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The  Activities feature provides additional reinforcement and application of language arts skills and communication strategies.


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Communication and Electronic Technology

Activity 1.1  International Gift-Giving

Avoid communication barriers by learning about your audience. For example, match the following gift statements with the appropriate country.   

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Germany
  1. Items made of cowhide are not appropriate gifts. 
  2. Giving a gift in a set of four (such as glassware) is considered bad luck. 
  3. Because of a dying or death connotation, do not give a clock. 
  4. Romantic interest is signified by giving red roses. 
  5. Avoid white flowers or wrapping paper. 

Write down your answers, then click here to see the correct Answers .


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Qualities of Effective Messages

Activity 2.1  Frequently Confused Words

This activity relates to "Frequently Confused Words" on page 35 in Effective Communication for Colleges, 8th Edition.

Select the correct word in the following sentences: 

(1) James had a white (envelop, envelope). 

(2) Please (sit, set) here. 

(3) He (emigrated, immigrated) from Denmark. 

(4) The college was (charted, chartered) in 1902. 

(5) The goalie came out of the net to cut down the (angel, angle) of the shot. 

Write down your answers, then click here to see the correct Answers .


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Planning and Developing Messages 

Activity  3.1  Internet Jargon

Select five Internet jargon terms which may be helpful as you use the Internet; select terms with which you are not familiar. Find and record the definitions. 

Activity  3.2  Keyword Searches

Begin a keyword search file using 3x5 cards or some other easily accessible format. This is useful for recording addresses and brief critiques of sites that you will find helpful and that you may share with others who are searching for similar topics. You may be asked to add to this file in future activities. 

1. Consider the logic of keywords before conducting a search on the Internet. For example, if you want information to help you improve your writing, try different combinations of words in addition to the keyword writing. These are some helpful combinations:  

creative writing writing htm
business writing writing skills

 Brainstorm a few more keywords related to your topic, in this case, writing.

2. Conduct a search on any of these combinations and record several addresses. 

3. Visit at least three of those sites. On a 3x5 card, indicate the topic on which you searched and the  URL. Add a few sentences that summarize the content and usefulness of each site. 

4. Arrange your cards alphabetically by topic for fast access. You can easily update by adding or deleting cards as necessary.



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Document Preparation 

Activity 4.1  E-Mail Format

Research printed and electronic sources for tips that will help you use electronic communication. A recommended printed reference, "P's and Q's of E-Mail Etiquette," by Patricia Anderson appeared in the Spring 1997 issue of The Southern Reporter (a publication of the Southern Business Education Association [SBEA], an Affiliate of the National Business Education Association.) 

Activity  4.2  Netiquette

Review netiquette suggestions on the Netiquette Home Page at the following site: http://www.albion.com/netiquette/index.html



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Good News and Neutral News Messages 

Activity 5.1  Language Translation Sites 

Although thank-you is a universal good news expression, you can state the phrase more emphatically by using the language of the receiver. Search the Internet for language translations sites, including the following URL: http://www.travlang.com/languages/index.html

Activity 5.2 Free Greetings 

Access the following free greeting sites and send good news messages to friends and relatives: www.bluemountainarts.com



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Bad News Messages 

Activity 6.1  Empathy

Search electronic sources for definitions of empathy. You may locate definitions online with the following URL: http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/rbeard/diction3.html#english

Activity 6.2 Positive Statements

This activity relates to "Cannot Do--Negative Tone vs. Can Do--Positive Tone" on page 168 in Effective Communication for Colleges, 8th Edition.

Revise the following negative statements to make them positive statements: 

  1. You have not received the updated software because you neglected to follow the procedures outlined on form Z-100.
  2. Unless we receive your $450 check by October 5, your account will be deleted from the VIP customer class.
  3. Do not allow the telephone to ring four times before you answer.
  4. Avoid leaving a cluttered work area.
  5. We cannot ship your computer system until after September 10, and delivery takes five days.

Write down your answers, then click here to see the Suggested Solutions



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Persuasive Messages 

Activity 7.1  Persuasive Message Openings

Refer to the opening statements provided in the Chapter 7 TextLink. For each of those opening statements, write one or two statements to complete the opening or lead the reader into the explanation paragraph. The statements must be relevant to the type of persuasive message indicated in the example. 

For additional practice, write one or two more statements that either complete the opening statements provided below or that lead the reader into the explanation paragraph for the type of persuasive message indicated. 

Open with benefits to encourage a zoo or museum membership: 

   * Free admission.  * Free tickets.  * Invitations to special events.  * Grand openings. 

Make a startling announcement to persuade donations to a humane society: 

Each year, millions of animals suffer needlessly for the sake of   "research" or die slowly because of neglect.

Begin with a relevant quotation or proverb to persuade enrollment in continuing education classes. 

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." Henry Ford

Activity 7.2  Persuasive Messages

Opening with a relevant quotation can be an effective way to begin a persuasive message. 

Use printed or electronic sources to search for quotations that could be used to open the following persuasive messages. (After completing this activity, go to Internet@A.Glance 7.2.) 

   1. selling a stress management workshop 

   2. requesting donations for an environmental protection organization/event 


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Employment Messages 

Activity  8.1  Online Employer Link

Go to the "Employer" link at http://www.careermosaic.com/cm/home.html. Briefly summarize the options. Visit two employer sites and summarize the information that is available to job seekers. 

Activity  8.2  Tracking Employment Opportunities

Create a job file using word processing or database software to maintain employer information gathered from traditional sources and online sources. Record the following information about each employment possibility. 

  • Employer Name and Address:
  • Employer Telephone Number:
  • E-mail address and URL:
  • Contact Name:
  • Job Title:
  • Job Responsibilities (main):
  • Education/Training Required:
  • Salary:



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Reports in the Workplace 

Activity 9.1 Online Report-Writing Tips

Use an online database in the library to locate an article about effective report writing.  Write a short report summarizing your findings.  Provide a conclusion that indicates whether or not the article was helpful.  Print the report for oral presentation to the class or e-mail the report as an attachment to your instructor. 

Activity 9.2  Research a Country

Choose a country on which to report. Use printed or electronic sources to gather this information:

  • brief historical background
  • two gestures to avoid
  • appropriate dress for a business meeting
  • official language of that country

Prepare a one- to two-page memorandum report for the instructor or e-mail the report as an attachment to your instructor. Cite your references using the "Reference Guide" in Effective Communication for Colleges, 8th Edition.


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Answers to Activity 1.1 International Gift-Giving

1. India 2. Korea 3. China 4.  Germany 5. Japan



Answers to Activity 2.1  Frequently Confused Words

1.  envelope 2. sit 3. emigrated 4. chartered 5. angle




Activity 6.2   Suggested Solutions

  1. To receive your updated software, please follow the procedures outlined on form Z-100.
  2. Sending us your $450 check before October 5 will keep your account in the VIP customer class.
  3. Please answer the telephone before the fourth ring.
  4. Please clean your work area before you leave.
  5. You will receive your computer system by September 15.



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