By Patrick Forsyth
A part of a sequence of pocket courses aimed toward the allowing the reader to benefit a brand new ability in exactly half-hour, this article offers a consultant to document writing, from what to incorporate, to tips on how to lay it out.
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Extra info for 30 Minutes to Write a Report (30 Minutes Series)
We learn to punctuate speech long before we write anything, so in writing all that is really necessary is a conscious inclusion of the pauses. The length of pause and the nature of what is being said indicate the most appropriate solution Tautology (unnecessary repetition where the meaning has already been conveyed). The classic example is people who say ‘I, myself personally’. Do not ‘export overseas’, simply export; do not indulge in ‘forward planning’, simply plan Oxymorons (two-word paradoxes) may sound silly – ‘distinctly foggy’ – or provide a vivid way of expressing something – ‘deafening silence’.
I twitched visibly when someone on BBC Radio 4 referred to an ‘upcoming’ event. For me at least, this is at stage 1. and does not sound right at all; ‘forthcoming’ will suit me well for a while longer. On the other hand, what did we say before we said ‘mission statement’? This is certainly a term in current use. Most people in business appreciate its meaning and many make good use of it. What about a word or phrase that is past its best? I suggest a common one: ‘user friendly’. At first it was new, nicely descriptive and quickly began to be useful.
Clearly, this is descriptive, but it gained not just from being unusual, but by being unexpected in a business writing context. I know it was memorable, because it was used at subsequent meetings by the organisation’s own people to describe the changes that the report had highlighted as necessary. As well as being memorable, this kind of approach works well to convey something of the writer’s personality. Another element you may want, on occasion, to put into your writing is emotion. If you want to seem enthusiastic, interested, surprised or whatever, let it show.