Writing skills include all of the knowledge and abilities to communicate through the written word. Good writing skills allow for clear expression of thoughts shared with a wider audience than is achievable through the spoken word. In this day and age it is so important to have the right set of writing skills in place as almost everything we do involves writing. Want a job? Send a resume……writing. Have a job? Draft proposals, emails, letters, make PowerPoint presentations……writing. Since it is everywhere, it is important to do it right, lest you make a bad first impression or a bad impression in general.
Some Common Mistakes People Make While Writing and How to Rectify Them
Mistake 1: Poor Grammar and Sentence Structure
Poor Grammar is such a huge turn off. Some people are immediately put off by the use of improper Grammar. This means that if you don’t have the right Grammar knowledge or if you have not corrected the errors, you have lost your impression and a chance, all at once. Incorrect sentence structure can drastically change the intended meaning of a message, in turn, rendering the communication ineffective.
- Using past form of the verbs with do, does, did
- Not paying attention to the subject verb agreement
- Incorrect tenses
- Confusing between homophones
- Incorrect Punctuation
Solution: Learn, Brush up on the Basics and Practice
Even though Grammar is a big problem, it can be easily solved.
- If you lack the correct knowledge, learn.
- If you have the knowledge but have rusted or are a little unsure, brush up on your basics.
- If both the above steps are in place but you are unable to muster up the confidence, just practice.
Mistake 2: Not Checking for Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
We understand that it is not possible to write error-free in one go. However, problem arises when we try to cut down on the time or the effort. Not checking for spelling mistakes and Grammar errors is the biggest blunder you can commit.
Solution: Spell Checks and Editing
You owe it to your reader/audience to conduct spell checks and Grammar editing. One should always go through the document once to ensure that it is error free.
Mistake 3: Not Conducting Thorough Research
You cannot just begin writing right out of your head. Thorough research needs to go into every piece of writing. Topics that are not well-researched lack depth and even quality. It also shows a lack of commitment towards your work.
Solution: Research and Research Well
- If you are writing a blog, refer to multiple web and book sources. You can even incorporate people’s views or feedbacks.
- If you are writing a resume, deep introspection is required.
- If it is a proposal or a presentation, you should know the ins and outs before starting to write.
Mistake 4: Not editing the Document
Another very common mistake that people make is that they get so attached to their writing that they find it extremely difficult to edit their work. This leads to unnecessarily long and ineffective sentences and paragraphs.
Solution: Be Objective and Edit
Be objective while writing. After you feel that you have poured in everything, ask yourself if each sentence is delivering the right value in minimum words possible. If not, you need to edit extensively.
Mistake 5: Wrong Formatting
Even though there is no such thing as the wrong formatting, formatting plays a great role in the efficacy of your writing. In certain instances, it can even make or break your piece.
Solution: Apply Uniform Formatting
- Ensure that the entire document is uniform in appearance.
- Same font should be used
- Spacing should be uniform
- If you are using left alignment, it should be applied to the whole document, unless, of course, you need some right aligned elements
- Do not use ‘Bold’ and CAPS unnecessarily. You don’t want to come across as shouty.
- Font size should be carefully used to differentiate between the headings and the text.
General TIPS for EFFECTIVE WRITING
- Follow a 5-Step Approach:
- Use simple language.
- Make your writing more conversational. A good way to ensure this is to use active voice and write in first person.
- Avoid Bland phrases. Make your writing interesting. Be engaging.
- Do not use jargons or technical words, fancy words or abbreviations.
This is enough information and ample tips to make anyone write effectively and efficiently. The trick is to just spend a little time and not make the mistakes highlighted above. However, we understand that sometimes, it is difficult to understand the process or if understood, the application is not easy. Don’t worry. We are here for you. Book a call or look for more blogs.