October 2009  
UpWrite Press Writing eTips

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September Winner in Our Facebook Drawing

Congratulations to "Business Writing with UpWrite Press" Facebook fan Chris Petranech! He's the September winner of a free copy of Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing & Communicating in the Workplace and the emPOWERED Business Writing Job Aide.Thanks, Chris, for being a member in our growing group of Facebook fans.

Line, Bar, and Pie Graphs

We've discussed using tables to clarify your ideas, but there are other types of graphics to choose from. Consider adding line, bar, and pie graphs to your business documents. These helpful visuals can improve the clarity and impact of your reports and presentations.

  • Line graphs effectively indicate relationships between numbers. They consist of two lines—one vertical, one horizontal—that meet at the "zero" point. The horizontal axis usually indicates time segments, while the vertical one measures quantity, such as dollar amounts or numbers of items. Data points are determined at junctions of quantity and time, and when the points are connected, the line presents a clear picture of trends.
    Hint: When graphing multiple lines to show comparisons, use a different color or pattern for each.
     
     
  • Bar graphs present information using horizontal or vertical bars. A single bar can measure one item at different time periods, while multiple bars can compare several items. As with line graphs, when presenting more than one bar in a single graph, use a different color for each.
    Hint: Two-dimensional bars are easiest to read.
     
     
  • Pie graphs are circles divided into colorful pie-like slices to show how individual parts combine to create a whole. Sections, or slices, should be proportionate to the percentages they represent, giving a quick, big-picture view.
    Hint: Start at the 12 o'clock position and present the portions clockwise, largest to smallest.
     

A visual presentation of numbers clarifies data and makes a positive impact on readers and viewers. Use graphic aids such as line, bar, and pie graphs to make your documents precise and memorable.

You can find more about creating effective graphs beginning on page 166 in Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing & Communicating in the Workplace, just one of the handy business writing materials from UpWrite Press.

That Little Extra

Notebook computers are getting ever smaller, making them terrific accessories for work-on-the-run; but convenience comes with a price. Yes, keyboards are shrinking, but our fingers aren't, and it's even easier now to mistype or hit two keys at once. That means proofreading is critical before printing or sending files. Always double-check every sentence for errors.

   

October Writers’ Forum Topic

Here’s your chance to tell us how your work environment operates. Send us your responses to the forum question below, and we’ll print the most interesting in our eTips Mid-Month Mini.

OK, all you commuters out there: What do you do with your commuting time? How is your activity dependent on your mode of travel? Share, please—we could all use our time a little more efficiently.

E-mail your response to writersforum@upwritepress.com. Write “October Writers’ Forum” in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

We Want to Hear from You

This is your chance to help shape our UpWrite Press newsletters and blogs. What writing topics do you want to hear about? Have you any favorite communications tips you'd like to share? What words do you constantly mix up? Send us your ideas, and you could see your name in Writing eTips or the Mid-Month Mini.

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Write for Business Blog

Insights from our writing staff. September posts so far include:

Staff Articles

Using the Right Word

Writing Rules

 

Visit our blog for these and other great articles!

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Based on the seven traits of good writing, the award-winning Write for Business includes guidelines, models, checklists, and templates to save time with all your business writing.

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