FranklinCovey Style Guide: For Business and Technical Communication

Financial Times
Stephen R. Covey  
Total pages
June 2012
Related Titles

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FranklinCovey Style Guide: For Business and Technical Communication
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FranklinCovey Style Guide: For Business and Technical Communication can help any writer produce documents that achieve outstanding results. Created by FranklinCovey, the world-renowned leader in helping organizations enhance individual effectiveness, this edition fully reflects today's online media and global business challenges. The only style guide used in FranklinCovey's own renowned Writing AdvantageTM programs, it covers everything from document design and graphics to sentence style and word choice. This edition includes extensive new coverage of graphics, writing for online media, and international business English. Through dozens of examples and model documents, writers learn how to:

  • Overcome "writer's block" and efficiently create documents from start to finish
  • Get powerful results from every email
  • Add distinctiveness and power to any online presence
  • Quickly discover and prioritize information, whether they're planning presentations, leading meetings, or managing projects
  • Design visuals that communicate messages instantly and intuitively
  • Use charts, color, illustrations, maps, photos, and tables to supercharge any presentation
  • Write far more effective proposals, letters, memos, reports, and resumes
  • Improve all forms of documentation, from business procedures to highly technical content

INSTRUCTOR SUPPLEMENTS:   Instructor's Manuals and Test Banks available for download at


FranklinCovey's breakthrough guide to becoming a more powerful and effective writer at school and work.

  • Access more than 110 topics... the A-Z guide to successful writing in high-speed, high-performance, high-tech environments
  • New best practices for everything from email and online documentation to graphics
  • Updated guidance on international business English for global management and sales
  • Shows how to process information more effectively in environments ranging from meetings to project management

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

Back Cover

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.


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 wasthe 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 was 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 held 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 also received 10 honorary Doctorates. He made teaching principle-centered living and principle-centered leadership his life’s work.

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