Links to Outside Writing & Speaking Resources

These links may provide you with ideas, suggestions, and information that will help you improve your writing.

The American Psychological Association Style guidelines are the most commonly used for research and citation within the social sciences, including academic business writing.

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) resources for business writers include guidelines for writing different types of business documents, help with research and revision methods, and information about correct grammar and usage.

This page from Empire State College's Writing Center offers detailed advice for using evidence to prove your point in business writing and for evaluating arguments. Go to "Business Writing" under "Reference Materials."

Merriam-Webster's dictionary and thesaurus can help you when spellcheck can't. You can use this dictionary not only to check your spelling, but also to find out what part of speech a word is ("funky" is an adjective, for instance). Many words are cross-referenced as jargon or slang, which will help you to avoid them in formal writing.

Roget's Thesaurus online lists synonyms for almost any word you can imagine; use it when you realize that you've used the word "change" five times in your third paragraph.

This tool is helpful when you are groping for the right word or you need to vary your word choice. Type in a word, and Lexipedia provides the word's synonyms, antonyms, and "fuzzynyms."

The OneLook Reverse Dictionary lets you name a concept, and the dictionary gives you a list of related terms. Great for when you can't think of the word for which you're looking.

The Writing Center at the University of Iowa offers online resources and is happy to help prebusiness students.

The University of Iowa library catalogs are the gateway to doing better research.

Two books that specifically address business writing are:

Cormier, Robin A. (1995). Error-Free Writing: A lifetime Guide to Flawless Business Writing. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

May, Claire B., May, Gordon S. (2012). Effective Writing: A Handbook for Accountants. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Speaking Resources

This Toastmasters International site contains practical tips for different types of business presentations, including proposals, pitches, and technical briefings. There is also information about using visual aids effectively.

The Pomerantz Career Center's guide to interviewing contains a wealth of information about successful interviewing.

The University of Iowa's Speaking Center provides tutoring and other resources to help you improve your oral communication skills.

This link is an online talking dictionary. If you aren't sure how to pronounce a word, type it in and hear it pronounced.

This About.com site for entrepreneurs addresses how to avoid common problems in PowerPoint presentations.