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Business Writing Today

Business Writing Today
A Practical Guide

Fourth Edition

October 2022 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Business Writing Today: A Practical Guide, Fourth Edition prepares students for success in the business world by giving them the tools they need to write powerfully, no matter the situation. In this highly-practical, cross-disciplinary text, author Natalie Canavor shares step-by-step guidance and tips for writing more clearly and strategically. Readers will learn what to say and how to say it in any medium from tweets and emails to proposals and formal reports. Every technique comes with concrete examples and practice opportunities, helping students transfer their writing skills to the workplace.

Chapter 1 • Business Writing Today—and You
Chapter 2 • How to Build Successful Messages
Chapter 3 • Strategize Your Messaging
Chapter 4 • Create the First Draft
Chapter 5 • Edit and Sharpen Your Writing
Chapter 6 • Use the Techniques of Persuasion
Chapter 7 • Connect With Everyday Messages
Chapter 8 • Writing Letters and More Formal Messages
Chapter 9 • Creating Strong Business Materials
Chapter 10 • Using the Digital World Strategically
Chapter 11 • Leverage Your Writing Skills for Spoken and Visual Media
Chapter 12 • Win Your Opportunities: Writing for the Hunt

"One-stop shopping for introductory business writing topics, with plenty of useful ideas for practice and assignments."

Michele Villinski
DePauw University

A comprehensive textbook on workplace writing that bridges student's previous learning about rhetoric from a first-year writing class with workplace contexts. Lots of stylistic tips and tricks as well as considerations from industry experts. Attention to several key workplace genres including emails, reports, cover letters, etc. as well as general skills like storytelling, formatting, and stylistic concerns.”

Lillian Campbell
Marquette University

"A slim volume packed with value for all levels of undergraduates that goes beyond the typical bcom topics to include areas of growth
such as persuasion."

Patricia Hanrahan
St. Petersburg College

"Concise, practical, and accessible."

Kevin McDonough
Marywood University

"Business Writing Today is a rich and beneficial resource for teaching the most popular genres in professional writing. Written in a straightforward and engaging language, the textbook effectively introduces genre conventions and illustrates them through various examples. Canavor cogently discusses the content and form expectations for formal letters, emails, project reports, grant proposals, resumes, cover letters, etc. as well as online branding through tweets, blog posts, personal websites, LinkedIn, and the like. I have used the textbook in my business and integrative writing courses, and in both of them, my students have found it very enjoyable and easily navigable. The bulleted lists of tips, the samples highlighted in italics, the boxes with case studies, and the questions and exercises at the end of each chapter help the readers understand the genre conventions and practice and improve their professional writing."

Dr. Nevena Stojanovic
West Virginia University

“I’ve used this textbook for an intermediate undergraduate professional writing course for nearly a decade, as it contains essential advice on how to avoid implicit bias in relation to disability, gender, multilingual audiences, and age. Canavor writes in a personal and engaging style that is not only accessible but also practical. My students find that many of the Practice Opportunities at the end of each chapter help them gain confidence in their communication skills, as well as reflect on their career goals. While I’ve pivoted to online and open-access resources for many of my classes, I still require this textbook because it offers my students a reliable and cost-effective resource to support their learning.”

Dr. Becca Richards
Associate Professor of English, University of Massachusetts-Lowell
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Key features


  • Updated with new examples, success tips, resources, and expanded material on subjects that relate to students’ most pressing interests and reflect current directions of professional communication. 
  • New and expanded coverage of important topics like communicating in a diverse environment, developing empathy, thriving in a remote work environment, and entrepreneurship in the gig economy.
  • New learning objectives are provided at the beginning of each chapter.
  • New and updated good (and not-so-good) writing samples throughout the book show readers where and what to revise. 


  • Provides a structured, step-by-step process to plan, write, and edit successful messages, business documents, reports, emails, digital media, and self-marketing materials.   
  • Presents a strategic approach to business writing, based on analyzing goals and understanding audience. 
  • Improves writing skills by demonstrating what works, and how to identify and fix problems without grammar lessons.
  • Demonstrates how to adapt good writing principles to online content, social media, video, blogs, PowerPoint, and other platforms.
  • Practical exercises help readers apply the book’s ideas and techniques immediately through writing assignments, discussion, group projects and activities.
  • A chapter on writing resumes and cover letters provides students with strategies for standing out in today's highly competitive workplace.

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ISBN: 9781071854044

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