Chapter 2

Making Your Writing Work


check Tailoring your writing for today’s readers

check Injecting energy into your language

check Implementing elements of good design

Your writing style probably took shape in school, where literary traditions and formal essays dominate. This experience may have led you to believe that subtle thoughts require complex sentences, sophisticated vocabulary, and dense presentation. Perhaps you learned to write that way — or maybe you didn’t. Either way: The rules of academic writing don’t apply to the business world.

Real-world business writing is more natural, reader-friendly, and easier to do than academic writing — especially after you know the basics covered in this chapter.

Stepping into a Twenty-First-Century Writing Style

remember In business you succeed when you achieve your goals. You need to judge business writing the same way — by whether it accomplishes what you want. The following characteristics of business writing work:

  • Clear and simple: Except for technical material directed at specialists, no subject matter or idea is so complex that you cannot ...

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