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COMM 3356, Week 3 Notes

by: Theresa Nguyen

COMM 3356, Week 3 Notes Comm 3356

Marketplace > University of Houston > Communication > Comm 3356 > COMM 3356 Week 3 Notes
Theresa Nguyen
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Describe and apply the following principles of writing style that improve ease of reading: completeness, conciseness, and natural processing. Explain and use navigational design to improve ease o...
Business-Professional Comm
Suzanne Buck
Class Notes
Improving Readability with Style and Design
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Theresa Nguyen on Sunday September 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Comm 3356 at University of Houston taught by Suzanne Buck in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Business-Professional Comm in Communication at University of Houston.


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Date Created: 09/11/16
Chapter 6: Improving Readability with Style and Design Improving Ease of Reading with Completeness  You can achieve completeness with three basic strategies: - 1. Providing all relevant information; - 2. Being accurate - 3. Being specific Be Accurate  Accuracy, like specificity, strong impacts your readers’ perceptions of your credibility  Just one inaccurate statement can lead readers to dismiss your entire message and lower their trust in your future communications as well Be Specific  The more specific you are, the more likely your readers are to have their questions answered.  If you are not specific, your readers may become impatient and begin scanning and skimming for the information they want. Improving Ease of Reading with Conciseness  Conciseness implies omitting needless words so that readers can rapidly process your main ideas Control Paragraph Length  Long paragraphs can signal disorganization and even disrespect for the reader’s time.  Typically, paragraphs should contain 40 to 80 words.  For routine messages, paragraphs as short as 20 to 30 words are common and appropriate Use Short Sentences in Most Cases  Short sentences allow your readers to comprehend your ideas more easily.  For routine messages, aim for average sentence length of 15 or fewer words. Avoid Wordy Prepositional Phrases  Eliminating extra words allows you to get your ideas across as efficiently as possible.  You will often find that you can reduce word count by 30 to 40 percent simply by converting many of your prepositional phrases into single- word verbs. Use Action Verbs When Possible  First, find nouns that you can convert to action verbs  Second, find forms of the verb to be (e.g. be verbs such as is, are, am) and convert them into action verbs. Use Action Voice  The door-action-object allows for faster processing because most people’s natural thinking occurs in this way  It also emphasizes the business orientation of action  Most important, it specifies the doer Use Parallel Language  Using parallel language means that you apply a consistent grammatical pattern across a sentence or paragraph  Parallelism is most important when you use series or lists. Avoid Buzzwords and Figures of Speech  Don’t distract your readers with overused or out-of-place words or phrases  Buzzwords - Workplace terms that become trite because of overuse - Can stir negative feelings among some readers Avoid It Is/There Are  Readers naturally want to know precisely who or what the subject of a sentence is, particularly in business writings, where specificity is so important.  Most sentences that begin with it is or there are fail to provide a specific subject and generally contain more words than necessary. Use Headings  In information-rich and complex messages, headings can help your readers identify key ideas and navigate the document to areas of interest.  As you create headings and subheadings, be consistent in font style and formatting throughout your document.


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