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Book Review

Book Review

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Teaching communication skills is essential for the success at the workplace. In the book titled Successful Writing at Work, Phillip Kolin offers abundant and realistic situations, examples, and clear detailed guidelines on how to overcome such challenges. Despite an in-depth analysis, a number of strengths and weakness are apparent in the book. It provides a guide to the students incorporating such basic concepts such as analysis of the audience, format, tone, and the overall writing procedures. Furthermore, the text hallmarks pedagogical features that entail a handbook of style and the mechanics; it also presents the knowledge to the learners in a format that is reachable to both professors and students. In addition, the book provides updated coverage of the communication ideas and strategies that include computer generated graphics, emails, and document designs, as well as creation and utilization of the website in the writing career (Kolin 54). A strong focus has been made on collaborative writing that is viewed as a part of the writing process.

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The book is one of the respected and market leading texts that provided students with a comprehensive real-world introduction to the workplace writing mechanics that prepares them for a wide range of communication  and writing tasks. The book offers a lot of successful writing advices that are supported with practical examples and writing problems. Furthermore, the book educates one about different writing styles with detailed guidelines for drafting, planning, editing, and revising that ultimately enables the student to produce a professional documents with appropriate graphics (Kolin 223). Moreover, students are provided with topics in logically arranged sections that start with the basics of business communication for the beginners. The other section continues to guide the learners in terms of conducting research, documenting the resources, and handling more detailed communication tasks such as writing reports, developing proposals, and employing oral presentation techniques. With each outlined task, the student can learn through a series of illutrations to become an effective communicator and problem solver at the workplace. Furthermore, the book enables the readers to learn how to understand their audiences and select the appropriate communication tool to accomplish their communication goals at the workplace with the utmost professionalism.

Philip Kolin utilizes a user-friendly interface throughout the book. The compact text focuses on the most essential and useful skills and strategies that are necessary for successful and professional workplace communication. The edition maintains practical approach and offers many realistic situations, problems, and real life illustrations, which enables the students to relate such problems with their current communication problems. The detailed guidelines enable the learners to practically adopt the appropriate communication and writing strategies that fit their workplace settings. In addition, the author assists the instructors to teach the students to learn samples of every document in order to pinpoint issues that are usually faced  by writers such as work organization, design, style, and tone, as well as the use of visuals (Kolin 194). Philip Kolin has also introduced the ethical consideration at the workplace in the book, an aspect that has been maintained throughout the book.

It is essential to note that the author has followed an ever-changing technological landscape of the modern workplaces setting. It is made apparent by incorporating the modern technologies that include extensive use of discussion of the online resumes and numerous sections on presentation software used in work presentation. Generally, the book has highlighted a large number of writing challenges that are common in the modern workplace setting; hence it sets the precedence for future workplace writing mechanics.

The first sections of the book provide invaluable assistance to the learner, because they start with the fundamentals of writing. Special focus has been made on the characteristics of effective writing and ethical correspondence. Furthermore, the book underlines that it is importannt for the learners to identify the audience with a strong focus on writing for both international and multicultural audiences (Kolin 386). Furthermore, the book’s preliminary sections provide the students with an in-depth insight into the important business correspondence that includes faxes, IMs, memos, and blogs among others. Understanding such features helps the learner especially when looking for the job, writing resumes, and making follow-ups.

Although the Philip Kolin’s book is credited with making a revolution in the workplace writing mechanics, it has a number of weaknesses. The focus has been made on the new technology-based writing with less emphasis on the ancient writing procedures that are the foundation of the modern communication. Furthermore, the author provided scarce but ethical and clear guidelines on the preparation of the electronic documents aligning them with the modern corporate culture. Although numerous sections have addressed the issue, the author has analyzed the areas superficially. Despite the fact that he has explained changes in documentation, emphasis has been made only on APA and MLA documentation though there are a number of documentation styles existing in the workplace settings.

The book emphasizes the workplace writing as merely a set of rules and formats rather than a problem-solving activity in which the employees meet the needs of their employer, co-workers, and customers. Although the world writing mechanics is becoming globalized, the book offers not enough coverage of writing for the international readers and non-native speakers of English. The needs of such students were not adequately addressed in the book. This is despite the invaluable role played by international workers in the global corporate world.

 In conclusion, the author has significantly strived to address the writing challenges that hinder individual, workplace, and corporate communication success. Irrespective of the few weaknesses pinpointed in the book, it will continue to be the leading communication guideline in the corporate world.

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