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

978-0073403267 Chapter 13 Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises

April 6, 2019
Module 13 - E-Mail Messages, Web Writing, and Technology
Module 13
E-Mail Messages, Web Writing, and Technology
LO 13-1 Apply strategies for e-mail message organization.
LO 13-2 Create subject lines for e-mail messages.
LO 13-3 Apply strategies for e-mail message style and content.
LO 13-4 Apply strategies for time management with e-mail and other tasks.
LO 13-5 Identify rules for “netiquette.”
LO 13-6 Apply strategies for e-mail attachment use.
LO 13-7 Apply strategies for writing on the web.
LO 13-8 Recognize other technologies for the web.
Module Overview
E-mail is an important communication vehicle for the modern work world. While new
employees may have a “grace period” before beginning to write paper messages, chances are
they will be expected to know the in’s and out’s of writing e-mail from day one. While many
students use e-mail in their private lives, their personal habits may not translate well for business
e-mail messages. In particular, many students pay little or no attention to spelling and grammar
in personal e-mail messages, even though these issues are still important in the business world.
Students should remember than e-mail messages can be printed and kept on record just like a
paper message.
Additionally, students often assume that a business e-mail address is as private as a personal one.
It is not. In fact, courts have ruled that businesses that provide e-mail to employees are legally
entitled to monitor employee e-mail messages. Printed e-mail has even been used in courts of
law as evidence.
Teaching Tip: Ask students whether they prefer to send e-mail messages or paper
messages. Why? What is it about one form versus the other that appeals to them?
In a typical week, how many of one type of message do they send versus the other?
How has this changed the method and frequency of their communication?
In-Class Exercise: Ask students to share some of their frustrations in sending and
receiving e-mail. Make a master list for the class of things they would encourage
senders to avoid doing. As receivers, what could they do to encourage people to
send more appropriate messages? What frustrations do they have with the
user-friendliness of the e-mail system they use? What would make things easier?
© 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.
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Module 13 - E-Mail Messages, Web Writing, and Technology
What’s in This Supplement
This supplement is organized around the major questions posed in Module 13. It covers
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises Page 217
Part 2: Answers to Textbook Assignments Page 232
Part 3: Appendixes of Handouts/Transparency Masters Page 235
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.
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises
How should I set up e-mail messages? LO 13-1
Formats are still evolving.
Though e-mail systems work more or less the same way, how they format information can differ.
Whether you use Eudora, Outlook, Groupwise, or any other system, just what the e-mail looks
like may be unique, and cell phones that provide e-mail capability further offer format options.
So, the best strategy to teaching e-mail is to focus on what they have in common, such as what
information is most likely to be necessary in order to send or receive e-mail messages. Students
can then better adjust to specifics on the job.
Most e-mail programs prompt users to supply the various parts of the format. This can include
such information as recipient, subject line, and copies, such as computer copies, or cc, or blind
computer copies, or bcc.
Use PP 13-4 to show students that
All the principles of good business writing still apply with e-mail.
While e-mail feels like talking, writers should still pay attention to
proper spelling and grammar.
Writers should proofread messages before sending them.
© 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.
13-2
Module 13 - E-Mail Messages, Web Writing, and Technology
E-mail messages should interest the readers in the subject line and first paragraph.
Of particular note is that some writers treat e-mail messages the same way they might a paper
message, meaning they might include a signature block. Many users will also compose
messages in a word processor to take advantage of both a more readable format and such features
as spell checkers. However, a wise approach is to use two-inch side margins to create short line
lengths similar to those of an e-mail message. This will help users avoid strange line breaks
when they paste the message in their e-mail.
Teaching Tip: If your institution uses a specific e-mail system other than Outlook,
create a message to show students. Then create the same message in Outlook. You
might print the screens or create visuals if you are in a non-computer classroom. Let
the students see the similarities between the two systems, as well as note the
differences.
What kinds of subject lines should I use for e-mail messages? LO 13-2
Be specific, concise, and catchy.
Subject lines in e-mail are even more important than those in letters and
memos because it’s so easy for an e-mail user to hit the delete key. With
so much “spamming”junk e-mailhitting e-mail accounts, readers
may already be in the habit of deleting anything that doesn’t look familiar
or important.
As PP 13-7 and PP 13-8 show, e-mail subject lines should
Be specific
Be concise
Be catchy
Give good news if the message is positive
Give negative information when the negative is serious, the reader
needs the information to act, or you report your own errors
Make the request clear if the message is persuasive
Teaching Tip: Have students review information on information and positive
messages, negative messages, and persuasive messages for details on format and
content. Have students compare the information for creating subject lines for those
types of messages with the information in this module. What is similar? What is
different?
© 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.
13-3
Module 13 - E-Mail Messages, Web Writing, and Technology
In-Class Exercise: Divide students into groups of 3-5 and have them spend 10-15
minutes writing subject lines for Exercises 13.11, 13.13, and 13.15. Have them
share their solutions with the rest of the class. Ask the class to critique these
solutions.
Should I write e-mail messages the same way I write paper messages?
LO 13-3
Negative and persuasive messages will be more direct.
Because readers read and reply to e-mail rapidlydealing with 80 to 100 messages in 20 to 30
minutes in some caseswriters need to make their e-mail messages easy to understand and act
upon.
As PP 13-11 shows, e-mail
Is especially appropriate for informative and positive messages.
Is appropriate for less serious negatives, but not for such major
negatives as firings and layoffs.
Should never be written when the writer is angryavoid flaming.
Can be used in lawsuits, so writers must be careful what they say.
Can be used for persuasive messages. For routine requests, be
direct. For others, build up to the request.
Should not be used for major requests that require changes in
values, culture, or lifestyle.
Teaching Tip: Use Figure 13.1 (p. 219) to illustrate a positive e-mail message. Ask
students to review it for tone, spelling, grammar, and content. Do all seem
appropriate? How does the example support the concepts discussed in this module?
In-Class Exercise: For 20-25 minutes, have students in groups of 3-5 complete
Exercise 13.12 on p. 233. Afterward, have the groups share their solutions with the
class. Which seems to work the best? Why?
Managing your time LO 13-4
PP 13-13 and PP 13-14 illustrate, managing time effectively involves a
multitude of considerations. These include
Managing your incoming e-mail is an essential skill for every office
worker.
Create folders, mailboxes, and filters.
Move items out of your inbox.
© 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.
13-4
Module 13 - E-Mail Messages, Web Writing, and Technology
Delete messages after you act on them.
If you need to save messages, move them to folders on a
specific topic or project.
Create a “delete in 30 days” folder for items you’ll need
briefly.
Purge files periodically—at least once a month. (Once a
week is better.)
Of course, in today’s schedule-compressed world, finding the time to think about time
management may seem a challenge! Help students to understand the importance of doing so,
however, especially in light of the fact that their responsibilities are likely to increase on the job,
making time even more precious.
Teaching Tip: Many of today’s students understand the value of a schedule, but some
may not be realistic in setting aside time to complete tasks. Ask students to think
about their daily schedules and obligations. Are they easy to meet? If not, what
might be the challenges? Where are they running into time conflicts? You might
point out that people frequently make schedules without fully considering such
issues as travel time or making allowances for interruptions to the day they have
planned. In some cases, they also don’t plan for leisure or time to themselves,
meaning that the momentum of the day’s responsibilities can take their toll.
Tactfully point out that time management involves more than simply filling a
calendar.
What e-mail “netiquette” rules should I follow? LO 13-5
Lurk before you leap.
As PP 13-15 and PP 13-16 illustrate, being a good “netizen” means
Never sending angry messages by e-mail.
Using full caps only to emphasize a single word or two.
Sending only messages people need.
Adapting to your audience’s e-mail system.
Including only the essential parts of an e-mail message in your
response.
Using short line lengths when first composing a message in a word
processor.
Teaching Tip: Ask students to share negative experiences they
may have had regarding e-mail. This can include flaming,
spamming, wordy messages, messages with inappropriate line
breaks, or messages they don’t really need. How did students feel about receiving
such messages? What would they have preferred? Can students think of any
situations where they might have sent such a message? What would they do
© 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.
13-5
Module 13 - E-Mail Messages, Web Writing, and Technology
differently now?
How and when should I use attachments? LO 13-6
When the reader expects and needs them.
Any text document can be copied and pasted into the body of your e-mail
message. As PP 13-17 shows, sending attachments makes most sense
when writers send
A long text document.
A text document with extensive formatting.
A non-text file (e.g., PowerPoint slides, html file, spreadsheet).
Writers should tell the reader what program the attachment is in.
Viruses can damage or destroy data; therefore, every precaution should be taken to ensure that
viruses don’t corrupt computer systems. New viruses appear daily. The good news is that as of
this writing viruses cannot be “caught” through e-mail. However, viruses can be transmitted
through e-mail attachments or through down-loaded information. Therefore, it is critical that
students take steps to combat the spread of computer viruses.
Teaching Tip: Regardless of whether you are in a computer-equipped classroom,
chances are your students use computers to compose messages. Remind them to get
a current virus checker and use it regularly. Scan all diskettes and hard drives to
make sure they are virus free. (Many colleges have virus checkers installed on
campus computers; some may provide virus-checking software at little or no cost to
students.) Because of the high traffic of public users, campus computer classrooms
and laboratories are particularly vulnerable to viruses; therefore, alert your students
to act with appropriate caution when using a public machine.
In-Class Exercise: If you are in a computer-equipped classroom, take 10-15 minutes
to run through the proper procedure for checking for viruses. Find out if your
college provides virus-checking software. If so, encourage your students to get a
copy.
What style should I use when writing for the web? LO 13-7
Use good business writing principles, but consider how people will interact with the text,
too.
Good business writing style basics—being clear, concise, and complete—also work when
writing for the web. PP 13-18 and PP 13-19 show guidelines for a good web writing style.
Unless the page is designed for readers seeking highly technical information, the style should be
© 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.
13-6
Module 13 - E-Mail Messages, Web Writing, and Technology
simple and conversational in tone and use headings, bulleted lists, and only
necessary jargon. A good strategy is to draft information in a word
processor and edit and proofread the draft carefully. Where possible,
writers should work with web page designers to plan and test their designs
and anticipate if there are too many hyperlinks—jumps to other pages—on
the page.
Teaching Tip: Many students have access to high-speed
Internet connections, but others rely on slower modem hookups. If students with
faster connections feel that design isn’t all that important because pages load so
quickly, have students with slower connections share any problems they’ve had with
poorly designed pages.
In-Class Exercise: Have the students individually or in small groups share with the
class the best and worst web pages they’ve ever visited. Which design features worked
and which didn’t? Have the students write lists of good and bad features on the board.
Afterward, identify which features showed up most often in these lists. How did they
compare to the concepts discussed in Module 13?
As PP 13-19 illustrates, John Morkes and Jakob Nielsen advocate
creating “scannable text” to make pages accessible.
Highlight key words.
Use meaningful, not clever, subheadings.
Include bulleted lists.
Use one idea per paragraph.
Write in the “inverted pyramid” style of organization, with the main idea up front.
Use half the word count of a printed page.
Avoid “marketese,” or language that is extremely subjective and boastful.
As with any technology, the web is evolving, so writers should expect rules to develop and
change.
Can I use blogging on the job? LO 13-7
Yes, so long as you are professional.
Creating web logs, or blogging, is an increasingly popular way of
communicating on the web. It’s so popular, some businesses are turning
to blogging to aid in recruiting employees, and CEOs are posting their
own blogs in an effort to speak directly to customers and associates.
As PP 13-20 through PP 13-22 suggest, the most important issue to
consider when blogging on the job is how to keep the blog professional.
Writers should avoid posting material that could be too personal or offer unflattering opinions
about the people in their lives or the companies they work for. If the company owns or pays for
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manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
13-7
Module 13 - E-Mail Messages, Web Writing, and Technology
computer resources, it may be entitled to access e-mail and blogs created by employees on
company systems. In addition, blogs can be cached, meaning that years
later people may still have access to them.
In-Class Exercise: Where appropriate, have students share
with the class their favorite blogging sites. What draws them to
the sites? What qualities or features do they have in common
with each other? How often do the bloggers post? Create a list
of best features.
Many resources exist on the web to help bloggers get started. These include blogger.com and
businessblogconsulting.com. Search engines for blogs include Google Blog, Technorati, and
Blogdigger.
As PP 13-22 shows, Jeff Wuorio suggests the following to create a blog for business:
Identify your audience.
Decide where your blog should live.
Start talking.
Get into the practice of “blog rolling,” or linking to websites
and other blogs.
Emphasize key words.
Keep it fresh.
Watch your traffic closely.
Can I use social networking tools for business situations? LO 13-7
Yes, as long as you keep things professional.
Today’s students are likely intimately familiar with social networking tools, such as Facebook or
Twitter, and that may not always be a good thing. While these tools offer great opportunities to
make connections with people, there is anecdotal evidence as well as emerging research to
suggest that those who use social networking tools may misunderstand what is and isn’t
appropriate.
Of course, as with most recent technologies, the rules for what is possible are yet to be
completely written. Many users therefore think of social networking tools as private spaces to
“be themselves.” The problem, of course, is that professionalism requires people to think beyond
what may be acceptable in their personal lives. As this module suggests, some users mistake
their social networking space for something more like a private phone conversation, forgetting
that the whole Internet may be their audience.
As PP 13-23 and PP 13-24 show,
You can use social networking sites but
Be professional.
Avoid offensive text and images.
Is the content office appropriate?
© 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.
13-8
Module 13 - E-Mail Messages, Web Writing, and Technology
Linkedin and Spoke are common for business networking; Facebook and MySpace are
common for personal networking.
And
Twitter integrates cell phones and computers for quick messages.
Keep “tweets” brief: less than 140 characters per line.
Sites like tinyurl.com can help shorten Internet addresses.
YouTube can host video resumes, as well as training and other
business videos.
Teaching Tip: As one of the co-authors of BCS has discovered, chances are many
students know much more than the instructor about the ins and outs of using social
networking tools. A good strategy is to let students present what they know, perhaps
making “using social networking tools” the subject of an oral presentation. They’ll
likely enjoy presenting on the subject, but try to confine the discussion to the basics,
as well as considerations for using social networking tools in business. Also, make
sure that if they reference any sites, what they show is classroom appropriate.
In-Class Exercise: For 5-10 minutes, have students share some of the foibles
they’ve witnessed with people using social networking tools. What are some
obvious errors people made in choosing what to post? What are more subtle ones?
How might this help a business professional to decide what is possible to post?
In-Class Exercise: Divide the class into groups of 3-4 students. Have each group
spend 10-15 minutes identifying a social networking site that represents good
business practice. It could be a Facebook page for a corporation or a Twitter page
for a celebrity. Have them identify what makes the examples professional. After all
of the groups have presented their findings, ask them as a class to identify key
elements that all of the examples have in common, creating a master list of best
practices. For the next class, post or pass out the list to students for reference.
What other technologies use the Internet? LO 13-8
Fax, phone, instant messaging, and videoconferencing services are all available on the
web.
© 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.
13-9
Module 13 - E-Mail Messages, Web Writing, and Technology
The Internet is making it possible for many services, such as fax and
phone, to be handled through the web, sometimes at reduced cost
compared to traditional means. More and more portable electronic
devices are blending technologies. For instance, smartphones continue
to evolve quickly in form and function, allowing users to talk, text,
e-mail, surf the web, take photos and videos, and more.
Teaching Tip: New technologies proliferate among
students. Chances are, someone in your class has the latest
version of the hottest technology. Ask students to share
with the class the kinds of devices they use, as well as the
capability of each. If students are aware of emerging
technologies, have them share that knowledge with the
class, too. For a starting point, use PP 13-25 and PP
13-26.
Of increasing concern to many people is the etiquette involved with using technology, especially
cell phones in public. Interruptions in business meetings can be problematic, but so can loud
conversations in public places, such as restaurants, theaters, and restrooms.
In-Class Exercise: Have students share their “pet peeves” with etiquette. What
kinds of behaviors bother them? What bothersome behaviors do they engage in?
Why? Consider having the students create a “bill of rights” that addresses what
reasonable freedom from rudeness people can expect in business and in public.
Last Word: Though not appropriate for all kinds of messages and situations, e-mail
and other technologies are vital to communicating in the 21st century. Encourage
students to learn the particulars of the systems they use and practice to become good
“netizens” and users of technology. Tell them to stay aware of new developments.
© 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.
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