Book cover for Effective Writing by Elizabeth Murphy and Hilary Cadman

This is an excellent book for writers who want to improve or refresh their skills of effective writing.

When I was doing my online editing course many years ago, I used the first edition of this book extensively. It has excellent examples and many exercises to test yourself. I still use it to look up examples when I want to explain something to a client or go back to the theory.

Content overview

This second edition of Effective writing has new material throughout that refers to writing using electronic media.

The book has three main sections:

  • the basics
  • writing effectively
  • creating effective documents.

The basics section covers many areas that are fundamental to writing. These include grammar, spelling, parts of speech, groups of words, paragraphs, punctuation and clear writing.

In the writing effectively section, attention goes to style, plain English expression and word choice.

The last section, on creating effective documents, focuses on the writing process and design. This section also discusses many types of written documents. Sections include: correspondence, minutes, emails, submissions and presentations. There is also a detailed section on report writing.

Effective writing has a back-of-book index.


The hard copy version of Effective writing is available online from the Book Depository and from Angus & Robertson Bookworld.

The book is also available as an ebook.


Other resources for writers and editors

To find other recommended resources for writers and editors, check the resources page.


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