Type
Solution Manual
Book Title
Business Communication: Building Critical Skills 6th Edition
ISBN 13
978-0073403267

978-0073403267 Chapter 10 Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises

April 6, 2019
Module 10 - Informative and Positive Messages
Module 10
Informative and Positive Messages
LO 10-1 Create subject lines for informative and positive messages.
LO 10-2 Apply strategies for informative and positive message organization.
LO 10-3 Identify situations for reader benefits use with informative and positive
messages.
LO 10-4 List common kinds of informative and positive messages.
LO 10-5 Apply strategies for informative and positive message analysis with PAIBOC.
LO 10-6 Create goodwill endings for informative and positive messages.
Module Overview
Many business messages can be categorized as informative or
positive (PP 10-4). Informative messages convey information that
is likely to cause a neutral reaction in the reader. Positive messages
are likely to be taken as good news.
While all business messages contain information, and many contain
positive news, informative and positive messages are unique in that
the primary purpose is to convey informative or positive information.
Some persuasion may be in the message, but this quality is secondary.
Common types of informative and positive messages include
Acceptances.
Positive answers to reader requests.
Information about procedures, products, services, or options.
Announcements of policy changes that are neutral or positive.
Changes that are to the readers advantage.
As shown on PP 10-5 primary purposes include
To give information or good news to the reader or to reassure
the reader.
To have the reader read the message, understand it, and view
the information positively.
To deemphasize any negative elements.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
10-1
Module 10 - Informative and Positive Messages
and secondary purposes (PP 10-6) include
To build a good image of the writer.
To build a good image of the writers organization.
To cement a good relationship between the writer and reader.
To reduce or eliminate future correspondence on the same
subject.
In-Class Exercise: Bring in examples of common
informative or positive messages you might have received (blocking out any
personal information). Don’t tell students which are which but ask them to analyze
the messages for type. What is it about the language and content that makes the
message purpose clear? Do the students feel the messages do an adequate job
conveying information? How did they feel after reading the messages?
Tell students to use Figure 10.6 on p. 156 as a checklist when composing informative and
positive messages.
What’s in This Supplement
This supplement is organized around the major questions posed in Module 10. It covers
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises Page 143
Part 2: Answers to Textbook Assignments Page 157
Part 3: Appendixes of Handouts/Transparency Masters Page 163
PowerPoint presentations can be found at our Web page at www.mhhe.com/bcs6e.
Questions (with answers) suitable for quizzes are in the Instructors Test Bank. For student
practice quizzes with answers, see our Web page.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
10-2
Module 10 - Informative and Positive Messages
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises
What’s the best subject line for an informative or positive
message? LO 10-1
One that contains the basic information or good news.
Students should think of a subject line as essentially the title of a document. As such, subject
lines can give the reader a clear sense of the importance of the document,
its content, and even its purpose. For informative and positive messages,
readers should make subject lines (described on PP 10-9)
Specific.
Concise.
Appropriate for the kind of message to be conveyed (positive,
negative, persuasive).
In-Class Exercise: Because subject lines can act as titles, have students consider
what they believe are effective titles of films, novels, short stories, or songs. What is
it about these titles that make them effective? How do the titles reveal something
about the content of the work? Its tone? Its theme? What similarities might subject
lines have to these titles? Differences?
How should I organize informative and positive messages?
LO 10-2
Put the good news and a summary of the information first.
As described on PP 10-10 a common pattern for informative and positive
messages is
Give any good news and summarize the main points.
Give details, clarification, and background.
Present any negative elements—as positively as possible.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
10-3
Module 10 - Informative and Positive Messages
Teaching Tip: Have students review the principles of using positive emphasis
discussed in Module 7.
Explain any reader benefits.
Teaching Tip: Have students review the principles of using reader benefits discussed
in Module 8.
Use a goodwill ending: positive, personal, and forward-looking.
Teaching Tip: Have students review the letters and memos included in this module
for goodwill endings. As them if the examples follow the principles in the book.
What makes them work? Would students change any of the goodwill endings?
What alternatives would they use instead? Why?
In-Class Exercise: As a group, have students brainstorm as many kinds of goodwill
endings as they can think of. When finished, make a master list and let the class
critique each possibility. Which are acceptable? Which seem frivolous or
unprofessional? Which seem unfriendly? What criteria should writers use when
selecting goodwill endings? How do their concepts compare to the Building a
Critical Skill Box information on p. 154?
When should I use reader benefits in informative and positive
messages? LO 10-3
When you want readers to view your policies and your organization positively.
While reader benefits can help when writing informative and positive messages, they are not
always necessary. As shown on PP 10-13, reader benefits are unnecessary when
You’re presenting factual information only.
The readers attitude toward the information doesn’t matter.
Stressing benefits may make the reader sound selfish.
The benefits are so obvious that to restate them insults the
readers intelligence.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
10-4
Module 10 - Informative and Positive Messages
As shown on PP 10-14, reader benefits are necessary when
You’re presenting policies.
You want to shape readers’ attitudes toward the information
or toward the organization.
Stressing benefits presents readers’ motives positively.
Some of the benefits may not be obvious to readers.
In-Class Exercise: Bring in flyers, direct-mail pieces, or advertisements
(including those in your school newspaper or a TV commercial) and have students
review them. Put students into groups of 3-5 and have each group review a
separate item. How many benefits can they identify? Are the benefits effectively
described? Can they think of additional or alternative benefits that would work?
Next, swap each group’s findings with those of another group. Do the two groups
concur? If not, what is missing or could be improved?
What are the most common kinds of informative and positive
messages? LO 10-4
Transmittals, confirmations, summaries, adjustments, and thank-you notes.
Each of these documents can perform several functions—being
informative or positive, being persuasive, or being negative. The
discussion in this module concerns their use as informative and positive
messages. Use PP 10-15 to introduce each to your students. Use
Appendix 10-A as a checklist when writing any informative or positive
message.
Transmittals: A letter of transmittal is essentially a cover page about what you are sending.
Teaching Tip: Letters of transmittal are common with large documents, such as
reports. Use the letter of transmittal from the report example in Module 24 (p.
396) for further illustration for your students.
As illustrated on PP 10-16, letters of transmittal should be organized in the following order:
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
10-5
Module 10 - Informative and Positive Messages
1. Tell the reader what you’re sending.
2. Summarize your main point(s).
3. Indicate any special circumstances or information that would
help the reader understand the document.
4. Tell the reader what will happen next.
Confirmations: As the name implies, confirmations simply confirm information from oral
conversations. Sending a confirmation—through e-mail especially—is good, both to confirm a
conversation and to create a written record. Start the message by indicating that it is a
confirmation, not a new message. Indicate information discussed. Use Appendix 10-B and
Appendix 10-C to show a sample confirmation message.
Summaries: These can include conversations, documents, and
meetings. For internal use for a conversation, identify the people
present, the topic of discussion, decisions made, and who does what
next. To summarize a document, start with the main point, give
supporting evidence and details, evaluate the document, and identify
actions that your organization should take (PP 10-17).
Adjustments and Responses to Complaints: Responding to customer complaints can help
improve the likelihood of repeat business. As with many messages, you-attitude is important.
Students should avoid focusing on their company’s processes for deciding whether to make an
adjustment. When you grant a customers request for an adjusted price, discount, replacement,
or other benefit to resolve a complaint, do so in the very first sentence. Don’t talk about your
own process in making a decision, nor say anything that sounds grudging.
Teaching Tip: Students should review Module 6 for information on you-attitude.
Thank-You Notes: Sending a thank-you note helps builds goodwill, especially in situations
where you have requested something of an individual or organization, such as a job interview.
Put the good news up front, use specifics, and keep the message short.
Teaching Tip: Have students return to this section of the module when reviewing job
hunt strategies in Unit 7.
Appendix 10-A shows a checklist for writing informative/positive messages.
How can I apply what I’ve learned in this module? LO 10-5
Plan your activities and answer the PAIBOC questions.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
10-6
Module 10 - Informative and Positive Messages
PAIBOC can help students to create solutions for problems. For more
information on PAIBOC, review Module 1 (PP 10-18 and 10-19 list the
PAIBOC components).
In-Class Exercise: Have students for groups (of 3-5,
depending on your class size). Let each group explain one
of the PAIBOC components and how it helps with the
analysis of the problem.
Writing a goodwill ending LO 10-6
Goodwill endings are essential in informative and positive messages, as they help cement a
positive relationship between the writer and the reader. But writing a goodwill ending may not be
as straightforward as it appears, and using a stock ending is often a bad idea.
For instance, depending on the circumstances, a compliment at the end of a message may be
completely appropriate—or it may not. Imagine complimenting someone being offered a job
versus someone simply being told that the office copier will get a fresh toner cartridge.
Writers should choose from among several strategies to write effective goodwill endings
(described on PP 10-20 and PP 10-21):
Goodwill endings focus on the business relationship you share
with your reader.
When you write to one person, a good last paragraph fits
that person specifically.
When you write to someone who represents an
organization, the last paragraph can refer to your
company’s relationship to the readers organization.
When you write to a group (for example, to “All
Employees”) your ending should apply to the whole group.
Possibilities include
Complimenting the reader for a job well done.
Describing a reader benefit.
Looking forward to something positive that relates to the
subject of the message.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
10-7
Module 10 - Informative and Positive Messages
Last Word: Informative and positive messages can be among the easier business
communication documents to write. As such, teach them early in your course. Let
students see how basic principles of language choice, building goodwill, and audience
analysis help in composing informative and positive messages. Later, when you
discuss negative messages, contrast the concepts in that module to the ones discussed
here.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
10-8

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