Welcome to Professor Pam's Home Page
Outline, Write, Review, Re-write, Proofread
Even for a short email message or memo, you need to plan and review! Some of the biggest mistakes ever made in business have been from speaking "off the cuff" or from firing off an email or letter without proper planning and checking for details.
Ask yourself these questions:
Even for a short memo or email, jot down the main ideas (in the right order according to the objective) to make sure you don't forget anything.
For more extensive reports and sales presentations, write an outline that will guide you through the major points, the supporting data, and ensure that you stay on message.
Write the draft from the outline. Use the "you" approach. Be sure to save the document using a name that will easily remind you of what is in it. Make a backup copy of the document on a separate disk (not just on your hard drive).
At this point, just write. Get the facts into the document.
Print your draft. Let it "get cold" overnight if possible. Then re-read it checking for facts and dates. Does it follow the outline you created? Are there important issues that need to be added? Is it too long? (Remember the alien.)
You may want to save the document using a new name when you make changes to your document. Consider using these different versions to help you make sure you really don't want to include something you deleted.
Take your time with the re-write. Make sure it really says what you THINK it says. Ask someone else to read it who can point to holes or inconsistencies.
Double check the facts. Are the dates consistent? (Is Monday really June 30?)
Are you proud of your document? You should feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in everything you write, whether it is a research paper for a college class, your resume, or a sales letter.
Leave the document overnight again. (Yes, this implies that you have begun the process many days before it is due!) The "colder" it is, the more likely you will be to find errors and to make significant improvements.
©Division of Business,
Economics & Mathematics, WVUP, 2011.
Steve.Morgan@mail.wvu.edu ;Business Division Office: