Error-Free Writing: A Lifetime Guide to Flawless Business Writing

Error-Free Writing: A Lifetime Guide to Flawless Business Writing

by Robin A. Cormier

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Overview

Error-Free Writing makes preparing virtually perfect business documents simple by distilling the entire writing, editing, and proofreading process into an easy-to-follow four-step method. Use the method for any writing project, large or small, and you'll breeze through your daily tasks and produce compelling, flawless documents faster than you ever have before!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780133035957
Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
Publication date: 03/29/1995
Product dimensions: 7.02(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.05(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi
The Four-Step Method: An Introduction xv
The Four Steps of Error Prevention xvi
Why Do Errors Occur in the First Place? xvii
The Ideal: Four Steps, Four Different People xviii
Rewriting, Editing, and Proofreading: The Differences Explained xviii
Don't Do Too Much Too Soon xviii
Reference Books: The Essentials xx
What's the Goal? xxi
Details Count! xxi
Making the Four Steps Your Standard Procedure xxii
Creating: The Basics of Good Writing
1(40)
The Beauty of Plain English
1(2)
The Plain English Movement
1(1)
Plain English Saves Pipes
2(1)
The Challenge of Clear Writing
2(1)
Every Writer's Responsibility
3(1)
The Basic Principles of Good Writing
3(11)
Defining Audience, Purpose, and Focus
3(2)
Bringing Together Audience, Purpose, and Focus
5(1)
Planning and Organization
6(1)
Writing Style
7(1)
Head Levels
8(1)
Putting It All Together
9(3)
How to Break Through Writer's Block
12(2)
Obstacles to Clarity
14(9)
Cliches
15(5)
Jargon
20(1)
Noun Strings
21(1)
Passive Voice
21(2)
Bias-Free Language
23(5)
What Is Bias-Free Language?
23(1)
Bias Traps to Avoid
23(3)
The Bias Test
26(1)
Alternatives for Terms That Reveal Bias
27(1)
The Right Word: The 25 Most Frequently Confused Word Pairs
28(8)
Everyday Confusables
36(1)
When Wrong Becomes Right: How the English Language Changes
36(5)
Three Rules That Can Now Be Broken
37(2)
Keeping Up with Language Changes
39(1)
How to Number Pages
40(1)
Revising: Tips on Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation, and Consistency
41(50)
Revising: Becoming Your Own Editor
41(4)
Finding Errors in Your Own Writing
42(2)
Grammar-Checking Software---What It Can and Can't Do
44(1)
Grammar: Choosing Your Words Carefully
45(9)
Agreement Errors
45(2)
Modifiers: Misplaced, Dangling, and Squinting
47(2)
Mixing Person
49(1)
Problems with Pronouns
50(4)
Spelling
54(6)
The 25 Most Commonly Misspelled Words in Business Writing
55(1)
Ten Tips That Can Make You a Better Speller
55(4)
How to Make the Most of Your Word Processor's Spelling Checker
59(1)
Punctuation: The Key to Clarity
60(20)
Commas
61(1)
The $2 Million Comma
61(5)
How Not to Use a Comma
66(1)
Apostrophes
66(3)
Quotation Marks
69(4)
How to Handle Errors in Quoted Material
73(1)
Hyphens
73(1)
Hard, Soft, and Nonbreaking Hyphens
74(2)
Colons
76(1)
Em Dashes and En Dashes
77(1)
Semicolons
78(1)
Parentheses
79(1)
Consistency
80(11)
Smoothing Out the Rough Spots
81(1)
Capitalization
82(2)
Abbreviations
84(1)
Advice About Acronyms
84(2)
Numbers
86(2)
Lists: Formatting and Punctuation
88(3)
Polishing: Tips on Proofreading
91(66)
Proofreading: The Hunt for Errors
91(2)
What Proofreading Is and What It Is Not
91(1)
An Attempt at Perfection
92(1)
The Best Time to Proofread Your Document
92(1)
What Makes a Good Proofreader?
93(1)
Setting the Stage: What to Do Before You Put Pencil to Paper
93(7)
Switch Your Brain into Proofreading Mode
94(1)
The Types of Proofreading
95(1)
Gather Your Tools
95(3)
Find a Quiet Place
98(1)
Take Regular Breaks
98(1)
Terms Used by Professional Proofreaders
99(1)
Error-Detection Techniques From Professional Proofreaders
100(7)
The First Look
100(1)
The "Love Is Blind" Theory
101(3)
Dual Keyboarding
104(1)
End-of-Line Hyphenation
105(1)
Old Against New: Checking Corrections
106(1)
Making Your Mark: How to Mark Text So That Everyone Will Understand Your Changes
107(9)
Inserting
108(1)
The Five Most Common Places to Find Errors
109(1)
Deleting
110(1)
Revising
111(1)
Formatting
112(3)
Special Instructions
115(1)
What to Do When There Isn't Room to Make Marks
115(1)
How Fast Is Fast Enough?
116(4)
Estimating Proofreading Time: An Example
117(2)
Calculating Your Own Rate
119(1)
Factors That May Speed You Up or Slow You Down
119(1)
Grab a Partner: Tips on Team Proofreading
120(2)
How to Proofread Graphics and Tables
122(23)
Graphics: General Considerations
123(5)
Types of Graphics
128(13)
The Six Most Common Errors Found in Graphics
141(1)
Tables
141(2)
The Six Most Common Errors Found in Tables
143(1)
Checking Graphics and Tables Within the Text
144(1)
Table Terminology
145(1)
The Dangers of Desktop Publishing Software: Common Errors to Look For
145(6)
The Difference Between Proportional Type and Monospaced Type
151(1)
Emergency Proofreading: The Bare Minimum
151(6)
How Much Time Do You Have?
152(1)
What Do You Look For?
152(1)
Working with the Author
153(1)
The Assembly Line Approach
154(1)
The Final Hour
154(3)
Perfecting: Tips for Final Quality Control
157(12)
One Last Look: The Final Quality Control Review
157(5)
The Differences Between Editing, Proofreading, and the Quality Control Review
157(1)
Making Changes: When Is It Too Late?
158(1)
When It Absolutely, Positively Has to Be Perfect
159(1)
Who Should Perform the Quality Control Review?
160(1)
How to "QC" a Document
160(1)
Designing a Checklist---An Example
161(1)
After the Quality Control Review
162(1)
How to Find at Least One Error That Everyone Else Has Missed
162(2)
The Five Most Common Problems That Are Discovered at the Last Minute, Even After Everyone Has Checked Everything
164(1)
After "Camera-Ready": What to Look for When Checking Printing and Photocopying
164(5)
Offset Printing
164(2)
Photocopying
166(1)
Final Delivery
167(2)
CONCLUSION 169(2)
APPENDIX A---ABBREVIATIONS 171(38)
Postal Abbreviations
206(3)
APPENDIX B---COMPOUNDING GUIDE 209(124)
Index 333

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