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Basic Principles Of Effective Written Communication
The essence of the thought or message you wish to convey to your audience needs to be driven effectively. By doing so, your mission is accomplished. Cited here are some ways of effective written communication.
Principle 1: Write coherent sentences make sure each sentence is complete and devoted to one topic. Do not include information that is not related to the main topic of the sentence.
Incorrect: I like reading, horse riding, and I also work as a security guard.
The sentence above is about one’s hobbies. Yet, the last part, “I also work as a security guard”, seems to be related to one’s occupation (and not hobbies). Therefore, this last part does not belong to this sentence. A new sentence should be created to discuss one’s occupation.
Correct: I work as a security guard. In my spare time I like reading and horse riding.
Principle 2: Write coherent paragraphs one paragraph is one unit of thought. Do not include sentences that are not related to the main thought into the paragraph.
Incorrect: My hobbies are reading and horse riding. I like reading novels and science fiction. I read at least one book every month. Riding horses is another hobby that I enjoy. Every weekend I jump on my horse and steer it into the desert. The desert in Arizona is quite different from the desert in New Mexico. The paragraph above discusses one’s hobbies. This is the main topic or theme of the paragraph. The last sentence (“The desert in Arizona is quite different from the desert in New Mexico”) deviates from this main topic. This sentence has to be removed from the paragraph.
Principle 3: Use short sentences
Using short sentences makes it easier for the reader to understand the intended message. Every long sentence can be broken down into several short, simple sentences.
Incorrect: I like riding horses since horses are very energetic yet, at the same time, caring animals. While the sentence above is quite simple, it can be made even simpler and easier to understand by splitting it into shorter sentences.
Correct: I like riding horses. They are very energetic animals. Horses are also very caring.
Principle 4: Be specific If one mentions something in writing, the reader needs to know exactly what is being discussed. Otherwise, do not mention this at all. Being specific does not mean increasing the length of the writing by adding many details. It is more about using precise terms and being factual.
Incorrect: Several organizational units are currently facing certain issues with respect to the new managerial approaches implemented by the new leadership. There is much ambiguity in this message. The sentence above should be rewritten to include specific details.
Correct: The new President decreased budgets for the IT and Marketing departments. As a result, both departments lay off people and cancelled all new projects.
Principle 5: Omit redundant words Delete words that do not convey any valuable information. It is very easy to “bury” the intended message in the clutter of words and expressions that are not necessary for transmitting the message. DE clutter writing to reduce its length and make it easier for a reader to understand the message.
Incorrect: Based on what I have read in the book and my understanding of the material, I think it can be recommended that ABC Corporation should consider acquiring and implementing a new enterprise system.
Correct: ABC Corporation should implement an enterprise resource planning system.
Principle 6: Keep it simple if one wants to make his or her message easy to understand, then simple sentence structures and simple vocabulary should be used.
Incorrect: This system is designed with the aim of helping improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which people find parking spots in the central business district of Chicago.
Correct: This system will make parking in Chicago downtown easier.
Principle 7: Use active voice Use active voice to make the message simple and direct.
Incorrect: Active voice should be used in sentences.
Correct: Use active voice in sentences. Note that the second sentence is shorter and has a simpler grammatical construction.
Principle 8: Avoid jargon, idioms, acronyms, and cultural references Avoid jargon, idioms, acronyms, and cultural references to make the intended message easy to understand for a broader audience. In some situations, jargon, idioms, and cultural references can make the message easier to understand. They can also make the message more vivid and memorable. All this happens under the condition that the writer and his or her audience share a common professional, linguistic, and cultural background.
Principle 9: Structure the writing any written message should have a simple and clear logical structure. A well-structured message has a “built-in” roadmap for the reader to follow. This roadmap has enough signs and clues that help a reader to travel from start (no understanding of writer’s ideas) to finish (complete understanding of the writer’s ideas). One should always put some thought into the structure of a paragraph or a report.
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VOICE Research and Training Institute is the brain child of KALVI Higher Education and Research Institute, Madurai, South India with the expertise and knowledge to empower learners in the communicative skills of the English Language running through the Industrial Hub of a community that influences a country at large.
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