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Advanced Business Writing

Life Worksheet 1: A CV or resume

1 Read Paul Lyons’ CV, or resume, and answer these questions.

1 Where does Paul currently work?


2 What sort of company does he want to work for?
3 What positive nouns and adjectives does Paul use to describe himself and the type
of people he wants to work with?

2 Paul uses positive verbs to make his CV dynamic and interesting. Match the verbs
1–8 from the CV to these synonyms.

providing helping talking to keeping up


showing examining making certain putting into action

1 analysing 2 implementing 3 assisting in


4 ensuring 5 liaising with 6 upholding
7 demonstrating 8 delivering

3 Clauses with reduced past and present participles are often used to provide
information in CVs. They can go before or after the main clause. Look at the
example then rewrite the sentences using reduced past and present participles.

1 I am a highly motivated individual and I possess the enthusiasm and drive needed
to succeed. I am looking to join a dynamic company.
A highly motivated individual, possessing the enthusiasm and drive
needed to succeed, I am looking to join a dynamic company.
2 Samantha is an experienced engineer who is prepared to work long hours. She is
looking to take on more responsibility.
An _______________________________________________________________,
Samantha is looking to take on more responsibility.
3 Andrew is a senior manager who is committed to improving the profile of his
company. He has the ambition required to take the company forward.
A _________________________________________________________________
4 Stephen is a well-regarded manager who works in the oil industry. He would like to
gain experience in HR.
A _________________________________________________________________

4 Read the job ad. Decide what experience, skills and personal qualities an applicant
will need. Then write the CV.

TECHNICAL CONSULTANT
DFT International is a global leader with over 20 years’ experience providing
recruitment solutions to the energy sector.
We are looking for a Technical Consultant to be based in Dubai.
Ideally you will have over five years’ experience of working for a
multinational resource & energy company.

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Paul Lyons Resume
PERSONAL DETAILS
Paul Lyons
12 Rugby Avenue
Rugby R32 7FT
Mobile: 0870 007 2222

PROFILE
A highly motivated individual, possessing the enthusiasm and drive needed to succeed in this competitive
industry, I am looking to join a dynamic company of conscientious professionals. Prepared to travel to
projects around the world, I am committed to producing the highest quality work for my clients.

EDUCATION
Midlands University, BSc (Hons) Structural Engineering 2007–2010
Moseley Central College 2004–2007
A levels: Maths (A) English (B) Technology (B) Science (B)

WORK EXPERIENCE
Midlands Construction Company, UK Trainee civil engineer April 2011 – June 2011
Kuwait Construction Civil engineer June 2011 – present
Responsible for managing projects, including budgeting, forecasting, scheduling and quality assurance. Day to
day responsibilities include:
● analysing and reviewing design plans and drawings
● implementing plans according to schedule
● assisting in the supervision of building works
● ensuring compliance with Health & Safety regulations
● liaising with clients and contractors
● upholding best working practices
● demonstrating high performance standards, including deadlines and quality work
● delivering final construction projects
● maintaining long term client relationships

REFERENCES
Available on request

I CAN
organise and write a CV 
use positive verbs, nouns and adjectives to make a CV dynamic 
use reduced past and present participles 

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


Advanced Business Writing
Life Worksheet 2: Meeting minutes

1 Read the extract from what was said at the weekly meeting of Lyons’ Digital
Exports Limited. Then read John Grogan’s notes. Decide which information in
John’s notes needs to be included when he writes up the meeting minutes.

Chair (Dan Clarke): So, where are we up to with the new laptops? Have they arrived yet? I can’t believe we’re still
waiting for them.
Export sales manager (Peter Lewis): Well, it’s OK.The new shipment’s just arrived. This morning, in fact. But that
means they’re a week late.
Marketing manager (Colin Scott): In that case late payment fees should come into play. We get a 10% reduction
for late shipment.
Chair (Dan Clarke): OK. But we need to seek legal advice on this. Let’s agree on that.
Marketing manager (Colin Scott): Sure.

Meeting minutes (John Grogan)


4th July
Present: Dan Clarke (chair), Peter Lewis, Colin Scott, John Grogan
Dan – queries arrival of new laptop – expresses disbelief that they’re late
Peter – new shipment has now arrived – arrived this morning – a week late
Colin – late payment fees apply – 10% reduction
Dan – need to seek legal advice – agreed by all

2 John has started writing up the meeting minutes (the notes of what was discussed
at the meeting). Read his write-up and answer these questions.

1 What reporting phrases does John use in his minutes? Which phrase is impersonal?
2 What tenses does John choose to use when reporting what was said? Why does he
choose these tenses?

Meeting minutes (John Grogan) 4th July


Present: Dan Clarke (chair), Peter Lewis, Colin Scott, John Grogan
At the meeting, export sales manager Peter Lewis reported that the new shipment of laptops arrived this
morning. Marketing manager Colin Scott pointed out that late payment fees apply because the shipment is a
week late. It was agreed that the company should seek legal advice before imposing late payment penalties.

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


3 Read these sentence pairs and decide which sentences sound better for meeting
notes and minutes.

1 a Dan Clarke said the next meeting will be next Tuesday.


b Dan Clarke said the next meeting would take place the following Tuesday.
2 a Peter Lewis reported that the new shipment arrived today and is ready for
processing.
b Peter Lewis reported that the new shipment had arrived that day and was ready
for processing.
3 a Colin, Dan and Peter agreed that we need to seek a legal opinion.
b It was agreed that we need to seek a legal opinion.

4 Now read these notes from a board meeting at Lucas Petroleum. What do all the
participants agree to do?

Meeting minutes Paul Jones


6th August
Present: Harry Lime (chair), Joe Phillips, Paul Jones

Joe – figures show 10% rise in profits this year


Paul – need to invest in new infrastructure – company healthy so
time is right
Joe – better to consolidate now – oil prices to fall (probably) next year
Paul – invest or it will be wasted opportunity
Harry – invest in core projects in Middle East but not globally?
Joe – good idea
Paul – good idea – but should be significant investment

5 Write up the meeting minutes as a report using some of these reporting phrases.
Remember that we do not move tenses back. Use impersonal as well as personal
reporting phrases.

explained that ... suggested that … announced that … pointed out that …

argued that … agreed that … produced figures to show that …

e.g. Joe Phillips reported that ... It was announced that ...

I CAN
write up meeting minutes in a report 
use reporting phrases to create a sense of immediacy 

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


Advanced Business Writing
Life Worksheet 3: A business proposal

1 Read the information box and the summaries of the three parts of a business
proposal (a–c). Then read the sections (A–C) of the model proposal. Match these
to the three summaries, then put them in a logical order 1–3.

a The problem statement


In a business proposal, a company In this section, the proposal shows an understanding of the
tries to win a contract from a client problems the client faces.
by showing that it understands the
b The proposed solution
problems the client faces, that it can
In this section, the proposal offers expert solutions to all the
offer solutions to those problems,
and that it has the experience and
problems.
market knowledge to be trusted. c The promise of reliability
In this section, the proposal makes a statement of your company’s
credentials, experience, knowledge, reliability and costs.

UNIVERSAL OFFICE SOLUTIONS

It is strongly recommended that Ostrich Publications promotes its products on all of the major social media A
channels. However, that is just a first step on the road to an effective marketing strategy. While showing the
products on social media platforms is all well and good, it is vital that the company creates a revitalised
brand that is more suited to being promoted on social media platforms. Notwithstanding the company’s
wide range of publications, few of them are obviously adapted to this new and expanding market. It is clear
that this has to change.
A marketing campaign must be created which engages with its young audience. In order for this to be
successful, it is essential that Ostrich Publications acquires fans, followers and subscribers. Moreover, it is
advisable to make connections with subscribers by inviting them to join in particular discussions or attend
specific events. The purpose of this is not only to promote Ostrich Publications, but also to gather useful
feedback from the target audience.

At Universal Office Solutions, we pride ourselves on our expertise in the growing sector of social media B
marketing. In contrast to other marketing solution providers, we have experts worldwide who have unrivalled
experience in dealing with the marketing problems of evolving businesses in a wide variety of contrasting
sectors. For further details and a breakdown of costs please contact our head office.

Although Ostrich Publications continues to be a significant player in the world of magazine publishing, it is C
beginning to lose market share. This is a consequence of the company’s reliance on a traditional approach to
marketing. In today’s digital world, it is necessary to make the leap to social media marketing.
Our research shows that rival publishing companies have increased their market share by 10 to 20% as a direct
result of adopting social media marketing techniques. It is likely that this trend will continue.

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


3 Read the proposal again and answer the questions.

1 What evidence does Universal Office Solutions provide to persuade Ostrich


Publications to consider change?
2 What specific changes does Universal Office Solutions want Ostrich Publications to
make?

4 Add the linking words and expressions underlined in the text to these categories.

1 addition: in addition to ______________ ______________


2 contrast: in spite of ______________ ______________
______________ ______________ ______________
3 result and consequence: ______________ ______________

5 It is common to use expressions with it in business proposals, e.g. it is clear that ... ,
it is necessary to ... . Find five other expressions with it in the proposal.

6 Rewrite these sentences using an it expression.

1 We need to respond to a growing demand for our products in new markets.


It _______________________________________________________________
2 We recommend a restructuring of Grey Industries’ sales department.
It _______________________________________________________________
3 Having personal contact with customers is very important, so we should open more
local branches.
It _______________________________________________________________

7 You work for High Street Solutions. Read the information about both companies
then write a business proposal for your client, Lemon Bookshops.

Lemon bookshops High Street Solutions


 Traditional family-run shop selling fiction and  Twenty years’ experience of helping
non-fiction books re-invent local shops
 Need to diversify to reflect changing trends in the  Experts with local knowledge
book-buying industry
 Proven track record in promoting local
 Need to add coffee shop and comfortable seating businesses
area
 Need to have website where customers can
browse and order books
 Need to organise local events (book clubs; book
signings by local authors; book readings for
children) to entice customers
 Need to redecorate shop – use clean, bright
colours

I CAN
write a clearly structured business proposal 
use linking words and expressions 
use it expressions 

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


Advanced Business Writing
Life Worksheet 4: A mail shot

1 Discuss the following questions.

1 Have you ever received a mail shot or e-shot? If so, how effective are they? What
features of a mail shot make it successful?
2 Have you ever sent a mail shot or e-shot? If so, what were you trying to sell or
promote? What techniques did you use?

2 Read the mail shot and answer the questions.

1 Which company has sent the mail shot, what service do they offer, and why has
Jack been chosen as a recipient?
2 Which of the following techniques are used in the mail shot to get Jack’s interest
and attention?
 using first names and ‘you’ to make it personal and direct
 flattering the reader and making them feel special and unique
 providing an ‘objective’ testimonial from a happy customer
 using a formal, polite tone
 providing a special offer or offer of preferential service
 providing a sense of urgency
 giving a lot of detail about any offers made
 being chatty and conversational in tone
 using a PS at the end to grab the reader’s attention one last time

Hi Jack!
As a frequent flyer and valued customer, we wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for
recently choosing BigFlightSite. We are the world’s most popular flight-booking site owing to our
unbeatable prices and great special offers, so it’s really smart of you to have chosen BigFlightSite to
book your recent flight to London.
We wanted to remind you that BigFlightSite can help you save by tracking airfare prices before you
book so that you get the best possible offer, as well as by tracking prices after you’ve booked in case
you may be eligible for a partial refund. Just think – you really can’t lose if you choose BigFlightSite!
Don’t take our word for it though. Check out our testimonials from satisfied customers.

‘I’ve saved my company over three thousand ‘No other flight site can compete with BigFlightSite’s
dollars this year by booking with BigFlightSite’ reliability and customer service.’
Brad Lewis, Electron Inc., Houston Susie Scott, Elegance Fabrics, Seattle

And, remember, as well as providing great service, we offer regular promotions so as to keep our best
customers satisfied. So, we’re offering you a 10% discount on top of any other saving on the next flight
you book as long as it’s a business-class flight with one of our selected airlines. So, happy flying and
stay smart – keep using BigFlightSite.
Yours
All at BigFlightSite
PS Hurry! Our special offer is only available to the end of the month!

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3 Match these ‘money-saving’ phrases from the mail shot to their definitions (1–5).

unbeatable price special offer partial refund


regular promotion 10% discount

1 when you get some of your money back


2 when the cost is so low nobody else can better it
3 when you get a reduction, service or gift that is usually given
4 when an amount of money is taken off the price
5 when you get a reduction, service or gift that is not usually given

4 Replace the expressions in bold (1–6) with the expressions in the box that have the
same meaning.

so that owing to so as to as long as on top of in case

1 You can make great monthly savings because of our unique way of tracking prices.
2 Join our website in order to take advantage of our very special offers.
3 We contact all major retailers, our aim being that we can find the best price for
you.
4 Provided that you return the product in seven days, we won’t charge you anything.
5 Our service will provide you with a full guarantee as well as lots of useful extras.
6 You’ll want to take out our insurance protection as a provision against a situation
in which something unforeseeable goes wrong.

5 Write a mail shot to a regular customer from one of these companies. Include a
special offer or promotion, at least one testimonial, and a PS.

PC PROTECT


ENJOYFILMS
 Reliable protection for people
who regularly work and play
online
Great movies to rent online for
people who really know about cinema!

SPONGE CAR CLEANING

Immaculate care and cleaning service for


executives who take pride in their cars

I CAN
write a mail shot using the correct register 
recognise and use some features of mail shots 
use linking expressions 

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


Advanced Business Writing
Life
Worksheet 5: Advertising copy

1 Match each set of adjectives (1–4) to the product they describe. How do these
adjectives create a positive impression of the product?

a type of box of chocolates a type of jewellery a type of tool or gadget


a type of clothing or footwear a type of vehicle a type of tea or coffee
a type of pan a type of building

1 fresh wild sharp remote rare unique great-tasting


2 lightweight versatile comfortable top-of-the-range waterproof
3 rust-free light state-of-the-art innovative hard-wearing
4 heat-resistant exclusive stainless steel removable perforated

2 Read the four product descriptions in the advertising copy on the next page.
Check your answers to Exercise 1.

3 These opening sentences are missing from the four product descriptions. Match
each sentence (1–4) with its advertising aim (a–d).

1 Believe it or not, we aren’t pulling your leg!


2 Readers of Hiker International Magazine have praised Target boots for their
rugged reliability.
3 Have you ever thought to yourself that there must be an easier way of doing this?
4 Meet the next generation of outdoor cookware!

a an independent and authoritative recommendation of the product


b a question that the reader will want to know the answer to
c a funny or intriguing comment that makes you want to read more
d an introduction to the product that makes it sound new and special

4 Read the four product descriptions again. Match the missing sentences in
Exercise 3 with the product descriptions.

5 Complete the sentences with the missing prepositions.

1 It’s great ____ opening cans or bottles.


2 Thanks ____ our use of new technology, it never breaks down.
3 It comes ____ lots of original features.
4 They’re admired ____ their beautiful designs.
5 It’s made ____ lightweight materials.
6 It’s just right ____ covering up unattractive walls.
7 It’s free ____ harmful additives.
8 It’s been praised ____ its state-of-the-art technology.
9 It’s designed ____ your needs in mind.
10 We’re proud ____ our product.

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Thumbsavers A
________ Well, that’s why we’ve invented Thumbsavers. From now on, whenever you hammer in a nail, you can
use our innovative, state-of-the-art Thumbsavers to protect your fingers and thumbs. Thumbsavers come with a
built-in magnet at the end of the plastic-coated handle which grips nails, pins, screws and tacks nice and tight while
you place them just right for hammering or drilling. Made of light, rust-free aluminium, hard-wearing Thumbsavers
are great for positioning nails and screws in locations that your fingers just can’t get to.

Monkey-picked tea B
________ Specially trained monkeys are used to climb steep cliffs to pick this rare, wild tea in a remote mountain
region of China. Grown for centuries, and admired for its fresh, sharp taste by legendary emperors, monkey-picked
tea has to be tasted to be believed. Order a packet today, and we’ll throw in a free booklet about how the tea is
prepared and how the monkeys are trained. And remember that our product is free of additives, and no monkeys
were harmed or mistreated in order for us to bring this unique, great-tasting brew to you!

The Steel Grill Pan C


________ Designed with the perfect garden barbecue in mind, our innovative, heat-resistant frying pan makes it
easy to cook crowd-pleasing stir-fries, vegetables and more on your grill. Thanks to our exclusive, perforated
design, your favourite foods will take on a savoury, fire-smoked flavour with the Steel Grill Pan. Tiny perforations
on the pan’s surface expose your foods to the fire, adding a fabulously rich, smoky character. Constructed of
rugged stainless steel, its unique, patented design keeps even the smallest ingredients safely inside the pan, and it
has a removable handle, which you can detach before cooking, and reattach when you’re ready to easily move the
pan on and off the barbecue.

Target Boots D
________ And we at Target are proud of our top-of-the-range product – Target Boots are the four-wheel drive of
walking shoes. Our walking shoes are lightweight and comfortable, waterproof and durable. They will provide you
with great traction control as well as the torsion stability needed to allow you to be well supported wherever the
trail takes you! Target Boots are crammed with the latest refinements and technological ideas such as the tri-
density foot bed. However, what is most important about these walking shoes is that they are versatile – you can
wear them for activities ranging from gardening to dog walking to trekking.

6 Prepare advertising copy and a detailed product description for one of the
products below. Remember to use an opening line that grabs the reader’s
attention, and lots of positive descriptive adjectives.

 Luxury Hands-free Car Phone


 Super Deluxe Portable Fan
 Spike Sports Trainers
 Kitchen Giant Refrigerators

I CAN
write an attention-grabbing opening 
use positive descriptive adjectives 
use the correct preposition with a verb or adjective 

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Advanced Business Writing
Life
Worksheet 6: An internal report

1 Read the tips for writing internal reports and tick the three that are correct.

1 use clear, precise and concise language


2 give strong personal opinions throughout
3 use bulleted or numbered points
4 make sure any conclusions or recommendations are based on facts
5 use complex phrases and descriptive adjectives

2 Read the internal report and match these headings to the four sections (1 to 4).

A conclusions B terms of reference C recommendations D findings

3 Match the phrases in italics (1–8) with the synonymous phrases in bold in the
internal report.

1 In summary, it can be stated that … 5 It was prepared on behalf of …


2 Interviews were conducted with … 6 It was discovered that...
3 They were asked to express a view on … 7 An observation of note is that …
4 It is thought to be acceptable. 8 It takes an in-depth look at …

4 Discuss these questions.

1 Why are passive structures used in sections 1–3 but active structures in section 4?
2 What is the purpose of using numbered points in each section?
3 Why are modal verbs (ought to, should) used in section 3?

5 Look at these diagrams which are a result of a survey into current employee
satisfaction with Lloyds’ catering service. Then write an internal report including
terms of reference, findings, conclusions and recommendations.

Overall satisfaction Specific problems mentioned

1 canteen closed after 3pm


2 few vegetarian options
3 no provision for halal food
4 poor quality of coffee
5 uncomfortable seating in canteen

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Report into current employee satisfaction with Lloyds’ benefits package

1 ____
This report was commissioned by the personnel department on April 1st. It reviews in detail overall
satisfaction with the company’s benefits package among current employees, and its findings are based
on interviews carried out with a representative one hundred employees (about 10% of the current
workforce).
In the interviews, employees were asked to comment on aspects of current practice concerning:
1 overall satisfaction with our current benefits package
2 problems encountered when dealing with the personnel department
3 suggestions for the improvement of communication policies.

2 ____
It was found that 70% of employees were satisfied with the overall package, and of these 25% were very
satisfied. Of the remaining 30%, 10% expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the package. It is worth
noting that while employees in the 18 to 35 age group all expressed satisfaction, older employees were
more likely to express dissatisfaction.
Key areas which were criticised included the following:
1 Most employees complain about the lack of dental insurance in our benefits package.
2 The most common suggestion for improvement was for the ability to process benefits requests
online.
3 Older employees repeatedly had problems with procedures for getting access to discounted
prescription drugs.

3 ____
In general, the benefits package is considered appropriate. However, it can be concluded that there is a
need to look into the following areas:
1 Older employees are having serious problems with the provision of discounted prescription drugs.
2 Our benefits request system ought to be revised as most complaints concern in-house processing.
3 Improvements need to take place in personnel department response time.
4 Information technology improvements should be considered as employees become more
technologically savvy.

4 ____
Before renewing the benefits package, I recommend that we should take the following steps:
1 meet with representatives to discuss the serious nature of complaints concerning prescription drug
benefits for older employees
2 give priority to vacation request response time, as employees need faster approval in order to be
able to plan their vacations
3 take no special actions for the benefits package of younger employees
4 discuss the possibility of adding an online benefits requests system to our company Intranet.

I CAN
organise a report clearly 
use bulleted or numbered points 
use passive constructions 
use formal expressions to present findings 

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


Advanced Business Writing
Life
Worksheet 7: A financial report

1 Read the two financial reports on the next page and answer these questions.

1 What business sectors are being reported on?


2 Decide if each report is positive or negative.

2 Match these section headings to the four parts of report A (labelled a–d).

1 Outlook (its future potential)


2 Context (what it does and its history)
3 Recommendation (what investors are advised to do)
4 Performance (how it is currently performing financially)

3 Look at these expressions from a financial report. In which section of a report


from Exercise 2 would you find each expression? Why? What tenses and forms do
we tend to use in each of the sections of a financial report?

1 … is currently trading at a loss.


2 … will continue to be a sound investment.
3 … has been well-established in the market since...
4 … should be treated with caution.
5 … may well make a profit in the coming months.
6 … ought to be avoided at all costs.

4 Categorise the words in bold in the report under the headings below.

1 a rise / to rise: ________ , ________ , ________ , ________ , ________ , ________


2 a fall / to fall: ________ , ________
3 a change / to change: ________ , ________ , ________ , ________ , ________

5 Match these definitions with the underlined idiomatic expressions in the two texts.

1 endured a difficult period


2 it used to be a company you could invest in knowing that it wouldn’t lose money
3 manages to stay clear of problems
4 badly affected by the lack of lending in this recession
5 a careful, patient, safe policy
6 be careful not to invest all or a lot of your money in this
7 does business in a lot of different sectors

6 Read the information about Swirling Guitars on the next page. Then write a
financial report. Include information about the company’s context, its
performance and outlook, and provide recommendations for investors.

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A Browning Industrial
a ___________________________
Browning Industrial has been a dominant player in the pharmaceutical industry for over 50 years, and has
recently diversified into cosmetic products such as sun-tan lotions and face creams.
b ___________________________
Once a safe bet, Browning is currently experiencing difficulties. Its recently published pre-tax profits were
down by 7% from the previous financial year. Hit by the credit crunch, as well as by an overhaul of
regulations which has allowed rivals to undercut its prices, Browning has had a rough ride in recent
months.
c ___________________________
The picture may well improve for Browning in the coming months, but don’t bet your bottom dollar on it.
The prices of pharmaceutical products are set to rocket across Europe, but it isn’t at all clear that this will
have a positive effect on Browning’s profits as much of the money will be siphoned off in government
taxes. And Browning remains a bit player in the cosmetics industry, its position squeezed by larger
concerns. Basically, Browning will have to ride out the slump and hope that the economy gets the boost
we’re all hoping for soon.
d ___________________________
It would be wise to take a wait and see approach to Browning. Given its size and pedigree, it could well
prove to be a sound investment in the long run, but at the moment investors should be wary.

B Danner Group
Danner Group’s recent acquisition of Lanta Foods has turned the company into one of the largest concerns
in the food processing industry. As well as biscuits, cakes and jellies, Danner now make pet food and crisps.
Once a small, German food manufacturer, Danner has repositioned itself as a global player in the last
decade.
Overseas sales are growing rapidly, and the company is starting to steal market share from its competitors.
It controls over 30% of the international market with sales of about $50 billion per annum. As it trades in
essential foods, and has its finger in lots of pies, it doesn’t seem to be affected by the downturn in the
economy. Led by a strong showing in the pet food sector, the company registered an 18% jump in net
income in the first three quarters of the last financial year before investment gains or losses.
There’s no reason to suspect that Danner Group’s climb won’t continue so long as it avoids the pitfalls
associated with transforming itself into an ever larger conglomerate. It’s in the process of acquiring Simon
Foods, and will, no doubt, be looking to add further to its portfolio. However, as Danner Group is operating
in such a healthy sector, it’s in a win-win situation and its stock will continue to boom.
We’ve been advising investors to take an interest in Danner for a number of years as its stock has been
such a consistent performer. Although its stock is no longer cheap, its growth prospects continue to be
attractive, with profits projected to increase 13% annually for the next few years.

Swirling Guitars Established: 1960


Makers of high quality instruments
Market share: 20% in its home market; 4% worldwide
Sector performance: sales down by 15% in last decade;
affected by cheaper Asian imports I CAN
Current performance: sales steady for last four years structure a financial report 
Outlook: about to launch new guitar; have increased staff use a range of tenses 
in the last year; Christmas approaching use a range of verbs to talk about trends 
use idiomatic expressions 

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


Advanced Business Writing
Life
Worksheet 8: A newsletter

1 An external newsletter is a creative way of promoting products and services to


clients. An internal newsletter is a way of keeping employees informed about
policies, upcoming events and job openings. Discuss the questions.

1 How often do you read business newsletters? Why do you read them?
2 Have you ever contributed to a newsletter? What did you write?
3 What would you like to see covered in a newsletter?

2 Look at the list of elements (A–F) that appear in a newsletter. Match each element
to a section (1–6) of the newsletter on the next page.

A news
B masthead and logo (i.e. the title and a witty saying at the top of the newsletter)
C newsletter staff and contact information
D message from the president, CEO or editor
E calendar of events
F staff announcements

3 Look at section 2. Match the sequencers in bold to the near synonyms below.

1 firstly, first of all, _________


2 secondly, next, _________, _________
3 finally, _________

4 Look at section 2 and section 3. The present perfect is often used when giving
news. To give the news real immediacy the present continuous is used. Find
examples of the present perfect simple and continuous, active and passive, in
section 2. Find examples of the present continuous in section 3.

5 Newsletters often use dynamic news vocabulary. Match the underlined words in
section 3 to their synonyms below.

1 increase ______________
2 announcing in a very positive way ______________
3 were launched on ______________
4 making an offer ______________
5 doing very well ______________

6 Make a list of the news, current events and personnel changes that have recently
taken place in your company or a company you know well. Decide which of these
items of news and events you want to cover in a newsletter and in what order.
Then write the newsletter.

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


BULLITT BIKES NEWS >>>>>> going places fast 1

The editor speaks … 2


Thank you for reading the latest instalment of Bullitt Bikes News. It’s been a busy month in the company,
and we’ve been doing our best to keep up with developments. First up, two new bikes have been launched
on the market recently, which Sophie Lee reports on in our news section. In other news, the new
workshop extension has been opened by our CEO. Next up, the finance division has raised a lot of money
for charity in their annual sponsored swim. And there have been changes at the top. We tell you all about
who’s on the move and who’s staying put. Last but not least, we have all the latest info about current
events in the company. So, read on, and please contact us if you have any news or events that you’d like us
to include in our next edition. Simone Hughes

What’s up? 3
This month, the new Cruiser 100 and Beetle 500 hit the market and sales are booming. Cycle shops around
the country are boasting record sales and a large number of enquiries.
Bullitt Bikes are bidding for rival cycle manufacturer Scorpion cycles. Discussions are ongoing.
CEO Mike Laird flew in from California to open our brand new workshop extension to great fanfare. It is
hoped that the workshop will boost our production capacity by 20 per cent over the next few years.
Tina Graham and her team in the finance division spent last weekend swimming 800 metres in the
Worksop Pool for charity. Their brilliant efforts raised 2,000 euros, double the amount of money raised in
last year’s swim. Sophie Lee

Movers and shakers 4


In a major reshuffle, Jack Clark has been promoted to head up the Marketing Division and Amy Stewart
and Carl Sawyer have joined the company in senior roles in Sales. We wish all our new employees great
success in their new positions.

Anyone for tennis? 5


Join the tennis club at Bullitt Bikes. We play in the northern league, both singles and doubles, so please
come and join us whatever your level.
Tickets are on sale for the theatre trip on May 7th.
A reminder that cinema night is cancelled on May 1st but will resume as usual on May 8th.

Have your say 6


If you have any comments, or would like to contribute, please contact the team at Bullitt Bikes News.
simonehughes@bullittbikes.com sophielee@bullittbikes.com newsteam@bullittbikes.com

I CAN
organise and write a newsletter 
use sequencers to order news 
use a range of appropriate tenses 
use dynamic news vocabulary 

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


Advanced Business Writing
Life
Worksheet 9: A mission statement

1 In a mission statement, a company sets out its aims and its values. Think of a
company that you know well. Which of these values are important to the company
and why?

1 personal engagement with customers 7 team spirit


2 creativity 8 innovation
3 sustainability 9 shareholder commitment
4 entrepreneurial skills 10 integrity
5 quality 11 growth
6 value for money

2 Read the mission statement for Orbit Energy. Match the headings from Exercise 1
to sections 1–6 of the mission statement.

3 Notice that the mission statement uses we and our and simple, concise sentences. It
also uses strong verbs. Find seven strong verbs in bold in the mission statement
that have a similar meaning to these verbs.

rely promote achieve vow strive intend integrate

4 Choose the correct definition for these words taken from the mission statement.

1 know-how
a practical knowledge b academic knowledge
2 cutting-edge
a new and innovative b traditional and well-known
3 tailor-made
a designed for general use b designed for specific use
4 environmentally sound
a good for the environment b neither good nor bad for the environment
5 top-drawer
a of average quality b of superior quality

5 Write a mission statement for one of these companies. Alternatively, write a


mission statement for a company that you know well.

Amity Bookshops SUPER P.A. SOLAR Products


A leading chain of worldwide Providing secretarial services The leader in developing roof
bookshops to major companies solar panels

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


ORBIT ENERGY
A WORLD OF POWER

Our Mission and Values

Orbit mission
We aim to generate and deliver electricity in a safe, reliable and environmentally sound manner. Our
vision is to be the recognised performance leader in the American electricity industry. We combine
cutting-edge technology and innovation with excellent customer service skills.

Orbit values
1
We are committed to meeting the needs of our customers. We provide a top-drawer service that is tailor-
made to each individual’s requirements.

2
We depend on the combined excellence of our team of skilled and highly qualified employees to realise
our full potential. We are determined to invest in a programme of continual skills development and we
encourage team-building.

3
We endeavour to bring new services and systems to the market by using our extensive know-how and
experience of the electricity industry.

4
We deliver profit and value for those who invest in us.

5
Our intention is to show loyalty and reliability to all our business partners. We promise to engage in fair
business practice at all times.

6
We value our long-standing record of good environmental practice above all other concerns. We
contribute towards sustainable development by seeking a good balance between ecological, social and
economic needs.

I CAN
identify typical company values 
organise and write a mission statement 
understand and use strong verbs 
use simple, concise sentences 

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


Advanced Business Writing
Life
Worksheet 10: Email style

1 When writing emails, which of the following pieces of advice are appropriate?

1 You should always have a strong, clear subject line so that the recipient knows what
the email is about before reading it.
2 You should always use titles (e.g. Dear Mr Jones), not first names (e.g. Dear Rob).
3 You should avoid contractions (e.g. I am writing not I’m writing).
4 You should put your most important information in the first paragraph. Get to the
point quickly.
5 Limit sentence length and keep paragraphs short and easy to read.

2 Read the emails (A–C). Match each email to its type (1–3) below. Which one is
most formal, and which one is least formal?

1 an invitation 2 an offer 3 a message of thanks

3 Complete the emails with these phrases.

a as we’ve come to expect f best regards


b thank you once again for g please feel free to
c on behalf of h sincerely
d keep in touch i as you may know
e requests the pleasure of j it would be greatly appreciated

4 Notice the use of adverb–adjective collocations in bold in the emails. Then match
each adverb (1–4) with the set of adjectives (a–d) that it collocates with.

1 thoroughly a reasonable balanced arranged


2 perfectly b recommended effective investigated
3 deeply c different new changed
4 radically d meaningful concerned honoured

5 Choose one of these situations then write an email to the person concerned. Decide
on your level of formality, your subject line, and the language you wish to use to
communicate your message.

1 an invitation to John Donald, a well-known speaker on sales and marketing, to


speak at an awards ceremony (and present an award) at your annual sales
conference
2 a follow-up thank-you message to a marketing manager from a department store
who has recently visited your manufacturing company and been given a guided tour
3 an email to a recent graduate who has written to your company asking for job
experience or an internship

I CAN
write effective emails 
use a range of styles 
use fixed expressions for emails 
use adverb–adjective collocations 

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


To: Jonathan Whitaker From: Laurence Hall

Subject: Employment with Amity Consulting Services

Dear Jonathan,
1
My name is Laurence Hall, and I am contacting you ___________ Amity Consulting. We received your
CV sent on the 9th April, and we would like to know if you are still interested in working for us.
At present, we are seeking a freelance consultant on a part-time basis to assist on our training project
in the oil industry in Oman. If this role is of interest to you, please fill in the attached application form
and send it to Claire Forrest at Amity Consulting. We will contact you shortly about an interview.
2
In the meantime, if you have any questions, ___________ contact me.
We look forward to hearing from you.
3
Yours ___________ ,
Laurence Hall

To: Susan Taylor-Marsh From: Henry Fielding

Subject: Pre-exposition drinks with DDF

Dear Susan,
4
___________ , DDF Industries will be exhibiting at the Solar Exposition this year, and, to mark the
5
launch of our new, radically innovative X33 panel, Janet Austen, CEO of DDF, ___________ your
company for drinks and canapés at our booth on the first floor at 3 p.m. on Monday the 7th.
6
___________ if you could confirm your attendance by reply.
We really hope you can make it – we’ll all be deeply disappointed if you can’t!
We look forward to seeing you again.
7
____
Henry

To: Julian More From: Jonathan Potts


Subject: Congratulations on the expo presentation

Hi Julian,
I am writing to thank you for your outstanding presentation at the Yachting Expo last Monday.
8
___________ , it was both thoroughly entertaining and perfectly executed. It was very much
appreciated by all of us at the Marine Store sales group.
9
___________ taking time out from your busy schedule to provide our employees and clients with
such a memorable presentation.
10
___________ ,
Jon

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


Advanced Business Writing
Life
Worksheet 11: Emails to a client

1 Discuss the questions.

1 How often do you write emails to clients or suppliers? What is the usual subject
matter of your emails?
2 What is the tone of the emails you send? (Formal and businesslike? Personal?)

2 Read the emails between Graham Lewis of Saxon Precision Tools (the supplier)
and Dan Harris of Everyman Workshops (the client). Answer the questions.

1 What does Dan order? And what does Graham send him?
2 How does the relationship between Dan and Graham change?

3 Read the emails again. Complete the emails with these phrases.

a As I’m sure you will understand, this is now costing me time and money.
b Could you also confirm that you will be able to supply drill bits in a range of sizes?
c We will cover all costs involved in returning the unwanted tools.
d They have assured me that the tools will be with you first thing tomorrow morning.
e Please find attached an invoice for these presses.

4 Find these nouns or verbs in the emails. Match them to their definitions (a–f).

1 charged at a investigate thoroughly


2 breakdown b appear
3 look into c this refers to the payment requested
4 deadline d contact someone again
5 get back to e a detailed analysis or list of information
6 show up f the time when something must be completed or delivered

5 Explain the meaning and use of the modal verbs in bold in the emails. Why do the
correspondents choose to use words like could, would and should so often?

6 Read the two situations and write the emails required.

Situation 1: you are the client


a You run a small shoe shop. Write to Darks’ Boots and order 20 pairs of their all-
weather hiking boots for your shop.
b The shoes haven’t arrived yet. Write and ask why.
c They finally arrive but they have only sent the right foot of each pair.
Situation 2: you are the supplier
a You make many different flavours of ice cream in bulk. A small ice cream shop has
written asking for you to supply them and if you offer a discount. Write back.
b The shop is upset with you because you have sent far too much ice cream and it’s
melting. Write back.
c The shop wants to cancel the contract and wants you to foot the bill for the mess in
the shop’s warehouse from all the melted ice cream. Write back.

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


Graham Lewis wrote on 8 May Dan Harris wrote on 10 May

Dear Mr Harris Dear Mr Lewis


Thank you for your email. As requested, I am Thank you for sending your brochure and price
attaching details of our range of Saxon precision list. Would it be possible for us to place an order
tools along with a breakdown of our prices. I can for ten Saxon XR300 Magnetic Drill Presses? It is
confirm that we offer a discount of 5% on orders imperative that we have the tools in place by
of ten or more large items. Please feel free to Monday 15th so please let us know whether you
1
contact me on my office telephone number can meet this short deadline. __________.
should you require any further information.
Thanks in advance
Yours sincerely,
Dan Harris
Graham Lewis

Graham Lewis wrote on 10 May Dan Harris wrote on 15 May

Dear Dan Hi Graham


Further to our telephone conversation earlier this So far today, the drill presses we ordered from
3
morning, I have made arrangements to deliver you have not arrived. ___________. Could you
ten Saxon XR300 Magnetic Drill Presses to your look into this and get back to us as soon as
workshop. They should be with you by noon on possible?
2
Monday 15th. __________. As discussed, the
Yours
full brochure price has been charged. However, if
you were to order any further drill presses these Dan
would be charged at the reduced price.
All the best
Graham

Graham Lewis wrote on 15 May Graham Lewis wrote on 16 May

Dear Dan Dear Mr Harris


Please accept our apologies for the late arrival of Further to your telephone calls, I can only
the tools you ordered. I have contacted the apologise for the error in sending you Saxon
4
delivery company. __________. Please let me XR200 Magnetic Drill Presses. As agreed, I have
know immediately if the tools fail to show up now arranged to have ten XR300 drill presses
tomorrow. delivered to you as soon as possible at the
5
Best wishes reduced price. __________. Thank you for your
patience and understanding in this matter.
Graham
We look forward to doing business with you
again soon.
Yours sincerely
Graham Lewis
I CAN
write business emails 
request, negotiate, demand and complain 
use modal verbs to be tentative 

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


Advanced Business Writing
Life
Worksheet 12: A formal letter of agreement

1 Discuss these questions.

1 How often do you send letters in your job?


2 In which of these situations might you choose to send a formal letter rather than an
email?

a job offer an agreement to purchase or provide a service a legal notice


an official warning a notice of dismissal an invitation to a meeting

2 Read the formal letter on the next page and answer the questions.

1 What revised offer is Mike Dragon making?


2 Why has Mike decided to write a letter not an email?

3 Read the rules for writing formal letters then find three mistakes in the letter.

1 The writer’s name or company name and address goes at the top right of the letter
or, if using headed paper, it is generally at the centre top.
2 The recipient’s full name, company name and address goes on the left side, below
that of the writer.
3 The date goes below the recipient’s address. It can be written with the number
before or after the month, and with or without the ordinal, so November 8th 2013,
8th November 2013 and 8 November 2013 are all correct. However, the month
should not be shortened, to Nov, for example.
4 If you know the recipient’s name, use Mr or Ms and the surname. Do not use their
first name. Write Dear Sir or Madam when you don’t know names.
5 If you write Dear Sir or Madam, use Yours faithfully at the end. If you use the
recipient’s name, use Yours sincerely before your signature, name and job title.

4 Match the formal phrases in bold in the letter to these informal phrases.

1 but only if you agree to these suggestions of mine


2 until now
3 about that plan we agreed on
4 following on from that chat we had
5 a really big change
6 before we sign anything legally binding
7 I bet you already know this

5 Match the adjectives and adverbs 1–6 from the letter to their definitions (a–f).

1 exclusive a first
2 initial b helpful
3 viable c for both
4 considerable d limited to one person / company
5 mutually e possible
6 beneficial f a lot

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


6 Read the information from a meeting. Write Frank’s revised letter of agreement
to Sophie.

Meeting between Frank Field (manager, Amazing Websites, Hill Road, Lowestoft)
and Sophie Lawes (owner, Play Toys, 4 Eden Drive, Totnes)

Agreements made to give Sophie exclusive right to trade toys on Amazing Websites.
Agreed 5% commission on Sophie’s sales.
Amazing Websites now wishes to raise this to 7% due to unforeseen difficulties with costs.
Write and explain this to Sophie.

Wizard Bookstores
Workshop Estate, Wolverhampton WV18 6KZ

I CAN
Ms Catherine Hill
start the email 
Coffee Shakers
refer toRoad
17 Fell past contact 
refer
Staffordan attachment
to 
offer more information 
end
12ththe
Febemail
2014 

Dear Ms Cathy Hill


With regard to our discussions last week relating to an arrangement to open exclusive outlets of your
coffee shops in our bookstores, I am writing to confirm that we would like to accept your initial offer,
subject to the following terms and conditions.
As you may be aware, ground rents for business premises have risen sharply in recent months.
Consequently, and further to our conversation on the 28th of last month, we feel that we would need
to charge a monthly rent on your coffee shops 10 per cent higher than has been suggested thus far, in
order to make the arrangement financially viable for us. Your agreement to this would need to be
confirmed in writing prior to going to contract.
We are aware that this is a considerable amendment to our original spoken agreement. However, we
believe that this arrangement continues to be mutually beneficial for both our companies.
We sincerely hope that this new offer is acceptable and we look forward to hearing your response.
Yours faithfully

M J D ra gon
Mike Dragon
Managing Director

I CAN
write a formal letter of agreement 
set out a letter correctly 
use formal fixed expressions 

Life Advanced Business Writing ©National Geographic Learning


Notes to Worksheet 1 relative clauses can help to avoid repeated relative
clauses, or clauses beginning with I.
A CV or resume
Answers
Learning aims: 2 An experienced engineer willing to work long
 to write a CV that projects a positive image hours, …
 to use positive verbs to make a CV more 3 A senior manager committed to improving the
dynamic profile of his company, Andrew has the ambition
 to used reduced past and present participles to required to take the company forward.
present information in a concise way 4 A well-regarded manager working in the oil
industry, Stephen would like to gain experience
Lead in by asking students the following questions:
in HR.
When did you last write a CV? What information do
you include in your CV? What words or phrases are 4 Ask students to prepare notes for their own CV.
useful when preparing a CV? Explain that in British You could ask students to decide what information
English, we say CV or curriculum vitae. In American they will need to mention in the first place. You may
English, we say resume (pronounced /rezjuːˌmeɪ/). also want to set this task as a discussion in small
1 Organise the class into pairs. Ask them to read groups of three or four. After discussing ideas in
Paul Lyons’ CV quickly and discuss the questions. In feedback, ask students to write their CV in class, or,
feedback, build up the answers on the board. Follow if short of time, as homework.
up by asking students what other positive adjectives At Advanced level, it is a good idea to involve
could be used in a CV, for example, enterprising, students in correcting and commenting on each
experienced, hardworking / industrious, organised, other’s work. This gives students a sense that they
passionate, reliable. Ask which are most important are supporting and teaching each other. It also
in their line of work. makes full use of the business and language
Answers knowledge of all your students. After students have
1 He works for Kuwait Construction. written their CVs in class or at home, organise the
class into pairs and ask one pair to swap their CVs
2 a dynamic company of motivated professionals,
with another pair. Pairs then work together to make
he’s prepared to travel, so he may want to join an
comments and corrections on the other students’
international company CVs, according to the checklist below (which you
3 motivated, enthusiasm, drive, dynamic, could write up on the board).
conscientious, quality
As they do this, monitor to support and make
2 Go through the task with the students and ask suggestions, and to note any good or incorrect
them in pairs to match the verbs from the CV to language that you could focus on as a class at the
their synonyms. Ask students to use the text to help end of the session. When students have finished,
them. In feedback, point out the use of prepositions: mix pairs so that students can report back directly to
assisting in, liaising with. each other on their CVs.
Answers Writing a CV: a checklist
1 examining 2 putting into action 3 helping  Is the layout clear?
4 making certain 5 talking to 6 keeping up
7 showing 8 providing  Does the CV emphasise information that is
relevant to the job applied for?
3 Ask students to look at the rubric and the
 Does it include positive, dynamic nouns,
example and rewrite it as a class. Point out the use
adjectives and verbs?
of reduced relative clauses in the CV to introduce
the main clause. The subject is then in the main  Does it use reduced participle clauses accurately?
clause, e.g. Prepared to travel to projects around the
world, I am committed to … . Ask students in pairs to
complete the task. Explain that in a CV reduced

Life Advanced Business Writing: Teacher’s notes ©National Geographic Learning


Notes to Worksheet 2 Answers
1 John uses the following phrases: reported that ...,
Meeting minutes
pointed out that ..., it was agreed that ... .
Learning aims: It was agreed that ... is impersonal.
 to assess what information from a meeting to 2 John uses the present simple instead of the past
include in the minutes simple, and the past simple instead of the past
 to report what was said at a meeting using the perfect tense, because these notes were written
present simple and past simple up immediately after the meeting. By not going
 to use impersonal reporting phrases for a more one tense back, the notes are given a sense of
objective tone immediacy and urgency.

Lead in by asking students the following questions: 3 Ask students to read through the sentence pairs
When did you last have a business meeting? Did you and choose the best sentence.
write anything down? What kind of information did Answers
you write? 1 a
1 Ask students to read the extract and the notes 2 a
below quickly, and cross out the information that 3 b
should not be included. Ask students to check their
4 Ask students to read through the notes from a
answers with their partner.
board meeting and answer the question. Get
ANSWER students to compare their answers in pairs.
Dan – queries arrival of new laptop – expresses
ANSWER
disbelief that they’re late
They agree to invest in core projects in the Middle
Peter – new shipment has now arrived – arrived this
East, but not globally
morning – a week late
Colin – late payment fees apply – 10% reduction 5 Ask students to remember when they last had a
Dan – need to seek legal advice – agreed by all meeting and ask them to prepare meeting notes for
their report using the reporting phrases in the box.
2 Organise the class into pairs. Ask students to read Point out that they should use impersonal as well as
and discuss the questions. Check the answers as a personal reporting phrases and should not move
whole class. Ask the students what other reported tenses back.
speech phrases can be used in meeting minutes and
You may ask students to write their meeting minutes
elicit the following:
in class, or, if short of time, as homework.
stated that, explained that, suggested that,
At Advanced level, it is a good idea to involve
announced that, pointed out that, argued that,
students in correcting and commenting on each
agreed that.
other’s work. Organise the class into pairs and ask
Point out that in meeting minutes and similar one pair to swap their meeting minutes with
reports, personal phrases are often changed to another pair. Pairs then work together to make
impersonal, for example, John reported that … > It comments and corrections on the other students’
was reported that … work according to the checklist below (which you
NOTE Using impersonal reporting phrases makes could write up on the board).
meeting minutes more formal. They also make the Writing meeting minutes: a checklist
writing sound more objective and neutral.
 Do the minutes include all relevant information?
 Do the minutes use reporting phrases accurately
and appropriately?
 Are the minutes a clear and accurate record of
the meeting?

Life Advanced Business Writing: Teacher’s notes ©National Geographic Learning


Notes to Worksheet 3 5 Give students some time to read through the text
again and find five other expressions. In feedback,
A business proposal point out that it is common to use expressions with
it in business proposals, because this makes the style
Learning aims:
more formal and impersonal.
 to write a clearly structured business proposal
stating problems, proposing solutions and Answers
promising reliability It is strongly recommended that
 to use linking words and expressions It is vital that
 to extend the vocabulary of transport from It is essential that
Student’s Book Unit 3 in a business context It is advisable to
It is likely that
Lead in by asking students if they have ever had to
produce a business proposal, and, if so, what 6 Ask students to rewrite the sentences using an
information they included. expression with it. Do the first sentence as a class,
then ask students in pairs to complete the task.
1 Organise the class into pairs. Ask students to
match the three sections to the summaries, then put Answers
the sections in the correct order. In feedback, build 1 It is necessary to respond to a growing demand
up the answers on the board. for our products in new markets.
Answers 2 It is recommended that Grey Industries
Ab2 restructures its sales department.
Bc3 3 It is important to have personal contact with
Ca1 customers so we should open more local
branches.
3 Ask students to read the proposal again and
answer the questions. 7 Divide the class into groups of three or four. Ask
students to read the notes about the companies and
Answers prepare a business proposal using these notes. Ask
1 Their research shows that rival publishing students to use it expressions and the phrases
companies have increased their market share by expressing addition, contrast and result.
10 to 20% by adopting social media marketing
You could ask students to write their proposals in
techniques. class, or, if short of time, as homework.
2 to promote the brand on social media platforms,
At Advanced level, it is a good idea to involve
to market its products for a younger audience,
students in correcting and commenting on each
and to invite subscribers to join discussions and
other’s work. Organise the class into pairs and ask
attend events one pair to swap their business proposals with
4 Ask students to look at the underlined linking another pair. Pairs then work together to make
words and expressions in the text and put them into comments and corrections on the other students’
three categories. work according to the checklist below (which you
could write up on the board).
Answers
1 addition: in addition to, not only … but also, Writing a business proposal: a checklist
moreover  Does the proposal have a clear layout and does it
2 contrast: in spite of, however, while, state problems, propose solutions and promise
notwithstanding, in contrast to, although reliability?
3 result and consequence: this is a consequence of,  Does the proposal use linking words accurately?
as a direct result of
 Does the proposal use it expressions accurately?
 Are the minutes a clear and accurate record of
the meeting?

Life Advanced Business Writing: Teacher’s notes ©National Geographic Learning


Notes to Worksheet 4 Answers
1 You can make great monthly savings owing to
A mail shot
our unique way of tracking prices.
Learning aims: 2 Join our website so as to take advantage of our
 to write an effective mail shot using a personal, very special offers.
chatty style 3 We contact all major retailers, so that we can
 to use features such as a PS, a testimonial and a find the best price for you.
sense of urgency to persuade the reader to 4 As long as you return the product in seven days,
respond we won’t charge you anything.
 to use linking expressions 5 Our service will provide you with a full guarantee
on top of lots of useful extras.
Lead in by asking students the following question: 6 You’ll want to take out our insurance protection
What is a mail shot or e-shot? (A promotional
in case something unforeseeable goes wrong.
mailing or email informing regular customers about
special offers, sales, etc.) 5 Ask students to read the task and prepare notes
for their own mail shot using as many techniques
1 Divide the class into pairs or groups of three and
from Exercise 2 as they possibly can. Alternatively,
get students to answer the questions.
you could ask students to discuss ideas first in small
2 Ask students to read the mail shot quickly and groups of three or four. After you've got the
answer the questions. You could also ask students to feedback, ask students to write their mail shots in
try to predict the answers first in small groups then class.
read and check their ideas.
Alternatively, set the writing task as homework.
Answers
At Advanced level, it is a good idea to involve
1 BigFlightSite, a site offering a flight-booking students in correcting and commenting on each
service. Jack is on the mail-list because he used other’s work. Organise the class into pairs and ask
the website to book a flight, so he will probably one pair to swap their mail shots with another pair.
be interested in the site's special offers. Pairs then work together to make comments and
2 All of the techniques are used, except for using a corrections on the other students’ work according to
formal, polite tone and giving a lot of detail about the checklist below (which you could write up on the
any offers made. board).
Writing a mail shot: a checklist
3 Ask students to read through the text again and
match the phrases to their definitions. Get class  Does the mail shot have an effective, personal,
feedback. chatty style?
Answers  Does the mail shot make good use of techniques
1 partial refund – using testimonials, using a PS, etc.?
2 unbeatable price  Does the mail shot use money-saving
3 regular promotion expressions?
4 10% discount
 Does the mail shot use linking expressions
5 special offer
effectively?
4 Ask students to read the expressions in the box,
then find their synonyms in the sentences. Do the
first example as a class, then ask students in pairs to
complete the task.

Life Advanced Business Writing: Teacher’s notes ©National Geographic Learning


Notes to Worksheet 5 Answers
1 for
Advertising copy
2 to
Learning aims: 3 with
 to write a product description using an 4 for
attention-grabbing opening 5 of
 to use the correct prepositions with a range of 6 for
verbs and adjectives 7 from
 to use a range of adjectives to give a positive 8 for
impression of a product 9 with
10 of
Lead in by writing coffee, shoes, computer and pan
on the board and asking students to think of the 6 Start by eliciting adjectives that could be used to
adjectives they would use to promote these types of describe the three products. Then ask students in
products. Get class feedback. pairs to choose one of the products and to prepare
advertising copy.
1 Ask students to look at the four sets of adjectives
and match them to the products in the box. Ask If you do this activity in class, ask pairs to work
them to discuss in pairs how the use of adjectives together to assemble and compare ideas (as if they
creates a positive impression. For example, unique were advertising executives). Alternatively, set this
means that the product is the only one, etc. activity for homework.

2 Ask students to read the descriptions and check At Advanced level, it’s a good idea to involve
their answers to Exercise 1 in pairs. students in correcting and commenting on each
other’s work. After students have written their
Answers advertising copy in class or at home, organise the
1 a type of tea or coffee class into pairs and ask one pair to swap their
2 a type of clothing or footwear advertising copy with another pair. Pairs then work
3 a type of tool or gadget together to make comments and corrections on the
4 a type of pan other students’ copy according to the checklist
below (which you could write up on the board).
3 Ask students to match each opening sentence to
its advertising aim. Do the first as an example as a As they do this, monitor to support and make
class. Then ask students in pairs to complete the suggestions, and to note any good or incorrect
task. language that you could focus on as a class at the
end. When students have finished, mix pairs so that
Answers students can report back directly to each other on
1 c their advertising copy.
2 a
Writing advertising copy: a checklist
3 b
4 d  Is the layout clear?

4 Ask students to read the texts again and match  Does the advertising copy use an attention-
the missing opening lines in Exercise 3 to the grabbing opening?
product descriptions.  Does it use positive adjectives appropriately to
Answers describe the product?
1 Text B  Does it use verbs and prepositions accurately?
2 Text D
3 Text A
4 Text C

5 Students complete the sentences with the


missing prepositions.

Life Advanced Business Writing: Teacher’s notes ©National Geographic Learning


Notes to Worksheet 6 Answers
1 Whereas in sections 1–3 the writer is reporting
An internal report
context, findings and conclusions and uses the
Learning aims: passive voice to be impersonal, in section 4 the
 to write a clear, precise internal report using writer is providing his/her personal
bulleted or numbered points and imperative recommendation.
forms 2 To provide simplicity and clarity.
 to organise a report, including terms of 3 The modal verbs are used in the ‘conclusions’
reference, findings, conclusions and section of the report to say where changes are
recommendations needed.
 to use passive constructions appropriately 5 Look at the two diagrams as a class. Ask a few
 to use formal expressions for presenting questions to make sure that students understand
findings what information is given in the pie diagram and the
block graph. For example: What percentage of
Lead in by asking students whether they have to
employees are unsatisfied with the catering? Which
write internal reports for their job. Ask what the
specific problems are most important to employees?
specific features of internal report are in terms of
What recommendations would you make based on
style, register and language. these findings?
1 Ask students to read the tips for writing internal Students work in pairs to plan and write an internal
reports first and tick the three that are correct. report including terms of reference, findings,
Check the answers as a class. conclusions and recommendations based on the
Answers graphs.
1, 3 and 4 are correct Alternatively, set this writing task for homework.
2 Students in pairs read the report and match the At Advanced level, it is a good idea to involve
headings to the four sections. Get class feedback. students in correcting and commenting on each
Answers other’s work. After students have written their
reports in class or at home, organise the class into
1 B
pairs and ask one pair to swap reports with another
2 D
pair. Pairs then work together to make comments
3 A and corrections according to the checklist below
4 C (which you could write up on the board).
3 Students in pairs read the report quickly again As they do this, monitor to support and make
and match the phrases with their synonyms. suggestions, and to note any good or incorrect uses
Answers that you could focus on as a class at the end. When
students have finished, mix pairs so that students
1 it can be concluded
can report back directly to each other on their
2 carried out
reports.
3 comment
4 considered Writing an internal report: a checklist
5 was commissioned by  Is the report clear and precise?
6 was found
 Does the report include terms of reference,
7 worth noting findings, conclusions and recommendations?
8 reviews in detail
 Does it use passive constructions appropriately?
4 Divide the class into groups of three or four to
 Does it use formal expressions for presenting
discuss the questions. Then have whole-class
findings?
feedback.

Life Advanced Business Writing: Teacher’s notes ©National Geographic Learning


Notes to Worksheet 7 4 Recommendation (the writer is giving a
recommendation using should, and using the
A financial report
passive voice to sound impersonal)
Learning aims: 5 Outlook (the writer uses the modal verb may to
 to write a clear, precise financial report using a be tentative and express future uncertainty)
variety of tenses 6 Recommendation (the writer is giving a
 to organise a financial report in terms of recommendation using ought to, and using the
context, performance, outlook and passive voice to sound impersonal)
recommendation 4 Students categorise the words. Check answers as
 to understand and use a range of verbs and a class.
idiomatic expressions for discussing financial Answers
information 1 a rise / to rise: rocket, boost, grow, jump, climb,
Lead in by writing rise and fall on the board and boom
brainstorming as many synonyms for these words as 2 a fall / to fall: be down, slump
you can from the students. 3 a change / to change: diversify, overhaul, turn
1 Organise the class into pairs. Ask students to read into, reposition, transform
the two financial reports and discuss the questions. 5 Students match the definitions to the idiomatic
Answers expressions in the two texts. Get class feedback and
1 pharmaceutical and food processing sectors check the answers.
2 The first report is broadly negative (although it Answers
says that it could be worth investing in Browning 1 had a rough ride
in the long run, it also says that is currently ‘hit by 2 once a safe bet
the credit crunch’ and that investors should be 3 avoids the pitfalls
‘wary’). 4 hit by the credit crunch
The second report is very positive (it advises 5 a wait and see approach
investors that Danner is a ‘consistent 6 don’t bet your bottom dollar on it
performer’). 7 has its finger in lots of pies
2 Ask students to match the section headings to 6 Read the information about Swirling Guitars as a
the four parts of report A. Check answers as a class. class. Ask a few questions about what information
Answers students would include in the context, performance,
1 c outlook and recommendation sections of the report.
2 a Divide the class into pairs to write a financial report
3 d for Swirling Guitars. Ask pairs to compare their
4 b report with another pair.

3 Divide the class into pairs to decide where in a Alternatively, set this task for homework.
financial report the extracts should go. Then discuss Organise the class into pairs to make comments and
reasons why as a class. corrections on each other’s work according to the
checklist below.
Answers
1 Performance (writer uses the present continuous Writing a financial report: a checklist
to state a temporary situation)  Is the financial report organised in terms of
2 Outlook (the writer uses will + verb to talk about context, performance, outlook and
future facts and predictions) recommendation?
3 Context (the writer uses the present perfect to
 Does it use a range of verbs and idiomatic
talk about the situation over a period of time) expressions for discussing financial information?

Life Advanced Business Writing: Teacher’s notes ©National Geographic Learning


Notes to Worksheet 8 5 Students match the underlined words in section 3
of the newsletter to their synonyms.
A newsletter
Answers
Learning aims: 1 boost
 to organise and write the different sections of a 2 boasting
newsletter 3 hit the market
 to use sequencers to order news events 4 bidding
 to use a range of different tenses appropriate to 5 booming
giving news
6 Organise the class into pairs or groups to make
 to use news vocabulary to make stories more their lists. If possible, try to pair students who are in
dynamic and interesting the same company. If your students do not currently
1 Discuss the questions in small groups or as a work for a company, tell them to choose a company
class. they know well (for example, a major multinational).

2 Students match each element to one of the Once students have their lists prepared, tell them to
numbered sections of the newsletter. plan then write the newsletter.

Answers Alternatively, set this task for homework.


A 3 At Advanced level, it is a good idea to involve
B 1 students in correcting and commenting on each
C 6 other’s work. This gives students a sense that they
D 2 are supporting and teaching each other. It also
makes full use of the business and language
E 5
knowledge of all your students. After students have
F 4
written their newsletters in class or at home,
3 Students read quickly through section 2 and find organise the class into pairs and ask one pair to
the sequencers in bold to match the near synonyms. swap their newsletters with another pair. Pairs then
Ask students what they notice about the register of work together to make comments and corrections
the newsletter and elicit any features that they on the other students’ newsletters according to the
notice (e.g. the use of idiomatic expressions – who’s checklist below (which you could write up on the
on the move and who’s staying put; informal board).
language – brilliant, info, what’s up? and short As they do this, monitor to support and make
sentences). Make sure students recognise that the suggestions, and to note any good or incorrect uses
style is very informal and chatty. that you could focus on as a class at the end. When
Answers students have finished, mix pairs so that students
1 First up can report back directly to each other on their
2 In other news, Next up newsletters.
3 Last but not least Writing a newsletter: a checklist

4 Ask students to work in pairs to identify examples  Is the layout clear and well organised?
of the tenses, according to the instructions.  Does the newsletter use sequencers to order
Answers news events?
Section 2: it's been (present perfect active); we've  Does it use a range of different tenses
been doing (present perfect continuous); have been appropriate to giving news?
launched (present perfect passive); has been opened
 Does it use news vocabulary to make stories
(present perfect passive); has raised (present perfect
more dynamic and interesting?
active)
Section 3: are booming (present continuous); are
boasting (present continuous); are bidding (present
continuous)

Life Advanced Business Writing: Teacher’s notes ©National Geographic Learning


Notes to Worksheet 9 Answers
rely = depend (value 2)
A mission statement
promote = encourage (value 2)
Learning aims: achieve = realise (value 2)
 to set out the aims and values of a company in a vow = promise (value 5)
mission statement strive = endeavour (value 3)
 to use a more personal style, with simple intend = aim (Orbit mission)
concise sentences integrate = combine (Orbit mission)
 to use strong verbs to make a mission statement 4 Students choose the correct definition for the
more effective words and check in pairs.
 to use strong adjectives and idioms Answers
Lead in by going through the list of values with the 1 a
class and checking their meaning by eliciting 2 a
examples. 3 b
1 Organise the class into pairs or small groups to 4 a
choose a company and discuss the importance of 5 b
each of the values to that company. If your class is
5 Support students by eliciting the values that the
made up of students with little knowledge of any
three different types of business might have. Build
particular companies, tell them to think of major
up a list on the board for each company.
multinationals, and imagine what their core values
might be. In class, ask students to work in pairs to prepare
their mission statement. You could then pin the
In feedback, build up a list of any useful or key
statements up on the walls, and ask students to
comments on the board.
circulate and read them, and decide which one is
2 Ask students to read the mission statement for most effective.
Orbit Energy and match the headings from Exercise Alternatively, ask students to write a mission
1 to the numbered sections of the mission
statement for a company that they know well for
statement. In feedback, ask students to say which homework.
words or phrases helped them decide.
At Advanced level, it is a good idea to involve
Answers students in correcting and commenting on each
1 personal engagement with customers other’s work. If you don’t do the mingling task
2 team spirit above, organise the class into pairs and ask one pair
3 innovation to swap their mission statements with another pair.
4 shareholder commitment Pairs then work together to make comments and
5 integrity corrections on the other students’ work according to
6 sustainability the checklist below (which you could write up on the
board).
3 Ask students to discuss in pairs which verbs in
bold in the mission statement have a similar Writing a mission statement: a checklist
meaning to the verbs in the box. Make sure they  Does the mission statement use simple concise
understand that some of the verbs in bold do not sentences and a personal style?
match any of the verbs in the box. Then elicit ideas
 Does it use strong verbs effectively?
from the class as a whole. After checking the
answers, ask students why they think the statement  Are the aims and values of the company clearly
uses we and our. Elicit that this makes the mission stated?
statement more personal and suggests pride and
togetherness in the company (it’s ours!). The
statement also uses active more than passive forms
for a more personal style.

Life Advanced Business Writing: Teacher’s notes ©National Geographic Learning


Notes to Worksheet 10 4 Read through the examples of adverb–adjective
collocations in bold in the emails. Then ask students
Email style to match the adverbs with the set of adjectives that
they collocate with.
Learning aims:
 to understand the key features of effective Answers
emails and put them into practice 1 b
 to use a variety of styles and fixed expressions in 2 a
emails 3 d
 to use adverb–adjective collocations in emails 4 c

Lead in by asking students the following questions: 5 Start by brainstorming ideas for the subject line
How often do you send work emails? What are the and any useful phrases students could use in each of
most common types of email that you send? Who do the potential emails. Then ask students to choose
you send emails to? Are most of your emails formal one situation and to write the email.
or informal? In class, organise students into pairs to prepare and
1 Discuss the pieces of advice as a class and decide write their emails. When they have finished, ask
which are appropriate, and why or why not. them to exchange emails with another pair. Tell
pairs to comment on the accuracy and use of
Answers
language in their classmates’ email.
1, 4 and 5 are appropriate.
Emails can be informal as well as formal, so using Alternatively, set this task for homework.
first names and contractions are acceptable in At Advanced level, it is a good idea to involve
emails in a way that is not the case with letters. students in correcting and commenting on each
other’s work. After students have written their
2 Ask students to read the emails and match them emails in class or at home, organise the class into
to the types. Let students compare their answers in pairs and ask one pair to swap their emails with
pairs before discussing as a class. another pair. Pairs then work together to make
Answers comments and corrections on the other students’
A 2 emails according to the checklist below (which you
B 1 could write up on the board).
C 3 As they do this, monitor to support and make
All three are friendly but quite formal. 1 is most suggestions, and to note any good or incorrect uses
formal, and 3 is least formal. that you could focus on as a class at the end. When
students have finished, mix pairs so that students
3 Ask students to complete the emails with the can report back directly to each other on their
missing phrases. Let students compare their answers emails.
in pairs before discussing as a class.
Writing emails: a checklist
Answers
 Does the email incorporate the key features of an
1 c
effective email?
2 g
3 h  Does it use fixed expressions?
4 i  Does it use adverb–adjective collocations?
5 e
6 j
7 f
8 a
9 b
10 d

Life Advanced Business Writing: Teacher’s notes ©National Geographic Learning


Notes to Worksheet 11 2 Would it be possible for us to … ? Here, would is
used as part of a fixed expression to form a very
Emails to a client
polite, formal, tentative request.
Learning aims: 3 They should be with you by noon … . Here, should
 to write formal and informal emails to a expresses an expectation. In the normal course of
business client events, this is what is expected to happen.
 to request, negotiate and make demands or 4 these would be charged at … . Here, would is part
complaints of a second conditional sentence. It is also a
 to use a variety of modal verbs for being formal, tentative way of expressing this idea.
tentative 5 Could you look into … ? Here, could is used to
make a polite request.
1 Discuss the questions as a class. Ask students if 6 I can only apologise. Here, in this fixed
they have ever had to write a difficult email to a expression, can is used to say, the only option
client (demanding money, for example), and, if so,
open to me is to … .
what were the circumstances, and what language
did they use. Note that using past modal forms (could, should,
would) makes English seem polite, formal and
2 Ask students to read the emails and answer the tentative (i.e. it leaves the question open for
questions. Let students compare their answers in
discussion).
pairs before discussing as a class.
6 Start by brainstorming ideas about what
Answers
information students need to include in each email.
1 Dan orders ten Saxon XR300 Magnetic Drill
Then ask students to choose one situation and to
Presses, but Graham sends Saxon XR200 write the emails.
Magnetic Drill Presses instead.
In class, divide students into pairs to prepare and
2 The exchange is formal and businesslike at the
write their emails. When they have finished, ask
beginning, then changes to more personal and
them to exchange emails with another pair. Tell
friendly, then becomes formal and businesslike pairs to comment on the accuracy and language use
again when things go wrong. in their classmates’ emails.
3 Ask students to complete the emails with the Alternatively, set this task for homework.
missing phrases. Let students compare their answers
At Advanced level, it is a good idea to involve
in pairs before discussing as a class.
students in correcting and commenting on each
Answers other’s work. Organise the class into pairs and ask
1b 2e 3a 4d 5c one pair to swap their emails with another pair.
Pairs then work together to make comments and
4 Ask students to match the nouns and verbs from corrections on the other students’ work according to
the text to the definitions. Tell them to refer to the the checklist below (which you could write up on the
text to work out the meaning from context if board).
necessary.
Writing emails to a client: a checklist
Answers
1c 2e 3a 4f 5d 6b  Does the email have the right level of formality?

5 Ask students to discuss the use of modals in pairs  Does it use language effectively to request,
negotiate and make demands or complaints?
first. Then have a class discussion.
Answers  Does it use a variety of modal verbs for being
tentative?
1 … should you require any further information.
Here, should means ‘if’ or ‘in the event that’. It is
a formal, polite, written use.

Life Advanced Business Writing: Teacher’s notes ©National Geographic Learning


Notes to Worksheet 12 4 Students find the formal phrases in bold in the
letter and match them to the informal phrases with
A formal letter of agreement similar meanings. Let students compare their
answers in pairs.
Learning aims:
Answers
 to write a formal letter of agreement
1 subject to the following terms and conditions.
 to understand and follow formal rules for
2 thus far
writing and setting out a letter
3 relating to an arrangement
 to use formal fixed expressions
4 further to our conversation
1 Discuss the questions as a class. Encourage 5 a considerable amendment
students to tell you about letters they have sent or 6 prior to going to contract
received in a business context. 7 As you may be aware
Answers
5 Students match the adjectives and adverbs from
Formal letters tend to be sent when the situation the letter to their definitions.
requires a document which is formal and legally
Answers
binding. A job offer or official warning may be
1 d
deleted and lost easily if in email form. Such
2 a
documents need to be printed off and signed.
3 e
2 Ask students to read the formal letter and find 4 f
answers to the two questions. Let them compare 5 c
their answers in pairs. 6 b
Answers
6 Start by reading through the information from a
1 He wants to charge Coffee Shakers a monthly
meeting with the class. Ask students to explain what
rent on their coffee shops which is 10 per cent has happened and what information Frank needs to
higher than has been suggested. include in his letter.
2 Mike has decided to write a letter, not an email,
In class, organise students into pairs to plan, map
because this is effectively a tender for a contract,
out and write their letter. If possible make sure
and, therefore, if accepted, is legally binding.
students have computer access so that they can
3 Read through the rules as a class. You could ask produce the letter correctly then print it out.
students to give you the rules first then check with Alternatively, ask students to write letters for
this checklist if you prefer. Ask students how formal homework.
business letters in English vary from those in the
students’ L1. At Advanced level, it is a good idea to involve
students in correcting and commenting on each
Students read the letter again and find three errors. other’s work. Organise the class into pairs and ask
Answers one pair to swap their letters with another pair.
1 12th Feb 2014 Pairs then work together to make comments and
corrections on the other students’ work according to
This should be February NOT Feb.
the checklist below (which you could write up on the
2 Dear Ms Cathy Hill
board).
This should be Dear Ms Hill – don’t use first
names Writing a formal letter of agreement: a checklist
3 Yours faithfully  Does the letter follow formal rules for writing and
This should be Yours sincerely setting out a letter?
 Does it use formal fixed expressions
appropriately?

Life Advanced Business Writing: Teacher’s notes ©National Geographic Learning