15 Things To Remember In Writing

Now that you have learnt how to structure your thoughts and put your ideas in a sequence, let’s learn how to make your writing appear more professional and crisper.
A lot of people have very interesting ideas and they even manage to put them on paper. However their readership doesn’t extend beyond a particular level, even though their writing is good and the thoughts were properly mentioned. It is because their writing lacks a proper selection of words, or maybe a proverb like “nipping it in the bud” was used, which readers may not understand.
Let’s discuss 15 things that you should keep in mind while proof-reading and revising your writing −
Clarity
  • Your writing must be understood at the first reading. Avoid technical jargon, unfamiliar words, or formal language.
Formal vs. Modern
  • Payment has been duly noted vs. we received your check.
  • Attached hereto vs. please find attached
Avoid ambiguity
  • Words with double meaning or sentences that confuse the readers should be avoided −
  • Having eaten the fish, Kiran talked to Karan. (Who had the fish?)
Avoid colloquialisms
  • In a nutshell vs. in short
  • In this day and age vs. today, presently
Avoid using many words
  • Prior to the event vs. before
  • At this point in time vs. now
Avoid unnecessary repetition
  • Absolutely essential
  • Combine together
Include only relevant information
  • Omit unnecessary background information.
  • Keep the sentences short and simple – 17 words or less.
Completeness
  • Check that all the information the reader will need is included −
  • Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
Correctness
  • Check accuracy of grammar and spelling of names of people and places).
  • He done it vs. he did it.
  • It’s color has faded vs. its color has faded.
Don’t Rely on Spell Check
  • Typing ‘no/on’, ‘then/than’, ‘quite/quiet’, ‘lose/loose’ won’t show errors.
Concreteness
  • Give specific details.
  • Your investment plan will earn high interest.
  • Your investment plan will earn 8% interest.
Convincing
  • Use language that is believable. Avoid exaggeration and superlatives.
  • Always vs. Usually
  • Never vs. Rarely
Courtesy
  • Display good manners in your writing. Passive voice should be used when communicating bad news to avoid negative overtones.
  • We can’t agree to the terms and conditions outlined in the contract.
  • Some discussion regarding the terms and conditions will need to be done.
Write with the reader in mind.
  • Sexist – Chairman, businessman
  • Condescension – ‘Of course’, ‘Obviously’
Using Bullet Points
  • Communicates your message in an easy and clear manner
  • Highlights the most important information.

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