Organization of Written Communications
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How are Written Communications Organized?
Business writing is done with the basic objective to communicate ideas that are integral to the success of the business. Each message should have components that enhance the understanding of the audience. Ask questions like: who, what, when, where, how, and at times, why.
A approach to organizing written communications is discussed below.
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The organization of the business writing concerns how it is presented to the recipients or the audience. Common organizational methods include:
- Time - Time plays a very important role to play when it comes to structuring the content as per a specific sequence of events. Creating document with a beginning, middle or the end is particularly important.
- Comparison - Comparison should focus on both similarities and dissimilarities and should, therefore, present a very holistic view.
- Contrast The document needs to be developed in a way that it highlights the major diversity between items and concepts using contrasting arguments.
- Cause and Effect The causes and effects of events and the impact or relation that it has with other situation should be clearly outlined.
- Problem and Solution The document should clearly identify a problem and subsequently suggest possible solutions to it and should also detail it. This will have a persuasive impact on the minds of the people.
- Classification (Categorical) The document should be divided into specific categories and structures.
- Biographical The document should mention the acts of specific people who are important to the central topic.
- Space (Spatial) The document should transcend across a spatial structure that is focusing on parts, and also mentioning how they account to a whole.
- Ascending and Descending There needs to be a proper sequence following the ascending and descending order that will take due cognizance of the quality as well as quantity. For instance, one good event may lead to the broader picture or vice versa.
- Psychological - There should be adequate focus on the psychological needs of the audience and the author should keep in mind the nature of the target audience that they are looking at.
- Elimination If the documents are eliminated from all the unwanted elements, then it makes it more open to new possibilities.
- Examples - It is important that logical examples are provided to make the text more interesting as against the use of abstract ideas to validate the points presented in the text.
- Process and Procedure - There needs to be a specific process and standard procedure that needs to be followed.
- Point Pattern The document should follow a particular structure that can help process the arguments, and the procedure should remain in sync with the chronology as well as the organizational pattern that clearly indicates the steps or phases, ultimately leading to the realization of the goal. This is more often called the how-to organizational pattern.
- Definition There needs to be a clear definition that enables the readers to have a clear perspective about the subject. If the introduction carries the concepts and the related elements in a more structured pattern, then it reduces the possibility of being misunderstood.
- Testimonial The documents need to be structured around testimonials. If the documents include the first-hand experience of the person, then the impact can be made in a far effective way and even an abstract idea can be expressed with a lot of clarity.
- Ceremonial The emphasis is laid on formal proceedings, occasion, or communication with the audience.
It can be a daunting task to decide on one specific organizational principle as each of them have different complications and specific solutions.
The writing should present a central idea or objective. This generally comes in the form of a well-defined thesis statement. According to Steven Beebee and Susan Beebee, there needs to be 5 defining features while writing the thesis statements. They are as follows:
- The statement should have a clear agenda
- The sentence should make a complete meaningful whole.
- The sentence should be specific with its choice of arguments and words, and should make use of a certain language.
- There needs to be one single framework that needs to hold across the body
- The audiences needs and values should be given due considerations
After writing the thesis statement and settling on an organizational principle, the next step is to develop an outline of the message. An outline is a format that arranges the central themes and other secondary ideas in a proper order that includes a series of numbers in the roman format as well as the alphabets.
Organizing the Paragraphs
Paragraphs can be regarded as packages that hold all the arguments together in one place. The more attractive the package, the more impactful it can be and the better it can deliver the related information. The opening statement features the main idea, the objective and the topic that it dwells on. It contains the subject that is to be discussed in the body of the text. The text in the body should support the argument of the opening statement as well as the content of the document in whole. There needs to be an organizational pattern that should include the chronology, spatial elements as well as the contrasting arguments in the body of the text. A procedural organizing principle needs to be introduced as well. Making Sentences Effective There are 4 major types of sentence:
- Declarative - To declare something. E.g. You have been selected for the competition.
- Imperative - Imperative sentences are those which carries request. For instance, please take your seat.
- Interrogative - Interrogative sentences are those which ask questions. E.g.: What is your age?
- Exclamatory - Exclamatory sentences are the ones used as sign of exclamation. For instance: What a wonderful surprise that you are here!
There are also other forms of sentences like simple and complex sentences, which may include various combinations of both. In complex sentences, there is one independent clause that functions only with connection to one dependent clause. For instance, the sales figure has increased, and we owe it to our promotional strategies. The compound complex sentence, when used together, enables the speaker or the author to express more complicated ideas with greater clarity. For instance, Although the odds were not in our favor, the sales figure increased and we owe it to our promotional strategies.
Transition is the process through which the audience is able to:
- derive meaning out of the writing;
- draw a meaningful connection between ideas and concepts;
- understand the framework that the author tries to build throughout the document; and
- understand the relationship between different component units.
They are often regarded as connectors that bridge the gap between different ideas, thoughts, or concepts. They also help to show the connections between the central arguments and the supportive arguments that one uses to explain their point, to provide examples for it, or to use some external sources.
The various types of transition include:
- Internal Previews - A very small statement that reflects on the point of reference by directly hinting towards the central argument.
- Signpost - The signposts are used as reminders to help the audience understand the transition from one topic to the other smoothly. The use of sign words or some specific terms can easily draw the readers attention.
- Internal Summaries - Internal summaries cover all the basic information covered in the text and presents the readers with a holistic outlook. It can also help the audience take note of a point made earlier and reiterate the same message as discussed before.
- Sequence - Sequence is a transition that puts the document in order. It appears in a hierarchy, and shows how the development from one topic to the other or from one step to the other ensues rationally.
- Time - Time becomes an important factor in the communication as it follows a chronology to help readers understand what follows next. It is very useful in storytelling articles where the readers can mark how time goes by.
- Addition - The form of transition that develops from a previously discussed point and then result in a much extensive discussion is called addition transition.
- Similarity - Similarity is used in transition to point to the similarities of two events, and ultimately, telling the authors how they contributed to the overall storyline.
- Comparison - When a transition uses comparison, it generally tends to find the similarity as well as dissimilarity between two events, ideas or perceptions. It can also indicate to a common point of departure to the audience.
- Contrast - When the transition is shown by contrast, it essentially means that the major areas of differences and distinctions are highlighted and presented before readers.
- Cause, Effect and Result - The use of Cause, Effect and Result essentially shows the cause of something relating to a particular effect and ultimately, the results are drawn. It can also develop and present the points of communication between two elements and present it to the readers.
- Example - Example is used to make a point clearer or to support an argument in a body of text with evidence. Visual aids are fantastic modes of transition.
- Place - A place is used for transition and it may refer to a particular area often developed as a particular space within the body of text to emphasize on particular points. Visual aids work wonderfully here.
- Clarification - The clarification acts as a point of transition and tries to reinforce or further expand on a particular idea or point. It can also serve as the central thematic point of discussion.
- Concession - Concession in transition is used to show a contrasting side of knowledge or information already presented. It can point to a certain notion that the audience can use as they move further in the story to seek clarification.