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Chapter 10. Solving Problems Through Let... > Conventions of Administrative Writin...

Conventions of Administrative Writing

Because professionals must read so many memos and letters from so many sources—some estimates indicate as many as 140 pages per day in recent years—they have devised conventions to ensure the most efficient reading possible. Efficiency is the keyword here because no one reads these letters and memos for fun; professionals read and write these documents to do their work. The strength of administrative writing conventions is that they address the reader's concerns, not the writer's concerns. Thus, these conventions make a text very reader-friendly.

Figure 10.3 presents a structural and rhetorical analysis of the memo. In other words, the memo is described as a professional would read it, with the information that the professional would focus on in italics. The same analysis applies to letters. For the most efficient, effective administrative writing, the writer must honor these conventional expectations of the reader. In the same way, scientists honor the conventional expectations of their readers when they structure their scientific articles by a standard order of standard topics.


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