Better Business Writing – Engage readers – Tighten & brighten – Make your Case
By Bryan A. Garner
Use Chronology when giving factual account
Stories are inherently chronological. It is more likely to be clear and efficient, and to keep readers interested.
Just the facts that matter, and in right order.
Plot out what happened, and when – detailing the most important incidents leading up to the dispute. Create a chronology of relevant events to organize the narrative.
Be a Stickler for Continuity
Smooth writing consists of a sequence of well joined sentences and paragraphs, not a mere collection of them.
Transitions in really good writing are almost subliminal – but they’re carefully placed where readers will need them.
Use subheads as transition
Break up documents with concise, descriptive subheads to increase readability and help readers locate the information most important to them.
Use consistent style and parallel syntax into your subheads to reinforce the documents logical and rhetorical cohesion.
Learn the basics of correct grammar.
If you make lots of mistakes you’ll come across as uneducated and uninformed. People will hesitate to trust your recommendations to launch a resource-intensive project, or for example to buy goods or services.
How to correct yourself
- Read first-rate nonfiction
- Have knowledgeable colleagues proof read your material and explain their corrections.
- Browse through guides on grammar and usage, consulting them whenever question arises.
Get Feedback on your Drafts from Colleagues
Accept suggestions graciously. A good writer welcomes good edits – yearns for them.
Share your material while it’s still rough – the feedback will help you make it ship shape much faster that if you were toiling in isolation.
Invite them to mark up your document, and thank them for their help.
CREATE A CULTURE WHERE EDITING FLOURISHES
People can always make improvements by asking. There is no shame in needing edits from others. People should freely seek them and freely give them – without overtones of petty one-upmanship.