To: Incoming FSB Students

From: Samantha Dixon

Date: 11 December 2013

Subject: Effective Writing For Audience

Audience is an important factor to consider when writing in business because different pieces of writing will be directed towards different audiences. In order for business writing to be effective, it needs to be written specifically for the intended audience. This semester I have personally experienced the necessity of audience-tailored writing though the four projects assigned for my Business 102 course.

Project One—Email Requests

Audience largely impacted my choice of tone throughout Project One because the two emails are directed towards different people.  Since the first email requests information about an organization, it has a formal tone and uses language that appeals to the recipient’s authority. This email starts with “Dear Mrs. Thomas” because I anticipate making a strong first impression. While my primary purpose is to simply request information, I also include the fact that I have “volunteered as a Peer Mentor throughout high school” as a way to subtly “sell” myself as a skilled and experienced potential member of the organization. By closing the email with “thank you for your time,” the recipient knows I am respectful of her busy schedule. The tone of the second email is much more informal because I already have an established relationship with the recipient. I recall my experience as a team leader of his swim team, emphasizing “my dedication to the team in helping us win the championships” to reconnect with my former Business Economics teacher and coach. Upon being reminded of our success and my leadership skills, he may feel more comfortable writing a letter of recommendation for me. I am able to connect with each recipient appropriately by adjusting the tone and language of my emails to suit the audience.

Project Two—Internship Application Letter

I am trying to impress my audience for Project Two, so it is important to show that I match my skills and experiences to Highmark Health Services’s qualifications. To persuade the audience, I relate my personal experiences to the work being done at Highmark Health Services.  I mention that my summer job working as a secretary for a government contractor allowed helped me learn “valuable communication skills working with clients and other business professionals in an engaging environment.” This significant experience is notable to the audience because Highmark Health Services’s website states that they are, “looking for candidates with the ability to communicate effectively.” Researching the mission and goals of the audience prior to writing the cover letter allows me to include specific experiences that will help me stand out as an applicant.

Project Three—Recommendation Memo

Understanding what criteria the audience is looking for in a speaker for their new series is crucial for the effectiveness of the summary and recommendation in Project Three.

Highlighting key points from the speech that best connect with the theme of the speaker

Incoming FSB Students

11 December 2013

Page 2

series is important so it appeals to the FSB student audience as well as the intended audience of the memo. The speaker notices that “switching from active communication and collaboration to more passive models of communication promotes productivity” stating that “interruptions such as managers and meetings hinder the workers’ abilities to concentrate” which is significant because it ties into the theme of the series by challenging the traditional notions surrounding the effectiveness of office workspace. I connect the speaker’s points to Farmer School of Business students and the school’s mission by claiming that this is information the students can use for the rest of their careers, and it will allow them to “enter the global environment with a greater sense of confidence and knowledge.”  Being familiar with what the audience is looking for helps me determine what to highlight in order to connect with the audience and theme of the speaker series.

Project Four—“Bad News” Memo

Thoughtful use of language is important in Project Four because this message has an emotional connection to the audience.  Since I am relaying a negative message in this memo, I am cautious to use language that both sheds light on a negative situation and also shows respect for the audience.  In the opening paragraph, I inform the audience we have not reached our fundraising goals. By choosing neutral words such as “update” and “change,” it shows that I care that the audience is informed.  I also use positive language throughout the memo by emphasizing words such as “benefit” and “quality.” Use of this language shows the audience that although goals were not met this year, there are promising plans for the future.


The variety of audiences for these projects requires me to structure each piece differently. It is important to tailor the tone, language, and content to best connect with each audience. When a document is specifically written for an audience, they will feel engaged and will be able to relate easier and connect with the writing.

Roger Art

wow where do i begin okay

the CONTRAST omg. well for one, this is the very first thing you see when you click on the websiteif this isn’t atrocious, i dont know what is. i wish i could say it gets better but it doesnt

the lines of text alternate colors, sometimes the multiple words can be different colors in the same line. red, blue, black, lime green. just, why?

the alignment is so completely inconsistent. some chunks are centered while other bits are aligned with the left margin. the constantly fluctuating font sizes and spacing are literally begging for me to throw up all over my laptop. how is this a real webpage. somebody actually took time out of their life to make this, and afterwards they stepped back and looked at it and probably stroked their chin and smiled thinking, yes this is a good product.

writing blindly

wow that was some serious business. most any discussion revolving around the last moments of human life is going to be heavy and this article was no exception. (okay well my first reaction was dang that was a big submarine. i mean, like over a hundred people? i guess i never realized how big submarines are?? like when i think of submarine i think of the little tiny few person capsules that they take to the bottom of the ocean to look at spooky fish and stuff) but anyway, thats very tragic that those men lived longer than “minutes after the accident” and were left knowing they would perish, yet that their elongated time would be spent trapped in the sunken submarine. in a way though, it was nice that they got to write down their final words unlike their 95 colleagues. how tragic it must have been, spending your final moments alive scribbling down words unsure of whether they will even be seen. i wonder if they thought about what they would write, of if the words just came to them. 

and then i think of the JAL airliner passengers and last occupants of the Warsaw ghetto and how terrified their last experience was. i bet some of their final words were poetic and very deep. if i was in their position i bet my last words would have no coherence or legibility. i feel like the writing i do now is blind writing, i dont know what im doing or where im going in life and yet i do have the desire to continue writing.

yeah thats crazy about the guy writing his whole autobiography by blinking his left eyelid. what dedication. ill have to look into reading it.

genie, lamb, fork in the road, and mermaid!

stay spooky

i dont think its a bad thing that people want to be funny nowadays. rather than being something “real” like a politician, some people choose to dress up in creative costumes representing their individuality. so many people have crazy talent and create costumes that i would have never thought of.

i personally am being a mermaid this year, super excited. i have mermaid leggings that look like scales and then i made a “tail” of sorts by ruffling sheer green netting fabric below my knees and letting it cascade to the floor, covering my green flats. as for the top, i cut a white tshirt into a crop top and silkscreened two seashells into the right locations. i hope the weather isnt too deathly cold, my fingers are crossed. im excited to see everyone elses costumes though. my roommate is going to be a genie and another friend is going as a lamb (im so jealous, her costume is going to be so warm and cozy)

wow ok so I was walking out of class to the stairwell and I was behind this dude who was right behind John Paul and John Paul holds the door for this dude and then the dude DOESN’T HOLD THE DOOR FOR ME

Chipotle

reading this article’s argument over the controversy of chipotle’s commercial I just think to myself, “man I could really go for a burrito.” I mean, good for chipotle for having more vegetarian and vegan options?? I am neither so that doesn’t really concern me, but I do know some people who are and how difficult it is to find things to eat at fast food establishments. 

what bothers me, though, is when vegans or vegetarians feel like they have some sort of entitlement because of their decision to not eat meat or animal byproducts. like, good for you? i’m still going to eat this hamburger, don’t try to guilt me for it that’s not cool. it is a matter of opinion, you put what you want into your body and dont tell me what i should or should not put in mine. wow that makes me think of my aunt actually. she’s a total health nut and always watching the food network (nothing wrong with that) and looking up “healthy, homemade” recipes to cook (and there really isn’t anything wrong with that either) but the way she presents it is kind of in-your-face. like, “oh yeah i found this GREAT new recipe online for this soup and i put this ORGANIC stuff and WHOLE GRAIN that and all this NATURAL JUNK THATS SO GOOD FOR YOU and not soaked and coated and injected with chemicals and fat and other gross stuff that everyone else is shoving into their bodies” like, thanks for the soup it tastes like warm dish water. hahah no im just kidding, she actually is a really good cook but she can just be a little pretentios at times

Coach Gaines on Being Perfect

Yet another speech to his team, equally moving and powerful. He expresses the finality of the game for all the players, and the urgency of the importance that they all did the best they could have. He explains that he always emphasizes perfection, however perfection is not the scoreboard or winning. Perfection is achieved when you act the truest to yourself and the people around you. The pathos throughout this speech is amazing and being an audience of the movie, I was moved and felt as if I was a direct member of the audience of the speech. I felt like a member of the team and questioned whether or not I have been perfect to my friends and family and most importantly myself.

Friday Night Lights

Coach Gaines: “Sincere Warfare”

The audience and exigence ties in perfectly together. The coach makes it clear that if his team wants to surpass the odds and win State, they must urgently acknowledge that they want it and they’re willing to fight for it. His word choice is strong and harsh, he “guarantees” the other team is composed of giants, monsters that outweight each of them by thirty pounds, who will run them over. He claims it’s a fact that they will “take [their] homes, burn them down, and eat [their] dogs.” I mean, clearly they will not literally burn down their houses and eat their pets, but it demonstrates the demand that is getting placed on the team’s head. Unless they work their absolute hardest, this rival team will wreck them. Coach Gaines also uses anaphora to emphasize that “it is a good day” to own up to their responsibility and protect their names and win State.

the brain named itself

the brain is so weird. like, when you’re a baby it is literally like a sponge. children can learn like five different languages before they even realize that that’s four more than most Americans (and five more than some. yeah, i read an article that america as a country is fluent in less than one language. english, they aren’t even fluent in english when the average language fluency rate in europe is almost three. how sad is that)

but then there are other people whose brains are funky and they neVER FORGET ANYTHING. EVER. like you could vividly recall what you had for breakfast eleven years three weeks and seventeen days ago as if it were yesterday. and youd remember what the weather was like and what songs played on the radio. and it would be no big deal because thats how youve been your whole life

then theres other brains that aren’t so cool, the ones that tell their host bodies that they are ugly or stupid or worthless /: the brains that make people think the world would be a better place without them, that they should take their own lives. and thats just so so sad.

every single brain is different and complex and i cant even begin to fathom it because my brain starts to hurt.