The Professional Writing Guide: Writing Well and Knowing why

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Allen & Unwin, 1992 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 230 pages
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The Professional Writing Guide is for people who wish to improve the quality of their documents and the efficiency of their writing. Busy executives and other writers in organizations, who may spend between 30 and 80 % of their working time writing, will find it invaluable because it clearly outlines the principles that underlie effective documents. This book enables executives to write confidently, competently, and persuasively. High quality output is crucial to a company's image and to a professional's own career advancement. Errors in a document can prove expensive. Here is an indispensable and accessible reference tool as well as a comprehensive style manual for writers who wish to avoid those expensive mistakes and make a positive impression. Written by two long-term professional writing educators with extensive experience of consulting to Australian business and industry, this lively and highly practical book features workable, reliable, and powerful strategies that can be used to systematically eliminate the writing problems of organizational writers.


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Improving Your Professional Writing
Testing Document Readability
Other Ways to Promote Experimental Thinking
Evaluating Critical Thinking in Your Writing
Choosing an Appropriate Document Framework
Contested Elements of Usage
Deciding How to Punctuate
Italics or Underlining
Collaborative Writing and Editing

Choosing the Right Word

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 3 - Members know what is worth communicating, how it can be communicated, what other members of the Community are likely to know and believe to be true about certain subjects, how other members can be persuaded, and so on.
Page 148 - In its letter, the company said that the rear axle bearings of the cars "can deteriorate" and that "continued driving with a failed bearing could result in disengagement of the axle shaft and adversely affect vehicle control.
Page 25 - Divide the total number of words by the number of sentences to get the average sentence length.
Page 186 - most people read typeset documents about 27% faster than they read non-typeset documents. They also tend to view typeset documents as more credible, more persuasive, and more professional than non-typeset documents
Page 24 - Divide the total number of words by the total number of sentences; here — = 34.6 This gives the average number of words per sentence.
Page 198 - Larger numbers placed at the top help mental arithmetic. (This rule is more appropriate for single tables than for a series of tables where the order of sizes may vary. For a series of tables one must keep to the same order.
Page 123 - This is the kind of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put'.
Page 117 - A singular subject needs a singular verb. A plural subject needs a plural verb. Below are three examples of lack of agreement between subject and verb. Example 1 : Each of the organisations were represented. In this example, the singular subject 'Each' needs to be followed by the singular verb 'was'.

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About the author (1992)

Roslyn Petelin is a senior lecturer in Professional Writing in the School of Communication and Organisational Studies within the Faculty of Business at the Queensland University of Technology. She is editor of the Australian Journal of Communication...Marsha Durham lectures in writing and organisational communication at the University of Western Sydney and is Head of Department of Language and Interaction Studies in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She is a writing consultant and trainer to business and community groups and a founding editor of the journal of the Australian Society of Technical Communication (NSW).

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