Business Writing Training

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Business writing training is nothing more than a matter of practice makes--okay, you don't want to hear it yet again--perfect. There's a lot riding on how finely you tune your command of the English language. How gracefully your prose reads and how well grounded your grammar and punctuation skills are make a big difference in what direction your career goes. Bear in mind the survey of Fortune 1000 executives, an overwhelming majority of whom said that writing ability was a significant factor in hiring (80 percent) and promotions (99 percent).

You might be the type who needs the discipline of formal monitored training, whether classroom or self-study. If so, business writing training programs at nearby continuing education schools or graduate programs are far from the only options. The Internet is fast becoming a recognized venue for credit-based training toward professional licensure and the like. Look at the insurance industry, which has expanded a three-state reciprocal credit-sharing agreement into a nationwide set of standards and study, all of it online.

Business writing training can also be as simple as you want it to be. Open up IE or Navigator, click on Favorites or Bookmarks in the text menu across the top of the screen, and select Organize or Manage, and follow your nose. Set up a new folder to store bookmarks for writing resource websites. Visit them on a weekly basis. A good start is William Safire's column "On Language" in the New York Times Sunday magazine. Writing advice from a first-rate writer is as entertaining as it is educational. Another site to bookmark is one that is comprehensive. Look for a site that deals with a variety of writing and grammar issues, and get comfortable with using it. This way, you're more likely to actually refer to it.

What Business Writing Training Covers

Grammar, punctuation, and spelling are scarcely the least of things you need to master. How often is your syntax so muddled that dangling participle phrases and misplaced modifiers leave your subject not agreeing with your verb? Odds are good that you rely on spell-check rather than looking to see if your fingers typed divisive when your mind thought decisive. These are followed, like heavy dominoes, by usage, style, and mechanics. Mastering all this takes practice. Fortunately it's at your fingertips.

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