What are Compose Messages? Before the person who intends to send a message embarks upon the task of composition, he should consider carefully the five planning steps and the basic organizational plan he chooses to use. Also, he should keep in mind the guidelines provided to him by the Seven “C” Principles. Let’s discuss stages involve in compose messages;
STAGES FOR COMPOSE MESSAGES
A composition of the message involves three stages:
- Drafting the message
- Revising the message
- Editing and proofreading the message
Drafting the Message: Writing the first draft of the message is always very difficult. The most important thing is to have a clear idea of the information to be communicated. It is advisable for the writer to draw in advance an outline of a business message for his guidance. He should remember that different people have different styles of writing. He should, however, choose appropriate words and construct such sentences and paragraphs as the reader will understand easily. While writing the first draft of the message the writer should let his mind be free from minor mechanical requirements=-oft spelling, punctuation, etc. This is necessary to avoid the distraction of mind. His full attention must be focused on the main ideas, their arrangement, sequence and logical presentation.
Revising The Message: Revising the message means Examining and evaluating the first draft critically. It means adding necessary information, if needed, and deleting the unnecessary one. It also means to make sure that all necessary points are expressed adequately and supported by a necessary explanatory material. Revision is, in fact, the key to good writing. The best always confirm again and again to make their messages perfect, effective and to the point, To achieve this end, the writer may ask himself the following questions:
- Does the message serve its purpose?
- Has the most effective organizational plan been used?
- Are the opening and closing paragraphs appropriate?
- Have the points been supported by adequate material?
- Does the message conform to the Seven “C” qualities?
Editing and Proofreading the Message: Editing and proofreading is the third and final stage in the process of composition of a message. They are important to ensure that the document has no mistakes in grammar, word choice, spelling, punctuation and the format adapted to send the message. To make the message serve its objective, the writer should edit and reedit all its aspects to the best of his satisfaction. Finally, he should go for proofreading to know that the document is fully error-free. Sometimes, the writer may have to proofread the message several times to eliminate all chances of errors. Persons writing in a second language always find it very helpful to proofread the document aloud.
BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS OF MESSAGES
Beginnings and endings of business messages are of great importance in written communication. What one reads first causes a lasting impression, and what one reads last is always remembered. In view of the special significance of the opening and closing sections of a written piece of communication, it is advisable to frame them with care and consideration. The opening of a letter should be attractive enough to force the reader to go through its entire contents. Similarly, the closing paragraph of a letter should be written in such a way that even if the letter fails to get business, it must not fail to create goodwill.
Opening Paragraph: The opening paragraph of a written message determines whether the reader continues reading, puts the message aside, or discards it. It is, therefore, imperative for the writer that he makes it attractive enough to persuade the reader to go through the message with sufficient interest and enthusiasm. The following suggestions can be helpful in this context:
(a) Choose an appropriate opening for the message and the reader. The writer may begin with:
- Main idea or good news for direct-request, neutral and good-news messages
- A buffer (a moderating and softening expression) for bad-news messages
- Attention-getting requests
(b) Be considerate and courteous:
- Focus on the positive aspect
- Use courteous, pleasant
(c) Make the opening concise and interesting:
- Paragraphs should be relatively short
- Conversational words are used
- Unnecessary repetition be avoided
(d) Check for completeness:
- In sentence structure Date of a letter to which reply is given closing paragraph.
Closing Paragraph: The closing paragraph of a business message is used to stimulate the reader to action. The message will fail in its purpose if it does not bring to the writer the desired response. To induce the reader take the desired action, closing paragraphs of business messages should be strong, clear and polite. At the same time, they should leave with the reader a message of goodwill and courtesy. To achieve the main objective of giving more force to the purpose of the message, the writer should keep the following guidelines in mind:
(a) He should make the action-request clear and complete keeping in mind the five ‘Ws’ and the ‘H’:
- (What and Who?) He should clearly state what action he desires and who should do it
- (Where and How?) He should make the taking of action easy
- (When?) He should mention the desirable date of an action
- (Why?) He should refer to reader’s benefit, if possible
(b) The writer should end the message on a positive, courteous thought:
- Apologies and negative ideas should not be included in the closing paragraph
- Friendly attitude be shown
- Appreciation be made
- Occasionally a personal note be added
(c) The writer should keep the last paragraph concise a correct:
- Write and overused expressions be avoided
- Discussions and worthless details are omitted.
- Short but complete sentences are relatively used.