I love writing, and I love all of the “rules” that come together with it. And while I gain that copyediting mine tweets and Facebook articles before ns share them v the world is a bit much for many people, I perform think there space a few writing rule we need to all follow—especially in ~ work.

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But numerous of united state (myself included) rest them daily, regularly without even realizing it. And while perfect prose might not it is in of the utmost importance in every office or industry, there’s most likely someone—a colleague, a client, or her boss—who is noticing your writing and, also worse, make a judgment of her professionalism based on it.

So, prior to you draft another email, take keep in mind of the most usual workplace writing mistakes, and also follow this guide to stop them.

1. Writing too Casually

Example: Thx because that ur feedback, Joe! will certainly f/u tomorrow.

I’m lucky enough to work-related in a quite casual environment—one where we can (and do) wear flip-flops come work and also mass-email ridiculously Photoshopped snapshots of one another’s faces.

But that casualness isn’t the norm because that every office, which means that it’s finest to be much more formal than frivolous in your expert writing. While that obviously means bypassing abbreviations and slang, the also way writing in complete sentences, using correct spelling, and also avoiding nicknames. There might come a time as soon as you’re comfortable enough to speak an ext casually with the receiver of her message, yet in business, that always better to beat it for sure (and professional) 보다 sorry.

2. Utilizing Passive Voice rather of Active

Example: The attached file was got by the team.

Let’s obtain this out of the way first: Passive voice—that is, once the recipient of an activity is the subject of the sentence (in this case, the document)—is no grammatically incorrect. Yet sentences that room phrased passively frequently seem azer or unnecessarily vague. Energetic voice—when the one taking action is the topic of the sentence—is typically more direct and clear. It additionally sounds more authoritative, and can it is in a better way to show ownership or duty for what you’ve done. (“I conserved the customer $5,000” mirrors off your accomplishment much better than “$5,000 to be saved.”)

3. Over-Using Exclamation Points

Example: Hi Bob! hope you had a good weekend! I desire to monitor up top top the Q1 report, and was hoping you might have the ability to send me the latest draft—no rush though! :-)

I certainly get the reasons why people get exclamation-happy in experienced writing. It deserve to be straightforward to misconstrue the ton or feeling behind an email if not for an extremely obvious displays of temperament, and also people regularly pepper your writing with exclamation clues in an initiative to show that they’re gift friendly. Yet the fact is, it’s just not professional—and worse, it deserve to come across as juvenile. (Same goes for emoticons—a smiley challenge will never obtain your point throughout in one intelligent-sounding way.)

Remember that exclamation points space meant to present emphasis, and also they tend to lose their an interpretation when overused. Usage them sparingly, and, as soon as in doubt, not at all.

4. Creating Vague topic Lines

Example: Subject: Tuesday; Body: I need the Q1 report yielded by following Tuesday.

The topic of your email should be a quick an overview of what’s in the body. This is a very basic concept that, surprisingly, has actually still no been grasped by a huge majority that the functioning world. But, when many of us get upwards the 200 emails a day and also often must scan with a jam-packed inbox because that the object we’re spring for, it can be an especially infuriating company writing wrong to leave your subject lines vague.

With all experienced communication, your goal is to provide clarity as conveniently as possible—and in email, the starts with your topic line. In the instance above, “Q1 Report: Due next Tuesday” would be much clearer 보다 simply, “Tuesday.”

5. Gaining Jargon-Happy

Example: Can you traction the FS numbers and also check that they parallel ours STH count?

While you could think the using sector or firm buzzwords provides you sound professional and also in-the-know, that defeats your purpose if no one deserve to understand what you’re saying. Remember, even if girlfriend think your straight recipient will know what you’re talking about, your message might be passed follow me to others, both within and outside of her organization.

The finest email or an alert is one that provides your point (or your request or your reply) readily apparent, and also jargon unnecessarily obscures that purpose.

Yes, we all break these rules indigenous time come time (hey, i’ve sent numerous a smiley confront via interoffice email in my day). And also in a quick email in a casual office come a close co-worker, every now and also then? Fine. But, in general, your best bet is come play it safe, remain professional, and also review your work-related to save these common blunders the end of your composed communications.

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Want to proceed to boost your writing? Here’s exactly how you can come to be a far better writer in 10 minutes.


Jenna Arak is a soulful storyteller. She shows women exactly how to usage the composed word to share their story: to teach, to connect, to have actually an impact on the human being who must read around who castle are, what they’ve done, and also what lock do—because through analysis one another’s stories, every one of our resides will be readjusted for the better. Jenna’s mission is to encourage ladies to follow your dreams, construct upon their strengths, and also bring new, interesting, and innovative principles into the world through storytelling. She is likewise a copywriter, an editor, and also a denizen of any kind of bookstore’s self-help section. She writing has actually been featured on Salon, believed Catalog, The Everygirl, The Muse, Darling Magazine, career Contessa, and also more. She lives and also writes in Pasadena. You deserve to learn an ext about her work and her writing at jennaarak.com.