Business Communication Today

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9780070068766: Business Communication Today

This text emphasizes real-life business situations, employing a conversational style to capture the dynamics of business communication. It teaches business communication skills and examines communication techniques. Its chapter openers feature real companies, and its real-world examples, real-company cases and involved writing style all bring the subject to life. In this fourth edition the technology and intercultural chapters have been revised and brought forward to the start of the book, two-thirds of the chapter opening vignettes are new, and greater emphasis is placed on the writing process and audience-centred messages. Half of the memo- and letter-writing cases are new, and each is now categorized by academic discipline (e.g. finance, management, accounting, etc) and by the focus of the exercise to emphasize writing across the curriculum.

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From the Back Cover:

Learn to Write Business Messages Quickly and Easily with the Three-Step Process

You will learn to write business messages quickly, easily, and effectively with the exclusive Bovee/Thill/Schatzman three-step process: planning, writing, and completing business messages.

When you use a process, you move toward a particular result, and this text's three-step process helps you get better results than you would get with any other business communication textbook.

Students and instructors alike will appreciate how this practical, three-step strategy provides a solid foundation for solving communication problems and creating well-crafted business messages.

The three-step process is fully integrated throughout the book. It is introduced and explained in detail in chapters 4-6, just before the specific types of business messages are discussed. Then the three-step process is applied to short messages (letters, memos, and e-mail) in chapters 7-9, to reports and proposals in chapters 12-14, to speeches and oral presentations in chapters 15-16, and to employment messages in chapters 17-18.

  1. Planning
    • Analyze
      Study your purpose, lay out your writing schedule, and then profile your audience.
    • Analyze
      Study your purpose, lay out your writing schedule, and then profile your audience.
    • Analyze
      Study your purpose, lay out your writing schedule, and then profile your audience.
  2. Writing
    • Organize
      Define your main ideas, limit the scope, group your points, and choose the direct or indirect approach.
    • Compose
      Control your style through level of formality and conversational tone. Choose your words carefully so that you can create effective sentences and paragraphs.
  3. Completing
    • Revise
      Evaluate content and review readability, editing, and rewriting for clarity and conciseness.
    • Produce
      Use effective design elements and suitable delivery methods.
    • Proofread
      Review for errors in layout, spelling, and mechanics.

This text provides dozens of superb examples of the finished product, including documents from such well-known companies as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Ace Hardware, Target, Office Depot, Petsmart, and Carnival Cruise Lines, to name just a few. Many documents are accompanied by a graphic describing how the three-step process is applied, and all include annotations in the margins that discuss precisely how to apply the principles presented in the text.

Helping students master both process and product—that's just one of the reasons that Business Communication Today is the most successful business communication textbook published in the past 50 years.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

With its vivid insights into real-world communication situations and lively, conversational writing style, this text holds the interest of students and teachers alike. In the 17 years since the first edition was published, millions of students have learned about business communication from Business Communication Today. In 2000 the text was awarded the prestigious Award for Excellence by the Text and Academic Authors Association.

We welcome our new co-author, Barbara Schatzman, to the seventh edition of this text. With over 20 years of managerial and consulting experience and outstanding academic credentials, Barbara brings new insights and real-world perspectives to this text that will help keep it at the forefront of its field.

This seventh edition of Business Communication Today is the centerpiece of a comprehensive teaching and learning package. The text covers all the basic principles and goals as recommended by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs and the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the International Association for Management Education. Moreover, it fully integrates issues critical to successful business communication. Take this opportunity to explore the new edition of Business Communication Today, Seventh Edition.


Part 1: Understanding the Foundations of Business Communication
Chapter 1: Achieving Success Through Effective Business Communication
Chapter 2: Communicating in Teams and Mastering Listening and Nonverbal Communication Skills
Chapter 3: Communicating Interculturally

Part 2: Applying the Three-Step Writing Process
Chapter 4: Planning Business Messages
Chapter 5: Writing Business Messages
Chapter 6: Completing Business Messages
Component Chapter A: Writing for the Web

Part 3: Writing Letters, Memos, E-Mail, and Other Brief Messages
Chapter 7: Writing Routine, Good-News, and Goodwill Messages
Chapter 8: Writing Bad-News Messages
Chapter 9: Writing Persuasive Messages

Part 4: Finding and Communicating Information
Chapter 10: Finding, Evaluating, and Processing Information
Chapter 11: Communicating Information Through Charts information and Other Visuals
Component Chapter B: Communicating Through the Internet technology and Other Technologies

Part 5: Planning, Writing, and Completing Reports and Proposals
Chapter 12: Planning Business Reports and Proposals
Chapter 13: Writing Business Reports and Proposals
Chapter 14: Completing Formal Business Reports and Proposals

Part 6: Designing and Delivering Oral Presentations
Chapter 15: Planning, Writing, and Completing Oral Presentations
Chapter 16: Enhancing Your Oral Presentations with Electronic Slides and Overhead Transparencies

Part 7: Writing Employment Messages and Interviewing for Jobs
Chapter 17: Writing Resumes and Application Letters
Chapter 18: Interviewing for Employment and Following Up

Appendix I. Format and Layout of Business Documents
Appendix II. Documentation of Report Sources
Appendix III. Fundamentals of Grammar and Usage
Appendix IV. Tips for Effective E-Mail
Appendix V: Correction Symbols


Communicating effectively through teamwork is covered extensively in Chapter 2. Throughout the text, teamwork exercises are included in the "Communication Challenges" feature at the conclusion of each chapter and in the "Practice Your Knowledge" section in the end-of-chapter exercises. Topics include characteristics of effective teams, collaborative writing, cultural diversity in teams, group dynamics, groupthink, role playing, group decision making, use of technology to enhance decisions made in groups, conflict resolution in groups, and group interviewing.


We reorganized the text material into a series of three easy-to-follow steps to offer students a practical strategy to solve communication problems. The three-step process includes:

  • planning business messages
  • writing business messages
  • completing business messages

The process is thoroughly integrated and applied throughout the text.


Business Communication Today reinforces the importance of using technology effectively in business communication throughout the text.

  • Full-chapter coverage. See the annotated Contents in this preface for more details.
  • In-text discussion. The text includes extensive coverage of e-mail, voice mail, faxes, communication software, the Internet, chat, instant messaging, multimedia, and more.
  • "Keeping Pace with Technology" boxes. Special boxes highlight how to use technology in business communication to achieve a competitive advantage.
  • Focus on e-business. Chapter vignettes, In-Depth Critiques, photos, and letter-, memo-, and report-writing and e-mail cases feature communication challenges students are likely to encounter in the world of e-business.
  • Internet resources.
    • Internet exercises tied to the book. Students become acquainted with the wealth of business communication information on the web by visiting the text's "Best of the Web" websites and by completing the "Exploring the Best of the Web" end-of-chapter Internet exercises.
    • Grammar diagnostic tests. Students can reinforce their grammar and language skills by taking four online diagnostic tests offered at this text's website, The tests cover a variety of topics, including spelling, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, capitalization, punctuation, word choice, sentence structure, clarity, style, proofreading, and more. Once a test is submitted, it's automatically scored, the correct answers are provided, and students can improve areas where they are weak.
    • "My Companion Website." This powerful website offers chapter-specific current events articles called "In the News," Internet exercises, and an interactive study guide. The study guide includes multiple-choice, true/false, and essay questions. For faculty, downloadable supplements are included.
  • Online course resources. The 60 Keys to Mastering Effective Business Communication is a first-of-its-kind instructional tool, available as an online course on the web or on a CD-ROM. We personally introduce each chapter with a video presentation. Students learn about three key concepts and practice applying them with interactive exercises.

    Each chapter begins with an instructive "Communication Close-Up" featuring a communication expert who, in his or her own words, applies the chapter's concepts to common business situations. That expert reappears from time to time throughout the chapter to dramatize the connection between the chapter's contents and life on the job.


    Projects called "Communication Challenges" conclude each chapter and are related to the situations described in the Communication CloseUps. Each chapter has one individual challenge and one team challenge. These challenges are exclusive to Business Communication Today, providing a dimension of reality unmatched by any other textbook in the field.

    All internal company information was gathered through personal interviews with our business associates, friends, and contacts, and it gives Business Communication Today the real-world applications for which students are so eager.


    Tested techniques help students communicate successfully in the global arena and in the culturally diverse business world at home. Some examples include

    • Communicating with a Global Audience on the Web
    • Actions Speak Louder Than Words All Around the World
    • Test Your Intercultural Knowledge

    By examining critical ethical issues that face business communicators in today's workplace, students gain insight into how to identify areas of ethical vulnerability, how to steer clear of ethical perils, and when to seek ethical advice. The wide range of topics include

    • Should Employers Use E-Mail to Deliver Negative Employment Messages?
    • Spin Cycle: Deciphering Corporate Doublespeak
    • Resume Deception: Risky or Fatal?

    Practical pointers and confidence-building guidelines help students improve their writing and speaking skills. This feature helps students strengthen their career skills by exploring such topics as

    • Ordinary or Extraordinary? Using the Web to Produce Better PowerPoint Presentations
    • Beating Writer's Block: Nine Ideas to Get Words Flowing
    • Interview Strategies: Answering the 16 Toughest Questions

    Specific techniques offer students guidance for using technological applications to improve business communication. Some examples include

    • Beware of the Mischievous Webmaster
    • Caution: E-Mail Can Bite
    • Netting a Job on the Web
    SCANS — Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills

    Like no other business communication text, this edition emphasizes the skills and competencies necessary for students to make the transition from school to the workplace. As described in the SCANS report from the Department of Labor, it is essential that students meet national standards of academic and occupational skill. To help accomplish the SCANS goal, this text offers a wide variety of interactive pedagogy (much of which is grounded in real-world situations).


    To help students organize their thinking when they begin a communication project, make decisions as they write, and check their own work, we've included checklists throughout the book. In the seventh edition, we've streamlined these checklists to increase their usefulness. These checklists are reminders, not "recipes." They provide useful guidelines for writing, without limiting creativity.


    You will find a variety of up-to-date sample documents, many collected by us in our consulting work, that focus on real companies. All In-Depth Critiques are introduced in the text (identifying the particular business situation being illustrated) and are accompanied by focused comments that point to specific sections to help students see precisely how to apply the principles being discussed. Many samples are also accompanied by a three-step-writing-process graphic that gives students important insights into planning, writing, and completing the specific document shown. Additional documents are displayed within the text, many including poor and improved examples, to illustrate common errors and effective techniques for correcting them.


    This textbook provides a wide selection of documents that students can critique and revise. Documents include letters, memos, e-mail messages, a letter of application, and a resume. Hands-on experience in analyzing and improving sample documents will help students revise their own business messages.


    With the dozens of new exercises and cases (almost all companies featured are real), we have placed an even greater emphasis in this edition on providing practical assignments like those that students will most often face at work. Many of them are memo-writing and e-mail tasks. New in the seventh edition, each exercise is labeled as to its type, such as "Team," "Ethical Choices," "Self-Assessment," or "Internet."


    The cases are yet another tool for demonstrating the role of communication in the real business world. Examples include:

    • Got It Covered? Letter from American Express about SUV rentals
    • Betting the Company: Letter from Boeing replying to questions about new aircraft plans
    • Boomerang Back to Us: E-Mail from EDS to clot-corn deserters
    • More Layoffs: Memo to Motorola employees
    • No Choking Matter: Persuasive letter from the Consumer Product Safety Commission about fast-food giveaways

    Both the exercises and cases deal with all types and sizes of organizations, both domestic and international. Each chapter also includes exercises and cases that require access to the World Wide Web, giving students practice with this fast-growing communication technology.


    Chapter-opening learning objectives are clearly stated to signal important concepts that students are expected to master. In addition, the numbered objectives reappear in the text margins, close to the relevant material. Finally, the end-of chapter "Summary of Learning Objectives" reinforces basic concepts by capsulizing chapter highlights for students.


    The end-of-chapter questions are divided into two types.

    • Test Your Knowledge (review questions)
    • Apply Your Knowledge (application questions)

    The end-of-chapter questions are designed to get students thinking about the concepts introduced in each chapter. The questions may also prompt students to stretch their learning beyond the chapter content. Not only will students find the questions useful in studying for examinations, but the instructor may also draw on them to promote classroom discussion of issues that have no easy answers


    To reinforce learning, the book's margins contain short summary statements that highlight key points in the text. These notes are no substitute for reading the chapters, but they can help students quickly get the gist of a section, review a chapter, and locate areas of greatest concern.


    The boundaries of business communication are always expanding. So in addition to covering all the traditional subjects, Business Communication Today, Seventh Edition, provides material to help students manage these important current issues in business communication:

    • Ethics. Taking an ethical position in the face of pressures and temptations requires more than courage-it requires strong communication skills.
    • Communication Barriers. The shift toward a service economy means that more and more careers will depend on interpersonal skills, making it vital for people to overcome communication barriers.
    • Cultural Diversity. The changing nature of the domestic workforce requires strong communication skills to relate to workers of various ages, genders, socioeconomic status, ethnic backgrounds, and so on. Also, strong skills are needed to communicate effectively with people from other countries.
    • Communication Technology. More and more face-to-face interactions are giving way to interactions with and through computers. And this trend will continue. To survive in today's business world, students must master high-tech communication skills.
    • Law. The increasing tendency of people to sue makes it important to understand the legal implications of written and oral communication.
    • Employment Search. More and more people are making radi

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    ISBN 10: 0070068763 ISBN 13: 9780070068766
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