Defensive Writing

by Mary Bromage

Fall 1970

Volume 13
Issue 1

Full Article Browse Issue



Good functional writing means being aware of more than syntax and sequence. Intangible factors lying in the changing pressures of the office may be cloud issues and befuddle readers. The writer's particular situation calls for as much self-awareness as does his style and organization. It is relatively easy for the practical writer to free himself from "sins" like mismated modifiers or pronouns with absentee ownership, and to find a logical pathway, but what about the "countless considerations," those less obvious sources of possible interference with the sense of his reports, letters, memos, procedures, summaries or analyses? Writing is a form of human behavior, both individual and corporate, and as much stands between the lines as on them. The truly communicative writer must be aware of his necessary purposes. He must recognize that writing is the medium now being used for the more difficult messages. To be successful the communicator needs all the technical control of language he can acquire to keep out less conscious motivations and to achieve whatever his purpose in writing may be.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

Learn more
Follow Us