Methodical System That Produces Results

By dividing the task of writing into three distinct steps, you'll find the process of writing easier and discover shortcuts that will save you time. The three steps are:

Step One: Get Your Thoughts in Order

Step Two: Create a Draft on Paper (or on Your Computer)

Step Three: Revise for Clarity

Within each chapter, there are several exercises. Intended to ensure that you practice using the tools, the exercises are challenging and fun. Additionally, the exercises will help you:

• prove to yourself that you'll be able to remember and use the three-step model

• know that there are always several ways to express a thought; this tip helps you avoid writer's block as you hunt for the one "right" way to write something

• save time and energy while still producing top-notch writing; no more will you be dependent on the "aha" of creative inspiration

Each chapter uses specific techniques to elicit the information needed to write well. This approach, therefore, becomes a checklist for you as you go through the writing process. Over time, you'll discover that the more frequently you consult the checklist, the more quickly the system will become second nature.

The checklist includes:

Step One: Get Your Thoughts in Order

✓ Answer the question, "What do I want my readers to do as a result of reading this?"

✓ Analyze your audience by considering their personalities and by using the Formality Index.

✓ Assess your writing assignment with the Matrix of Persuasion.

Step Two: Create a Draft on Paper (or on Your Computer)

✓ Organize your thoughts.

✓ Use the Hub & Spokes model to get your thoughts on paper. Once done, select your beginning and ending paragraphs.

✓ Generate a first draft.

Step Three: Revise for Clarity

✓ Revise to a second draft with the Empathy Index, and focus on the lead and salutation.

✓ Add a snappy close. (And consider adding a P.S., addendum, appendix, enclosures, or attachments.)

✓ Make the writing specific.

✓ Select the best words using the principle of FURY.

✓ Ensure the writing is concise, clear, positive, and parallel.

✓ Check your grammar, punctuation, word usage, and capitalization.

✓ Make the draft visually appealing.

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