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

978-0073403267 Chapter 16 Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises

April 6, 2019
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Module 16 - Revising Sentences and Paragraphs
Module 16
Revising Sentences and Paragraphs
LO 16-1 Define good style in business messages.
LO 16-2 Demonstrate appropriate tone in business messages.
LO 16-3 Differentiate rules from writing habits and conventions.
LO 16-4 Apply strategies for sentence revision.
LO 16-5 Apply strategies for paragraph revision.
LO 16-6 Synthesize style with organizational culture.
Module Overview
Module 16 addresses revising sentences and paragraphs. Kitty and Steve suggest assigning it
with Module 14 (“Editing for Grammar and Punctuation”) and Module 15 (“Choosing the Right
Word”) early in your course so students have time to review their challenges with language
issues.
Students should plan on several rounds of revision, the first focusing on content and clarity, the
second on organization and layout, and third on style and tone. By breaking the process down,
students are more likely to be able to address each issue fully.
Teaching Tip: Many students fail to plan time for revision. While some students
have busy schedules that include work and family responsibilities, most students
simply wait too long to begin writing assignments and have no time for revision.
Therefore, work with students to encourage them to plan their revision processes
carefully. Where possible, share with them your success stories in breaking the
revision process down into distinct parts.
In-Class Exercise: Have students spend 10-15 minutes brainstorming about their
revision processes. What do students believe they do well? What are areas for
improvement? Afterward, have students share their findingsCare there
commonalities? What tips could other students offer?
Kitty and Steve recommend building into your class opportunities for peer review. You might
also create study tables, where students can meet outside of class to go over material, as well as
peer review.
© 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.
16-1
Module 16 - Revising Sentences and Paragraphs
Teaching Tip: The purpose of peer review is to give students opportunities to give
and receive feedback. Peer review helps students learn for two basic reasons:
students have the opportunity to test their documents on someone, and in order for
students to give good feedback, they must first make sure they understand the
concepts themselves. Peer review, however, does not mean letting someone else do
the work, or students turning in essentially the same document. Students should still
be expected to turn in original assignments, unique to their own style and “voice.”
In-Class Exercise: Have students bring in examples of poorly written documents
(with any personal information blocked out). For 10-15 minutes, have the class
identify and revise sentences and paragraphs that are particularly problematic. When
they are finished, have students explain the reasons for their changes.
What’s in This Supplement
This supplement is organized around the major questions posed in Module 16. It covers
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises Page 271
Part 2: Answers to Textbook Assignments Page 283
Part 3: Appendix of Handout/Transparency Master Page 286
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
What is “good” style? LO 16-1
It’s both businesslike and friendly.
© 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 16 - Revising Sentences and Paragraphs
Good business writing is not haughty or offensive; instead, it sounds more like everyday
conversation. Just as the workplace in the early 21st century continues to become more
informalCfrom dress down days to the proliferation of addressing superiors by their first names
—so, too, is language becoming more “casual.”
However, what your students might consider casual and how the business world defines the term
may be quite different. Regardless of fad or fashion, good business writing still uses the forms
and rules of standard edited English.
What is “businesslike”? For most people, it’s language that does not sacrifice clarity and
accuracy for “sounding good.” And while grammatical correctness is important, it’s not enough
simply for the rules of grammar to be followed. Good business writing appeals to the readers
sensibilities about tone and style.
Teaching Tip: Use PP 16-4 to show what points to keep
in mind while choosing the level of formality for a
specific document. Afterward, ask students how these
guidelines are similar to or different from their own
approaches to choosing style. What works for them?
Would these strategies translate well to business
documents?
In-Class Exercise: Have students bring in examples of documents they believe have
the appropriate style for business documents. For 10-15 minutes, let students
explain what they believe works in these documents. Are there any points of
disagreement about style? What are they? Can the students come up with
alternatives that everyone agrees on? If not, is that OK? Why or why not?
As PP 16-5 and Figure 16.1 on p. 272 suggest, it’s likely that most
of the writing classes students have taken in college have taught them
a style not entirely appropriate for the business world. In general,
students are taught a more “formal” style in their composition
courses. Sometimes they’ve been rewarded for choosing language
that is impersonal, technical, abstract, or lengthy.
© 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.
16-3
Module 16 - Revising Sentences and Paragraphs
Teaching Tip: One of your first tasks as instructor may be to “unteach” students
some of the instruction they’ve received in first- and second-year composition
courses. The key is to emphasize that this previous instruction was not “wrong” but
simply inappropriate for the business world. Use examples of good business writing
on the first day so they can see immediately how business writing differs from a
typical composition. Then ask students what they believe is portable from the
composition classes. What tips, techniques, and concepts transfer well to business
communication?
Appendix 16-A shows how business writing differs from school writing. In using it to show
students the differences, reiterate the basic concepts of audience analysis (see Module 2). While
school writing certainly would work with academic audiences, business writing is aimed at
different audiences. Therefore, business writing has different standards.
Figure 16.1 (p. 272) shows that even with certain minimum standards, there is room in business
communication for individual style.
Teaching Tip: Students (and sometimes teachers) may believe that business
communication is devoid of individual style. Use Figure 16.1 to remind students
that individual style is possible in business communicationCand in some cases may
be preferred.
Using the right tone LO 16-2
Finding the right tone for an audience can be trickier than it sounds. Commonly, novice
professionals use a tone that would work for them. Yet, some audiences expect a more casual or
a more formal tone, depending on such factors as culture, situation, and hierarchy. An older
audience, too, might expect a younger writer to be more courteous and deferential than someone
the same age as the writer.
PP 16-6 shows some of the important aspects of tone to keep in mind:
Business writing should be businesslike and friendly.
In the past 50 years, social distance in the United States
has decreased.
But even in cultures that pride themselves on
their egalitarianism, differences in status exist.
© 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 16 - Revising Sentences and Paragraphs
Tone is the implied attitude of the speaker or writer toward what the words say.
As in other communication situations, you have to analyze the situation
rhetorically.
Teaching Tip: Some observers argue that the combination of decreased social
distance with faceless, online social networking have given people, especially those
in Generation Y, a distorted sense of appropriate tone. For instance, a student in his
or her 20s may feel perfectly at ease criticizing an instructor in front of the class,
whereas older generations may see such behavior as inappropriate. Ask students
about their opinions. How do your students feel about tone? What do they believe is
appropriate for addressing someone in authority or higher in an organization’s
hierarchy? Now, ask them if they feel the same way if they are a customer or an
employee. If the responses differ, ask them why.
Are there rules I should follow? LO 16-3
Most “rules” are really guidelines.
One of the greatest strengths of the English language—and a continual source of frustration,
especially for non-native speakers—is its immense flexibility. To that end, many of the so-called
rules of usage can and are broken by various discourse communities and organizational cultures.
For instance, creative writers often take great license with the rules, using sentence fragments,
comma splices, and even creative spellings of words in ways that would be wholly inappropriate
in other fields. In business, advertisers frequently (and sometimes inadvertently) use similar
approaches to language.
While individual companies are free to choose stylistic conventions
that make them unique, the basic rules of standard edited English
should not be broken. However, as PP 16-7 shows, such “rules” as
“Never use I” are really just guidelines in business communication.
Certainly, “I” is appropriate in situations where the actor is being
privileged.
Teaching Tip: Have students share some of the “rules” they may have been told
through the years. Ask students which they believe are valid. Which are issues of
style? Which seem appropriate in business communication?
© 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.
16-5
Module 16 - Revising Sentences and Paragraphs
PP 16-8 shows strategies to help students improve style.
These include
Getting a clean page or screen.
Trying WIRMI (What I really mean is)
Reading the draft aloud to someone.
Asking someone else to read it to you.
Reading widely and a lot.
Ultimately, learning the parameters of their organizational culture and discourse community—
and experience interacting with them—will help them to successfully adapt their personal style.
Teaching Tip: Ask students how important they believe style is in everyday living.
Don’t limit their responses to businessChave them consider how the way a person
dresses or behaves can influence how others view them. Ask them to give examples
of people or behavior they find stylistically pleasing. Finally, ask what specifically it
is about style that’s importantCexactly what does style appeal to in a person?
In-Class Exercise: Have students in groups of 3-5 complete Exercise 16.13 on p.
284. Give them 10-15 minutes, then share responses. Does everyone agree on the
choices made? If not, what alternatives can they offer? If people still disagree, what
does this suggest about the impact of style? Who ultimately decides what is good
style?
What should I look for when I revise sentences? LO 16-4
Try these six techniques.
Students looking for specifics on how to revise sentences will find this section helpful.
However, they should not limit their studies to this section. Encourage students to read and save
examples of good sentences from publications they have.
Use PP 16-9 through PP 16-12 to review six important principles.
Use active verbs most of the time.
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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 16 - Revising Sentences and Paragraphs
Teaching Tip: Chances are students have heard
discussions on active and passive voice in their
composition courses and forgotten them. Spend time in
class reviewing active and passive voice; have students
review this section, as well as complete Exercise 16.8 on
p. 283 as homework for practice.
Use strong verbs to carry the weight of your sentence.
Teaching Tip: A good way to show students the use of strong verbs is to share with
them an example from literature. Use a passage from a poem or story you find
particularly well written. Try to select an example not just for the beauty of its
language but also the specificity of its verbs.
Tighten your writing.
In-Class Exercise: Even accomplished writers struggle
with reducing wordiness. Have students complete
Exercise 16.10 on p. 284 as homework to gauge their own
abilities.
Vary sentence length and sentence structure.
In-Class Exercise: As with tightening writing, learning to
vary sentence patterns is often best accomplished through
practice. Have students locate a passage in
correspondence that seems choppy. Then have them
rewrite the passage, varying sentence length and structure.
Afterward have students share their findings with the rest
of the class.
Use parallel structure.
Teaching Tip: Parallel structure often can be seen in sales
correspondence or letters describing employee benefits,
where a bulleted list of reader benefits may be used. Have
students bring to class sales letters they may have received
that feature good examples of parallel form (or bring
letters from your files or use examples from the textbook).
Have students review the parallel form and discuss how
and why it makes reading those sections easier. Alternatively, have students bring
examples of poor parallel form. Have the students correct the problems they
identify.
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manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
16-7
Module 16 - Revising Sentences and Paragraphs
Put your readers in your sentence.
Teaching Tip: Have students struggling with you-attitude review the principles
discussed in Module 6. Assign the appropriate exercised or problems from the end
of the module to give them practice using you-attitude. Encourage students to use
you-attitude where appropriate in documents they write throughout the term.
What should I look for when I revise paragraphs? LO 16-5
Check for topic sentences and transitions.
As PP 16-16 and PP 16-17 show, techniques for revising paragraphs
include
Begin most paragraphs with topic sentences.
In-Class Exercise: For many students, the concept of topic
sentences will be familiar from composition courses; if students seem uncertain
about the concept, have them complete Exercise 16.14 on p. 285 as homework for
practice.
Use transitions to link ideas.
Teaching Tip: Figure 16.4 (p. 282) shows words and
phrases commonly used as transitions. Share these with
students and ask if there are any others they can think of.
Add them to the list in the book.
Teaching Tip: If it helps students while composing, have them photocopy Figure
16.4 and post it near wherever they write.
How does organizational culture affect style? LO 16-6
Different cultures may prefer different styles.
Organizational culture and discourse community directly affect style, as with many features of
correspondence in business. (For more information on organizational culture and discourse
community, students should consult Module 2 and Module 3).
© 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 16 - Revising Sentences and Paragraphs
As PP 16-18 shows, when the conventions of organizational culture
contradict the writers’ principles, they can
Use the techniques in this module.
Help the boss learn about writing.
Recognize that style may serve another purpose besides
communication.
Ask if anyone prefers better writing.
In-Class Exercise: For homework, have students record information about the writing
style in their organization. (If students are not working, have them interview
someone to find out what he or she perceives the style to be.) The students should
analyze such issues as tone, word choice, use of jargon, grammatical correctness,
and so forth. Afterward, have students share their findingsCare there commonalities
across some of the organizations? What are they? What are some organizations
doing better than others? Worse?
Last Word: Students whose work is otherwise complete often want to skip revision.
Help them understand that good writing is strong on all fronts, including content,
style, tone, timing, and certainly expression. While revision may seem tedious and
time-consuming to some students, it’s often the difference between producing an
acceptable document and an exceptional one. For some students, skipping revision
has kept them from attaining the grades they seek.
© 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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