A step-by-step guide and desktop reference for writing everything from a resume to a business plan, a press release to a thank-you note, and a letter of collection to a complaint, an apology, or an invitation to your wedding. It’s all here.

Publisher : Ten Speed Press; Revised edition (August 30, 2011)
Language: : English
Paperback : 432 pages
ISBN-10 : 160774032X
ISBN-13 : 978-1607740322

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“This is an extraordinary book. A reference so comprehensive, yet so simple. . . . Every person who isn’t living in a cave should have this by their elbow on a daily basis.” —Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute?

“To express the principles of etiquette—respect, consideration, and honesty—is to apply sincerity and tact as naturally and spontaneously as possible. How to Write It shows exactly how to do just that.” —Peggy Post, author of Emily Post’s Etiquette


“The first element in getting your audience to understand what you write is knowing what you want to communicate. It sounds easy enough, but this is where most messages get derailed.

“Before you begin to write, think your message all the way through. No matter how complex it is, this step will make your job much easier and produce a much better result. It’s the best investment of time you’ll make in any writing or communicating exercise. And the practice of taking the time to do this will help you develop skills of analysis and organization. Distill your message into a single, simple sentence—a message statement.

“Once you have your message statement in mind, use the rest of the steps in this chapter to develop, order, refine, and effectively express it…”

Chapter 12 THANK-YOU
“Writing a thank-you note or letter in response to an act of kindness or a gift received is both courteous and the civil thing to do. But if you start with that in mind, you’ll undoubtedly produce one of those obligatory and lifeless messages that fail to connect with the person you’re thanking. Go for a real expression of thanks—one that connects you to the gift and the giver. Make your message brief and write it in a pleasant, conversational tone. Write it promptly because timing sends a very strong message all on its own…”

Chapter 18 RESUME
“It’s important to think of your resume as a toolbox. For every position you want to apply for, study the details of the opening, then select the best tools from your toolbox, and customize a resume that will demonstrate that you know what the employer is looking for, and that you have the demonstrated skills to do the job. Your resume must have the muscle of facts and figures, and it should have a certain flair and pizzazz. The proper balance of these elements equals the power and impact you’ll need to sell yourself as a worthy candidate. When you are using your resume to promote yourself to a client, the same rules apply. Use the things from your education and experience that demonstrate your qualifications.

“The secret to writing a great resume is knowing the audience—the person doing the hiring—and the organization. The second key, then, is writing your resume to show that you are the best person for that specific job…”

“The business plan is like a road map: write it to think through your goals and create a way to go forward. It should be constantly revised and updated to keep your business vital, current, and healthy.

“Write a business plan to gain support for your idea—to persuade. Your audience may be potential investors, bankers, or executives within your organization. You may need to convince a bank or investors to offer financing, or your organization’s executives to offer cooperation, resources, or even enthusiasm. You may also want others to offer an evaluation, additional ideas, and counsel. Business plans are generally of limited distribution, and are kept confidential…”

“The letter of complaint or protest has a single objective: to get a problem solved in a positive way. To accomplish this, try to take the place of the recipient so you can make a simple list of what he or she needs to know in order to take corrective action or understand your point. This letter requires careful organization of the facts, a direct approach, persuasive writing, suggestion of the resolution or statement of further action, and, whenever possible, a statement of goodwill. In the case of a complaint, it’s often helpful to think in terms of what will reasonably make you whole again.

“Simple complaints or protests may be quickly handled with a telephone call, or by email to the customer service online address. Detailed or complicated matters, or those that could involve legal action, should be handled with an emailed or mailed letter to create a written record…”