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Improving Your Writing Skills for Work

Writing is as important as speaking in the workplace. Whether you compose emails, write direct messages, draft reports, or compose speeches for presentations, clear writing can convey your ideas and avoid confusion. Many don’t find it easy to write well. School doesn’t prepare you to write clear and concise emails and messages for work. As a result, you may find yourself talking on the phone to clarify confusing messages to coworkers. To improve your writing skills for work, try the following tips.

Read and collect writing samples

Composing an email to ask for a favor or inform a team member they need to do a better job takes tact and a careful selection of words. If you’re wordy or too blunt when you write, start a collection of writing samples that you can refer to for specific writing situations.

Read blogs and books that teach you how to write the type of writing you want to improve on. Keep samples of these types of writing on file so you can copy the structure and wording the next time you need to compose a similar piece of writing.

Too busy to learn how to write better? Learn as you go. If you find a fantastic piece of writing in your email box, put a star on it to use as a template for a future email. These writing samples can come from sites you subscribe to, your coworkers’ emails, or your clients’ emails. Your examples can be as simple as some sentences or phrases that others use that you would like to include to improve your writing.

Write regularly and get feedback

Writing often and getting feedback sounds like school. Writing is the same as exercise – you need to do it often to improve your confidence and see improvement.

Ask to write the first draft of a report or important email. The first draft is the hardest. You need to organize your ideas and decide what to say. Then ask a coworker to review and provide constructive feedback before you ask your supervisor to do the final approval before sending the report or email to a client.

Asking for feedback is especially important for critical emails. Maybe your ideas aren’t coming across as clearly as you thought. Your coworker could suggest alternate wording, or suggest another idea you can include.

To improve your writing speed, set a timer or time to complete your task. If you procrastinate or experience writer’s block when you have to write something that isn’t a routine work task, setting a completion time can reduce time spent procrastinating.

Study grammar and use tools

A solid understanding of good grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and spelling is important for good writing. You can improve by studying grammar books and taking writing courses on writing style and word choice.

If you don’t have time to study grammar (or consider studying grammar as boring), you have plenty of resources to help. Your word processing program has grammar and punctuation checker features, and a thesaurus to suggest writing tips to you.

Take note of the writing suggestions that your writing tools are suggesting to you. Make it a goal to avoid making the same spelling and grammar mistakes the next time you write.

Key Takeaways

Writing is a crucial skill that can impact job advancement, salary, and career choices. Even a simple direct message at work can convey an important message. To improve your writing skills, study and collect writing samples that you can use as templates. Ask for feedback from coworkers and use editing tools to check your writing. These small steps you can apply daily can improve the quality of your writing over time.

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