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Your Guides to Excellent Writing

Sample Topics for Workshops

Summary of Sample Topics

KNOWING WHERE YOU STAND

__ Assessing Your Writing Skills

__ Determining Your Level of Competence

__ Identifying Your Personal Writing Goals

__ Making Sure You Know Basic Grammatical Terms

CLARITY AND ORGANIZATION

__ Identifying the Characteristics of Effective Writing

__ Using the Five Elements of Effective Writing

__ Developing Your Thoughts in Well-Structured Paragraphs

__ Using Transitional Expressions To Write More Coherently

__ Getting Organized with an Outline (see “Getting Started”)

__ Using Appropriate Methods of Development (see “Getting Started”)

CORRECTNESS: AVOIDING COMMON ERRORS

__ Eliminating the Three Most Common Errors in Writing

__ Practicing Revising Sentences

__ Choosing and Using the Right Words

__ Knowing When To Spell Compound Words with or without Hyphens

__ Avoiding Distracting Shifts in Tense, Subject, and Voice

__ Using Formats that Make Reading Easier

__ Following the Rules When Working with Numbers

__ Reconnecting Dangling Modifiers

__ Avoiding Common Errors When Writing Internationally

__ Finding the Rules in a Hurry with the U of M Style Manual

CORRECT PUNCTUATION

__ Solving Puzzling Punctuation Problems

__ Punctuating That and Which Clauses

__ Eliminating Unnecessary Commas

__ Punctuating Vertical Lists

WRITING CONCISELY & EDITING FOR WORDINESS

__ Using Five Techniques To Achieve Emphasis and Precision

__ Applying the Five Principles of Concise Writing

__ Omitting Needless Words

__ Recognizing Patterns of Redundancy

__ Avoiding Wordy Expressions

__ Simply Simplifying Sentences

__ Deflating the Overblown Memo

WRITING RELATIONSHIPS: EDITING AND REVISING

__ Offering Constructive Criticism

__ Coping with Overly Zealous Editors

__ Offering Cross-Racial Criticism

__ Analyzing Samples of Not-So-Good Writing

__ Editing Excerpts from Participants’ Samples

__ Proofreading for Accuracy and Correctness

__ Using a Proofreading Checklist To Make Sure It’s Right

__ Creating a Short List of Your Most Frequent Proofreading Errors

__ Making Writing Assignments without Making Enemies

__ Using Teamwork in Collaborative Writing

__ Defining Management’s Role in Promoting Good Writing

GETTING STARTED

__ Practicing Techniques for Overcoming Writer’s Block

__ Knowing the Steps in the Process of Writing

__ Formulating a Communication Strategy

__ Getting Started with an Outline (See “Clarity”)

__ Using Appropriate Methods of Development (See “Clarity”)

SPECIFIC TYPES OF ON-THE-JOB WRITING

__ Using the Three-Step Memo To Write Quickly and Clearly

__ Writing Effective Reports

__ Executing Executive Summaries

__ Creating Attention-Getting Openings for Sales Letters

__ Writing Powerful Sales Letters

__ Using a Sales Letter Checklist

__ Writing Marketing Proposals that Work

__ Getting Fund-Raising Results with Appeal Letters

__ Understanding Direct Mail Terms

__ Using 12 Points of Formatting To Increase Your Response Rate

__ Emulating Enticing Leads in Newsletter Articles

__ Using a Checklist To Write Newsletter Articles

__ Applying the Principles of Good Procedures

__ Writing Progress and Activity Reports

__ Knowing What To Cover in a Performance Appraisal

__ Knowing What To Cover in Letters of Recommendation

__ Experiencing the Joy of Taking Minutes

__ Using the News Release To Spread the Good Word

CORRESPONDENCE: WRITING TO THE AUDIENCE

__ Establishing Guidelines for Sending E-Mail Messages

__ Designing an Effective E-Mail Message

__ Developing an Effective E-Mail Style

__ Understanding E-Mail Jargon

__ Avoiding Worn-Out Business Jargon

__ Opening Your Correspondence with a Human Voice

__ Structuring an Effective Customer-Relations Letter

__ Delivering Bad News without Offending Your Reader

__ Writing a Meaningful Thank-You Letter

PERSUASIVE WRITING: TECHNIQUES AND STRATEGIES

__ Formulating a Communication Strategy

__ Recognizing the Technical Writer’s Predicament

__ Defining Deductive and Inductive Reasoning

__ Using Rhetorical Appeals To Strengthen Your Arguments

__ Respecting Standard Rules of Evidence

__ Using a Five-Part Approach To Structure Your Argument

__ Rebutting Opposing Arguments and Authority

__ Applying Eleven Rules of Persuasion

__ Choosing Classical Rhetoric or Rogerian Persuasion

__ Using Rogerian Persuasion with Hostile Audiences

__ Expanding Your Analytical Vocabulary

__ Grading Your Writing with a Business Writing Score Sheet

CAREER ADVANCEMENT

__ Dusting Off the Old Resume

__ Making Your Case in Letters of Application

__ Resigning without Burning Bridges

MANAGERIAL COMMUNICATION

__ Determining the Traits of a Good Manager

__ Knowing What To Cover in Performance Appraisals (See “Types”)

__ Knowing What To Cover Recommendation Letters (See “Types”)

__ Knowing When and How To Write an Angry Letter

__ Knowing How To Say “No” Diplomatically

__ Writing in Delicate Situations

__ Determining When To Write and When Not To Write

__ Identifying Defensive Versus Non-Defensive Communication

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