Cover image for Business writing for dummies
Title:
Business writing for dummies
Author:
Lindsell-Roberts, Sheryl.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Foster City, CA : IDG Books, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xxvi, 332 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780764551345
Format :
Book

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Grand Island Library HF5718.3 .L57 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Anna M. Reinstein Library HF5718.3 .L57 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Business Writing for Dummies seeks to cover everything needed to produce memos, letters, proposals and e-mails that have impact and command attention. It includes an overview of grammar and punctuation and finally answers how to use a semi-colon.'


Author Notes

Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts is an accomplished author, business writer, and seminar leader. Her Clients represent distinguished names such as GMAC, ATandT, IBM, Western Union Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Sheryl has written several books, including Business Letter Writing and Loony Laws and Silly Statutes.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
About This Bookp. 1
How To Read This Bookp. 1
Preview of Coming Attractionsp. 2
Part I Basically Businessp. 2
PartII Business Writing in Actionp. 2
Part III Energizing Your E-Mailp. 2
Part IV The Part of Tensp. 2
Part V Appendixesp. 2
To Whom Am I Talking? (Or Whom Am I Talking To?)p. 3
Icons, Icons Everywherep. 3
Author's Note about Gendersp. 4
Just Do It!p. 4
Part I Basically Businessp. 5
Chapter 1 Writing As If Your Career Depends on It. It Does!p. 7
The Importance of Powerful Writingp. 7
Communication Frustrationsp. 8
Reader Frustrationsp. 9
Writer Frustrationsp. 9
Everyone Can Learn to Write Wellp. 10
Using the Skills You Already Havep. 10
A Tale of Two Memosp. 11
Learning by Doingp. 14
Chapter 2 Step 1: Getting Startedp. 15
Start Up Sheetp. 15
Using the Start Up Sheetp. 16
Understanding the Start Up Sheetp. 17
Audiencep. 17
Purposep. 19
Key Issuep. 20
Deliveryp. 20
Start Up Techniquesp. 21
Outliningp. 21
Questioningp. 21
Brainstormingp. 23
Freewritingp. 23
Tape recordingp. 25
Other start up techniquesp. 25
Chapter 3 Step 2: Creating Headlines and Strategic Sequencingp. 27
Writing Headlines that Shout "Read Me!"p. 27
Harnessing the Powerp. 28
Crafting Attention-Getting Headlinesp. 30
Writing Dynamic Subject Headlinesp. 32
Sequencing Headlines for Maximum Impactp. 33
Being the bearer of good newsp. 34
Sequencing for bad newsp. 35
Planning the documentp. 36
Chapter 4 Step 3: Writing Draftsp. 39
Before You Write a Draftp. 39
Writing the Draftp. 41
Getting Distance from Your Workp. 41
Revisiting or Revising the Draftp. 42
Evaluating Your Drafting Processp. 43
Chapter 5 Step 4: Designing for Visual Impactp. 45
Enjoying White Open Spacesp. 46
Toying with Textp. 46
Using headlines, subheads, and sidelinesp. 47
Using headlinesp. 47
Using subheadsp. 47
Using sidelinesp. 47
Optimizing sentence and paragraph lengthp. 48
Optimizing sentence lengthp. 48
Optimizing paragraph lengthp. 48
Making a list and checking it twicep. 49
Using bulleted listsp. 49
Using numbered listsp. 49
Punctuating listsp. 51
Using a colon to start a listp. 52
Using complete sentences in listsp. 52
Using parallel structurep. 52
Boxing matchp. 53
Having fun with Fontsp. 53
Selecting fontsp. 54
Using text treatmentsp. 54
Following the signsp. 55
A Pixel is Worth a Thousand Words: Using Charts, Tables, and Figuresp. 56
Charting your coursep. 57
Pie chartsp. 57
Line chartsp. 57
Bar chartsp. 57
Preparing chartsp. 57
Creating tables and figuresp. 59
Creating tablesp. 59
Creating figuresp. 60
Choosing Your Visual Flavorp. 61
Chapter 6 Step 5: Setting the Right Tonep. 69
Putting Your Personality on Paperp. 70
A Little KISS Goes a Long Wayp. 71
Forget what you learned in schoolp. 72
Simon says, "Simple sentences"p. 72
KISSing in technical documentsp. 76
Using contractionsp. 76
Using Positive Wordsp. 77
Invoking the Active Voicep. 78
Livening up your textp. 78
Identifying passive voice in your writingp. 79
Knowing when to use a passive sentencep. 80
Differentiating between passive voice and past tensep. 80
Hey, I'm Talking to "You"p. 81
Avoiding Sexist Languagep. 82
Honing Other Tonal Tidbitsp. 84
Using word associations (euphemisms)p. 84
Thinking seriously about being funnyp. 85
Throwing the book at idiomsp. 85
Avoid cliches like the plaguep. 86
For the jargon-impairedp. 86
Chapter 7 Step 6: Proofreadingp. 89
Proofread Before "Ewe" Sendp. 90
Using Your Electronic Toolsp. 91
Using Proofreader's Marksp. 92
Avoiding real-life faux pasp. 92
Using the Editing Checklistp. 93
Part II Business Writing in Actionp. 95
Chapter 8 Enlightening Lettersp. 97
The Anatomy of a Letterp. 98
Datep. 98
Mailing or in-house notationsp. 98
Inside addressp. 98
Attention linep. 100
Salutationp. 101
Subject linep. 103
Body (message)p. 104
Complimentary closingp. 104
Signature linep. 105
Reference initialsp. 105
Enclosure notationp. 106
Copy notationp. 106
Postscriptp. 106
What's Hot and What's Not in Letter Stylesp. 106
You Letter Spilleth Overp. 113
Letters That Sizzlep. 114
Getting personalp. 114
Giving recommendationsp. 117
Responding to a request to be a guest speakerp. 119
Notifying an also-ranp. 121
Extending or denying creditp. 123
Soothing an irate customerp. 125
Memorable Memosp. 126
Sensible stylesp. 126
Following protocolp. 126
Chapter 9 Rousing Reportsp. 131
Making Your Reports Measure Upp. 132
Sequencing to Meet the Needs of Your Audiencep. 132
Bearing good newsp. 132
Don't shoot the messengerp. 133
No Jacket Required: Writing Informal Reportsp. 133
Top Hat and Tails: Writing Formal Reportsp. 137
It's what up front that countsp. 138
Letter of transmittalp. 138
Title pagep. 138
Abstractp. 139
Table of contentsp. 140
List of figures and list of tablesp. 140
Prefacep. 140
List of abbreviations and symbolsp. 142
Body beautifulp. 143
Executive summaryp. 143
Body textp. 143
Holding up the rearp. 145
Bibliographyp. 145
Appendixesp. 145
Glossaryp. 146
Indexp. 147
Creating Reports with Visual Impactp. 148
Chapter 10 Profitable Proposalsp. 153
Seductive Sales Proposalsp. 154
What's in it for me?p. 154
Scoping out prospectsp. 155
You and RFPp. 155
Understanding the evaluation processp. 156
Demonstrating what makes you better than the competitionp. 157
Parts of a simple sales proposalp. 157
Parts of a not-so-simple sales proposalp. 159
Letter of transmittal (also known as a cover letter)p. 160
Title pagep. 162
Executive summaryp. 162
Table of contentsp. 162
Cost breakdownp. 162
Schedulep. 163
Summary of benefitsp. 163
Statement of responsibilitiesp. 164
Making a formal sales presentationp. 165
Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?p. 166
Gathering background informationp. 169
Putting it all togetherp. 169
Executive summaryp. 169
Statement of needp. 169
Project descriptionp. 170
Budgetp. 171
Organizational informationp. 171
Conclusionp. 172
Chapter 11 Persuasive Presentationsp. 173
Choosing the Right Mediump. 174
Using Flip Charts and White Boardsp. 175
Using Transparencies and Slidesp. 176
Understanding the power of colorp. 176
Guidelines for textp. 176
Guidelines for graphicsp. 177
The power of persuasionp. 178
Supporting materials (handouts)p. 178
Giving your presentationp. 179
Making Shoestring Videosp. 180
On with the showp. 181
Scripting and storyboardingp. 181
Assuring a Dynamic Presentationp. 185
Opening do'sp. 185
Opening taboosp. 185
Appearing naturalp. 186
Heart of the presentationp. 186
Ending the presentationp. 186
Having a Good Timep. 187
Part III Energizing Your E-Mailp. 189
Chapter 12 The Ins and Outs of Using E-Mailp. 191
Choosing E-Mailp. 192
Improving the way you do businessp. 192
E-mail is as easy as 1, 2, 3p. 193
Weighing the Pros and Woes of E-Mailp. 194
Spamming it upp. 195
Exploring security concernsp. 196
Exploring privacy concernsp. 196
Reader's Responsibilitiesp. 198
Chapter 13 Electrifying Your E-Mail with the Six Stepsp. 201
Plugging In the Six Stepsp. 203
E-Mail Headers: Up Close and Personalp. 203
Addressing the Messagep. 204
Crafting Seductive Subject Linesp. 205
Counting charactersp. 205
Sounding compellingp. 206
Signaling the importance of your messagep. 207
Using key wordsp. 207
Letting the subject line deliver your messagep. 208
Sending Greetings 'n' Salutationsp. 208
Telling the story with headlinesp. 209
Writing the Draftp. 209
Structuring short messagesp. 210
Structuring long messagesp. 210
Complimentary Closingsp. 213
ACSII and Ye Shall Receivep. 213
Are You Ready to Send?p. 213
Sending Attachmentsp. 214
Chapter 14 Remembering Your E-Mannersp. 217
Where's Amy Vanderbilt or Emily Post?p. 218
Angry Messagesp. 218
Identify Yourselfp. 219
Libel and Copyrightp. 219
Savvy Salutationsp. 220
Subject Line Quandaryp. 220
About Abbreviationsp. 221
Toning Down the Tonep. 221
ALL CAPSp. 222
Creative with Colorp. 222
Urgency Overloadp. 223
Red in the Facep. 223
Chain Reactionp. 224
Saving for a Rainy Dayp. 224
International Savvyp. 225
Part IV The Part of Tensp. 227
Chapter 15 Ten Reasons Letters Failp. 229
1. Where's the Beef?p. 229
2. Insensitive Salutationsp. 230
"Dear Somebody" is better than "Dear Nobody"p. 230
To Whom This May Concern:p. 230
3. I've Been Framedp. 231
4. Your "John Hancock" Pleasep. 231
5. Spelling "Errers"p. 231
6. Grammatical Goofsp. 231
7. All About MEp. 232
8. Kid in a Candy Shopp. 232
9. Tinny Tonep. 232
10. The 500-Word Paragraphp. 233
Chapter 16 Ten Tips For Writing Application Letters with a Hookp. 235
1. Why You Write an Application Letter: A Resume Isn't Enoughp. 236
2. Letting Your Personality Shinep. 236
3. Preparing Letterheadp. 236
4. Personalizing Each Letterp. 237
5. Keeping the Reader in Clear Focusp. 237
6. Building the Perfect Letterp. 237
The subject linep. 238
The opening paragraphp. 238
The convincing middle paragraph(s)p. 239
The closing paragraphp. 240
7. Discussing Salary Requirementsp. 240
8. Letter Do'sp. 241
9. Letter Taboosp. 241
10. Sending Electronicallyp. 242
Sending a faxp. 242
Sending an e-mail messagep. 242
Chapter 17 Ten Tips for Jazzy Sales Lettersp. 245
1. The Envelope Pleasep. 246
2. Attracting by Attachingp. 247
3. Offering a Freebeep. 247
4. Starting Off with a Bangp. 248
Questions, anecdotes, parables, and quotationsp. 248
Storiesp. 248
5. Finding the Painp. 248
6. Stressing Benefits, Not Featuresp. 249
7. Concluding with a Call to Actionp. 249
8. Considering a Postscriptp. 250
9. Becoming a Junk-Mail Junkiep. 250
10. Taboosp. 251
Chapter 18 Ten Ways to Cut Information Overload in the Electronic Worldp. 253
1. Optimizing Delivery and Sending Methodsp. 254
Is there a more appropriate way to deliver the message?p. 254
Am I a selective sender?p. 255
Are my mailing lists up-to-date?p. 255
2. Maximizing Filing Capabilitiesp. 255
Do I use file folders effectively?p. 255
Can I post this instead of sending it?p. 255
3. Writing for the Sake of Visibilityp. 256
4. Using Bozo Filtersp. 256
5. Changing the Subject Line of Forwarded Messagesp. 256
6. Crafting Subject Lines and Headlines to Cut Overloadp. 257
Do my subject lines shout: Read Me?p. 257
Are my headlines action packed?p. 257
7. Creating Visual Impact: Getting the Message Acrossp. 258
Is my formatting effective?p. 258
Is my message concise?p. 258
Is my message in an easy-to-read sequence?p. 259
Short documentsp. 259
Long documentsp. 259
8. Double-Checking Reply Listsp. 259
9. Ignoring Chain Letters and Scamsp. 260
10. Using Your Business System for Business Messages Onlyp. 260
Chapter 19 Ten Hints for Writing Savvy Speechesp. 261
1. Asking the Four Questionsp. 262
2. Thinking Lean and Meanp. 263
3. Speaketh, not Readethp. 263
4. Faking Spontaneityp. 264
5. Timing Is Everythingp. 264
6. Introducing a Speakerp. 265
7. Getting the Right Tonep. 266
Be aware of your speech patternsp. 266
Use repetition for emphasisp. 266
Include alliterations or rhymesp. 266
8. Phrases to Leave at the Officep. 267
9. On the Foreign Frontp. 267
Do'sp. 267
Taboosp. 268
10. Learning from the Experience of Othersp. 269
Chapter 20 Ten Hints for Collaborative Writingp. 271
1. Knowing What Role You Playp. 272
2. Preparing a "Who's Doing What" Listp. 272
3. Generating a Production Schedulep. 272
4. Completing the Start Up Sheetp. 275
5. Brainstorming: Generating Ideas and Outlining as a Teamp. 275
6. Drafting Collaborativelyp. 275
7. Organizing a Peer Reviewp. 275
8. Using Group Writing Toolsp. 277
9. Signing Offp. 277
10. Putting Your Ego Asidep. 277
Part V Appendixesp. 279
Appendix A Punctuation Made Easyp. 281
General Guidelinesp. 281
Commasp. 282
Ending Punctuationp. 284
Periodsp. 284
Question marksp. 284
Exclamation pointsp. 285
Colons and Semicolonsp. 285
Colonsp. 285
Semicolonsp. 286
Dashes and Parenthesesp. 286
Dashesp. 286
Parenthesesp. 287
Other Punctuationp. 288
Quotation marksp. 288
Apostrophesp. 289
Possessionp. 289
Omissionp. 290
Hyphensp. 291
Ellipsesp. 291
Slashesp. 292
Bracketsp. 292
Appendix B Grammar's Not Gruelingp. 293
Adjectivesp. 293
Forms of adjectivesp. 295
Absolute adjectivesp. 295
Compound adjectivesp. 296
Articlesp. 296
Adverbsp. 296
Double negativesp. 297
Conjunctionsp. 297
Nounsp. 297
Prepositionsp. 298
Pronounsp. 298
Singular pronounsp. 298
Who and whomp. 299
Verbsp. 299
Dangling participlesp. 299
Were and wasp. 299
Split infinitivesp. 300
Subject and verb agreementp. 300
Gerundsp. 301
Commonly Confused Constructionsp. 301
Appendix C Abridged Abbreviationsp. 303
Acronyms and Initialismsp. 303
Writing Acronyms and Initialismsp. 304
Companies and Organizationsp. 304
Compass Pointsp. 304
Latin Words and Phrasesp. 304
Laws and Bylawsp. 305
Periodsp. 305
Postal Abbreviationsp. 306
Scientific Termsp. 307
Metric Systemp. 307
Appendix D Spelling Superblyp. 309
Pluralsp. 310
The Final Ep. 311
The Final Yp. 311
IE and EIp. 312
Doubling the Final Consonantp. 312
Super Stumpersp. 313
Booby Trapsp. 318
Indexp. 321
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