As the 2016 fall school semester comes to a close, I am reminded of the dreaded research papers I was forced to write throughout middle school, high school and college.
But as I look back, I’m thankful as it helped me strengthen my writing, a skill that I continue to perfect today. For those of you that remember what it was like to write a term paper, here are three tips that applied then and still apply today in the human resources business environment.
Research thoroughly and outline completely, before you write.
Most non-fiction writers use extensive outlines to help them track timelines and events before they create the final manuscript. Even when writing a business plan or case study, an extensive and detailed outline makes it easier for the writer to stay focused.
Present information logically, as you write.
Newspapers and magazines are great examples of how to organize information. Articles and editorials lead with the key point and then add details to support it. Journalists call this the “inverted pyramid” in that you put your main points upfront followed by lesser points as the article continues. This structure makes a story easy to follow and even easier to skim. The fairly short sentence and paragraph structure of most periodicals also provides for a more reader-friendly experience.
Vary the verbs and involve your reader.
Weak verbs, especially the overused “to be” verb, bore readers. That’s why writers avoid it. Thrillers focus on action, with few superfluous words or details. Imagine if more business writing focused just on the action and omitted the fluff.
What writing tips have stuck with you through the years? Let us know in the comments section below.
About the Author
Karen Rodriguez is a passionate marketer, designer, and communicator. With over 15 years of experience, Karen Rodriguez currently manage Exec|Comm’s global brand, marketing and design efforts including the online presence, web-based learning center, advertising, PR, classroom materials, and live special events. She recently launched the firm’s blog, The Chat, and lunch & learn series, The Learning Exchange. Additionally, she manages the delivery and expansion of Exec|Comm’s open-enrollment seminars in Chicago, Dallas, New York and San Francisco. Karen holds a BFA from Parsons, The New School for Design in New York City. She lives in Aberdeen, NJ, with her husband and three sons.