Business writing in English is in great demand now and will be in demand for many more decades. Most people learn business writing in order to apply for a job, get a promotion or move forward before taking up a real job.
In spite of that, writing for work isn’t quite easy, it is a necessary life skill your whole career might depend on. Basically, poor English in the business sphere may lead to disastrous changes, because here how you convey information really matters.
As you read this and analyze your current writing abilities, you may feel a little bit discouraged. But do not panic! Here we want to tell you that it’s curable. Trying your hand at effective exercises, knowing the wide-accepted rules of business writing and doing it all regularly, you have a good chance that in a month you won’t believe that the ‘awesome piece of writing ’ you will have penned is yours.
If in the description above you recognized yourself, then this short article is just for you! In a nutshell, here you’ll find a bunch of meaningful writing activities that are capable (on condition that practiced often) to boost the skills of English business writing.
What Kind of Writing Exercises Give Real Results?
Writing a business letter or re-writing the informal one in a more official style:-
The best variant is having an activity of simply writing a formal letter before this, writing a mind-map of the conventional phrases, business vocabulary and looking at the layout to use.
The activity can be modified, depending upon your language level. Discussion can be a great pre-writing stage, where you take the details, and, possibly with your group, make suggestions about what is wrong with the text, how you can fix it, what kind of salutations to use, etc. Hint: following the link in this paragraph, you can get sample worksheets.
Collecting business vocabulary:-
While this can hardly be called an activity, we know how meaningful the message is when it is put into the right words. Just like using the Passive Voice and other impersonal grammatical patterns is an indicator of the formal style, some verbs and adjectives shape written business communication.
The complaint, application, inquiry letters, letters of thankfulness, invitation, or scheduling a meeting demand different words. Pick the words you read in real emails, write them down and apply in your letters. A great tool to help you in various spheres of business negotiation is ‘Business Vocabulary in Use’ and ‘Test Your Business Vocabulary in Use’.
Practice writing letters + formatting according to requirements:-
Most of the influential business writing gurus say that it is better to leave formatting for the end. When you’re not sure what format you need, stick to the classical norms – Times New Roman 12, single-spaced, left-justified text, double spacing before and after paragraphs.
Use outlines and be SHORT:-
The more you can place into simple words – the better. Be clear and concise. The world of business likes precision, so try to keep up with this principle. On a separate piece of paper, it’s comfortable to write key ideas you’re eager to air, things you want to request or any other important issues to write about. Avoid ‘water’ in business writing – only facts, key suggestions, proofs, events.
Be creative in your writing practice:-
When you know you really need to exercise in writing formally, grab a friend and practice writing to each other as if you were entrepreneurs, a magazine editor, and a star or anything else that your mind can fathom.
In groups, this activity is even more effective, as it reminds real-life communication. Creative activities for boosting writing skills also include business writing word search, conveying a business message with the time tracked, or ‘correcting-mistakes’ kinds of games.
What Other Pieces of Advice to Follow in Order to Reach the Heights in Formal Writing?
- Bring some support. Involving a friend, classmate, tutor or a writing service you’ll take it as a greater responsibility and won’t lose the motivation as quickly as you would if you were all alone.
- Lay a strong emphasis on the visuals. It is proven that no matter what the content is super-rich and correct, with no grammatical mistakes and flawlessly picked wording, – without visual support, it won’t work. Here is the small infographic on how to impress the reader of a business piece of writing.
- Persistency and steadiness. Make the writing exercises your habit, just like doing morning gymnastics. So if you experience any trouble or struggle with writing CVs, resumes, reports, make it your new must to do these simple activities weekly. The more often you do it – the faster your brain will work when the situation requires business writing for real.
Do you still think that writing formally equals boredom?
Not necessarily. If you write a formal letter or a CV, there is still some room for creativity. Brian Fugere, the author of the revolutionary ‘Why Business People Speak Like Idiots’, says that you don’t have to keep your personality out of it. Though not every advice given in the book should be perceived literally, you are sure to find pearls in there. The whole attitude is right – do not cease to be interesting just because you’re in business.