Effective Writing for Business, College, and Life

May 29, 2012

If the recent growth and expansion of communication formats (email, texting, tweeting, chatting, blogging, etc.) has taught us nothing else, it has proven that writing skills are of the utmost importance in modern society. Anyone who wants to compete in the workforce of today (and tomorrow) needs to harness the language skills that allow them to communicate effectively by written word, without vocal intonation, body language, and other visual and auditory cues to help convey their message. But not everyone has a strong grasp of the mechanics of language to begin with. In the office setting, highly developed interpersonal skills may help you to get ahead even if your linguistics aren’t exactly top-notch.

When you communicate through writing, though, you need a strong vocabulary and a good grasp of spelling, grammar, and sentence structure, not to mention an awareness of how written discourse might be perceived in a variety of ways, lacking tone and visual cues for context. You need to be organized, clear, and concise. And whether you need a lot of help with your writing skills or you could simply use a refresher course, “Effective Writing” will help you hit the mark.

Best-selling author William Stanek is known for creating technical manuals for Microsoft, as well as the “Classroom-To-Go Training Course” series, but with “Effective Writing for Business, College, and Life” he turns his attention to the mechanics of written language. And while writing skills are essential in nearly every job these days, Stanek doesn’t limit himself to the workplace. According to Stanek in his opening lines, “The way you write speaks volumes about you as a person and as a professional.” He goes on to state that everyone you communicate with through writing will view the state of your correspondence as “a reflection of who you are”.

If you think he’s wrong in this assessment, consider your wardrobe. Do you think people would treat you differently if you showed up at the office in jeans, a tee shirt, and sandals rather than a suit? You know that they would. A failure to dress appropriately could mean that at the very least colleagues, customers, and supervisors won’t take you seriously. Even worse, you may be passed over for promotions or even wind up getting fired as a result. And that’s just your clothing! It is totally unrelated to the skillset required to effectively do your job. So you can see how writing, an essential tool for communication in the workplace, is important.

“Effective Writing” can help you on all levels, starting with the essays and dissertations you write in college, continuing into the workplace with reports and presentations, and even branching out into personal pursuits like correspondence, journaling, and writing short stories or a novel. Stanek may not teach a course on grammar and spelling (you can find other resources to practice these particulars), but he does provide a comprehensive overview of the writing process that includes planning, organization, writing for an audience, and even collaboration with multimedia formats. Before you know it you’ll be penning effective¬†thesis statements, bullet points, and closing arguments. If you’re looking for an accessible tutorial to help you pump up your writing skills, Stanek’s audio book will quickly and easily get you on track for effective writing in all areas of life.

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