Plain business writing course (entry 11): Summary of introduction to business writing course

So far, we've looked at some basic principles of better business writing. Before going into more detail, I would like to remind you of what we've discussed:

1. Step back and write something your READER wants to read.

2. Hold out a hook in your first sentence by giving information that will benefit your reader.

3. Motivate your reader to act by creating interest, giving the right level of knowledge, and showing a benefit.

4. Help your reader to remember your message by using cause-effect and contrast, saying it straight and parallel, and repeating words and main ideas.

5. To make your words pack a punch, throw out all words that are needlessly long, that readers will not understand, and that are not necessary for your message.

6. Put important information at the beginning of sentences, and put important sentences at the beginning and end of a passage.

7. Write with the end goal of your document in mind, and trim it of anything that does not add to this goal.

8. Write for your readers' competency, motivate them to keep reading, give them relevant content, and get the readability level right.

9. Keep working at your writing skills, for good writing skills will earn your readers' respect and buy-in, help you think better and ensure that you get the right message across.

10. Know the basic grammar rules, read a lot, use a dictionary, and edit your own writing before sending it off.

Next week, we'll tackle the first letter of the acronym 'PLAIN', namely 'Planned'. The ‘Planned’ section will be broken down into discussions on outline, layout, structure and format, as illustrated below: