eTips Mid-Month MiniTM

November 2006

Welcome to the eTips Mid-Month Mini, an UpWrite Press extra
designed to get you actively involved with writing.

| E-Mail in the News | Business Writers' Forum | Word Pair of the Month | Personal Coaching |
| Coming Next Month | Writing Tips | Suggestions | Our Products | Blended Learning |

"Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret."
—Matthew Arnold

GSB Study: Half of All E-Mails Misunderstood

A study at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business reports that the tone of e-mail messages is misunderstood roughly half the time. This happens despite the fact that senders feel 80 percent confident of their writing and recipients 90 percent confident of their reading. Learn more.

Let Writing Effective E-Mail help you beat the odds!

This month's forum topic:
If you could offer your new hires one writing tip to help them in creating your company's business communication, what would it be?

Thank you to all those who responded to our November eTips question. Below are some of the responses we received.

Writing Aides

Rosalind Hebert of Houston-Galveston Area Council had this to say:

The one tip I would pass along to my new hires (besides correct grammar and punctuation) is organization. Regardless of the type of communication (correspondence, newsletters, instruction manuals, reports, etc.) all should include an introduction that identifies the purpose, a body that communicates the main thrust or "meat" of the communication, and a conclusion that provides a brief summary leading to a decision or a solution in response to the message.

Bud Bilanich, who calls himself "The Common Sense Guy," also suggested several helpful tips. We especially liked the following:

  1. Write the way you speak. Say what you mean simply and directly.
  2. Use the active voice. Say "I recommend," not "It is recommended that. . . ."
  3. Use simple, declarative sentences. Sentences constructed in a subject-verb-object format get your ideas across clearly.
  4. Proofread what you have written. Spelling and grammar-check programs can miss errors. A spell-checker might change a misspelling to an entirely different word. If you write the wrong word (their instead of there), the program might miss it entirely.

WORD PAIR of the MONTH: compose, comprise

These often-confused words have entirely different meanings.

The word "compose" means "to create by putting parts together."

The committee is composed of our research supervisor, two engineers, and a member of the finance department.

The word "comprise" means "to contain or consist of." The whole comprises the parts.

The committee comprises a research supervisor, two engineers, and a member of the finance department.

Tip: It is never correct to write "is comprised of."

Back to top

UpWrite Press Offers Personal Coaching
for Business Writing Skills

What's the quickest way to improve your business writing skills? Personal coaching may be the answer.

UpWrite Press offers a variety of personal coaching plans that teach traits and techniques of business writing.

Our personal coaching delivers real results with minimal investment in time and money. We start with your own writing samples. Our professional writing coaches study and assess them. Then we contact you at the time and place of your choosing and set up a teleconference that gives you concentrated, personalized attention. We discuss your strengths and weaknesses—no scripted observations. We show you how to improve your business writing skills by capturing your ideas, with your style and voice, in the most powerful, clear, and engaging way possible. We show you how to write faster with fewer changes. Plus, we give you strategies for improvement that you can use beyond the session.

Personal coaching is today's "executive summary" for effective business writing. For more information
about this dynamic new approach to training, download our Personal Coaching Plan* document, or call 1-800-261-8258 ext. 17.

*The Personal Coaching Plan document is provided in PDF format. For free PDF reader software, visit

Primary Research

Coming in the December eTips:

Appreciating Diversity at the Holidays

Writing Tips


Four Ways!

Now there are four convenient ways to get our weekly Weblog dose of writing help!

1. Tune In! Now you can hear great writing advice through our weekly podcasts. Simply go to and click on the Podcast image button to find the feed.


2. Blog On! Check out our weekly blog. Each entry will offer a quick way to shape or firm your writing. Think of it as calisthenics for your mind!

3. Get It Delivered! The UpWrite Press RSS news feed delivers our latest Weblog entries directly to your newsreader. Go to and click on the Newsfeed image button.

News feed


4. Subscribe! eTips is like finding a writing coach in your inbox. It includes the best writing information, helpful tips and advice, plus updates on evolving communication practices. Go to and click "eTips Sign Up" in the top menu.

Click the Suggestion Box to make suggestions

Suggestion Box

Our Products

UpWrite Press creates products that help make you a better business writer.

Our Products

Blended Learning for Better Writing

ON-site training
ONline courses
ON-the-shelf books & CDs
ONgoing support

On Target

Back to top

eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, Inc., P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2006, UpWrite Press. All rights reserved. Visit