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The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course in Business Writing and Communication: Manage Your Writing (McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Courses) 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071441278
ISBN-10: 0071441271
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The easy-to-learn, step-by-step approach for making yourself a more powerful, persuasive business writer

Effective business writing isn't a skill you're born with. It is simply a process, like any other, that becomes simpler when broken into clear, manageable steps.

The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course in Business Writing and Communication takes you through each of these steps. Filled with hands-on exercises and self-tests, expert insights, up-to-date case studies, and more, this straight-talking guidebook introduces you to the tools and techniques you need to:

  • Transform your writing from "I" and "You" centered to "We" centered
  • Quickly collect and organize the information you need
  • Use "turn signals" to guide your reader from sentence to sentence
  • Eliminate non-specific words and phrases from your writing
  • Grab your readers' attention by choosing stronger nouns and verbs
  • Manage your online and cross-cultural writing
  • Focus first on getting each project written before concerning yourself with getting it right

In business, whether you are crafting a three-line message or a 300-page report, how and what you write defines who you are. The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course in Business Writing and Communication will give you the skills you need to write for success, regardless of your profession or position.

About the Author

Kenneth W. Davis, Ph.D., has conducted training and consulting for businesses and governments on four continents. A member of the boards of directors of both the Association for Business Communication and the Association of Professional Communication Consultants, Davis has authored or coauthored several influential books on business communication and writing, including Writing: Process, Product, and Power and Business Communication for the Information Age.


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Product Details

  • Series: McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Courses
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (May 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071441271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071441278
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,756,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you're reading this review, you probably already know that improving your writing could help your career and are motivated to do that, so this book could be very helpful.

Although this book is very readable (written in a casual, direct, and often humorous style), you wouldn't want to just read it, because it's designed to be used. The organization is great for actually applying what each chapter teaches: testing yourself on what you've learned and, most importantly, practicing new approaches to writing. If you're serious about becoming a better writer on-the-job, then this book can teach you how to do that.

You just need to be motivated enough to put in the 36 hours and really do what's required to learn on your own. This is a lot cheaper, more flexible, and possibly more effective way to learn than taking a class with a roomful of people and doing graded homework assignments that might not apply to your every day work.

The author has great examples and his "manage your writing today" sections are practical and creative and easy to apply. You just need to follow the instructions.
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Format: Paperback
Business Writing and Communication by Kenneth W. Davis claims to be an "easy-to-learn, step-by-step approach to making yourself a more powerful and persuasive business writer." It achieves that goal and more. It is also a learned book, demonstrating a breadth of knowledge and scholarship unusual in a "how-to" book.

What makes the book extraordinary is the rich collection of business wisdom woven throughout. Business Writing and Communication introduces the reader to the major business gurus of the last 30 years - Naisbitt, Toffler, Peters, Drucker, Deming, Beckwith, Iacocca - and M.A.S.H.'s Larry Gelbart. The quotes gathered just on pages 3-6 make the business case for clear communication persuasively and succinctly - and that's just the beginning. Throughout the book, the reader encounters not only the principles of effective writing, but also the positioning of writing as critical to business success. Davis begins the book by asserting, "In this knowledge economy, writing is the chief value-producing activity." He makes his case.

This book demonstrates what it teaches - that logical organization of ideas delivered in a lively, engaging style satisfies the reader. It is packed with real-world examples - documents that illustrate the points being made and anecdotes about successful and unsuccessful business communication strategies. The book's style itself is breezy, but appropriate; conversational, but clear. A pleasure to read, Business Writing and Communication contributes substantially to our understanding of "business communication" - not just the "how" but also the "why important."

Lee Clark Johns

Author of The Writing Coach and Writing Excellence
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This is an outstanding business writing book -- high on substance, low on fluff, with just enough sidenotes and tangents to make it entertaining. Davis covers a lot of material in this quick read. I especially appreciate his advice on writing memos/emails for maximum effect and response. He provides simple formulas for common types of communication: request for info., claims, good news, bad news. And he recommends putting down points in the order the reader can use them, not the order in which you think of them. (Should be obvious, right? No so in the business world.)

He offers bad writing examples and good revisions. Check out this example:

"Subject: Roadway identification in parking lots

During our Safety Coordinators' meeting the point was made that with our energy conservation program (during the hours of darkness, fog, etc.) roadway identification in our parking lots is hazardous. The recommendation was raised that we might use a fluorescent-type reflecting paint. Would you please investigate the feasibility of this recommendation and advise me as to your decision on implementation?
Your early response is appreciated."

Awful, right?
Here's his revision:

"Subject: Fluorescent paint in parking lots

Can we use fluorescent paint in our parking lots to make traffic lanes easier to see?
During our Safety Coordinators' meeting, someone pointed out that with our reduced lighting, roadways are hard to see in fog or darkness.

Please find out whether this solution will work, and let me know within a week.

It's a great book! Now that I follow his guidelines I find writing easier, faster, and a lot more fun.
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I'm not a writer. I'm a trainer who needs to design a writing course. I need to give people basic tips to write better. This book might have tips, but they're buried in words. It's not a book about how to write better. It's a book about writing.

Other reviewers love the book, but they sound like professional writers. If that is you, then you'll also like the book as it talks about the process of writing, it's importance, it's history, whatever. I don't need that stuff.
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Format: Paperback
I make my money with my writing, and as a result, I'm always on the lookout for ways to improve at the craft. The McGraw-Hill 36 Hour Course may not be the expert guide to improving your communication skills I was looking for when I bought it, but it certainly is an excellent book chock full of information.

This book was created by relying on some widely-known business experts as examples, and quotes them frequently throughout the guide, really giving a lot of pertinent business advice throughout in addition to writing tips. You'll learn how your communication affects every aspect of your business, and it will really help you get an appreciation of not only what to do, but it serves as an excellent reminder of why you're learning these skills.

Overall, this is a great guide for someone who thinks that they're not as good as communication as they'd like to be, but for a writer, or someone well versed in communication skills, this guide is not as essential. It's still a good read, and a good reminder of basic strategies. Highly recommended.
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