Powerful writing is the lifeblood for successful business -- corporate, private, governmental, and NGOs! Defending existing resources or advocating for more, attracting talented employees, marketing products, competing for contracts and grants, briefing clients and executives -- hard-hitting, persuasive language undergirds them all. Learn writing strategies and techniques that make each word count and every second of the reader’s time play to your advantage. Sway the reader to your perspective by presenting a case that is well organized, concise, and compelling. Your ability to write often tips the balance between success and failure. Master this life-long skill with “Write to Influence!”
Idea/Concept: Bass's guide and workbook target the writing tasks that non-writers face in their professional and sometimes personal lives, offering hands-on, practical, specialized advice to conceive, draft, and sharpen resumes, admissions applications, grant submissions, and more. For most of its pages, her guide emphasizes the process of editing, which she breaks down into easily applied steps. Bass fills out the volume with her many examples and editing exercises illustrating the process of eliminating redundancy, jargon, and gibberish. A compelling coach, Bass encourages readers to make a game out of sharpening their prose.
Prose: Bass's text honors her book's precepts for direct, persuasive, unambiguous, audience-targeted prose. Her sentences demonstrate to readers that her advice works. She wastes no words, rarely repeats herself, offers precisely as much context as readers require, and models throughout the book her argument that effective writing demands "empathy." As a writer, she is always aware of the needs and expectations of her reader. Bass employs many metaphors while coaching her readers, and individually they illustrate her concepts, but sometimes they pile up and overlap. But this is a book for people who aren't necessarily fussy about such things, so long as a piece of writing communicates effectively.
Originality: While some of Bass's advice is time-honored and familiar, the process of drafting effective professional writing projects and then honing them to perfection has rarely been so inviting or presented with such clarity and enthusiasm. Bass has generated hundreds of examples to illustrate how to improve passages of pedestrian writing -- and why it's urgent to do so.
Execution: Well organized and a pleasure to page through, Bass's Write to Influence! is an invaluable resource overstuffed with advice, examples, and cheerful, constructive coaching. The author guides readers through general principles of good writing and also the drafting and editing of highly specific projects. She's exhaustive in offering tips and examples, most of which address and improve upon common tendencies in everyday writing. Readers who spend time with Write to Influence! will almost certainly improve their prose. The illustrations in the text are not as strong as Bass's advice, and Bass includes more exercises than any reader is ever likely to need. Bass teaches writing as a two-part process of first strategizing a message and then applying "Word Sculpting Tools" to the first draft; the relative shortness of the book's first section, "Strategies to Influence," compared to its much longer second section, "Word Sculpting Tools," might strike some readers as at odds with Bass's championing of proportion.
Date Submitted: January 21, 2020