Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Does Your Business Writing Pass the Three C's Test?

Good business documents are clear, concise and correct. They get to the point, are easily understood, and reflect well on your brand.

A document is clear when it is logical and easy to understand. The reader can follow the information from point to point without getting lost or confused.

You create clarity by ensuring that every paragraph has a topic sentence early in the paragraph. The topic sentence states what the paragraph is about. Each paragraph develops some aspect of the overall topic of the document. Clarity also helps you write for how people read.

Concise means that the document uses just the right amount of words. Generally, most people over-write because they use a lot of jargon and have redundancies in their writing.

A good rule is to cut everything you write by 10 percent to get rid of any fat in your writing. Take a word count and look at every sentence to see where you can tighten the document.

A document is correct when it is free of spelling, grammar, punctuation and construction errors. All names and numbers are correct, and all links work properly. Spell check, but don't trust the spell check; you must also proofread. If you use grammar check, do not assume that what it recommends is correct. Make sure you understand grammar and punctuation rules so that you can question the recommendations. 

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