- Slides: 11
Succeeding in the World of Work Effective Writing
Good/Effective Writing Effective writing rarely comes easily – it usually takes a lot of hard work and effort. Because good writing is so difficult to achieve for so many people, those who can write well are usually very successful in the world of work. How well do you write? Are you satisfied with your writing ability? Do you have any weaknesses? Would you like to be a better writer? You can improve. If you decide that you want to become a good writer, and if you are willing to practice, you can steadily improve your writing skills. The rules listed in the presentation are just a few of the rules good writers try to follow. The first two rules are the most important – you must master these two rules above all others.
The Rules of Effective Writing 1. Spell all words correctly 2. Use correct grammar 3. Get started 4. Get to the point 5. Don’t try to impress the reader 6. Organize your ideas logically 7. Reread and rewrite what you’ve written
Spell All Words Correctly The most obvious errors in any written message are the spelling errors. When these errors appear, the people reading the message usually form a negative opinion of the writer and the writer’s message. Look up all the words you are not sure of in the dictionary. If you can not find the word you want in the dictionary, use a word that has essentially the same meaning.
Use Correct Grammar This rule is really several rules rolled into one. It refers to all the rules you’ve been learning in school. Write in complete sentences, capitalize proper nouns, separate main clauses with a comma, and make sure the subject and verb agree (“We were the best writers in school, ” not “We was the best writers in school. ”) If you do not already know the rules of grammar, have someone who does check your writing until you know the rules frontwards, backwards, and inside out.
Get Started In many cases the most difficult part of writing is deciding what to say and how to say it. People use different approaches to overcome this problem. If you are having trouble, make yourself write your ideas down on paper – even if your ideas are rough, crude, and make little sense. Walk away from what you’ve written for a short time; then come back later and try to improve part of your message. Repeat this process until you build up some momentum.
Get To The Point Say what you want to say as directly and concisely as possible. Do not begin with “long-winded” introductions; do not wander aimlessly off the point; and do not use unnecessary words. Do not feel that you must fill up several pages, or even one page, to make your written message a good one. Keep it short and simple. Be brief. This is especially important in the world of work, where people are busy and have lots of work to do.
Do Not Try To Impress The Reader Many people try to write long sentences and use fancy words when they aren’t necessary. The result is often a message that no one can understand. The most important thing is that you convey your message. Write short, clear sentences and use the most common words. If you concentrate on being clear rather than impressive, your readers will have a much better chance of understanding your message.
Organize Your Ideas Logically If you were saying the numbers from 1 to 10, you would not say 6 before 3. When you write a message, present your ideas in the order in which they will make sense to the reader. Sometimes you will not know the most logically order until you write your entire message and reread it. Each paragraph should contain one complete part of your message, and the paragraphs should progress logically from one to the next.
Reread and Rewrite What You Have Written Very few people get it right the first time. Almost all good or effective writers rewrite their letters, memos, reports, etc. , several times. They read their first attempt as though they were the people who will receive the message. As they read, they ask themselves, “Will he/she understand that” Does it make sense? Will he/she know exactly what I mean? ” Not until all the answers are YES is the written message finished.
References Good Writing. (1986). Succeeding in the World of Work. Retrieved August 30, 2014, from Glencoe Publishing Company