Writing eTips UpWrite Press - We Make Writing Work For You
December 2007 UpWrite Press - We Make Writing Work For You

Strong Ideas Through Strong Claims

A claim is simply a statement you make in your writing. Solid business writing is built upon strong claims that have four characteristics: they are precise and clear, use sound logic, are ethically responsible, and are supported with solid evidence. Use three types of claims to make your writing strong:

A claim of truth argues about what is correct. It deals with facts. Avoid exaggeration or hazy “truths” that cannot be proven, and take care to avoid harmful or libelous statements.

Example: Our Grip-Tite floor pads are guaranteed not to slip on any surface.

A claim of value argues about what has worth and is based on a known standard. Avoid personal preference or emotional bias when making these claims.

Example: Adding Grip-Tite floor pads to your assembly floor will provide safer footing for workers.

A claim of policy argues that something should be done. It should be practical and desirable—not just wishful thinking.

Example: Replace your old, loose floor coverings with new, Grip-Tite floor pads.

You can learn more about using strong claims on page 78 of Business and Sales Correspondence, part of the EZ Series of business writing materials from UpWrite Press.

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That Little Extra

Let’s face it, an organized desktop is an efficient desktop. If you know where everything is and can access what you need when you need it, you’ll be more effective in your job. Here are a few hints that can benefit even the most organized desk jockey.

  1. Use baskets to sort your work, and use attractive containers for small items such as paper clips or tacks. (Fast-food cups work, but they’re SO déclassé!)
  2. Throw out anything you no longer need or use, and always shred personal or confidential papers.
  3. Don’t clutter your desk with lots of little stuff. Your kids’ latest artwork? Keep one or two pieces on a shelf or bulletin board. Retire “old” artwork to a file when you’ve received a new piece. Better yet, take historic masterpieces home.
  4. Finally, a live plant can keep you in touch with nature (and help purify the air you breathe); but a droopy, dying one will only depress you. Check your plant weekly (or more often) and water it when the soil feels dry. You’ll both feel a whole lot better!

Whatever your personal style, make your desk work for you, so you can work more efficiently.

Join Our Writers’ Forum

We invite you to be part of our monthly eTips. Each month we pose a question or problem regarding the use of writing in business. Send us your reply along with your name, your company’s name, and a brief description of what you do. We will print the best responses, and you will get your name out to our more than 5,000 subscribers! (We reserve the right to edit your remarks for fit and suitability.)

December Writers’ Forum Topic

How does your company handle holiday greetings? Do you send cards to clients? How do you phrase these notes to apply to diverse populations and avoid offense?

Email your response to writersforum@upwritepress.com. Write "December Writers’ Forum" in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

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eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, Inc., P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2007, UpWrite Press. All rights reserved. Visit www.upwritepress.com.