December 2009  
UpWrite Press Writing eTips

Write for Work
Reviewers Needed

Do you teach writing at a technical school or community college - or know someone who does? UpWrite Press is seeking chapter reviewers for Write for Work, a new instructional worktext for students pursuing one- or two-year degrees or certification programs.

Current chapters for review include the following:

  • "Your Company," in which students create a company profile as a context for their later writing assignments
  • "E-Mail," detailing best practices for composing quick, effective e-mail messages
  • "Mechanics," covering spelling, capitalization, numbers, and so on, from the "Proofreader's Guide" section

Interested parties can find further details on the reviewer sign-up page at Please feel free to pass this opportunity along to any writing instructors you know.


Supporting Your Claims

All business documents contain claims: they suggest what should be done, argue that a plan is right or effective, or defend the value of a product or idea. But just stating your claim isn't enough--you must provide support. Here are just a few of the kinds of support you might use to convince your reader.

  • Numbers and statistics are powerful persuaders. They provide a clear snapshot of the results or effects of a given action, as in this example:
    We've seen a 22 percent rise in orders since launching our new Web site, which clearly advocates a continued Internet presence.
  • Illustrations and examples clarify ideas, making them more appealing. Consider the following example:
    Our new superfinish flooring can change your dirty, stained garage floor into an attractive, easy-to-clean work space.
  • Expert testimony credits an idea with sure authority, as in this statement:
    This product has been awarded the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
  • Observations and anecdotes connect with readers, making them more comfortable with an idea. Here's an example:
    Maria Lopez used to vacuum her carpets and furniture every day to get rid of the pet hair. Now, a gentle brushing with Undercoat Away keeps her dog Bosco from shedding for an entire week . . . and the vacuuming can wait.

The trick is to use the best support for your claims, giving your ideas maximum clarity and impact.

You can find more about supporting your claims on page 79 in Business and Sales Correspondence, part of the EZ Series, just one of the handy business writing materials from UpWrite Press.

That Little Extra

Technology changes so fast nowadays that you can be hard pressed to keep up. However, when you do get a new cell phone, a portable computer, or some other electronic device, remember to recycle your old electronics . . . after carefully wiping out the personal information they may contain. Ask an IT person to check your old computer and assure you that any sensitive material is completely obliterated and inaccessible. It's best to be safe.


December Writers' Forum Topic

Here's your chance to tell us how your work environment operates. Send us your responses to the forum question below, and we'll print the most interesting in our eTips Mid-Month Mini.

Ah, the holiday season. It's time for the bright lights and music intended to get us through the starkness of winter. However, ever widening cultural diversity calls for sensitivity to others, and that affects our public decorations as well. Has this concern affected your office decorations? How do you decorate to observe the season without risking offense? Let us know how your office avoids discrimination in your holiday celebrations.

E-mail your response to Write "December Writers' Forum" in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

We Want to Hear from You

This is your chance to be part of the UpWrite Press newsletters and blogs. What writing topics do you want to hear about? Have you any favorite communications tips you'd like to share? What words do you constantly mix up? Send us your ideas, and you could see your name in Writing eTips or the Mid-Month Mini.

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Write for Business Blog

Insights from our writing staff. November posts included:

Business Writing

Using the Right Word

Writing Rules


Visit our blog for these and other great articles!

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Coming in January

Ethics in Business Writing

eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2009,
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