Written Communication Danica Schieber Introduction RPC at ISU Business Communication Transfer Backgrounds Poll everywhere.com What best prepared you for your job with the city? Introduce yourself and where you are from. Professional Writing What are some words that come to mind when we talk about business/professional writing? Let’s discuss. Problems What are some problems that occur with miscommunication? Famous examples? Day-to-day examples? Audiences External Internal Rhetorical Principles The Rhetorical Situation: Audience Purpose Context ETHOS, PATHOS, LOGOS Source: newliteracyteacher.wordpress.com Ethos - What to look for in writing… How does the author attempt to establish authority / credibility? Expertise on topic / subject? Personal experience related to topic? Documentation / Quality of Sources? Balanced or one-sided? Comprehensive approach to topic? Pathos – What to look for in writing… How often or when does the rhetor play on emotions? Which emotions is the rhetor going for (fears, insecurities, anger etc…)? Are the emotions tied to a motive? Are deeper issues of justice, mercy, social responsibility, acceptance etc…at hand? Are arguments and claims emotionallycharged? Nostalgia stories or anecdotes? Logos – What to look for in writing… May appear as: • • Facts – numbers, statistics, data, science-stuff, research The text tries to show well-reasoned ideas Uses sources: • • Researchers, doctors, specialists, people with credentials Surveys, interviews, the stuff that represents groups of people and their opinions Why use all three at once? Appeals Ethos Pathos If you trust me, I can persuade you to listen… Let me appeal to your emotions /imagination Logos Let me appeal to your intellect Analysis Example- Memo Who is the audience? What do they want/need? Ethos?- build credibility? Pathos?- evoke some kind of emotion? Logos?- logical information? Is anything missing? Basic Document Design 1. 2. Use white space- use lists/bullets Use headings- be specific, keep them parallel (p. 164 and 165) Don’t Do This Improved #3 Limit the use of all caps WHEN PEOPLE READ TEXT IN ALL CAPS, IT LOOKS AS THOUGH IT IS SHOUTING AT YOU! ALSO, NEVER DO THIS! EVER!!! #4 No more than 2 fonts Serif fonts- Times New Roman, Palatino Sans Serif fonts- Tahoma, Arial Fonts can influence how the reader responds to your document. #5 Decide whether to justify margins Full justification- type lines up evenly on both and right and left margins More formal Uses fewer pages Ragged right- margins line up only on the left, but the right lines up in different places More informal Very short line lengths #6 Important stuff in top left and lower right We read in a “Z” pattern (left to right) #7 Use a grid to unify graphic elements 2-3 imaginary columns The graphic elements have to line up #8 Use decoration in moderation Highlighting Decorative Devices Color Specific Genres Memos Minutes MD & A Document Design Memos- typical format? Discuss- Where did we learn formatting? Minutes- format? MD & A- format? Analysis of Minutes This is an example of a city’s minutes. What do we notice about it? What will the audience think of it? How can it be improved upon? Practice Let’s analyze the following example of an MD & A. Rhetorical Situation? How can it be improved upon? Is there anything that the audience would find confusing? Guidelines for Effective Visuals Check the quality of the data Determine the story you want to tell Choose the right visual or data display for the story Follow conventions Use color and decoration with restraint Be accurate and ethical (No Chartjunk!) The right visual for the story Use a table for exact values Use a chart or graph for relationships Use gantt charts to show time lines Use photographs to create a sense of authenticity Use drawings to show processes or dimensions Use maps to emphasize location For each dollar of federal income tax we pay in 2010, the gov’t spends about… Pie Chart Misleading? Wrap-up Most important things to remember when creating any document: The Rhetorical Triangle: Audience Purpose Context Be clear and concise! Questions?