Synopses & Reviews
Can Do Writing
teaches you a ten-step system to write useful documents. For each step, you learn proven techniques—forty-five in all. The ten steps work through analysis, composing the draft, and editing. The forty-five techniques are easy to learn and easy to apply. These steps and techniques work every time for every kind of nonfiction document—from simple reports to complex proposals, from informal emails to formal journal articles.
Can Do Writingis about getting results. You can quickly and systematically analyze your writing situation, compose your draft with confidence, and edit. The professional who can write useful documents is the most valuable.
Can Do Writinghelps you write faster. You avoid time-consuming rewrites. When you use the system, you can manage your time and meet deadlines.
By using the Can Do Writingsystem, you have control. You can break the daunting work of writing into manageable tasks. You learn the logic of documents so you don’t simply mimic other, often poorly written, documents. You learn how documents work within organizations—what advisors, decision-makers, and operators need in documents. You learn to find and fix problems early. Never again be intimidated by writing. One of the best features of writing systematically is that you can see your own improvement. Every document is an opportunity to improve. Within a week of using the Can Do Writingsystem, you will see marked improvement in your writing, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you can continue to improve throughout your career.
You can start using these techniques today. You do not need a strong background in English grammar to follow the ten steps and use the forty-five techniques. You have everything you need: a purpose for writing and information other people need. Now, learn the Can Do Writing system and apply the steps with confidence as you write your way to success.
Ten simple steps and forty-six techniques to help business professionals, engineers, and scientists write more effectively and efficiently
Can Do Writing is the writing guide for the hundreds of millions of people who write documents as part of a job. A survey of 112 highly paid occupations shows that these professionals share one career-building skill: writing is essential. For twenty-plus years, Daniel and Judith Graham have trained more than 70,000 business and technical professionals to use this system. Every one of these professionals can benefit from the proven writing system described in this book because Can Do Writing gives them the skills they need to succeed. In ten steps and 46 writing techniques, the authors systematically lead business readers through analysis, composition, and editing. These steps and techniques work every time for every imaginable document, for every profession, for every subject and every client. Writing isn't easy, but Can Do Writing makes even the most complex writing project manageable.
Daniel and Judith Graham (Fairfax, VA) are the founders and principals of Graham Associates, providing quality writing consulting and training for business professionals, engineers, and scientists for more than 20 years.
A simple, ten-step system for mastering the art of effective, persuasive business or technical writing
"The Grahams' system is the best way to transform data and ideas into meaningful information necessary to make profitable decisions. Their system works every time."
—Steven Laposa, PhD, MBA, Loveland Commercial Endowed Chair in Real Estate, Colorado State University
"The Grahams' straightforward program helps my teams create clear and concise reports, letters, and other documents with minimal effort. I want this program to become the standard for my teams."
—Bill Walter, Senior Vice President, Government and Infrastructure Division, KBR
"The Can Do Writing system made my career! I used it to write a winning business plan and proposal, and now I use it every day for all communications. Can Do Writing provides valuable insights into business and management as well as writing techniques."
—Christian Robey, President, DC Progress
You may be an expert at what you do, but if you can't communicate effectively in writing it may not matter. For scientists, businesspeople, and professionals in fields from engineering to public relations, the art of writing well can be a vital key to professional success.
Luckily, you don't need an English degree to produce top-class writing. If you're one of the millions of people who have to write clear, persuasive, understandable documents for your job, Can Do Writing is for you. Whether you're writing a business plan, a scientific paper, a press release, or anything else, this simple, straightforward guide will show you how to do it quickly, with style and confidence. You'll learn how to:
- Understand your audience and subject matter
Develop a simple, five-part purpose statement to keep you on track
Organize your main points into a coherent, sensible order
Edit your work for clarity, coherence, organization, and logic
Economize your words to craft a concise, powerful document
Make your documents easily readable for any audience
About the Author
Over the past twenty years, Daniel and Judith Graham have trained more than 70,000 business and technical professionals in this practical writing system. They've helped global corporations and government agencies alike streamline communications while increasing profits. Now you too can learn Can Do Writing's ten clear steps—and put writing to work for you.
Table of Contents
About the Authors.
Introduction Can Do Writing.
Step 1 Analyze Purpose and Audience.
1.1 What Result Do You Want from the Document?
1.2 Who Is the Audience?
1.3 What Does the Audience Do with the Information?
1.4 What Information Does the Audience Need?
1.5 Does the Audience Know Little or Much About the Information?
1.6 Does the Audience Need Proof?
1.7 Plan How to Write to Multiple Audiences.
Step 2 Write Your Document’s Five-Part Purpose Statement.
2.1 Decide the Type of Document or Oral Communication to Use.
2.2 Pick a Verb That Describes What the Document Does.
2.3 Assemble the Five Parts into a Purpose Statement.
2.4 Use the Purpose Statement to Settle Controversies.
Purpose Statements Make History.
Practice Steps 1 and 2 Using a Case Study.
Step 3 Select Facts.
3.1 Use the Purpose Statement As You Select Facts.
Step 4 Organize Your Points in a Sentence Outline.
4.1 Write Your Points Using Short Words in Short Sentences.
4.2 Evaluate Points to Eliminate Irrelevancies and Redundancies.
4.3 Order the Points.
Practice Steps 1 through 4 Using a Case Study.
Skillset: Composing the Draft.
Step 5 Compose the Draft.
5.1 Compose the Draft Body.
5.2 Compose the Draft Conclusion.
5.3 Compose the Draft Introduction.
5.4 If Necessary, Compose the Draft Executive Summary.
5.5 If Necessary, Compose the Draft Abstract.
Step 6 Review the Draft for Organization and Logic.
6.1 Test Organization by Answering Three Questions.
6.2 Use Sentence Outlining Techniques to Improve Organization.
6.3 Test Logic by Answering Five Questions.
Step 7 Edit for Coherence.
7.1 Repeat Key Words throughout Your Document.
7.2 Ensure That Each Paragraph Begins with a Point.
7.3 Use Transition Words.
7.4 Use Vertical Lists for Series of Like Items.
7.5 Ensure Your Graphics Make a Point.
7.6 Apply Visual Devices.
Step 8 Edit for Clarity.
8.1 Use Concrete and Specifi c Words.
8.2 Use Active Voice.
8.3 Simplify Tense: Stay in Present Tense When Possible.
8.4 Avoid the Helping Verbs Would, Should, and Could.
8.5 Identify and Replace Ambiguous Pronouns.
8.6 Use Standard English Words.
8.7 Check Sentences for Misplaced or Dangling Modifi ers.
Step 9 Edit for Economy.
9.1 Cut Useless Verbs.
9.2 Cut Useless Prepositions.
9.3 Cut Who, Which, and That.
9.4 Cut Useless Repetition.
9.5 Cut Redundancy.
9.6 Cut Useless Comments.
9.7 Cut Useless Modifi ers.
Step 10 Edit for Readability.
10.1 Measure Readability Using the Gunning Fog Index.
10.2 Replace Long Words with Short Words.
10.3 Break Long Sentences.