In school, you probably learned that writing is daunting and a huge task to undertake. You may feel that to be a good writer, you need to have some level of innate skill at it. However, that’s not the case at all. Anyone can learn to write well, it just takes a little time and effort.
This is lucky for you, as at work we do more writing than ever. Your skills will reflect on you at work, and it can even influence whether you get opportunities and promotions. Here’s how you can improve your business writing skills and get ahead.
1. Stop telling yourself you can’t do it
First of all, you need to believe that you can improve as a writer. You may have been discouraged from writing when you were at school, or even as an adult, but you can do it. Put any preconceived notions of failure away, and get to practicing. Like anything, from learning a musical instrument to learning new dance steps, you’ll get better at writing the more you do it.
2. Read other people’s work
If you want to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader. Read often, and read widely. Look into what other people are writing, and analyze it. What are they trying to say? How are they saying it? How do they get the right tone across? If you find a good piece of writing, work out what makes it good. You can then use that knowledge in your own writing.
3. Start with your grammar
Good grammar is the basis of good writing. If you want to improve, this is the best place to start. If you’re not too sure what good grammar is, start checking out online grammar guides to see what you should be doing. If you identify any weaknesses in your writing, start looking for expert help. Writing communities Paper Fellows and Academized can both help you get the most from your writing.
4. Plan what you’re going to write
Just like you did when you were at school, make a plan before you write anything. Think about the audience of your writing. You’ll write much differently for a client than you would for a co-worker. Also, think about the tone you’re trying to achieve. Do you need to be formal, or can you be more laid back? Finally, make sure you know the goal of your writing. You may be writing to sell something, to inform co-workers of a meeting, or just to get a question answered.
5. Remember your citations
Plagiarism is never a good look. You’re obviously never going to rip off another person’s ideas on purpose, but you can appear that way if you forget to credit your sources. Make sure everything you use is properly cited and credited, to avoid this ever happening to you. If you have trouble citing sources, use a service such as Cite It In to make sure that you get it right.
6. Ditch the jargon
When you’re planning your writing, you’ll be thinking about your audience. The language you use with that audience will be vital. Use the wrong terms, and you can alienate an audience before you ever get their attention. For example, you can use abbreviations and industry specific jargon if you’re emailing a co-worker. If you’re emailing a client though, that could be confusing.
7. Proofread and edit
You need to proofread and edit everything you write. That includes emails, promotional writing, anything that another person will read. Even the best writer can make mistakes. If you need help, try using tools such as BigAssignments, Easy Word Count, Assignment Help, and Resumention to catch mistakes.
8. Do your research
Before you start writing anything, you need to put in the research. What you need to know will depend on what you’re writing. For example, if you’re sending out a campaign email, learn the names of the people you’re emailing, so you can include them. If you’re using statistics to sell your products, get the exact numbers and tell the reader where you got them. Good research shines through, and shows that you care about what you’re writing.
9. Stick to the point
Good writing consists of you getting to the point as quickly as possible. This is especially important in emails, as you need to get the reader’s attention before they delete your message. A good rule of thumb is to put the most important information in the first sentence. So, if you’re emailing about a meeting, you’ll write, “The meeting will be held at 3pm on Thursday in room 2.”
These tips will help you become a better writer, wherever you work. Put the practice in and you’ll see the difference for yourself.