Five Common Errors to Correct Before Submitting a Letter or Report

First impressions count in writing too! So it is always a good idea to carefully check documents such as letter, reports, and proposals before submitting them. Below are five of the most common errors.

1. The document isn't tailored for its audience. For example, a proposal does not speak to a client in a "you" tone. Sometimes, it includes terms that a client may not understand. After giving your document some time to cool off, reread it as your client would. Remember to mark jargon and underline unclear sentences.

2. The document isn't organized well. In other words, its paragraphs do not flow smoothly from one to the next. That is, a given paragraph may cover a totally different aspect instead of clarifying a point. This problem can be fixed or avoided altogether by numbering paragraphs in a draft and writing a few words that summarize what you said. What you'll have is a quick outline of the entire document. You'll also see any organizational flaws in a glance and be able to deal with them directly.

3. The document's sentences don't flow well. One sentence does not flow smoothly from the last. No examples, clarification or short explanations are included. To avoid this problem, never assume that your reader automatically understands what you mean. Help your audience to visualize. Instead of writing "some" or "many," use numbers or percents. This will help to prevent misunderstandings. For example, I may interpret "many" as one thousand instead of a million.

4. The document merely ends or uses trite words such as "in conclusion." Doing something like this leaves an audience cold. Fix this problem by capitalizing on one last opportunity to emphasize your main point and summarize and highlight your point or points in the final paragraphs. Even if your readers forget all of the other details, they will likely remember your main point.

5. Check for mechanical and spelling errors. Have you used "there" when you meant "their?" Do your subjects and verbs agree?

Dorothy Zjawin, a technical writing mentor and instructor, has helped and continues to assist her clients in improving their writing skills. She has also written technical documents and developed her own website, http://www.profitable-pen.com

In The News:

Writing ‘Maid’: a book for my daughter that I haven’t let her read  Washington PostMia's presence throughout the pages is like the glue in the binding that holds the book together.
Seven Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Writing  Inside INdiana Business"I hate to write!" While that phrase is music to my ears, because it ensures my income will persist, it also saddens me. Far too many people dislike writing, largely ...
Priest abuse victim: "It was kind of cathartic to put in writing"  WIVB.com - News 4Harry King took to Facebook last week, where he detailed alledged abuse he endured as a teenager. He claims Fr. Donald Becker gave him alcohol and ...
'His Dark Materials' author tweets a genuinely useful piece of writing advice  MashableAuthor of 'His Dark Materials' Philip Pullman tweets out a writing advice about how to get writing done.
Writing a new chapter in UNCP history  Laurinburg ExchangeLooking back over the past year, without question, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke had a milestone year. UNC Pembroke is a top choice for ...
Pitso not writing off Pirates, Chiefs in PSL title race  Sport24Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane believes Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs are still strongly in the running to challenge for the Premiership title.
How to Post an Article on LinkedIn (+ 10 Valuable Writing Tips)  G2 CrowdBefore you begin ideating your piece of *content*, you need to know how to access the LinkedIn publishing tool. Post an article on LinkedIn. From your homepage ...
Author Andrew Sean Greer on Pulitzer win for 'Less', writing satire at a low point in his life  FirstpostAndrew Sean Greer says that his responsibilities as a writer have changed after winning the Pulitzer Prize. He can no longer stay silent about the injustices in ...
The people writing stories about sexual misconduct aren't who you might think  LaddersThough headlines may have died down after an initial rush of information, there's still more coverage of sexual misconduct now than before the movement.
Advice issues stem from writing of SOAs, says Raftery  ifaMany of the issues with the provision of financial advice stems from how advisers write the statements of advice for clients, according to Deakin University ...
A Canadian woman has launched a writing contest for her luxury home  BBC NewsA Canadian woman is holding a letter-writing contest for her three-bedroom home near the city of Calgary. Interested parties must pay an entry fee of C$25 ($19; ...
Online will-writing service Farewill completes £7.5m capital raise  UK FundraisingFarewill, the online will-writing *service*, has raised £7.5m in its second funding round. The *service* enables people to write a will online in under 15 minutes and ...
Greensboro Tow Truck Operator Writing Petition To Governor To Improve Safety  WFMYNews2.comWhen operator Shawn Scott heard about the death of fellow driver Benny Sprinkles in Surry County, he was heartbroken. Now, he wants leaders to take action to ...
Police in Ontario are writing about 21 cannabis tickets a day  Global NewsPolice in Ontario have been writing about 21 tickets a day for cannabis-related offences since legalization last October, data released by the province shows.
Housing authority hosts 3rd annual Scholarship Essay Writing Workshop  KAUZWICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - The Wichita Falls Housing Authority hosted its 3rd annual Scholarship Essay Writing Workshop on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Country Star Jimmie Allen Dishes On Writing "Best Shot"  Haute LivingThe Delaware native chats about his journey to stardom, how he stayed motivated during the difficult times and what's up next for him.
Why writing in a journal is like Marie Kondo for the mind  Toronto StarDo you know how you were feeling on Jan. 17, 1998? No? Well, I do. And not because I have superhuman memory (in fact, I'm known for immediately forgetting ...
Does It Pay to Be a Writer?  The New York TimesWriting has never been a lucrative career choice, but a recent study by the Authors Guild, a professional organization for book writers, shows that it may not even ...
A Novelist Who’s Made a Career Writing About ‘The Only Woman in the Room’  The New York TimesAs a 24-year-old corporate lawyer at Skadden, Arps in New York City in the mid-1990s, Marie Benedict was often the only woman in a room full of men — an ...
Writing the 2019 election: The rise of the personality...  Daily MaverickThe EFF and Hlaudi Motsoeneng's ACM demand absolute loyalty to 'the leader' and the party. The EFF constitution demands a 'vow' of absolute loyalty from all ...
Millarville woman offers her $1.7M home as a prize in an essay-writing contest  CTV NewsWhen a southern Alberta woman found that her million-dollar home wasn't garnering the interest she was looking for, she thought a different approach might do ...
'I regret it': Hayden King on writing Ryerson University's territorial acknowledgement  CBC.caThere's growing tension about the politics of territorial acknowledgements. Hayden King, an Anishinaabe writer and educator, spoke to Unreserved host ...
Writers welcome: Local author hosts first of many writers' group meetings  Claremore Daily ProgressPoets, bloggers, screenwriters, novelists and short story writers welcome.
Avoid Spelling and Grammar Errors in Email with This Award-Winning Writing Assistant  EntrepreneurGrammatical errors — a stray comma here or an extra "and" there — might seem like minor errors in the grand scheme of things. But if they frequently occur in ...
‘Fake news’ claiming journo would be fired for writing false Zuma article goes viral  CitizenAngelo Agrizzi testifying at the State Capture Commission in Parktown, Johannesburg, 18 January 2019. Picture: Neil McCartney ...
Sanford writing workshop starts Feb. 5  Biddeford Journal TribuneSANFORD — “Writing Your Stories,” a three-part workshop hosted by author and writing coach Cindy Simon, starts Feb. 5 at Goodall Memorial Library, 952 Main ...
Rhythm, rituals, and running: Murakami's 3 Rs of writing  RapplerSo to write like Murakami, you have to slay a few dogs and shed their blood. That is the easy part.
Is cursive writing important to child development?  Big ThinkOhio State added cursive to its education standards last month, but even experts are split on whether cursive is important to child development or not.
Society Notebook: Eimskip lights up writing programs  Press HeraldStepping into Eimskip's sixth annual Scandinavian Northern Lights Christmas Charity Event at Ocean Gateway in Portland on Dec. 14 was a bit like visiting the ...
Writing prof: Grading based on quality is racist  Campus ReformAmerican University will host an event with a professor from a writing center which argues that American grammar is; The professor published an essay in which ...
Formula 1 teams considering writing to prime minister over Brexit fears  autosport.comThree Formula 1 teams and UK motorsport's governing body have discussed collectively writing to British prime minister Theresa May amid mounting concerns ...
Nancy Pelosi to Trump: Reschedule State of the Union address or just submit it in writing to Congress because of shutdown  CNBCHouse Speaker Pelosi, D-Calif., in a letter to Trump, cited "security concerns" related to the shutdown's effect on the U.S. Secret *Service*, which provides security ...
Writing application letter for a personal loan  The PunchSome lenders require their prospective borrower to write an application letter, usually to determine the character of the applicant. Before filing ...
Iranian Revolution: Writing Her Revolt  Tablet MagazineThis week, Tablet looks back on 40 years of the Iranian Revolution. ***. All the years she lived in Iran, my mother's greatest sorrow was that she was not born ...
What the Earliest Texts Say About the Invention of Writing - The Crux  Discover MagazineThe oldest texts we've ever found give tantalizing clues about the very beginnings of the written word.
Some Notes on Stephen King’s First Attempt at Writing Copy for L. L. Bean  The New YorkerRebecca Turkewitz humorously imagines a collaboration between Stephen King and L. L. Bean, two icons of the great state of Maine.
Man accused of writing 'KKK' on apartment elevator then calling cops  WFSBA man faces charges for scrawling the letters "KKK" on the walls of an elevator of apartments in Glastonbury.
Spanish academic gets €1.5m EU grant to rescue 'women's writing'  The GuardianProject to bring recognition to women between 1500 and 1780 who wrote popular texts dismissed as minor.
Camila Cabello Hints at Writing New Music With Mark Ronson  BillboardIt's been just over a year since her debut solo album was released, and on Saturday (Jan. 19), Camila Cabello dropped a hint that a follow-up is on the way.
Written readied with jumpout win  Racing.comWritten By strolled around Caulfield racecourse on Tuesday morning as Grahame Begg's three-year-old colt prepares for two high-pressure sprint races at the ...
My daughter asked me to stop writing about motherhood. Here’s why I can’t do that.  Washington PostPromising not to write about her anymore would mean shutting down a vital part of myself, which isn't necessarily good for me or her.
How writing technology shaped classical thinking  MIT NewsA new book by Stephanie Frampton, a literature professor at MIT, explores the written word in the ancient Roman world.
When a writer bares her flesh, blood and soul  Times of IndiaReaders are hooked to the story and characters of the prolific Facebook posts of writer Echmu Kutty who narrates the grim story of her life with her p.
Indiana High School student arrested for writing threat on bathroom wall  WKRC TV CincinnatiVEVAY, Ind. (WKRC) - A student was arrested after writing a threat on a bathroom wall at Switzerland County High School. The threat read: "January 19, ...
Some Dos and Don’ts From Famous Writers  The New York TimesSome best-selling novelists have written books about their craft. Others dispense advice on Twitter, their websites and in interviews and articles.
Why a science writer fell in love with Mary Oliver’s poetry  Washington PostPinned beside my desk in The Washington Post's newsroom, between storytelling tips and accumulated press passes from years of scientific meetings, I keep a ...
Analog Writing in the Digital World  SFWA Newsby Paul Jessup. Believe it or not, I hammered out the first draft of this post on a typewriter. Gasp! Shock! Cue the fainting couch! How could I do such a thing?
Alabama dad's lunchbox notes become 'Napkinisms'  AL.comWhen his oldest daughter was in kindergarten, Billy Ivey started making her lunches every morning. He would put a note in her lunchbox – something as simple ...
The best writing in games in 2018  PC GamerVideogames are full of many things: Guns, knives, ventilation shafts, castle sewers and mushrooms you can jump on. More than anything, they're full of words.
Call the Midwife writer: 'My actor husband took a two-year career break so I could work – we need equality at home' | News  The StageCall the Midwife writer Heidi Thomas has claimed “equality at home” is as important as industry support for creatives with caring duties, revealing her actor ...
Cancer-Riddled Abby Lee Miller Writing Will Amid 'Unsuccessful' Treatments  Radar OnlineAs Abby Lee Miller continues to fight cancer, she's making sure she has her affairs in order. The 'Dance Moms' star has been working on her will.
The Best Show’s Tom Scharpling Is Writing a Memoir  VultureComedian and longtime host of “The Best Show” Tom Scharpling has signed on to write a memoir titled “It Never Ends,” which is slated to hit bookstores in ...
Millarville, Alta., woman giving away $1.6M home in letter-writing contest  CBC NewsAlla Wagner's $1.6-million property in Millarville, Alta., could be yours — for a small entry fee and some creative pencraft.
Marv Wolfman On Writing The World of 'DC Primal Age'  Hollywood ReporterMarv Wolfman's new DC Entertainment project debuts as a Target-exclusive today.
JK Rowling's writing advice: be a Gryffindor  The GuardianOn her website, the Harry Potter author has listed essential qualities for budding authors – including resilience, humility and courage.
Statistics prof. asked Asian students to use "Western convention" when writing their names  The Daily PennsylvanianA Penn Statistics syllabus singled out Asian students, instructing them to follow "Western convention" when writing their names, prompting backlash among ...
Downers Grove Student Filmed Writing Racial Slur On Whiteboard  Downers Grove, IL PatchStudent Filmed Writing Racial Slur On Whiteboard - Downers Grove, IL - The video prompted users on social media to call for the girl to be expelled.
Dog walker wanted. Creative writing skills required.  Washington PostThere is a spot on 14th Street NW in Washington that is often littered with the remains of takeout chicken. In the text vernacular of dog walker Perry Edon III, it is a ...
News Writer job with Altice USA | 386897  mediabistro.comAltice USA (NYSE: ATUS) is one of the largest broadband communications and video services providers in the United States, delivering broadband, pay ...
How a P.E.I. man got a gig writing Marvel comics  CBC.caJed MacKay of Prince Edward Island is the man in charge of the life of Marvel Comics's Daredevil — if only for five weeks, as his miniseries on the Man Without ...
Berkeley home with vaulted ceilings and writing loft seeks $795K  Curbed SFLocated in the Berkeley Hills near Tilden Park, this downright delightful home is sure to sell fast. Why, just look at it—brick facade, vaulted ceilings, exposed ...
Is music theory the secret to writing a pop hit?  Classic FMEvery artist wants to produce a track that stands the test of time, so here's how music theory can help with your songwriting... There are many elements to a pop ...
‘Don’t be such a writer,’ and more advice from author Sandeep Jauhar  PBS NewsHourThe author of new hit book "Heart: A History" says sometimes it's best let the story tell itself and to get out of the way.
If You Want to Be a More Effective Writer, Stop Using Utilize and These Other 12 Words  Mental FlossIf you want to become a better writer, it can be hard to know where to start. The good news is that you don't need to pad your vocabulary with $10 words to ...
Pop singer trades in history books for song-writing - 680 NEWS  680 NewsStephen Puth, the younger brother of singer Charlie Puth, went from majoring in history to reaching almost 2 million views on YouTube, As Lindsay Dunn finds ...
Meet the man who's writing Miles Morales' next Spider-adventures  SYFY WIREBoosted by the box-office smash Into the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales is the current star of the Marvel universe. In many ways it's fitting because, alongside ...
An English Translation of Belgian Surrealist Writing  HyperallergicAuthors Paul Nougé, Paul Colinet, and Louis Scutenaire exhibited a staunch ethic of underground and elliptical obscurity. Elizabeth ZubaJanuary 12, 2019.
Why We Still Can't Read the Writing of the Ancient Indus Civilization - The Crux  Discover MagazineResearchers continue to decipher signs of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Breaking Down Financial Woes for Writers  Publishers WeeklyThe recent Authors Guild survey showed that median income for fulltime writers in 2017 was $20300. The numbers get worse from there.
Letter writer should call us  Royal GazetteDear Sir,I am writing in response to the letter published on January 14, when a writer told of his friend's mother's care on a ward and in Emergency.
The Big Twist M. Night Shyamalan Needs: He Should Stop Writing His Own Scripts (Column)  VarietyQuick, name the greatest film by each of the following directors: Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, David Lean, Robert Altman, Roman Polanski, Kathryn ...
He’s not writing about Trump this week. And if you believe that, try this no-diet diet.  Washington PostImportant announcement to readers: It has been pointed out to me, not always kindly, that like just about every writer in the United States, I have become ...
'Writing part is the easy part' — How Utah's self-published authors survive and even thrive without...  Deseret NewsSALT LAKE CITY — Layton-based author Lesli Muir is hard at work preparing her 50th novel for publication. As the new year begins, she's also midway through ...
Kolkata writers reveal how they deal with tough times  Times of IndiaTough times often trigger bouts of creativity. It has happened with Tagore. After he lost his 11-year-old son Samindranath to cholera, he wrote the haunting song ...
Kashmiri writer Dr Shabir Choudhry exposes Pakistan's game plan in Gilgit-Baltistan  Times NowA larger bench consisting of seven Supreme Court Judges ruled in favour of the Ordinance and extended the Supreme Court's jurisdiction to the disputed areas ...
BuzzFeed writer compares Covington student to Kavanaugh: ‘It's the look of white patriarchy’  Fox NewsBuzzFeed senior culture writer Anne Helen Petersen targeted Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann, singling out the MAGA hat-wearing teen in a lengthy ...
Announcing a flash new writer's residency exclusively for millennials  The SpinoffYoung and emerging writers, rejoice! The dear old Spinoff Review of Books unveils a new writer-in-residence award – open only to those tender of age and ...
A Football Manager miracle? How six native Germans are writing history with the Philippines at the Asian Cup  Goal.comSix European-born players have made history at the 2019 Asian Cup in a multicultural team that has its roots in the football management video game.
Writing the 2019 election: On manifestos and milquetoas...  Daily MaverickJulius Malema's face will adorn every piece of election propaganda – across the country – for national and provincial leadership positions. This imitates the ...
Colette: writer, feminist, performer and #MeToo trail blazer  The Conversation - UKThe French writer Colette was indifferent and even hostile to the feminist movement in the early 1900s. But both her writing and the way she lived her life ...
Teen mothers share stories of 'joy, resilience and courage' in new magazine  CBC.ca"This all happened at the age of 14. I was feeling sick and throwing up." Nicole Confalone, 15, is reading an excerpt from her short story in front of a packed room ...
How Does a Writer Put a Drug Trip Into Words?  The New York Times"After I set out to write a book about psychedelics, it became obvious what I would have to do,” Michael Pollan says. But how to describe the indescribable?
Actor and writer Ross Ericson: Fringe venues put profit above productions – it is unsustainable  The StageRoss Ericson writer producer and performer in The Unknown Soldier found finding a London fringe venue prohibitively expensive.
Karen Chee on Writing for the Golden Globes and Crying at Sandra Oh’s ‘Unabashedly Korean’ Moment  VarietyComedian Karen Chee talks about writing jokes for Sandra Oh at the Golden Globes, and her joy at seeing a fellow Korean being recognized.
'Rogue One' Writer Says EA Has 'Catastrophically Mismanaged' Star Wars Games  ForbesRogue One writer Gary Whitta has no love for how EA has handled its Star Wars license, a topic with renewed relevance as EA has now cancelled its second ...
GQ Writer Regrets Tweet Calling for Covington Students to Be Doxxed  TheWrap"Doxx 'em all," Nathaniel Friedman said in a now deleted tweet. Reps for him at GQ did not immediatey respond to request for comment.
Former NY Times writer links legalized marijuana with violence, psychosis  MyNorthwest.comFormer New York Times reporter Alex Berenson argues that marijuana legalization increases paranoia, psychosis, and violent behavior in society.
Adriana Lima splits with Turkish writer boyfriend Metin Hara after more than a year of dating  Independent.ieAdriana Lima has split from her boyfriend. The 37-year-old model - who has daughters Valentina, eight, and Sienna, six, with ex-husband Marko Jaric - and ...
Tips and tricks for writer's block  The Daily Eastern NewsWriter's block: It happens to the best of us—especially English majors because they do a ton of writing for their classes. I am currently having writer's block ...
‘I Don’t Want My Writing to Be Charming’  The New York TimesLate one November evening in her Oslo apartment, the Norwegian novelist Linn Ullmann told me a terrific story. We had been speaking for four days — in the ...
Letter writer offers no coherent thoughts | Letters To The Editor  New Castle NewsLetter writer offers. no coherent thoughts. Editor, The News: If this letter is never published, it will prove my belief that the New Castle News is pandering to Peter ...
Longtime Herald writer, editor passes away  Lethbridge HeraldDave Sulz Lethbridge Herald [email protected] A longtime member of the Lethbridge Herald family has passed away. Garry Allison, who spent 44.
Native American writer: Viral DC video shows intersection of race, class, social status  WLWT Cincinnati"We all bring a different lens to the table," journalist Jacqueline Keeler said Monday.
Live Q&A with Rams writer Vinny Bonsignore on Tuesday from...  The AthleticThe Rams are Super Bowl-bound. Vinny Bonsignore answers your questions about Jared Goff and Co. and their matchup with the Patriots. The discussion on ...
Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai written update: Kirti’s condition worsens, family prays for her well being  India TodayIn Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Goenkas and Singhanias perform Mahamrityunjaya puja for Kirti and her unborn child's well being.
Jaipur Literature Festival: Renowned international writers and Indian heavyweights in arts and music to attend the annual event  The Financial ExpressApart from Andrew Sean Greer and Colson Whitehead, the new edition of the literary festival will also have André Aciman, whose 2007 novel Call Me By Your ...
Ex-Cowboys QB Tony Romo praised by fans, writers for analysis during AFC Championship  FOX 4 NewsThe New England Patriots may have won on the field Sunday night, but the clear winner for viewers was the performance of ex-Dallas Cowboys quarterback ...
Mariano Rivera is a no-brainer, but who else did Tribune writers vote for in Hall of Fame balloting?  Chicago TribuneThe Baseball Writers' Association of America will announce the results of its 2019 Hall of Fame balloting Tuesday. Which players did the Chicago Tribune's three ...
Anushka Sharma on Virat Kohli writing history with Australia win: So proud of you, my love  India TodayVirat Kohli became the first Indian captain to lead the team to a Test series victory in Australia, and Anushka Sharma was super proud.
Carlos Ghosn again denied bail in Tokyo, despite written offer to wear electronic ankle tag  The Japan TimesCarlos Ghosn's latest request for bail was rejected Tuesday by the Tokyo District Court despite the ousted Nissan chairman offering to wear an electronic a.

Need a Book Coach, Ghost Writer, or Editor? Part 2

If you either want to write a book to help... Read More

Why Book Writers Need A Running Mate

By far, I have found that the lack of discipline... Read More

Pairs/Groups Of Words Often Confused - Part 2 of 6

BAITED, BATEDBaited usually refers to traps or snares. When the... Read More

Ferreting Out Work

FERRETING OUT WORK You keep hearing that there's work out... Read More

Linguaphone Language Learning Solutions

Language Training - A key to Global CommunicationLanguage Training is... Read More

Writing For The Web: Where To Get Article Ideas

A friend and I were talking the other day about... Read More

Are You Feeling Dash-ing? Using Punctuation for Effect and Influence

The dash--that curious mark of punctuation people use in their... Read More

8 Tell-Tale Signs That Forecast Writing Success!

'Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented... Read More

5 Reasons People Like Technology White Papers

A good white paper is a paper that makes you... Read More

Effective Editing: It Spells the Difference!

If you think proofreading equals editing, then you're wrong! Editing... Read More

Imagine The Imagination

Imagine a three hundred page book was in the author's... Read More

How To Write Your Book Within A Week

Everyone has a book inside them, or so the saying... Read More

Dig Deeper to Reveal Character

He ran up the steps and knocked on the door.... Read More

Editing for Perfection ? The Personal Statement

This article contains a short guide on how to edit... Read More

Writers Helping Writers - A Noble Legacy

It is satisfying to be a part of such a... Read More

How to Relax Your Writing

Q. My writing sounds stiff and stilted. Help!A. Memories of... Read More

Teachers Should Write, During Their Summers

Before I became a teacher, I was a sports writer.... Read More

Are Writing Exercises Effective?

It was reported that the great American author Sinclair Lewis... Read More

Editing and Polishing - How Much is Enough?

A few days ago, I critiqued a chapter for a... Read More

Hero?s Journey ? The Herald

Beyond three and four act story structure, lies the Hero's... Read More

Screenwriting, Screenplays, Screenwriters ? Incremental Productivity

When attempting to understand Creativity and Innovation, it pays to... Read More

Basic Writing Tips ? Some Controversial, All Correct

As a previous article ("Making Better Word Choices ? 4... Read More

Top 10 Common English Goofs by Web Authors

In reviewing and browsing web sites over the years, I... Read More

The Author Within

Just about every marketer on the Internet claims to be... Read More

Ten Quick Tips for Inexperienced Writers

One of the biggest problems that inexperienced writers have is... Read More