Message Writing Exercises

  1. Demonstrating the “You” Attitude. Rewrite these sentences to reflect your audience’s viewpoint.
  2. We insist that you always bring your credit card to the store.
  3. We want to get rid of all our 15-inch LCD screens to make room in our warehouse for the new 19-, 23-, and 35-inch monitors. Thus, we are offering a 25 percent discount on all sales of 15-inch models this week.
  4. As requested, we are sending the refund for $25.


  1. Emphasize the Positive. Revise these sentences to be positive rather than negative.
  2. To avoid damage to your credit rating, please remit payment within 10 days.
  3. We don’t offer refunds on returned merchandise that is soiled.
  4. Because we are temporarily out of Baby Cry dolls, we won’t be able to ship your order for 10 days.


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  1. Unbiased Language.Rewrite each of the following to eliminate bias.
  2. For an Indian, Maggie certainly is outgoing.
  3. A pilot must have the ability to stay calm under pressure, and then he must be trained to cope with any problem that arises.
  4. Renate Parsons, married and the mother of a teenager, is a top candidate for CEO.


  1. Active/Passive Voice.Rewrite each sentence so that it is active rather than passive.
  2. The raw data is entered into the customer relationship management system by the sales representative each Friday
  3. High profits are publicized by management.
  4. The policies announced in the directive were implemented by the staff.


  1. Choosing Powerful Words. Revise these sentences by replacing clichés and buzzwords with plain language.
  2. Being a jack-of-all-trades, Dave worked well in his new general manager job.
  3. Moving Leslie into the accounting department, where she was literally a fish out of water, was like putting a square peg into a round hole, if you get my drift.
  4. I’d love to help with the project, but I’m bandwidth-constrained.


  1. Conciseness. Revise the following sentences, using shorter, simpler words.
  2. The antiquated calculator is ineffectual for solving sophisticated problems.
  3. It is imperative that the pay increments be terminated before an inordinate deficit is accumulated.
  4. The impending liquidation of the company’s assets was cause for jubilation among the company’s competitors.


  1. Hedging.Rewrite these sentences so that they no longer contain any hedging.
  2. It would appear that someone apparently entered illegally.
  3. It may be possible that sometime in the near future the situation is likely to improve.
  4. Your report seems to be suggesting that we might be losing money.


H.Parallelism and Dangling Modifiers.Revise these sentences to make them parallel or to repair the dangling modifier.

  1. Mr. Hill is expected to lecture three days a week, to counsel two days a week, and must write for publication in his spare time.
  2. She knows not only accounting, but she also reads Latin.
  3. Full of trash and ripped up newspapers, we left Dallas in a plane that apparently hadn’t been cleaned in days.
  4. With leaking plumbing and outdated wiring, I don’t think we should buy that property.



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