Effective writing – our proofreading checklist

Advanced Writing Skills is our most popular training programme at Communicating Europe+. Writing is a difficult skill and many people find writing and drafting texts frustrating.  Often people have difficulties with the structure of their sentences.

So, here is a simple checklist that you can use when you proofread your emails, reports, position papers or news stories. (You do proofread – don’t you?).

We hope you find this useful.

Check point Detail 
Use active sentences more than the passive voice The simplest form of the sentence is Subject + Verb + Object. The passive is ok for writing about processes, but does not carry much emphasis.
Avoid splitting your subject from your verb and object A common problem with writing is that there is too much happening between the subject (the who) the what they did (verb) to who (object). Sentences that are split pose a challenge to your readers.
Use Topic sentences  Start each paragraph with a short, summary topic sentence that sums up the whole paragraph. Think of this as your headline.
Use Short sentences Your sentence length should be 16 – 20 words. Your sentences should not have more than three things (verbs) happening. If you have more to say, start a new sentence.
Write without commas Try to write short sentences that do not contain too many additional details. Information (clauses) that needs to be contained within commas makes sentences too long.
Use simple connecting words “But”, “however”, “in addition” are ok to use to connect ideas between different sentences. But avoid elaborate, complicated linking words (herewith, indeed, moreover).
Writing with verbs and nouns Reduce use of adverbs that carry no meaning (actually, fundamentally).

We organise tailor-made writing skills courses for companies, associations and institutions in Brussels.

You can improve if you practise and get feedback on your writing from a trainer. We are the only training company that gives you pre-course writing tasks that we review with ‘tracked changes’ comments and recommendations.

For more details and a quote please contact us

Tel: +32 473 391890 or +32(2)880 3744 or at info@communicatingeu.com