Business Communication Process And Product 9th Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey – Test Bank

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Sample Questions Posted Below

 

 

 

 

 

True / False

 

1. The first step of Phase 2 of the 3-x-3 writing process is to conduct research to collect all the needed information.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

2. Searching blogs, Twitter, wikis, and Facebook pages for information is an example of an informal research method.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

3. Talking with your boss to gather information is an example of an informal research method.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

4. The best brainstorming sessions have no time limits.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

5. The focus of a brainstorming session should be on the quality of ideas, not the quantity.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

6. The primary difference between the direct and indirect writing strategies is where the main idea is placed.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

7. One advantage of the indirect organizational strategy is that it saves the time of readers.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

8. Organizing a message effectively involves grouping ideas to show relationships.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

9. The direct organizational pattern should be used when writing to an audience that will be unwilling, uninterested, displeased, disappointed, or hostile.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

10. Madeline is writing an e-mail message to ask about conference facility availability and rates. She should use the direct pattern.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

11. Brody is writing a memo to refuse an employee’s vacation request. He should use the indirect pattern.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

12. A comma splice results when a sentence with two independent clauses is fused together without a conjunction or semicolon.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

13. During freewriting, it is important to edit each sentence before moving on to the next one.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

14. If you have any new ideas is an example of an independent clause.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

15. The first ATM opened near London in 1967 is an example of an independent clause.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

16. The following represents a sentence fragment: With a solid idea and careful planning.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

17. The following contains a comma splice: June is our busiest month, February is our slowest.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

18. The following represents a run-on sentence: Marco uses Google for his research Stephanie prefers Yahoo.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

19. Sentences that average 20 words are most effective for business writing.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

20. Placing the main idea first or last in a sentence is a good way to emphasize the idea.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

21. The verb phrase in the following sentence is in the active voice: Kaitlyn was accepted into an MBA program.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

22. The verb in the following sentence is in the active voice: James responded to the inquiry. 

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

23. The following sentence contains parallel structure:  The policy affected all vendors, suppliers, and those involved with consulting.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

24. The following sentence contains a dangling modifier: Working all night, the report was finished by Robert.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

25. The topic sentence of a paragraph must always appear first.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

26. When you are persuading or delivering bad news to your audience, the indirect paragraph plan is most effective.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

27. To be most attractive and readable, paragraphs in business messages should be limited to eight or fewer printed lines.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

28. A company invites its Facebook fans to suggest ideas for promoting positive interaction both online and in the real world.  This is an example of crowdsourcing.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

29. Crowdfunding is an online practice that applies only in business-to-business transactions; it is not appropriate to use with family and friends.

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False

 

30. One question important to ask yourself in shaping a written message is What will happen if the receiver doesn’t do what I ask?

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True

 

Multiple Choice

 

31. Which of the following is done during Phase 2 of the writing process?

  a. Adapting
  b. Proofreading
  c. Analyzing
  d. Organizing

 

ANSWER:   d

 

32. Melanie is working on a report and has reached Phase 2 of the 3-x-3 writing process. What should she do first in this second phase?

  a. Write the rough draft of her report.
  b. Decide how to organize the report.
  c. Analyze her purpose and audience.
  d. Gather any necessary information.

 

ANSWER:   d

 

33. Alex is working on a report and has reached Phase 2 of the 3-x-3 writing process. What question should he ask while collecting information during this second phase?

  a. What does the receiver need to know about the topic?
  b. What is the receiver to do and how is the receiver to do it?
  c. When must the receiver do it?
  d. Alex should ask all of these questions.

 

ANSWER:   d

 

34. Brooke is working on a business proposal for a prospective client. What is the primary question Brooke should ask as she gathers information for her project?

  a. How much money does the client have?
  b. What does the client need to know about this topic?
  c. Does the client have a good reputation in the community?
  d. How can I make myself look good in the eyes of my client?

 

ANSWER:   b

 

35. Which of the following is an informal research method?

  a. Searching the Web
  b. Looking in the company files for information
  c. Conducting a scientific experiment to gather information under controlled circumstances
  d. Searching for information in public and college libraries

 

ANSWER:   b

 

36. Brandon is preparing a short informational report for his boss and wants to begin his research by conducting informal research. What should he consider doing?

  a. Searching through his company’s files for background information and previous correspondence
  b. Talking with his boss to get more information about the type of information his boss would like included in the report
  c. Conducting an informal online survey using a tool like Survey Monkey
  d. Brandon should consider doing all of these.

 

ANSWER:   d

 

37. Which of the following is an example of a formal research method?

  a. Hank talks with his boss to decide what items to include on the meeting agenda.
  b. Amy conducts a Web search to find information about a competitor’s products.
  c. Galen looks in the company files for copies of minutes from previous meetings.
  d. Emily calls a few of her colleagues to learn how they feel about carpooling.

 

ANSWER:   b

 

38. Angelica has been asked to learn how many pedestrians walk by a specific location that her company is considering for a new sporting goods retail shop. Probably the most useful way to research this information would be by ________.

  a. manually searching resources in her public library
  b. searching the Web
  c. investigating primary sources
  d. conducting a scientific experiment with controlled variables

 

ANSWER:   c

 

39. Which of the following scenarios would most likely require a scientific experiment?

  a. A research firm wants to find out how many parents plan to send their children to private schools.
  b. A company wants to measure reactions to the price of a new flavored vitamin water product to learn how much consumers would be willing to pay.
  c. A student wants to find out how a business leader got his start in the industry.
  d. A development team has to decide which of four possible locations would be best for a new fast-food restaurant.

 

ANSWER:   b

 

40. Which of the following statements about formal and informal research is most accurate?

  a. Long reports and complex business problems generally require some use of formal research.
  b. Because most of its information is not credible, the Web should not be used for research for business reports.
  c. Interviewing your target audience is an example of formal research.
  d. ​Scientific experiments are not applicable to business writing.

 

ANSWER:   a

 

41. Chuck is part of a team identifying ideas to cut expenses. The team has decided to hold a brainstorming session. Which of the following strategies would likely produce the best results?

  a. Discourage wild thinking; all ideas generated should be rational and feasible.
  b. Critique and evaluate each idea as it is presented during the brainstorming session.
  c. Set an established time limit.
  d. To encourage the maximum number of ideas, avoid defining the problem at the beginning of a brainstorming session.

 

ANSWER:   c

 

42. One of the most important tasks in preparing well-organized messages is ________.

  a. using a direct organizational pattern
  b. providing clear recommendations
  c. including ample tables and charts
  d. grouping similar ideas together

 

ANSWER:   d

 

43. Organizing information includes two processes: ________ and ________.

  a. researching; listing
  b. grouping; strategizing
  c. brainstorming; composing
  d. drafting; revising

 

ANSWER:   b

 

44. Which of the following documents would most likely use an introduction/problem, facts/findings, conclusions, and recommendations organization?

  a. E-mail message
  b. Analytical report
  c. Proposal
  d. Procedural document

 

ANSWER:   b

 

45. Which of the following documents would most likely use an introduction, a proposed solution, staffing, a schedule and/or costs, and authorization organization?

  a. E-mail message
  b. Analytical report
  c. Proposal
  d. Informational report

 

ANSWER:   c

 

46. Michelle is preparing an outline to help her write a report to her supervisor about her recent attendance at a technology symposium. Which of the following should she do?

  a. Divide the main topic into at least ten major components.
  b. Break each major component into at least two subpoints.
  c. Ask her supervisor what the title of the report should be.
  d. Don’t worry if some of the components overlap in content.

 

ANSWER:   b

 

47. You are preparing an outline for your report on Web security in the workplace. Which of the following should be a major category for this outline?

  a. Spam
  b. Web Security Threats
  c. Phishing
  d. Adware and Spyware

 

ANSWER:   b

 

48. An organizational pattern that presents the main idea followed by details, explanation, and evidence is the ________.

  a. indirect organizational pattern
  b. direct organizational pattern
  c. geographical organizational pattern
  d. chronological organizational pattern

 

ANSWER:   b

 

49. Josh knows that his co-workers will be pleased by the creation of a new leave-reporting system that will save them time.  Which organizational pattern should he use in writing the message about the new system?

  a. indirect pattern.
  b. geographical pattern.
  c. chronological pattern.
  d. direct pattern.

 

ANSWER:   d

 

50. Peter is writing an e-mail message to his staff that the new computers promised to arrive on Monday will be delayed for two weeks.  He knows that many people will be frustrated because their current computers are slow and outdated.  Which organizational pattern should his message follow?

  a. direct pattern
  b. indirect pattern
  c. chronological pattern
  d. geographical pattern

 

ANSWER:   b

 

51. Taylor is writing to deny an employee’s request to work from home three days a week. She should write the letter using the ________.

  a. direct pattern
  b. geographical pattern
  c. indirect pattern
  d. chronological pattern

 

ANSWER:   c

 

52. Which of the following should be organized in a direct pattern?

  a. An online manual showing visitors how to download a software program
  b. A proposal submitted to the board of directors to add a wellness program to the company’s benefits package
  c. An e-mail message to employees telling them that health benefits will be cut
  d. A letter denying a customer’s claim about a defective product

 

ANSWER:   a

 

53. One effective way to overcome writer’s block is to ________.

  a. stare at the page until you think of something to write
  b. concentrate on finding the right words and perfect sentence structure before putting your ideas on paper
  c. work in a quiet environment in which you can concentrate
  d. check your Facebook page to see if anything inspires you

 

ANSWER:   c

 

54. Suzanne has been told that freewriting may help her overcome writer’s block. What does freewriting mean?

  a. Getting your thoughts down quickly and refining them later
  b. Avoiding getting bogged down with the perfect words
  c. Imagining that you’re talking to the reader
  d. All of the above

 

ANSWER:   d

 

55. Elizabeth wants to avoid monotony and add spark to her business messages. What should she do?

  a. Include at least one compound-complex sentence per paragraph.
  b. Start each paragraph with a question to generate interest.
  c. Avoid short sentences (four to six words) because they sound choppy.
  d. Use a variety of sentence types.

 

ANSWER:   d

 

56. Clauses that begin with words like although, since, because, when, and if are usually ________.

  a. independent
  b. dependent
  c. direct
  d. indirect

 

ANSWER:   b

 

57. Which of the following is a clause?

  a. On Monday
  b. Will be presenting
  c. When you were on vacation
  d. On our Facebook page​

 

ANSWER:   c

 

58. Which of the following is a dependent clause?

  a. On the 15th of this month
  b. Except for our main competitor
  c. Since the company began selling stock to the public
  d. Your interview went well

 

ANSWER:   c

 

59. Which of the following is an independent clause?

  a. After he signed the contract
  b. Of the two choices
  c. Please call with any questions you have
  d. If you have any questions

 

ANSWER:   c

 

60. When dependent clauses precede independent clauses, they always are followed by a ________.

  a. period
  b. semicolon
  c. comma
  d. colon

 

ANSWER:   c

 

61. Which of the following is a compound sentence?

  a. If you have any questions, please e-mail me.
  b. Before the meeting ended, Sofia shared her new product idea; consequently, her ideas were included in the meeting minutes.
  c. Raymond applied for the position, and he was called for an interview two days later.
  d. It’s highly likely that your request for leave will be approved.

 

ANSWER:   c

 

62. What type of sentence fault results when a writer joins two independent clauses with a comma?

  a. Run-on sentence
  b. Comma splice
  c. Fragment
  d. Simple

 

ANSWER:   b

 

63. What type of sentence fault results when a writer punctuates a broken-off part of a complex sentence as if it were a complete sentence?

  a. Run-on sentence
  b. Comma splice
  c. Fragment
  d. Simple

 

ANSWER:   c

 

64. What type of sentence fault results when a writer joins two independent clauses without using a conjunction or semicolon?

  a. Run-on sentence
  b. Comma splice
  c. Fragment
  d. Simple

 

ANSWER:   a

 

65. Which of the following sentences contains a comma splice?

  a. Miguel will write the document, but Alicia will proofread it.
  b. Miguel will write the document, Alicia will proofread it.
  c. Miguel will write the document; however, Alicia will proofread it.
  d. Miguel will write the document. Alicia will proofread it.

 

ANSWER:   b

 

66. Which of the following is a sentence fragment?

  a. Although we expect sales to increase next quarter.
  b. We expect sales to increase next quarter.
  c. Although we expect sales to increase next quarter, we can’t afford to hire any additional employees right now.
  d. We can’t afford to hire any additional employees right now.

 

ANSWER:   a

 

67. Which of the following is a run-on sentence?

  a. Many companies use Facebook to connect with customers; some even use Twitter.
  b. Many companies use Facebook to connect with customers, and some even use Twitter.
  c. Many companies use Facebook to connect with customers some even use Twitter.
  d. Many companies use Facebook to connect with customers. Some even use Twitter.

 

ANSWER:   c

 

68. Monica wants to make sure that her sentences are easily understood. How long should she make them?

  a. An average of 20 words
  b. At least 30 words
  c. No more than 8 words
  d. An average of 28 words

 

ANSWER:   a

 

69. Underscoring, bolding, and italicizing are ________ ways to stress important ideas in writing.

  a. stylistic
  b. mechanical
  c. grammatical
  d. general

 

ANSWER:   b

 

70. Franco wants to emphasize the new features of a product he is selling. What should he do?

  a. Use vivid words to describe the features.
  b. Put the most important information in the middle of his sentences.
  c. Use the passive voice to describe the features.
  d. Put the most important information in a dependent clause.

 

ANSWER:   a

 

71. Which sentence best emphasizes the attorney?

  a. The closing arguments were delivered by the attorney.
  b. Because the attorney is ready, she will give her closing arguments today.
  c. Before the trial resumed, the attorney practiced for her closing arguments.
  d. The attorney delivered the closing arguments.

 

ANSWER:   d

 

72. For what purpose should the passive voice be used?

  a. To strengthen most business writing
  b. To de-emphasize bad news
  c. To emphasize the doer of the action
  d. To lengthen the message

 

ANSWER:   b

 

73. For what purpose should the active voice be used?

  a. To strengthen most business writing
  b. To emphasize an action rather than a person
  c. To de-emphasize negative news
  d. To conceal the doer of the action

 

ANSWER:   a

 

74. Select the sentence with an active-voice verb.

  a. The sales meeting has been scheduled for Friday.
  b. Many companies now offer wellness programs.
  c. The contract must be signed by all parties.
  d. The applicant was contacted by the hiring manager.

 

ANSWER:   b

 

75. Select the sentence with the passive-voice verb.

  a. Michael Lewis wrote a book about the financial crisis.
  b. Many new grads begin their job search on LinkedIn.
  c. Even with little experience, Andrew applied for the position.
  d. The website was redesigned by a team of professionals.

 

ANSWER:   d

 

76. Which of the following sentences demonstrates parallelism?

  a. In my current position, I interact with customers, input orders, and am responsible for updating the company’s Facebook page.
  b. Our new CEO’s objectives are to improve employee morale, to boost revenues, and to enhance community relations.
  c. Collecting, organizing, and documentation — these are important steps in researching a problem.
  d. The person we hire for this position should be flexible, reliable, and have good organizational skills.

 

ANSWER:   b

 

77. To apply for a job, a résumé must be submitted contains ________.

  a. an indirect modifier
  b. the active voice
  c. a dangling modifier
  d. a limiting clause

 

ANSWER:   c

 

78. Which of the following statements about paragraphs is most accurate?

  a. A paragraph is a group of sentences about one idea.
  b. The primary idea always appears first in a paragraph.
  c. Well-constructed paragraphs can discuss more than one topic.
  d. All of these statements are accurate.

 

ANSWER:   a

 

79. Most business messages use the ________ paragraph plan because it clarifies the subject immediately.

  a. dovetailing
  b. pivoting
  c. indirect
  d. direct

 

ANSWER:   d

 

80. Shauna is writing a document that will compare and contrast different retirement plans. She will most likely use the ________ paragraph plan.

  a. indirect
  b. pivoting
  c. transitional
  d. direct

 

ANSWER:   b

 

81. A paragraph is coherent when _________.

  a. one idea logically leads to the next
  b. it contains fewer than ten sentences
  c. it avoids dovetailed sentences
  d. ​it contains more than one main idea

 

ANSWER:   a

 

82. Marcia tends to avoid traditional brainstorming with her six-person team because it usually results in one or two people monopolizing the conversation.  An alternative technique she might try to generate creative ideas among the team is called ________.

  a. round robin
  b. crowdstorming
  c. brainwriting
  d. Web conferencing

 

ANSWER:   c

 

83. In asking consumers what career its famous Barbie doll should pursue next, toymaker Mattel was using ________.

  a. crowdsourcing
  b. crowdstorming
  c. crowdfunding
  d. crowdmarketing

 

ANSWER:   a

 

84. In planning their wedding, a couple creates a website that will allow friends and relatives to donate money to their honeymoon expenses in lieu of traditional wedding gifts.  This is an example of ________.

  a. crowdsourcing
  b. crowdstorming
  c. crowdfunding
  d. crowdmarketing

 

ANSWER:   c

 

85. A local coffee shop offers a contest for fans to create its new iced coffee concoction by submitting recipes to a website.  The creators of the top three recipes are then invited into the store to make taste-size samples for customers, who will determine the winner by voting.  This is an example of ________.

  a. crowdsourcing
  b. crowdstorming
  c. crowdfunding
  d. crowdmarketing

 

ANSWER:   b

 

86. Using vivid words, labeling the main idea, and strategically placing the key idea in a sentence are examples of ________ ways to stress important ideas.

  a. stylistic
  b. mechanical
  c. grammatical
  d. general

 

ANSWER:   a

 

87. ________ expressions in paragraphs enable the reader to anticipate what’s coming, reduce uncertainty, and speed comprehension.

  a. Sustaining
  b. Transitional
  c. Forecasting
  d. ​Introductory

 

ANSWER:   b

 

88. Sentences are _________ when an idea at the end of one connects with an idea at the beginning of the next.

  a. transitioned
  b. ​fused
  c. dovetailed
  d. ​fragmented

 

ANSWER:   c

 

89. Pronouns can help build continuity within a paragraph, but they often need a(n) _________ with them to make their meaning clear.

  a. verb
  b. noun
  c. ​adverb
  d. ​adjective

 

ANSWER:   b

 

90. Jose is suggesting to the dean of his business school that a new course be added at his university after learning about new trends during his internship.  He begins his message with reasons and supporting documentation, followed by a topic sentence stating his recommendation. He is using the ________ paragraph plan.

  a. indirect
  b. pivoting
  c. transitional
  d. direct

 

ANSWER:   a

 

Completion

 

91. The second phase of the 3-x-3 writing process includes researching, organizing, and ________ .

ANSWER:   drafting

 

92. Looking in company files and talking with your boss are examples of ________ research methods.

ANSWER:   informal

 

93. Accessing electronic resources, manually searching library resources, investigating primary sources, and conducting scientific experiments are all examples of ________ research methods.

ANSWER:   formal

 

94. ________ involves writing out ideas rather than speaking them when generating ideas within a small group.

ANSWER:   Brainwriting

 

95. When you expect the audience to be pleased, mildly interested, or neutral, use the ________ pattern of organization.

ANSWER:   direct

 

96. When you expect the audience to be unwilling, uninterested, displeased, disappointed, or hostile, the ________ pattern of organization is appropriate.

ANSWER:   indirect

 

97. In the ________ organizational pattern, the main idea comes first, followed by details, explanation, or evidence.

ANSWER:   direct

 

98. Writing quickly so that you can get your thoughts down and refine them in later versions is known as ________.

ANSWER:   freewriting

 

99. When the contract is approved is an example of a(n) _________ clause.

ANSWER:   dependent

 

100. Hard-working employees are rewarded for their efforts is an example of a(n) ________ clause.

ANSWER:   independent

 

101. Christopher will be attending a training workshop, and he hopes to learn a lot about new uses for social media is an example of a ________ sentence.

ANSWER:   compound

 

102. Because she wants to be promoted into a management position, Jessica is taking business courses at her local community college is an example of a ________ sentence.

ANSWER:   complex

 

103. A comma splice results when a writer joins two ________ clauses with a comma.

ANSWER:   independent

 

104. The sentence The presentation was given by Barry is in the ________ voice.

ANSWER:   passive

 

105. ________ is a skillful writing technique that involves balanced writing. Sentences use similar structures for similar ideas so that their parts are easy to read and understand.

ANSWER:   Parallelism

 

106. A(n) ________ is a group of sentences about one idea.

ANSWER:   paragraph

 

107. When generating ideas, ________ is the practice of requesting input or services online from unknown crowd members rather than from traditional employees or contractors.

ANSWER:   crowdsourcing

 

108. ________ involves requiring a crowd to evaluate and filter their ideas into a viable product or plan.

ANSWER:   Crowdstorming

 

109. Capitalizing on the convenience of the Internet, ________ is the practice of soliciting contributions from a group of friends or strangers to finance a project, cause, or business venture.

ANSWER:   crowdfunding

 

110. Well-written paragraphs are ________ , which means that one idea leads logically to the next.

ANSWER:   coherent

 

Essay

 

111. Researching may involve informal or formal methods. List and describe two informal research methods and two formal research methods.

ANSWER:   Student answers will vary but should include two in each category below.

Informal Research Methods:

  Search your company’s files: Before asking others for help, business writers should see what they can find themselves. For many routine messages, previous documents can help with content and format.

  Talk with the boss: Get information from the individual making the assignment to find out what that person knows about the topic, what slant should be taken, and what other sources he or she suggests.

  Interview the target audience: Talk with individuals at whom the message is aimed. They can provide clarifying information that tells you what they want to know and how you should shape your remarks.

  Conduct an informal survey: Gather unscientific but helpful information via questionnaires or telephone surveys.

Formal Research Methods:

  Access electronic sources: College and public libraries provide retrieval services that permit access to a wide array of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, and other online literature. In addition, you could conduct an online Google search turning up thousands of hits, which can be overwhelming.

  Search manually: If a business writer needs background or supplementary information, he or she will probably conduct manual research in public or college libraries. These traditional resources include books and newspapers, magazines, and journals. Other sources are encyclopedias, reference books, handbooks, dictionaries, directories, and almanacs.

  Investigate primary sources: To develop firsthand, primary information for a project, business writers should go directly to the source. Primary sources can be investigated using observation, questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups.

  Conduct scientific experiments: Another source of primary data is experimentation. Instead of merely asking for the target audience’s opinion, scientific researchers present choices with controlled variables. The results of such experimentation would provide valuable data for decision making and problem solving.

 

112. Compare and contrast the direct and indirect patterns of organization. What are the benefits of each pattern? When would each pattern be used in business writing?

ANSWER:   Student answers will vary.

Two organizational patterns provide plans of action for typical business messages: the direct pattern and the indirect pattern. The primary difference between the two patterns is where the main idea is placed. In the direct pattern, the main idea comes first, followed by details, explanation, or evidence. In the indirect pattern, the main idea follows the details, explanation, and evidence. The pattern you select is determined by how you expect the audience to react to the message.

When you expect the reader to be pleased, mildly interested, or, at worst, neutral, use the direct pattern. Typical business messages that follow the direct pattern include routine requests and responses, orders and acknowledgments, nonsensitive memos, e-mail messages, informational reports, and informational oral presentations.

This direct pattern has at least three advantages:

  Saves the reader’s time. Many of today’s businesspeople can devote only a few moments to each message. Messages that take too long to get to the point may lose their readers along the way.

  Sets a proper frame of mind. Learning the purpose up front helps the reader put the subsequent details and explanations in perspective. Without a clear opening, the reader may be thinking, “Why am I being told this?”

  Reduces frustration. Readers forced to struggle through excessive verbiage before reaching the main idea become frustrated. They resent the writer. Poorly organized messages create a negative impression of the writer.

When you expect the audience to be uninterested, unwilling, displeased, or perhaps even hostile, the indirect pattern is more appropriate. This approach works well with three kinds of messages: (1) bad news, (2) ideas that require persuasion, and (3) sensitive news, especially when being transmitted to superiors. Typical business messages that could be developed indirectly include letters and memos that refuse requests, deny claims, and disapprove credit. Persuasive requests, sales letters, sensitive messages, and some reports and oral presentations also benefit from the indirect strategy.

The indirect pattern has three advantages:

  Respects the feelings of the audience. Bad news is always painful, but the trauma can be lessened when the receiver is prepared for it.

  Facilitates a fair hearing. Messages that may upset the reader are more likely to be read when the main idea is delayed. Beginning immediately with a piece of bad news or a persuasive request may cause the receiver to stop reading or listening.

  Minimizes a negative reaction. A reader’s overall reaction to a negative message is generally improved if the news is delivered gently.

 

113. Describe the four sentence types and write an original example of each.

ANSWER:   Student answers will vary and an original example should be given for each sentence type:

  Simple sentence: Contains one complete thought (an independent clause) with a subject and predicate verb.

  Compound sentence: Contains two complete but related thoughts. May be joined by (a) a conjunction such as “and,” “but,” or “or”; (b) a semicolon; or (c) a conjunctive adverb such as “however,” “consequently,” and “therefore.”

  Complex sentence: Contains an independent clause (a complete thought) and a dependent clause (a thought that cannot stand by itself). Dependent clauses are often introduced by words such as “although,” “since,” “because,” “when,” and “if.” When dependent clauses precede independent clauses, they always are followed by a comma.

  Compound-complex sentence: Contains at least two independent clauses and one dependent clause.

 

114. Explain the difference between mechanical and stylistic strategies for stressing important ideas in business writing.  Then, (a) discuss the three stylistic options discussed in the chapter for placing the main idea to ensure that it is emphasized and (b) provide an example of each.

ANSWER:   Student answers will vary.

You can stress prominent ideas mechanically by underscoring, italicizing, or boldfacing text.  You can stress ideas stylistically by using vivid words, labeling the main idea, and placing the main idea strategically within the sentence.

The three placement options include placing the main idea: (a) in the first or last sentence, (b) in a simple sentence or in an independent clause, and (c) as the subject of the sentence.  Students examples of each will vary.

 

115. Compare and contrast the three classic paragraph plans discussed in your book. When would each be used?

ANSWER:   Student answers will vary.

Direct Plan: Paragraphs arranged in the direct plan begin with the main sentence, followed by supporting sentences. Most business messages use this paragraph plan because it clarifies the subject immediately. This plan is useful whenever you must define (a new product or procedure), classify (parts of a whole), illustrate (an idea), or describe (a process). Simply start with the main sentence; then strengthen and amplify that idea with supporting ideas.

Pivoting Plan: Paragraphs arranged in the pivoting plan start with a limiting sentence that offers a contrasting or negative idea before delivering the main sentence. The pivoting plan is especially useful for comparing and contrasting ideas. In using the pivoting plan, be sure you emphasize the turn in direction with an obvious “but” or “however.”

Indirect Plan: Paragraphs arranged in the indirect plan start with the supporting sentences and conclude with the main sentence. This useful plan enables you to build a rationale, a foundation of reasons, before hitting the audience with a big idea⎯possibly one that is bad news. It enables you to explain your reasons and then, in the final sentence, draw a conclusion from them. This indirect plan works well for describing causes followed by an effect.

 

 

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