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Writing Guide

Professional & Academic e-Communications

Email

Emailing is often the most used communication tool in an organization and is now more popular that the telephone for business communication.  It's important to be able to write effective emails.

Professional email tips:

  • Be concise
  • Use the subject line
  • Consider the appropriateness of the content
  • Use a formal/academic tone
  • No emoticons
  • Assume everyone will see the email
  • Use spell check
  • Don't CC/reply all unless needed
  • Set up your signature

For more email etiquette, click here

Be sure to take a look at the Communication Guide for additional helpful resources.

Here is an example of a properly constructed email:

 


Watch the short video below for instructions on how to navigate the Professional & Academic eCommunications page:

Chat (also known as instant messaging)

When you are chatting, you are writing short messages and sending them to someone else in real time.  An email, in comparison, contains full sentences, is in paragraph form, and is not in real time.  Chat messages are short and conversational (e.g. Emma writes something in the chat box and then Raphael responds).

Your organization may employ a chat feature when using webinar platforms.  During an online meeting, participants can type short comments, thoughts, questions, etc. into the chat box and others can respond and add to the conversation.

Tips for chat:

  • Spelling still counts
  • Remember that everyone can see what you are typing and you can't erase it
  • Professionalism is still important--communication can be easily misconstrued

For more chat guidelines, click here.

Web camera communication

You may find yourself part of a conference or meeting in a webinar setting. You may be able to communicate through voice audio, a chat box, and your image may be captured on a webcam.  If this is the case, be aware that people can see what you are doing the entire time.  They can also see your facial expressions and gestures.  Maintain your professionalism throughout.

For web conferencing etiquette tips, click here.

Phone conferencing

Having a meeting over the phone sounds simple but there may be some challenges.

Phone conferencing guidelines: 

  • Make sure you are in an area without background noise.  You want to be heard clearly, without distraction.
  • If a speaker phone is being used, make note of when you are muted and when you are not.
  • Try to avoid talking at the same time as someone else.  Sometimes this requires a bit more time before responding.
  • Another tip is to be prepared.  Others may not be there to see your notes, but they can hear if you sound unprepared.

For more tips, click here

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Paper Review (Brainfuse Writing Lab)

The Writing Lab Rubric

Use this rubric as a first step to self-assess your assignment.  After determining which column you think best describes your work, use the resources to the right to improve your work.  Refer back to it each time you feel you are near completion of the assignment to help you stay on track.  This is also the same rubric that the Writing Lab staff will use to provide feedback and resources suggestions.

Video: How to use the Rubric 

Submit to the Writing Lab (in Brainfuse)

Writing is a process. It helps to have feedback from others as you go through that process.  You can submit your work for review to the Writing Lab. Just make sure you have time before your submission deadline (it takes 24-48 hours).  Here's the process:

      After using the rubric to self-assess where you're at in terms of your assignment and you've made changes using the resources provided, you can opt to submit your assignment to the Writing Lab in Brainfuse for feedback and suggestions.  Once you're logged into Brainfuse, click on the Writing Lab. How to use the Writing Lab.

Using the Writing Lab

  1. Choose the file you'd like to submit.
  2. Add any comments about the assignment that would be helpful the reviewer to know.
  3. Upload your assignment and click Submit.
  4. In 24-48 hours, go back into the Message Center in Brainfuse and find your reviewed paper.  You may find suggested specific resources for you, one of which may be a tutor appointment.  How to make an appointment with a tutor
  5. Revise your paper using the resources suggested.  If you have any questions, make an appointment with the tutor using Tutor Match  How to make an appointment with a tutor
  6. After you have made your revisions, use the rubric again to self-assess.  At that point, you may feel your assignment is ready to submit to your instructor.  If that is the case, do so. If you think your assignment needs more work, you may resubmit your assignment to the   How do I use the Writing Lab?
  7. When you feel your assignment is ready for submission to your instructor, submit it using the assignment drop box within your course
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