The One-Idea Rule: An Efficient Way to Improve Your Writing at School and Work

The One-Idea Rule: An Efficient Way to Improve Your Writing at School and Work

by Mark Rennella PhD
The One-Idea Rule: An Efficient Way to Improve Your Writing at School and Work

The One-Idea Rule: An Efficient Way to Improve Your Writing at School and Work

by Mark Rennella PhD


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Focused on a simple principle and designed to bolster writers’ confidence and skills, writing coach at Harvard Business School Mark Rennella offers practical advice for students and budding writers—with the goal of leveling the playing field between beginners and those with more experience.

After a 30-year career as a writer, instructor, and editor, Mark Rennella has crafted a battle-tested method to help students and young professionals who want to improve their writing: the One-Idea Rule, anchored on the assertion that every component of a successful piece of writing should express only one idea.

With The One-Idea Rule, writers embarking on their adult lives and professional journeys will have a reliable methodology they can easily remember and count on for all of their writing tasks, as well as increased confidence about the cogency of their writing and its potential for impact in the public sphere.

Most advice about writing looks like a long laundry list of dos and don’ts. For those already accomplished as writers, these lists can be a helpful addition to an already-developed communication style. But for teens starting college and young professionals entering the workforce, it can be challenging to wield such complex advice to tackle increasingly demanding writing assignments.

The One-Idea Rule is a writing primer aligned and empathetic with any young writer's needs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781637743980
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 08/29/2023
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.56(w) x 8.31(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

A respected author, teacher, and scholar with a gift for storytelling, Mark Rennella’s many books, articles, business case studies, and collaborative writing endeavors have garnered him critical praise from historians, academicians, and business leaders alike. He has taught writing and composition throughout his career, including his current role as writing coach for MBA students. His publications include Entrepreneurs, Managers, and Leaders: What the Airline Industry Can Teach Us About Leadership, co-authored with Nitin Nohria, former dean of Harvard Business School. Mark earned a Ph.D. in American history from Brandeis University and has taught literature and American history at Harvard University, the University of Miami and the University of Tours (France).

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Writing matters a lot—at school, at work, and in life. The One-Idea Rule is one really great idea that packs a powerful punch for anyone who needs to improve this important skill. Read this book if you want to learn to focus like a laser beam and write with impact.”
Bruce Tulgan, Author of It’s Okay to Be the Boss, and Founder and CEO, RainmakerThinking, Inc.
“Mark Rennella’s The One-Idea Rule can help to uncover the root cause of many struggles and difficulties often faced by writers—and can also enrich their thinking along the way. From coming up with a title to the nitty-gritty of creating a clear sentence, Mark leaves no component of writing unexamined.”
Michael B. Horn, Author of From Reopen to Reinvent
“Mark Rennella demystifies the writing process, guiding emergent authors through the step-by-step process of crafting powerful prose that connects with readers . . . The One-Idea Rule is essential reading for those with one goal: write better right now.”
Stephanie Doscher, Director,Office of Collaborative Online International Learning, Florida International University, and Coauthor of Making Global Learning Universal
“In today’s churn of constant communication, The One-Idea Rule is a great anchor for practical application and theoretical exploration on the art of clear comms. Mark Rennella does justice to a field that continues to assume it needs perpetual revolution, when all it really needs is to come back to the basics.”
Mehmed Ali, Director, Academic Services, Air University
“Based on years of teaching in the field, Mark Rennella has written that rarest of books, a textbook that holds our interest like a novel. It will hold our students’ interest even better.”
John Paul Russo, Chair, Department of Classics, University of Miami, and Author, The Future Without a Past
"The One-Idea Rule is the rare book about writing instruction that does not ground itself in a deficit model. Rather than ingraining writers with a sense of dread about their knowledge gaps, the author emphasizes that foundations preexist that even novice writers can build upon to develop their craft organically. The One-Idea Rule lowers the threshold for writers to actually begin writing, without sacrificing the complexities that accrue when writing tasks increase in sophistication."
Stefan Gunther, PhD. Associate Vice President Faculty Affairs, University of Maryland Global Campus.

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