Business Writing Skills

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Business writing skills are little different than any other writing, whether it's journalism or fiction or a dissertation. The first trick is having something to say and knowing who your audience is. The second is getting started. The third is remembering to delete everything that shouldn't be there once you've stopped.

Why Business Writing Skills Matter

The rest, of course, is the hard part, the part we take for granted. It's the part that comes around and smacks us in the face with embarrassment. Remember the last time you dispatched a letter to the CEO or a proposal to a potential funding source and discovered the typo when it was too late? This is when you realize that honing your business writing skills seems like a good idea. It is.

When was the last time you reviewed the basic rules of English grammar? There aren't many, perhaps ten. Sentences must have a subject and a verb, and they must agree in voice, singular to singular and plural to plural. No problem, you say to yourself, until you come head to head with staff and data and just about everyone. Finely tuned business writing skills mean that you have the rules, spelling, and punctuation down cold--as well as a robust vocabulary and a comfort zone with usage and style.

How strong is your grasp of syntax? Can you sort out dangling participles and misplaced modifiers? The folly of relying on spell-check is well known, but we get lazy. When you're engaged in writing you're thinking about the subject and your argument, not whether you've typed proceed or precede, affect or effect, work or worth, divisive or decisive.

The difference that clear and effective business writing skills make is significant enough. Writing workshops can be found online that can be extremely helpful. Some can be taken at your own leisure. For those who need a more immediate resource, there are plenty of links to grammar aids and cheat sheets available. When you find a grammar and writing resource that works for you, use it often and see your writing improve.


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