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FranklinCovey Style Guide: For Business and Technical Communication (5th Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Stephen R. Covey
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Book Description

FranklinCovey Style Guide: For Business and Technical Communication can help any writer produce documents that achieve outstanding results. Created by FranklinCovey, the world-renowned leader in helping organizations enhance individual effectiveness, this edition fully reflects today’s online media and global business challenges. The only style guide used in FranklinCovey’s own renowned Writing AdvantageTM and Technical Writing AdvantageTM programs, it covers everything from document design and graphics to sentence style and word choice. This edition’s many improvements include extensive new coverage of graphics, writing for online media, and international business English. Through dozens of examples and model documents, writers learn how to overcome “writer’s block” and efficiently create documents from start to finish. FranklinCovey’s experts show how to get powerful results from every email; add distinctiveness and power to any online presence; write far more effective proposals, letters, memos, reports, and resumes; and improve all forms of documentation, from business procedures to highly technical content. You’ll learn how to quickly discover and prioritize the information you need, whether you’re planning a presentation, leading a meeting, or managing a project. The authors reveal how to design visuals that communicate messages instantly and intuitively, and use charts, color, illustrations, maps, photos, and tables to supercharge any presentation. Packed with up-to-the-minute examples, this A-Z guidebook can help you write more effectively no matter who you are — whether you’re a business or sales professional who must motivate and persuade, a technical professional who must explain challenging content more clearly and accurately, or a student who needs stronger writing skills to succeed in school and in your career.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Much more than a grammar and punctuation handbook, the renowned FranklinCovey Style GuideTM helps you:


• Produce documents that reflect quality writing standards.

• Access more than 110 topics from A to Z,  covering everything from document design, graphics, and parts of speech to punctuation, sentence style, and word choice.

• Create documents from start to finish and  avoid writer’s block.

• Write effective letters, memos, and resumés with the help of more than 30 model documents.

• Design effective, understandable graphics that enhance and convey your message.

• Discover and prioritize information.


FranklinCovey is a leading provider of leadership, personal productivity, and effective communication workshops.  Two programs—Writing Advantage™ and Technical Writing Advantage™—help you learn how to write documents that achieve the results you expect.  Both workshops feature the FranklinCovey Style Guide.




The most current guidelines on email, information management, and online documentation. Learn how to manage the flood of email coming at you and get results from the email you send. Find out how to add distinctiveness and power to your online presence.


Updated best practices for graphics.  Here’s the best current thinking on visuals for documents and presentation, charts,  color, illustrations, maps, photos, and tables,  including all-new examples.


Guidance on global English.There is a new section on English as a second language for business professionals, as well as updated guidance on international business English.


Valuable new insights for knowledge workers.Learn new ways to think and  process information better in updated  sections on thinking strategies and the  writing process, as well as practical guidance for managing projects and meetings.


Model documents for today. As email has overtaken traditional business letters and memos, you need new models to follow.  See the Model Documents section for updated samples of sensitive emails, reports, proposals, procedures, and resumés.


Everything in this fifth edition has been  updated to help you meet the communication challenges of the high-tech, high-demand business world of today.

About the Author

In 1996, Stephen R. Covey was recognized as one of Time magazine's 25 most influential Americans and one of Sales and Marketing Management magazine's top 25 power brokers.

Dr. Covey wasthe author of acclaimed books, including the international bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has sold more than 20 million copies in 38 languages throughout the world. Other bestsellers authored by Dr. Covey include First Things First, Principle-Centered Leadership, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness.

Dr. Covey’s most recently released books include Everyday Greatness: Inspiration for a Meaningful Life (2006), The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time (2008), Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times (2009), Great Work, Great Career (2009), and The 3rd Alternative.

Dr. Covey was co-founder and vice chairman of FranklinCovey, the leading global professional services firm with offices in 123 countries. FranklinCovey shares Dr. Covey’s vision, discipline and passion to inspire, lift and provide tools for change and growth of individuals and organizations throughout the world.

Dr. Covey held a BS in Business Administration from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, an MBA in Business Administration from Harvard University, and a doctorate from Brigham Young University. He also received 10 honorary Doctorates. He made teaching principle-centered living and principle-centered leadership his life’s work.

Dr. Covey lived with his wife Sandra in Provo, Utah. He was the father of nine, a grandfather of 52, and great-grandfather of four.

Product Details

  • File Size: 62514 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Pearson FT Press; 5 edition (June 7, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008CG87GI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,904 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Content That's At Times Difficult to Find August 9, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The FranklinCovey Style Guide for Business and Technical Communication is a formidable resource for grammar/usage rules as well as tips on making your professional communications more effective. Much more than just a dry rulebook for commas and semi-colons, it covers topics on adding genuine impact to your writing and to the formatting of your business documents. There is also a repeating theme of audience-focus throughout much of the guide, including valuable "usability" tests for you to gauge how on-point your communication will truly be.

Unfortunately, all of that great content can be hard to find due to the encyclopedia-style organization of the book. Rather than group topics into chapters, they are listed by name. This not only makes the reader's overall learning curve disjointed at times, but also leads to frustration when searching for specific topics. For example, if you need to know pointers on how best to use "bullet points", you'll find nothing uner "b"; instead, they're mentioned within the entry on "lists." Some searches turn into syntactic guessing games, e.g. there's no entry for "layout" - it's all under "page layout." But if so much modern communication is exclusively on-screen, should we be looking for the term "page" anymore?

The wealth of content coupled with the occasional difficulty finding/consuming it led me to what the ideal 6th edition should be: an online version that's unlocked via a registry key included with the book itself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My comparison above is an obvious one, and it's equally obvious that many will choose one of these references over the other based on specific usage needs. Are you a journalist? A copywriter or maybe a technical editor?

For those in business, I think choosing this particular guide is an easy decision, but it's comprehensive enough to cast a wide net in terms of prospective users. A student could benefit greatly from the section on graphs and charts. A small business owner whose enterprise is a "one man/woman show" could look to this guide for style notes on creating professional-looking correspondence. Someone running a hobbyist or independent business website would surely look to the online documentation section of this guide, although I'd say this is only a starting point if you are a professional e-tailer or blogger. (There have been entire books written just on the subject of typography in web design!)

The organization of topics in this book is quirky, if logical. Subjects are covered alphabetically, so "footnotes" is followed by "fractions" and then - of all things! - by "gobbledygook." (Oh, and quickly flipping to "Q", I just determined that last period should go *inside* of the quotation mark.) The index is decent, but when I tried to reference the proper use of "he" or "she" in documents, I was briefly stymied. There was nothing under "G" for gender or "S" for sex (often - although incorrectly - used to denote same). Nope: my answer was under "B" - for "bias free language". Reasonable, but not so intuitive.

If English is your second language, or if you have to write as a Brit for an American audience, this book is also pretty useful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What are the basic rules of persuasion?
Does bi-monthly mean twice a month or every other month?
Does the period go inside or outside the parenthesis at the end of the sentence?
Why is parallel construction important?
Do I feel bad or badly about something?
How can I avoid copyright violation?
How do I write a recommendation letter?

To learn the answers to these questions and lots more-- get this guide.

Anyone who has to write anything at work-- reports, emails, newsletters, websites, presentations-- will benefit from the information compiled in this comprehensive guide.

Organized alphabetically by topic, it covers everything from "Abbreviations" to "Writing and Revising." Model documents are provided at the end of the book covering myriad situations: a response letter to a customer; a sales letter; meeting minutes; mission statements; and even how to write a job description.

It's a great general reference tool to keep on hand when you have a specific question, but I found it interesting to read-- it's like reading an owner's manual for writers. It contains everything your eighth grade English teacher tried to drill into your head and more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 21st century guide for effective business writing. October 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Written in plain and concise language, this book takes a fresh look at writing clearly for today's business communications.

Most of us are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of business correspondence we receive. I'm also shocked at how much of it contains unclear expression of thoughts, atrocious spelling, grammatical gaffes, and misplaced or missing punctuation. Some of the more irritating transgressions include inserting an apostrophe in end of every word ending with the letter S, confusing there, their, and they're, and writing anxious when they really mean eager.

Thankfully, there is a relatively easy and accessible cure for this. The FranklinCovey Style Guide for Business and Technical Communication (5th. Edition) provides an easily understood handbook for answering everyday writing style questions. The book contains both alphabetical and topical indices, making finding the correct reference simple. The focus is on current business usage rather than academic standards, so it seems less stodgy than some volumes. In addition to the basics of spelling, sentence structure and grammar, the book includes sections on document design, use of graphics, and a particularly helpful comparison of problem words that are easily confused and commonly misused, like principal and principle. There is also a great deal of advice on things to avoid, such as excessive use of jargon, acronyms and abbreviations, pomposity, and language that conveys unnecessary bias. Finally, if you are at a loss for where to start the guide includes an extensive selection of model documents which not only provide a template, but explain exactly why the model is laid out as it is, including references to other sections of the book should you wish to learn more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good product as described.
Published 1 month ago by hkchan
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal insight
This was a free download from for the Kindle. I'm 71, so I don't ever expect to read it in my lifetime. I'm sure it's well written, though. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ma Zoan
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Pretty good, but as with any writing book, your case is always different than examples in the book.
Published 9 months ago by JZ in AG
5.0 out of 5 stars My go to style book
This is a great style book and it is a shame it is not more widely known. It covers word choice, color palettes, chart design and includes letter/document templates and much much... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Linda B Horrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Admin Assts, very helpful
This is a great reference book for any Administrative Assistant in a fast moving environment. Great for quick reference. Thanks.
Published 15 months ago by Tamara Armstrong
1.0 out of 5 stars Typo on the Cover
There's a typo on the cover. On the cover! In all fairness, I never opened the book, so I can't really rate the content of it.
Published 18 months ago by Heather E.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not really a "Technical Writing" guide.
Very good Business Writing Guide, but the words "Technical Communication" are somewhat misleading - though maybe it's for a less than technical audience? Read more
Published 19 months ago by twoCats
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read
This book was very helpful and a easy read. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks for the free book amazon can't wait to get more free books.
Published 19 months ago by Tiffany Bell
2.0 out of 5 stars Did not contain what I wanted.
I was disappointed that the book did not contain the information I was looking for, a guideline for writing proposals, even though it was listed in the product summary.
Published 19 months ago by Amy Hardin
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
This reminds me of Strunk & White. Anyway, it has good writing tips that I have not encountered before such as abbreviating pound/s only as lb regardless if it's singular or... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Jamie
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More About the Author

Stephen R. Covey is a renowned leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant, and co-founder of FranklinCovey Co. He is author of several international bestsellers, including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has sold over 20 million copies. He was named one of TIME Magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans. Dr. Covey holds the Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Chair in Leadership at the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.

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