Writing Skills Boston
Top Ten Items for Professional Writing Skills
“You’re helping me, and you’re making me a better manager and a better executive.” Amir Gabrieli, VP Solutions Engineering at Correlsense USA, IT Sales – Commenting on writings skills improvement with Steve Pro ESL – Business Writing Skills: How you say something is important, not just what you say.
When thinking about how to improve, or develop, professional writing skills, the first word that might come to mind is grammar, and when thinking about grammar, one may also think of “errors” or “mistakes”. However, developing professional writing skills is not simply a matter of discovering one’s grammar errors and learning how to correct them. There’s more to improving and developing professional writing skills.
Everyone has a unique set of challenges when considering what it takes to improve professional writing skills. Improving professional writing skills means something different for every writer.
1) Grammar Awareness: Not using the right form, or not knowing that it exists, is one aspect of professional writing skills development. It’s not always possible to simply provide a “correction”. It’s often necessary to revise a sentence or a paragraph.
2) Combining of too many ideas: Sometimes writers attempt to combine too many ideas into one sentence. Knowing when to stop one sentence and begin another one is key to producing writing that is clear and easy to understand.
3) Not combining ideas: Sometimes writers produce sentences that are too short. Too many short sentences make for a writing style that seems too simple, and this which may detract from the professional image of one’s message. Professional writing should be clear and concise; however, this does not mean that professional writing should be simplistic.
4) The illogical combining of ideas in sentences: Apart from combining too many ideas in one sentence, we sometimes find that writers combine ideas in sentences which do not logically go together. Clearly, this has little to do with correcting grammar or making simple corrections. In this way, it’s necessary to look at ways of revising writing.
5) Incorrect or combining of words or unusual phrases: It’s a common misunderstanding that errors in writing mean “grammar errors”. It’s not always possible to attribute errors to a particular point of English grammar. When this happens, we may find that an error is a “lexical error”, or an error in vocabulary, an error in combining words, or using phrases that don’t sound natural or usual in English.
6) Starting a new paragraph: It is important to recognize when it makes sense to start a new paragraph. Paragraphs divide writing into subtopics, which contributes to the ease with which one is able to understand and follow writing.
7) Intelligibility – understanding one’s communication: While at the professional level of writing skills development, intelligibility is not typically a problem, the combination of all the items listed here contribute to the intelligibility of one’s writing, or the ease with which readers can understand one’s writing.
8) Register, tone, and appropriate manners of expression: Register refers to degree of formal, informal, serious, casual, impersonal, or friendly tone of one’s language. This is just as important for writing as it is for speaking.
9) Using too many words and redundancy: A) Once in while we’ll notice that an idea or a passage requires fewer words. Good professional writing is concise and efficient. Keep in mind the purpose of your writing and who your readers are. B) Redundancy: Repetition of an idea within a phrase or a sentence is not good. Though it may easily go unnoticed by some readers, it’s better to avoid redundant language.
10) Grammar errors – not the same as grammar awareness: Sometimes it’s easy to identify specific grammar errors and work to correct them.