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How To improve your writing skills at work

Solid writing skills will allow you to come across as more capable, confident and credible that your colleagues whose work is littered with grammatical mistakes and typos. 

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  • You don’t hear about it as much, but how well you’re able to write can play a far bigger role in your career than most people realize. It only makes sense, though. A major component of working in the professional world involves communicating with others, and solid writing skills will allow you to come across as more capable, confident and credible that your colleagues whose work is littered with grammatical mistakes and typos.
  • But what if writing isn’t your strong suit?
  • Well, don’t worry, here are some steps to help get your writing to a level that impresses all the right people.

Understand Your Audience

One of the first issues for people who have a tough time writing is that they don’t grasp what the appropriate nature or style for what they’re writing should be. Emails are dense and confusing, reports are formatted poorly, and the content is just a drag to read through.

Thus, by understanding what the writing is for, you can focus on how it should be presented. An email to a customer or client should strictly adhere to certain writing guidelines such as clarity, courtesy, and conciseness while firing off an email to a colleague can be informal and brief. So make your audience your compass, knowing that what a reader expects is how you should shape your writing.

Also, pay close attention to the  tone and style you use; not just to come across appropriately to your audience, but to also develop flexibility in your writing in order to successfully communicate with various types of audiences.  Being able to demonstrate empathy through your writing is key to connecting with your readers and using the correct style and tone will allow you to communicate on their wavelength.  


Focus On Style and Content

Here are some key rules and features to organize your writing around:

Simple Language – You want your content to be reader-friendly and the way to do this is by writing in an active voice and going with shorter, more commonly known words. You’re not trying to challenge your readers, your goal is to communicate in a way that can be understood as quickly and as easily as possible. Stay away from “hidden verbs” by eliminating any pointless nominalization; so reward something like, “If I can be of any assistance to you” to “If I can assist you.” This 2nd sentence is efficient, direct, and easy-to-read, making it the more customer-friendly and effective of the two.

Keep Things Brief and Concise – Writing in the workplace needs to be efficient.  Your readers won’t want to slog through numerous report pages to find the info they’re looking for. So construct your writing in a way that allows them to find what they need quickly and easily. Some ways you can accomplish this is are:

  • Emphasize the facts;
  • Select shorter words;
  • Stay on subject;
  • Focus on clarity;
  • Stay away from unnecessary adverbs and adjectives

Clearly Separate Facts From Opinion

It’s critical that your audience can distinguish in your writing the factual information from you offering your perspective. This is how you can keep your writing sharp and clear and avoid ambiguities. 


Have A Singular Purpose

Every piece of work-related writing should stick to a single purpose. Try not to stray from this clear purpose. So, if you have to write an email that concerns a specific  upcoming report, keep unrelated topics or questions out of that email. 


Format Appropriately

Proper presentation in the business world is very important and you want to make sure your writings are formatted in an appropriate, efficient way. Making effective use of bullet points, headlines, numbering, bolding and italics is a great way to allow your audience to easily and quickly scan what your document. Just be careful not to go overboard with the visual elements. You want your formatting to serve as a way to enhance your work’s clarity, not to become a distraction.  


Use A Writing Tool

With professionalism being a key component of business writing, it’s crucial that your work uses formal vocabulary and is well structured. Here’s a list of tools that can help you improve your business writing skills:

1) Grammarly – With the ability to locate and correct over 250 types of grammatical errors, Grammarly is an easy-to-use grammar checking program that will show you where improvements can be made and how to do it. 

2) Email Excellence – Firing off an email can be tough to do when you’re staring at an empty screen. Fortunately, Email Excellence offers email writing templates that not only provides you with an outline but also explains the outlines various elements. . 

3) Enloop – The process of creating a business plan can be intimidating. Enloop actually takes the information that you input and then writes out your plan for you. 

4) AcademicWriting – Writing multi-page business documents can be daunting, and it can be tricky to structure them in a way that flows well and presents the information logically. Thankfully, AcademicWriting allows users to write their documents in individual sections, then sort the sections in the best order. 



Want to learn how to write really well?  Read and study other people’s work. By examining how good writers structure their sentences, their choice of words, and how smoothly their workflows, you’ll be able to apply their techniques to your own writing and quickly improve the quality of your work. 


Don’t Be Afraid To Outline

If you’re put-off by the time it might take to write out an online, don’t be. Creating a simple outline can make writing your business document a lot easier, and at the same time, allow you to write it far more quickly. By simply writing out a basic framework that shows what the order of a document’s various sections should be, you’ll have a nice little roadmap to help keep you on the right track. 


Go Back To the Basics

Like most other things, good writing boils down to understanding the fundamentals.  Simply knowing the basic tenants of spelling and grammar will help speed up the writing process and ensure that the quality of your work won’t grate on a reader’s eyes. Check out Strunk and White’s, The Elements of Style, if you want a small yet valuable guide to show you the essentials you need to know. 

Further information

So you’ve completed your writing task and you can’t wait to hit “send”. But before you do that, you’re going to want to give your document a good look over. Knockout extraneous words, eliminate the paragraphs that don’t work, make sure you don’t have any out-of-context misspellings (there, their, they’re). You’ve already spent this much time on it, so make your document as perfect as you can. 



Page last edited Jul 19, 2019 History

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