Posted by Faith on Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
Here in the reference room I get to help people who have many types of questions and goals. Just yesterday two people came in five minutes apart to request materials to learn Brazilian Portuguese and Mandarin (Chinese). Another person asked for help with his resume and several people wanted to learn how to use audiobooks and ebooks on the new devices they got for Christmas. Perhaps some of these requests are New Year’s resolutions that are off to an early start. Do you have resolutions this year for improving yourself or your skill set? If you do, the library is a great place to take the first step. We have books, DVDs, databases, and of course, friendly librarians who can help you find what you need, whether you knew it beforehand or not!
Take this new reference book, for example: The AMA Handbook of Business Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Style, Grammar, Punctuation, Usage, Construction and Formatting. If your New Year’s resolution is to be better at your job, one thing you can do is hone your writing skills. Think of all the emails, memoranda, reports, proposals and marketing materials that a typical office generates. Those who can write clearly and professionally for all those purposes will be very valuable in the workplace. If you see room for improvement in your writing, I recommend The AMA Handbook … It is an easy to use resource with clear information about how to avoid common mistakes.
The first section, “The Writing Process,” lists things you need to consider or do before you sit down to write, like: audience analysis, brainstorming, interviewing and researching. This is not drudgery reading. The information is succinctly noted in lists, so you can easily run your eyes down the list and pick out the new points you may not know already and pass over those you do. Very handy. The second section, “Alphabetical Reference,” lists common issues and problems that writers need to know about, in alphabetical order. Among the many, many issues covered in this section you will find entries for “Titles before and after names,” “All right, Alright” and several other commonly confused words, “e.g., i.e.” and other Latin abbreviations, “Job Titles”, “Numbers or Words” and the like. The third section, “Sample Business Documents,” provides many examples of professional writing, including an Acceptance Letter, Business Letter, Cover Letter, Email, Memorandum, Meeting Minutes and Reference Letter, as well as many others.
The AMA Handbook … is a great resource to have when you need a quick answer to a simple question. Should I use principle or principal? Is it its or it’s? Do I capitalize president or not? How do I format a cover letter? From the common problem to the not so common bit of knowledge, this book has lots of easy to find and easy to understand answers. Come by the reference room to see what I mean. It is currently on display, but will later be shelved by its call number REF 808.0666 WIL.
Good luck with your resolutions and let us know if we can help.
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