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How to submit a book proposal Some tips for more effective writing: professional writing

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Some advice for a more effective writing: professional writing

Leafing through our books, you may notice that the table of contents is right at the beginning, after the editorial pages. In fact, it is the first compass that guides the reader through the text. For this reason, it should be easy to find. The table of contents, in turn, should be clearly organised to allow for an easy understanding of the chapters and paragraphs. This will help the reader have a specific – though quick - idea of the contents and their order. 
For the same reason, please, choose short and straight-forward titles for your chapters. 


Reading requires concentration. In particular, in the case of professional books or books targeted for a wide audience, segmenting chapters into balanced paragraphs may help readers. Same for academic books: scientific rigour does not necessarily imply writing many full-of- text pages without interruptions. 
This strategy is even more useful if your book is also available in a digital format: subdividing the text into conceptual units helps keep the focus while reading on a screen, being it a pc, e-reader or tablet screen.  By numbering paragraphs, please avoid double or triple numbering: just put the number before the title of the chapter (1) and of the paragraph (1). The titles of the subparagraphs may not necessarily be numbered, but they should be graphically differentiated.
For the same reason, do not make too many subordinates and do not write too long sentences: this will make it easier to follow the contents.  


To avoid complication and fragmentation of the reading process, we suggest writing in the notes only those concepts that you cannot explain in the core text. Moreover, choose the American citation system (it is more straight-forward): it consists in writing - in the text and between parenthesis - the surname of the author, the year of publication, and eventually the page of the citation or of the concept. Please, make sure your referencing is accurate and verified: all the references within the text should be reported in an exhaustive referencing section. For more detailed information, please see the instructions for professional and technical publications, paragraph 17 ‘references’.  


The strongly-pragmatic Anglo-Saxon model is definitely a good benchmark. A full-of-text page without indentations, line-spacing, and emphasis on the key concepts, is difficult to read and may be discouraging. Creating a dynamic page may help readers through the text.
To make the difference think about: 

  • Multiple choice questions with 3 or 4 definitions;  
  • A box to go more in-depth related topics or to clarify examples; 
  • Sheets to summarise data and introduce operating models; 
  • Bullet points to stress alternatives and characteristics; 
  • Final summaries to focus on the key topics discussed in the chapter. 

For the same reason, do not forget to use bold and/or italics, without exceeding.

How many times do we ask ourselves if we have understood correctly? Many readers would love to have an answer and many authors would love to know if the way they present their assumptions is effective. For this reason, it would be useful to include exercises in the text and, when possible, also online self-assessment tests (accessible by buying the book and registering online in the Multimedia library area)


Franco Angeli also offers the FRANCO ANGELI ONLINE TEST TOOL. This platform is available in the Multimedia area, as well as in the University Area and it allows for the creation of tests and questionnaires having the following characteristics: 

  • multiple choice questions with 3 or 4 definitions;
  • subdivision of the questions according to chapter, in series or randomly; 
  • a question for each chapter, in series or randomly; 
  • database usage to insert chapters, questions and answers. 
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