Chapter 8: Routine Messages

Learning Objectives

Target icon1. Write routine message types such as information shares, requests, and replies; complaints and claims; and recommendation and goodwill messages

2. Organize and write persuasive messages

i. Outline the structure of a persuasive message
ii. Explain the importance of persuasion in professional contexts

3. Organize and write negative messages

i. Outline the structure of an indirect-approach bad-news message
ii. Explain the importance of communicating bad news carefully in professional contexts

4. Plan, write, revise, and edit short documents and messages that are organized, complete, and tailored to specific audiences.

i. Utilize a variety of document formats
ii. Format and write short documents such as routine correspondence

The vast majority of the couple hundred billion business emails sent every day (see §6.1 above) are short messages of a routine nature such as asking for and sharing information, requesting action, or thanking someone for something given. Most of the time these are positive or neutral messages even when they involve small complaints or claims where you request that an error be corrected. These are all direct-approach messages where the main idea comes right upfront and details follow. Occasionally, you must communicate bad news in writing, which requires a more careful, indirect approach. All of these situations involve conventions that business professionals follow to minimize miscommunication and its fallout, and thus keep their operation running smoothly. In this chapter, we continue our applied-writing unit by examining the conventions for the following everyday message types:

  • 8.1: Information Shares, Action Requests, and Replies
  • 8.2: Complaints and Claims
  • 8.3: Negative Messages
  • 8.4: Persuasive Messages
  • 8.5: Goodwill Messages and Recommendations

This chapter is adapted from Chapter 8: Routine Messages in Communication at Work by Jordan Smith.


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Communication at Work Copyright © 2022 by Julie Rivers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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