Lesson 13 Activity


Write clear, focused, organized paragraphs that help readers identify, understand, and remember concepts.

Writing clear documents for non-technical readers requires that you use paragraphs to help readers see blocks of ideas. Paragraphs help readers shift their thinking as they read. Use the same guidelines for paragraphs that you do for other blocks: Connect the concept to preceding concepts and define the concept within the paragraph.

What You Will Submit to Demonstrate Your Competence

Follow the instructions in the case study below. Copy the text in the boxes and paste them into a Microsoft Word document. Submit the document to assignments@businesswriting.com.

Exercise 1

The text that follows should be broken into paragraphs to help the reader organize the thoughts. Follow this procedure:

  1. Identify the concept words in the text and use them as a guide to decide where to break for the paragraph.
  2. Paragraphs usually average around seven lines of text. Look for changes in concepts at around seven lines. Identify new concept words to help you.
  3. Break the text into paragraphs. You don’t need to rewrite any of the text. Just create paragraph breaks by pressing the [Enter] key twice to make a blank line between the paragraphs.
  4. Make sure the reader will know what is in the paragraph. Use a topic sentence if that will help the reader.
As part of the Brinkmost 2 Compensation and Benefits, employees are entitled to an interest-free loan allowance. There are three different kinds of loans. Every year loan allowances are reviewed and any incremental amount taken by the employee should be paid back in accordance with the loan payback period. When the loan starts, a split is done between short-term (1286A) and long-term (1953A). All payments from the employees are applied against the long-term account. In the last year of the loan, when the remaining amount is in the short-term account, payments from the employees are applied to the long-term account resulting in an incorrect balance in the loan accounts. Although Brinkmost 2 has a reconciliation for the total outstanding loan balances by employees, Brinkmost 2 has not prepared individual reconciliations for Accounts 1286A and 1953A. We recommend creating and maintaining documentation to include the employee, the nature of the loan, the aging, and the balance. This would help to calculate the correct balance on the short-term and long-term accounts and would support the reconciliation of each account. These details should be provided shortly since the payroll activities will be outsourced in the near future.

Exercise 2

Follow the same procedure to revise the text in the box below so it has clear paragraphs.

  1. Identify the concept words in the text and use them as a guide to decide where to break for the paragraph.
  2. Paragraphs usually average around seven lines of text. Look for changes in concepts at around seven lines. Identify new concept words to help you.
  3. Break the text into paragraphs. You don’t need to rewrite any of the text. Just create paragraph breaks by pressing the [Enter] key twice to make a blank line between the paragraphs.v
  4. Make sure the reader will know what is in the paragraph. Use a topic sentence if that will help the reader.
The most effective way to improve our ability to capture customer complaints is to develop summary reports for business managers. These reports will enable business managers to track their problem areas so we can reduce the problems we’ve had with customers leaving. To accomplish this, we need to develop summary reports to distribute to business managers, meaning all managers affected by the customer complaints, especially the call center managers, determine what information is to be included, such as total number of calls, number of complaints, and number of escalations, and determine the best modes of information delivery (Excel, Access, Web). If we can’t find a way to reduce the customer complaints and defections, we will be faced with having to downsize. I look forward to seeing you on Thursday. Be prepared to make suggestions to improve the plan. Also remember to bring general suggestions for improving the overall level of service of the Radio Dispatch Car service.