How to improve writing skills? Implementation of the principles of effective writing-clarity, conciseness, completeness, courtesy, and correctness-requires the use of effective writing techniques.
How to Improve Writing Skills
1. Write for the Reader:
The most important of the techniques for effective writing is to write for the reader. You just put yourself in the place of the reader for thinking about how you would react to the message if you were the receiver and not the writer.
For example, if you are writing to a customer who is unfamiliar with the special language used within your industry, you should try to avoid those specialized terms. “Records of your account have been copied on a floppy for further necessity: permanent housing will be made on-line to our mainframe” would not be appropriate for the average reader.
2. Keep Sentences Short:
Check the sentence length of your message. If most of the sentences exceed fifteen to twenty words, consider breaking up long sentences into shorter ones. Put separate ideas into separate sentences.
This practice allows you to keep sentences shorter and makes for better understanding. For example, the following sentence has too few sentence breaks.
I plan to be in Chittagong on October 3-5 and would like to meet with you and your lawyer during that time to talk about the modification of our agreement that we discussed briefly on the telephone.
A better way of presenting this information would be: I plan to be in Chittagong on October 3-5.
During that time I would like to meet with .you and your lawyer to discuss the modification of our agreement. We discussed this matter briefly on the telephone.
3. Use Paragraph Breaks:
Paragraph breaks are used to divide the text into readable units. This division requires that writers think in terms of main .and supporting ideas, and it improves readability by breaking the monotony of long, unbroken blocks of words.
4. Use Short, Simple Words
Use short and simple words, the reader will easily understand. Long words are, not necessary. Short, simple wording is more effective to attain communication objectives.
5. Avoid Jargon
Jargon is a pompous, trite, and abstract language. Jargon should be avoided to make life simple.
6. Use Personal Pronouns
When we write we should use personal pronouns rather than using any indirect and indefinite expressions.
7. Avoid Trite Words and phrases
Some of these words and expressions include (but are not limited to) the following:
8. Use action words
Use action words, fast-paced words that carry your message along at a quick pace.
The reader should not have to slow down or reread a phrase to understand -it. For example, “This issue vitally concerns you” is faster-paced than. This issue is something that is of vital concern to you”; “This document requires your signature” is faster-paced than” It’s required that this document have your signature.” Say “I believe” instead of” It is my belief that…..
9. Avoid redundancies
10. Use a Natural Style
Business letters should be warm, natural, and brief, as they bridge the gap and help to establish respect and relation between you and your reader
11. Use the ‘You” Approach
The “you” approach is the old standby that everyone equates with a good message. It is one of the simple ways of talking. “Always remember your reader.” or “keep the reader in mind as you write.”
However, most of the people believe that the “you” approach means using you frequently in a letter. But the use of the word you, however many times it is repeated, does not necessarily result in the “you” approach. For example
- You did not include the color costume you wanted in your order; therefore, your order cannot be completed until you indicate your preference on the enclosed card.
- This request does not use the “you” approach even though you and you’re have been used extensively. A better example of the “you” approach would be:
- Please indicate your costume color preference on the enclosed card. Your order will be sent as soon as we receive the card.
- Notice that although the words you and you’re not used as often as in the first example, the writer has clearly defined the message to the reader’s needs,
12. Use Correct Punctuation
Punctuation makes a difference in what the message actually says. Consider I, for example:
- I left him convinced he was right
- I left him, convinced he was right
- Thirteen people knew the secret, all told
- Thirteen people knew the secret; all told
Note how the messages change in these examples as the punctuation is changed.
13. Proofread Carefully
A well-written message may be ruined because it was not read carefully for errors that occurred when the message was prepared. You must take responsibility for proofreading your own material.
Suppose a meeting is planned for April 14, and the memo informing participants of the meeting is written to read April 13. How many people are going to be present at the April 14 meeting? How many people are going to be angry when they appear on April 13 and there is no meeting?
When you put these techniques for effective writing into use in your business communications, you will write letters and memos that get results while creating goodwill for you and your company.
If someone follows this 13 principal mentioned above he will get the answer to how to improve writing skills. And communicator should know how to improve writing skills for effective writing.
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