• Note From Mary Ellen

    I hope the new year finds you all healthy, rested, and eager to return to your classrooms. The past year has been exciting and productive for my coauthors and me, and I am looking forward to another year of work...and maybe a little play!

    jan13 Corolyn SeeferNew Edition of Business English Has Arrived!

    Carolyn Seefer and I are very pleased to complete our work on the 11th edition of Business English, which many of you received in early January. I've already heard from some of you who have commented on the new organization, content, and design. Although Carolyn and I streamlined the book by reducing the number of chapters from 18 to 14, we were careful to retain all the important concepts. The most important change is the new interactive homework feature. CengageNOW enables students to complete all of the Reinforcement Exercises online with immediate feedback and automatic grading. And this premium supplement is free with every new book! You can learn more about Business English, 11e, in this issue's feature article.

    Before you order the new edition of Business English, be sure to talk with your Cengage sales rep to get the best value for your students.

    Moving Solutions to Website

    jan13 Mary EllenOne of the features of my quarterly Web newsletter has been its bonus case study with a solution. I try to provide a stimulating new writing exercise in each newsletter, and this exercise always has a solution available so that instructors can show students. But my editors are concerned about the increasing frequency of Google searches by students seeking solutions. To maintain the integrity of our materials and keep them useful to instructors, we have decided to move the solutions to our password-protected premium websites for all of my business communication books. Instructors will find this issue's solution to the bonus case study at the Instructor's Premium sites for both Business Communication: Process and Product and Essentials of Business Communication. Click the "Supplements and Solutions" tab. If you have any trouble securing the solution, just drop me a note and I can send you the current bonus case and its solution.

    Grammar Gaffes Invading the Office
    Do you cringe when you hear remarks such as, "There's several things we should consider" or when you see signs such as "The Smith's" or "Strawberry's for Sale"? In a study reported in The Wall Street Journal ("This Embarrasses You and I," June 20, 2012), about 45 percent of 430 employers said they were increasing employee training programs to improve employees' grammar and other skills. Some attribute the epidemic of grammar gaffes to "the informality of email, texting, and Twitter where slang and shortcuts are common." Veteran Journal Writer Sue Shellenbarger sees no easy fix. But this doesn't mean we should give up the fight. Because sloppy grammar creates bad impressions and miscommunication, we instructors must continue to find ways to help students improve their skills.

    Short Grammar/Usage Exercises
    To sharpen your students' basic grammar skills quickly and with little fuss, try using one of my short Writing Improvement Exercises, such as the apostrophe exercise in this issue of the newsletter. You will find more than 20 different grammar/punctuation/usage exercises archived with past newsletter issues. They're quick and easy to use while helping students avoid some of the more frequent and embarrassing lapses.

    Remember that I love to hear from you! Send a message to m.e.guffey [at] cox.net.

    Mary Ellen