Business and Professional Writing: A Basic Guide
  • Publication Date: March 3, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781554812202 / 1554812208
  • 392 pages; 6" x 9"

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Business and Professional Writing: A Basic Guide

  • Publication Date: March 3, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781554812202 / 1554812208
  • 392 pages; 6" x 9"

Straightforward, practical, and focused on realistic examples, Business and Professional Writing: A Basic Guide 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.

Please note that this edition is particularly well suited to the needs of Canadian students; for US courses, please see Business and Professional Writing: A Basic Guide for Americans.

Comments

“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

“Paul MacRae’s Business and Professional Writing delivers on its promise to provide a basic bread-and-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 practises 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 is especially helpful to students who often struggle with this format.” — Precious McKenzie, Rocky Mountain College

Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction to Business and Professional Writing

PART 1 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
    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
    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

  • 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 from the section on plain language, click here. (Opens as a PDF.)