American companies spend more than $3.1 billion each year to remedy writing deficiencies.
- Improve Your Writing Skills
*Determine Your Writing's Objective or Goal: Are you seeking a consensus on a project plan? Asking a client to clarify a concern? Knowing your goal will help you determine how to approach a piece of writing.
*Identify Your Audience: Is this for your boss? A colleague? Or, as sometimes happens, colleagues with both technical and nontechnical backgrounds? Your tone and message will likely differ depending on your audience, and you may need to revise your writing to address specific audiences. Iacone recommends crafting different summaries for different readers.
* Spell Out Words: Shorthand may be appropriate when IMing a colleague, but it's not in a client email.
*Edit: Read and reread your messages, especially those to managers and clients.
*Define Technical Terms in the Document: Placing definitions in parentheses, rather than in a separate glossary, will help maintain your document's flow.
*Use Headings, Subheads and Bulleted Lists: These help you organize your writing and guide readers.
*Get Help: Professional associations may offer writing courses, while community colleges and universities often provide business-writing classes suitable as well. And business writing references can help you learn the basics of syntax, grammar and good business writing.
Effective Technical Writing course
The Business Style Handbook: An A-to-Z Guide for Writing on the Job with Tips from Communications Experts at the Fortune 500
by Helen Cunningham and Brenda Greene
Effective Business Writing: A Guide for Those Who Write on the Job
by Maryann V. Piotrowski
The Elements of Business Writing: A Guide to Writing Clear, Concise Letters, Memos, Reports, Proposals, and Other Business Documents
by Gary Blake and Robert W. Bly
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
by Lynne Truss
The Elements of Style
by William Strunk and E. B. White
The New Well-Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed
by Karen Gordon
The Gregg Reference Manual: A Manual of Style, Grammar, Usage, and Formatting
by William A. Sabin