By:Stephanie Diana Gast- Wilson
Like many k-12 students in the US in English/ Literature classes I hated when the teacher would require a paper outline or brain storming chart. Some writers just like the words to flow. However, now as an adult and having an undergraduate’s degree in English Literature and working in the business world and finishing my Masters of Science in Operations Management I see the importance of basic writing strategies in both the educational arena and the business world. Many have asked me “what good does a BA in English or focus on writing benefit the business world”. To those who word their questions like this; I first of cringe and want to correct their grammar. (Yes, I have in fact had multiple people word the question noted above in such a way.) Second I want to point out that writing skills are becoming even more highly sought after then ever before.
A great example that I see every day in the work place is communications via email.
Though business communications are a slightly different stylistically speaking the basic writing skills and ability to know how to not sound aggressive yet get the job done is required. Also there are so many jobs right now for those in the financial industry to do policy and procedure writing, also in PR and marketing to do inter company and external company memos and announcements. This is not including the growing demand for social media marketing who are not only familiar with the stylistic writing of social media but; the business concepts of marketing. Also as start up culture is developing there is a growing need for grant writers and business proposal and business plan writers.
For those who don’t know me personally I have been working with friends to start a nonprofit to help encourage and provide academic support to the differently abled community through the creation of a community. What I have noticed is every site on the topic of writing a business Proposal/ Plan regardless of what industry a basic outline is the key to this process. A Great example of the push for the proper use of an outline as a necessity of basic writing can be found in Garrett Sutton’s book, “Rich Dad Advisors: Writing Winning Business Plans”. (For more info on business plans see https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business/choose-register-your-busi ).
Another basic writing strategy that is often ignored and valued is the ability to have a rough draft and double check one’s work. It cannot be stressed enough how bad it looks when something on PR material or even just emails and it gets spread around making the writer and company look sheepish.
All knowledge is relative and surrounding yourself with only specialists in one field can be hindering. Having a team of those with diverse skills helps to pick up anything over looked as potential issues. So, thank your high school teachers for the basic writing strategies they provided you. They did in fact give you a tool for the real world.