Exercise Add Specificity to Increase Reader Understanding

Van, vice president of a finance company, needed to send an E-mail to alert managers that budget cuts were going to be instituted. Read Van's opening sentence below and revise it by adding specific facts, numbers, or examples to improve clarity and increase credibility. Use your imagination to make up relevant specifics, then compare your revision to the three alternatives that Van came up with.

Van's E-mail began, "In anticipation of a financial slowdown, every manager is expected to develop contingency plans."

How did you revise the sentence? Here are Van's alternatives:

1. In anticipation of a financial slowdown, every manager is expected to decide how he or she will reduce costs by 10 percent.

2. In anticipation of a financial slowdown, every manager is expected to consider ways to reduce employee travel, telecommunications, and office supply expenses.

3. In anticipation of a financial slowdown, every manager is expected to consider ways to reduce employee travel, telecommunications, and office supply expenses by 10 percent.

All three sentences are well written. Note that the first sentence adds a number (10 percent), the second one uses examples (the list of expense categories), and the third uses both. The third is probably the best choice because it provides the most details; the more specific the information you offer, the better the writing.

0 0

Post a comment