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FSU GEB 3213 - FINAL REVIEW

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SEVEN RULES FOR USING THE APOSTROPHEFINAL REVIEWBook ModulesModule 9: Formats for letters and Memos- Block and modified block are the two standard letter formatso Block has the date and signature lined up at left margin. There is no paragraph indentation. The subject line is optional. o Modified block has the date and signature lined up ½ or 2/3 over to the right. The paragraph indentation is option. The subject line is rare.- Salutation: the greeting in a letter. “Dear Mr. Helms”- Complimentary closes: sincerely and cordially- Mixed punctuation: a colon follows the salutation and a comma follows the close. - Open punctuation: omit all punctuation after the salutation and the close- Subject line: tells what the letter is about. - Reference line: refers the reader to the number used on the previous correspondence this letterreplies to, or the order or invoice number which this letter is about. - Letterhead: preprinted stationery with the organization’s name, logo, address, and phone number. - Enclosures: other documents accompanying letters, typically ‘enclosed’ in the envelope- Use Ms. As the courtesy title for a woman, unless she has a professional title, or unless she prefers a traditional title.- Us Mr. as the courtesy title for a man, unless he has a professional title. - In a list of several people, use parallel forms for names. Use either courtesy titles and last namesfor everyone, or use first names for everyone. For example, it’s sexist to use “Mr.” for each man in a document that calls all the women by their first names. - Memos omit both the salutation and the close. Memos never indent paragraphs. Subject lines are required; headings are optional. Each heading must cover all the information until the next heading. Never use a separate heading for the first paragraph. Module 10: Informative and Positive Messages- A subject line is the title of a document. A good dsubject line meets three criteria: it’s specific, it’s reasonably short; and it’s adapted to the kind of message (positive, negative, persuasive). If you cant make the subject both specific and short, be specific. - The subject line for an informative or positive message should highlight any good news and summarize the information concisely. - Intrinsic benefits: benefits that come from the activity or policy itself- Informative and positive messages normally use the following pattern of organization:o Give any good news and summarize the main pointso Give details, clarification, backgroundo Present any negative elements- as positively as possible. Explain any reader benefitso Use a goodwill ending: positive, personal, and forward looking.- Use reader benefits in informative and positive messages wheno You are presenting policieso You want to shape readers attitudes toward the information or toward your organizationo Stressing benefits presents readers motives positivelyo Some of the benefits may not be obvious to readers- Use the PAIBOC questions listed in Module 1 to examine the basic points needed for successful informative and positive messagesModule 11: Negative Messages- Organize negative letters in this wayo Give the reason for the refusal before the refusal itself when you have a reason that readers will understand and accepto Give the negative just once, clearlyo Present an alternative or compromise, if one is availableo End with a positive, forward-looking statement- Organize negative memos to superiors in this wayo Describe the problemo Tell how it happenedo Describe the options for fixing ito Recommend a solution and ask for action- When you must pass along serious bad news to peers and subordinates, use a variation of the pattern to superiorso Describe the problemo Present an alternative or compromise, if one is availableo If possible, ask for input or action- Buffer: a neutral or positive statement that allows you to delay the negative- When the bad news is less serious, use the patter for negative letters unless your knowledge of the reader(s) suggests that another pattern will be more effective. - A good reason must be watertight. Give several reasons only if all are watertight and are of comparable importance. Omit the reason for the refusal if it is weak or if it makes your organization look bad- Giving the reader alternative or a compromiseo Offers the reader another way to get what he or she wantso Suggests that you really care about the reader and about helping to meet his or her needso Enables the reader to reestablish the psychological freedom you limited when you said noo Allows you to end a positive note and to present yourself and your organization as positive, friendly, and helpful- People may respond to limits by striking out in some perhaps unacceptable way. This effort to reestablish freedom is called psychological reactance. - When you give an alternative, give the reader all the information he or she needs to act on it, but don’t take the necessary steps for the reader. Letting the reader decide whether to try the alternative allows the reader to reestablish a sense of psychological freedom. - Use a buffer when the reader values harmony or when the buffer serves a purpose in addition tosimply delaying the negative. A buffer is a neutral or positive statement that llows you to bury the negative message. Buffers must put the reader in a good frame of mind, not give the bad news but not imply a positive answer either, and provide a natural transition to the body of the letter- The kinds of statements most often used as buffers are o Good newso Facts and chronologies of eventso References to enclosureso Thankso Statements of principle- Use the PAIBOC questions listed in Module 1 to examine the basic points needed for successful informative and positive messagesModule 12: Persuasive Messages- Use the direct request pattern wheno The audience will do as you ask without any resistanceo You need a response only from the people who are willing to acto The audience is busy and may not read all the messages receivedo Your organizations culture prefers direct requests- Use the problem-solving pattern wheno The audience is likely to object to doing as you asko You need action from everyoneo You trust the audience to read the entire messageo You expect logic to be more important than emotion in the decision- In a direct request, put the request, the topic of the request, or a question in the subject line. Donot put the request in the subject line of a problem solving


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