How to improve your business writing standards
by Jacquie Wise
Here are a few tips to ensure you don’t allow careless mistakes to ruin your reputation as an educated professional who pays attention to detail.
1) Use your computer spell checker – but don’t rely on it! It cannot read words in context. It’s far too risky to rely on it – do your own check. I was emphasising this point in a business writing training program I was conducting for staff at a corporate client. One of the participants brought me this piece which I just had to share with you. It’s very funny and makes the point admirably.
A Little Poem Regarding Computer Spell Checkers…
Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.
(Available online at http://www.latech.edu/tech/liberal-arts/geography/courses/spellchecker.htm)
2) Do several different checks – professional writers run through a document doing several separate checks. One for sense and flow of content. One for grammar, one for spelling, another for punctuation and a final check for consistency of format such as headings and sub headings or a font changing suddenly in the middle of the document.
3) Read the document backwards – to ensure that you pick up every possible error. It’s what professional editors do!
If you would like to improve your business writing skills, contact me directly to arrange a convenient appointment time.
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