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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ten Tips For Better Business Writing | Susan Adams, Forbes

I noticed that this article is in the "Leadership" section of Forbes. Of course, our leaders in business, government and other institutions should follow these tips when doing their own writing. But it's also important for their employees to follow these tips--even if it means "leading from behind," as is likely the case.

Adams writes:
By using simple, clear, precise language, and following a few other basic writing rules, you can become a better communicator and improve the prospects for your career.
In summary, here are her tips:
  • Start by writing short, declarative sentences. Never use a long word where a short one will do. ...
  • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or any kind of jargon if you can think of an English equivalent. ...
  • When you’re composing an e-mail, make your point and move on. If your big idea isn't in the first paragraph, put it there. ...
  • Use plain English, and be specific. ...
  • Curb your enthusiasm. Avoid overusing exclamation points, ...
  • Whenever possible, use active instead of passive verbs. ...
  • Choose pronouns wisely, and don’t be afraid to use “me.” ...
  • Beware of common grammatical mistakes, like subject-verb agreement ...
  • Know when to use “that” and “which.”
  • Another common error is confusing “affect” and “effect.” ...

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