The purpose of all writing is to communicate a message. When it comes to business writing, it’s important to be professional in your approach and your delivery.
In this module, you’ll learn how to structure your sentences, vary your vocabulary, and ensure that your documents are error-free when you send them out or publish them to the web.
- Lesson 1: Structure
- Lesson 2: Word Use
- Lesson 3: Editing & Proofreading
Lesson 1: Structure
Define a Clear Structure
You already started to define your writing’s structure when you completed your outline in the previous lesson.
You’ll find ready-made structures for some writing formats like formal reports and proposals, because these documents are more complex and require a specific layout. We’ll come back to these in a later module.
Whatever you’re writing, you need a basic structure. Make sure to:
- Divide your writing into paragraphs with one idea per paragraph
- State the purpose of your writing in the opening paragraph
- Vary the length of your sentences
- Use your transitions
You can help your readers even more by paying attention to these tips on layout:
- Write an attention-grabbing headline - This is important for all writing, but especially for emails and blog posts. It determines whether the recipient decides to open the email or read the post. Here are some examples of types of headlines you can use:
- “How To …”
- “7 Ways To …”
- “5 Things You Didn’t Know About …”
- “The Ultimate Guide To …”
- “Top 10 Tips For …”
Use a headline generator if you’re stuck for ideas:
- Tweak Your Biz
- The Hoth Headline Generator
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
- Use subheadings – Each paragraph could have a sub-heading which indicates the point you’re making. Or, you could bring several paragraphs together under one subheading.
- Use bullet points– Use these when you have lists or you want to stress several short phrases in your writing.
- Use numbering - This emphasizes order and quantity.
- Follow the structure and layout of a formal document. Use it as a template to guide your writing.
- A clear structure will keep your writing on track and lead your readers through the piece to its logical conclusion.
- Choose an existing piece of your own writing, e.g., a blog post that gets a lot of viewers and readers. Critique your own structure and layout and make any necessary changes to improve it.
- Write a dynamic headline and subheadings for your ongoing piece of writing and note where you’ll use bullet points or numbering to make it easy to understand at a glance.