In this module you have learned to apply the principles of effective writing to produce professional messages. You built upon the skills you developed from considering your audience when deciding which type of document (channel) is most appropriate, and you’ve continued to use the principles of plain language writing to keep your messages clear and concise.
You considered the purpose of your document by recalling whether the goal was to inform, persuade and/or entertain, as first discussed in the Foundations module. You learned that workplace writing is normally focused on one of the first two goals.
To ensure you were able to craft your messages clearly and correctly, you may have chosen to use the optional grammar and punctuation chapter to refresh and practise your basic writing skills.
As we learned in the Foundations module, writing is low on the information-richness scale. This means that when trying to communicate or understand written messages, all we have are the words on the page or screen; we don’t have things like tone of voice, facial expression, or body language.
Document conventions help to standardize the way we communicate in a professional setting. You previously learned about audience expectations; in a business setting your audience will expect to receive common documents like emails, business letters, faxes, memos, and short reports. You learned what they contain, when to use them, and how to create professional messages within them by focusing on Format, Audience, Style, and Tone (FAST).
We covered the importance of ethics in written communication by examining issues like plagiarism, copyright, access to information and codes of conduct. You also learned some rationale and principles about writing respectfully, ensuring you balance courtesy, professionalism, and conciseness.
You had the chance to practise your new skill sets by compiling your own short report using your knowledge of information literacy combined with all of the tools and techniques you have learned from the chapters in this module.
Being able to produce professional messages through common written business documents is a useful skill that you can continue to hone throughout your career. These standards are set and familiar globally, though each company or culture may have their own modifications. What you learn in this module will equip you with skills that are immediately useful and transferable to many professional contexts.
Attribution Statement (Conclusion)
This conclusion is original content contributed by the Olds College OER Development Team, of Olds College to Professional Communications Open Curriculum under a CC-BY 4.0 license.