Effective business writing requires attention to detail

business teamwork - business men making a puzzle over a white background

Dr. Purushothaman
October 1, 2013

Submitted by Shout SEO
Sun, 25 Oct 2009

It is words that create sentences and sentences that create writing - all elements are critical. To be successful, business writing calls for attention to every word.

One of the major problems in business writing today is clutter. Clutter arises when writers fail to pay attention to the words they use.

Clutter is a crippling disease for writers today. So much business writing is strangling in unnecessary words, meaningless jargon and pompous frills.

The rule that you should avoid clutter, requires business writing to say things in the most economical way. Ideally, you avoid giving the reader anything she or he doesn't need.

Think about a perfect timepiece. It contains no unnecessary parts. That's how business writing should be. Sentences should function smoothly and have no extra parts to get in the way.

Clutter appears very obviously with prepositions. It seems that some writers feel compelled to add prepositions routinely onto verbs. These verbs rarely need any help. Head up. Free up. Face up to. We no longer head committees. We head them up. We don't face problems anymore. We face up to them when we can free up a few minutes.

Adverbs are another problem area. We see ‘the radio blared loudly' when ‘the radio blared' would do the job perfectly. As well as creating clutter, qualifying words like ‘loudly' in this case, weaken the writer's authority. "You might improve your writing somewhat if you sometimes follow this advice." With this example, the qualifiers not only create clutter but they render the sentence meaningless.

Then there are adjectives. Take the adjective "personal," as in "a personal friend of mine," "his personal feeling" or "her personal physician."

"Personal" is just one simple example of the countless adjectives that can be deleted. Mostly.

The expression ‘personal friend' would logically have to be contrasted with the ‘impersonal friend'. Similarly, ‘his personal feelings' don't make any sense for impersonal feelings just don't exist. In business writing it's critical to avoid clutter and one of the surest ways to avoid clutter is to cut the use of adjectives.

It takes longer to read and comprehend a memo written in a bureaucratic style than one written in a plain style. Bureaucratic writing buries meaning under run-on sentences, big words, and long paragraphs.

On the other hand, plain writing:
•States the purpose clearly
•Lists major points
•Includes headings and lists
•Uses short sentences and paragraphs
•Seeks to express, not impress
•Avoids jargon

In writing, plain is beautiful. The next time you want someone to understand your writing put away the fancy words and convoluted sentences. Say it simply. It will save your time, the reader's time, and your company's money.

Similarly, effective business writing & business letter writing avoids long sentences and long paragraphs for the same reason you avoid the long-winded conversationalist at a party. Like the party bore, long sentences and paragraphs don't hold your interest.

In run-on sentences and paragraphs, the reader struggles to keep from getting lost. Clear writing doesn't throw up detour signs. It offers shortcuts to understanding.

Action Words is a premium business writing company in Melbourne. Action words not only offer business writing and letter writing but also business writing courses and SEO copy. Distributed by Shout search engine optimization.


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