April 2012  
UpWrite Press Writing eTips

Test Your Writing Acumen

This month, let’s take a look at phrases. A phrase is a group of related words that lacks a subject, a predicate, or both. The sentences below include phrases in italics. Identify which is a noun phrase, a verb phrase, a prepositional phrase, an appositive phrase, and an absolute phrase. (Hint: There’s one of each.)

  1. We will discuss schedule readjustments after the meeting.
  2. The issues will be settled by next week.
  3. My financial adviser and I decided to avoid investing in that company.
  4. Its walls trembling from the earthquake’s shock, the building began to crumble.
  5. My brother, a champion swimmer, will make a good camp director.

Answers can be found near the end of this newsletter.

Writing the Credit Application

A letter of credit application usually indicates that your business is growing fast enough to require a larger line of credit. Your goal is twofold: (1) to present your ability to handle the additional credit and (2) to assure the reader that the arrangement will be mutually beneficial.

A good letter of credit application, like all good correspondence, includes an effective beginning, middle, and ending.

  • The opening should be positive, including one or two highlights to remind the reader of your relationship and history together.
  • The middle explains the purpose of the letter, stating in brief, separate paragraphs (a) your need for new or expanded credit, (b) the positive aspects of the arrangement for the reader, and (c) a brief overview of your credit history.
  • The closing should suggest a possible timeframe for a response, perhaps mention one more benefit to the reader, and end by thanking the reader for considering your request.

Edit your letter to be sure your message is clear and your tone is positive. Then proofread the final copy to ensure that your mechanics are perfect.

You can find more information about writing persuasive messages beginning on page 123 in Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing and Communicating in the Workplace.

Trainer Tips

We all can appreciate the visual excitement that an interesting PowerPoint slide show brings to a training session. But we also know that technology is constantly evolving. With this in mind, keep your eyes open for new programs that will add interest to your sessions. One such program is Prezi (something like PowerPoint on steroids), which delivers a flexible, dynamic presentation that will catch your viewers’ attention and hold on tight. Don’t be afraid to explore new and exciting ways to present your information—your trainees will thank you…and probably retain more information.

That Little Extra

Language is divided into three major areas: grammar, which is the structure of the language (including parts of speech, agreement, the correct use of modifiers, and more); mechanics, which is the technical arrangement of the language (including spelling, punctuation, and capitalization); and usage, which is the way words and phrases are used to convey meaning. These three parts work together to create the rule-based system we call language.


April 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.

This month’s forum is for readers who are or have been small-business owners. Please share with us either a mistake you made when starting up or something you know now and wish you had known then. Learning from others’ experience is an important benefit of being a community member.

E-mail your response to writersforum@upwritepress.com. Write “April Writers’ Forum” in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

Answers to this month’s brainteaser:

  1. We will discuss schedule readjustments after the meeting.
    (Prepositional phrase—begins with the preposition after and serves as an adverb telling “when.”)
  2. The issues will be settled by next week.
    (Verb phrase—includes the verb settled and helping verbs will be.)
  3. My financial adviser and I decided to avoid investing in that company.
    (Noun phrase—includes the noun and pronoun adviser and I, plus the modifiers my financial, and is used as the subject of the sentence. Noun phrases can also be used as objects, appositives, or complements.)
  4. Its walls trembling from the earthquake’s shock, the building began to crumble.
    (Absolute phrase—includes the noun walls, the participle trembling, plus modifiers.)
  5. My brother, a champion swimmer, will make a good camp director.
    (Appositive phrase—follows and adds information about the noun brother.)

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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Coming in May

Writing the Sales Letter

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