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A Practical Guide To Business Writing: Writing In English For Non-Native Speakers

ISBN: 978-1-118-41081-3
168 pages
December 2012
A Practical Guide To Business Writing: Writing In English For Non-Native Speakers (1118410815) cover image

Nowadays, letters, reports and emails are vital components of business practice. Communication is increasingly global, but it’s not any easier to understand or contribute to for non-fluent English speakers. There is increasing pressure to be able to produce effective documents for a business environment but little help out there to do so efficiently, resulting in wasted time and uncomfortable business communication.

This book provides a wealth of practical information for any person who aims to produce short, effective documents within the work environment. It offers sensible, valuable and helpful rules for producing effective short reports, memos, letters and e-mails that are clear, concise and easy to read for the busy manager or supervisor working in the demanding setting of modern industry or commerce.

But it goes further: not only are rules provided for the inexperienced business writer, but models are proposed which provide solutions for a whole host of business situations – providing help, support and encouragement for the many thousands of business writers who need to feel confident in their writing.

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About the Author vi

Foreword by Dr. Clarence Emslie viii

Preface by Michael Doherty x

Introduction xii

What Does this Book Cover? xiv

Chapter 1 Business Writing Style 1

1. Keep your purpose, readers and content in mind 4

2. Keep your sentences short 5

3. Use positive language 7

4. Use linking words 9

5. Use simple, familiar words 13

6. Use the passive voice for specific reasons 18

7. Use bullet points and numbered lists correctly 20

8. Use tables and charts effectively 23

9. Use impersonal style when expressing opinions 29

10. Avoid outdated expressions 30

11. Avoid repetition 33

12. Avoid turning verbs into nouns 34

Chapter 2 Business Memos 37

1. Heading 40

2. Purpose 40

3. Body 41

4. Conclusion 42

5. Closing 42

6. Carbon copy “CC” 43

Common types of memos 45

1. To inform 45

2. To request 46

3. To instruct 47

4. To recommend 48

5. To respond 49

6. To complain 50

7. To remind 51

8. To show appreciation 52

Chapter 3 Business E-mails 55

1. Write a clear subject line 58

2. Use the “cc” button 60

3. Use the Out of Office Assistant 61

4. Use attachments for long documents 62

5. Keep your message short 63

6. Don’t use e-mail for immediate action 63

7. Use spell check 64

8. Use courteous language 65

9. Provide an action statement when necessary 66

10. Identify yourself clearly 67

11. Do not overuse abbreviations 68

12. Do not use all capitals when typing 69

Chapter 4 Common Writing Errors 73

Chapter 5 Useful Business Phrases 97

1. Referring to a previous communication 100

2. Requests 102

3. Referring to a negative issue 103

4. Enclosing documents 105

5. Condolences 106

6. Congratulations 107

7. Apologies 109

8. Recommendations 111

9. Closing phrases 112

Chapter 6 Avoid Confusing Words 117

Chapter 7 Personal Business Documents 123

1. Employee request 126

2. Congratulations 138

3. Appreciation 139

References 145

Acknowledgements 148

Index 149

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Khaled Mohamed Al Maskari is an award-winning business author and Director of Human Resources at Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi. Khaled also provides consultancy support and training in business communications and organizational development.
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