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How To Sharpen Your Business Writing Skills, Second Edition

Book Description

An opportunity to update writing skills and excel in today’s e-writing environment.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. About This Course
  6. How to Take This Course
  7. Pre-Test
  8. 1 Writing for Your Reader
    1. Establishing Criteria
      1. Exercise 1–1: What Is Good Writing?
    2. Knowing Why You Write
    3. Knowing Your Audience
      1. Position in the Organization
      2. Exercise 1–2: Paths of Communication Based on Social and Political Relationships
      3. Knowledge of the Topic
      4. Exercise 1–3: Paths of Communication Based on Level of Knowledge
      5. Personal Characteristics
      6. Exercise 1–4: Consider the Reader
      7. Multiple Readers
    4. Applying Basic Psychology
      1. Point Out Benefits to the Reader
      2. Consider the Reader’s Point of View
      3. Use an Appropriate Tone
      4. Exercise 1–5: Writing with an Appropriate Tone
    5. Recap
    6. Review Questions
  9. 2 Getting Organized
    1. Creating an Outline
      1. Formal and Informal Outlines
      2. The Outline as a Test of Logic
    2. Developing Your Topic
      1. Good Evidence
      2. Validity and Logic
      3. Exercise 2–1: Finding the Flaw in the Argument
      4. Details, Details
    3. Organizing Your Material
      1. Direct Organization
      2. Exercise 2–2: Get to the Point
      3. Indirect Organization
    4. Putting Your Supporting Ideas in Sequence
      1. Exercise 2–3: From Brainstorm to Order
      2. Chronology
      3. Categorization
      4. Problem/Solution
      5. Comparison
      6. Process Analysis
    5. Getting Going
    6. Recap
    7. Answers to Exercises
    8. Review Questions
  10. 3 Types of Business Writing
    1. The Business Letter
      1. Format
      2. Body of the Letter
      3. Exercise 3–1: Writing Letters
    2. The Memorandum
      1. Protocol and Format
      2. Content
      3. Exercise 3–2: Writing a Memo
    3. The Proposal
      1. Body of the Proposal
    4. The Report
    5. Minutes of a Meeting
    6. Writing Together
    7. Recap
    8. Answers to Exercises
    9. Review Questions
  11. 4 Effective Writing
    1. Choosing Appropriate Sentence Patterns
      1. Simple Sentences
      2. Compound Sentences
      3. Complex Sentences
    2. Using Sentences Effectively
      1. Topic Sentences
      2. Paragraphs
      3. Transitions
      4. Exercise 4–1: Organizing Sentences
    3. Emphasizing and Deemphasizing Ideas
      1. Exercise 4–2: Beware the Dreaded Comma Splice
      2. Exercise 4–3: Structuring for Emphasis
    4. Controlling Sentence Length
      1. Exercise 4–4: Sentence Length
    5. Creating Rhythm with Sentence Variety
    6. Building Sound Sentences
      1. Parallel Structure
      2. Exercise 4-5: Parallel Structure
      3. Misplaced Modifiers
      4. Dangling Modifiers
      5. Exercise 4-6: Avoiding Dangling Modifiers
    7. Recap
    8. Answers to Exercises
    9. Review Questions
  12. 5 The Right Word: Appropriate Language
    1. Dictionaries: Tools of the Trade
      1. Dictionary Entries
      2. Synonyms
      3. Read Thoroughly
      4. Exercise 5–1: Consulting a Dictionary
    2. Slippery Words
      1. Denotation and Connotation
      2. Sexist and Other Offensive Language
      3. Jargon and Technical Terms
      4. Formality
      5. Exercise 5–2: Airing Out Stuffiness
    3. Grammar
      1. Agreement of Subject and Verb
      2. Exercise 5–3: Subject-Verb Agreement
      3. Agreement of Pronoun and Antecedent
      4. Agreement of Pronouns in Other Sentences
      5. Resources
    4. Recap
    5. Answers to Exercises
    6. Review Questions
  13. 6 Language That Works
    1. Finding the Right Tone
    2. Choosing the Right Verbal Image
      1. Loaded Words
      2. Positive and Negative Associations
      3. Warm and Cold Words
      4. Exercise 6–1: Warm and Cold Words
    3. Being Precise
      1. Writing Logically
      2. Using Words Correctly
      3. Finding the Right Word
      4. Exercise 6–2: Precise Writing
    4. Being Concise
      1. Eliminate Fillers
      2. Eliminate Repetition
      3. Condense Phrases and Clauses
      4. Exercise 6–3: Tight Writing
    5. Recap
    6. Answers to Exercises
    7. Review Questions
  14. 7 Direct and Forceful Writing
    1. Using Active Verbs
      1. Making Passive Sentences Active
      2. Exercise 7–1: The Active Voice
      3. Using the Passive Voice Appropriately
    2. Using Concrete and Specific Language
      1. Powerful Verbs
      2. Exercise 7–2: Active Verbs
      3. Vivid Nouns
      4. Exercise 7–3: Concrete and Abstract Nouns
      5. Who Does What to Whom?
      6. Verbized Nouns and Nounification of Verbs
      7. It’s Absolutely, Totally Unnecessary to Overmodify Very Much
      8. Exercise 7–4: Edit, Rewrite, Improve
    3. Avoiding Tired Language
    4. Recap
    5. Answers to Exercises
    6. Review Questions
  15. 8 Write and Rewrite: Punctuating and Revising
    1. Punctuation
      1. End Marks
      2. The Comma
      3. The Semicolon
      4. The Colon
      5. The Dash
      6. The Apostrophe
      7. Exercise 8–1: Punctuation Practice
    2. Incorporating Quotations into Your Writing
      1. Exercise 8–2: Quotable Quotes
    3. Rewriting, Polishing, and Streamlining
      1. Proofreading
      2. Exercise 8–3: Find the Errors
    4. Checking Yourself
    5. Recap
      1. Answers to Exercises
      2. Review Questions
  16. 9 Research: Fact-Finding Missions
    1. Interviewing for Information
      1. The Right Questions
      2. Open-Ended Questions
      3. Indirect Questions
      4. Feedback Questions
      5. Exercise 9–1: Kinds of Questions
    2. Researching
      1. Using the Internet
      2. Resources Online
      3. The Library
      4. Reference Librarians
      5. Detective at Work
      6. Exercise 9–2: Where in the World Is . . .
    3. Using Sources
    4. Recap
    5. Answers to Exercises
    6. Review Questions
  17. 10 Plugging In: Computers and Business Communication
    1. Writing by Computer
      1. Wordiness: Delete
      2. Presentation: The Eyes Have It
      3. Guidelines for Electronic Writing
    2. Electronic Communication
      1. E-Mail
      2. Discussion Forums
      3. Writing that Functions as Speech
      4. Exercise 10–1: Writing E-mail
    3. New Issues in Communication
      1. Privacy
      2. Offending Material
      3. Copyright Protection
      4. A Word to the Wise
      5. Exercise 10–2: Assessing the Risks
    4. Recap
    5. Answers to Exercises
    6. Review Questions
  18. Bibliography
  19. Post-test
  20. Index