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The Write Way

Our Guide to Effective Writing




Make sure that you think about what you write Grammatical mistakes and a very formal style can detract from the clarity and content of a document and from an organisation's professional image.


Writing in plain English

Follow these easy steps to create accurate and reader-friendly documents

If you have to write formal documents at work and feel insecure about your knowledge of English grammar and writing skills, this guide will help you to produce documents that are easy to write and easy to understand.

  • Use everyday words
    Don't try to impress your reader with overly-formal words.

  • Don't use words that add nothing to the meaning
    Phrases such as 'whether or not' and 'at this moment in time' can usually be reduced to 'whether' or 'if', and 'now' or 'currently'.

  • Address your reader whenever possible
    People respond well to being addressed as 'you' rather than indirectly as a 'customer' or 'client'.

  • Use the active voice whenever possible
    'We will be dealing with your complaint shortly' is preferable to 'Your complaint will be dealt with shortly'.

  • Don't cram too many ideas into one sentence
    Your sentences, on average, should contain between 15-20 words.

  • Punctuation is important
    'She did not work there because of the money' is very different from, 'She did not work there, because of the money'.

  • If you are not sure whether to use 'I' or 'me' or 'who' or 'whom', re-structure your sentence
    Nothing looks worse than poor grammar in a professional document; check our resources page for recommended reference books. Better still, Writing It As You Would Say It is a sure way to avoid common mistakes.

  • Check frequently confused words such as 'effect' and 'affect' in a dictionary
    If you use the wrong word, your document will lose impact and credibility.

Remember that we can also work with you one-to-one on your documents for an hourly fee.

If you would like to book a writing course, or talk to us about your documents, please contact us for further information.

See what you can learn from our courses


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