Plain English - Write Clear Business Emails & Documents

Plain English Writing – The Art of Communication
by Ian Nock
The purpose of writing is to communicate information effectively and, in todays busy working environment, quickly and efficiently. Today people have limited time to read emails and other business documents. By using Plain English you can ensure that your writing is clear and easily understood
Always remember the “3 C’s” :-
1. Deliver a
Clear message
2. Use
Correct grammar, vocabulary and punctuation
3. Be
Concise
  • Use short and simple words when possible e.g "buy" instead of "purchase". Remember the ideas is to deliver your message efficiently rather than impress your refer with the extent of your vocabulary.
  • Use simpler sentence structures with clear organisation to make your writing easier to read.
  • Avoid multiple included clauses so as not to confuse the reader.
  • Try to keep sentences shorter than 20 words and use paragraphs to structure your message.
  • Avoid cliches and legalese. These two are overused in business texts especially in Hong Kong. Some of these phrases do not add anything to your message and can be omitted:

Cliches


Cliche
Replacement
1
at an early date
soon
2
in due course
replace with the exact time or date
3
in the event that
if
4
prior to
before
6
please be advised that
omit
7
in regard to
about
8
in terms of
omit
9
for your information
omit
10
thank you for your kind consideration
thank you
11
in the near future
soon or the exact time/date
12
take this opportunity
omit
13
we regret to inform
sorry
14
as a matter of fact
omit
15
we are in receipt of
we have received
16
last but not least
finally
17
any and all
all
18
at the present time
now
19
due to the fact that
because
20
In point of fact
omit

HKEnglish runs Business English Writing Courses in Hong Kong. You can combine Business Writing with any other topic e.g. Social English.

Apply now and start improving your English!