Editing summarizing paraphrasing rewriting are all part of the writing process


The Difference Between Writing Skills and Talent.

Writing course | Writing Skills | WritingcourseTalents are intrinsic, and are developed through usage and application. Skills are teachable and can be learned. While writing skills are not usually spelled out in job descriptions, it is assumed that you have that skill.

The two most useful subjects in school are English Composition and Plain English Writing. [Note: Business English is now dated and not recommended in contemporary correspondence.] It is through these subjects that you learn effective writing skills, which you will apply in every area of both your business and personal life. No other skill is called for across such a wide spectrum of activities.

You will, at different times, be called upon to write letters, proposals, sales literature, short and long letters on complaints, requests, acknowledgments, and so on.

How Do You Apply Writing Skills To Effective Writing?
The primary step in developing writing skills is to organize Your writing

Regardless of what you're writing about and what form the written document takes, you need to clearly decide what information you want to express. How do you achieve this?

  1. Make a list of all the topics you need to include. Use brief leading headers for this.

  2. Arrange them in order of declining importance. Make brief annotations if this will be helpful. Usually, this is not necessary unless the correspondence is long and complicated.

  3. In your first paragraph, summarize the entire document.

  4. Amply the contents of the first paragraph. Do not introduce new topics here. Confine yourself to each item listed in step 1. Also, do not assume the recipient is familiar with whatever you're referring to unless this is a follow-up correspondence.

  5. In your closing text, clearly describe any action that needs to be taken by the recipient, or any that you plan to initiate or expand.

  6. Writing skills, as stated earlier, are learned. For effective writing, certain guidelines must be followed.

  7. Write for your recipient. Use simple words. Most people are familiar with only about 3000 words of the several hundred thousands the English language composes of. Using long uncommon words or foreign phrases will not impress, but frustrate your recipient.

  8. Be concise. Most people have to handle several tasks simultaneously, and are not receptive to unnecessary information. When I acknowledge anything through an email, my usual choice is confined to - 'thanks' and 'done'; or Noted. Will do by [date].]

  9. use the active voice. It generates shorter and more powerful sentences. In active voice, the subject should come first, the object after.

  10. Avoid verbosity - unnecessary or empty words. It is no use using 20 words to express something that could be done in 8.

  11. Watch your grammar. Also, have a dictionary and a thesaurus on hand. There are so many online resources for these that a hard copy is hardly necessary unless you choose to have them.

  12. Do not use cant or jargon your recipient may not understand. Usually, if your recipient is not versed in the same field as you are, use common words or explain jargon in parenthesis. Unfortunately you will find that advocates and solicitors break this important rule with impunity.

  13. Avoid redundancy...which is repetition or a using a sting of synonyms or adjectives. 

  14. Cliches are not chic. They come across as contrived and affected.

Edit and Proofread.

Editing and proofreading are most important for effective writing. No, the spell check or grammar check tools included with most word processors are not enough, and rarely do the job well.  If time allows,  proofread your writing later, or even better, the day after. This is because you read with your mind, not your eyes, and the mind reads in whole words. See overview for more information on editing and proofreading.

Writing Skills | Effective Writing Skills Summary                                            

  • Compose an outline, listing each thought you plan to express

  • Arrange them in order -- in declining importance

  • Collect information to substantiate what you plan to say.

  • Request comments from others who are involved in the project you're discussing, to include in your document where appropriate.

  • In your first paragraph write a brief summary of your document.

  • Expand on each item listed.

  • In your last paragraph spell out necessary actions.

  • Proofread your document

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