The Business Writer's Handbook

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9780312679439: The Business Writer's Handbook

More than just a guide, The Business Writer’s Handbook places writing in a real-world context with quick and easy access to hundreds of business writing topics and scores of sample documents. Its dedicated author team – with decades of combined academic and professional experience – has crafted the essential reference tool for students and professionals alike, with extensive coverage of grammar, usage, and style. Always anticipating the needs of today’s business writers, the book features up-to-date coverage of workplace technology, including the latest types of writing for the Web and advice on repurposing content for multiple aims, audiences, and media. An integrated companion Web site works with the text to offer additional resources and models reflecting the authors’ trademark clarity.

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Review:

This fifth edition of The Business Writer's Handbook consists of nearly 700 spiral-bound pages written with both business students and professionals in mind. (It is also available in a paper-bound version, but how nice to be able to lay the book flat on one's desk for ease of reference.) "Our focus," say the editors, "is on helping professionally oriented writers develop effective skills and strategies for communicating in a rapidly changing environment," and that they do. The entries, arranged alphabetically, are straightforward and to the point. Sandwiched between items addressing issues of English grammar and word usage are guides to writing résumés, resignation letters, and everything in between (e.g., abstracts, annual reports, e-mail, executive summaries, form letters, feasibility studies, memos, mission statements, proposals, and trade journal articles). Throughout the book, the point is made that good writing has a marked effect on business communications--a short, personal collection letter, for instance, "will usually motivate a customer to pay a bill faster than will a form letter." Since the book is written for the business professional, many of the usage and grammar issues are illustrated with business-related examples, but don't think that that means the book isn't any fun. Consider the first sentence in an entry for gobbledygook: "Gobbledygook is writing that suffers from an overdose of traits guaranteed to make it stuffy, pretentious, and wordy." --Jane Steinberg

About the Author:

Gerald J. Alred is professor of English at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, where he teaches business and technical writing. He is also the coauthor of Writing That Works, Seventh Edition (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2001), and the author of The St. Martin's Bibliography of Business and Technical Communication (St. Martin's Press, 1997).

Charles T. Brusaw is presently a business writing consultant for corporations worldwide. He retired from NCR Corporation after working for twenty years as a technical writer. He has also worked in advertising, public relations, and curriculum development. He is also the coauthor of Writing That Works, Seventh Edition (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2001).

Walter E. Oliu is Acting Director of the Division of Freedom of Information and Publications Services at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and has taught at Miami University of Ohio and Slippery Rock State University. He is the coauthor of Writing That Works, Seventh Edition (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2001).

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Alred, Gerald J.; Brusaw, Charles T.; Oliu, Walter E.
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