You are previewing Writing for Business: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges.
O'Reilly logo
Writing for Business: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges

Book Description

Effective business writing rests on a foundation of basic principles. Master them, and you'll know how to handle the many different writing tasks that come your way. This book contains relevant information on how to: 1) Organize your document according to your readers' needs. 2) Employ a variety of strategies for jump-starting your writing assignments. 3) Apply editing and design principles to heighten the impact of your message.

The Pocket Mentor series offers immediate solutions to the challenges managers face on the job every day. Each book in the series is packed with handy tools, self-tests, and real life examples to help you identify strengths and weaknesses and hone critical skills. Whether you're at your desk, in a meeting, or on the road, these portable guides enable you to tackle the daily demands of your work with greater speed, savvy, and effectiveness.

Table of Contents

  1. Pocket Mentor Series
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Mentor’s Message: Reader-Focused Writing Gets Results
  6. Writing f or Business: The Basics
    1. Foundation Principles
      1. Clarify your purpose
      2. Take a reader-centered approach
      3. State your key message clearly
      4. Keep the message short and simple
      5. Confirm your delivery strategy
    2. Scope Your Project
      1. Broad versus limited scope
    3. Start-Up Strategies
      1. Questioning
      2. The traditional outline
      3. The brainstorm outline
      4. Freewriting
    4. Organize Material According to Purpose
      1. Order-of-importance method
      2. Chronological method
      3. Process and procedure methods
      4. Spatial arrangement method
      5. Compare and contrast method
      6. Specific-to-general or general-to-specific method
      7. Analytical method
    5. Writing the First Draft
      1. Begin where you feel most comfortable
      2. Write in categories
      3. Special considerations for a technical document
    6. Structuring Paragraphs
      1. Limit the number of subjects in each paragraph
      2. Create smooth transitions
    7. Editing for Content
      1. Put your message in focus
      2. Review for clarity
      3. Sequence your key message strategically
      4. Answer your readers’ question: “Why?”
    8. Editing for Style
      1. Design for visual impact
      2. Match your tone to your audience
      3. Check for conciseness
      4. Adopt the active voice
      5. Edit for accuracy
    9. Drafting E-mail
      1. Common problems
      2. Start with the subject line
      3. Only one topic per e-mail
      4. Make the purpose of the message clear
      5. Be concise and use attachments
      6. Remember your audience
      7. Keep formatting simple
      8. Review your company’s e-mail policy
      9. Know when not to send an e-mail
  7. Tips and Tools
    1. Tools for Business Writing
  8. Test Yourself
  9. To Learn More
  10. Sources for Business Writing
  11. Notes
  12. How to Order