Business and Professional Writing: A Basic Guide for Americans
  • Publication Date: May 26, 2016
  • ISBN: 9781554813315 / 155481331X
  • 392 pages; 6" x 9"

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Business and Professional Writing: A Basic Guide for Americans

  • Publication Date: May 26, 2016
  • ISBN: 9781554813315 / 155481331X
  • 392 pages; 6" x 9"

Straightforward, practical, and focused on realistic examples, Business and Professional Writing: A Basic Guide for Americans is an introduction to the fundamentals of professional writing. The book emphasizes clarity, conciseness, and plain language. Guidelines and templates for business correspondence, formal and informal reports, brochures and press releases, and oral presentations are included. Exercises guide readers through the process of creating and revising each genre, and helpful tips, reminders, and suggested resources beyond the book are provided throughout.

Comments

“Paul MacRae’s Business and Professional Writing delivers on its promise to provide a basic breadand- butter guide to workplace writing. Whereas other books combine practical writing instruction with communication theory, MacRae’s background as a journalist comes through in his concise approach: he hones in on the core genres and skills that all professional writers must develop as part of their writing repertoires. This book practices what it teaches. Concepts are explained and illustrated clearly and efficiently. The strong section on grammar clearly explains the basics that need to be in every professional writer’s toolkit. The book’s brevity, conciseness, and to-the-point approach make it a practical, accessible textbook that would be a great resource for any student.” — Kelly Belanger, Virginia Tech

Business and Professional Writing provides a solid overview of key topics related to business communication. Clear, concise chapters teach students about plain language, format, and grammar, and highlight the most common forms of business communication such as letters and memos. What makes this book stand out from the competition is its focus on news releases, brochures, and promotion on the web. Detailed instructions on how to construct an effective brochure are especially helpful to students who often struggle with this format.” — Precious McKenzie, Rocky Mountain College

“Paul MacRae’s Business and Professional Writing is an excellent new entry in the field of writing textbooks. MacRae clearly has years of experience teaching writing: he knows what students need, and he knows how to convey that information in an accessible, almost conversational way. This is a practical, no-nonsense approach to professional writing. What the reader will find here is everything he or she needs to know to be an effective communicator, from a foundation in grammar and basic precepts, including the importance of document design, to how to write in specific professional genres, including persuasive letters, résumés, and reports. Rather than being relegated to an appendix, grammar is foregrounded, along with the ‘seven Cs of good professional communication.’ The coverage is thorough yet concise, and even experienced writers will find the text to be a valuable resource.” — Michael Fox, Western University

Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction to Business and Professional Writing

PART I – THE BASICS OF STRONG WRITING

Chapter 1 – Plain Language
Business Communication versus Academic Writing
Plain Language
Exercises

Chapter 2 – The Seven Cs of Good Professional Communication
Introduction
1. Clear
2. Concise
3. Concrete and Specific
4. Complete
5. Courteous
6. Coherent
7. Constructive
Conclusion
Quiz on the Seven Cs

Chapter 3 – The Eighth C: Learning Grammar Language
Introduction
Grammar Language
Parts of Speech
Sentences and Clauses
Conjunctions
Clauses and Conjunctions Determine Punctuation
Punctuation
Grammar Odds and Ends
Conclusion
Quiz #1 on Grammar
Quiz #2 on Grammar

Chapter 4 – Copy-Editing
Introduction: What Is Copy-Editing?
Using Spellcheck
Other Copy-Editing Tasks
Copy-Editing Symbols
Using a Word Processor for Copy-Editing
Conclusion
Copy-Editing Exercise

PART II – DOCUMENT DESIGN

Chapter 5 – Basic Document Design
Introduction: The Importance of Good Document Design
Modular Design
Lists
Headings
Graphics
Summing Up

Chapter 6 – Formatting for Correspondence
Introduction
Memos and Emails
Letters
Letter Exercise
Correspondence Review

PART III – CORRESPONDENCE

Chapter 7 – Emails and Memos
Introduction
Emails and Memos
Emails
Memos
Faxes and Scans

Chapter 8 – Letters: Good News, Neutral, and Bad News
Good-News and Neutral Letters
Bad-News Letters

Chapter 9 – Persuasive Letters
Introduction
Three Rhetorical Techniques
AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)
Exercise

PART IV – WRITING FOR A JOB

Chapter 10 – Cover Letters
Introduction
The Cover Letter
Conclusion
Exercise

Chapter 11 – Résumés
Introduction
Reverse Chronological Résumé
Functional Résumé
Combined Chronological and Functional Résumé
Scannable Résumé
Conclusion
Exercises

PART V – PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS

Chapter 12 – News Releases
Introduction
News Releases
Exercise
Follow-up Questions and Exercises

Chapter 13 – Brochures
Introduction
Brochures Are AIDA Documents
Conclusion
Exercises

Chapter 14 – Promotion on the Web
Introduction
Creating a Website
Social Media
Exercise

PART VI – ORAL PRESENTATIONS

Chapter 15 – Individual Oral Presentations
Introduction
Individual Presentations
Individual Presentation Checklist
Exercises

Chapter 16 – Group Presentations
Introduction
Preparation
Content
Delivery
Group Presentation Checklist
Exercise

PART VII – REPORTS

Chapter 17 – Informal Reports
Introduction
Progress Reports
Problem-Solving Reports
Incident Reports
Proposal Reports
Conclusion
Discussion Questions
Exercises

Chapter 18 – Formal Reports
Introduction
Formal Report Design
Formal Report Formatting
Surveys
Minutes
Conclusion
Formal Report Checklist
Discussion Questions
Exercise

Chapter 19 – Formal Report Example

Appendix A – Answers to Exercises
Introduction
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 8
Chapter 12

Index

Paul MacRae is an instructor in business and professional writing at the University of Victoria.

The Business and Professional Writing instructor site resources include PowerPoint lectures, suggested assignments, grading rubrics, and lesson plans, and suggested lecture notes. An access code to the website is included with all examination copies.

For a sample of Business and Professional Writing: A Basic Guide for Americans from the section on plain language, click here. (Opens as a PDF.)

— Models the clarity, conciseness, and plain language it endorses
— Straightforward, practical, and focused on real-world examples
Exercises guide readers through the process of creating each kind of writing discussed
—Helpful mnemonics provide structure and guidance
— Informal, encouraging tone
— Coverage of marketing and promotional writing: brochures, social media, and news releases
— Helpful guidelines and templates for business correspondence, formal and informal reports, oral presentations
Instructor website with PowerPoint lectures, suggested assignments, grading rubrics, and lesson plans