Best Practices in Business Writing

Our last blog, “Organization in Writing” was very well received. Thanks for your responses. In this blog we hope to explain few things about the writing process itself.

Writing process consists of four main stages as follows

  1. Data collection
  2. Pre-writing
  3. Writing
  4. Editing

Data collection

In this age of Information, data is single most valued commodity. We are always exposed to information. However, collecting, storing and using right information at appropriate stages is the key to effective writing. In this stage, you focus entirely on data collection, which you may find useful later. Hence, you are constantly in this stage, keeping your eyes and ears open for information on interesting topics. Following can be very effective sources:

  1. Books
  2. News
  3. Blogs
  4. Social Media
  5. Radio
  6. Discussions/ Meetings
  7. Interviews

Pre-writing

Pre-writing stage comes as and when you decide to pen down your thoughts on paper. It starts with brainstorming on the topic. Brainstorming is a quick way to generate a lot of ideas on a subject. The purpose is to make a list of as many ideas as possible without worrying about how you will use them. Your brainstorming diagram may include words, phrases, sentences or even questions.

To brainstorm, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by writing a topic in a rectangular box.
  2. Write down as many ideas about the topic as you can in 5 minutes.
  3. Add more items to your list by answering the questions what, how, when, where, why and who.
  4. Group similar ideas.
  5. Understand relations like cause-effect, consequences, lists, examples, advantages / disadvantages etc. between the ideas and mark them.
  6. Think of relevant examples especially if you are writing an essay.
  7. Check for relevancy with audience, subject boundaries and occasion.

bUSINESS WritngAbove image shows brainstorming diagram.

Writing

Outcome of previous activity acts as guideline at this stage. From childhood, an idea of havinga great start to the essay is imbibed in your mind. Let us tell you good news; it is alright to have an average start. Focus on the writing all considered points first. During editing stage you may revise your introduction. We will discuss “Parts of writing” in next week.

Write relentlessly without stopping. Frequent checking and stopping in between for corrections, breaks the flow. Also, if you stop in between, your mind might be diverted to related issues. You lose focus, which in turn results in loss of concentration. Repeated interruptions make you blind to your own mistakes, which lead to erroneous writing and ultimately frustration.

While writing, guidelines given in our previous blog “Organization in writing” can be very useful. You may also choose to use following guidelines,

  1. Start writing relentlessly.
  2. Do not waste time correcting yourself at this stage. You have next stage to correct yourself.
  3. Remember to use following orders while writing to sound more logical
  4. Order of Organization by Grouping
  5. Organization by Time
  6. Organization by Order of Importance
  7. Organization by Space

Editing

At the end of previous stage you have yourself, few ideas jotted down on your computer screen. Now, start proof-reading your written piece.

  1. While reading, look for logical sense. Ask yourself,
    1. Did I cover all points?
    2. Did I write them in logical fashion?
    3. Did I use appropriate order?
  2. Next, look for clarity of concepts. Many people like to believe that the more complex they write, better they sound. Please make sure one sentence is used for one idea. Don’t write sentences having multiple ideas. They only confuse your readers.
  3. Once this part is taken care of, we advise you to look for grammatical mistakes and correct them. Check for consistency of tenses, dates, persons and subject-verb confirmation.

We hope this blog helps to organize your writing better. These tips are valid for Business Writing, GRE, IELTS and TOEFL. You may visit us here, to know more about Business English course.

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