After graduating from the University of Illinois , he lived for varying periods in Chicago , San Francisco , and New York , working as a journalist and an advertising writer, while trying to establish himself as writer of short stories. Showing him the manuscript of a play, she pointed out how few words were on each page, adding that he had dictated more than that in two hours the previous afternoon. She volunteered to take dictation over the weekend. The result, by Sunday evening, was a complete draft of The Jazz Singer.

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You know the one — sitting at a desk looking rather disheveled. Steaming cup of coffee off to the side. Furiously writing only to pause, cross everything off, crumple up the piece of paper and then throw it across the room.

They pace around the room for a few moments. Then, a flash of brilliance and they begin writing once more. Everyone struggles with writing at one point or another — it seems to be a fact of life. Even though writing is at the bedrock of most education systems and essential for most career paths, most adults struggle with it to a point of hindrance and frustration. Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson recognized this challenge in the business environment and wrote Writing That Works in response to what they witnessed.

Writing That Works is a succinct manual that aims to help professionals improve their writing in order to produce effective communications and their desired results. It covers the basic principles of good writing as well as best practices for different mediums like email, reports, letters, presentations, proposals and speeches. Each section provides concise advice along with examples of what works and what does not work. The format of this book makes it a desirable reference for a professional in any field.

The Big Idea The Big Idea: The biggest takeaway from the book Effective Communication Is the Ultimate Time Saver "Your ability to write persuasively can help you get things done and arrive at your goal — today, this month, or during the decades of your career. This very accurately reflects how most people feel about email and other internal communications. Making time to determine your message and call to action, and reviewing what you wrote is essential. Carve out a little extra time for writing and focus on improving what you are communicating.

Roman and Raphaelson suggest a number of ways to improve writing, and my personal favourites are: make the organization of your writing clear, be specific and write the way you speak i. Yet when we set out to write something, this intention is often overlooked. This is also a key frustration for many people as they write. Next time before putting pen to paper or fingers to keys, take a moment to ground yourself in your purpose for writing — what Roman and Raphaelson call the logic.

Understanding what you want the reader to take away enables you to work backwards to create stronger organization in your piece and stay on point as you write.

Edit to scrape off roughness. Not so fast. Editing is the most essential part of the writing process because it is where you polish any mistakes, fine tune your language and make sure that your message shines through. To make the most out of the editing process, Roman and Raphaelson suggest the following. Let time elapse between drafts. Allowing some time between completing your writing and editing it will allow you come back to it with a fresh perspective. If you reread it too soon, you might find that your mind will read a sentence as it remembers writing it, not as it is actually written.

Solicit the opinion of other people. With business communication, you are usually not writing for yourself. While I will say that most of what Roman and Raphaelson write about are things we learned in school, it is nice to have a refresher of the principles of good communication and a book full of tips to get you through the tough spots in writing.

Their advice is easy to implement, allowing anyone who reads it to become an articulate writer. What is one thing you could do to improve your writing?


Writing That Works Roman-Raphaelson



Writing That Works by Roman Raphaelson



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