Lainie Petersen reports:
"When an email, letter, text message or social media post is well[-]written, well[-]organized and grammatically correct, the reader will form a good opinion of the writer. On the other hand, misspellings, poorly organized thoughts and grammatical errors make the writer appear unintelligent and unprofessional. At the application or interview stage, this could cost a worker a job offer or result in a salary offer that is lower than what it might have been otherwise. In a business context, bad writing in external communications may reflect poorly on the company. Coworkers may also take notice of poor writing habits, which could affect how they perceive the writer's competence...Good business writing demonstrates that the writer values the reader's time. When a writer is able to organize his thoughts and concerns and present them in a way that is easily read and understood, the reader benefits. On the other hand, poor writing forces the reader to spend time and energy trying to understand what is being communicated. In many cases, the reader may have to ask the writer clarifying questions. Writing clearly shows that the writer respects the reader's time and doesn't want to waste it...Good business decisions depend on clear communication. This is true whether the communications are internal or external. It is far easier to coordinate internal projects and share ideas when all coworkers understand the ideas that are being put forth, as well as processes for completing the project. When employees understand what they can expect of each other, morale often improves. Similarly, workers will have far better relationships with people outside the company when their communications are easy to comprehend. Coordinating meetings, setting goals and negotiating agreements becomes far more straightforward when both parties are able to write clearly...In many cases, a person can improve their writing by taking extra time to compose messages and then to proofread them. Workers should not treat business communications as chores to be completed as quickly as possible, but as projects in their own right. When possible, it's advisable to write important letters and emails at least a few hours before they are to be sent out to allow the writer to take a break from the piece and then review it with fresh eyes...Word processing software usually includes a grammar checker, but there are standalone programs that can often provide more robust proofreading and feedback for even greater clarity...After writing a particularly important letter or email, it might be a good idea for an employee to ask his manager or a colleague to look over the piece and give feedback...There are many options for improving one's writing skills through educational programs. Community colleges and adult education programs offer courses in business writing, and many of these courses can be taken online."
Laura Agadoni reports:
"Use a capital letter to begin each bulleted item. You can use a period after the last bulleted item in the list if you like...Or, you don’t need to use a period at all. You would not put a period or a semicolon after each item you list. The only time you would use a period after each bullet would be if each item is a complete sentence, such as, 'I increased home equity loans. I created a self-mail brochure on certificate of deposits. I increased membership by 25 percent.'...Semicolons are tricky to use correctly, so you might want to avoid them altogether. If you want to use them, you would do so like this: 'I have completed the following functions as marketing director: I increased home equity loans; I created a self-mail brochure on certificates of deposit; and I increased membership by 25 percent.' If you are unsure of whether to use a semicolon or not, you can use periods instead...Choose whether you want to use a serial comma or not. A serial comma requires a comma to separate each item you list and using one before the word, 'and.'...Whichever you choose is correct, but you must stick with one style throughout the cover letter. You cannot alternate. You also cannot use a comma splice, which is separating two complete sentences with a comma. You can make two complete sentences using a period instead, you can add the word 'and' after the comma or you could replace the comma with a semicolon...Although it is not wrong to use parentheses or exclamation marks, it is better to avoid them in your cover letter. You might be burying an important thought by putting it in parentheses, or the sentence might be more cumbersome to read. It would be better to rewrite your thought without using parentheses. It is considered poor writing to use exclamation marks, and they are a distraction you don’t need in your cover letter. You should never use two or more exclamation marks to create even more emphasis as might be common in informal writing, because that is incorrect usage. Keep in mind what F. Scott Fitzgerald said about them: 'Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.'"
Elizabeth Stover reports:
"Choose a type or style of poetry based upon your assignment requirements or reason for writing. Traditional types of poetry include sonnets, ballads, odes, epitaphs, haiku, couplets, quatrains, free verse and an extensive list of others. Decide what type of rhyme, meter and verse, if any, your poem will use. Organize the flow of your poem. You might decide to describe fall through each of the five senses separately, in different lines or verses. As an alternative, different verses might describe a fall object, event, word or theme through all five of the senses. Brainstorm a list of fall words, themes, events and objects. Use this list when you begin to form sensory word and phrase ideas for your fall poem. If you have trouble coming up with ideas, look at pictures of fall events and occasions to help you create your brainstorm list. Create a verse or list of words to include in your poem regarding the tastes of fall...If you are creating a rhyming poem, begin to think of words that might rhyme with these words and fit with your poem. Create a verse or word list for words describing the smells of fall and words that you might rhyme with them, if you are creating a rhyming poem. Describe the smell of fireplaces burning, spiced cider simmering, hot chocolate sitting warm in a cup or fresh cookies baking. Use a thesaurus to find unusual substitutions for common words...Think of things you hear in fall and create a verse or word list for these. Find unique words to describe the way these things sound...Describe the feel of fall events and objects. Make a list describing the feeling of cool morning air, warm fuzzy jackets and soft fleece blankets. Write a verse or line to describe the feeling of hot, steamy cocoa against cold hands after being outside. Find words to describe the sights of fall in a verse or line. Write about the bold red, orange, yellow and brown colors of fall leaves against a bright, blue fall sky. Alternatively, write about the smiles and costumes of children at your door for Halloween trick or treating. Using your prewriting work of lists, words, rhymes and phrases, create your sensory poem about fall. Remember that a poem need not rhyme, but usually has some sort of organization or rhythm. Use the word lists, phrases or verses you have created to paint a poetry word picture of all that you see, hear, touch, taste and smell in fall."
Barbara Bean-Mellinger reports:
"When you need to clearly and succinctly explain an idea for a business, product, design or program – or for anything else that doesn't yet exist – then you need a concept statement. A concept statement can range from one sentence to one page in length, but no longer than that. It must be strong enough to hold its audience's attention – while explaining what your idea is, why it's important, who its customers will be – and how they'll benefit from it, all without sounding too much like a sales pitch...In many instances, a concept statement of one sentence is probably a bit too short, but in most instances, a full page is likely too long. After all, you're writing a statement, not an essay. A good goal is to try to make each point in one or two sentences - at most. Your concept statement should make four points:
Kristie Lorette reports:
"When you have a business where customers contract you to perform a service, you need a legally binding agreement to spell out...the terms and conditions of the business relationship. According to 'All Business,' a business agreement serves as a guide that all parties to the agreement must follow. Generally, one party draws up the agreement and both parties sign...it as an acknowledgment of the terms and conditions it contains...Write or type up the date on the agreement to establish an effective date...List the parties involved in the agreement, using full business or individual names and titles...Describe your obligations, including the service you must perform to fulfill your obligations under the contract and be as detailed as possible...Describe the other party’s obligations in detail. In the case of ou[r] brochure writing example, this might explain that the client is responsible for providing the copywriter with business information in a word processing document to describe the business and the information to be included in the brochure text...Describe the payment terms for the transaction, including the total amount for the service, how much and when the deposit is due and how much and when the final payment is due...Spell out a [timeline] or milestones. Include specific dates for the delivery of parts of the service or the final deadline for the service to be complete...Write a termination clause that explains the steps that one or both parties need to take in order to terminate the contract...Also, include payment terms for any work completed to date that the customer is responsible for paying for this portion of the work...Write a dispute clause to establish the handling of a dispute between the two parties...Establish ownership rights to the work. Even in service situations, a product is sometimes the result of the work, so you should also include which party retains ownership rights...Add signature and date lines. Be sure to provide a space for each party to sign and date...You may want to have an attorney review and make suggestions on a template of your business contract. An attorney can pinpoint issues for your particular business that you may need to include in the agreement. You can use a business agreement template and modify it to fit your needs, rather than writing the agreement from scratch."
Samuel Hamilton reports:
"Outline your proposal’s table of contents or 'superstructure['.] A formal proposal includes the following sections: an introduction, problem statement, objectives, solution statement, methodology, resources and schedule, management qualifications and structure, and conclusion. Write the introduction for your recycling proposal. Answer the questions 'What is this proposal about?' and 'Why should the reader care about this proposal?' Articulate the recycling problem that your proposal addresses...Conclude your problem statement by addressing the question 'Why is the proposed project needed?' List the objectives of your proposal. The objectives may include providing a detailed analysis of the problem and outlining a proposed recycling plan. Describe your proposed course of action in the solution section. Your solution statement provides specific methods for solving the problems to achieve the objectives outlined in you[r] proposal...Explain the methodology you employed to research the problem and solution, as well as the methodology for implementing the solution...List the resources required to implement your proposed solution. Resources include items such as equipment, facilities, personnel and money...Provide a schedule for your proposed plan. Provide milestones and deadlines between the date you expect that your proposal will be accepted and the date you expect to reach your goal...Explain your specific qualifications for writing the proposal and the management structure that your plan requires. Include other proposals or reports that you've written and similar projects [i]n which you've participated. Explain how you will organize and implement the plan, and how others will assist in the implementation of your proposal. Reiterate the significance of the problem that your proposal addresses and why your proposal offers the best solution for solving the problem."
Dan Ketchum reports:
"Because contracts can cover a virtually limitless variety of agreements among people, there is no single, universal template for a contract between two parties. But there has been plenty of time to perfect the form since Plato was slumming around Athens, and modern laws have plenty to say about exactly what legitimizes a contract...In the most general sense, contracts govern a relationship between two entities or people, who agree to do or to not do something or agree to exchange something of value. This agreement is usually written, but it may be verbal – in some cases, it may even be undated and unsigned. State laws nail down the nitty[-]gritty of when a contract needs to be in writing to be valid, but the most important part[s] of any contract between two people are the foundational elements that make a contract a contract. To be considered voidable (meaning valid and enforceable), a contract typically must include:
Linda Ray reports:
"Children and adults in crises rely on social workers to help them solve problems and cope with everyday living situations. Social workers create a case for each new client and develop a plan of services needed by the client. Case management duties fall to social workers in a variety of settings ranging from healthcare facilities and schools to government agencies. An effective service plan is a critical component of case management and can make a significant difference in the lives of your clients...The more information you can get from your clients, the more in-depth your service plan can be. You’ll understand the needs of your client[s] best when you uncover your clients' strengths and weaknesses, get a complete history and learn the details of the current situation. Your clients should participate in the service plan creation, and being open and forthcoming in the initial interviews plays a significant role in that involvement...An effective service plan works backward in that you first write the goals of the plan and then fill in the services that will allow your client to reach those goals...As you strive to fulfill the final goal, you’ll fill in the plan with other steps such as attaining job training and employment or setting up your client on a waiting list for public housing...Along with solving the immediate problem and building steps to achieve the goals you’ve created, you should be aware of concurrent themes that must be addressed in the service plan...A thorough service plan is built of many steps that you and your client have identified as vital to success. Write each step in the plan and engage the client in the implementation of each step with timelines and results recorded for each step...Your service plan may provide a week for the client to obtain and turn in those forms. Appointments must be made and kept, all duly noted in the service plan. Include instructions for the client in the plan as well as which steps you will assist in completing."
Kori Morgan reports:
"Whether it's a historical incident or a family story, real-life events offer rich inspiration for fiction writers. However, they also impose many challenges in terms of plot development, creating characters and staying true to the events and people involved. You can write a story based on real occurrences by being willing to alter the actual events, transforming facts into plots and understanding the ethical issues that come with this source of inspiration...One challenge of writing about actual events is the temptation to incorporate every detail of what happened into the story. Novelist Julie Schumacher says that even though your memories inspired the story, the act of writing puts distance between the memories and the finished product. Because the circumstances of real life and the imaginary world you're creating are different, the events and characters may change to fit the story. Although the final draft may differ from your original memory, being willing to deviate from the events will make the story more unified and enjoyable for readers...In fiction, plot is the order of events in a story that gradually build tension. Although there may be elements of tension in the real events, fiction writer Robin Hemley says that until you impose the order of plot on the events, they are just episodes, or pieces of a story...If you're writing about a historical event or something that happened in another time period, research will be a key component of your process. Writer Caro Clarke states that fiction writers must create an authentic, accurate world without giving readers too much or too little information. It can be easy to make mistakes, but careful research can help you avoid anachronisms and factual errors...Writing about real life ultimately requires you to think about the people behind the story, especially if telling it could damage their reputations. Santa Clara University professor Ron Hansen warns that even if a project is fiction, stories that defame others or misrepresent events can be deemed libelous. You may want to be creative in your adaptation of the events if there's a chance someone could be hurt by the story."
Sheila Shanker reports:
"Accounting policies and procedures help your employees run your business without your constant supervision. They are simple, easy to understand and [easy] to follow...Writing accounting policies and procedures can be difficult, but they will help you in the long term, keeping processes standardized and simple...Organize your writing. Have a separate section for each accounting process, such as accounts payable, accounts receivable and fixed assets. Give each policy and procedure (P&P) a number and use the numbering system to organize the documentation. For example, all accounts receivable P&Ps could start with a 1, accounts payable with a 2. So, if you're looking for a specific document related to paying bills, you can look for the 2 series and find it easily, maybe as a 201 or 2001...Use a template to write policies and procedures. That makes the documentation easy to write and understand. Consider having a format where at the top you have a standard label with name, date, document number and other information. Below that on the page you could place a section called 'Purpose' to explain the goal of the P&P and following that you could start with the actual narrative of the process you want to standardize...Write clearly with good spelling and grammar. Policies and procedures are to be used by many people, so make it easy to read and foolproof. Avoid naming people's names, and instead, use position names. Be consistent in your writing to avoid confusion. If you have an 'Accounting Clerk' filing bills, don't change that same position to 'Clerk I' or 'Filing Clerk' in other P&P...Design your policies and procedures with an eye towards good internal controls. For example, the bookkeeper should not be able to sign checks. All check disbursements should be accompanied by sign-offs from owner or manager acknowledging that the purchase was authorized and all services and goods were received in the appropriate manner...Consider getting a ready-made policies and procedures software package for your industry...Get your accountant to take a look at your P&Ps to spot any internal control problems that could be fixed by using a different procedure...Review the policies and procedures at least once a year to make sure it is still valid and proper. Things change in business, and the P&Ps need to update with the changes."
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