Book Title
M: Business Communication 3rd Edition

978-0073403229 Chapter 7 Critical Thinking Questions

April 5, 2019
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Explain why a persuasive-request message is usually written in the indirect order. Could the direct
order ever be used for such messages? Discuss. (LO2)
Persuasive requests are written when we assume the reader is likely to oppose the request. If we
were to assume otherwise, we would use the direct approach. The indirect approach has developed
2. What does it mean to use the you-viewpoint in persuasive requests? (LO2)
3. Compare persuasive requests and sales messages. What traits do they share? How are they
different? (LO2, LO5)
Both messages have the goal of persuading the reader to do something the writer wants done. The
4. Consider ads that you have seen on television. Which ones rely heavily on emotional appeals?
Which on logical appeals? Which on character-based appeals? Do the chosen appeals seem
appropriate given the product, service, or cause that is being promoted? (LO1, LO5)
Emotional: Perfume, make-up, clothing, humanitarian causes
5. Think of a television, radio, print, email, or Internet sales message or persuasive request that you
regard as especially effective. Explain why you think it was well designed. (LO2, LO5)
6. What appeals would be appropriate for the following products when they are being sold to
consumers? (LO1, LO4)
The answers will vary somewhat, and any answer that can be defended logically is acceptable.
7. Assume that you’re preparing a sales mailing that won’t use the reader’s name. Would you still use
a salutation (e.g., “Dear Occupant”)? If so, what would you use? If not how would the message
begin? (LO5)
This is a thought question. Although widely criticized, the use of “occupant” in sales letter addresses
is widespread. It is most easily justified when the market consists of all households in an area and
8. “Any fundraising or sales message that is longer than a page will just bore the reader.” Discuss this
statement. (LO5)
9. If you were helping to design an email message to sell solar panels, would you include visual
elements? If so, what kind? If not, why not? (LO5)
This is a tough question. Evaluate each student’s answer based on the concepts and advice in this
chapter. Students should recall the comment from Charles A. Hill, who identifies vividness as a key
10. Discuss the relationship between the sales message and its accompanying support information in an
example you’ve seen. What was the purpose of each piece? (LO4, LO5)
All the parts should be coordinated to produce a comprehensive sales effort. The sales message
11. Examine the call for action in a sales message you’ve received. Do you think it is effective? Why or
why not? (LO2, LO5)
This is a tough question. The strength of the drive for action varies with the sales strategy used. But
12. Think of a sample persuasive request or sales message that you regard as ethically questionable.
Discuss the nature of the ethical problems. (LO3)
13. How does the need to be persuasive make a proposal different from a report? (LO6)
14. Discuss the differences between solicited and unsolicited proposals. (LO6)
Solicited proposals are invited via RFPs or notices of available grant money. They can therefore
15. For what kind of situations might you select email format for your proposal? Letter format? A
longer, report-like format? (LO6)
Certainly, short internal proposals can use email format. Longer internal proposals for high-ranking
16. “I don’t need to discuss my readers’ needs in my proposal. They know what their needs are and
don’t want to waste time reading about them.” Discuss. (LO6)
As the chapter says, it can be very effective to describe the readers’ needs in a proposal. First, these