Writing Skills

Writing to Get People’s Attention

Posted on March 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Sometimes, your writing needs to really stand out. This could be for a number of reasons. You may want to grab someone’s attention to tell them about your business, or you might want to ensure they pay attention to your important email. Here are some ways to make sure your writing style gets you noticed:

  • Use a catchy title. Make it funny, use alliteration or perhaps try a play on words. Whatever style you choose, make sure your title is short and to the point to give people a succinct summary.
  • Write in bullet points. This will break your writing up and make it easier to read, meaning that people are more likely to take notice and to carry on reading.
  • Use shorter sentences. Readers need to be able to easily follow you points and stay on track. Keep your sentences short and keep people interested once you have their attention.

Posted in Writing Skills

Writing a Formal Letter

Posted on February 7, 2017 at 10:07 am

As a businessperson, it’s more than likely you will need to write formal letters during your time in the business world. It’s important that you get it right so that it reflects well on you and your business. Here are some pointers for you to use:

  • Begin by writing your address at the top of the letter.
  • You should then write the recipient’s address underneath, followed by a space and then the date.
  • Address the person as ‘Dear Mr/Mrs…’
  • If you know the person’s name, finish the letter with ‘Ýours Sincerely’, followed by a space and then your name.
  • If you do not know the recipient’s name, you should use ‘Ýours Faithfully’. Again, leave a space and then finish off with your name.
  • Use an appropriate tone of voice. If it is a formal letter, the expectation is usually that you will use a formal tone of voice to keep the subject serious.

Posted in Writing Skills

How a Professional Writer can Help You

Posted on July 28, 2016 at 8:38 am

There are many different situations that might require you to hire a professional writer. Whilst many people think that they can save some money by choosing to write content themselves, it can end up being a false economy. Writers will have a wide and varied vocabulary, an eloquent writing style and an excellent knowledge of grammar. The literature you produce about your business needs these skills to make it highly professional – it is often the first thing people will see. Here are some of the most popular areas where a writer can help you:

  • Press releases. These important pieces of writing will communicate newsworthy items to media and press.
  • Advertising copy. Your copy is your way of selling your business, so a writer can make sure it’s perfect.
  • Blogs. Copywriters and content writers will be able to write blog posts for websites on all kinds of topics.
  • Articles and news stories. These can be for your website, company newsletters or any other source.
  • Editorial pieces. Sometimes you will get the opportunity to put sponsored articles into publications. Writers can help you to make the most of this opportunity.
  • Website copy. New customers who find you via your website should be able to read copy that makes a good first impression.
  • Editing. It is impossible to objectively edit your own work. Hire a professional to help you.

Posted in Writing Skills

Proofreading: the Key to Professional Writing

Posted on May 24, 2016 at 3:35 pm

The importance of proofreading can’t be overemphasised. It’s so integral to the success of any piece of writing, in any context. Without thorough proofreading, mistakes can slip through the net and errors can go unnoticed. In the worst case scenario, the text might not even make sense.

You may want to break your proofreading down into stages to make it more manageable. If you try to tackle too much in one go, it’s very easy to miss something. Be very careful not to skim-read; your eyes can often be tricked. Reading over text quickly puts you in danger of missing spelling mistakes and skipping over poorly-constructed sentences. Be thorough in your proofreading.

It’s always worth asking someone else to proofread for you. Once you’ve read it through yourself, call on the help of a friend, colleague or even a professional proofreader. It is very difficult to be objective when you have spent a long time working on a piece of writing, and a new pair of eyes will be so valuable. If you find someone who is a good proofreader, use their services again – it’s important to find someone with a keen eye for detail who works well with you.

Posted in Writing Skills

The Importance of Good Written English in a Job Application

Posted on April 25, 2016 at 11:17 am

When looking for a new job, it’s so important to write a coherent and eloquent application. Even if writing won’t form one of your main duties at work, an employer wants to know that you are a strong communicator. Written English cannot be ignored.

To start with, you need to be able to make your CV legible. If it is not structured correctly and cannot be read easily, employers will bypass it. You don’t need to use complex language – just ensure that it is fluent and makes perfect sense.

Covering letters are just as important. They are your opportunity to make your application a little bit more personal, so they need to be well written. Use persuasive language to convince your potential future employer that you will be right for the role and emphasise why you want to work there.

Remember, good spelling and grammar will show good attention to detail. It will be difficult to prove to someone that you will make a conscientious and hard-working employee if your job application looks lazy and haphazard. Read and re-read it many times over and ask someone else to proofread it for you. Submitting a high-quality application that is right shows you have initiative and are willing to go out of your way to do something well.

Posted in Jobs, Writing Skills

How to Write a Presentation

Posted on March 17, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Presentations can take a lot of work. They involve writing and editing the content itself, as well as preparing how best to deliver it to an audience. There are a number of tips which you should bear in mind that can help you enormously. Here are some of the most important:

  1. Less is more. If you’re writing content on slides to present to an audience, don’t overwhelm them. Keep to the most important details.
  2. Be clear. When you’re writing content which is going to be presented to an audience, you want to make sure that the information is accessible.
  3. Use images too. The words in a presentation need to be backed up by something visually interesting.
  4. Use simple language. If there is any jargon which is unavoidable, make sure that it is explained. Anybody watching your presentation should be able to understand you.
  5. Write in a range of long and short sentences which sound natural. This will help your content to flow well.
  6. Have additional details on hand. People may want to ask further questions at the end.

Posted in Writing Skills

Writing to Suit Your Purpose

Posted on February 8, 2016 at 12:15 pm

Making your writing work for your purpose is a large part of being a good written communicator. The language which you use is incredibly important – for example, you wouldn’t write a post-it note to a friend using the same tone as you’d use for an academic thesis. Here is some advice on the types of language you should use in various situations:

  1. Writing for a website. Use shorter sentences and ensure that the text is clear and concise. If you are selling a product ensure that your copy is direct and to the point.
  2. Writing to a potential employer. Write in a formal style, but don’t be afraid to let your personality come through. This will make your application memorable.
  3. Writing a blog. This will largely depend on what the blog post is about. If it is an entertaining lifestyle blog, you can make your tone informal and conversational. However, if you’re blogging for a serious website this tone of voice may not be appropriate.
  4. Writing a short story. Story writing is a highly creative process and you can use any kind of language you like. Just make sure that your meaning is clear to your readers.
  5. Writing an article. This kind of writing is usually used to inform people. Whatever the topic might be, ensure that you are descriptive whilst making the content interesting and drawing out any relevant or interesting points.

Writing to suit your purpose is largely about knowing your audience and making a judgement about what is appropriate. If you ever get stuck, imagine that you are talking to them directly and this will help you to craft an appropriate piece of writing for them.

Posted in Writing Skills

The Importance of Using Correct Spelling

Posted on January 26, 2016 at 4:13 pm

If words are spelt incorrectly, your writing isn’t going to flow. It will look messy, and in the worst case scenario, you might not be able to make yourself understood. It is therefore very important that you can spell properly, and if it isn’t your strong point, you should make an effort to improve. Here are some tips:

1.    Learn the different between words which sound the same, such as their, there and they’re. Identify the situations in which each one would be used – if you know the rules, you can make the right selection.
2.    Memorise simple spelling rules which can help you if you’re unsure. English can be a very inconsistent language, but there are some guidelines, such as ‘I before E, except after C’.
3.    Correctly write out some of the words which you struggle to spell, and put them in a prominent place such as on your desk at work or on your bedroom wall. If you see them regularly, they’ll subconsciously begin to stick in your mind.
4.    Make full use of spellcheckers, but if you’re ever unsure, double check in a dictionary. Spellcheckers are very valuable tools but they have their flaws.
5.    Make sure to use English spellings, not American ones. Many American words will be spelt with a z instead of an s and this can be a common trap to fall into. If you’re ever unsure, look in an English dictionary.

Posted in Writing Skills

Creative Writing: Thinking Imaginatively

Posted on January 22, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Creative writing can be great fun, and it’s a brilliant way to improve your general written English. If it’s something which you’re good at, you might even be able to make some money from it. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it’s too late and that you should have started practising your creative writing years ago – anybody can enjoy this pastime and it can easily be worked around other commitments and hobbies.

There are numerous different types of creative writing which you could try your hand at. Maybe you’ve always enjoyed the language of poetry, or perhaps you love telling stories. Have a go at producing your own written versions – you might find that your pleasure in a subject has given you a good knowledge base and you take to it naturally.

Read as much as you can. The more time you spend around language, the better you will become at producing your own words. You’ll become familiar with constructions which work and will expand your vocabulary so that you’re able to write more fluently.

It’s not unusual to struggle at first, and don’t be disappointed if you do. Keep trying, and write whenever the mood takes you. Forcing yourself into it will only prove frustrating and the last thing you want to do is ruin your enjoyment of the creative process. You will get better over time and creative writing can develop into a rewarding craft for you.

Posted in Writing Skills

Some Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing

Posted on January 18, 2016 at 4:17 pm

Writing is of vital importance in everyday life and it plays a central role in our communication with others. Being able to express yourself well on paper/ via electronic means can serve you well in various situations. Some examples might include sending emails, contacting companies, applying for a job, keeping a blog, completing a course for work or further education, and many more. Here are some ways in which you can hone your skills in written English to improve your communication skills:

  1. Practice. It’s true that practice makes perfect, and by writing on a regular basis, you’re going to get better naturally.
  2. Pay close attention to spelling. Errors will stand out, so check any words you’re unsure of in a dictionary and proofread you work when you’re finished.
  3. Ask others to check your writing. They will be able to spot things which you might have missed yourself.
  4. Change your tone of voice depending on the situation. Writing to a friend will require a very different tone to writing to a manager.
  5. If you’re writing by hand, ensure that your letters are neat and legible. Don’t smudge the ink and don’t rush.
  6. Make use of spellcheck software if writing electronically. It will help you to pick out errors and will offer suggestions to correct them.

Posted in Writing Skills

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