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Erin Lebacqz
High-Value Writing: Real Strategies for Real-World Writing
Erin Lebacqz, author

This practical, conversational book helps readers manage the writing challenges they face at work and elsewhere in life. Easy to use and reference, "High-Value Writing" offers strategies and examples based on real conversations with thousands of people writing for work or school. This book will help you write clearly and concisely, understand how to reach and impact your reader, and build writing confidence.

In this straightforward guide, Lebacqz offers readers a myriad of new techniques to write with confidence and concision in the workplace, alongside explanations of unhelpful habits and how to break them. Drawing on decades of teaching writing, Lebacqz directly addresses practical business and professional writing skills, emphasizing what works and what’s clear. “This book starts by looking at the smallest ingredients of writing—words—and expands from there to talk about building sentences, paragraphs, and documents,” Lebacqz states, and as she presents her holistic approach to learning more efficient ways of written communication, she provides incisive answers to common everyday problems readers might be facing.

For business professionals seeking a fine-tuning of their writing abilities—or an entire overhaul— Lebacqz’s inviting debut uses concrete examples and simple graphics to help readers grasp how, often, previous education and “fluff”—“extra, often meaningless small words that show up in their writing as they try harder and harder to explain their point”—can impede our ability to write clearly and effectively. Without ever being fussy, she breaks down the basics of language and structure to demonstrate how an audience will understand a message: Lebacqz details three “levels of reader analysis” to interpret the distinctive circumstances to consider for each potential reader, such as their culture or daily work life.

Lebacqz cautions against composing formal or boring emails, urging professionals not to stick to the prescribed and formulaic. The directness and clarity of High-Value Writing, and its inviting tone and step-by-step instruction, exemplifies her approach. She takes care to focus on her audience’s needs, giving topic-oriented recommendations laid out for easy implementation, as she moves from the power of a single word to understanding the impact of a paragraph. Readers eager to feel “more independent and confident” in their writing will appreciate this polished, no-nonsense guide.

Takeaway: Designed for business professionals, this inviting writing guide offers helpful techniques for more direct and meaningful communication.

Great for fans of: William Zinsser’s On Writing Well, Mike Markel and Stuart A. Selber’s Technical Communication.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A-