“Educators, academics, or business persons will find this book convenient and irreplaceable–a must to have on hand, whether writing for the first time or after years of experience. Arthur Asa Berger's guidelines and suggestions are suitable for all types of written work…. The entire book is a good example of practicing what you preach in that he writes with style, economy, and purpose. Read and apply Berger's writing skill techniques to enhance the effectiveness of your next writing project.” –Canadian Home Economics Journal When academics speak of their writing, they are almost always referring to their books and articles. Yet, in their scholarly career, more time and effort will be spent on business correspondence–memos, letters, reports, proposals–than the items that appear on a vita. And, in most cases, no training is ever provided about how to effectively produce and present these kinds of documents. Arthur Asa Berger's brief, practical guide does just that, taking the reader through the most common kinds of business correspondence that a university professor is required to produce and offering useful advice to make these communications as effective as possible. He covers important genres such as letters of recommendation, tenure, letters, and grant proposals. In the second half of the book, Berger offers general suggestions on effective writing–brainstorming and collaborating, persuasion, outlining and revising, designing documents, avoiding writer's block, and using computers, among other topics. Just as the quality of your published pieces affects your career, so can the quality of your correspondence help or hinder academic success. Improving Writing Skills demystifies and guides you through this process.
We can write reports that are full of important information and we can make proposals that could, if adopted, lead to truly significant improvements in the curriculum or some other aspect of our institutions, but if people do not read the documents we write, then our time and energy have been wasted. One way or another, we must find a way to maximize the readability of the documents we write. We have to find ways to make our documents interesting, and, if possible, easy—even pleasurable—for people to read.
Making Documents Readable
We can do many things to make our documents more readable. Remember, of course, that we always adopt a style of writing that is suited for the people who will read our documents. ...