METACOGNITION AND BUSINESS -(7/ 7)
Spears estimates that college graduates spend an average of 20 to 30 per cent of their time in the workplace on
writing tasks, and even more as they advance through the ranks. Except for those students who become
academics, few of the writing conventions discussed will be carried over into your career.
You will need to master the business/administrative writing style.
The workplace then has its own metacognitive model -- yet another dialect, another scaffolding that we have to
learn sooner or later. Good luck.
- This type of writing has distinct features not shared with scholarly kinds.
- Specific audience pitch.
- business/administrative writing is always directed to a specific individual or group
- you must clearly define the audience and target the message accordingly.
- Language and style.
- the audience is usually a non-specialist in a hectic, pragmatic environment
- the language must be non-technical, accessible, concise, and direct enough to be skimmed
- the preferred words and phrases are clean, short, essential, and powerful - - chosen to be quickly persuasive
- business/administrative communications ask the audience to take some form of action
- simple approval
- even progress reports may ask for more time or continued funding or faith
- the purpose and main points appear up front in the introduction.
- longer communications such as proposals contain other reader-friendly features
- a title page
- a table of contents
- an executive summary or abstract (one page maximum) focusing on the purpose and the recommendations
- short chapters and sections
- abundant headings and subheadings
- lists rather than text when possible
- illustrations to reduce text
- a conclusion listing recommendations
- appendices and non-essential supporting information
- generous white space throughout
- Accuracy and timeliness
- business/administrative writing must be error-free
- checked for factual accuracy
- carefully proofread
- submitted on time
- If not, the credibility of the writer suffers or, worse, the proposal is not even read.