamt of a better life on Earth. o FANBOY: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so o Do not begin sentences with conjunctions, they are used to combine items or ideas o Business prose requires Shaping: clarifying ideas at hand Voice: unique style of the writer Helps communicate meaning and keep people engaged Consider length and variety of sentences o Look out for “dead phrasings” like to be verbs, clichés, PP when revising o Business communication is critical for: Getting a job Functioning effectively in the work place Keeping a job Advancing in a job o Multiple literacies Verbal literacy ability to use words to get things done Information literacy ability to find, evaluate and select/use information Technological literacy ability to learn and use computer applications, assess strength and weaknesses in programs Visual literacy ability to interpret, asses and use visuals o Internaloperational communication To fulfill the mission or purpose of the business Orders and instructions of supervisors Oral exchanges among employees Reports, inventories, updates o Externaloperational communication Direct selling Descriptive brochures Advertising Websites Anything that improves relations Communication o Communicating in the workplace Businesses want and need people with good communication skills o Why communicating is so important Ranks at or near the top of business skills needed for success Most valuable soft skill You will need to request information, discuss problems, give instructions, work in teams and interact with colleagues and clients to achieve cooperation and efficiency o Pitfalls o Communication networks Takes place in complex and many forms: verbal, written and semiotic o Communication process Problem solving analyzing a unique set of factors that requires at least a somewhat unique solution Communication networks and organizations o Formal networks: flow includes upward, lateral and downward movement. Broad dissemination of company information (think hierarchy) o Informal networks: Far more complex, no rules, daily interactions that may or may not directly address business Often times personal in nature (grapevine) Be aware of the grapevine Grapevine structure includes: morale, company direction, implementation of company politics o Official culture: mission statements and mottos o Actual culture: dynamic and extemporaneous communication o Welldefine problems: not common, routines and formula o Illdefine problems: more common, many reactions can occur, critical thought Solved by using existing resources, innovation, good judgement Adapt your approach to each problem o All communication either builds, extends or (in troubled circumstances) terminates relationships Built on trust, facilitates trust through relationships o Professional contexts Jargon master the one you’re working in Establish credibility, exclude and efficiency Moves to formal network o Personal contexts Understand other’s situation o Process of Business Communication The Sender Sensing a communication need Defining a situation Considering communication strategies Selecting a course of action o Message type, content, structure, verbal style, visual format, channel Composing a message o Content, structure, style, visual format Sending the message Timing is important when sending a message o Recipient’s process towards communication Receiving the message Interpreting the message Extracting, purpose of communication, forming judgement Deciding on a response Reply to the message o Subordination: used to created inequality in ideas. Absolutely necessary in business Create complex sentences Independent clause: most important (subject/verb stands by itself) Formula: Independent clause + dependent clause (sub/verb cannot stand by itself, subordinate conjunction) Dependent clause + comma + independent clause Example of subordinate conjunctions: because, if, while, since, when, even, although o Process of writing Three stages: planning, drafting and revising o Five categories of planning Planning: find the problem (understand audience, being aware of professional, organizational and personal context), organize content and format, decide on channel you will use, decide on style 1. Determine goals (consider what you want to achieve), think about call to action, consider all reactions, avoid simplifying 2. Analyzing your audience: consider the position (internal or external) 3. Gathering and collecting info: due diligence, whatever will help you 4. Analyzing and organizing info 5. Choosing form, channel, format: how it’ll be published o Organizational contexts of the audience will also shape interaction Based on priorities, current circumstances and pace of business o Always keep your goal in mind o Three purposes of communication: persuade, inform, describe Four ways to persuade your reader to believe your message 1. Be specific 2. Make your sentences clearly understandable 3. Be brief. Should be short, eliminate all that is extraneous or marginal 4. Be focused What is evaluation and why is it important o Evaluation is about making judgements Critical thinking Skill is highly sought after in business Readers expect you to provide reasons for an evaluation You must give reasons for a course of action or recommendation o Readers need to agree that your reasons for evaluating a subject are appropriate Use standards most would use Two uses of semicolons o Primary: to link closely related independent clauses Independent clause + semicolon + (transitional phrase or conjunctive adverb) + comma + independent clause o Transitional phrases: for example, on the other hand, as a result o Conjunctive phrases: however, therefore, consequently o Secondary: to separate items in a list that uses internal punctuation DO NOT underestimate complexity of writing In drafting responses: o Avoid perfectionism o Keep going o First draft as a series of annotated thoughts o Think about the drafting process o Turn off the internal editor may stop you from writing o Subvocalize (pushing air through lungs, but no sounds come out) Three levels of editing (revising, editing, proofreading) o Review the draft at length Proofreading for syntax/grammar Word choice: denotative meaning vs connotative meaning (emotional shading) Check for major errors o Spelling, fragments, runons, comma splices, modifier problems, agreement, pronoun agreement, case, punctuation, capitalization Iemphasis Youemphasis o Proper heading with Ms. Or Mr. do not use full name o Humility and emphasis In house communication principles o Give inhouse writing your best efforts o Exercise judgement inn sending inhouse communications o Use positive language to produce positive results o Routing (remember audience) o Filing considerations o Presentations considerations CC/BCC/Subject/Attachments Pros and cons of email o Pros: eliminates “phone tag”, saves time of the recipient, can speed the process of making decisions, is cheap, written record o Cons: not confidential, does not convey emotion, can lead to miscommunication, may be ignored or delayed Formality of email Conciseness Clarity Etiquette Correctness Five guidelines for emails Information/analytical reports o Common reports Types: periodic (monthly, quarterly), computer, progress (specific time and goals), trip o Ten steps to writing the short report 1. Think about the worm. WHO will read the report? What is the OBJECT of the report? What is the RANGE of the report? What is the METHOD of presentation in the report? a. Object: How broadly should you describe topic? Do you want to summarize or interpret the facts? Do you want to predict future patterns of growth? 2. Know what your audience wants 3. Brainstorm about your topic a. Use pointed questions. Why does someone care about the subject? Keep the interest of the person reading. How could the subject be explain to a ten year old? b. Consider factors that need to be researched. Pick ones that are universally realized. 4. Research your topic a. Many business reports are based on primary research sources b. Secondary research material (most important for the reports written for the class) c. Key list of terms search by keyword: d. Use Boolean logic: AND, OR, NOT searches (and narrows, or expands, not narrows) e. Evaluating websites and credibility: triangulation (3 sources) f. Be careful or advertising claims, government misinformation, propaganda, scam sites g. Also consider: purpose, qualifications validity, structure 5. Arrange major points a. Recommendations at beginning or end of report b. Table of Contents 6. Write your rough draft a. Provide point of perspective b. Conclusion: Product of research c. Evaluation: compare and contrast 7. Revise your rough draft a. Replace weak verbs “to be” with strong vivid verbs b. Weak: is, are, was, were, has, have, seems to c. Strong: reveal, grasp, demonstrate, fall, strike, seize d. Strong organizations in logical patterns e. Short paragraphs to make it more readable f. Review choice of words g. Check all spelling and grammar h. Fix “this” creates a vague sense if just “this” 8. Review appearance of your rough draft a. Italicizing, margins, appropriate margins, whitespace 9. Prepare final copy bind report 10. Prepare your report advantageously o Format of short reports Title page Two statements o Problem statement: provides a clear reason for report. Declarative statement o Purpose statement: provide objective, aim or goal. What we’re going to get out of the report Table of Contents Executive summary Ending should be concise: facts, interpretation, recommendations o Important parts of the report (beginning and ending) Collaborative writing o Accounts for up to 60% of managerial writing o Advantages One person can’t do it all Time is money The team provides a safety net Joint ownership and contribution o Disadvantages (and how to lead a collaborative team) One person does all the work (divide work formally in the most intelligent way, make it written down and formal) The project loses momentum (set up specific target dates, make it formal, needs to be circulated. Be accurate as possible and stay disciplined. Try not to adjust. Avoid having a meeting, best for team leader to change) Everyone has a different style (At the beginning talk about tone and voice) Wasting time by trying to work with each other (team leader reminds of benefits, part of process) Consensus creates shared ownership, more representation creates shared commitment, multiple POV creates a vision o As a member: be aware of empathy, be candid, use negative judgements constructively, avoid sole ownership of ideas, respect and value difference o As a leader: this is a difficult task you need to make all members feel valuable, you may be questioned as the authority, delays will occur, negative criticism, respond to questions o Technologies for collaborative writing (wikis, track changes, etc) WEBS: content management system Wikis: place to add and edit information Shared work places: some access to sources (intranets and extranets) o Meeting preparation (approach and steps) Decide whether a meeting is really necessary Define your purpose Select participants for the meeting Choose the venue and time Set the agenda Also consider: space, room temperature, lighting, refreshments, ventilation o Agendas What do we need to do in this meeting to accomplish our goals? What issues will be of the greatest importance to all? What info must be available to discuss these issues? o Conducting and contributing to efficient meetings (as leaders and participants) Leaders: Keep the discussion on track Follow agreed upon rules Encourage participation Participate actively Close effectively o Meeting technologies o Listening Important in management Strengthens organizational relationships Alerts organization to opportunities for innovation Manage diversity o Recognizing different types of listening Content listening understand and retain info in a speaker’s message, overlook Critical listening understand and evaluate, create judgements Evaluate logic of argument Evaluate strength of evidence Validity of conclusions Implications of the message Speaker’s intention and motives Omission of any important or relevant points Empathic listening validates feeling, clearer thinking, helps team run well, purely emotional Active listening conscientious effort to turn off bias, gets the speaker to give more info. o Five steps to listen effectively 1. Receiving 2. Decoding 3. Remembering 4. Evaluating 5. Responding Visuals in oral and written communication o Five reasons for using visual aids 1. To clarify (process and procedure) 2. To emphasize (call attention to key ideas) 3. To simplify (relationships among ideas, fact, statistics) 4. To unify (ideas can be brought together) 5. To impress o Placement of visuals Locate your visual aids next to the text that explains them o Do provide keys/legends/captions/titles Don’t assume the reader will understand the intent and symbols of your visuals aids o Purpose of visuals Use visuals to reinforce ideas in the minds and memories of your readers o Avoiding deception o Four elements visuals are evaluated for: integrity, accuracy, clarity and audience appeal o Loss of credibility Maintain credibility Are people or things over or under represented? Are the #s of men and women appropriate for the context? Are the ages appropriate? Is ethnicity appropriately represented? Are colors used appropriately and not to evoke or manipulate emotions? Are # of visuals and size appropriate for the emphasis it deserves? o Errors of scale/errors of format Uniform scale size Scale distortion Choice of wrong chart type Misuse of typeface Zero points Left to right and top to bottom need equal dimensions Distracting use of grids, shading background Problems with labels o Visuals as not competing with the document Visuals o Communication effectively with visuals o Types of visual communication: textual content, data generated chart, some form of pictures (most powerful) o Planning visuals Choosing a form Identify complex information Comparing, revealing a trend or showing parts of a whole Describing a process, illustrating a concept or portraying an emotion o General mechanics of visuals Layout: size, layout arrangement, rules and borders, clip art, numbering, titles and captions, placement Defaults Grids, spacing and margins Be mindful of white space Pull quotes, clip art, lone tables don’t need to be numbered o Text based visuals Tables (general and specific) Pull quotes (select key sentences) Bulleted lists (grammatical parallel) Text based charts (organization chart, flow chart, decision tree, mind map) o Datagenerated chart Bar and column chart (line, bare, basic, group segmented) Pictograph (can be too creative) Pie charts (no more than 8 points) Line drawing Line graph Combination of charts and mashups Writing short reports o Less than 10 pages long o Businesses rely on short reports to learn about two worlds: internal/external world o Three purposes of the short reports (informative, analytical, persuasive) o Audience: upper management faces a problem or question, first read and approved by the person who requested it The report is then distributed The report may be stored in the company library The short report becomes a means to get information out to coworkers Often times, two versions are expected to be created Oral presentations can also often become another version of the report Specific details of the format differ between companies o Five Ws for the title: who, what, where, when, why o Components Title page (prefatory page) Must have: what the report is about, for whom it was prepared, by whom it was written, date of completion or filing Pagination: for longer reports, the title page can be divided Table of contents Optional in reports less than 6 pages Main headings should be differentiated from subheadings Should also include a list of visuals Letters of Transmittal Optional Letter from report writer to reader Can be attached Reason for report, highlight interesting items, contact information for any questions Executive Summary Summarizes: purposes, organization, methods, outcomes Not longer than a page The report body Contains the actual information of the report Endnotes, references, or bibliography References or bibliography are usually last in short report o Direct Order Summary of facts, conclusion, recommendation or a combination of all o More personal nature of short reports Writing in shorter reports tends to be more personal (first/third) o Forms of short reports Generic short report that has already been mentioned Other reports that were mentioned earlier Letter reports: direct and indirect method: more casual, personal pronoun use Direct and indirect order letter o Email/memo reports Problemsolving reports Help a decision maker decide what to do Can be internal or external External problem solving reports written by consultants Feasibility study (possible courses of actions) Audit report (fiscal policy) o Meeting minutes Minutes can take almost any form Get an agenda in advance Get the names of those who will attend Note those who are absent Do not recommend or analyze, but describe Serve as a written record of a group’s activities Announcements, reports, significant discussions and decisions Preliminary Items Name of group, name of document, type of meeting, as well as place, date and time. Names of those attending Body items: approval of the minutes of pervious meeting, old business, new business, meeting announcements Closing items: place and time of the next meeting, the time meeting was adjourned, name and signature of person taking minutes Will often have political implications, only tangible record of the events that took place, note taker uses best judgements o Routine operational reports o Progress reports Traditional format for a verbal presentation o Gestures, volume, tone, pitch, pauses o Hierarchy to public speaking anxiety o Speaking practices o Four techniques to selftreat fear Speak up, don’t mumble! First stage of stress: adrenaline tightens vocal chords and muscles Second stage: embarrassment Adjust your attitude First, recognize that you don’t have to be perfect Stop paying attention to yourself and pay more attention to the listeners Showing sincere interest is important You will have stress Adjust your vocal chords Yawn Look at the listeners in the back of the room Take cues and adjust to them Speak loudly Speaking distinctly as possible Be brief, don’t talk on and on about your points Why people ramble: o They want to postpone the listener’s opportunity to react o They enjoy the spotlight of attention and hate to give it up o They’re nervous about having pauses o Two techniques to avoid rambling Consider asking leading questions Ruthlessly cut material to avoid rambling FAQ o Look at listeners, organize points, do not look at notes o Presentation methods Communicating orally o Appealing personal traits o Appropriate appearance/physical actions o Conducting and participating in meetings o Using the phone o Speeches o Using visuals o Collaborative presentations Business proposals o Describes ideas in such a way they appear to fulfill the client’s needs o Proposals include: an overview, a problem analysis, proposal specifics, budget, conclusion, initial estimate) o Logical order Arrangement appeals to sense of reason Psychological order timing and placement of good news and bad news o Logical fallacies Either/or reasoning (oversimplification) simplification, 2 alternatives presented as ONLY alternatives Circular reasoning what was supported as an explanation ended up to be a mere statement False cause (correlation vs causation) an earlier occurrence is incorrectly presented as the cause of a later event Strawman a false target is set up as a main thrust of an argument False analogy assuming that become one thing resembles another, conclusions drawn from one applies to the other Slanting selecting or emphasizing the evidence that supports your claim and suppressing/playing down other evidence Hasty generalization reach a conclusion without depth analysis, too little evidence Nonsequitur that which does not follow o Placement of bad news Do not shy away from bad news Can introduce good news, solution is good news o Placement of good news Not just possible but probable The proposal writer should still consider resistance Delivering good news requires Exciting ideas must overcome obstacles o Solid evidence Evidence in the form of: examples, illustrations, statistics, details General evidence vs specific evidence Too much general= vague, and unfocused, specific= too narrow Writing persuasive messages o Persuasive requests Make the requested action as clear and easy to perform as possible Tell people where to give money Tell people how to buy a product Tell where and how to submit ideas Give specific techniques for increasing job performance o Persuasive plan Determining what you want Figuring out the reader’s likely reactions Deciding upon a persuasive strategy that will overcome objections Common ground persuasion technique Show that everyone stands to benefit or be harmed Use analysis, creativity and judgement o Sales messages Questioning the adaptability of sales messages This is controversial, opt in email marketing Many sales messages are unethical, slanting Prepare to write sales message Gaining attention in opening Direct mail Email, sincerity and simplicity Drive for sale Natural and expected conclusion Drive action, be specific and clear Urge immediate action, or may lose the sale Recall main appeal o Proposals Openings is used to set up an explanation You may encounter resistance from the readers Rely on an interesting beginning Avoid words that detract from the request Take care in word choice Ending should be apt of emphasis You can end with a request and a final appeal Researching and writing reports o Define reports Reports are either information (facts) based of analytical (recommendation/evaluation) o Determining factors Relax and gain perspective o Gathering information Demographic information, psychological information, customer service (values, interests and needs) o Interpreting information o Organizing report information o Writing the report o Writing reports collaboratively Good news messages o Saying “yes” to inquiries o Begin with the “yes” statement Direct o If some time has passed you might want to remind the writer about the inquiry o Use columns and white spaces effectively o Credit applications o Writing “yes” under stress o Responding positively under criticism o Positive adjustment letters Acknowledge feelings and give good news, offer to answer any questions Sometimes products and services break down The customer sends woeful tales Response Maintain good will, professionalism Should satisfy the demand made against the company once and for all The only reference to the claim should be the subject heading In the final paragraph, attempt to restore good will and confidence Provides a good opportunity to mend fences Humanizing companies o What makes impressions of companies o Direct response used for general favorable answers o Logical arrangement of the answer Make sure questions stand out (bullet points, logically) Do not combine questions into single sentences Give each question a separate paragraph Order or rank your questions with numbers o Skillful handling of negatives: approach indirectly o Good news in positions of high emphasis Use space to your advantage Good news: more words, more space o Operational communications (informal/casual and formal) o Passive and active voice (uses and formulae) Active voice (in general) vary sentence types, create parallels, control paragraph lengths, avoid official speak, avoid unnecessary questions Passive voice scientific reports, reporter, to avoid or hide responsibility o Bad news messages o Explaining bad news to create goodwill (empathy) Do not explain “no response” if the reader clearly does not want one of it the explanation will unnecessarily complicate future contacts with the reader o Buffers o Buffer statements Positive/neutral statement that introduces topic Bad news messages o Indirect method o Presenting bad news positively o Alternative solutions o Ending on a positive note o Need to present people as reasonable o Refused requests o Positions of emphasis o Do not always be explicit o Negative adjustment letters o Four expectations the customer has o Four guidelines to the negative adjustment letter o Business maturity o Avoid questions of liability o Denials of credit o People react emotional to denial of credit o Company policy dictates guidelines towards customer interaction about credit o Be sensitive but do not feel responsible o Do not emphasize personal feelings of remorse or pity o Negative announcements o Determine strategy o Set up bad news o Explain the situation Writing bad news messages o General indirect plan o Refused requests o Adjustment refusals o Negative announcements Writing goodnews and neutral messages o General direct plan Begin with the objective Sometimes you need to begin with: A brief orienting phrase Clause Sentence Keep prefatory remarks limited Remainder of message: Additional questions, answers, needed information, anything else that needs to be covered Ending with adapted good will End message with an appropriately friendly comment Avoid “canned” goodwill Be aware that certain expressions may be interpreted differently If you need information by a certain date, state the date o Routine inquiries Specific/general Cannot go to specific to general, but can be the other way around o You may need to include explanation or information (think about audience) o Favorable responses Begin with the answer Identify the message being answered Logically arrange the answer You can answer the questions in the order you received them Sometimes answer built on earlier information o Order acknowledgements and thankyous o Direct claims, adjustments, internaloperational messages
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