Writing at Work: How to Write Clearly, Effectively and Professionally

By Neil James | Go to book overview

Acknowledgements

There is only one name on the cover of this book, but many people made it possible.

Foremost is Peta Spear, co-founder of the Plain English Foundation, who understood its full potential even before I did. Her unwavering support for this book meant having to take over much of my workload— as well as keep up her own—for the better part of a year. As if those demands were not enough, she also increased our turnover. More importantly, Peta is my partner in life as well as in business. Her faith in the book kept me going during the many days when the project threatened to overwhelm.

The Foundation's staff also deserve credit for this achievement. Ginger Briggs, our first employee, shared so much of the back-breaking work in the early days. Ginger also contributed background research for several chapters, and her e-savvy helped to find many of the real-world samples that bring life and relevance to the text.

Other Foundation staff contributed by carrying our growing workload while I was away writing. Our trainers Ron Denholm, David Hollier and Dana Skopal continue to turn plain language theory into workplace reality. Our operations manager, Glenn James, keeps the whole show running smoothly. Catherine Casey, Daniela Shield and Brenda Mattick chipped in with vital document design, and Robert Shield held our IT systems together. Thanks also to Pamela Freeman, Nicola Robinson, Gordon Eliot, Bronwyn Sweeney and Pauline Waugh who joined us for parts of the journey.

This book is also better for the feedback of plain language practitioners at home and overseas. In particular, I would like to thank Christine Mowat and Peter Butt for their encouragement and support. For setting an unstinting good example, thanks also to Joe Kimble, Martin Cutts, William Lutz, Ginny Redish, Annetta Cheek, Robert Eagleson, William DuBay, Michele Asprey, Lynda Harris, Jacquie Harrison, David Elliot,

-361-

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Writing at Work: How to Write Clearly, Effectively and Professionally
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Planning 11
  • 1: Readers 13
  • 2: Content 30
  • 3: Structure 50
  • Structure 77
  • 4: Focus 79
  • 5: Persuasion 97
  • 6: Coherence 116
  • 7: Design 134
  • Expression 151
  • 8: Tone 153
  • 9: Grammar 169
  • 10: Words 188
  • 11: Clutter 205
  • 12: At a Glance 222
  • 13: Sentences 241
  • Review 259
  • 14: Punctuation 261
  • 15: Style 280
  • 16: Editing 297
  • 17: Proofing 313
  • Further Reading 330
  • Chapter Notes 343
  • Acknowledgements 361
  • Index 363
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