OK time for some Greek.
Writing anything requires a knowledge of the basic concepts.
What better basics than going back to ancient Greece, Aristotle to be precise:
LOGOS – THE TEXT
ETHOS – THE AUTHOR
PATHOS – THE AUDIENCE
TELOS – THE PURPOSE
KAIROS – THE CONTEXT
1. Leave Out the Clichés
What is the text you’re writing ? Is it an email, is it a report, or is it a memo?
If it’s formal, beware of clichés.
If it’s informal beware of the over-formal tone.
2. Don’t Try too Hard
But equally, don’t be sloppy and insincere.
There’s nothing worse than people not responding to an email, or a response that is clearly a standard impersonal text.
Who is writing the text, a software program or a human being or a software program and a human being.
Either way think of the effect of your choice of author on your client.
3. Pay Attention to Names
Make sure you know the surname of the person you’re writing to.
If they have already written to you it will be embarrassing if you write ” Dear Sir / Madam”.
4. Make Emails Succinct
Remember, everyone’s got things to do. Everyone’s busy.
Don’t repeat things and don’t put in unnecessary details.
Keep your email succinct and to the point.
5. Don’t Get Carried Away
Even if you’re wildly excited about something, don’t get over emotional about things.
There’s no need for exclamation marks! or CAPITAL LETTERS to show how angry you are.
Do yourself a favour, write things in a clear and well thought through way.
6. Don’t Use Passive Verbs?
I think in formal reports, using the passive voice is good.
But, yes, when writing emails and normal descriptions.
Stay in the active voice.
7. What is a ‘Call to Action’?
A call to action is where you make clear the purpose of your email is for the other person to do something.
Don’t leave this vague.
The recipient of the email should know clearly and succinctly exactly what you want them to do.
Let them know hat they should do : i.e.
Please could you confirm; Please advise.
Don’t give your recipient too much choice. Tell him what you want him to do.
8. Check it and Spell Check it.
Business English Writing: The Golden Standard by JENNIFER FROST on APRIL 2, 2013