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Business Writing Today

Business Writing Today
A Practical Guide

Second Edition

June 2015 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Confident writers succeed. Whatever career you aim for, good writing enables you to win more opportunities, perform better on the job and build the relationships you want.

In this practical, reader-friendly guide, Natalie Canavor shares a step-by-step framework that professional communicators use to determine what to say, and how to say it, in every situation. This guide shows you how to use strategic writing to achieve your own immediate and long-range goals in all media, from email to resumes, blogs to proposals, tweets to video.  Discover easy to learn tools and techniques to recognize and fix your own writing problems, without grammar lessons.

Business Writing Today prepares you to better understand the business world and communicate in ways that achieve your aims in today’s highly competitive work environment.


  • A new chapter explores writing methods used by professional journalists and PR specialists including how to create media releases, find information, and interview effectively 
  • ‘View from the Field’ boxes feature advice from professionals who share their first-hand insights on a range of cutting-edge communication tactics
  • ‘Success Tip’ boxes give practical ideas for succeeding in the workplace and leveraging your communication skills
  • Expanded coverage of the job application process includes best practices for writing successful resumes, cover letters, and networking
  • Expanded coverage of writing for oral communication covers planning for presentations, tips for crafting personal stories, ideas for using video and creating effective visuals
  • 'Practice Opportunities' provide exercises and activities to promote active learning, group projects and class discussion.
Part I: A Structured Planning System for All Your Communication
Chapter 1: Business Writing in the Digital Age—and You
Why Employers Value Writing  
How Employers See Writing  
Good Writing—and You  
Business Writing Redefined for the Digital Age  
How to Use This Book  
Writing to Accomplish Goals: Building the Foundation for Every Message
Identifying Goals on Multiple Levels  
Framing Messages for the Audience  
Maneuvering Generational Divides  
Writing to Groups and Unknown Audiences  
Chapter 3: Putting the Planning Structure to Work: Always Know What to Say
How to Decide on Best Message Content  
Choosing an Organization Technique  
Adopting the Right Tone  
Applying the Process to Challenging Messages  
Part III: Writing Techniques
Chapter 4: Good Sentences, the Right Words
Assembling Strong Sentences  
Applying Readability Guidelines  
Choosing the Right Words  
Using Vigorous Verbs  
Knowing the Clues to Wordiness  
Editing: Many Ways Can Work  
Chapter 5: The Whole Picture: Creating Your Best Message
Writing With Short Paragraphs  
Building in Good Transitions  
Avoiding Word Traps  
Avoiding Tone Traps  
Editing What You Write  
Fielding Common Grammar Problems the Commonsense Way  
Part IV: Types of Business Writing
Chapter 6: Writing E-mail and Building Your Professional Image
Use E-mail to Accomplish Goals  
Apply Strategic Thinking to the Situation  
Build in the Right Tone  
Use E-mail to Support Internal and External Networking  
Chapter 7: Writing Resumes and Cover Letters
How to Write for a Competitive Edge  
Creating Resumes to Showcase Individual Skills  
Customizing Cover Letters to the Job  
Writing to Connect with Employers and Networks  
Chapter 8: Writing Letters and Memos: They Still Count
When to Write Letters  
Planning Letters that Achieve Your Goals  
Strategizing Letters for Common Situations: Using Internal Memos to Build Relationships  
Part V: Writing Persuasive Messages
Chapter 9: Writing to Persuade: The Tools and Techniques
Deploying The Tools of Persuasion and Advocacy  
Writing Techniques for Persuasive Materials  
How to Find, Shape and Tell Stories  
Graphic Ideas and Guidelines for Good Presentation  
Chapter 10: Writing to Persuade: Creating Successful Business Documents
Writing the Executive Summary  
Preparing Effective Reports  
Writing Formal and Informal Proposals  
Applying for Grants  
Part VI: Writing Online
Chapter 11: Writing for Websites and Online Media
How to Translate Print Writing into Online  
Planning a Website and Home Page  
Creating Copy for Online Media  
Developing Content Ideas  
Chapter 12: Blogging, Social Media and Micromedia
How Business Sees Social Media  
Using Social Media to Accomplish Goals  
Planning and Writing Blogs  
Using Twitter Power  
Creating Online Profiles  
Part VII: Writing for Oral Presentation, Video and Public Relations Purposes
Chapter 13: Presenting Yourself: Write Well to Speak Well
Finding Your Own Story  
Developing the Elevator Speech  
Writing for Presentation and PowerPoint  
Working with Video  
Chapter 14: Applying Journalism and Public Relations Techniques
Writing Media Releases and Pitches  
Creating Headlines and Subheads that Attract  
Gathering the Right Information: Research Tips, Interviewing Techniques and Questions  
How to Prepare Talking Points for Many Occasions  
Applying This Book’s Techniques to Additional Media and Channels of the Unforeseeable Future  
Chapter 13: Present Yourself: Write Well to Speak Well
Finding Your Personal Story  
Developing Your Personal Story  
What You Can Do With Metaphors  
The "Elevator Speech": Why You Need It, How to Write It  
If You're a New Career Builder  
Crafting Presentations and Speeches  
Writing Tips for Spoken Media  
Creating and Using PowerPoint Well  
How to Plan and Use Effective Videos  
Translating Verbal Ideas Into Visuals  
Chapter 14: Putting Journalism and Public Relations Techniques to Work for You: Professional Strategies, Techniques and Tips
Reaching Your Audiences With the "New" Media Release  

The book has great information and I was able to adopt it for the MBA program.

Dr Astrid Sheil
Communications , California State University San Bernardino
June 27, 2016

The content areas, especially the focus on digital media communication and on oral communication, seem useful and interesting.

Dr Alexis Poe Davis
Language Literature Dept, Mount Olive College
December 4, 2015

I teach scholarly writing for online doctoral students in Business Psychology and found this text to be user friendly, chapters are easy to apply without having to read entire text and very informative for real world application.

Dr Deborah Bowman
Accounting , Chicago Sch Of Psychology
October 21, 2015

A very practical and easily accessible book for my learners

Mr Daniel Slade
Work Place Learning , City of Bristol College
July 2, 2015

To improve students' writing skills

Dr Joseph Vella
Marketing , University of Malta
June 25, 2015

An excellent resource and a must read for all students.

Mr Paul Matthews
Business Administration , University College Birmingham
April 30, 2015

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ISBN: 9781483358666