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Department-by-Department Reference Guide: English

Writing for the Workplace


These links will help you find Information and guidance for assignments in English 3220 (Writing for the Professions), many business classes, job searches, or any situation in which you need to use formats typical of workplace writing.

Advice for Workplace Writers from the Purdue Online Writing Lab. This site is especially useful for thinking about audience analysis, one of the key elements of Workplace Literacy.

Link Archive on the Service Learning@Marquette site:

     This archive from Dr. Chappell’s Writing for the Professions and Writing for Nonprofits classes is maintained on the Service Learning at Marquette Web site under Community Partner/Resources for Nonprofit Agencies. Link categories especially pertinent to students include

For Résumé Guidance  

Marquette's Career Services Center page on résumé basics. In addition, see page 4 of the Résumé Guide from Macalester College for a good list of active verbs to use on rSésumés.

Revision Guidelines for Technical & Workplace Writing

      Clear and well-organized guidelines for revision from Georgia Tech. Check out the other topics listed in the left panel.

     In the workplace, a paramount criterion for evaluating a document is the reader's ability to use it quickly and easily--i.e., its usability. Getting rid of jargon and using clear syntax are of utmost importance, especially in government documents.  This site managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services provides a portal for advice about many kinds of documents.

Web Style Guide, 2nd Edition

     From the Yale University Center for Advanced Instructional Media, this is perhaps the most respected and referred to guide for the entire Web site creation process, from planning to typography and multimedia.

Writing for the Web, from Jakob Nielsen

     In 1998, the New York Times called Nielsen the “guru of Web usability.” His full Web site is

Job-Search and Career Advice

Networking Tips

Help with Cover Letters

     From the Writing Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, useful especially for those with a technical degree. Also check out the Purdue OWL's advice about cover letters, and be sure to consult the advice about résumés in the link archive from English 105 and 198.

     Important advice from the New York Times, February 2009: "A Cover Letter Is Not Expendable."

Salary Research and Negotiating Tips

     What's the typical entry level salary for the job you want, where you want to work? These sites will help you find out:

Advice from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Margo Frey

     The advice in these articles from former MJS consultant Frey remains valuable!

Grads Need to Balance Vacation Plans, Job Search (14 April 2007)

Job Chances May Ride on 'Elevator Speech’” (7 April 2007)

Telephone Interview Important Part of Job Hunt” (18 Feb. 2007)

Your Career Is in Your Hands, Not Your Parents’” (19 June 2006)

New York Times Job Market Article Index

     You’ll find advice here about everything from résumés to thank you notes, tips about how to break into various industries, and resources for doing salary research (including a cost of living calculator for different geographical areas). You might want to pay special attention to the advice about the Networking Cover Letter (which will help you get Information Interviews), and tips for Thank You Letters, which are important for follow up after interviews.

    This Times article tells a cautionary tale about the need to take a critical look at what's out there about you on FaceBook or MySpace: When a Risqué Online Persona Undermines a Chance for a Job. If the entire article doesn't come up, use Lexis/Nexis or another library database to find the full article.

Washington Post Grad Guide

     Archived articles on this site offer to helpful advice, online chats, and live discussions. You may be asked to register, which is free (they have to be able to tell their advertisers about the visit from your eyeballs, though).

    An article particularly worth your attention discusses ways to handle interview questions about your weaknesses.  As the article's headline says, "What's a 'Weakness'? A Way to Show Strength". Also useful is the archive of former columnist Amy Joyce's pieces about Life at Work.

     Look around the Post site for links to downloadable audio or transcripts of chats with employment columnists such as Mary Ellen Slayter. Particularly useful for soon-to-graduate seniors are Amy Joyce on networking as a way to find a job and Michael Ball on Entry Level Realities.

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Page Last Modified: October 18, 2018

  For suggestions and corrections, please email
Dr. Rebecca Nowacek, Associate Professor of English
Director of the Ott Memorial Writing Center, 240 Raynor Library (414.288.5542)
© 2005 Marquette University.
P.O. Box 1881 · Milwaukee, Wis. USA · 53201-1881