Projects
My life at work - the trials & tribulations!!

The Written word (Part2)

Readability

It is nothing more than a clear style of writing. People apply mathematical formulae to the length of sentences, the use of abstract words and such. But those are merely guidelines. Writing was not meant to be inflexible...

It is vital to keep in mind a few principles for the written piece.

· Reader’s level
It is common sense that one does not use flowery language in business communication and jargon in poetic construction.

· Sentence construction
Good things come in small packages. It is quite true that long, rambling sentences wear out the reader. At this point he sent me off to search for my Wren & Martin high school grammar book. He was pleasantly surprised that I had preserved a copy of it 13 years after school.

· Paragraph construction
Use a topic sentence and focus on a single idea for a paragraph. If the idea is a big one (as some of them are), split it into subtopics rather than 10 pages of continuous unbroken type.

· Familiarity of words
It doesn’t really matter if you constructed the sentences well, if you give a medical journal to a business manager. The same would hold true in reverse. Use of jargon is good when this shop-talk reduces the time spent in explaining ideas to like minded individuals. My usage of Project management jargon to all aspects of communication (written and verbal) needs to be curtailed. Every-time she says I don’t understand her – I state that the requirements document was not signed off and hence these extra rounds of review.

· Reader direction
Where are you leading the reader? The lack of paragraph framing coupled with ineffective transitions between paragraphs can befuddle the reader. He talked about sub-conclusions to be used towards paragraph endings. I didn’t quite agree with him on that. This would be painful for readers if they had to revise ideas at the end of every paragraph. That was the instructor in him talking – I guess!

· Focus
The purpose of the communication needs to be clear. It’s like he said, “Arjun, I’m trying to teach you to write effectively”
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