Writing Skills

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Writing Skills
Working in an administrative role means you will probably be doing a lot of writing. The more capable you are as writer, the better you will be able to communicate what you mean, and ensure your message is well received.
In this lesson, you’ll learn about the four C’s of good writing. We’ll also share some tips on improving your punctuation, proofreading, and letter-writing skills.
 
The Four C’s
Writing should be:
Clear, so the reader can understand what is being said.
Concise, without additional, unnecessary words.
Complete, with all the information the reader needs to know.
Correct, without spelling errors, typos, or grammatical errors.
 
Be clear.

  • If a one-syllable word will do the job, use it.
  • Stay away from jargon or words of the trade the reader might not understand.
  • Don’t be pretentious.
  • Make your writing easy to read.

 
Be concise.

  • Eliminate unnecessary words. Don’t use long, wordy phrases when a single word will do. For example, write, “now,” rather than, “at this point in time.”
  • Avoid vague words like “better” or “faster.” How much better? How much faster?
  • Don’t create long, complex sentences by stringing phrases and clauses together carelessly.

 
Be complete.

  • Answer the questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
  • Make a checklist of all the important points you want to cover. Check them off when the piece is done.
  • Empathize with the reader. Ask yourself, “Have I told them everything they need to know?”

 
Be correct.

  • We make most of our mechanical mistakes in four areas: grammar, punctuation, usage, and spelling.
  • None of us need to be walking dictionaries, punctuation guides, or spelling champions. Learn the most common errors, how to avoid them, and where to go for help when you need it.
  • Most grammatical problems concern agreement and misplaced modifiers. Subject and verbs should agree in number. If the subject (noun or pronoun) is singular, the verb should be singular, too: e.g., “he is walking” is correct; “he are walking” is not, because “are” requires a plural subject (“we”).