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professional writing
December 20, 2017

6 Easy Steps to Avoid Basic Writing Mistakes in Professional Work

Businesses rely on good writing now more than ever to advance their brand and reach out to new customers. Good business websites are dynamic and contain engaging content to generate strong leads and provide important information to potential customers. Therefore, a thorough grasp of the written word and its potential to enhance a company’s standing is imperative for any forward-thinking business. To that end, here are six easy tips to follow to improve your writing skills:

Obviously, Be Very Careful

Adverbs like “very,” “clearly,” “obviously,” “virtually,” and “doubtlessly” are rarely necessary and often serve to undermine whatever phrase follows them. That’s why it’s best to avoid them whenever possible.

Be Brief

Cutting down on adverbs is a great first step toward achieving concision in your writing. Long, sprawling sentences will slow your readers down –– and might even confuse and infuriate them. So keep your writing tight and don’t pad a blog post with unneeded filler.

Precision with Possessives

Knowing when and where to place an apostrophe is fast becoming the mark of a diligent writer. Sometimes possessives can be tricky –– plural forms and proper terms are two such examples. Still, don’t let this simple error trip you up.

Use the Right Word

And not, as Mark Twain once advised, “its second cousin.” Using an incorrect phrase will make you look amateurish and unprofessional. So know the difference between “rife” and “ripe,” “continual,” and “continuous,” and “enervate” and “energize.” Like a fitting needle flush in a luer adapter, the correct word must fit flush into your sentence. Take some time to find it.

Eliminate Passive Voice

This is essential for any good writer. If you’re writing in English, make sure to follow the formula of subject, verb, the object in your sentence structure. Your readers will appreciate it. Look for the word “by” in your writing and ask yourself if there are better ways to restructure the phrase –– there will be.

Edit Out Loud

If you write for long stretches at a time, you’ll be more prone to mistakes if you don’t take measures to edit your work with care. That can mean walking away from it for a while before returning to your writing, asking a friend or coworker to go over your piece, or best of all, reading your writing out loud. Yes, it might seem silly, but it will prevent a host of easily-preventable mistakes.

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