Writing/Editing

Answer the question “What do you want?” or “What should I know?” in the first sentence of your memo, report, e-mail or other piece of business writing, and your time-strapped, information-overloaded readers will see you as a hero.
Several readers recently asked us about the use of semicolons versus commas in a complex sentence.
Just because e-mail is handy doesn’t make it efficient. Indeed, three out of four people delete an e-mail before they finish reading it, a recent survey found.
Standardized replies save you time but can cost you good will. Create templates and common paragraphs that you can pop into an e-mail or letter, then easily personalize. Use these shortcuts:
What to do when passing confidental information.
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Write it right, say it right, spell it right.
You absorb most material that crosses your desk with ease. But once in a while, a heavy assignment—reading a book, proofing a long report or being asked to give your input on a complicated competitive analysis—can throw you off. Stop procrastinating and cut through that daunting reading assignment with these tactics…
“Professional” business writing doesn’t necessarily mean “b o r i n g.” Before printing the final draft of your documents, go back and put some “oomph” in them. Use these copyediting tricks:
Do you have a general reference guide, such as The Chicago Manual of Style, a grammar reference and a dictionary, but still not know what the preferred organizational usage or style is? We thought so. Your organization needs its own in-house style guide.
If you’re like most professionals, you use Microsoft Word every day. Take a few minutes now to customize your Word workspace by tailoring the built-in spelling and grammar checks on your computer to meet your specific needs. Here’s how: