Reading will improve your writing by default so a good book shop is a must!
By Tash Hughes of
Whether you are demonstrating a technique or writing a procedure,
remember to include every step to be effective. For example, if I am
writing a procedure so you could upload my blog posts while I was on
holidays, it might look like this:
- click on 'add new' under 'posts' in left column
- type the title into the top box
- add content to main box
- click 'save draft'
However, that is pointless unless I have told you I use Word
Press and my login details. So step 1 would be better as 'log into
Word Press with provided details' - it may seem really obvious, but
I can't assume you know that information.
It is not just the initial steps that get missed though - leaving
out 'click ok' or 'in edit menu' are common steps missed from
written procedures - so be sure to check every step is written down
While you could get Mum some flowers, how about something a little tastier?
Sometimes, the easiest
way to learn the correct way to do something is to see it done
poorly so in this section of my newsletter, I show you some
real-life examples of writing that need a little help.
Today's example (with
identifying features changed) is from a
media release written by a
PR company who isn't careful with details like grammar
and making sense.
CEO Jenny Bright said there several key areas demand the attention
of boards and executives
Issues with this
If you read it out loud exactly as it is, it is
difficult to not stumble and it doesn't make sense! 'there several
key areas' is obviously missing the word 'are'.
It is almost like two sentences have been put
together without adjusting the grammar to make them flow; 'there are
several key areas' works and 'key areas demand the attention' works,
but 'are several key areas demand the attention' doesn't work
because 'are demand' is incorrect.
Personally, I don't like 'demand the attention
of' anyway - partly because inanimate objects or areas can't demand
anything and partly because it isn't common-use terminology. I would
prefer something about the key areas being important or boards need
to consider these areas carefully, but I accept that PR companies
like to write in a certain way.
An improved version would
be: (without changing the meaning)
CEO Jenny Bright said several key areas demand the attention of
boards and executives
CEO Jenny Bright said there are several key areas demanding the
attention of boards and executives
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