attention, interest, decision, and action

a persuasive sales technique for structuring a pitch to a customer:

-gain attention.
-stimulate interest.
-push for a decision.
-motivate action.

action verbs

verbs found in job application materials that quickly identify a candidate's skills, achievements, and accomplishments

active voice

a sentence structure where the subject carries out the action

APA Style

The American Psychological Association (APA) Style is a style guide that provides guidance on how to format papers. For this course, we are using it only for rules on citing sources and creating reference entries.


the receiver or receivers of a message

audited financial statements

Audited financial statements are documents that review the financial position and operation of an organization. The documents record the value of the organization's assets, liabilities, and equity. They also show annual revenues and expenses. For most organizations, these documents must be produced annually.

author-date citation system

a system for creating in-text citations that requires the inclusion of the author's (or authors') last name(s) and the year the source was published, as well as the page number where possible


a universal principle or foundational truth that operates across cases or situations

back matter

the final part of your report, this is where your reader can find information that will help them learn more information about the topic. The elements are the recommendations, the appendix and the references page.


organizational acceptance of a process, decision, or outcome

chronological résumé

a traditional résumé format whose main section is the "employment experience" section. Jobs are listed in reverse chronological order, with skills/achievements under each position


when a subject and verb are combined in a sentence. There are two types: independent clause and dependent clause.

comma splice

when two independent clauses are incorrectly joined by a comma


the process of one person stimulating meaning in the mind of another by means of a message


using the fewest words possible to achieve the goal of communication

connective statements

several types of statements or phrases that are designed to connect part of your speech to make it easier for audience members to follow

coordinating conjunctions

a word that joins two clauses, such as "and," "but," "for," "yet," "nor," "or," and "so"

cover letter

also known as an "application letter," this document is your opportunity to establish a connection with the company you are applying to. You will pick a few significant qualifications that make you a good fit for the position and go into depth about each one.


a quality that allows others to trust and believe you

dependent clause

a clause that relies on another part of the sentence for meaning because it cannot stand on it's own

direct quote

a word-for-word copy of someone else's words and/or ideas.

elevator pitch

a short opportunity to introduce oneself and highlight one's marketability as an employment prospect for a potential employer (or sometimes investor)


the belief that one's own culture is superior or acting in such a way as to treat one's own culture as superior or normative, judging other cultures on the preconceived notion that one's own culture is normative or superior

face time

time spent face-to-face in conversation, usually with a key contact, such as a supervisor or person in a position to hire or invest


information that a receiver sends back to the sender


the foundation upon which your credibility rests in a given interaction

free riders

a person who attempts to avoid contributions or effort in a team setting, while still gaining the rewards and recognition of the team's achievements

front matter

the first group of elements that a reader will see of your report. These elements are the cover page, the transmittal document, the title page, the table of contents, the list of tables and figures, and the summary.

full block format

a standard letter format that has seven elements: (1) letterhead/logo, (2) heading, (3) salutation, (4) introduction, (5) body, (6) conclusion, (7) signature line

functional (skills) résumé

a résumé format whose main section is the "Skills and Achievements" section. Skills are organized into categories. There is still an "Employment Experience" section, but it only includes basic information about each position.

fused sentence

when two independent clauses are combined without any punctuation


a word ending in "ing" that serves as a noun or adjective in a sentence, not is a verb

gerund fragment

a type of sentence fragment where the issue is a gerund (an -ing word serving as a noun or adjective) being used incorrectly in a sentence


an image file that is usually animated in some way


a tendency of groups to avoid conflict and, thus, avoid discussing contrary ideas to those previously adopted by the group

halo effect

treating a particular person's ideas as superior or unquestionable based on their seniority, status, rank, or past performance

header block

the section of a memo that contains detailed information on its recipient, sender, and purpose


a word that has the same spelling as another word, but is pronounced differently


a word that has the same pronunciation as another word, but is spelled differently

horn effect

treating a particular person's ideas as inferior or questionable based on their lack of seniority, status, rank, or past performance

in-text citation

also called a "citation," in-text citations are a mechanical way that a writer acknowledges the work of others. An in-text citation can take two forms: a parenthetical citation or a narrative citation.

independent clause

a clause that can stand on it's own because it conveys a complete idea.

informative report

a report where you establish your credibility so the audience will accept the facts you present


the phase of the job search process where you go from being an applicant on paper to a real, three dimensional person.


the phase of the job search process where you are evaluated on your verbal communication skills through face-to-face (or phone) interaction


certain words that are used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand

job package

a collection of documents that are used to apply for a position, such as a cover letter and résumé


words in a job posting that highlight skills, qualities, and values that are important to a company


long strings of words that don't add much to the overall meaning of the message


a brief message to recipients that are often outside the organization


full name "memoranda," these are documents sent within an organization to pass along or request information, outline policies, present short reports, or propose ideas

narrative citation

a type of citation where the source information is embedded into the text.  The author's name is in the text and is then followed by the year in parenthesis. The year is then followed by a signal verb. Include the page number at the end of the sentence in parenthesis. For example: MacLennan (2009) argues....(p. 10).


etiquette for using the internet, or more specifically, communicating in online spaces. This includes (1) knowing your context, (2) remembering the human, (3) recognizing that text is permanent, (4) avoiding flaming, and (5) respecting privacy and original ideas


information that is unintentionally added to a message or that confuses or disrupts a message during transmission, also known as "interference"


an issue where the main action (a verb) is turned into a noun which overcomplicates the writing

non-verbal communication

the transfer of information through the use of body language, including eye contact, facial expressions, gestures and more

non-verbal feedback

a type of feedback where you use your whole body to provide information to a speaker. Some examples include leaning your body in, using eye contact, and nodding affirmatively


a visual structure where you can compile information into a well-organized document


a way to use your own words to present information. This method is more detailed and specific than a summary and retains the length of the original source.

parenthetical citation

a type of citation that comes at the end of a sentence where an outside source is used. The author, date, and page number go inside the parenthesis. For example: (MacLennan, 2009, p. 10)

passive voice

a sentence structure where the subject of a sentence receives an action instead of doing it

persuasive report

a report where you want the audience to accept the facts and you want them to change their thinking and actions


a group of words that are missing a subject, a verb, or both


when a person represents the ideas of another as their own original work

plain words

words that are more common and easier for readers to understand

popular sources

sources that are good for background information and ideas, but not for including in actual research


the first phase of the writing process where you gather information and content from sources to help generate materials in the drafting phase


the verb that conveys the action or state of being in a clause or sentence


words that show relationships between other words. Some examples include in, on, at, of, and under

preposition fragment

a type of sentence fragment where an issue with a preposition makes the sentence an incomplete idea

primary research

research that is often made up of first-person accounts and can be useful for issues where there is little research available


Generally, a shorter word that stands in for a longer word or noun phrase, often replacing a proper noun.

Examples: Jennifer walked to the store, but then she was disappointed that it was closed.

In that sentence, "she" is a pronoun referring to "Jennifer" and "it" is a pronoun referring to "the store."

Culturally, a self-made declaration of the pronouns that should be used in reference to oneself.

Example: Professional Writing Today: A Functional Approach was written by Sam Schechter (he, him, his).

In that sentence, the author is declaring that he should be referred to with male pronouns.

protocol information

content that is provided as a matter of standard formatting or practice, such as the date a report was written, the name of the author(s), the subject or title of the document, and the intended audience


a person who receives a message from a sender

reference entry

detailed information about your source that a reader can use to find the information on their own. A reference entry should include, at minimum, the author(s) who generated the source, the date the source was published, the title of the source, and information on where the source can be found.


external sources that have been used to supply data, words, numbers, images, ideas, or other content to a document or presentation

references page

also "references list"

a section of your report that will have reference entries for all of the sources you cite in your paper. All reference entries should be organized in alphabetical order by author last name or organization name, and, if the reference runs on to multiple lines, each successive line should be indented.


an account of your investigation into a subject, presented in a written document or oral presentation that has conventional formatting

report body

the main portion of the report that has all the content of your findings. The elements are the introduction, the discussion, and the conclusion.

request for proposals

A request for proposal, or RFP, is a document that invites other organizations to create a proposal to achieve a particular aim. For example, if a municipal government wants to build a bridge, it will publish an RFP so that construction companies can produce proposals about how to build the bridge and how much it should cost.

research question

a question that a research project sets out to answer


a document that summarizes your education, skills, talents, employment history, and experiences in a clear and concise format for potential employers

reverse chronological order

a way of organizing your job experiences so that you are starting with the most recent job and working backwards toward your first job

run-on sentence

a writing error where two or more independent clauses are connected without proper punctuation

scholarly sources

sources that are typically peer-reviewed by experts, more technical in nature, and cite references


elements you must consider that can impact the message you create and how it will be received. For example, the audience, the purpose of your message, and constraints you must work within

secondary research

research that requires searching libraries and other locations for other people's published studies and research


the process of brainstorming your past accomplishments, skills, and achievements


a person who sends a message

sentence fragment

a writing error where a sentence is missing a subject or verb

Shannon-Weaver Model

also known as the transmission model, this communication model shows communication as a linear process where a sender encodes information and sends it to a receiver who decodes it

signal verb

a special verb that shows the reader how an author is expressing their ideas

simple future

a verb tense that is used to talk about things that haven't happened yet

simple past

a verb tense that is used to talk about things that happened or existed before now

simple present

a verb tense that is used show an action is happening right now or that it happens regularly


a person sending a message through their voice


the topic being discussed in a clause or sentence

subordinate conjunction

a word that connects a dependent clause to an independent clause. It shows a cause-and-effect relationship or a shift in time and place between the two clauses

subordinate conjunction fragment

a type of sentence fragment that is caused by an issue with a subordinate conjunction


a way to use your own words to present your own information. This method is used for describing an entire source. This means that you will focus only on main ideas and not go into details.

targeted (hybrid) résumé

a résumé format that includes both a well-developed "Skills and Achievements" section that highlights a candidate's most relevant skills and bullet points under each job in the "Employment Experience" section

team chat applications

a program, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, that companies use to promote efficient communication across their workforce

technical communication

any communication on a specialized, technical topic

territorial acknowledgment

The practice of declaring, either verbally or in writing, that one is living, working, or otherwise occupying the territory of a specific Indigenous nation whose lands are not currently under their own full control.

Example: "The lands occupied by Douglas College campuses are on the territories of the Coast Salish Peoples of the QayQayt and Kwikwetlem First Nations."

thank you note

a brief note that thanks the interviewers for meeting with you. It should also express your continued interest in the position, reference something specific from the conversation, and remind them of your qualifications


the attitude of a communicator toward the message being delivered and/or the audience receiving the message


types of communication that are highly designed to create a purposeful exchange between the sender and receiver of a message

transition words

words that are used to connect words, phrases, or sentences. Examples include: as a matter of fact, moreover, in other words, and as a result


a word that conveys the action or state of being in a sentence

verb tenses

grammatical ways of altering verbs to show when a person does something, or when something existed or happened

walk and talk

a practice of inviting a person to carry out a conversation for so long as both people are on their way to a destination, frequently done out of expediency or lack of meaningful availability

written report

a type of report where a person uses writing to relay information


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