January 2018
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TD Magazine

Improve Your Written Communication

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Good Writing Is Good Business: Your Go-To Guide to Stylish and Successful Business Writing


By Margaret Chandler
Green Fuse, 360 pp., $18.95

Some people lack confidence in their public speaking skills or get anxious when put in front of a crowd. Good Writing Is Good Business is for those who feel the same way about public writing.

If emailing a superior makes an employee nervous or writing a company report gives him the heebie-jeebies, this is a great book to have on hand. Helpful for people of many different skill levels, it offers support across a wide variety of writing topics, from emails to reports, to social media posts. It even can help someone learn or relearn grammar and punctuation rules.

To have the best possible experience with this book, read it more like a cookbook than a novel. Chandler would surely agree. In her introduction, she compares the task of becoming a master writer to that of becoming a master cook or driver. "Not everyone's cooking is worth sharing, and not everyone's driving is roadworthy. And not everyone's writing makes for an easy and pleasant read. But with persistence and patience, we can improve," she writes.

Indeed, much as a chef might consult specific areas of her cookbook when preparing certain dishes, readers of Good Writing Is Good Business can expect to find "recipes" for specific types of writing—whether that's a proposal, a first blog post, or a company-wide email. It takes its users step-by-step through the design and construction of various forms and styles, broken out by the type of recipe you're looking for.


Chandler's book also can help refine a writer's tone and voice, no matter the occasion. She devotes an entire section to expressive technique, showing how to convey clear messages when using any company's style guide.

The book includes a section on grammar, punctuation, and capitalization, but those chapters aren't as strong as the rest of the text. They do, however, serve as an entertaining reminder of how many rules you think you know, but probably don't.

Overall, Good Writing Is Better Business is a good choice for those who want to improve their written communication at work or show others how to do so. It contains a variety of exercises and an answer key, so you might be able to find some material for your next writing workshop.

About the Author

Marci Morford manages Onboarding, Culture and Innovation Programs at Salesforce. She specializes in eradicating lecture-based learning programs from the planet, and currently runs Engineering Onboarding for Salesforce's software engineers globally.

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