July 2009
Writing eTips UpWrite Press

Last Chance for 10% Savings!

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Our summer promotion will end on July 31st. Now is the time to get 10% savings on products like these:

  • Write for Business: This clear and easy desktop reference for business writing includes strategies, models, grammar and spelling lists, as well as a bonus CD containing the entire book in PDF form!
  • The WRITE Program Training Kits: The Trainee Kits contain a copy of Write for Business, a 74-page presentation book with strategies and activities, a matching Job Aide (emPOWERED Business Writing or emPOWERED E-Mail Writing), and an online writing pretest and posttest. The Trainer’s Kit contains all of the above, plus answers to the activities, access to online test results, and a customizable PowerPoint presentation.
  • Write for the Job: For job seekers, this 17-page, printable PDF employs the seven traits of good business writing to help you create a great résumé and cover letter and prepare for interviews.

To take advantage of this limited-time 10% discount offer, visit www.UpWritePress.com/store and use discount code cnfuwp.


June Winner in Our Monthly Facebook Drawing

Congratulations to “Business Writing with UpWrite Press” Facebook fan Cathleen Holmes! She’s the June winner of a free copy of Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing & Communicating in the Workplace and the emPOWERED Business Writing Job Aide.

You could be our next winner. We’re giving away a book and a Job Aide each month. To qualify, just become a Facebook fan of “Business Writing with UpWrite Press“ (www.upwritepress.com/facebook) and RSVP to our event invitation each month.


Writing Effective Minutes

Minutes are an important means of recording and remembering what went on during a business meeting. Even if the meeting is recorded on audio or video, written minutes are useful for verifying and sharing what happened. Here are some tips for writing effective minutes:

  • Give all pertinent details. Include relevant personnel—both those at the meeting and those absent. Include the date and place of the meeting, as well as the beginning and ending times. Record all topics discussed, along with the names of those who took part in the discussion.
  • Include outcomes. Note all decisions made or resolutions passed, including details of any votes. Record the names of people who were given assignments or who volunteered to work on a project.
  • Ask for clarification. If necessary, ask a speaker to repeat what he or she said, and always verify figures and facts.
  • Indicate supplementary materials. If handouts or graphics were used, note them in the minutes and attach copies. If an electronic presentation was given, note the content and whether it is available on the company’s Web site.
  • Note any follow-ups. Give details of related meeting dates or deadlines.
  • Disseminate written minutes. After receiving feedback, make any necessary corrections and publish the minutes.

When taking notes, using shorthand and abbreviations can enable you to get everything down. For the sake of accuracy, rewrite the minutes as soon as possible following a meeting.

Finally, keep the real purpose of meeting minutes in mind: Documenting the events of a meeting for future reference and establishing a clear record of ongoing events.

You can find more about creating special forms of writing beginning on page 73 in Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing & Communicating in the Workplace, one of the handy business writing materials from UpWrite Press.

Our Staff Writers’ Blog

Get the latest insights into writing from our staff writers. In June, Dave Kemper wrote about “Story Line,” “Finding the Silver Lining,” and “Voice Lessons”; and Joyce Lee explained “Clauses” and “Prepositional Phrases.” In addition, our “Using the Right Word” series covered nine commonly misused word sets:

Visit our blog for these and other great articles!

That Little Extra:

In minutes, as in all business communications, remember to avoid emotional or loaded words. For example, instead of saying “a nasty argument ensued,” write, “The subject prompted a lengthy discussion.” The idea is to sound as civilized as possible. While business writing needn’t be cold, it should present a predominantly neutral message.


July 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. Use your best writing skills: we reserve the right to edit for content and language.

Television and movies have shown us work situations in which the coworkers become families, sharing more of their lives than just their workday. What is your work situation like? Do you and your coworkers all hang out together after work or show up on one another’s doorstep to share good or bad news? Do you interact at all, or even know each other on a more personal level? Let us know how important your office colleagues are in your life.

E-mail your response to writersforum@upwritepress.com. Write “July 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? Do you have any favorite communication tips 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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Coming in August

Using Graphics in Your Documents

Have a Suggestion?

We are always looking for feedback on our eTips. If you have a suggestion, please tell us.

eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2009,
UpWrite Press. All rights reserved. Visit www.upwritepress.com.