The first element of the Structured Writing Method is objective setting. What are you trying to communicate? Who are you writing for? What do you want them to do when they have finished reading? This lesson includes exercises to get you thinking clearly about what communications objectives are and how to create them.
This session reminds you that putting words on the page should be the very last thing you do. Long before this, you should think about who you’re writing for and what message you want to communicate to them. This lesson gives you a task to communicate a particular message to a number of individuals, and encourages you to think about your audience, your objectives and to combine these thoughts to create messages. Marketing and pre-sales messages, for example, are characterised as being necessarily competitive.
This lesson teaches the theory and benefits of structured writing techniques, especially when working with objectives and messages. It includes teaching Microsoft Word’s Outline View facility – a tool which has the power to transform the way you approach writing a document. For report writers, it also greatly improves productivity at the research stage.
This lesson teaches you how to write in a way that ensures your readers pick up on your key messages, even if they only skim-read your document. It looks at how to communicate a message using non-cryptic headings and the use of writing devices such as bullets, boxes and bold text.
How are you going to hold your reader’s interest if your text is uninspiring and dull? To address this issue, this lesson covers techniques such as turning facts into benefits, using more verbs and fewer nouns and using active rather than positive sentence constructions.
This lesson teaches you how to use shorter and more simple sentences, how to use jargon phrases appropriately and the critical use of Microsoft Word’s ‘readability statistics’ functionality to help improve clarity.
Writing with authority is important for internal documents; even emails. It is particularly important for external-facing documents, especially those offering consultative advice.
This lesson explores the importance of grammar and punctuation and looks at several key areas of difficulty and confusion including: commas; colons and semicolons; hyphens, en dashes and em dashes; apostrophes; acronyms; ‘affect’ or ‘effect’?; ‘s’ or ‘c’?; and how and when to break the rules of grammar.
One of the key challenges when proofreading is the sheer number of potential errors that must be identified. It makes sense, therefore, to break the job into a series of consecutive steps, each designed to focus on a different aspect. This lesson teaches a five-step process for proofreading to ensure that writing is free of mistakes.