'Well-weighted' professional communications book launched

19 August 2002
A TEAM that includes some well-known UCT names has written a new book on communication principles and methods. Professional Communication: How to Deliver Effective Written and Spoken Messages, is both easy to digest and packed with up-to-date, applicable information, said co-author Jane English.

English lectures and is course convenor to students of the Faculty of EBE studying professional communication at UCT. Her co-authors include Michael Fielding, founder of the Professional Communications Unit (PCU) and author of the IMM communication textbook; Evelyn Howard, consultant in organisational change and past staff member; and Nan van der Merwe, an ex-director of the PCU and now an interpersonal communications consultant.

Among the contributing authors are UCT lecturers from the Department of Information and Library Studies: Karin de Jager, whose research interests include the evaluation of student information competence, and Mary Nassimbeni, whose interest is in teaching and researching information literacy skills.

Including a wealth of communication principles and methods, the 276-page book has been written for all professionals and students in business, industry and tertiary institutions. Although the work has been based on "tried and tested" theory. Its content has been designed around changing business needs, said English. "Communication has become very specialised and we have added chapters from specialists in these areas. For example a software consultant has contributed to the chapter on graphics and Powerpoint."

Browsing through the book, it is difficult not to dip in and read at random, especially the absorbing first chapter on libraries and the Internet.

Many readers use the Web and Internet without understanding the full scope of the resource, or the associated language (Boolean logic and operations, truncation tools and wildcards, etc). This reference work clarifies issues around plagiarism.

The book is both user-friendly and jargon-free. It is also a volume that a first- year student can use and keep using beyond graduation, with a section on compiling CVs and letters of application. The authors have used South African examples but "with global communications in mind".

Its nine chapters include:

  • Research methods: Libraries and the Internet;
  • Referencing, citation and avoiding plagiarism;
  • Essays, articles and case studies;
  • Letters @ work;
  • Business proposals and business plans;
  • Report writing;
  • Academic proposals and theses;
  • Presentation skills for individuals and groups;
  • Illustrations: Graphics and PowerPoint.
Professional Communication: How to deliver effective written and spoken messages is published by Juta.

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