You are previewing Can Do Writing™: The Proven Ten-Step System for Fast and Effective Business Writing.
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Can Do Writing™: The Proven Ten-Step System for Fast and Effective Business Writing

Book Description

A simple, ten-step system for mastering the art of effective, persuasive business or technical writing

"The Grahams' system is the best way to transform data and ideas into meaningful information necessary to make profitable decisions. Their system works every time."

—Steven Laposa, PhD, MBA, Loveland Commercial Endowed Chair in Real Estate, Colorado State University

"The Grahams' straightforward program helps my teams create clear and concise reports, letters, and other documents with minimal effort. I want this program to become the standard for my teams."

—Bill Walter, Senior Vice President, Government and Infrastructure Division, KBR

"The Can Do Writing system made my career! I used it to write a winning business plan and proposal, and now I use it every day for all communications. Can Do Writing provides valuable insights into business and management as well as writing techniques."

—Christian Robey, President, DC Progress

You may be an expert at what you do, but if you can't communicate effectively in writing it may not matter. For scientists, businesspeople, and professionals in fields from engineering to public relations, the art of writing well can be a vital key to professional success.

Luckily, you don't need an English degree to produce top-class writing. If you're one of the millions of people who have to write clear, persuasive, understandable documents for your job, Can Do Writing is for you. Whether you're writing a business plan, a scientific paper, a press release, or anything else, this simple, straightforward guide will show you how to do it quickly, with style and confidence. You'll learn how to:

  • Understand your audience and subject matter

  • Develop a simple, five-part purpose statement to keep you on track

  • Organize your main points into a coherent, sensible order

  • Edit your work for clarity, coherence, organization, and logic

  • Economize your words to craft a concise, powerful document

  • Make your documents easily readable for any audience

Table of Contents

  1. Praise for Can Do Writing
  2. Copyright
  3. Preface
  4. About the Authors
  5. Introduction: Can Do Writing
    1. Overview of Can Do Writing System
  6. Skillset: Analysis
  7. 1. Analyze Purpose and Audience
    1. 1.1. What Result Do You Want from the Document?
    2. 1.2. Who is the Audience?
    3. 1.3. What Does the Audience Do with the Information?
    4. 1.4. What Information Does the Audience Need?
    5. 1.5. Does the Audience Know Little or Much About the Information?
    6. 1.6. Does the Audience Need Proof?
    7. 1.7. Plan How to Write to Multiple Audiences.
  8. 2. Write Your Document's Five-Part Purpose Statement
    1. 2.1. Decide the Type of Document or Oral Communication to Use.
    2. 2.2. Pick a Verb That Describes What the Document Does.
    3. 2.3. Assemble the Five Parts into a Purpose Statement.
    4. 2.4. Use the Purpose Statement to Settle Controversies.
    5. 2.5. Purpose Statements Make History.
    6. 2.6. Practice Steps 1 and 2 Using a Case Study.
  9. 3. Select Facts
    1. 3.1. Use the Purpose Statement as You Select Facts.
  10. 4. Organize Your Points in a Sentence Outline
    1. 4.1. Write Your Points Using Short Words in Short Sentences.
    2. 4.2. Evaluate Points to Eliminate Irrelevancies and Redundancies.
    3. 4.3. Order the Points.
    4. 4.4. Practice Steps 1 through 4 Using a Case Study.
    5. 4.5. End of the Story
  11. Skillset: Composing the Draft
  12. 5. Compose the Draft
    1. 5.1. Compose the Draft Body.
    2. 5.2. Compose the Draft Conclusion.
    3. 5.3. Compose the Draft Introduction.
    4. 5.4. If Necessary, Compose the Draft Executive Summary.
      1. 5.4.1. Executive Summary
    5. 5.5. If Necessary, Compose the Draft Abstract.
      1. 5.5.1. Abstract
  13. Skillset: Editing
  14. 6. Review the Draft for Organization and Logic
    1. 6.1. Test Organization by Answering Three Questions.
    2. 6.2. Use Sentence Outlining Techniques to Improve Organization.
    3. 6.3. Test Logic by Answering Five Questions.
  15. 7. Edit for Coherence
    1. 7.1. Repeat Key Words throughout Your Document.
    2. 7.2. Ensure That Each Paragraph Begins with a Point.
    3. 7.3. Use Transition Words.
    4. 7.4. Use Vertical Lists for Series of Like Items.
    5. 7.5. Ensure Your Graphics Make a Point.
    6. 7.6. Apply Visual Devices.
  16. 8. Edit for Clarity
    1. 8.1. Use Concrete and Specific Words.
    2. 8.2. Use Active Voice.
    3. 8.3. Simplify Tense: Stay in Present Tense When Possible.
    4. 8.4. Avoid the Helping Verbs Would, Should, and Could.
    5. 8.5. Identify and Replace Ambiguous Pronouns.
    6. 8.6. Use Standard English Words.
    7. 8.7. Check Sentences for Misplaced or Dangling Modifiers.
  17. 9. Edit for Economy
    1. 9.1. Cut Useless Verbs.
    2. 9.2. Cut Useless Prepositions.
    3. 9.3. Cut Who, Which, and That.
    4. 9.4. Cut Useless Repetition.
    5. 9.5. Cut Redundancy.
    6. 9.6. Cut Useless Comments.
    7. 9.7. Cut Useless Modifiers.
  18. 10. Edit for Readability
    1. 10.1. Measure Readability Using the Gunning Fog Index.
    2. 10.2. Replace Long Words with Short Words.
    3. 10.3. Break Long Sentences.
  19. Conclusion
    1. 10.4. Congratulations!