Guidelines to Improve Written Communication
Although people spend more time in oral communication, organizations primarily rely on written communication. In order to develop an information base and to maintain documentary proof, there is no alternative to written communication. The following guidelines can improve written communication:
Using short and familiar words: In written message, it is wise to use short and familiar words. Although unfamiliar and complex words indicate the intellectuality of the writer, he/she may fail to convey the message to the ordinary readers.
Using short sentence and paragraphs: Successful written messages require short sentences and paragraphs. Because, short sentences and paragraphs communicate better than long sentence and paragraphs. When sentences and paragraphs are long, the reader may not understand the complete meaning of the message.
Using technical words with caution: Message should contain as minimum technical jargons as possible. Technical words or jargons make the message difficult for the common readers. For example; depreciation, pledge, IRR etc., are the commonly used terms in new investment projects. However, these words may be confusing to the ordinary people.
Using active voice: In written communication, the communicator should prefer active voice to passive voice. Because, sentences written in active voice are short and direct. However, it does not mean that positive voice cannot be used.
Give examples and charts: There is a saying that graphs tell more than the words. Therefore, wherever possible, written message should contain examples and graphs that can clarify the message more easily.
Expressing thoughts logically: Logical arrangement of thoughts is another important criterion of effective written communication. Thoughts or ideas of the sender should be arranged logically and sequentially so that the reader can understand the meaning.
Avoiding unnecessary words: Another way to increase the effectiveness of written message is to avoid unnecessary and repetitive words. For example, instead of asking “how do you spend your leisure time?” one can ask “how do you spend your leisure?” The first question contains the unnecessary word ‘time’.
Avoiding discriminatory words: While writing, the writer should not use discriminatory words. Discriminatory words are those that do not treat all people equally. Moreover, such words create business in terms of gender, race, religion etc. For example, some discriminatory words are mentioned below: