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Writing for Business: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges by Harvard Business School Press

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Tools for Business Writing

WRITING FOR BUSINESS Focus Sheet™

Answer these questions as the first step in any writing task.
Purpose
Why am I writing this?
What do I want the reader to do?
Audience
Who exactly is my reader? Do I have more than one?
What is the reader’s role: Decision maker? Influencer? Implementer? Other?
What does the reader know about the subject?
How will the reader react to my main message: Receptive? Indifferent? Resistant?
What’s in it for the reader? Why should the reader read this or agree with it?
How will the reader use this document?
Should anyone else receive this?
Bottom Line
If the reader were to forget everything else, what one main message must the reader remember?
So what? What is the impact ...

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