Style Guide: For Business and Technical Communication

Style Guide: For Business and Technical Communication


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Much more than a grammar and punctuation handbook, the renowned FranklinCovey Style GuideTM helps you:

• Produce documents that reflect quality writing standards.

• Access more than 110 topics from A to Z, covering everything from document design, graphics, and parts of speech to punctuation, sentence style, and word choice.

• Create documents from start to finish and avoid writer’s block.

• Write effective letters, memos, and resumés with the help of more than 30 model documents.

• Design effective, understandable graphics that enhance and convey your message.

• Discover and prioritize information.

FranklinCovey is a leading provider of leadership, personal productivity, and effective communication workshops. Two programs—Writing Advantage™ and Technical Writing Advantage™—help you learn how to write documents that achieve the results you expect. Both workshops feature the FranklinCovey Style Guide.


The most current guidelines on email, information management, and online documentation. Learn how to manage the flood of email coming at you and get results from the email you send. Find out how to add distinctiveness and power to your online presence.

Updated best practices for graphics. Here’s the best current thinking on visuals for documents and presentation, charts, color, illustrations, maps, photos, and tables, including all-new examples.

Guidance on global English.There is a new section on English as a second language for business professionals, as well as updated guidance on international business English.

Valuable new insights for knowledge workers.Learn new ways to think and process information better in updated sections on thinking strategies and the writing process, as well as practical guidance for managing projects and meetings.

Model documents for today. As email has overtaken traditional business letters and memos, you need new models to follow. See the Model Documents section for updated samples of sensitive emails, reports, proposals, procedures, and resumés.

Everything in this fifth edition has been updated to help you meet the communication challenges of the high-tech, high-demand business world of today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936111183
Publisher: Franklin Covey Company
Publication date: 12/28/2010
Pages: 437
Product dimensions: 8.41(w) x 10.87(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

In 1996, Stephen R. Covey was recognized as one of Time magazine's 25 most influential Americans and one of Sales and Marketing Management magazine's top 25 power brokers.

Dr. Covey is the author of acclaimed books, including the international bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People which has sold more than 20 million copies in 38 languages throughout the world. Other bestsellers authored by Dr. Covey include First Things First, Principle-Centered Leadership, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness.

Dr. Covey’s most recently released books include Everyday Greatness: Inspiration for a Meaningful Life (2006), The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time (2008), Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times (2009), Great Work, Great Career (2009), and The 3rd Alternative.

Dr. Covey is co-founder and vice chairman of FranklinCovey, the leading global professional services firm with offices in 123 countries. FranklinCovey shares Dr. Covey’s vision, discipline and passion to inspire, lift and provide tools for change and growth of individuals and organizations throughout the world.

Dr. Covey holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, an MBA in Business Administration from Harvard University, and a doctorate from Brigham Young University. He has also received 10 honorary Doctorates. He has made teaching principle-centered living and principle-centered leadership his life’s work.

Dr. Covey lives with his wife Sandra in Provo, Utah. He is the father of nine, a grandfather of 52 and great-grandfather of four.


Provo, Utah

Date of Birth:

October 24, 1932

Date of Death:

July 16, 2012

Place of Birth:

Salt Lake City, Utah

Place of Death:

Idaho Falls, ID


B.S., University of Utah, 1950; M.B.A., Harvard University, 1957; Ph.D., Brigham Young University, 1976

Table of Contents

Preface ii

Improving Communication Quality iii

Contents iv

Foreword viii

Author Acknowledgements ix

Reference Glossary

Using the Reference Glossary (Introduction) 2

Abbreviations 3

Acronyms 8

Active/Passive 9

Adjectives 12

Adverbs 15

Agreement 16

Apostrophes 19

Appendices 21

Articles 23

Bias-Free Language 25

Bibliographies 29

Boldface 32

Brackets 33

British English 34

Capitals 36

Captions 40

Charts 43

Citations 50

Cliches 51

Colons 54

Color 55

Commas 60

Compound Words 63

Conjunctions 65

Contractions 68

Dashes 69

Decimals 70

Editing and Proofreading 71

Electronic Mail 74

Ellipses 78

Emphasis 79

English as a Second Language 82

Ethics 86

Exclamation Marks 88

False Subjects 89

Faxes 90

Footnotes 92

Fractions 94

Gobbledygook 95

Graphics for Documents 97

Graphics for Presentations 103

Graphs 111

Headings 121

Hyphens 124

Illustrations 126

Indexes 132

Intellectual Property 134

International Business English 137

Introductions 139

Italics 141

Jargon 143

Key Words 144

Letters 145

Lists 164

Managing Information 167

Maps 170

Mathematical Notations 177

Meetings Management 179

Memos 182

Metrics 185

Modifiers 191

Nouns 193

Numbering Systems 194

Numbers 195

Online Documentation 197

Organization 202

Outlines 208

Page Layout 210

Paragraphs 217

Parallelism 222

Parentheses 223

Periods 225

Persuasion 226

Photographs 230

Plurals 238

Possessives 240

Prepositions 242

Presentations 243

Project Management 246

Pronouns 251

Punctuation 256

Question Marks 258

Quotation Marks 259

Quotations 261

Redundant Words 262

References 264

Repetition 267

Reports 269

Resumes 274

Scientific/Technical Style 278

Semicolons 281

Sentences 282

Signs and Symbols 286

Slashes 288

Spacing 289

Spelling 291

Strong Verbs 296

Style 297

Summaries 301

Tables 303

Tables of Contents 311

Thinking Strategies 314

Titles 317

Tone 319

Transitions 322

Underlining 323

Units of Measurement 324

Verbs 325

Word Problems 328

Word Processing 340

Wordy Phrases 345

Writing and Revising 347

Model Documents

Using Model Documents (Introduction) 358


Response: With Information and Directions 359

Response: To a Concerned Customer 360

Response: To a Complaint 362

Complaint: With a Request for Action 363

Complaint: With a Tactful Request for Aid 364

Employment Reference 366

Employment Verification 368

Bid Solicitation 369

Sales: With a Soft Sell 370

Sales: Template/Mail Merge 373

Customer Service 374


Procedure 376

Request: For Clarification of a Problem 378

Summary: For an Executive Audience 380

Proposal: To an Antagonistic Audience 382

Request: With Informal Instructions 384

Technical: With a Recommendation 387

Recommendation 388

Status Report: With an Outcome Orientation 389

Safety: With a Mild Reprimand 390

Personnel: With Suggested Procedures 391

Response: With Instructions 392

Transmittal: For Attachments 394


Resume: Problem-Solution Format 395

Resume: Performance Format 396

Resume Cover Letter 397

Minutes 398

Job Description 400

Executive Summary: For a Proposal (Financial Services) 401

Executive Summary: For a Proposal (Training) 402

Executive Summary: For an Audit 404

Marketing Fact Sheet 405

Mission Statement 406

Procedure: For a Business Process 408

Procedure: For a Technical Process 411

Technical Report 415

Web Page: With Informative Content 419

Index 421

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