Business Writing

What Works, What Won't

Wilma Davidson, Foreword by Janet Emig

St. Martin's Griffin

Business Writing
Part 1
What This Book Can Do for You
Scribendo disces scribere. "You learn to write by writing."
Samuel Johnson
From Procrastination to Power: Writing Painlessly and Well
Good writing is good business. Bad writing isn't. To be successful in sales, marketing, finance, engineering, law, personnel, and in virtually every field, you need to write well. In fact, your business writing can serve as persuasive evidence of your competence, your personality, your management style. It's as plain and simple--and frightening--as that.
And, undoubtedly, that fright (those panicky waves in your brain that light out in all directions each time you have to write) has put this edition in your hands. I wrote it as I did the first edition, to do away with your discomfort, to demystify writing and editing, to help you write easily and well. While I can't promise that you'll finish the book loving to write, I do promise that you'll hate writing less--and distribute a better memo, letter, or report as a result of using this practical guide. Whether you are writing an e-mail to a coworker or a proposal to an international client, this book will help.
It offers up-to-date examples and answers, and because it's arranged in units, you can pick it up, do a little work, put it down, and return to it later without having to start over. It doesn't treat improving your written work as if it were a moral issue; nor does it assume that the fate of the world hinges upon your perfect prose. But, with wit and wisdom, it does encourage you and show you how to write better. It will sustain you from your first to your final draft.
For more than twenty years, in one-on-one consultations, in seminars and talks, and in published articles, I've worked to help clients be competent in and feel confident about their writing. Clients who admit their negative attitude about the task. Clients who get stuck at the sight of a blank page orscreen. Clients who are disorganized and fuzzy about what to write and what tone to take. Clients who are wordy because they don't know how not to be. Clients who retreat behind a desk in embarrassment--and anger--after their manager has red-penned their grammatical and mechanical errors and, possibly, their career.
If these clients and their writing sound familiar, you've found the book you need. Its advice, anecdotes, and exercises have proven successful in corporate classrooms across the globe and have improved the business writing of countless clients. And those results have encouraged me to encourage you in this newly updated edition.
BUSINESS WRITING: WHAT WORKS, WHAT WON'T: REVISED EDITION. Copyright © 2001, 1994 by Wilma Davidson, Ed.D. Illustrations copyright © 1994 by Durell Godfrey. All rights reserved. Most of the illustrations in this book are based on sketches drawn by Tom Kish and copyright © Davidson & Associates. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.