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Most important rule in writing

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

When it comes to business writing, you must make it about your readers and what they stand to gain from your words. To ensure that you always have that in mind, ask yourself these questions whenever you sit down to write:

Why am I writing this? Be honest. What is your end goal? To sell something, to build your credibility, to influence others, to get something for yourself? Acknowl­­edge your reason—no matter how selfish—first. Then set goals for the piece.

Who am I writing this for? In order for you to meet the goals of the piece, who should read it? Think about your readers, their behaviors and what they care about so you can narrow your focus.

Why will they care? Reading your content has to benefit the reader in some way; otherwise, they aren’t going to read it. Describe—in specific, concrete terms—how your writing will bring value to their lives.

— Adapted from “The One Unbreakable Rule in Business Writing,” Tucker Max, Harvard Business Review, www.hbr.org.

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