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Four tips to improve your writing

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The push to have national pride and retain our Vincy dialect has gone so far that even people with university degrees have forgotten or never learned how to write proper English. Growing up, I remember my teachers and headmistress insisting that we speak and write the Queen’s English, but now the push is in the opposite direction. Our adults and young people are writing in dialect and are unable to speak and write proper English. This directly impacts our ability to be taken seriously in the workplace as written communication is essential for all businesses.{{more}}

It really does not matter what industry you are in. One of the most valuable skills to an employer is the ability to write well. No, this is not a call for companies to round up award-winning writers or those who feel blessed with “the gift of writing.” Excellent business writing skills, like any other skills, take time to develop, and anyone can learn.

Whether it’s an email, memo, proposal, report, brochure or formal letter, the key to effective business writing is to develop copy that is clear, concise, and results oriented.

Consider the following when writing your next piece of business material:

1. What is the purpose of this project? Is it to inform, persuade or move people to action? Knowing the purpose of your communication will help you choose the proper language and tone to accomplish your goal.

2. Outline your project. Take the time to organize your thoughts, even if you are just writing a simple email. This method will ensure that you cover the most important topics, and it saves time and reduces wordiness.

3. Write with the reader in mind. It is easy to get caught up in a writing project and feel overwhelmed. Put your personal feelings aside and picture the reader. You want the reader to actually read what you have written and take it seriously. Research your reader, know what they like and dislike, and then construct the material accordingly.

4. Double check your work. Ask a colleague to review your work or let it sit for a while and then revisit it. This will cut down on common errors such as grammar and misspellings.

Again, writing is a skill that can be developed. It is in your best interest to take the time to develop this skill, as it is invaluable to your career development.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.”
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