From sending out emails to posting website content, writing is a task most businesspeople encounter daily. To project a professional image, build credibility, and improve your career prospects, your writing must be intelligent and free of errors.
Below, we’ve listed six important grammar rules that will improve your writing and help you become a more effective communicator.
1. Be careful with commas.
Commas are one of the most commonly misused punctuation marks. Use too many—or too few—and they can distract readers or make your writing confusing. When in doubt, look up comma rules for your specific situation, and try to be consistent with how you use them.
2. Make sure your verb tenses are consistent.
Be sure to look over your work to confirm that your verb tenses make sense throughout. Note how the tenses change incorrectly in the sentences below:
- He filed the paperwork and then he sends copies to HR.
- The developer has went on vacation.
- Lunch time will start at noon and had gone until one thirty.
3. Watch out for homophones.
Automatic spellcheckers often overlook homophone errors, meaning your writing might still contain these embarrassing mistakes. Watch out for common problem areas such as the following:
- They’re, there, their
- You're, your
- It’s, its
- Complement, compliment
- Affect, effect
- Too, two, to
4. Don’t capitalize excessively.
Capitalizing for emphasis is a common business writing mistake. However, you should only capitalize proper nouns, including names, titles, places, months, and days of the week.
5. Be careful with pronouns.
Using too many pronouns in your writing can confuse your readers and make it hard for them to understand who’s acting or speaking. Use names or nouns at the start of every paragraph, using pronouns only to refer back to them within those paragraphs.
6. Keep it simple.
When it comes to business writing, clarity is key. Too often, business professionals use flowery language to appear intelligent, but this inadvertently makes their writing sound awkward and forced. Stick to brief declarative sentences, and cut out words wherever you can. Avoid using extravagant long words where simple ones will do.
Learn more skills to improve your business writing by booking one of our business writing training seminars today.