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  • SAY WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY Clarity and Conciseness in Professional Writing

    Presented by: Katie Shaw, Director of Enrollment Services Adventist University of Health Sciences

  • Presentation Overview

    Define professional writing Importance of good grammar Audience recognition Email writing and etiquette Punctuation Write with active voice Resume tips

  • About Me

    Been at Adventist University of Health Sciences (ADU) for almost 9 years

    BA in English from Andrews University (AU) Was the News Writer at AU for 2 years Have taught Technical Writing at ADU for 7 years Edit most marketing documents for ADU Grammar nerd!

  • Professional Writing Defined

    Composed primarily in the work environment for supervisors, colleagues, subordinates, vendors, and customers. Students Parents Constituents

  • Grammar

  • Grammar Counts

    We work in higher education Direct correlation between English I grades and high

    graduation GPAs (recent ADU study)

  • Be sure to revise!

    Writing can be personal Importance of revision

    Your first draft is never your best Read it over Examples of good writing have always gone through

    several revisions Dont be self-conscious about your writing

    perfection comes out of revision!

  • Audience

  • Audience Importance

    Its very important to identify your audience High tech

    n People who are in your same field or same department and know your lingo. You are writing to professional peers.

    Low tech n Coworkers in other departments who know some of what you do

    but are not as familiar with terms and procedures as you are.

    Lay n People who neither work for your company nor have a lot of

    knowledge of your field Multiple

    n You have to write for a variety of audiences - could be all three

  • Email

  • Email

    Where did you learn how to write effective emails? No extensive instruction at the college level

  • Email Grammar

    Why worry about grammar its just email! nEmail is the primary form of professional writing now. nEmail can be used as a legal document. nNever send an email that you wouldn't be comfortable

    seeing on the front page of a newspaper.

  • Email Cautions

    Reply all Do you really need to respond to everyone?

    Blind copies (bcc) Person blind copied can respond to all

    nMay not realize they were blind copied

    Better to copy (cc) so everyone knows whats going on

  • Clarity and Conciseness in Email

    Provide specific detail Avoid using vague words like "recently" or "some" Answer the reporter's questions

    Who, what, where, when, why, and how

  • Important Email Components

    Identify yourself (your signature should do this effectively)

    Provide an effective subject line Avoid uninformative subject lines like "Hi," "What's new," or

    "Important message." Instead, use something like "Your ADU application file is

    almost complete!"

    Keep your email brief Average attention span is 9 seconds or less

    Use bulleted lists if possible Readers tend to skim or scan for important info

  • Proofreading

    Let someone else read it Print it Let it sit Use technology (spell check, grammar check) Read it out loud

  • Netiquette

    Be courteous Avoid angry email messages

    Be professional You represent your employer with every email sent

    from your work address

  • Punctuation

    Commas, apostrophes, and colons are small but can make a big impact!

  • Resources

  • Make writing inclusive

    Acronyms/abbreviations Is this an acronym everyone would know? (MRI, CIA,

    SCUBA, etc.) Example: At ADU, you can become part of the HBS

    department for Pre-Med or study nursing and set your sights on the NAP!

    Use parenthetical definitions or just spell it out

  • Multicultural Audiences

    Avoid idioms and jargon (crunch time, guesstimate, through the roof)

    Spell out dates 7-1-13

    n In some countries this would be interpreted not as July 1, 2013, but as January 7, 2013

  • Paint a Picture

    Use active voice when writing Students can participate in a variety of ministries. When youre a student at ADU, you can participate in

    ministries such as SALT (Service and Love Together), Ecclesia (Friday vespers), Circle Up (daily prayer), and many others!

  • Resumes

  • Resume Design

    Look at other resumes before you begin Use Word templates Good white space Try to keep to one page but can go over Choose appropriate fonts (no more than two in your

    document) Avoid sentences Reader-friendly access (use bulleted lists) Begin lists with verbs (Accomplished, led, performed, etc.) Quantify your achievements

  • Resumes

    Begin by clearly identifying yourself and giving contact information

    List career objectives Summary of qualifications

    Tailor your resume to speak to the job you are applying for

    Overview of skills, abilities, accomplishments, and attributes

    Strengths relative to the job you're seeking

  • Resumes

    Education Omit high school, any colleges attended from which

    you did not graduate

    Employment Start with most recent employment (reverse

    chronological) Omit jobs that have no relation to the position you're

    seeking unless that's all you've done (leave out McDonald's and Taco Bell)

  • Resumes

    Professional Skills/Accomplishments Certifications Awards received Recognition

    Memberships Professional affiliations

  • Summary

    Important to say what you mean and mean what you say in professional writing

    Good writing skills can open doors to new opportunities

  • References

    Einsohn, Amy (2011). The copyeditors handbook: A guide for book publishing and corporate communication. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Gerson, Sharon J. & Gerson, Steven M. (2013). Technical communication: Process and product. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

    Schuman, Nancy (2008). The everything resume book. Avon, Mass.: Adams Media.

  • Contact Info

    Katie Shaw

    Director of Enrollment Services

    Adventist University of Health Sciences


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