Most business majors graduate from college happy that they have put their essay and paper writing behind them. It’s time to move on to career roles. Unfortunately, their happiness is short-lived. No matter what career path they choose, writing will “rear its ugly head” again and again. They disliked it in school and here they are having to worry about sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and more all over again.
At the opposite end are those students who loved and excelled in academic writing. They are thrilled that their careers in business will entail writing. Unfortunately, the reports, memos, and presentations they create read like some academic treatise, and readers either can’t figure out the point or fall asleep reading or listening to them.
Business Writing is Somewhere in the Middle
Neither the poor writer nor the master writer will be a good business writer. This is why they both need tools to improve their skills. These tools used to be grammar and composition text books, but no more. Technology has come to the rescue once again.
Whether you lack business writing skills because you don’t write well or you write too well, here are the eight best tools to get you on track.
The beauty of this tool is that, unlike Microsoft Word, it will not just point out your errors, it will explain the error and then make suggestions for fixing it. You cut and paste the text of your memo, report, letter, etc. in and the evaluation takes just a few minutes. While those who struggle with grammar and composition can really use this, those who do not can as well. It points out sentences that are awkward or too complex, along with other more nuanced errors, such as use of passive voice (business writing should always use active voice.
A lifetime subscription now costs only $49.95 – a bargain.
You simply use online service while you need professional help. Also you may check your grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax. This includes all kind of papers.
This may be the best $10.00 you ever spent. Here’s the thing about business writing. It must be brief, succinct, and readable. To accomplish this, you will need to lose the long, involved sentences, as many adverbs as possible, and much of the jargon that people often use to impress. Consider the term “synergistic solution.” A college professor might like it, but not a co-worker. Just say, “We need to get together and come up with a solution.”
The Hemingway tool will do all of this for you. Once you download it, use it anywhere, whether you have an internet connection or not.
Here’s the perfect tool if you struggle with document templates, and it is specifically for business. You can find virtually any type of document or whole suites of documents to use as models for your own writing. This app is web-based, and there is a free version. However, the most popular document templates come with the premium subscription package – $119 a year.
If you need to write a business plan, this tool is just about seamless. In fact, you fill in the details, and this app will literally craft the plan. Once you do provide the details, moreover, it will give you its opinion as to its worthiness and make suggestions. You get one business plan for free, but will be paying for any more.
Structure various types of emails can be difficult. With Email Excellence, you get templates for all of these types, giving you an outline and a brief description of what each element of that outline should include. Templates and advice both. This tool is web-based via its site. There is also a great blog on business writing you may want to check out.
Most business majors do not take a journalism course – that is left for PR and content marketing specialists who must write for the public. Still, it is quite possible that you will have to write a press release to promote something or produce a blog post for your company’s website. This organization offers online workshops that will give you the skills to write like a journalist.
Most of us speak better than we write. We use proper grammar and we express ourselves pretty well. This great free tool can be downloaded from the iTunes store, but you will need to be connected to use it. Just dictate and the text will appear in correct sentences with spelling and punctuation intact. There is also a correction interface in case your speaking makes an error. You get a Word document that you can cut and paste wherever.
You may not have graduated with business writing skills, but they can be learned with practice. These tools will truly help you get over your current rough spots, but you should consider some online coursework too - this will develop your own skills and confidence in writing.