Linda Botha's blog

Plain business writing course (entry 4): Total recall


Most of us are bombarded with tons of information every day. How do you get your readers to remember YOUR precious message?

Rule 4: Retention of info is boosted by cause-effect and contrast, straightforward and parallel relationships, and repeated words and main ideas.

1. Give them cause-effect information.

E.g. Owing to low stock levels the branch was unable to carry out a large order.

Cause-effect words to use include the following:

...because of...

...caused by...

...cause of...

Plain business writing course (entry 3): WIIFM


In business writing, you usually want your reader to do something. The question is therefore, how do I motivate my reader to act? The key lies in what would be of interest to the reader, what the reader's level of knowledge is, and what benefit the reader would get.

Rule 3: Motivation = Interest + knowledge + benefit

The first step in motivating the reader to read on and eventually do what you want is to arouse his or her interest. What is the angle that would make the reader go, "I need to know more"?