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English Communication for Scientists 
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Unit 3:  Writing Correspondence

Written correspondence is essential to scientific practice. Letters, e-mail, and memos allow you to build and sustain relationships with your colleagues, so everything you write should represent your character and abilities fairly. Because scientists are often busy people, your written letters and e-mail should be concise and specific. Readers tend to look at letters, e-mail, and memos quickly, so you should use shorter paragraphs than in a formal scientific paper or report. In addition, think carefully about the audience and purpose of the communication — to whom are you writing, and what do you hope to accomplish? — and the tone that you use. Finding a balance in tone can be tricky. For instance, how might you explain your qualifications in a job letter with confidence but without seeming arrogant? How might you remain polite when declining a job offer? Thinking carefully about your audience and your tone can help you answer these types of questions and write effective professional correspondence.
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