Professional Writing

4th Edition

by Sky Marsen

Student Zone


Chapter One: The Writing Process

In contrast to speaking, writing is not spontaneous – and if it is, it’s not likely to be very good! The advantage is that you have more control over what your write. Chapter One shows you how to see writing as a process with planning, drafting and revising sages. It explains the importance of audience and gives some useful tips on analysing the audience and overcoming writer’s block.

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Chapter Two: Writing Style

The same way that you can produce different effects and project different aspects of your personality through the clothes you wear, you can also create different styles in writing. The context determines the kind of style that is most suitable for the occasion. Chapter Two explains the concept of writing style and describes how you can use language to ‘colour’ what you write by creating a different tone, emphasis, clarity and degree of formality.

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Chapter Three: Short Business Documents

Business contexts favour concise and direct writing that gets to the point quickly and is informative. Chapter Three describes the document types used in business writing, from memos and email to oral presentations and minutes of meetings.

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Chapter Four: Research Methods

To be an informative and effective communicator you need to be credible, authoritative, and knowledgeable. Therefore, finding information and evaluating whether it is true or fake are essential skills. Chapter Four explains ways to carry out research in the context of professional writing. It describes sources of information in different media and considers ways to evaluate it.

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Chapter Five: Journalism

As a writer in the workplace, you will often be asked to produce content for a variety of audiences, including the broad public. Chapter Five looks at journalism and the kinds of writing associated with it. It gives you the tools to produce your own journalistic articles and to critically evaluate the articles you read in the media.

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Chapter Six: Public Relations Writing

Organisations need to maintain a positive image and reputation and to inform the public of their achievements as well as their mistakes ethically and persuasively. Chapter Six discusses public relations writing, from press releases and speeches to blogs and marketing copy. It also advises on using communication to prevent and manage crises.

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Chapter Seven: Reports and Proposals

As a writer in the workplace, you will need to write a range of reports to describe facts, recommend actions, justify decisions and evaluate outcomes. You will also need to write proposals to request funding and obtain approval for your projects and initiatives. Chapter Seven focuses on different types of reports, showing how to structure them and organise their content. It includes a full investigative report and a business plan as examples.

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Chapter Eight: Critical Thinking for Management

Critical thinking is one of the top criteria in job ads internationally, together with teamwork skills. Also, being a critical thinker is vital in surviving and staying on top in the era of ‘post truth’ and ‘fake news’. Chapter Eight explains the concept of critical thinking and describes the common fallacies of reasoning that obstruct writers from creating effective arguments. Through analysed examples, it shows you how to identify flaws in the claims of others and to produce logical claims of your own.

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Chapter Nine: Working in Teams

The ability to work successfully in a team is one of the top criteria in job ads internationally, together with critical thinking. Most workplace tasks involve projects, which are most often carried out in teams. Chapter Nine explains the elements of successful teamwork and the vital role of interpersonal communication in being a successful and valued manager and team member. It describes project management, advises on developing leadership attributes, and guides on avoiding common problems, such as Groupthink and disruptive conflict.

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Chapter Ten: Revising and Editing

Writing is based on language. Therefore, knowing grammatical rules gives you mastery of sentence structure and empowers you to craft messages with impact. Chapter Ten describes important aspects of sentence structure and answers frequent questions about them, including punctuation, the choice between active and passive voice, and subject-verb-pronoun agreement. It complements all the other chapters in the book and can be used as a writing guidebook for any kind of text you aim to produce.

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