Join Judy Steiner-Williams for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know before watching this course, part of Business Writing Strategies.
- To get the most from this course, you will need to consider a variety of writing strategies. Writing is not a one-size-fits-all. Situations differ, readers differ, your reasons for writing differ. And because of these differences, you will be introduced to a variety of strategies: For document arrangement, for language to use, and even for how to get the information to the reader. First, general strategies will be examined. Language and reader benefits, for example. Then the broad principle behind each writing strategy will be introduced.
Next, templates will be analyzed for documents that need the direct strategy, and then for those that need the indirect strategy. Finally, an entire document will be examined to illustrate the principles being applied for seven specific writing situations. And also for a couple document situations that have dual purposes. So this course's strategy is to go from general to specific. Frequently throughout the course, I say "Most readers react this way," and "Most of the time this is a better arrangement," or "Your reader will probably." As you learn about various strategies, understand that we are dealing with human beings, and sometimes we humans don't react the way someone expects us to.
Research has been conducted on how predictable we are. According to a leading group of Northwestern University scientists, human behavior is 93% predictable. Even though these strategies may not work 100% of the time, I'd rather err on 7% of my readers, rather than on 93%. Agree? To help you get the most from this course, you will need to think of these as strategy guidelines, rather than hard and fast rules. Finally, for maximum course value, you will have to have a strategy.
Your personal strategy will have to include being willing to unlearn some perhaps ingrained business writing habits. Accept that when you write it's not about you, the writer, and your needs and wants, that the strategies chosen must be based on the reader. Learn to think from the outside in. And then practice, practice, and practice until the old habits are replaced with new habits.
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- Identify the correct outline for a direct strategy.
- Explain the best strategy for emphasizing good news.
- Give examples of different purposes for business writing.
- Summarize what you should consider when deciding whether to communicate externally.