How to Sharpen Your Business Writing Skills

By Nan Levinson | Go to book overview

9
Research:
Fact-Finding Missions

Learning Objectives
By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:
List seven potential sources of information for business writers.
Cite four rules for asking questions to get information.
Give examples of three kinds of questions and explain their usefulness.
Name two major categories and one subcategory of resources for business research available online.
Identify five major kinds of reference material available at libraries.

Before you can write, you must have something to say. Chapters 1 and 2 addressed some of the preparations for writing; this chapter will consider how you gather information that goes into your message.

For much of your business writing, the information you need is already in your head or at hand because you're writing about something you do every day. You've talked to people about the subject, read about it, and analyzed it. But even with familiar topics, you may need to gather, or at least verify, some information before you write.

To find out if sales last April were $250,000 or $275,000, you pull up the monthly sales report in your files. To verify that HipPops rather than ShiBops did well against competitors in the Columbus test market, you ask your assistant. To refresh your memory about who was opposed to expanding the brand nationally, you check the minutes of a recent meeting. All this information is more or less at your fingertips, but these convenient sources are not

-137-

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How to Sharpen Your Business Writing Skills
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • About This Course xi
  • How to Take This Course xiii
  • Pre-Test xv
  • 1: Writng for Your Reader 1
  • 2: Getting Organized 19
  • 3: Types of Business Writing 39
  • 4: Effective Writing 57
  • 5: The Right Word: Appropriate Language 75
  • 6: Language That Works 91
  • 7: Direct and Forceful Writing 105
  • 8: Write and Rewrite: Punctuating and Revising 121
  • 9: Research: Fact-Finding Missions 137
  • 10: Plugging In: Computers and Business Communication 155
  • Bibliography 169
  • Post-Test 171
  • Index 177
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