How to write an article professionally.
1. Diagnostic writing
This is where we start the program; a diagnostic test designed to identify the chinks in your
armor. Please make sure that you pay enough attention to the tasks, and treat it as a learning
module. Remember, this is not like your school or college essay. No marks, and no grades; only
inferences to help us know you better.
2. Individual writing program – Things to do
Let us get this clear first. Writing is a skill, and it is learnable. In this module, we will learn a few
tricks to develop a skill. I promise you, it will help you throughout this program.
a. Four secrets of acquiring a skill
b. “The boys in the basement”
3. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
In a nutshell, the three most important steps in writing an effective copy, report, or an email
are: Plan, write, and review. This module will deal with the planning aspect of writing
a. Clear objectives
b. The power of three – Amar, Akbar, Anthony.
c. Reasons, examples, and illustrations
e. The writers’ block: Fear of failure, fear of mediocrity, and fear of success
4. Making the reader read
A reader is our sole reason for writing (except of course in cases where we write poems and
stories and keep them hidden under the bed). A reader analysis for a simple email is as
important as a market analysis for a new product is. This module is aimed at building awareness
about how readers read and how we can use that knowledge to influence the reader better.
a. Inside the readers brain
b. Appealing to the lazy brain
c. Optimized headlines bring 73% more readers
d. The one-idea paragraph
f. Avoiding redundancy, metadiscourse, and “amelioration”
5. Grammar for writing
Ah! Grammar, our good old nemesis; or the thorn in our ‘writing’ flesh. This module takes you
through the most common grammatical elements, whose knowledge is important in becoming
an effective, professional writer.
b. Number agreements
c. Subject verb agreement
d. Correct use of pronouns
e. Useful connectors
f. Correct use of modifiers
g. Avoiding passive voice
h. Use and non-use of articles
i. Useful vocabulary
j. Run-on sentences
k. Mistakes that make you look amateurish
l. Mistakes unique to the learner’s writing
6. Easy, Efficient, and Effective emails
A user on ask.yahoo.com tells us that almost 62 billion emails are sent everyday. Undoubtedly
email is the new writing of the day, and it requires specific strategies to be an effective
communicator in this medium. This module is just about them.
a. 11 common mistakes in an email.
b. Emails that speak
c. Two tools of clarity – Lists and tables
d. Subject line etiquette
e. What do you want the reader to do?
f. Email etiquette
7. Riveting reports
Have you ever heard of a term called “reportophobia.”(Highly unlikely, I just coined it) It is the
fear of writing reports. All of us professionals have had to write reports, and the majority of us
are afraid of starting. In this module, we will deal with the intricacies of writing an informative,
a. Introduction – The road sign for the trip
b. Effective summarization
c. Prioritizing arguments
d. Dovetailing paragraphs
e. The all consummate conclusion
8. Persuasion is the name of the game
You want your reader to believe you, give you a raise, buy your product, or be your friend. Don’t
you? How do you do it? Persuasive writing is the key.
a. The head follows the heart
b. Creating a win-win situation
c. Repeat, reason, agitate, prognosticate
d. Tell a story, give a social proof, address objections
We have dealt with the two steps of plan, and write in the earlier modules. This module will deal
exclusively with the third step, i.e., review.
a. Reviewing the arguments
b. Proof reading for focus
c. Proof reading for grammar
d. Proof reading for cohesion
Note that this syllabus is not sacrosanct in any manner. Treat this as a general guideline to this program.
Components will be, and can be changed according to individual needs and abilities.
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