How to Improve Your Writing Skills-Most of the organizations rely on written communication for exchanging message with different parties. Written materials are used as important documents and are considered as authoritative proof. But writing is not an easy task, it is an art. People are to learn it by acquiring theoretical as well practical knowledge. The following guidelines can be helpful for effective writing-
How to Improve Your Writing Skills
- Know your Reader or Audience: The foremost important guidelines to effective writing are to know the audience or the reader of the message. Sender should learn as much as possible about the bases, education, age, skill, status and style of the receiver to create an effective message. If the sender puts himself in the receiver’s position, be will be able to understand how the message in likely to be decoded. By writing form the audience’s point of view, sender can help them understand and accept his message.
- Be Clear: Be clear about your writing. Rely on specific terms and concrete examples to explain your points.
- Keep Sentences and Paragraph Shorts: Keep the sentences and paragraphs as short as possible so that your audience or reader can understand them easily. To attain the goal each paragraph should stick to one topic and should be limited to eight to ten lines long.
- Use Plain English: Use plain and basic English so that English and non-English speakers can understand it clearly. Use short, precise words that say exactly what you mean.
- Avoid Jargons: Simple and easy to understand words should be used. Ambiguous words and jargons should be avoided and dialect should not be used. Communication language should be used to avoid linguistic problems.
- Avoid Trite Words and Phrases: The repetitions of same words or phrases irritate the readers and lose their consistency. So, trite words and jargons must be avoided to make the message more attractive.
- Use Paragraph Breaks: Long paragraph distracts attention of the readers and often cause poor understanding of message. Short paragraph helps the readers to continue the message reading and understand it clearly. In order to make the paragraph short and simple there must be paragraph breaks.
- Be Specific: Use specific words instead of general terms. Because general words express different messages in different situations and it may confuse the readers. For example, if you say that Mr. Eiham is a tall man, it may create confusion in the reader’s mind as the word tall does not refers to the exact height of him. Rather you can say Mr. Elham is 5’ 7” tall.
- Be Brief: Use short and simple sentences. Because long and complex sentences may create problems for the people who are not fluent in English.
- Use Active Voice: Active voice is preferred over passive voice because it is short and direct. In written communication less passive sentences should be used.
- Avoid Sexist and Racist Words: Sexist and racist communication occurs when sexist and racist words are used in communication. Words like he, chairman, brotherhood, mankind etc have been used traditionally in reference to both men and women. But critics say that these words undermine the place and image of women, their equal status and importance in the society. Again you people, poor people, the Black, the White etc. are considered as racist words that may create misunderstanding and confusion in communication. Communication should use neutral words in these cases like chairperson, teacher, supervisor, attendant, spokesperson etc. to avoid sexist and racist communication that will make the communication more effective.
- Use you viewpoint: Use you viewpoint instead of I or We viewpoint. You should make the readers understand that how they will be benefited if they act according to the message. It will help you to get immediate feedback from the receivers.
- Use Graph and Charts as Aids: Nonverbal communication tools can be used to augment the verbal communication. Nonverbal cues like graphs, charts, color etc. can be used to make written communication more vivid and lively.
- Avoid Slang and Idioms and Use Common Words: Avoid using slang, idioms, jargon and buzzwords. Abbreviations, acronyms and unfamiliar product names may confuse the readers. For example, the word metropolis may not be familiar to all but the word city is known to all. So, common words should be used to make the communication effective.
- Use Terminology or Technical Words Carefully: Terminology or technical word should be used with due caution. If you use technical word, you should give footnote as explanation. Remember, you should always avoid unfamiliar word or term.
- Use Transitional Element: Use transitional words and phrases to help the readers follow your writing. You can use in addition, first, second, third etc to follow your points of writing.
- Write the Date Appropriately: In international communication, using date properly is an important matter. DD-MM-YY format is used everywhere now-a-days. So, be careful about date, whatever you write in Asian Country does not matter. Use 29 July 2008 instead of using July 29, 2007 or 29.07.2007.
- Produce you’re Writing Appropriately: Produce your writing on quality paper with proper margin so that it can have a smart took. Low quality paper can poorly produce the writing.
If you follow the above written guidelines, it is hopeful that you will be able to present quality writing. Writing is an art and someone is to learn it by practice, not by chance.