The AMA Handbook of Business Writing
eBook - ePub

The AMA Handbook of Business Writing

Kevin Wilson, Jennifer Wauson

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  1. 637 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

The AMA Handbook of Business Writing

Kevin Wilson, Jennifer Wauson

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About This Book

This invaluable resource gives you quick, accessible guidelines to the entire writing process, from using correct grammar and style to formatting your document for clarity to writing effectively for a target audience.

When it comes to writing, do you know how many businesspeople are just winging it? It clearly shows in sloppy grammar, incomprehensible language, poorly structured documents, shoddy research, and downright ugly formatting. Whether it's a simple business letter or a hefty annual report, poor writing looks bad for the organization, and it really looks bad for the person producing it.

This is a remarkably comprehensive reference---and remarkably easy to pinpoint the information you need to complete any writing project, such as:

  • annual reports,
  • newsletters,
  • press releases,
  • business plans,
  • grant proposals,
  • training manuals,
  • PowerPoint presentations,
  • or any piece of formal correspondence.

The AMA Handbook of Business Writing is designed for businesspeople of every stripe, from marketing managers to human resources directors, from technical writers to public relations professionals, from administrative assistants to sales managers. This helpful guide is a complete A-to-Z reference on everything you need to produce top-quality documents.

Offering the expansive breadth of information found in The Chicago Manual of Style, but without the excessive detail and complexity, you'll find here more than 600 pages of instantly accessible, thoroughly useful information for getting any job done. With examples and cross-references throughout, The AMA Handbook of Business Writing is an indispensable desktop reference for every business professional.

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The Writing Process


When planning to write a business document, the most important consideration is to understand your audience. You must adapt your writing to the needs and interests of the audience.
For most business documents, the audience falls into one of the following categories:
Subject matter experts—individuals who know the content completely and who focus on the details
Technologists—people who manufacture, operate, and maintain products and services and who have a firm practical knowledge
Management—people who make decisions about whether to produce and market products and services but who have little technical knowledge about the details
General audience—people who may know about a product or service but who have little technical knowledge about the details
Another way to analyze your audience is to consider its characteristics:
What are their background, education, and experience?
Does your writing have to start with the basics, or can you work at a more advanced level?

Example: If you are writing about a Windows-based software product, can you assume the audience already has a basic understanding of Windows, how to use a mouse, and so forth?

What will the audience expect and need from your document?
How will your document be used?
Will users read it cover to cover or just skim the high points?
Will they use your document as a reference to look up information when it is needed?
What are the demographics of your audience?
Consider the age, sex, location, and other characteristics of your audience.
Your writing may have more than one audience or an audience with a wide variety of backgrounds. With an audience of both experts and laypeople, it is best to organize your document into sections with easy-to-understand headings so that the individual users can find the areas that interest them. You may need to off-load the more technical information to an appendix.
Once you have analyzed your audience, you need to adapt your document to conform to its interests and needs.
You may need to add information.
You may need to omit information.
You may need to add examples to help readers understand.
You may need to write to a lower or higher level.
You may need to include background information.
You may need to strengthen transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.

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