May 2009
Writing eTips UpWrite Press

Give the gift of a new job!

As graduation day approaches, one question on students' minds is “How can I get a job?” Write for the Job can help your favorite graduates land the employment they have been studying for. This 17-page printable PDF provides guidelines for creating effective résumés and cover letters. It also explains how to get the most out of the interview process and how to follow up for success. Click here to purchase Write for the Job for the discount price of $7.99.

E-Tips Subscribers’ Special: Get an additional 20 percent off when you enter the discount code w4j0409 during checkout!

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UpWrite Press has built its reputation on helping people to write effectively. We want eTips to be as interesting and helpful as possible. With that in mind, we request your feedback to the following questions. (Please paste these questions along with your answers into an e-mail message to

  1. What do you like about eTips? Dislike?
  2. If you use our other products (Write for Business, Writing Effective E-Mail, Job Aides, etc.), do you find them useful? In what ways? What could be improved?
  3. May we quote your responses?

Thank you in advance for any feedback you may give us!


April Winner in Our Monthly Facebook Drawing

Congratulations to “Business Writing with UpWrite Press” Facebook fan Michelle Munro! She’s the April 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. As a special bonus, she will also receive a copy of our new Write for the Job PDF!

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” and RSVP to our event invitation each month.

Creating Global Correspondence

In a global market, your targeted readers may not speak English as a first language. For those readers, it is essential that your message is grammatically clear and poses no threat of misinterpretation. Here are a few ways to keep your message clear and easily understood by someone unfamiliar with the vagaries of the English language.

  • Use plain, objective words. Avoid “loaded” words that carry multiple meanings. Also use easily understood verbs; however, don’t oversimplify. Condescension can be insulting, so strive for a formal tone with precise language.
  • Avoid jokes. Most humor is based on wordplay or on cultural references that might be misunderstood by someone for whom English is a second language. This can cause discomfort, embarrassment, or even offense.
  • Avoid jargon, slang, and abbreviations. These shortcuts can result in confusion or misunderstanding. Use the clearest, most complete explanations possible. If you must use technical terminology, explain it to all readers except those who are definitely familiar with it.
  • Avoid cultural references. A reader in Turkey, for example, may be unfamiliar with American cultural icons or pop references. Also avoid religious or military references that could prove to be sensitive topics.
  • Keep your paragraphs short. That goes for sentences, too. Keeping your paragraphs and sentences concise will save your readers from the intimidation of large, overwhelming chunks of information. Shorter sentences and paragraphs also allow readers to comprhend each idea before moving on to the next.

The most important point about global correspondence is to be sensitive to your reader. Your goal is to help him or her understand your ideas. By writing as clearly and concisely as possible, you will go a long way toward sharing necessary information, promoting trust, and forming a solid business relationship.

You can find more ideas about creating global correspondence on page 151 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 April, Dave Kemper wrote about getting to the point in “Just a Reminder” and about using planners in “A Planning and Organizing Primer”; Joyce Lee detailed basic, perfect, and progressive verb forms in “Let’s talk tense” and “Progressive Tense—Making Progress with Verbs”; and Rob King considered “The 21st-Century Handshake.” Visit our blog for these and other great articles!

That Little Extra:

Singers learn to sing, in part, by listening to other singers. Then they copy and practice various techniques to learn what works best. This method can work for writers, too. By modeling other writers’ sentences, you can get a feel for different structures and apply that knowledge to your own writing. For example, Hemingway often used short, active sentences to create a powerful, terse style. Fitzgerald’s sentences are looser and more rambling, creating a totally different feeling. Pick an author and a sentence and analyze it. Then try to build your own, based on that structure. It’s good practice and will help you develop your own style.

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 6,000 subscribers! (We reserve the right to edit your remarks for fit and suitability.)


May Writers’ Forum Topic

How is writing most often used in your office, and what specific types of writing are used? Do you have specialists within your corporate structure who handle the bulk of your writing, or does everyone share in corporate communications?

Email your response to Write “May Writers’ Forum” in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

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Coming in June

Persuasive Writing

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