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SESSION -1 Introduction to EFFECTIVE WRITING SKILLS - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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SESSION -1 Introduction to EFFECTIVE WRITING SKILLS. Course: Effective writing Skills August 16 , 2013. “ Writing effectively is a skill that can be learned.”. WHY WRITING SKILLS?. It is used in every job rather everyday need.

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Course: Effective writing Skills

August 16 , 2013

why writing skills
  • It is used in every job rather everyday need.
  • This is the case with most jobs -- you must write internal memos, correspond with clients, or help design sales materials.
  • Writing beautiful prose and poetry is a talent. Writing effectively, however, is a skill that can be learned.
  • The form of writing you use is influenced by your audience.
  • There are many different styles of writing and many different ways to write. Sometimes people write for themselves, a very private audience, and at other times the audience is the whole world.
writing styles
Writing styles
  • identify the different styles of writing in the following:
  • "...what we need to ascertain is the viability of supply and the possibility of alternative sources of...“
  • " the mountain lilies danced the flamenco to the standing ovation of the grass...“
  • "...watching Linford Christie win the 100 metres was amazing. I wish you'd been there too...“
  • "...Next the flange needs to be carefully placed against the flat section of the upper box...“
  • "...the Minister for Sport and Recreation stated, "this is the greatest event"...“
  • "...The moon could be seen glinting through the wet trees as Gwen and Louis crawled toward the safety of their car and away from the...“
  • "...we suggest that the UK government looks carefully toward the future. Every year, an area of forest the size of Scotland is being destroyed by...”
writing styles1
Writing styles
  • Business Letter
  • Poem
  • Letter to a friend
  • Written instructions
  • Newspaper report
  • Part of a story
  • Editorial from a newspaper
some questions
Some Questions
  • Definition of a writer
  • What can writers write about
  • Who can be a writer
  • Is all writings good?
  • Does all writings have a message?
  • Is it important to consider the reader when writing?
organize your writing
Organize your writing
  • List each item you need to discuss in your memo or report.
  • Put them in order — from most to least important
  • Write a brief summary of your entire memo — this will be your first paragraph.
  • Expand on each item listed in step 1.
  • If any action needs to be taken by the recipient, state that in your closing paragraph.
avoid wordiness
Avoid wordiness.
  • Say out loud what you are trying to write. Listen to how the words sound.
  • For example, the sentence,

"I found out that I should take a look at our past sales figures in order to come up with a plan to help us re-evaluate our sales technique"

could be more simply stated as

"I must take a look at our past sales figures to re-evaluate our sales technique.“

write for your audience
Write for your audience.
  • Use simple language.
  • You don't want the reader to need a dictionary to decipher what you are trying to say. You should not try to impress your reader with your huge vocabulary. Chances are you will frustrate your reader instead.
  • Most people are juggling several tasks at the same time, and are interested in receiving only necessary information.
  • Instead of saying,

"His gregarious nature credentials him as a superlative candidate for the job,"


"His friendliness makes him a top candidate for the job.”

stay away from jargon your reader may not understand
Stay away from jargon your reader may not understand.
  • If your work is very technical, but the person you are writing to is a layman, use simple words
  • For example, if you are a Web site designer, this sentence in a memo to your client, a psychologist, will make no sense:

"What would you like me to use as the BGCOLOR for your site: #ADD8E6 or #FFFFFF?" which means

"What would you like the background color of your site to be: Light Blue or White?"

However, don't expect your client to be more familiar with this technical jargon than you would be with her discussion of a psychological terms.

use the active voice
Use the active voice.
  • The active voice makes your sentence stronger and usually shorter.

Let's try these examples.

  • Passive voice:

"Sales increased due to the networking I did."

  • Active voice:

"My networking increased sales."

  • Proofreading is one of the most important things you can do.
  • Since you probably do most of your writing on a computer, you have access to automated spelling and grammar checkers.
  • Beware though — some words, used in the wrong context may be missed by computerized spell checkers.
  • For example the sentence "To employees attended too meetings two learn about the gnu software," would pass through the spell check without any misspellings being detected. Have someone else proofread your document, if possible. If time allows, put your composition away, and proofread it later, or even better, the next day.
testing your level
Testing your level

Q: Use this type of English when speaking to a friend:

  •  Formal
  •  Informal
  •  Polite

Q: 'This is Ken' is used when:

  •  Answering the telephone
  •  Introducing yourself in person
  •  Asking who is on the line
testing your level1
Testing your level

Q: 'Employment History' means:

  •  Which schools you have attended.
  •  Which diplomas and certificates you have.
  •  Where you have worked.

Q: Which phrase is correct?

  •  He's worked at that company for fifteen years.
  •  He's working at that company for fifteen years.
  •  He works at that company for fifteen years.
testing your level2
Testing your level

Q: 2.56 is read:

  •  two point fifty six
  •  two point five six
  •  two dot five six

Q: Which sentence is incorrect?

  •  He lives in London.
  •  I arrived at home at 6 o'clock.
  •  They drove to San Francisco on Saturday. 
testing your level3
Testing your level

Q: Which signature is the most formal?

  •  Love,
  •  Yours faithfully,
  •  Best wishes, 

Q: Which letter ending best goes with the opening 'Dear Personnel Director,'?

  •  Best wishes,
  •  Yours faithfully,
  •  Best regards,