Cover image for Working with words in business and legal writing
Working with words in business and legal writing
Agress, Lynne, 1941-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Perseus, [2002]

Physical Description:
xii, 123 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Preface -- Acknowledgments -- Part I : Words on writing -- How literate are you? A grammar/usage quiz ; Cutting down on words ; Meaningless words and awkward sentences ; Jargon, confusing writing, can't masquerade as style ; Good grammar is essential to good writing ; Punctuation and transitions : stage directions for the reader ; Active versus passive voice : who is responsible? ; Structure and organization : the formula for success ; Striking the right tone ; Poor writing is not style -- Part II : Words on marketing -- Writing to market : creating an outstanding sales brochure ; Writing your firm's future ; Writing a winning proposal or business plan -- Part III : Few words on technology -- Communicating on the Internet.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HF5718.3 .A37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Written to help the business person gain a grammatical advantage on his or her competition, Working with Words in Business and Legal Writing is a quick and complete guide to writing clear and concise e-mails, letters, and reports. By using real-world before-and-after examples from her workshop, Dr. Lynne Agress examines and explains the most common grammatical pitfalls in business writing and helps the reader focus on avoiding confusing and incorrect language.

Some of the topics Dr. Agress focuses on are: transitional phrases, use of voice, awkward sentence structures, proper punctuation, tone, jargon and pretentious prose. With special sections on selecting a writing workshop, or consultant, communicating over the Internet and editing others' work, Working with Words in Business and Legal Writing provides the quickest way to clear communication for business in the twenty-first century.

Author Notes

Lynn Agress , Ph.D is the founder of Business Writing at Its Best, Inc., a traveling writing workshop for various businesses in the United States. Her clients include Hewlett Packard, UNISYS, Chase Manhattan, Sallie Mae, and Price Waterhouse. She lives in Maryland.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The founder of Business Writing at Its Best Inc., a traveling writing workshop that includes clients such as UNISYS, Hewlett Packard, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Agress here provides a framework for good writing in business and law. She argues that "writing is not merely putting words on a page. It is using words that make sense, that express an idea in the clearest possible way." To help writers achieve this aim, she addresses common failings such as poor grammar, the use of jargon, awkward sentences, excess verbiage, pretentious writing, and poor punctuation, clearly presenting each problem and offering possible solutions. Other topics covered include writing a good business proposal, communicating via the Internet, and creating good marketing techniques through well-written sales brochures and letters. Inexpensive, informative, well executed, and enlivened by cartoons, this brief book is a good choice not only for public and academic libraries but for corporate and law libraries as well. Steven J. Mayover, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Creditsp. xi
Part 1 Words on Writing
Introductionp. 3
Chapter 1 How Literate Are You? A Grammar/Usage Quizp. 5
Chapter 2 Cutting Down on Wordsp. 15
Chapter 3 Meaningless Words and Awkward Sentencesp. 25
Chapter 4 Jargon, Confusing Writing, Can't Masquerade As Stylep. 33
Chapter 5 Good Grammar Is Essential to Good Writingp. 41
Chapter 6 Punctuation and Transitions: Stage Directions for the Readerp. 51
Chapter 7 Active Versus Passive Voice: Who Is Responsible?p. 59
Chapter 8 Structure and Organization: The Formula for Successp. 65
Chapter 9 Striking the Right Tonep. 71
Chapter 10 Poor Writing Is Not Stylep. 79
Part 2 Words on Marketing
Introductionp. 85
Chapter 11 Writing to Market: Creating an Outstanding Sales Brochurep. 87
Chapter 12 Writing Your Firm's Futurep. 93
Chapter 13 Writing a Winning Proposal or Business Planp. 97
Part 3 A Few Words on Technology
Chapter 14 Communicating on the Internetp. 103
Appendix More Helping Words
A Business Is Not a Universityp. 113
Evaluating a Writing Course or Workshopp. 117
Selecting the Right Consultantp. 121