Chapter 1 will introduce you to the five steps to successful writing: preparation, research, organization, writing, and revision. The easiest way to be successful in your writing is to do it efficiently and effectively in a systematic way.
Writing, like most professional tasks, requires solid preparation. In preparation for writing, you goal is to accomplish the four major tasks: establishing your primary purpose, or news, of your correspondence.Assessing your audience, or readers, and the context or environment or situation in which you are writing.Determining the scope of your coverage.Selecting the appropriate medium for communicating your message. Professionals on the job have a myriad of choices from email, voicemail, videoconferencing, memo, letter, report, a blog post, etc.
Research is the second step in the writing process. The only way that you will fully understand a subject is to conduct adequate research whether that means conducting an extensive investigation for a proposal or simply checking a company’s Web site and jotting down points before you send an e-mail message to a colleague.Researchers should be able to distinguish primary research from secondary research. Primary research refers to the gathering of raw data, while secondary research refers to gathering of information that has been analyzed and assessed, evaluated, or compiled by others.In the research process, writers need to consider all available information sources. These sources can include the writer’s own knowledge, the knowledge of people outside the workplace collected through interviews, Internet sources, library sources, printed sources, such as brochures, memos, email, and Web documents.
Organization is the third step in the writing process. Without any organization, your research will be incoherent to your readers.Organization involves choosing a method of development that is best suited to your document. Selecting this development will depend on your subject, your readers’ needs, and your purpose. You can organize usingCause and effect developmentChronological developmentComparison DivisionClassificationGeneral to specific developmentOrder of importance developmentSequential developmentSpatial developmentDuring the organization stage of the writing process, you will need to consider a design and layout that will be helpful to your reader and a format appropriate to your subject and purpose.
As you know, an outline is a skeleton of the document you are going to write. At the very minimum, it should list the main topics and subtopics of your subject in a logical organization.Did you know that in Word that you can format, rearrange sections automatically using any outline style?
After establishing your purpose, your reader’s needs, and your scope, and you have completed your research and your outline, you will be ready to write a first draft. In your rough draft, you want to concentrate on your ideas and not necessarily on the grammar, word choice, and mechanics.
Writing and revising are different activities. In the revising step of the writing process, you should look at the clarity of your message, the conciseness of your language, the completeness of your document, the correctness in terms of grammar, word choice, and mechanics, and the courtesy aspect.Finally, consider having others review your writing and make suggestions for improvement. What might seem clear, concise, complete, correct, and courteous to you might not be to others.
Slide 8: Incorporate these five steps in your professional writing and you will increase your chances of getting the results you want from your readers. If you don’t spend the time preparing, researching, organizing, writing, and revising your documents, your readers will be left dazed and confused as to your message and what you want them to do when they finish reading your document.
Chapter 1 the business writer’s companion presentation
Chapter 1: The Writing
Step 1: Preparation
assessing audience and context
Step 2: Research
of research (primary vs.
sources of information
Step 3: Organization
Method of development
cause and effect
general to specific
order of importance
Design, layout, format
Step 5: Revising
your draft for
accuracy, completeness, and
effectiveness in achieving purpose and
meeting readers’ needs and expectations
Consider the 5 Cs
(clear, concise, complete, correct, courte