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The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing

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The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing

FT Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

A practical, accessible guide to a vital career skill: effective business writing

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Some people believe good writing involves big words, long sentences and complicated concepts. Nothing could be further from the truth, explain Natalie Canavor and Claire Meirowitz, co-owners of a business writing consultancy and co-authors of this handy guide. That’s why they spell out the tenets of effective business writing in 52 simple “truths,” covering virtually every type of business communication, from emails, letters and reports to websites and blogs. Their message is that good writing is concise, engaging and accessible – much like human conversation. They warn that, in this day of information overload, your communications have to meet these criteria or no one will read them. Though their writing advice is not particularly groundbreaking, Canavor and Meirowitz offer a clear, comprehensive, easy-to-use manual. getAbstract predicts that their guide will quickly become a well-thumbed resource.


Write Right

Writing well is an essential career skill. Good writing adds to your credibility and professionalism and enhances your reputation and image. To get ahead in business, you need all your written communications to work, whether you are trying to inform, persuade or collaborate. The numerous, varied vehicles available for sending your message share one requirement: Whether you are crafting an email, a white paper, a blog post or advertising copy, you must write in a way that achieves your desired outcome.

To become a strong business writer, first learn to recognize bad writing. Make a list of the habits and traits that really irk you as a reader. Then “take your list of negatives and reverse them,” or find their antonyms. If you wrote “boring,” counter it with “interesting,” and if you wrote “ambiguous,” match it with “clear.” The resulting pool of positive words is your definition of good writing and provides a checklist to consult every time your fingers hit the keyboard.

“What Makes Writing Work”

Long before humans wrote, they engaged in “oral storytelling.” In fact, many classics, such as those by Geoffrey Chaucer and Homer, began as ...

About the Authors

Natalie Canavor and Claire Meirowitz co-own C&M Business Writing Services. Canavor has written for The New York Times and Newsday. Meirowitz is a long-established editor and award-winning author.

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