5 Basic Rules for Professional Writing

Writing takes practice and discipline. The principles of good writing are relatively simple, but enacting those principles requires time, study, and attention to detail. Listed below are a few steps for you to take in order to become the best writer you can possibly be!

  1. Punctuation.  Pay attention to punctuation, especially the correct use of commas and periods. These punctuation marks can control the flow of your thoughts. If the punctuation marks are in the wrong places, it can make your text more confusing even if the words are clear and concise.
  2. Practice.  You cannot do something well unless you do it regularly. This applies to many things beyond writing. Most professional writers recommend setting aside roughly 30 minutes per day to concentrate on perfecting your writing pieces. Practice makes perfect.
  3. Write Like You Speak.  Strive for simplicity and clarity. This means you should aim to write like you speak, even in a professional tone. This will help the reader understand you better.
  4. Spelling Counts.  Everyone makes an occasional typo in the drafting phase; it’s to be expected. However, spelling errors can be some of the most glaring and embarrassing errors you can make. It’s a good idea to have a peer read through your document for mistakes after you’ve proofread. (Hint: Then proofread again!)
  5. Build Your Vocabulary.  The best way to do this is to read more. Not only does reading increase your vocabulary, but it also helps you learn more. The more you know, the more you can apply to your writing samples.
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