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To write effective and appropriate business messages, you need to know your readers. Are you addressing multiple readers or a single reader? How much knowledge do your readers have of your subject, and what issues concern them most? These are just some of the questions to consider before you start writing your message. Closely tied with knowing your readers is knowing your purpose for writing. Do you need to inform customers about a new policy, or do you need to persuade employees to adopt a new business practice? Knowing your purpose will focus your message, making it clear to readers why it is important to them. In addition, identifying who your audience is and what your purpose is will guide you in selecting an appropriate tone for your business message. Tone is a significant element in writing – one that affects how the reader will respond to your message. Tone refers to the writer's attitude toward the reader and subject matter as expressed in the way the message is written. Have you ever received a memo that annoyed you by its tone? For example, it might have been patronizing or too familiar. The key to controlling the tone of your writing is to put yourself in the place of your reader. And you need to carefully choose the words that will create the right tone for your message. When you know who your readers are and what your purpose is, you can tailor your tone to suit them. This will help you create more effective business messages. This course addresses ways to identify your readers and to create messages that convey the appropriate tone for different reader roles. It also outlines how to write effectively for the three most common reasons for writing a business document – to inform, respond, or persuade.

Learning Objectives
  • Identify key characteristics to consider when analyzing the targeted readers of a business document
  • Identify attributes to consider when defining your relationship to the reader
  • Determine the appropriate written message to use for a given situation
  • Recognize the value of knowing the appropriate tone to use to address your readers
  • Use the appropriate writing tone to communicate a written business message for a given purpose and audience
  • Audience

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