There are many people who do not feel comfortable when it comes to writing a text. They feel a certain insecurity. They do not know if the content is clear, if it is correctly written, if it can lead to misunderstandings…
The truth is that for many professionals, writing is still an almost essential task: sometimes you have to write mails and analysis documents; others, we have to put texts to a web and contents to a presentation. And a long etcetera.
It is clear: at some point you will touch write, so here are some useful tips so you can do a little better:
10 tips to write a little better without complicating your life
1. Eliminate the pressure
Remember: it’s not about winning the Nobel Prize. At work, writing is only a means to express oneself, not an end in itself. So take off the pressure. It’s just about expressing yourself in a clear and orderly way.
Think that, if you know how to speak, you know how to write. If you speak correctly, I’m sure you can write correctly. The writing gives you the opportunity, yes, to correct the typical defects of the oral expression: repetitions, coletillas, broken sentences, sudden jumps from one topic to another, etc. Think that you are going to transfer what you want to say to the paper, but correcting those defects that we have mentioned.
2. First, order your ideas
Contrary to what many people believe, the key is not in the way of writing, but in the clarity and order in the exhibition. It does not matter what expression resources you have: if you start writing speaking of A, in the second line you have jumped to B and in the third you return to A, but at a previous moment in time, that text is going to be a real disaster . If you say A first and then deny A, you will not be able to communicate your ideas well either.
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3. What do you want to tell? To who?
What is your message? Who is it for? Think about what you want to say and to whom you are going to tell it. What is the central idea you want to convey? What level of information does the receiver have? It is better that you give an answer to these questions before launching yourself to write.
Then, define the points you are going to discuss and in what order. A previous scheme can be very helpful.
And another useful trick: try to give a title to what you are going to write. The title has to pick up the essential theme of the text. Something like your starting premise. It is important to do so, because in this way you ensure that all the text goes in the same direction, and avoid defending thesis in each paragraph.
4. Do not get in trouble
If you do not have security, what you should not do, under any circumstances, is to get into trouble. That is, in too long sentences that try to connect many elements and ideas, with many propositions, many conjunctions, and many verbs. Think that the longer you lengthen the sentence, the easier it is to make an error of concordance, and the more complicated it is to interpret the meaning for the reader.
In the middle of the sentence it is very possible that you no longer know what you are referring to. It is better to put a point in between and start again the phrase from the beginning, with subject, verb and predicate.
Nor is it about writing as the Indians who appear in western films speak, of course. But look at this example:
The development of the project will be carried out at the client’s headquarters in Albarracín, having a duration of approximately 8 months that will be distributed in the analysis and development phases, with the final delivery incorporating the functional requirements requested by the client.
And this other:
The development of the project will be carried out at the client’s headquarters in Albarracín. It will have an approximate duration of 8 months that will be distributed in the analysis and development phases. The final delivery will incorporate the functional requirements requested by the client.
Having? Incorporating? As much as we try to chain “elements” in a single sentence, we can not make the text more elegant or more comprehensible. Quite the contrary. We have gone from one sentence to 3, and now the concepts are clearer and more defined. It no longer seems the text of a bad lawyer in practice …
5. Do not separate verb and predicate with a comma. Avoid the passive form
There are certain rules that are very simple to comply with and are very helpful. Never separate the predicate and the verb with a comma. For example: “The project will last for 8 months”. It is incorrect.
Also avoid, as far as possible, the use of the passive form, which may make the construction of the sentence a bit convoluted.
The writing of the project has been requested by the company Car Express.
Requested (the writing)? Requested (the project)? The phrase is correct, but it is much simpler as follows:
The company Car Express has requested the drafting of the project.
6. Flee the fashions
Do not abuse fashion expressions. It has become a classic. When an expression, a verb or an adjective “triumphs” in the business world, everyone begins to use it in every paragraph that he writes. One year is “prioritize”; another year is “added value”; the next one touches “based on”; and then comes “put in value”.
Try not to abuse these expressions, because they can end up being very cumbersome. Especially when they are included in the texts “with shoehorn”, only for the receiver to take note of how well informed the writer is …
7. Eye with the boasts
Beware also of the adornments and the boasts of erudition. If you are not absolutely sure of how a word is used, or of the meaning of an expression, do not use it. Better yet: make sure before consulting it in the dictionary or Wikipedia. Look for examples to find out. So, next time you can use it with ease.
The same happens with the Latin . Hire them well, because you may be trying to look like a cultured person, and in the end you look like a smartass …
Did you know, for example, that it is said roughly and not roughly ? Or that the correct form is Statu Quo ?
8. Is it understood? Turn it over if necessary
Have you finished? Read the text again. If you want, you can do it even out loud. Makes sense? Are there contradictions? Would someone who was listening understand you? If something does not fit, give the structure another turn.
There are times when it is necessary to substantially change the text: put the end to the beginning, delete whole paragraphs, complete others, etc. Do not be afraid to do it. Writing is a process of continuous improvement.
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9. Review, review, review
Be careful. Check the text No matter how many times you have read it: there are always small mistakes and many things that can be improved. You put the level. It is clear that you will not spend a whole day to review a simple mail. But it is good to be aware of it: the more time you spend, the better the final result will be.
Use spell checkers, but review the options and questions one by one. They are very useful tools, but they are still machines. An example: “continue” and “continue”. The two options are fine for the corrector, but you do not serve both. Depends on the context.
10. Practice, read. Take small steps
It is clear: the rules are made to break them with intelligence. Once you have gained confidence, you can get rid of the “corsets” and write with a slightly freer style. The secret is in practice. As in everything, writing is learned by writing, and reading to people who do it well. You learn even by reading to people who do it wrongly …
Can you think of any other useful advice?
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