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The process of writing a report

This is short (but hopefully sweet) today, because it’s less than a week away from Christmas, and I haven’t done any shopping yet …

Most of us – whether we work in the public, private or tertiary sector – will have to write a report at some point in our career and, although we don’t admit it, the idea probably scares the bejesus out of us. But it’s honestly not that difficult as long as you apply the principles of […]

Read to improve your writing

A guaranteed way to improve your own writing is to read other people’s.  It sounds simple, but it’s true. If you read good quality material every day, you naturally pick up grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation without thinking about it. It happens by osmosis. (OK, not very plain English, but in this case it’s the best word for the job.)

Reading and writing are inextricably linked – always have been, always will be. Research has shown that the […]

Writing emails at work

This might seem like a really obvious topic, but sometimes it’s good to look at obvious topics from a different angle.

We all email at work. It’s pretty much the main way we communicate. But just because the language you use in an email isn’t as formal as the language you use in a formal business letter doesn’t mean that you can throw out the rule book and write in a sloppy and unprofessional way. Your main aim is still […]

The importance of revising and editing

OK – so this is my day for the soapbox. No matter what you are writing – whether it’s an email, a report or a set of minutes for your local golf club – it’s essential to revise and edit it. It’s tempting just to bash something out and click on send or print, but think first before you do that. You’ll pretty much always find a mistake (sometimes an excrutiatingly – oops, sorry – excruciatingly embarrassing one) and […]

Start using plain English

I’m a complete plain English evangelist. I’m out to convert you. Once you start writing plain English, you’ll never go back to the dark side, I promise.
Why should you use plain English?
Why do you write in the first place? To communicate a message to your reader – not to show how clever or educated or well-read you are. If you don’t write in a way that your reader understands, then why bother? All you’re really doing is excluding them […]

By |Monday, November 18, 2013|English, Writing Tips|2 Comments|