The Skill and Art of Business Writing: An Everyday Guide and Reference

By Harold E. Meyer | Go to book overview

How This Book Will
Help You Write Clearly

The Purpose

Communication is many things. It is talking face to face, it is talking on the telephone, it is writing letters, it is sending radio messages, it is electronic mail, it is the way you stand, it is the way you walk, it is the way you approach a person, it is your facial expression, it is your voice, it is your body movements; and it is the nonoccurrence of these things.

In written communication, flat words on a sheet of paper must convey the same feelings and impressions that may be readily seen and felt when meeting a person face to face.

Writing, however, has the advantage of review and editing; you can rewrite until the message is clear, be it a detailed report on a business project, a birthday letter to your mother or a note to your postal carrier. Whatever your intent, this book will show you how to write what you mean.

The purpose of this book is to show you how to write phrases, sentences, paragraphs and complete compositions that your reader will understand after the first reading.

Practically all the ideas, suggestions and examples presented here can be applied to speaking as well as to writing. By using the book's recommendations you can make your [speeches] to a colleague, a client or a group of any size more interesting and purposeful.


The Need

The need for improved writing ability can be illustrated with a few quotes from Harvey Mackay in an article written for United Features Syndicate.

-ix-

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The Skill and Art of Business Writing: An Everyday Guide and Reference
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • How This Book Will Help You Write Clearly ix
  • Chapter 1 - Understandable Sentences 1
  • Chapter 2 - Action in Sentences 26
  • Chapter 3 - Order in Sentences 54
  • Chapter 4 - Positive Sentences 87
  • Chapter 5 - Words in Sentences 109
  • Chapter 6 - Sensible Paragraphs 144
  • Chapter 7 - Topics of Paragraphs 167
  • Chapter 8 - Tie It All Together 182
  • Chapter 9 - Composition Techniques 207
  • Chapter 10 - Why Spelling? 232
  • Chapter 11 - Punctuate It This Way 251
  • Chapter 12 - Three Diverse Reports 270
  • Chapter 13 - Confusing Words Clarified 286
  • Chapter 14 - Glossary of Terms 319
  • Bibliography 341
  • Index 345
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