With the way the world has evolved around us, every person has to write nowadays, irrespective of his age, job, and designation. Be it for school assignments or filing reports, or signing invoices – everyone writes.
While many of those who “have” to write actually enjoy writing, there are many for whom writing is nothing more than a chore. The problem with these people is that they don’t give themselves a moment to think how to write. As a result of which their writing style is time-consuming, inaccurate, and unsatisfactory.
Just as there are steps to solving a question on Algebra, there are several steps that can be followed for a better written output. Here in this chapter, we will discuss how you should actually initiate the process of writing an effective business document.
How to Begin
Of all the steps, the trickiest (and the most frustrating one) is to figure out the beginning. Here are a few tips to start your work quickly −
● Research to find facts.
● Brainstorm to jot down all random ideas.
● Discuss the rough draft with a colleague.
● Keep an amiable, relaxed tone of writing.
● Empathize with the reader.
● Check it and sleep on it.
Planning and Structure
Companies produce documents on a regular basis, like annual reports for shareholders, monthly newsletters for clients, and editorials for its employees. Based on the amount of content you are designing, you might be needed to arrange your data in three structures −
● Time-based Structure
● This structure is used when you are writing agendas and minutes, or reports where tasks are allotted and results are charted in a chronological sequence.
● Alphabetical Structure
● This structure is used when the document has a large number of separate topics, which need to be put under specific alphabetical order (A – Z). Examples of this would be a glossary of words, or a book on fruits and calories, where the names of fruits are listed alphabetically.
● Topic Structure
● The most commonly used structure is where the structure is divided according to topics. For example, a website cold design its FAQ page in such a way that it will have three topics to choose from – “delivery status”, “complaints” and “payment & refund”, with each topic having several questions on that topic.
Effective Steps to Arrange Content
There are some effective steps that will help you in arranging the content in a proper structure and fill in the details in a logical flow so that the entire document looks synchronized and complete. These are −
● The document should have a logical beginning, middle, and end.
● Organize the body of your message in concise and small (max. 4–5) paragraphs.
● Modify the content to suit your readers.
● Never lose focus and the desired outcome of the letter while writing.
● Don’t correct yourself while writing, edit only after brainstorming.
● Take some time off before you start editing.
Above all, one should always follow a logical sequence while writing a business document in order to ensure the document conveys the right message.