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Ten Minute Guide to Effective Business Writing by Steve Dennis, Paula Garrett

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Chapter 4. The Opening Is the "Bottom Line"

In this lesson you learn how to begin your document in a way that most helps your reader, and what information to include in the overview.

Respect Your Audience

Most good stories build some kind of suspense for the reader: What will happen next, how the hero will save the day, whether the butler really did it. Logical arguments, such as proofs of mathematical theorems, also begin with the information available and lead gradually to the conclusion.

Some people, therefore, believe that in a business document you should build your case before clearly stating your conclusions or recommendations. But writing an effective business document requires reversing the order of presentation: Conclusions or recommendations ...

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