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Communication Skills
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Table of Contents

PART 1 ACADEMIC COMMUNICATION 1
1 EFFECTIVE READING FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES 3
Learning objectives 3
Why focus on reading? 4
Critical reading 6
Effective reading practices 8
Context 8
Purpose 9
Text 9
Reading strategies 11
The SQ3R Reading Method: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review 12
Skimming by paragraphs 13
Reading difficult vocabulary 14
Reading in the computer age 15
Chapter summary 17
Answers to activities 17
References and further reading 20
2 NOTE-TAKING, PARAPHRASING AND SUMMARISING 21
Learning objectives 21
Introduction 22
Note-taking 22
Note-taking from lectures 22
Note-taking from written sources 24
Electronic note-taking 26
Drawbacks of electronic note-taking 26
Summarising 27
Paraphrasing 29
Quoting from sources 31
Chapter summary 32
Answers to activities 33
References 35
3 ESSAY WRITING 37
Learning objectives 37
Why write an essay? 38
Analysing the question 38
Overview of main essay structures 39
Preliminary plan 42
Reading and note-taking 42
Internet sources 43
Starting to write 44
Writing the essay 44
Writing the first draft 46
Writing the second draft 48
Connectors 49
Final submission checklist 50
Annotated example research essay 54
Chapter summary 57
Answers to activities 57
References and further reading 59
4 ACADEMIC CONVENTIONS: REFERENCING AND AVOIDING PLAGIARISM 61
Learning objectives 61
What is academic integrity? 62
Why is referencing important? 62
When must references be provided in an academic essay? 62
The 'Blue chair theory' 64
Referencing systems 65
Avoiding plagiarism 70
What is plagiarism? 71
What are the penalties for plagiarism? 71
Strategies to avoid plagiarism 73
1. Referencing 73
2. Direct quotation 73
3. Summarising 74
4. Paraphrasing 74
5. Developing your own 'voice' in academic writing 77
6. Using connecting words carefully 77
7. Using reporting verbs appropriately 78
8. Writing in academic style 80
9. Developing an argument 81
10. Establishing efficient scheduling and administrative systems 82
Chapter summary 87
Answers to activities 87
References and further reading 91
5 IMPROVING YOUR WRITING: GRAMMAR AND SELF-EDITING 93
Learning objectives 93
Introduction 94
Being proactive about learning how to write well 94
Sentence structure 95
Complete sentences 95
Run-on sentences 96
Subject/verb agreement 98
Parallel construction 100
Verb tense 101
Articles 105
The apostrophe 106
Ownership 106
Contraction 107
Word form 107
Verbs 107
Nouns 107
Adjectives 107
Adverbs 108
The passive tenses 108
Gerund (-ing) or infinitive 111
So, neither and nor 113
Still and yet 114
References 116
Frequently misspelled words 116
Frequently misused or confused words 118
Editing your essays 119
Chapter summary 122
Answers to activities 122
References 127
PART 2 PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION 129
6 WRITING GENRES 131
Learning objectives 131
Introduction 132
Main features of academic and business texts 132
Moving from informal to formal language: 'the vocabulary shift' 140
Chapter summary 142
Answers to activities 142
References 143
7 REPORT WRITING 145
Learning objectives 145
Introduction 146
Types of reports 147
Writing and presenting a standard report 148
Report structure 149
Standard sections in a report 149
Link between findings, conclusions and recommendations 152
Reference list 152
Appendixes 152
The language of reports 153
Presentation of the report 153
Case study: example formal report 158
The information you have so far 159
Issues that must be covered in the report 160
Example formal report 160
Chapter summary 165
Answers to activities 166
References and further reading 167
8 BUSINESS DOCUMENT WRITING 169
Learning objectives 169
Introduction 170
Business letters 171
Qualities of a business letter 171
Standard components of the business letter 171
Letterhead 172
Date 172
Receiver's address 172
Salutation 172
Subject heading 173
Body 173
Signing off 173
Signature 173
Style of the business letter 173
Types of standard business letters 175
Letters of inquiry 175
Responding to letters of inquiry 175
Purchase orders 176
Sales letters 176
Attention, Interest, Desire and Action (AIDA) 177
Considering the reader's psychological needs 177
Letters of complaint 179
Answering complaints 182
Cultural sensitivity and business letters 182
Email: a new form of business communication 183
The five parts of an email 185
Subject line 185
Salutation 185
Opening 186
Body 186
Closing 186
Common email response errors to avoid 186
Guidelines for effective business email communication 187
Chapter summary 189
Answers to activities 190
References 192
9 ORAL PRESENTATION SKILLS 193
Learning objectives 193
Public speaking 194
Preparing for a presentation 195
Using slides and other visual aids 197
Group presentations 197
Different kinds of speeches and presentations 199
Informing and instructing 199
Persuading and convincing 200
Rhetorical questions 200
Quotations or surprising statistics 200
Anecdotes 200
Personal testimony 200
Researching the venue and your audience 201
Structure of the presentation 202
Delivering your presentation 203
Physical factors influencing a presentation 203
Interacting with your audience 204
Answering questions 205
Chapter summary 207
Answers to activities 208
References 209
10 EMPLOYMENT COMMUNICATION 211
Learning objectives 211
Introduction 212
Preparing a resume 212
The heading 212
Education 213
Work experience 213
Ordering of events 214
Power words 215
Extracurricular activities 215
Referees 216
Personal profile 216
Providing evidence 218
Editing 219
Sending resumes via the Internet 220
A constantly evolving document 220
Preparing a cover letter 223
Preparing for an interview 226
Different types of interviews 227
Interview stages 228
A final word 230
Chapter summary 232
Answers to activities 232
References 236
11 INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION 247
Introduction 238
'Culture': working towards a definition 239
Iceberg analogy of culture 241
Ethnocentrism 242
Stereotypes 242
Conceptualising communication 244
Communication involves the creation of meaning 244
Intercultural communication 246
'The third space' 246
Strategies for effective intercultural communication 247
References 249

About the Author

Dr Joanna Crossman is a Coordinator of a major course in Business Communications delivered in multiple settings both transnationally and locally at the University of South Australia. Her research is concerned with transnational learning; international education; international and cultural leadership; learning and work; innovative assessment and subjective aspects of learning, such as spiritual, emotional and relationship issues. Joanna has lived and worked as a lecturer and educational manager in a career spanning nearly 30 years in the UK, Norway, Malaysia, the UAE and Australia. She now chairs the International Education in Business Research Group in the Division of Business at the University of South Australia. Joanna is also a co-author on Communication Skills for Students, a workbook-style business skills book. Sarbari Bordia, BA, MA, M.Ed, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Management, Marketing and International Business at the Australian National University. Sarbari conducts research in the areas of multi-lingual corporate communication, cross-cultural management and management education. Sarbari currently teaches cross-cultural management, with her prior teaching experiences including teaching on- and off-shore courses on business communication and negotiation at the University of South Australia. Sarbari has also garnered experience Teaching English as a Second Language in both the US and Australia.

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