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2686

 

4/24/2012

While we're all called upon to write in our everyday lives, there are a number of ways to make sure we're truly getting our point across. From constructing a resume to composing an email, there are important tips you should keep in mind if you want to make your writing as effective as possible.

Step 1: Know Your PointBefore you take the plunge and start typing, figure out what you want to communicate. Defining your purpose may be simple: you're writing a resume because you want to get a new job. Or, you're completing a brief to get a new project launched. Once you realize your objective, and simplify it in your own mind, you're well on your way to finding the right words to express it to other people.

Step 2: Plot It Out
When you're thinking about what to write, it can be incredibly helpful to make an outline. You don't have to make it formal, sometimes jotting down a couple of notes is all it takes. The benefit of creating an outline is that it forces you to organize your thoughts and zero in on your main points. Outlining is also an excellent way to make longer assignments more manageable. When working with an outline you can easily break the project into pieces while staying organized.

Step 3: Identify Your Audience
The tone and style of your writing greatly depends on whom you are addressing. If you're writing a cover letter, you may choose a formal or evocative tone. When working on a proposal, you may use a more promotional style. Whoever the audience, it's important to know who they are before you begin writing.

Step 4: Let It Flow
Even if you don't know the precise words you want to use, there's something to be said for simply starting to write. Once you've completed your outline, you have a basic idea of what you want included, then it's just a matter of getting started. No, you may not write the strongest piece possible on the first attempt, but actually seeing words on the page is much more encouraging than staring at a blinking cursor.

Step 5: Draft and Redraft
Even if you believe that you've written something worthy of a Pulitzer Prize on your first attempt, you are not finished. Resist the urge to turn your written work out into the world before proofreading and editing it. Make sure that everything you wrote not only makes sense, but also addresses your audience, covers all of the topics you wanted to include and just plain sounds good. Taking this step gives you the opportunity to spot typos, misspellings, missing punctuation and all the other things that your high school English teacher warned you about. Some people find it helpful to read their work out loud or have someone else read it for them as a way to complete the editing process. Whatever works best for you is a personal choice, but it is imperative that you include this step if you want your writing to be the best it can be.

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