Business Writing: An Introduction

Drafting

This step in the writing process is often considered the most difficult. Experienced writers avoid undo frustration with careful and systematic preparation. They establish their objectives, identify their readers and determine the scope of their projects first. They conduct research and organize their ideas and information before beginning a draft.

Once these preparations are well in hand, it is time to start a rough draft of a writing project. This task is not without its difficulties, but neither is it as hard as you might think. Remember that you are already prepared, that you already have an outline. All you are going to do now is enlarge it, fill it in with details from your research notes.

Keep a few things in mind. A rough draft is not a finished document. No one but you ever has to see it. Don't worry about polishing what you write. Just write. Don't worry about beginnings, middles and endings. Just write. Start where you are most comfortable and most knowledgeable. Don't worry about spelling, grammar and punctuation. Don't worry about fragments, run-on sentences or transitions. A rough draft is supposed to be rough. If it is not, you have gotten ahead of yourself in the writing process.

Focus on the ideas you want to present. Get them down on paper as straightforward as possible. Consult your outline as you work. You might consider sharing your work with others early on in the drafting process. Collaborative input from business associates can be very helpful in evaluating how well your objective is being met. Collaboration at this stage also acts as a safety net. Two sets of eyes will analyze content and spot mistakes quicker than one. This can be a real time saver and in business, time is money.

And finally, don't get discouraged if writing a rough draft turns out to be rough going. Even experienced business writers encounter obstacles at this stage of the process. It is often called writer's block and there are tactics with which it can be overcome. Keep in mind that whether your writing task is a letter, or a memo, a report or a summary, the finished document will come when you review and revise the rough draft.

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Introduction