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:

Essay writing contest  The Tribune India
The diva is now a writer  Mumbai Mirror

Keys to Characterisation

Far too many inexperienced writers create flat, stereotypical characters: the... Read More

Using Technology to Improve Your Final Draft

One Saturday afternoon, I sat in a packed conference room... Read More

Sense of Place

What is Sense of Place? It's the image of a... Read More

Overcoming Writers Block

Do you suffer from writer's block? Is there a pending... Read More

How to Use Textpad to Write Articles Faster

It's a good idea to use TextPad because all opt-in... Read More

Vary Your Writing Style and Win Readers

First drafts are for getting down the ideas. Anna Jacobs... Read More

Writing Business Letters That Get The Job Done

Despite the widespread use of e-mail in commerce today, traditional... Read More

Five Common Errors to Correct Before Submitting a Letter or Report

First impressions count in writing too! So it is always... Read More

Make Your Readers Cry

You know, I really hate it when someone catches me... Read More

Writing - Copyrights and Trademarks Protect You

When most people consider writing a book, they don't think... Read More

Top 10 Tips to Complete a Creative Writing Project Without Losing Your Creativity

Have you ever started a creative writing project with great... Read More

What You May Not Learn In College... (Part Two)

If you become a writer for any publication, private business,... Read More

Learn How To Write Poetry!

A poet isn't born; you must work at crafting your... Read More

Writing For Free: When & When Not to Do It!

Right off the bat, I want to say that there... Read More

That Cute Lil Ol Apostrophe

Have you ever had a student write to tell you... Read More

Writing the Chapters of Your Life: Surprising Insights Using This Special Journaling Technique

List-making is a favorite journaling technique and is often used... Read More

7 Essential Letter Writing Strategies

Based on the feedback that I have been getting from... Read More

Turbo Charge Your Career! Write And Produce Your Own Stage Play!

Have you ever wondered how you can adapt your screenplay... Read More

Which Comes First - Short Story Or Novel?

A writer writes. Bet you've heard that one... Read More

Becoming a Writer

The urge to write fiction seems God given for some,... Read More

Going On A Word Diet

There are three ways to write a first draft. One... Read More

Common Writing Mistakes - Are These Holding You Back From Writing Success?

During the years that I've been teaching writing and participating... Read More

Nonfiction Idea Generators

The hardest part of nonfiction writing is finding a subject... Read More

Rejection ? Have the Right Perspective and Don?t Quit

If you're getting rejections from your submissions, please don't quit... Read More

Common Writing Mistakes

Most books aren't rejected because the stories are "bad." They're... Read More