"Business Writing Checklist"

Written by Linda Elizabeth Alexander

You're ready to do it. You've accepted an assignment from your boss, agreed to put together a sales presentation, or were asked to write a report about last week's meeting results. Where do you begin? Before you venture off intorepparttar land of writing for your job, be prepared withrepparttar 129463 items on this checklist.

1. Adjust your attitude. Writing doesn't have to be like drawing blood. In fact, many times in business writing, much ofrepparttar 129464 work is already done for you. Your job may be as simple as rewording or organizing information that you already have.

2. Quiet. No matter how much you like your music or AM radio talk show it is best to work in a quiet spot. Even if you work in a noisy place like a newsroom or a cube farm, reducerepparttar 129465 amount of noise around you so you can concentrate better. Wear earplugs if it helps you!

3. Your thinking cap! Colored markers, pencils, or a large easel pad may help you with brainstorming. Or, you may find it easier to work with a team first to generate ideas and then have one person writerepparttar 129466 first draft. Whatever works for you, make sure your brain is in creative mode, not editing/criticism mode. Creativity comes first; editing and refining later.

4. Eliminate distractions.

Turn offrepparttar 129467 phone, close your office door, and don't check your email every 10 seconds. Have your assistant tell everyone you're in a meeting and you can't see him or her unless they're dying. For at least 1 hour, work with no interruptions.

5. Computer, pen, scratchpad, or other tools you like.

You may prefer writing longhand; it can help you connect with your thoughts and emotions. Or, you may be quicker at typing directly onrepparttar 129468 computer. Either way, don't expect a perfect draftrepparttar 129469 first time. You will be scribbling a lot (or cutting and pasting) at first.

6. Contact names and phone numbers, etc.

Be sure you have handy a list of people you might need to talk with to verify information. For example, if you are writing an article for your company newsletter, you may need quotes fromrepparttar 129470 CEO.

Business Writing Skills Part III: Avoiding Sexist Language

Written by Linda Elizabeth Alexander

Many businesspeople are unfamiliar with business writing. Concise writing will build your business because you will better connect with customers and prospects. In this four-part series, I will teach you how to make your writing and other business correspondence clearer, understandable, and more direct.

Avoiding Sexist Language in Writing By Linda Elizabeth Alexander

Why avoid sexist language in your business writing? Biased language can alienate any potential reader. If you alienate your readers, you lose credibility. Without their faith in your words, you have lost your audience and cannot make your argument. Therefore, avoiding sexism in your writing benefits everyone.

Here are some tips for avoiding common mistakes regarding sexist language.


The use of a masculine pronoun to refer to both genders is offensive to many people. Also, using terms such as "man" to define people can often be confusing - are you referring only to "men" or to "all people"? The easiest and best way to get around this is to rewriterepparttar sentence inrepparttar 129461 plural, or avoid using a pronoun altogether.

Example: The executive cannot do his job properly until he understands how. Correct to: Executives cannot do their jobs properly until they understand how.

You could also say "The executive cannot do his or her job properly until he or she understands how." However, this tends to be clumsy, especially after being used repeatedly.

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