Ten tips for better business writing Writing translation jobs
Home More Articles Join as a Member! Post Your Job - Free! All Translation Agencies
Advertisements

Ten tips for better business writing


Become a member of TranslationDirectory.com at just $8 per month (paid per year)




As a proofreader of business writing, I see many of the same errors made again and again. Errors in your writing (be they in advertising copy, correspondence, or a web site) are more serious, I believe, than most people realize.

Why? Well, the standard of your writing has always been important. Today, though, more than ever before, FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT. We are bombarded by the written word in its many forms -- books, pamphlets, magazines, signs, e-mail, web sites and many other media.

We are all suffering from information overload and are forced to find ways of screening out as much as we can. We thus tend to make quick decisions on what to read and what not to. First impressions increasingly determine what we read and what we don't, and poor writing leads to a poor first impression.

The following list of tips should help you to avoid some of the most common slip-ups.

1. Capitals: Avoid the temptation to capitalize words in the middle of a sentence Just To Provide Emphasis Like This. If you want to be more emphatic, consider using bold face, italics, color or larger text.

2. Commas: The most common use of the comma is to join together short sentences to make a single longer sentence. We do this with one of the following small joining words: and, or, but, yet, for, nor, or so. For example:

We have finished the work, and we are looking forward to the weekend.

Notice that the two halves of this sentence could each be sentences in their own right. They thus need to be separated with a comma and joining word. In the next example, though, we don't need a comma:

We have finished the work and are looking forward to the weekend.

The halves of that sentence could not stand alone, so no comma was used.

3. Ellipsis: The ellipsis is a series of three -- and ONLY THREE -- full stops used to mark missing words, an uncertain pause, or an abrupt interruption. Avoid the temptation to use six or seven dots -- it looks amateurish. For example, we write:

Niles: But Miss Fine's age is only ...
Fran: Young! Miss Fine's age is only young!

4. Excessive punctuation: Only one exclamation mark or question mark should be used at a time. Consider the following over-punctuated examples:

Buy now!!!
Great bargains!!!!!!!!!!

Excessive punctuation looks too much like hysteria and detracts from your credibility. Avoid it.

5. Headings: For long works, establish a clear hierarchy of headings. Microsoft Word's heading styles are great for this. (They also allow you to automatically create a table of contents.)

6. Hyphenating prefixes: Most prefixes don't need a hyphen; i.e. we write "coexist", not "co-exist". There are exceptions, though. The prefixes "self-" and "ex-" are almost always hyphenated.

7. Numbers: Numbers of ten or less are normally written as words.

8. Quotation marks: Users of American English should use double quotes (" "). Users of British English should choose either single quotes (' ') or double quotes and stick with them for the whole document. Incidentally, British English usage is increasingly moving towards single quotes.

9. Spaces: Modern style is to use a single space at the end of a sentence, not two. Also, most punctuation marks (e.g. commas, full stops, question marks) are not preceded by a space.

10.Tables: Set table text one or two points smaller than the main body text and in a sans-serif font such as Arial or Verdana. Avoid vertical lines as they tend to add unnecessary clutter.

Armed with these simple guidelines, your writing should be well received every time.

Good luck!


You'll find many more helpful tips like these in Tim North's much applauded range of e-books. More information is available on his web site, and all books come with a money-back guarantee. http://www.BetterWritingSkills.com









Submit your article!

Read more articles - free!

Read sense of life articles!

E-mail this article to your colleague!

Need more translation jobs? Click here!

Translation agencies are welcome to register here - Free!

Freelance translators are welcome to register here - Free!








Please see some ads as well as other content from TranslationDirectory.com:


Free Newsletter

Subscribe to our free newsletter to receive news from us:

 
Menu
Recommend This Article
Read More Articles
Search Article Index
Read Sense of Life Articles
Submit Your Article
Obtain Translation Jobs
Visit Language Job Board
Post Your Translation Job!
Register Translation Agency
Submit Your Resume
Find Freelance Translators
Buy Database of Translators
Buy Database of Agencies
Obtain Blacklisted Agencies
Advertise Here
Use Free Translators
Use Free Dictionaries
Use Free Glossaries
Use Free Software
Vote in Polls for Translators
Read Testimonials
Read More Testimonials
Read Even More Testimonials
Read Yet More Testimonials
And More Testimonials!
Admire God's Creations

christianity portal
translation jobs


 

 
Copyright © 2003-2020 by TranslationDirectory.com
Legal Disclaimer
Site Map