In an article in the Information Management Journal, Dr. Richard Cox, professor of information science at the University of Pittsburgh, discusses essentials for enhancing technical writing skills for professional development and publication. Dr. Cox points out the many difficulties in professional writing today and says, “The greatest barrier preventing professionals from contributing to the professional literature may be a lack of comfort in writing for publication.”
Effectively written documents, from smaller pieces such as daily reports and emails to larger projects such as professional publications, are essential in enhancing your professionalism in the workplace. “Writing well is a skill acquired through hard work and practice,” Dr. Cox says, and “learning to write also requires a thick skin, developed through criticism, rejection, and experienced mentoring.”
One way to become a more effective writer is to be an active reader, which is the first step towards becoming a successful writer. Many professionals have developed their writing skills through reading numerous professional documents: “Because nearly every successful writer attributes part of his or her success to reading, working professionals must recognize that good reading leads to good writing.”
Improving professional writing skills by reading is a great approach to gain more knowledge of business perspectives and tone.
Another approach to enhance confidence in your writing is to actually write and write a lot. Though some businesspeople have difficulty writing daily, research suggests that actual experience is the most effective way to learn, whether you’re writing business reports or technical manuscripts.
In terms of gaining experience via writing workshops and courses, Dr. Cox says, “Not too long ago, establishing and sustaining a network required physically attending conferences. Today, virtual networks can almost accomplish the same goal.” Thus, attending an onsite or online course can help you hone your writing skills, when the courses include ample exercises, breakout sessions, and a mentor to ask questions of.
Gaining confidence in your writing is crucial if you’re to enhance your writing skills, and doing so is as simple as reading and writing more. In fact, write and read a little every day and you’ll see marked improvement in a relatively short time. Whether writing business, technical, or scientific documents, Hurley Write offers many online and onsite workshops that provide the expertise that can take your writing skills from ordinary to extraordinary!