Essential Writing Skills

FOR REPORTS and PROPOSALS

Learn the essential writing skills, principles & good practice that underpin effective reports and proposals

Many people approach the writing of reports and proposals with trepidation; either suffering from writer’s block or worrying about being let down by the quality of their written work.

Most managers, researchers and funding applicants will at some need to write high quality reports and proposals. The extent to which these reports and proposals are successful is often largely dependent on the way they are written. While written dexterity may not be enough to save a weak proposal, a poorly written proposal can leave it floundering. Similarly poorly written reports not only reflect badly on the writer – they too can hinder the effectiveness of the report, its findings and recommendations.

This one-day workshop is designed to help all those tasked with writing reports and proposals present high quality documents that look and read in a professional and effective manner.

It provides comprehensive guidance on writing and grammar issues; and how objective readability measures such as the Fog Index and the readability statistics within Microsoft Word can be used to enhance the written report or proposal.

Participants are encouraged to bring recent example of their written work to the course to help them assess the clarity of their own writing and to produce a practical action plan to further improve it.

For Whom
This workshop is designed for anyone who has to write reports or proposals.

Most of the principles can be applied to equally well to other forms of business writing. Consequently the workshop is considered of benefit to all those who have to produce written materials including manuals, minutes, business letters and emails or even post comments on websites and social media.

It is suitable for representatives from all business types and sectors, including private, public and not for profit.

To maximise the benefits on offer participants are requested to bring with them a cross section of recent examples of their written work, for example, reports, minutes, letters, emails. This enables participants to contextualise the learning better and to identify the areas they as individuals need to pay specific attention to.

Aims and Objectives
This one-day workshop has been designed to bring together proof reading excellence and clear writing style; to provide delegates with comprehensive guidance on the ABC of writing: Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity.

Content
The course content is highly interactive with a combination of individual and small team exercises. The course booklet also provides a valuable reference work for issues of style and grammar.

The workshop consists of four distinct but related sessions

1. Spelling and Grammar
Session one explores the need for accuracy with particular reference to:

• Sentence construction
• US and UK spellings
• Punctuation
• Capital letters
• Frequently misunderstood words
• Business writing conventions

2. Structures, Suitability and Choice
This session considers the difference structures available for business documents; for example by subject, by order of importance, by chronology, by simple to complex etc. It encourages you to decide which may be most appropriate for any given activity and the importance of planning the structure before you commence word-for-word writing.

3. Being Succinct
The final session highlights why it is important to write succinctly and eliminate waffle, and enables participants to practise how to write in a clear and concise manner. This session includes:

• Sentence and paragraph length
• Using short, punchy words
• Writing in the active voice instead of the passive
• Eliminating surplus words

4. Personal Review and Action Planning
In this final session delegates review recent example of their own written work against the learning covered. In doing so they are encouraged to assess the clarity of their writing and to produce a practical aide memoire they can use on return to work.