The Only Business Writing Book You'll Ever Need

The Only Business Writing Book You'll Ever Need

The Only Business Writing Book You'll Ever Need

The Only Business Writing Book You'll Ever Need


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A must-have guide for writing at work, with practical applications for getting your point across quickly, coherently, and efficiently.

A winning combination of how-to guide and reference work, The Only Business Writing Book You’ll Ever Need addresses a wide-ranging spectrum of business communication with its straightforward seven-step method. These easy-to-follow steps save you time from start to finish, and helpful checklists will boost your confidence as they keep you on track. You’ll learn to promote yourself and your ideas clearly and concisely—whether putting together a persuasive project proposal or dealing with daily email.

Laura Brown’s supportive, no-nonsense approach to business writing is thoughtfully adapted to the increasingly digital corporate landscape. She provides practical tips and comprehensive examples for all the most popular forms of communication, including slide presentations, résumés, cover letters, web copy, and a thorough guide to the art of crafting e-mails and instant messages. Insightful sidebars from experts in various fields demystify the skills of self-editing, creating content, and overcoming writer’s block, and Brown’s reference-ready resources on style, punctuation, and grammar will keep your writing error-free.

Nuanced, personable, and of-the-moment, The Only Business Writing Book You’ll Ever Need offers essential tools for success in the rapidly changing world of business communication.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393635324
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 01/29/2019
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 673,811
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Laura Brown, PhD, has taught writing to just about everyone—from corporate executives to college students—in her thirty years as a business writing coach. The author of The Only Business Writing Book You'll Ever Need and How to Write Anything: A Complete Guide, she lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

Preface xvii

Introduction 1

For Instructors And Students 2

How To Write Anything 2

To Write or Not to Write? 4

What Communications Professionals Want You to Know About Writing at Work 6

What Kind of Writer Are You? 8

The Seven Steps 9

Step 1 Get The Ask Clear 11

How to Write Avoiding Writing 19

Step 2 Write For Your Reader 21

How Writing a Business Plan Can Make You a Better Business Writer 28

Step 3 Start Strong And Specific 40

Step 4 Be Concise 47

Writing Is Rewriting 66

Step 5 Fill In Missing Content; Delete Extraneous Content 68

Step 6 Write In Plain English 75

Step 7 If Something Feels Wrong, Fix It 86

The Checklist 96

The Checklist in Action: Before and After Examples 98

Write It and Then Read It Out Loud 104

Types of Business Writing 106

The Basics 106

E-mail 106

Hints and Tips for Effective E-mails 111

The Etiquette of E-mail Writing 113

Requests 114

Escalated Request When a Deadline Is Approaching 116

Bad News Messages 118

Instant Messages 118

Presentations 120

Creating Visuals 123

Proposals 128

Business Relationships 131

Introductions 131

Recommendations 133

Thank-yous 137

For Deeper Connection and Reflection, Write It by Hand 139

Apologies 141

Promoting Your Business And Yourself 143

Web Copy 143

Blogs 146

Social Media 148

Creating Content for Your Website or Biog 149

Press Releases 155

Speeches 158

The Art of the Anecdote 161

Bios 163

Employment Matters 166

Résumés 166

Cover Letter for Your Résumé 169

Follow-up Message After a Job Interview 171

Five Tips for Communicating with Millennials in the Workplace 173

Job Descriptions 175

Job Advertisements 177

Performance Reviews 179

Resignation Letters 182

Termination Letters 184

Resources 187

Writing Skills 188

Overcoming Writer's Block 188

The Secret to Overcoming Writer's Block 191

Editing Your Own Writing 193

Style 197

Active Voice-Make Your Writing More Direct 197

Reading, Writing, and Leadership 199

This What? 200

Gender-Neutral Language 201

Grammar And Usage 205

Sentences, Fragments, and Run-ons 205

Pronoun Pitfalls 206

Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers 209

"That" and "Which" 212

Split Infinitives 213

Ending a Sentence with a Preposition 214

"Unique" 215

"Would Have," "Could Have" 215

Commonly Confused Words 215

Punctuation 219

How to Use a Comma 219

How to Use Colons and Semicolons 221

How to Use Parentheses, Brackets, and Dashes 222

How to Use Capital Letters 223

How to Use Quotation Marks 225

Acknowledgments 229

Appendix A Business Writing Survey 231

Appendix B List of Common Prepositions 235

Contributors 237

Index 243

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