Effective Writing: A Handbook for Accountants / Edition 8

Effective Writing: A Handbook for Accountants / Edition 8

by Claire B. May, Gordon S. May

ISBN-10: 0136029086

ISBN-13: 9780136029083

Pub. Date: 03/14/2008

Publisher: Prentice Hall

The Expression of ideas in a clear and concise manner is an essential asset to today's business professionals. For this reason Effective Writing: A Handbook for Accountants, Eighth Edition is an extremely useful tool for both students and professionals. Students will learn effective, organized, and clear communication skills while developing the knowledge needed to…  See more details below


The Expression of ideas in a clear and concise manner is an essential asset to today's business professionals. For this reason Effective Writing: A Handbook for Accountants, Eighth Edition is an extremely useful tool for both students and professionals. Students will learn effective, organized, and clear communication skills while developing the knowledge needed to prepare business documents and obtain excellent presentation skills.

Features of the Eighth Edition: Chapter 1 introduces students to ethical issues related to accounting communication-NEW! Chapter 15 discusses the preparation of an oral presentation, including audience analysis and organization of material as well as techniques of effective delivery, including the use of visual aids.

Both authors have worked for many years with professional accounting organizations and accounting students. They have observed that accounting professionals need good writing skills to succeed, but accounting students may not receive the instruction and practice necessary to become good writers. They wrote Effective Writing: A Handbook for Accountants to help accounting students and practicing accountants sharpen their writing skills.

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Product Details

Prentice Hall
Publication date:
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
6.03(w) x 8.96(h) x 0.52(d)

Table of Contents

Communication Strategies     1
Accountants as Communicators     1
What Do Accountants Write?     3
How Well Do Accountants Write?     4
What Makes Writing Work?     4
You Can Become a Good Writer     5
Writing and Other Forms of Communication     6
Reading     6
Listening     7
Speaking     7
Writing and Problem Solving     7
Writing and Critical Thinking     8
Communications and Ethics     9
Exercises     10
The Writing Process: An Overview     13
Getting Started: Identifying Purpose     13
Thinking Critically about the Issues     16
Analyzing the Readers     16
Getting Your Ideas Together     19
Gathering Information     19
Generating Ideas     19
Arranging Ideas: Organization     20
Writing the Draft     22
Revising the Draft     23
The Final Draft     24
Dealing with Writer's Block     25
Writing Under Pressure     25
Writing at the Computer     26
Help from Colleagues: Critiquing     26
Exercises     27
The Flow of Thought: Organizing for Coherence     30
Writing with Unity     30
Using Summary Sentences     31
Responding to Readers' Questions and Concerns     32
Transitions     33
Transitional Words and Phrases     34
Repetition of Key Words and Phrases     35
Pronouns Used to Achieve Coherence     37
Problems with Transitions     37
Paragraphs     38
Length     38
Structure     39
Paragraph Development     41
Discussion Questions and Essays     43
Discussion Questions     43
Essays     43
Applying Essay Techniques to Other Kinds of Writing     46
Sample Essay     46
Exercises     48
A Sense of Style: Writing with Conciseness and Clarity     51
Conciseness     51
Unnecessary Words     51
Simplicity     53
Verbs and Nouns     56
Clarity     58
Jargon     58
Precise Meaning     59
Concrete, Specific Wording     62
Readable Writing     64
Passive and Active Voice     64
Variety and Rhythm     67
Tone     68
Editing for Style at the Computer     69
Exercises     73
Standard English: Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling     78
Major Sentence Errors     78
Fragments     79
Comma Splices     79
Fused Sentences     80
Problems with Verbs     80
Tense and Mood     81
Subject-Verb Agreement     82
Problems with Pronouns     83
Pronouns and Gender     84
Problems with Modifiers     85
Parallel Structure     85
Apostrophes and Plurals     86
Commas     87
Comma Guidesheet     87
Colons and Semicolons     89
Direct Quotations     90
Spelling     92
Help from the Computer     93
Exercises     97
Format for Clarity: Document Design     101
Good Design: An Illustration     101
A Professional Appearance     105
Paper and Print     105
White Space and Margins     105
Neatness Counts!     106
Formatting      106
Headings     106
Lists and Set-Off Material     107
Pagination     108
Graphical Illustrations     108
Document Design at the Computer     112
Exercises     113
Critical Thinking     116
Making an Argument: The Process     116
Reaching Sound Conclusions: Two Approaches to Logic     119
Fallacies: Mistakes in Reasoning     122
Critical Thinking and Ethical Dilemmas     123
Exercises     125
Accounting Research     128
Research: Basic Guidelines     128
Electronic Sources of Information     129
Printed Sources of Information     130
Note Taking     131
Direct Quotation and Paraphrase     132
Plagiarism     132
Organizing Your Notes and Ideas     133
Writing Your Research Report or Memo     133
Integrating Notes into Your Writing     134
Revising     134
Documentation     134
Critical Thinking and Technical Accounting Research     136
Financial Accounting Research     136
Steps in the Financial Accounting Research Process      137
Exercises     139
Sources of Accounting and Financial Information     144
Computerized Reference and Database Services     147
Other Printed Sources of Accounting and Financial Information     149
Internal Documentation Style     150
Endnotes or Footnotes and Bibliography Style     153
Business Documents     157
Letters     157
Principles of Letter Writing     157
Planning a Letter     157
Organization     158
Conciseness and Clarity     159
Tone     159
Form and Appearance     159
Parts of the Letter     162
Responding to Correspondence     164
Typical Accounting Letters     165
Engagement Letters     165
Management Advisory Letters     168
Tax Research Letters     170
Standardized Letters: A Caution     173
Letters Sent via E-Mail     173
Exercises     174
Memos and E-mail     182
Memos: Some Basic Principles     182
The Parts of a Memo: Organizing for Coherence     183
Concise, Clear, Readable Memos: Style and Tone     184
Formats      185
Sample Memos     189
Memos to Clients' Files     189
Memos as Part of Working Papers     189
E-Mail     190
Write a Strong Subject Line     190
Put Important Ideas First     191
Use Conventional Grammar and Mechanics     191
A Few Cautions     191
Exercises     192
Reports     199
Planning a Report     199
The Parts of a Report     201
Transmittal Document     202
Title Page     202
Table of Contents     203
List of Illustrations     203
Summary Section     203
Introduction     203
Body of the Report     204
Conclusion     204
Appendixes (Optional)     205
Notes and Bibliography     204
Graphic Illustrations     205
Appearance     205
Style and Tone     205
Exercises     214
Writing and Your Career     219
Writing Essay Exams: Academic Courses and Professional Certification Exams     219
Essay Exams     219
Preparation     219
Taking the Exam      220
Qualities of a Good Essay     222
Professional Certification Exams     222
Preparing For and Taking the Exam     224
Qualities of a Good Answer     229
Exercises     229
Writing for Employment: Resumes and Letters     234
Starting the Job Search: Researching Possible Employers     234
Preparing a Resume     235
Using a Computer     235
Format     237
What Not to Put on a Resume     239
Writing a Letter of Application     240
Writing a Thank-You Letter     241
Electronic Submissions     242
Exercises     244
Writing for Publication     247
Planning Your Article     247
Research     248
Drafting and Reviewing the Article     248
Submitting the Article     249
Exercises     249
Oral Presentations     251
Planning the Presentation: Analyzing Purpose and Audience     251
Other Things to Consider     252
Gathering Information     252
Composing the Speech     253
Introduction     253
Body of the Presentation      253
Conclusion     254
Making Notes     254
Preparing Visual Aids     255
The Presentation     256
Checking the Arrangements     257
Appearance and Dress     257
The Presentation: Poise and Confidence     257
Eye Contact     258
Body Movement and Gestures     258
Voice     259
Managing Stage Fright     259
Special Considerations in Presentations of Financial Information     260
A Final Word     261
Exercises     266
Index     269

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