Friday, March 23, 2007

8 rules for writing well

Earlier I had written an article about 6 step strategy for writing anything faster and more effectively. You may read about it here: How to write well.

Now that you have a simple strategy for writing, let us consider some points which make a good writing. William N.Yeomans, in his book 1000 things you never learned in business school mentions 8 rules for good writing. They are as follows:

  1. Write with the reader in mind
  2. Decide what your purpose is.
  3. Say exactly what you mean.
  4. Keep it as short as possible.
  5. Make your point in the first paragraph.
  6. Use a format that guides the reader.
  7. Write fast - build your writing speed.
  8. Arouse the reader's interest.

The above rules can apply to writing a letter, memo, report or even an article. Before we even begin writing, we need to do these two important things:

1.Ask ourselves :"Who are my readers?" and "How can I write so that they relate to it?"

2. The next thing to do before putting a word on the paper is to make clear the objective we want to achieve while writing. We may do this by writing down :"I hope, as a result of reading this, my reader will ______________________________________________" .
Now fill in the blank with an appropriate response desired from your reader.

There are more important points covered in the section 'How to write well' from the book 1000 things you never learned in business school

Though the author mentions the points with regards to business communication like writing memos, letters, reports etc. they can be applicable to other forms of writing as well. You may want to read the book even if you are not interested in business communications and specially so if you are interested in business communication. The book covers more aspects of business besides communication.

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