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Avoiding Sloppy Copy in Your Professional Writing

Your writing can either hurt or help your business. Oftentimes, potential customers read your copy before choosing to use your services or purchase your products. If you have sloppy copy, you’re going to leave them with a bad impression, making it difficult to get their business. Read on for seven tips to avoid sloppy copy in your professional writing.

Aim for an Active Voice

Although it’s okay to use a passive voice every now and then, it’s better to focus on using an active voice in professional writing. Active voice sounds confident and commanding.

To do this, make sure that the subject of the sentence is doing the action. For example, rather than saying “the boy was scratched by the cat,” you should say “the cat scratched the boy.” Check your sentences to make sure that you’ve used the active voice throughout your writing.

Check for Subject-Verb Agreement

Simply put, if the subject is singular, use the singular form of the verb. However, if the subject is plural, you need to use the plural form of the verb. It seems easy enough, but there are several words and phrases that make it difficult to determine if your subject and verb are in agreement. Some of these difficult singular subjects include each, either, neither, everyone, somebody, or anybody.

Remove Any Unnecessary Words

For business writing, it’s important to keep your writing concise. Therefore, remove any unnecessary words. Think about condensing your writing and removing unneeded words, such as that, really, or just.

Use a Conversational Tone Without Slang

Potential customers want to feel like they’re talking to a person. Just be wary of using slang that would make your writing seem too informal. Also, remember that you’re not writing a text to a friend, so you should properly spell out all words.

Maintain Consistency

For the most part, if you use past tense verbs for half your blog post, you need to stick with past tense verbs for the rest of your blog post. Same goes for pronoun usage and point of view.

If you’re going to write sentences like “you need to conduct routine maintenance on your heater to keep it working properly,” don’t change to the more impersonal “homeowners should contact their HVAC specialists to prepare for spring” halfway through your business writing. Instead, be consistent throughout your essay with your verbs, pronouns, tone, etc.

Focus on Readability

Another way to help your writing seem professional and polished is to work on readability and formatting. Keep your paragraphs short, and use bullet points when possible. It’s also helpful to bold important words or phrases to help draw your readers’ attention to them.

Proofread Your Work

One of the best ways to avoid sloppy copy is to proofread your work. Don’t send out your writing until you’ve read through your work multiple times and revised it for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.

By avoiding sloppy copy, you can help your writing make a positive impression that can benefit your business. What kind of impression do you want your professional writing to make on potential customers?

P.S. Become a better writer. Find out more here.

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