Ten Common Writing Mistakes


We all have to do a bit of writing in our jobs, whether it’s reports, blogs or whitepapers. In our rush to churn out readable copy, mistakes are inevitable from time to time.

In fact there are many errors that we see time and time again.

To help identify where business writing often goes astray I called on Valerie Khoo for some help. Valerie is the director of the Sydney Writers’ Centre. In this edition of BTalk she talks through nine common mistakes. I’ve added one of my own to make it up to ten:

  • Pluralising a company
  • Not stating a conclusion at the beginning
  • Not identifying your target reader
  • Not using consistent key terms
  • Not using meaningful headings
  • Using vague rather than specific terms
  • Using too much jargon
  • Writing in the passive voice
  • Using long sentences
  • Watering down your ideas

Actually, we get a bit carried away and throw in a couple more at the end. Listen in. It’s a useful 10 minutes that should sharpen up your writing skills.

First published on CBS News

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