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Bryan A. Garner – HBR GUIDE TO BETTER BUSINESS WRITING : Engage Readers, Tighten And Brighten, Make Your Case

HBR GUIDE TO BETTER BUSINESS WRITING : Engage Readers, Tighten And Brighten, Make Your Case

Bryan A. Garner


Basic & Essential Tool For Anyone Who Wants To Write More Persuasively And Effectively In Business

ISBN 9781422184035
Book Condition LIKE NEW
Publisher Harvard Business Review Press
Publication Date 15 January 2013
Pages 240
Weight 0.35 kg
Dimension 13 × 12.6 × 2 cm
Retail Price RM93.95
Availability: 1 in stock

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1 in stock

  • Detail Description


Good writing is not an inborn gift, it is a skill that you can cultivate, like many others. Anyone possessing normal athletic ability can learn to shoot a basketball, or play cricket, just like anyone with normal intelligence and coordination can learn to play a musical instrument competently. Similarly, you can also learn to write well, probably very well, but for that, you need to follow some guidelines.
When you’re fumbling for words and pressed for time, you might be tempted to dismiss good business writing as a luxury. But it’s a skill you must cultivate to succeed: You’ll lose time, money, and influence if your e-mails, proposals, and other important documents fail to win people over.
Everyone around us that we communicate with, will form an opinion from our writing, only if it is a well-organized piece of writing, and follows the basic technique of writing and better grammar and proper use of vocabulary. If they do not care about your message, then you shouldn’t care too. There is a possibility that if you fail to convince them, they might feel that you are not worth their time.
Basically, Garner provides guidance on various aspects of business writing, including structuring documents, crafting clear and persuasive messages, and avoiding common writing pitfalls. It may cover topics like writing emails, reports, proposals, and other business-related documents. The book may also offer tips on grammar, style, and language use tailored for the business context.

HBR guide to better business writing is completely focused on business writing and discusses the right tips to improve and learn effective business writing and communication. Books include and highlight the main issues we normally face in our daily writing routine.
The HBR Guide to Better Business Writing, by writing expert Bryan A. Garner, gives you the tools you need to express your ideas clearly and persuasively so clients, colleagues, stakeholders, and partners will get behind them. This book will help you:
● Push past writer’s block
● Grab–and keep–readers’ attention
● Earn credibility with tough audiences
● Trim the fat from your writing
● Strike the right tone
● Brush up on grammar, punctuation, and usage
The author also suggests that writing is a skill that can be cultivated and improved with practice. In order to improve writing skills, the author recommends reading well-written material every day, being attentive to word choice, sentence structure, and flow, investing in a guide to style and grammar for reference, and building time into the schedule for editing and revising.
The book is shorter, simpler, and easier to read than traditional textbooks on writing, and inline with modern business theory. It includes examples that readers can use to practice their writing and learn from other book examples. The book is lean at 200 pages, it boils it down further to 8 key takeaways :
1. Know why you’re writing. Be clear about your objectives, including the audience you’re addressing and the goal you want to achieve. State the goal convincingly in each sentence of your prose. Example: Your firm wants to break its lease in an office building that violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to install wheelchair ramps and automatic doors, but you want to stay on good terms with the landlord. Garner offers an elegant sample that includes this sentence. “Although we have no doubt that your oversight was a good-faith error, we hope that you understand why we can’t stay in the building.” He captures three goals at once: to explain that you’re breaking your lease, to spell out why you’re justified in doing so, and to preserve a good relationship with the landlord.
2. Understand your readers. Know that no one has time to waste. Get to the point quickly, focus on what’s relevant and use a tone that fits your audience. Imagine you’re writing to someone who is smart but not a specialist in your field. When Warren Buffett pens his annual report, he pretends he’s writing it for his sisters who are smart but not experts in finance. “To succeed, I don’t need to be Shakespeare; I must, though, have a sincere desire to inform,” Buffett writes in his preface to the SEC’s Plain English Handbook.
3. Write your first draft quickly. Garner says writing preparation can involve four different processes he calls Madman, Architect, Carpenter and Judge. The Madman does the research, the Architect organizes the material, the Carpenter writes the first draft and the Judge edits and tightens. When it comes to the writing stage, Garner says it’s best to barrel through a draft without waiting for inspiration or perfecting as you go. If you’re stumped by a section, skip it and finish the next part or the whole piece before circling back.
4. Revise and edit. Garner offers a series of questions you should ask yourself when going over your piece: Have I told the truth? Have I said all that I need to say? Have I been fair and diplomatic? Do I have a clear, concise opening? Have I proved my points with specifics? Have I avoided lame repetition? Do I close my piece clearly with prose that sounds fresh? As for editing, he says writers should ask themselves whether it’s possible to save words, hone phrasing, make the piece more interesting, and make the sentences flow.
5. Be relentlessly clear. All good writing instruction repeats this refrain: Show, don’t tell. In other words, illustrate your points with specifics. Example: You want to say someone in your company is a bad boss. Rather than making that general statement, say something like, “He got a promotion based on his assistant’s detailed reports, but then—despite the company’s record profits—denied that assistant even routine cost-of-living raises.”
6. Don’t waste words. Garner offers ways to trim wordy passages. Delete prepositions, especially “of.” For example, change April of 2013 to April 2013. Replace words ending in “ion” with verbs; Change “provided protection” to “protected.” Get rid of filler like “in terms of.”
7. Never use business-speak. See the first paragraph of this story and don’t use any of those awful phrases. Stay away from trite expressions like “mission-critical,” “hit the ground running,” and “think outside the box” and words like “leverage” and “impact.” I actually disagree with Garner that these phrases are always bad. Sometimes it can be useful to be trite, but only if you do it thoughtfully, aware that the expression is overused and you’re choosing it for that reason. The most important lesson here: be direct and thoughtful.
8. Relax and find the right tone. Avoid stuffiness by using contractions. Vary the length and structure of your sentences so the reader doesn’t think your piece was written by a robot. Do use courtesies like “thank you” and “we appreciate,” and personal pronouns instead of formal language like “the decedent.” Also lose the sarcasm. Do write as though you’re talking to the person face-to-face.
Arm yourself with the advice you need to succeed on the job, with the most trusted brand in business. Packed with how-to essentials from leading experts, the HBR Guides provide smart answers to your most pressing work challenges. The HBR Guide to Better Business Writing is a basic but essential tool for anyone who wants to write more clearly and effectively in business.
About the Author :
Bryan A. Garner is a leading authority on writing, grammar, usage, and style. He is the author of many books on writing, including the best-selling reference work Garner’s Modern American Usage. He is also editor in chief of the world’s most frequently cited lawbook, Black’s Law Dictionary.

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