| To ensure that
your writing is professional looking and error free, this page includes an
introduction to the WSU Writing Center website, where you can find links to a host of websites with information to assist in
composing, formatting, and revising business your business writing.
Following that is a brief overview of Commonly Confused Words, speech to
avoid, and basics of correct sentence/paragraph formation.
WSU Writing Center links page:
COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS
|The following short list is far from exhaustive, but includes the words that writers most commonly confuse because they have similar sounds or meanings. Although the reader would most likely understand your overall communication, the error may suggest sloppiness or inattention to detail.|
|its vs. it's
their vs. they're vs. there
whose vs. who's
|than vs. then
to vs. too
hear vs. here
|your vs. you're
imply vs. infer
affect vs. effect
SPEECH TO AVOID
| Time and space limitations
prevent any in-depth exploration of this topic, but a few commonsense
rules will ensure that your business writing sounds professional, regardless
of who's reading it.
SLANG: This ranges from "locker-room" language to less offensive words such as "butt" (If we take action on this it will save our butts . . . ). But slang also includes words such as "cool" (The speaker used this cool software . . . ).
CLICHES: These are over-used
sayings. Avoid by using descriptive language, or omit. (When the heating
is on in the office, it's as hot as Hades . . .).
SENTENCE & PARAGRAPH BASICS
|SENTENCES: We have
entered an area that could be its own workshop--and is. Here we'll remind
you of the ground-rules. A handbook or online website can offer more
info--or call me at x6669 if you have a question on writing sentences.
1 Make sure there's a subject & a verb in each sentence.
2 Use commas to separate different word groups from others.
ex: Although I received the bill yesterday, it was paid this morning.
3 Try to avoid overly long sentences, and too many short, choppy ones.
PUNCTUATION PATTERN SHEET HANDOUT
PARAGRAPHS: The most important
things to check on your paragraphs: 1) do you have one unified idea? 2)
are your sentences placed in a logical way so that your reader can follow
the idea? If you can answer Yes to both, then you're already on the road
to success writing paragraphs. A few other helpful reminders:
Q & A?
| To find answers to formatting
conventions for various business writing forms, you might ask your
employer to buy a copy of a technical or business writing textbook
to keep as a reference. I use TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION by Mike Markel, but
others are equally helpful.
For grammar and punctuation assistance, you might try A WRITER'S REFERENCE by Diana Hacker, which comes in complete and hand-book versions. I like THE POCKET HOLT HANDBOOK by Kirszher & Mandell--but others work well, too.
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