On this page
Being able to write well is core to success — both academically and professionally. The resources in this guide will help you develop this important skill throughout your years here at SFU.
For broader (less business-focused) resources and tips, see the following SFU Library guides:
- Plagiarism: Online guide & Interactive tutorial
- Citation & style guides (SFU Library)
- Finding & writing book reviews
- Thesis assistance: Templates and resources for preparing and submitting your thesis
Personal assistance is available for undergraduate students registered in Business courses via the Beedie Writing Mentors program. Also see the SFU Learning Commons page: Academic writing resources.
Designed to support the development of workplace skills, each Sage Skills: Business section incorporates a mix of interactive scenarios, brief videos, and useful tips to help you improve your skills. Read more in this blog post.
Handbooks, manuals, & guides
- The AMA handbook of business letters
- Bids, tenders & proposals
- Business writing for results: how to create a sense of urgency and increase response to all of your business communications
- The definitive business pitch: How to make the best pitches, proposals and presentations
- English for business communication
- HBR guide to better business writing
- How to improve your writing: guidelines and resources (Part of the Free Management Library)
- How to write reports and proposals
- Persuasive writing : how to harness the power of words
- The power of writing in organizations : from letters to online interactions
- Powerful proposals : how to give your business the winning edge
- Style guide for business writing
- The ultimate guide to business writing : discover all the secrets of creating and managing business documents
- Write to the point : how to communicate in business with style and purpose
- Writing at work: a guide to better writing in administration, business and management
- Writing on the job: best practices for communicating in the digital age
There are also many great free sources online such as the Business Development Bank of Canada's 10 tips for effective business writing and Lynn Gaertner-Johnston's Business Writing blog.
- Business writing
- Business writing - Handbooks, manuals, etc.
- Business - Report writing
- Commercial correspondence
- Commercial correspondence -- Handbooks, manuals, etc
- English language -- Business English
- English language -- Business English -- Handbooks, manuals, etc
- Proposal writing in business
- Public relations -- Authorship
- Broader/related headings: Business communication, Business presentations, and Communication in management
- Guide to writing empirical papers, theses, and dissertations
- The nuts & bolts of college writing
- The Oxford dictionary of American usage and style
- The Oxford dictionary of English grammar
- Peck's English pointers (part of the Canadian federal government's Translation Bureau's resources)
- Pocket Fowler's modern English usage
- The research project: how to write it
- Write for your life : a guide to clear and purposeful writing (and presentations)
Try a search the following subject terms in our catalogue.
Dictionaries and thesauri
The following resources are just a sample of what is available via the SFU Library and on the free web.
- Accounting terminology guide
- The Blackwell encyclopedic dictionary of business ethics
- A dictionary of accounting
- A dictionary of business and management
- A dictionary of economics
- A dictionary of finance and banking
- A dictionary of marketing
- Glossary of dgital marketing terms
The SFU Library has many specialized business dictionaries. Try search a subject term in our catalogue for your research area followed by "dictionaries." For example, all of the following are subjects in the SFU catalogue.
- Accounting – Dictionaries
- Business - Dictionaries
- Finance -- Dictionaries
- International business enterprises -- Management -- Dictionaries
- International trade -- Dictionaries
- Management - Dictionaries
- Marketing – Dictionaries
- Personnel management - Dictionaries
- Strategic planning – Dictionaries
- The Canadian Oxford dictionary
- The new Oxford American dictionary
- Oxford English dictionary (Warning: may result in information overload! Consider using one of the more concise sources on this list.)
- The Oxford paperback thesaurus
There are many dictionaries and thesauri in the SFU Library. Try a subject search in our catalogue for the following subjects.
Theses & graduating projects
- Completing your qualitative dissertation : a roadmap from beginning to end
- Doing your dissertation in business and management: The reality of research and writing
- Getting it right : the essential elements of a dissertation
- Guide to the successful thesis and dissertation: a handbook for students and faculty
- Guide to writing empirical papers, theses, and dissertations
- Mastering your business dissertation : how to conceive, research, and write a good business dissertation
- Methods and tools for completing Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) theses
- Research methods for business & management : a guide to writing your dissertation
- Researching and writing a dissertation : an essential guide for business students
- Thesis and dissertation writing in a second language : a handbook for students and their supervisors
- Writing your doctoral dissertation: invisible rules for success
- For SFU-specific guidelines, see: Thesis assistance: Templates and resources for preparing and submitting your thesis
The SFU Library also has a number of print books on this topic: try searching for the SUBJECT: Dissertations, Academic -- Handbooks, manuals, etc. in our catalogue.
Plagiarism & citing information sources
Writing well includes writing ethically. This means that you need to cite every piece of information that you take from someone else (articles, websites, books, etc.). If you are unsure about concepts such as paraphrasing, patch writing, and plagiarism, then it is your responsibility to learn more about it. Fortunately, there are resources at SFU to help:
Read the SFU Library guide: Plagiarism - What is plagiarism and how you can avoid it (includes links to more guides of this sort).
Take the SFU Library interactive tutorial Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism to test yourself and to learn more about plagiarism.
Attend an SFU Learning Commons workshop on topics ranging from effective note-taking to critical thinking to writing for university, and browse their list of writing handouts.
Set up a consultation with a mentor to improve your writing and better understand how to speak with your own voice in your papers. Consultations are available at both the Student Learning Commons (in the Library) and via the Beedie Writing Mentors.
Finally, learn how to cite sources properly ... and when in doubt, cite it! See this three-part series of short videos for a "big picture" perspective on citing business resources: