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Business Communication Today (9th Edition) 9th Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This is a "must have" for anyone whose job requires writing clear, professional reports, memos, e-mail, or letters. Helps readers refine their existing communications skills while learning how to communicate effectively via various mediums, including the Internet and other technologies. Listening, working in teams, and understanding nonverbal communication are also covered and a handy appendix includes grammar and usage fundamentals. For readers in all levels of business interested in improving their communications skills.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

With its vivid insights into real-world communication situations and lively, conversational writing style, this text holds the interest of students and teachers alike. In the 17 years since the first edition was published, millions of students have learned about business communication from Business Communication Today. In 2000 the text was awarded the prestigious Award for Excellence by the Text and Academic Authors Association.

We welcome our new co-author, Barbara Schatzman, to the seventh edition of this text. With over 20 years of managerial and consulting experience and outstanding academic credentials, Barbara brings new insights and real-world perspectives to this text that will help keep it at the forefront of its field.

This seventh edition of Business Communication Today is the centerpiece of a comprehensive teaching and learning package. The text covers all the basic principles and goals as recommended by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs and the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the International Association for Management Education. Moreover, it fully integrates issues critical to successful business communication. Take this opportunity to explore the new edition of Business Communication Today, Seventh Edition.


Part 1: Understanding the Foundations of Business Communication
Chapter 1: Achieving Success Through Effective Business Communication
Chapter 2: Communicating in Teams and Mastering Listening and Nonverbal Communication Skills
Chapter 3: Communicating Interculturally

Part 2: Applying the Three-Step Writing Process
Chapter 4: Planning Business Messages
Chapter 5: Writing Business Messages
Chapter 6: Completing Business Messages
Component Chapter A: Writing for the Web

Part 3: Writing Letters, Memos, E-Mail, and Other Brief Messages
Chapter 7: Writing Routine, Good-News, and Goodwill Messages
Chapter 8: Writing Bad-News Messages
Chapter 9: Writing Persuasive Messages

Part 4: Finding and Communicating Information
Chapter 10: Finding, Evaluating, and Processing Information
Chapter 11: Communicating Information Through Charts information and Other Visuals
Component Chapter B: Communicating Through the Internet technology and Other Technologies

Part 5: Planning, Writing, and Completing Reports and Proposals
Chapter 12: Planning Business Reports and Proposals
Chapter 13: Writing Business Reports and Proposals
Chapter 14: Completing Formal Business Reports and Proposals

Part 6: Designing and Delivering Oral Presentations
Chapter 15: Planning, Writing, and Completing Oral Presentations
Chapter 16: Enhancing Your Oral Presentations with Electronic Slides and Overhead Transparencies

Part 7: Writing Employment Messages and Interviewing for Jobs
Chapter 17: Writing Resumes and Application Letters
Chapter 18: Interviewing for Employment and Following Up

Appendix I. Format and Layout of Business Documents
Appendix II. Documentation of Report Sources
Appendix III. Fundamentals of Grammar and Usage
Appendix IV. Tips for Effective E-Mail
Appendix V: Correction Symbols


Communicating effectively through teamwork is covered extensively in Chapter 2. Throughout the text, teamwork exercises are included in the "Communication Challenges" feature at the conclusion of each chapter and in the "Practice Your Knowledge" section in the end-of-chapter exercises. Topics include characteristics of effective teams, collaborative writing, cultural diversity in teams, group dynamics, groupthink, role playing, group decision making, use of technology to enhance decisions made in groups, conflict resolution in groups, and group interviewing.


We reorganized the text material into a series of three easy-to-follow steps to offer students a practical strategy to solve communication problems. The three-step process includes:

  • planning business messages
  • writing business messages
  • completing business messages

The process is thoroughly integrated and applied throughout the text.


Business Communication Today reinforces the importance of using technology effectively in business communication throughout the text.

  1. Full-chapter coverage. See the annotated Contents in this preface for more details.
  2. In-text discussion. The text includes extensive coverage of e-mail, voice mail, faxes, communication software, the Internet, chat, instant messaging, multimedia, and more.
  3. "Keeping Pace with Technology" boxes. Special boxes highlight how to use technology in business communication to achieve a competitive advantage.
  4. Focus on e-business. Chapter vignettes, In-Depth Critiques, photos, and letter-, memo-, and report-writing and e-mail cases feature communication challenges students are likely to encounter in the world of e-business.
  5. Internet resources.
    • Internet exercises tied to the book. Students become acquainted with the wealth of business communication information on the web by visiting the text's "Best of the Web" websites and by completing the "Exploring the Best of the Web" end-of-chapter Internet exercises.
    • Grammar diagnostic tests. Students can reinforce their grammar and language skills by taking four online diagnostic tests offered at this text's website, www.prenhall.com/bovee. The tests cover a variety of topics, including spelling, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, capitalization, punctuation, word choice, sentence structure, clarity, style, proofreading, and more. Once a test is submitted, it's automatically scored, the correct answers are provided, and students can improve areas where they are weak.
    • "My Companion Website." This powerful website offers chapter-specific current events articles called "In the News," Internet exercises, and an interactive study guide. The study guide includes multiple-choice, true/false, and essay questions. For faculty, downloadable supplements are included.
  6. Online course resources. The 60 Keys to Mastering Effective Business Communication is a first-of-its-kind instructional tool, available as an online course on the web or on a CD-ROM. We personally introduce each chapter with a video presentation. Students learn about three key concepts and practice applying them with interactive exercises.



Each chapter begins with an instructive "Communication Close-Up" featuring a communication expert who, in his or her own words, applies the chapter's concepts to common business situations. That expert reappears from time to time throughout the chapter to dramatize the connection between the chapter's contents and life on the job.


Projects called "Communication Challenges" conclude each chapter and are related to the situations described in the Communication CloseUps. Each chapter has one individual challenge and one team challenge. These challenges are exclusive to Business Communication Today, providing a dimension of reality unmatched by any other textbook in the field.

All internal company information was gathered through personal interviews with our business associates, friends, and contacts, and it gives Business Communication Today the real-world applications for which students are so eager.


Tested techniques help students communicate successfully in the global arena and in the culturally diverse business world at home. Some examples include

  • Communicating with a Global Audience on the Web
  • Actions Speak Louder Than Words All Around the World
  • Test Your Intercultural Knowledge


By examining critical ethical issues that face business communicators in today's workplace, students gain insight into how to identify areas of ethical vulnerability, how to steer clear of ethical perils, and when to seek ethical advice. The wide range of topics include

  • Should Employers Use E-Mail to Deliver Negative Employment Messages?
  • Spin Cycle: Deciphering Corporate Doublespeak
  • Resume Deception: Risky or Fatal?


Practical pointers and confidence-building guidelines help students improve their writing and speaking skills. This feature helps students strengthen their career skills by exploring such topics as

  • Ordinary or Extraordinary? Using the Web to Produce Better PowerPoint Presentations
  • Beating Writer's Block: Nine Ideas to Get Words Flowing
  • Interview Strategies: Answering the 16 Toughest Questions


Specific techniques offer students guidance for using technological applications to improve business communication. Some examples include

  • Beware of the Mischievous Webmaster
  • Caution: E-Mail Can Bite
  • Netting a Job on the Web

SCANS — Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills

Like no other business communication text, this edition emphasizes the skills and competencies necessary for students to make the transition from school to the workplace. As described in the SCANS report from the Department of Labor, it is essential that students meet national standards of academic and occupational skill. To help accomplish the SCANS goal, this text offers a wide variety of interactive pedagogy (much of which is grounded in real-world situations).


To help students organize their thinking when they begin a communication project, make decisions as they write, and check their own work, we've included checklists throughout the book. In the seventh edition, we've streamlined these checklists to increase their usefulness. These checklists are reminders, not "recipes." They provide useful guidelines for writing, without limiting creativity.


You will find a variety of up-to-date sample documents, many collected by us in our consulting work, that focus on real companies. All In-Depth Critiques are introduced in the text (identifying the particular business situation being illustrated) and are accompanied by focused comments that point to specific sections to help students see precisely how to apply the principles being discussed. Many samples are also accompanied by a three-step-writing-process graphic that gives students important insights into planning, writing, and completing the specific document shown. Additional documents are displayed within the text, many including poor and improved examples, to illustrate common errors and effective techniques for correcting them.


This textbook provides a wide selection of documents that students can critique and revise. Documents include letters, memos, e-mail messages, a letter of application, and a resume. Hands-on experience in analyzing and improving sample documents will help students revise their own business messages.


With the dozens of new exercises and cases (almost all companies featured are real), we have placed an even greater emphasis in this edition on providing practical assignments like those that students will most often face at work. Many of them are memo-writing and e-mail tasks. New in the seventh edition, each exercise is labeled as to its type, such as "Team," "Ethical Choices," "Self-Assessment," or "Internet."


The cases are yet another tool for demonstrating the role of communication in the real business world. Examples include:

  • Got It Covered? Letter from American Express about SUV rentals
  • Betting the Company: Letter from Boeing replying to questions about new aircraft plans
  • Boomerang Back to Us: E-Mail from EDS to clot-corn deserters
  • More Layoffs: Memo to Motorola employees
  • No Choking Matter: Persuasive letter from the Consumer Product Safety Commission about fast-food giveaways

Both the exercises and cases deal with all types and sizes of organizations, both domestic and international. Each chapter also includes exercises and cases that require access to the World Wide Web, giving students practice with this fast-growing communication technology.


Chapter-opening learning objectives are clearly stated to signal important concepts that students are expected to master. In addition, the numbered objectives reappear in the text margins, close to the relevant material. Finally, the end-of chapter "Summary of Learning Objectives" reinforces basic concepts by capsulizing chapter highlights for students.


The end-of-chapter questions are divided into two types.

  • Test Your Knowledge (review questions)
  • Apply Your Knowledge (application questions)

The end-of-chapter questions are designed to get students thinking about the concepts introduced in each chapter. The questions may also prompt students to stretch their learning beyond the chapter content. Not only will students find the questions useful in studying for examinations, but the instructor may also draw on them to promote classroom discussion of issues that have no easy answers


To reinforce learning, the book's margins contain short summary statements that highlight key points in the text. These notes are no substitute for reading the chapters, but they can help students quickly get the gist of a section, review a chapter, and locate areas of greatest concern.


The boundaries of business communication are always expanding. So in addition to covering all the traditional subjects, Business Communication Today, Seventh Edition, provides material to help students manage these important current issues in business communication:

  • Ethics. Taking an ethical position in the face of pressures and temptations requires more than courage-it requires strong communication skills.
  • Communication Barriers. The shift toward a service economy means that more and more careers will depend on interpersonal skills, making it vital for people to overcome communication barriers.
  • Cultural Diversity. The changing nature of the domestic workforce requires strong communication skills to relate to workers of various ages, genders, socioeconomic status, ethnic backgrounds, and so on. Also, strong skills are needed to communicate effectively with people from other countries.
  • Communication Technology. More and more face-to-face interactions are giving way to interactions with and through computers. And this trend will continue. To survive in today's business world, students must master high-tech communication skills.
  • Law. The increasing tendency of people to sue makes it important to understand the legal implications of written and oral communication.
  • Employment Search. More and more people are making radical mid-career job changes, whether by choice or because their companies are downsizing and flattening hierarchies. These people need to master new communication skills to compete in today's job market.
  • Communication Versatility. Small businesses create most of the new jobs and employ more people than large corporations do. Because these businesses are unable to support communication specialists for specific jobs, people working for them need to be versatile in their communication skills.



This comprehensive supplement is an instructor's tool kit. Among its many teaching aids, this manual provides a section about collaborative writing, suggested solutions to exercises, suggested solutions and fully formatted letters for every case in the letter-writing chapters, and a grammar pretest and posttest. This comprehensive manual contains a set of completely integrated support materials. It is designed to assist instructors in quickly finding and assembling the resources available for each chapter of the text and includes the following new material:

  • Course planning guide
  • Collaborative writing guide
  • Diagnostic tests of English skills
  • Changes to the new edition
  • Chapter outline
  • Lecture notes
  • Answers to all end-of-chapter questions and assignments
  • Solutions to all cases and exercises


The Test Item File contains approximately 1,500 questions, all of which have been carefully reviewed to provide a fair, structured program of evaluation. The questions for each chapter consist of a comprehensive set of multiple-choice, true/false, and fill-in questions. The Test Item File reinforces students' understanding of key terms and concepts and requires them to apply their critical-thinking and analytical skills.


This user-friendly software allows you to generate error-free tests quickly and easily by previewing questions individually on the screen and then selecting them randomly by query or by number. The Computerized Test Manager allows you to generate random tests with the extensive bank of questions. You can also edit the questions/answers and even add some of your own. You can create an exam, administer it traditionally or online, and analyze your success with the simple click of the mouse. The newest version of our Computerized Test Manager, ESATEST 2000, has been improved to provide users with a vast array of new options.


For those instructors who prefer not to use the Computerized Test Manager, Prentice Hall provides a special 800 call-in service. All you need to do is call the 800 Testing Help Desk to have a customized test created. The test can then be delivered by e-mail, U.S. mail, or overnight carrier.


A set of 150+ large-type transparency acetates is available to instructors on request. These visuals help bring concepts alive in the classroom and provide a starting point for discussing communication techniques. All transparencies are keyed to the Instructor's Resource Manual. Many contrast poor and improved solutions to featured cases from the textbook.


An exciting, high-quality PowerPoint package created by Myles Hassell, University of New Orleans, is the best in the field. It comes in two versions:

  1. Instructor version: an enhanced PowerPoint package for instructors to use for class, with colorful text-specific electronic slides that highlight and reinforce important concepts in the text. Free to adopters, these PowerPoint slides are available on CD or can be downloaded from the instructor's resource section of the "My Companion Website" at www.prenhall.com/bovee.
  2. Student version: a special PowerPoint version for students to use for review purposes, or which can be conveniently printed three to a page for in-class note taking. These slides can be accessed in the student's resource section of this text's website.


A Study Guide for Business Communication Today by William Peirce, Prince Georges Community College, is designed to increase your students' comprehension of the concepts presented in this text. The guide provides chapter-by-chapter explanations and exercises designed to reinforce comprehension of key terms and concepts and to promote concept-application skills.


The "60 Keys to Mastering Effective Business Communication," available as an online course on the Web or on a CD, presents three key concepts in each chapter in an enhanced, interactive lecture outline. Depth is added to the outline with a video introduction by the authors and with interactive elements and exercises to reinforce learning. Each lesson is concluded with a chapter summary writing assignment to strengthen students' understanding.


In early 2003, a series of thematically driven business communication videos will be launched. The first installment of four will include "Challenge of Using Technology to Communicate Effectively," "Challenge of Working Effectively in Teams," "Challenge of Committing to Ethical Communication," and "Challenge of Choosing a Career and the Job Search."


Delivered exclusively by e-mail every month, this newsletter provides interesting materials that can be used in class and offers a wealth of practical ideas about teaching methods. To receive a complimentary subscription, send an e-mail to bovee@leadingtexts.com. In the subject line, type "BCU Subscription Request." In the message area, please list your name and institutional affiliation. You can also subscribe at the authors' website at www.leadingtexts.com.


Integrity, excellence, and responsiveness are our hallmarks. That means providing you with textbooks that are academically sound, creative, timely, and sensitive to instructor and student needs. As an adopter of Business Communication Today, you are invited to use our E-Mail Hotline: boveegleadingtexts.com. You can also access the hotline at www.leadingtexts.com. We want to be sure you're completely satisfied, so if you ever have a question or concern related to the text or its supplements, please contact us. We'll get back to you as quickly as possible.


"My Companion Website" is your personal tool for the free online resources for this book, located at www.prenhall.com/bovee.

The website features one-click access to all of the resources created by an award-winning team of educators. Here is a preview of its exciting features.


  • "My Companion Website" pages. Unite all of your texts with this personal access page.
  • Notes. Add personal notes to website resources for personal reminders and references.
  • Study guide. Test your knowledge with the interactive study guide that offers a wide variety of self-assessment questions for every chapter. Results from the automatically graded questions provide immediate feedback that can serve as practice or be e-mailed to the instructor for extra credit.
  • Student resources. Access the websites featured in this text by using the hotlinks provided and updated by the authors of this text, review chapter content by viewing the student version of the PowerPoint slides, see videos, or use the special materials developed for this course.
  • Internet resources. New Internet exercises, in addition to those offered in the text, have been created by the website team of professors and are continually being added to the website. These exercises are designed to promote students' critical thinking skills as they use the Internet to explore current issues.
  • Research area. Save time finding the most valuable and relevant material available on the web. The research area provides a resource library that includes links to tutorials, virtual libraries, Internet resources, and more. Each link is annotated to expedite your research.
  • Talk to the Tutor. Take advantage of the virtual office hours that allow you to post questions from any supported discipline and receive responses from the dedicated website faculty team.
  • Writing Resources Center. Use the writing center's links to directories, thesauruses, writing tutors, style and grammar guides, and additional tools.
  • Career Resource Center. Get career information, view sample resumes, even apply for jobs online.
  • Business Headlines. Check out links to articles in today's business news.
  • Search. Search all websites' resources for relevant articles and exercises.


  • Online faculty support. In this password-protected area, get the most current and advanced support materials that are available, including downloadable supplements, such as the instructor's manual, PowerPoints, articles, links, and suggested answers to current events activities offered on the website.
  • Syllabus manager. Follow the easy steps for creating and revising a syllabus, with direct links to companion websites and other online content. Changes you make to your syllabus are immediately available to your students at their next login.
  • Messages. Send messages to individual students or to all students linked to a course.
  • Faculty resources. Take advantage of the teaching tips, techniques, academic papers, and sample syllabuses contributed by professors throughout the world.
  • What's New. Get one-click access to all newly posted website resources.
  • Talk to the Team. Participate in a moderated faulty chat room.


Now you have the freedom to personalize your own online course materials. Prentice Hall Business Publishing provides the content and support you need to create and manage your own online course materials with WebCT, Blackboard, and CourseCompass.

WEBCT www.prenhall.com/webct

Gold Level Support, available exclusively to adopters of Prentice Hall courses, is awarded free of charge on adoption and provides you with priority assistance, training discounts, and dedicated technical support from WebCT.

BLACKBOARD www.prenhall.com/blackboard

Take your courses to new heights in student interaction and learning. Prentice Hall's class-tested online course content is now available with Blackboard's products and easy-to-use interface.

COURSECOMPASS www.coursecompass.com

CourseCompass is a dynamic, interactive course management tool powered by Blackboard. This exciting product allows you to teach with market-leading Pearson Education content in an easy-to-use customizable format.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 744 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 9 edition (June 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131995359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131995352
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 1.3 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Well, what can I say, I simply love the book. It has reminded me that when it comes to communication, we are all human beings not machines. We have feelings and different situations at every moment of our lives; we need to remember all this when deciding to play the communication game.

To some, the elements of communication mentioned in the book are taken for granted basics but, for some others, it is a guideline to learn how to communicate better. Simply put, not every one is born with the give of "gap-ping". Let it be face-to-face conversations, emails, letters, blogs, IM and/or all other ways of communications, we must have some guidelines.

This text provides the reader with the guidance of learning basic to professional techniques of communication; not only do we learn how to use clarity, conciseness, etiquette when writing to others, but also teach us to learn to recognize the audience which, in a era of globalization, is of most importance. The authors of the books point out our cultural diversities and remind us to treat each other with respect, patience and understanding.

I could say much more of the text, but as you probably figured out, I am a student and have only read up to Chapter 7. So much to read, so much to learn! I am so thrilled to have come across this book and be able to keep up with the trends of communication and the reminder, that unfortunately, we all need once in a while when it comes to communicate with each other. This book not only applies to professional life but every day life as well. I could go on and on with the thoughts this book has provoked in me but, maybe, I will get back with more to say once I finish reading the book. Do not miss the chance to read it!
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Format: Hardcover
If you are a college professor or instructor, please do not use this book. A far more accessible and technically correct book for your students would be Dale Carnegie's The Leader In You (How To Win Friends and Influence People). While Carnegie's book does not have "reading exercises" like a traditional textbook might, your students will get far more out of reading his book than Bovee's.

I am a senior in college and my Communication for Business Professionals course is using this textbook as the primary learning resource. I feel this book was a waste of my money due to the number of content faults in the 8th Edition. I have not reviewed nor read previous editions.

A major gripe I have with this book is incorrect statements, a polite way of saying the author did not fact-check and proof-read their work. Again, this book is in its 8th Edition and the current layout of this book is discouraging considering the book is supposed to be about communication. I accumulated a list of content faults regarding this book, and will try to share some of them with you to help dissaude you from wasting your money on this book:

(1) Indirectly referring to the United States as a high-context culture, stating that high-context cultures prefer very strict schedules. A few pages earlier, the book contradicts this statement by directly detailing how the United States is a low-context culture.

(2) The book constantly mixes up its point-of-view on what the best way to approach others is. Earlier on, it suggests its important to consider your own feelings first. A few chapters later, it scalds you for putting yourself before others and on several occasions reminds you that "earlier" in the text it referred to how important talking in terms of others desires is.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My teacher had to accommodate the rest of us who had this version instead of the latest version. However, the information was identical! Prior to tests we had to make sure she stated the title of the chapter so we knew which chapters to consult on the open book exams. I would recommend this to any and every college student who doesn't mind not being handed each chapter on a silver platter, especially when your instructor is willing to make accommodations for thrifty students.
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Format: Hardcover
I did enjoy every page of this book, although I haven't read all of them. It's more an encyclopedia, which you may use in your day-to-day business, than something you will read straight through over the weekend. Very valuable and up-to-date were the chapters about intercultural and e-mail communication. Strong recommendation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used this textbook for my undergraduate level Business Communications class. The University chose this text book for the class. I liked the graphical layout of the textbook, and the visual organization. Despite that, there were several aspects of the textbook that are out of date since it was published in 2011. Some of the technical information regarding communications is not relevant as much.
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Format: Hardcover
The book combines much useful infomation. Various examples and appendixes are helpful in ordinary (but important) questions. It is a straight-to-the-point book.
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By Jeff on June 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased the book for my course but in the Kindle format. Right away, I Knew I was in deep doo doo. I'm in an online course and the Kindle edition doesn't have page numbers the teacher is referencing! Great buy though.
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Verified Purchase
Book is detailed and straight forward, but the online companion is pretty terrible.
There are typos and errors all over the place and it's supposed to be a business communication textbook. Really hard to take it seriously.
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