Basic Writing Tips for Memos and Letters
♦ Begin sentences with subjects and verbs when appropriate.
♦ Place strong words at the beginning and at the end of each sentence.
♦ Use powerful verbs that signify action and save words.
♦ Use concrete adverbs to clarify the meaning of verbs.
♦ Use the simple present or past tense.
♦ Don’t hesitate to use long sentences where appropriate.
♦ Learn the basic rules of punctuation.
♦ Delete any unnecessary words. A clear, compact message has more impact.
♦ Use the simple over the technical. Use shorter words, sentences, and paragraphs when dealing with complex points.
♦ Experiment with words. Choose words the average reader understands. Use the thesaurus judiciously.
♦ Use concrete and specific details to illustrate and clarify your messages.
♦ Pay attention to names to personalize and to offer a complete picture of the situation you are addressing.
♦ Avoid using cliches.
♦ Vary sentence length and variety.
♦ Vary the lengths of paragraphs.
♦ Learn when it is most appropriate and efficacious to show, when to tell, and when to do both.
♦ Read your drafts aloud to better assess their clarity and coverage of essential information.
♦ Develop a plan for each piece of writing before beginning composing the message.
♦ Build your work around a key question, issue, or problem.
♦ Don’t be reluctant to repeat important points.
♦ Polish your work for clarity of purpose.
♦ Draft a clear mission/action statement for your work.
♦ Read for both form and content and revise as necessary.
♦ Break long pieces into discreet parts for manageability before writing them .
A DISTINGUISHED AUTHOR’S INSIGHT ABOUT WRITING
“All writing should be selective in order to drop every dead word.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
QUEST WRITING SOLUTIONS
Quest Means Business: Excellence in Communication
Mo Guernon, Ed.M. / Writer & Consultant