Effective Business Writing Skills: Before you Hit Send

Before you begin to write anything while working in a business you should keep the following in mind.

Who is the audience? Or, rather, who are you writing to? With business writing, you aren’t writing to communicate a feeling or to prove a thesis. It’s not an essay and therefore it requires a different approach. You need to consider how the audience will perceive the message being communicated.

Business writing is meant to solve problems and share information. The problem or information gives you a purpose to communicate through your writing.

Keep your emails and other written communication professional. Do not fall into the habit of communicating the way you would with a friend.

Keep it short. Get to the point and present the ideas in a clear and concise manner.


When you are new to business writing you should have a gameplan. This may end up looking like this:

  • Pre-writing- this should take about 25% of your writing time. Pre-writing involves analyzing the purpose for writing and anticipating how the audience will perceive your message.
  • Writing- this should take a further 25% of your writing time. During the writing process, you will do any necessary research, you will organize the message, and do the writing.
  • Revising- this should take the remaining 50% of your writing time. Revise your writing to ensure clarity, readability, proofread it for errors, and evaluate the message for effectiveness.

*If the message you need to convey is a difficult one, make sure you ask someone else to read what you have written so they can tell you what impression it makes. It may be that offering a solution to the problem being discussed at the beginning of the communication may help soften the blow or put the reader into a more positive mindset.* (2016, Essentials of Business Communication)

I hope that this short and to the point lesson will help you with any future business writing you need to do. Good luck.


The Other Half

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Let’s Talk About Nouns- Part II

In our first post regarding nouns click here to read it we left off on proper nouns and surnames and how to make them plural.

Image result for nouns

So let’s start this post with how to make a compound noun plural. Compound nouns may be written as solid words, they can also be hyphenated, or appear as separate words.

Solid words- when written as single or solid words, compound nouns for the plural by changing the final element. For example:

bookshelf becomes bookshelves, footnote becomes footnotes, stepchild becomes stepchildren, and photocopy becomes photocopies

**Exception- passerby becomes passersby**

Hyphenated words- when written as hyphenated words the compound nouns become plural by making appropriate changes to the principal or most important noun. For example:

editor-in-chief becomes editors-in-chief, mayor-elect becomes mayors-elect, and mother-in-law becomes mothers-in-law

**If a hyphenated compound noun does not have a principal noun, the final element is made the plural. For example:

cure-all become cure-alls, look-alike becomes look-alikes, trade-in becomes trade-ins, and know-it-all becomes know-it-alls**

Open form or separate words- when written in separate words the plural is added to the principal noun. For example:

bill of lading becomes bills of lading, a board of director becomes boards of directors, leave of absence becomes leaves of absence, and paper clip becomes paper clips

Foreign Nouns

Nouns that are borrowed from foreign languages may retain a foreign plural. These can be confusing, therefore if you have questions about their proper use make sure to double check with a dictionary.

Special Nouns- are those that may end in s and can be either singular or plural in meaning.

Examples of those that are usually singular: billiards, mathematics, news, genetics, or mumps. (usually, they refer to games, fields of study, or diseases.)

Examples of those that are usually plural: clothes, earnings, pants, pliers, and thanks. (usually, clothing or tools)

Examples of those that can be singular or plural: corps, deer, moose, headquarters, politics, sheep, and Vietnamese. (usually animals or nationalities.)

Many people who enjoy writing choose to start a blog. I blog through Wealthy Affiliate which has taught me how to build and support my websites using affiliate marketing. If you are curious about the process you can click here to read our review of WA.

Let me know if you have any questions and I will respond to you.

In the next post about nouns, we will look at the possessive. Until that time, cheers.

The Other Half






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