© 2020. SAIF UR RAHMAN

Basic Rules of Writing

November 21, 2018

Firstly, it would be best if one were aware of the basic rules of grammar.

 

 

The difference between formal writing and informal writing is crucial.

 

Secondly, one needs to know the difference between American English and British English.

 

For example:

colour (British English)

color (American English)

Eg: specialiSe or specialiZe; through or thru; center or centre; program or programme. etc.

 

There is a distinct difference between those two types of English and what most people do is they use it interchangeably which is very unprofessional.

 

Thirdly, I have often noticed that when people chat or write an email, they use the unnecessary ellipsis - those three (or more) dots, abbreviations and chatting lingos/slangs.

 

 

For example:

Hellozz....lolz.. Huw r u? Can u giv report....to Dr. Asad....

by eveningg....thanksss.

 

 Such type of writing is exceptionally unconventional and appears lazy too. Instead, it can be better written as:

 

Hello. How are you doing? Could you please submit the report Dr Asad by evening. Thank you.

 

Fourthly, use "very" and "that" sparingly. Make your words count. Keep it short, concise and straightforward.

 

Example 1:

I was very happy to see him.

I was thrilled to see him.

 

Example 2:

I want to tell you that we need to set up a deadline.

We need to set up a deadline.

 

 

 

Fifthly, if you feel that your mind is stuck and you are not able to write, try the 4W Formula: What, Why, When & Where.

 

It will usually clear up what you would like to write. Some of the mistakes that people make are they misuse present or past tense and whatever tense we choose at the beginning of a writing piece; it should be consistent throughout our piece of work. Consistency & coherence is your friend.

 

Sixthly, use paragraphs wherever required to show that you are breaking up your idea into different components. Compartmentalisation will ensure the reader can process each information individually and one after the other in a logical arrangement.

 

One must be cautious about the kind of word count for a particular writing assignment. For example, if it's an article, it is around 150 to 250 words. Letters are usually under 150 words, and blogs can range from 500 to 1,000 words at least. Small pieces of literature can be 5,000 to 10,000 words and novels will at least be 45,000 words. There is no hard and fast rule, but each format caters to a different kind of a reader.

 

Finally but not least, if you attempt to write something, the procedure should be as follows

Jot down points/ideas in one go->re-write them->Edit->read them aloud.

 

Reading your piece of writing aloud will make you understand if the context is conveyed correctly or not.

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