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Principles of effective writing [Writing
Posted on January 3, 2013 @ 12:49:00 PM by Paul Meagher

I've been looking for a good business writing book, and my searches suggested that "Writing That Works" (2000) by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson was worth looking into. Chapter 2 of that book is called "Don't Mumble - and Other Principles of Effective Writing". It discusses in detail the following 18 writing principles:

  1. Make the organization of your writing clear.
  2. Use short paragraphs, short sentences - and short words.
  3. Make your writing active - and personal.
  4. Avoid vague adjectives and adverbs.
  5. Use down-to-earth language.
  6. Be specific.
  7. Choose the right word.
  8. Make it perfect.
  9. Come to the point.
  10. Write simply and naturally - the way (we hope) you talk.
  11. Strike out words you don't need.
  12. Use current standard english.
  13. Don't write like a lawyer or bureaucrat.
  14. Keep in mind what your reader doesn't know.
  15. Punctuate carefully.
  16. Understate rather than overstate.
  17. Write so you cannot be misunderstood.
  18. Use plain English even on technical subjects.

Effective business writing is required throughout the process of obtaining funding for your project. Effective writing is required to state your idea in the form of an investment proposal and then it will be required in various supporting documents and email communications with potential investors. It is worth investing some time into learning how to write better and to use any tools that might support you in doing so. Kenneth and Joel advocate for improved business writing skills in this way:

The only way some people know you is through your writing. It can be your most frequent point of contact, or your only one, with people important to your career–major customers, senior clients, your own top management. To those women and men, your writing is you. It reveals how your mind works. Is it forceful or fatuous, deft or clumsy, crisp or soggy? Readers who don’t know you judge you from the evidence of your writing.

I've created a blog category called "Writing" and filed this blog under that category. I hope to return often to the issue of business writing with additional writing tips and discussion of the different types of business documents that you might want to prepare in your quest for funding.

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