Next Article: Organization of Written Communications
Back to: BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Process for Written Communication
Words are inherently abstract. It is easier to agree upon, comprehend and define the standard features of concrete terms. Abstract terms become more intangible with extensive discussions. Concrete terms help you make your writings simpler, clarify it and communicate with accuracy.
To have effective communication, words must be commonly understood. Language is controlled and regulated by laws which are different when it comes to different languages and culture. The primary objective of effective technical communication is to promote comprehension and limit miscommunication and misinterpretation.
Process for Effective Written Communication
Speed – Generally you should write rapidly to record all of your ideas. Quality of content is sacrificed when you think of how you want to write by writing slowly and deliberately. You will refine the writing later.
Prepare Powerful Sentences – Generally you will use active voice (“I made the cake” ) when the subject is doing the action. The right time to use passive voice (“the cake was made by me”) is when you are trying to hide the identity of the doer or to emphasize more on what is being done.
Emphasize Vital Ideas – A writer or speaker wishes to emphasize or de-emphasize specific ideas. Here are some methods:
- Structure of sentence – To highlight an idea or to place it in a sentence. Compound sentence – An independent clause needs to be added for de-emphasis. Example: She settled for the house vs. She settled for the house, but she wanted a different house.
- Complex Sentence – Less emphatic compared to others. Example: Although she accepted the offer in sales, she preferred a position in human resource.
- Repetition – Let the word appear more than once in a sentence to put emphasis on it. Example: She succeeded because vs. She was successful. The reason behind her success was.
- Words that label – Labels can be used to emphasize or de-emphasize words to denote whether they are significant or insignificant. Example: More importantly, less notably, etc.
- Position – If a word or idea needs to be emphasized on, it needs to be put at the first or the last in a sentence. Example: Success resulted from your hard work vs. Your hard work led to success. Similarly, by placing words in the middle of the sentence, you can de-emphasise them. Example: Your hard work added to the success of the project.
- Space and format – For an important topic, provide more space within the account. You can place it in small and separate paragraphs with less spacing to reduce aspects of the account.
Develop logical paragraphs – Sentences need to be constructed well to be made into sections that explain a part of the topic being deliberated upon. To write impactful and effective paragraphs. Paragraphs can be deductive or inductive for consistency. Ideas can be linked to achieve logic. Paragraphs can be combined. Sentences and paragraphs can be varied. The sentence can be positioned appropriately in the topic. The verdict in a paragraph identifies the part of the topic being deliberated upon and presents the essential idea.
- Deductive paragraph – Topic sentence comes at the beginning. This is best used when the topic sentence will be well acknowledged or when the details will be overbearing.
- Inductive paragraph – Topic sentence comes at the end. This is best used when the topic sentence will not be well acknowledged or when you persuade the reader with the details first.
The topic statement may be the entire paragraph in complicated writings; while the topic statement may be a sentence, stand-alone paragraphs in letters, memos, and e-mails.
Logically Connect Ideas – Coherence means consistency of thoughts. Receivers should be kept away from experiencing sudden changes in the thought process. Sentences are stuck together in a flowing message or thought because of coherent writing. Techniques to link sentences might include:
- A word used in the preceding sentence should be repeated.
- A pronoun can replace a noun used in the previous sentence.
- Connecting words can be used for the link. Example: Yet, Nevertheless, Subsequently, etc.
- Before headings or important paragraphs, change sentences.
- Transition sentences might be necessary for sub-paragraphs.
Unify Paragraphs – It is expected by the receivers to expect the first paragraph to introduce the topic. The following paragraph supports it, and the last paragraph holds it altogether. The paragraphs in the middle should have a well-designed word flow.
Vary Sentence and Paragraph – For clear communication, short and directed sentences are preferred. The sentences should not be too short and direct as the message may sound monotonous. Simplified sentences are shorter and easier to understand.Complex and compound sentences should be used in the paragraph to break the monotony and dull appearance. Paragraphs should vary in length and structure as well. The average length of the paragraph should be kept undersized to match with the nature of report. Letters, e-mails, and memos have shorter paragraphs. The first and last paragraphs are shorter too. They make it easier for the reader. It may require the topic to be divided into a couple of paragraphs. Paragraphs should not exceed more than 8-10 lines to improve readability. The consistency and clarity should not be compromised because of variety in the paragraph.
- Note: Deductive and inductive structures should not have frequent changes. Switching between active and passive voice should be avoided.
Revise and proofread – Once you have all of your ideas recorded, you need to begin revising and restructures. Obviously, you will make certain that there are no grammatical or spelling errors. You will also need to look at the tone and follow of your writing. Contrast carelessness with casualness in your writing styler. Harsher tones are lent to messages in case of high-speed types of communication. Revision and proofreading can keep away from negative impressions caused by carelessness or creating any sort of harsh exchange.
Improve Readability – To determine readability, revisit your message. After separation and returning back to the message, readability is best improved. The outcome results in greater readability. Visual Enhancements can be applied to increase readability This can entice the read or listen to instead of discarding your message. Significant information can be highlighted for maximum interest. Create even transitions in an elaborate report.
- Note: To be used only when ease of comprehension is required. Overuse leads to confusion due to oversimplification.
Adding Numerations – In order to add an emphasis in a series of units, place a letter, number or symbol before every element. For example, you could aggregate the reports into categories: Economics, Finance, and Accounting
Lists with Numerations and Bullets – When information can be broken down quickly into the right pieces, it is called chunking. Lists that are numbered or bulleted may be used to chunk. They add visual appeal to items that are in an organized way.
Headings – Be sure to use appropriate headings in the proper places. These are signs that direct the receiver from one end of the report to another. They simplify understanding and encourages the receivers to pay attention to the writing.They should be brief, and should connect with the receiver. They should also give cues about the value of the text. For example: Use questions to illustrate text as an answer or use a heading that serves as a conclusion.
Graphs and Tables – These help to simplify and elucidate information. They remove monotony from long sections of text. Helpful in labeling and grouping large sections of precise data. Tables and groups help estimate data quickly.
Borders and Lines – To segregate text or to focus attention on a set of particular lines, horizontal and vertical lines are used. Borders placements also help in segregation of text. Shades on borders add or diminish the impact. It is often used in direct quotations.
Images with Relevance – This may enhance the text or may detract as well. In word-processing software, ClipArt adds value to text too.
Use a Systematic Methods for Proof-reading – Carry our several proof-reading sessions. Conduct each with a specific purpose in mind. The first proof reading should focus on Organization, content, and style. A second proof-reading should be done focusing on mechanical errors. This includes abbreviations, grammar, punctuation, capitalization and number usage. You may also focus on word substitution and arrangement of parts of the writing. For a third review, display the document in print preview mode, the format and layout can be edited. Format your text according to a conventional format. The items should be numbered in the correct order. Evaluate the ehe visual appeal. Depending on the document, make sure the paper is signed. The messages should be addressed to the right person. Next, a draft copy needs to be printed, and it should be proofread a third time. Finally, a written documents should be printed on high-quality paper.
Final Points to Keep in Mind
Development of business documents that attain the purpose for which they are intended. Keep the audience’s perspective in mind throughout.
When possible employe empathy should be kept in mind. The message should be about ‘you’ (the recipient) and not ‘I.’ (Yourself).
Revise the work many times.
As for suggestions from others to improve your writing.