Writing is an essential skill in today’s workplace. From messaging platforms and social media to traditional forms of communication like memos and reports, we rely on words more than ever. Given how much reading we do on mobile devices, being able to write succinctly is critical to success. Writing on the Job is an incisive guide to clear and effective writing for professionals.
Martha Coven begins with the basics, explaining how to develop a professional style, get started on a piece of writing, create a first draft, and edit it into a strong final product. She then offers practical advice on more than a dozen forms of writing, from emails and slide decks to proposals and cover letters. Along the way, Coven provides a wealth of concrete examples and simple templates that make the concepts easy to understand and apply.
Based on Coven’s popular writing classes and workshops at Princeton University as well as her decades of experience in the public and private sectors, Writing on the Job addresses the real challenges professionals face in today’s digital age, and shares essential practices that can improve the performance of any organization.
"Crisp writing and clear examples guide readers through drafting and editing documents, creating résumés, delivering criticism, presenting statistics, constructing slide decks, and even deciding when to use emojis. . . . [C]ompact and readable chapters for all who text, blog, craft memos, and otherwise communicate online."—Library Journal
"Easy to read and served up in bite-sized chunks, this book is an excellent ‘how to’ manual for clear communication."—Terry Freedman, Teach Secondary
"By tackling real challenges professionals face, Coven offers practical tips that can improve the performance of any organization."—Princeton Alumni Weekly
“Writing clearly and succinctly is an essential skill that is far too rare. Martha Coven’s book offers keen insights and practical guidance for effective communication, no matter the audience or mission. Writing on the Job lays out a commonsense approach to writing with uncommon clarity.”—Jacob J. Lew, former US Secretary of the Treasury
“Coven smartly and concretely gives readers a road map for turning ideas into action in the twenty-first century workplace. Writing on the Job shouldn’t be on your bookshelf—put it on your desk beside your mouse or trackpad for reference, early and often.”—Melody C. Barnes, executive director of the Karsh Institute of Democracy at the University of Virginia, former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council
“Every page of this slim volume has a wealth of real-world experience distilled into actionable and sage advice. Note to those early in their careers—do yourself a favor and read this book now and carefully. It will return that modest investment several times over.”—Ashvin B. Chhabra, author of The Aspirational Investor: Taming the Markets to Achieve Your Life’s Goals
“Communicating clearly and confidently is an essential career skill. Writing on the Job is a concise, accessible guide to business writing in today’s workplace.”—Margaret Steen, UC Berkeley Extension business writing instructor
“Martha Coven delivers a concise, thoughtful book that provides useful learning for a lifetime. She demonstrates how to write with clarity and liveliness, all the while illuminating why it is important for connecting with your audience. Essential for young professionals and seasoned writers alike.”—Myles C. Thompson, founding publisher of Columbia Business School Publishing
“Ideas are the lifeblood of enterprise, but they only matter if communicated effectively. In this brief book, Martha Coven exemplifies this lesson by explaining how to write clearly and compellingly across all of today’s forms of communication, from emails and memos to speeches and slide decks. The result is an ‘elements of professional style’ for the twenty-first century.”—Donald H. Chew, editor of the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance
“Concise and compelling communication has never been more crucial in the noisy digital age. Taking audience, messaging, and industry expectations into account, Writing on the Job provides expert advice intertwined with practical examples for professionals across all experience levels to thrive as more effective communicators.”—Rimjhim Dey, founder and owner of DEY. Ideas + Influence