Self-help Pointers for Powerful Prose|
By Joanne Schenk Paull
You can make a first and lasting impression as a competent, approachable expert in your field through written communications that deliver a clear message and enhance your professional image. Here are four important steps to follow to improve your writing.
Know before you begin to write what message you want to convey. Even if you plan to write a long composition, you should be able to sum up in just one sentence the main idea that you want your readers to remember. In simple terms, if you don't know what you want to say, you'll never be able to say it.
Know before you begin to write who will be reading your message. Are you writing for the general public or for a specialized, knowledgeable group? Plan to adjust the content to meet the needs and comprehension level of your intended audience.
Be clear and concise in expressing your message. Plain English is the best English. Instead of choosing words to impress—which makes you sound pretentious—choose words for precision that enable you to say what you mean.
After writing a first draft, review your work to correct errors and make improvements. When possible, allow enough time to elapse so that what you have written is no longer fresh in your mind. Read your message out loud because you may HEAR what you miss visually.
Apply these guidelines in your writing before you submit it for editing to maximize the value of my services to you. If you have eliminated obvious problems, I can concentrate my time and effort on polishing your message.