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Types of Writing Classes

There is no better way to become a better writer than to sign up for and take some basic writing classes.  These classes can be found all over the place, at local park districts or community colleges, to online clubs, or a local group that meets weekly at a cafe to discuss their work.

I strongly believe that anyone who has any serious desires towards becoming a writer, or simply to improve their style and tone should be signed up for these classes and meeting with other writers.  They will critique your work and help you learn how to more effectively communicate your ideas in writing, which, of course, will help you grow as a writer and as a person.

In my experience, the best classes are offered through colleges, though they are typically much more expensive there than anywhere else.  Try to find a community college where you can take some classes at a significant discount rather than a major state university or a private school.  In general, the classes will be significantly less money, and there will be fewer people in class, so you get more of a one-on-one with the teacher.

Another option is to start, or to find a local group to meet with and discuss your writing with.  This is difficult for many people who aren’t sure where to look.  Indeed, these little clubs are a little hard to find, and many do not actively look for new members, so it is difficult to get into even if you can find one.

The other option, which is often the best option for most people, is to enroll in an online writing class.  These classes are offered all over the place, often through colleges (again, expensive), but they do not require you to meet regularly or discuss in person, since everything is done through an online forum.

Other times, there are types of writing classes which focus on giving you exercises and practice activities to engage your mind in writing on things that you normally wouldn’t consider writing about.  I personally think that these are more helpful to you than writing critique groups because they take you out of your element and force you to try something totally new.  This can help people who write only in one style by helping them realize new techniques that they can take from the new discipline and apply to their own.

No matter what kind of class you decide on, make sure you take the time to go out and sign up for one right away.

Writing Business Letters

Writing business letters is an art that very few people take the time to master today. For those who dedicate time towards learning the proper format and style of writing business letters, they’ll find that they’ve gained a very distinct advantage over those who haven’t.

A business letter is often the first impression, so take the opportunity to do it right. Spend time fixing the wording and print the letter on high-quality paper. Master the techniques and points of writing business letters and you’ll never have to wonder how you came across in your initial contact with the individual.

Before you begin writing business letters, try to research and find out as much as possible about the audience that you are writing to. Business letters can range from an extremely formal style of writing to a more casual mode. Knowing which to use will go a long way in gaining the interest of the recipient of the letter. No matter which style of writing you decide to use when writing business letters, there are certain rules that need to be followed. When writing business letters, you should always use your computer. They should never be written by hand.

Begin by choosing the format in writing business letters. The most commonly used format is the block format. This requires left justifying the whole letter using single spacing with a double space between paragraphs. Next choose the font. In writing business letters, one may not think the font is all that important but it can make a big difference. Again, the type of company you are directing your business letter to will play a role in the font you choose. Traditional companies lean towards the more conservative font styles while others may allow for more creativity. Either way, your letter should always be easy to read. Some fonts are very creative looking and make for an interesting looking page but are difficult to read. If it’s too difficult then your letter may not get read. Keep in mind that you are writing business letters for the audience not for yourself. Read what you have selected and ask yourself if you’d have any trouble reading this.

In writing business letters, remember that it’s a much more formal looking document than personal letters. The margin should be at least an inch on all four sides. Begin with the heading, which contains the return address then a date line with a space between the two. Skip another line after the date and write out the inside address. If you’re writing a business letter then most likely this is an important document that you truly need to have delivered correctly. The inclusion of an inside address on a business letter ensures the delivery to the correct person or department should the address on the outside of the envelope become damaged in some way. Skip another line after the inside address and type in the salutation. The greeting, when writing business letters, is always formal. It typically begins with “Dear” and includes the person’s full name and title. Skip another line after the salutation and you’re ready to begin writing the body of the letter.

The most important part of writing business letters is the body of the letter. Excellent grammar and spelling is a must to make a good impression on the reader. The information you are conveying here must be concise and to the point. The whole purpose of writing business letters is to get a point across or to request something. In doing these things, you need to have a good handle on proper grammar and English choices to make your statement as quickly and succinctly as possible. This is not the time to use flowery creative words and draw out your sentences. Do not attempt to show off your vocabulary skills. Be professional but yet clear on the subject.

Again skip another line before your closing. Use a short but polite closing in writing business letters and skip two lines before typing in your full name. This allows a space for your handwritten signature.

Follow these tips when writing business letters and you’ll find that this will set you apart from most people who haven’t taken the time to really study how writing business letters should be.

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The Basics of Technical Writing

Technical writing is simply a form of writing for one to get technical information across to others. Many technical fields find it necessary for their people to have the basics of technical writing down pat, since the best people to explain how a system wor. Knowing the basics to technical writing is essential if one hopes to have a future in a highly technological field.

Many of your technical personnel tend to think and speak in highly specialized language that is specific to their certain field. One of the basics to technical writing would be to learn the ability to translate these technical terms into a report form with language that will be simple for the general audience to comprehend. It is highly advisable for everyone who aspires to go into a specific technological field to at least take a course teaching the basics to technical writing. This simple knowledge will carry this individual higher within the ranks of their chosen profession, since solid communication skills are a necessity in the corporate worlds.

Another of the basics to technical writing is to communicate with a clear understanding of the purpose of the writing. The intent of this paper needs to be clearly stated, riight up front, and . What is the writer trying to convey to the audience? Understanding this simple point is the biggest basics to technical writing that one can begin with.

Some of the basics to technical writing will tell you to make sure your research paper outlines the results, shows new information gained from the results and states the significance of the results. In this section, try outlining what makes your proejc

The proper structure of this type of paper is important to the basics of technical writing. One should do a brief abstract then a very short introduction that brings up the problem and it’s solution. A very important basic step in technical writing includes making sure the writing is clearly stated in language that anyone unrelated to the field can understand. In learning basics to technical writing, one will find that it is important to include any previous works that may be relevant to your paper.

In writing the main body of a technical paper, a few illustrations are usually advisable. These figures tend to lend themselves to making the stated comments more understandable. Basics to technical writing advise that figures and statements together works well for the readers. Again, make sure the terminology is clear and understandable to one who may not be familiar with this particular field.

Close your paper with a description or explanation of the end results from the experiment or study. Providing details is one of the basics to technical writing.

If you expect your paper to be out on the internet then make sure you include a good descriptive title pertaining to your subject. If you do this properly your paper will appear very high on specific search engine queries.

Having a couple of readers proofread your paper before presentation is a very good idea. Have one person who is very technological as yourself and another who is just your basic reader curious about the field that you are writing about. If both individuals can understand and make perfect sense of your paper then it’s ready to be presented.

If you can master just the basics to technical writing then you’ll be well on your way to creating interesting and informative papers.

Technical Writing Career

A technical writing career is a great if you’re the type of person who enjoys writing and if you have a good command of your grammar. However, the ability to write isn’t the only thing one needs to break into this field. One needs to understand how to take complex information on many different topics and be able to organize and translate them in such a way that the general public can understand it. As our society moves forward into the technological era, the demand for technical writes will grow, making a technical writing career a very viable career option for years to come.

There are many opportunities in the realm of technical writing careers for one to choose from. There are opportunities from being a freelance technical writer or working as part of a writing team within an organization. The technical writing field is growing so rapidly that if you have the skills, you’ll find yourself in demand.

Some things to keep in mind when considering a technical writing career are what type of writer you want to be. If you choose to be a freelance writer that takes on an entire project then your skills need to be quite considerable as opposed to being part of a team. When choosing a technical writing career, it may be advisable to begin as part of a team so that you can develop individual skills as needed while learning about the whole aspect from other experienced writers. Working on a team in a technical writing career offers one the opportunity to learn under experienced technical writers who can support and advise you in your work. Typically one would start off working under someone that would monitor your work closely. In most cases as part of a team, you would be responsible for a few documents in the beginning. Then as you begin to gain experience, you can expect to be given more challenging assignments. A good writer who wants to break in to a technical writing career will observe all the processes carefully and learn all that’s needed. If you ever hope to become a freelance technical writer, you’ll need to know all aspects of technical writing in order to truly impress a company into hiring you and keeping your services.

As a lone, freelance writer, you would be expected to be responsible for an entire technical writing project, which can be quite formidable. A technical writing career means having the skills to evaluate the topic while analyzing outside requirements in order to come up with the information needed. Templates would be needed for the documentation books and you would have to possess the skills to design these. As a lone writer, you’d be the one writing all the books, guides, online information, etc. In order to have a successful freelance technical writing career, one must make sure the whole package is accurate and well developed before releasing it for public viewing. Many times if you are hired as the only technical writer, you’ll be working with people who have no experience in technical writing and you do not want criticism to come back into the company about your writing. This indicates to your employers that you’ve put out sloppy work and it could adversely affect the product you just wrote about.

In a technical writing career, one needs to spend time building up the necessary skills in order to establish yourself in the field as a reputable, professional technical writer. A technical writing career is an area that offers great growth but one needs to be prepared with the necessary knowledge and skills to truly impress not only your employers but the public that you are putting the information out to as well. The better your skills, the more this will set you above the rest and you’ll be in demand.

If you are one who not only enjoys writing but also has a good command of the English language and grammar and possess excellent research and organizational skills then check out a technical writing career.

Technical Report Writing

Researchers spend much of their time investigating and determining why or how things happen. Once they do this, they need to compose their findings in such a manner that it can be presented clearly and precisely to others. This is called technical report writing. It’s only by doing this that the researcher can convey his findings to others.

Technical report writing is an incredibly important ability for anyone in the research or technical field.

Using a technical report to explain your findings and how you arrived at that conclusion is vital to every researcher. Technical reports communicate to readers in such a way that everyone can learn from your research. It makes your hard work more accessible.

Coming up with a thesis is important in technical report writing. By doing so one can maintain a tightly controlled report that addresses the main components.

In technical report writing make sure that these following items are clearly stated. The report should be dated with your name and affiliation. This is so everyone will have no question about who performed the research and findings.

Good technical report writing will contain a short paragraph that summarizes what your paper is about. A reader should be able to scan this paragraph in technical report writing and get a very good idea of what the whole paper is about. Choose appropriate keywords such as to assist others in locating your paper for their own research purposes.

Write clearly and concisely so that others may read and understand what you are trying to explain. Technical report writing will often include graphs and diagrams to illustrate the data from the research. Keep your focus on the content of your paper, include the details of your work, the problems encountered, questions that arose and the consequences or your actions towards the research. Make sure that the beginning and last sentence of every paragraph clearly states the body of the paragraph and summarizes appropriately. Technical report writing involves precision in writing. Always explain the points clearly for the readers, even when it might be overkill.

Since research often includes more than one individual’s participation, always give credit to them by acknowledging them in your technical report writing. When writing your report, cite references used in the research so that the reader can identify other related works. Always explain how those references affected your research.

Technical report writing should be neat and organized
. Don’t skip around all over the paper with any one specific action in regards to the research. For example, if you were to explain your methods in conducting the research, explain the methods completely in one section of your technical report writing. Don’t explain parts of the method in several different paragraphs scattered throughout the report. Decide before you do your technical report writing how you want to organize and in what order. Then write according to the organization that you’ve established. In technical report writing it’s important to make references back to the methods if necessary throughout the report but your main explanation of the methods should be contained within that one section.

Simply reporting data and findings is not what technical report writing is about. The writer needs to spend time analyzing the data and show what your interpretation of the information is. Thoroughly discuss all the different aspects that have arisen due to your research, whether it’s negative or on the positive side. Technical report writing is expanding on facts with good writing that hooks the reader’s attention.

Resume Writing Format

Basically there are three different formats for writing resumes. There is the chronological resume writing format, which focuses mainly on prior experiences in the work force. Using this format is good when you want to focus on your prior work experiences. This is effective when you are looking to change jobs within the same field or when applying to corporations that rely mainly on your past experiences. This particular resume writing format shows exactly where you worked and for how long of a time. It also tells a prospective employer what you did in each job. If you are looking to change to an entirely different career field then this type of resume wouldn’t work very well as all it does is show what you’ve done at the places that you have worked. It doesn’t show your talents or any extracurricular activity that you may be looking to switch over into.

Another resume writing format is called the functional resume. This type of resume makes it much easier for the reader to see all your qualifications in one spot. With the chronological, you have everything listed under each job and the reader has to read though each one to get an idea of your qualifications. With the functional resume writing format, you can showcase them all in one section. Remember, when a prospective employer reads resumes, he most likely has hundreds to wade through. He’ll probably devote a good ten seconds on each one and if nothing catches his eye, it’ll go into the reject pile. This is where the functional resume can really jump out and grab someone’s attention. This type of resume writing format is recommended for someone looking to make a career change into a totally different field. When you’re looking to do this, obviously your prior job experiences isn’t going to count much but if you have skills or qualifications in the career you are hoping to move into, you’ll have the ability to list them in the functional resume writing format. A drawback of this type of resume is that it can make it difficult for some interviewers to determine exactly what you have done and where.

The third type of resume is one which combines both the chronological and the functional formats. This type of resume can be the most effective one as it showcases your talents and qualifications as well as shows any prospective employers what your job duties were at each place. Using the combined resume format takes the obvious advantages that one can get from both resume formats but by doing so, this type of resume writing format can get a little longer than most. Keep in mind that you only have approximately ten seconds to grab someone’s attention so focus on making your desired statement at the very beginning of the resume. Do this in a way that will pull the reader in and spark their interest enough to keep reading.

Keep in mind the kind of career you are looking for and tailor your resume accordingly. A more traditional kind of field may require nothing but a chronological resume format while other, more creative, fields may prefer the functional type. Get some reference books and look for the different resume formats and play around with the information you have until you get an eye-catching resume. One that will pull the prospective interviewer in and make him want to pick up the phone and call you to find out more.

Professional Letter Writing

When you learn the basics of professional letter writing, you will soon notice that you have a skill that many business people do not have. Professional letter writing is just as important into today’s society as it was when guidelines for this standard of writing were set. This article outlines some tips that will help you to write effective and professional letters to your clients, other business, and your affiliates.

Beginning a Professional Letter

Professional letter writing begins with a proper greeting to your intended reader. It is important to address a person correctly when writing a letter. How you begin your letter sets the stage for how your reader will accept the letter. For instance, if you start a letter with “Hey there,” the person reading the letter will not be enthusiastic to read the rest of the letter because they feel unappreciated. On the other hand, if you begin your letter with, “Dear Mrs. Smith,” the reader will know that you have acknowledged them personally. Here are examples for opening a professional letter:

Dear Ms. Smith: If you do not know if the reader is married or not

Dear Mrs. Smith: If you are sure the lady reader is married

Dear Mr. Smith: For any male whether married or not

Dear Dr. Smith: If the reader hold this degree, whether they are male or female

To Whom It May Concern: If you do not know if the letter is going to be read by a male or female

The Body of the Letter

The body of your letter is extremely important because this is where you convey your thoughts. Professional letter writing demands that you use grammatically correct sentences and that your spelling is impeccable. Be sure to use the spell check function on your word processor before sending off a letter to someone.

Your thoughts must be organized and flow smoothly in your letter. If a letter is hard for the reader to understand, they may ignore the letter or simply toss it aside for another time. If possible, each point or new discussion in your letter should begin a new paragraph.

Closing a Professional Letter

Professional letter writing begins with an appropriate beginning, and, thus, must end with an appropriate closing. There are many options for how you choose to end your letter, but the main thing to remember is the right way to write out a closing. Take a look at these examples:

Sincerely yours,
Best regards,
Yours truly,
Best wishes,

Do you notice any similarities in these four examples? The first word is capitalized, while the second word is not. This is the correct way to end a letter. Do not capitalize both words. A closing statement should feel comfortable to you, or go with the flow of your letter. In professional letter writing, the term “Sincerely yours,” and “Best regards,” are more suited when you do not personally the person that you wrote. The other two examples would make good closing statements for a friend or colleague.

Professional letter writing becomes easier the more you practice using it, and it should become a habit, if you are serious about how you present yourself to others.

Letter Writing Etiquette

A letter that is well written is becoming harder and harder to find. Slang, computer email-lingo and bad grammar have moved in and become second nature in our way of writing. Always remember that when writing a letter your words cannot be taken back once sent. People often say or do things on impulse based on emotion and letter writing is no different. Just as one may walk away from an argument to cool down or think things over before responding, one needs to also put a letter down and wait before sending it. Make sure you take the time to read over what has been written before actually putting it in the mail.

Letter writing etiquette is one of the most valuable lessons a person can learn in their lives. You may say it’s just a bunch of words on paper…well, when a letter arrives at its destination it may be the only impression the reader gets of you. As with anything else, it’s important to give the reader a good picture of who you are through your writing. This is why letter writing etiquette is really an essential tool for everyone to know.

No matter what kind of letter you are writing, whether it’s a personal or a business letter, letter writing etiquette applies to both kinds. The first thing you want to do is to give thought to your writing. Consider carefully how you want to come across to the recipient of your letter. Use proper wording to express your thoughts or feelings. Many times a letter can be brought back out at a later date, as proof of your character and it may actually be a result of writing under duress or extreme emotion. Not a reflection of who you truly are. So, before writing, jot down ideas and thoughts then develop them into sentences and paragraphs. Once you’ve done this, put it aside and read it again after a few hours or days before you actually send it in the mail.

In order to make your writing easy for the reader to follow, letter writing etiquette suggests writing in a certain order. Begin at the beginning of your story or problem and go forward from there. Don’t jump around from the present to past and back again. This confuses your readers and throws them off of what you are trying to tell them. Make your presentation clear and easy to understand. Stay with shorter sentences and use descriptive words to convey your meaning. Following good letter writing etiquette will keep you from sounding long-winded and dull. It will keep the reader interested and reading quickly through the paper to find out the ending.

Another part of letter writing etiquette that cannot be ignored is grammar. When you allow grammatical errors to fill a page, you’ll distract the reader. Every time they read across something that is grammatically wrong, their brain will stop and focus on the thing that just looks wrong. Mentally their brain will note this error and it takes them away from the actual point that you may be trying to get across in your letter. If a letter is full of grammatical errors then you run the risk of losing your reader completely. They may stop reading before they ever get to the end where you may have some important conclusion statements for them.

Letter writing etiquette is something that everyone should make time to learn. Sending letters is an extension of showing whom we are and bad grammar and writing will only show the readers that you are one that doesn’t need to be taken seriously. Not only that, but a letter sent in anger full of insults and threats will only serve to show you in a negative light that can be used against you at anytime. Take the time to learn good letter writing etiquette. You’ll find that it will come in handy many times in your life.

How to Write a Good Resume

There is no need to wonder why learning how to write a good resume is important. This skill can determine whether a prospective employer finds you interesting enough to bring in for an interview. By knowing how to write a good resume, you’ll be putting yourself at the top of a large pile of applicants. There are a large number of people out there today looking for jobs. If you don’t put that extra effort into creating a truly memorable resume, someone else will and they’ll be the one invited for an interview instead of you.

A resume is simply a one or two page document that sells you as a possible candidate for a job position. Think of writing an advertisement to sell something. You’d write all the points and details of your product in hopes to get someone interested enough to come and look at it. A resume is the same type of idea only you are selling yourself. Don’t make the mistake of simply documenting your experiences, job history and education on a boring piece of paper. If you truly want to get that elusive desired position then take the time to learn how to write a good resume.

Resumes literally have only seconds to grab a prospective employer’s interest. Let’s face it, resumes aren’t the most exciting material to read and there could be hundreds that the employer has to wade through to determine which ones to call back for an interview. They’ll pick up a resume, scan it briefly and if nothing catches their eye, it goes into the reject pile. The person who knows how to write a good resume is the one who is going to catch the reader’s attention. This is where you have to make sure there is something visually appealing about yours to make them take those extra moments and actually read yours. It should be very clean and easy to read. Each section should be described, using strong power words, in as small of a space as possible. A few lines or less should be enough for each section. Make sure the whole document is balanced visually. If you truly want to know how to write a good resume, then make sure you have absolutely no grammatical or spelling errors. On such a sparse sheet any error will jump off the page and be noticed right away. Use the correct format and make sure all the pertinent information is included such as your personal contact information, listings of previous jobs and education history. Many people who don’t know how to write a good resume will just slap something together leaving out many of the primary important points that prospective employers are looking for.

Someone who knows how to write a good resume will begin with researching the job position that is being applied for. Find out what qualifications are needed and what the employer is looking for by reading the job requirements carefully. Then write down everything that you have done and accomplished. Don’t limit yourself to work experiences only. You may find that some of the qualifications needed come from your personal life. Once you have done this, now arrange your thoughts in such a way that you are selling yourself to the prospective employer. Remember to stay with the simple clean look.

Many people shy away from “boasting” but if you want to write a good resume, this is exactly what you have to get over. You need to get past the idea that you’re being a braggart and realize that this is what the employer is looking for. They need to know what you can do and what you are capable of. Try to think of yourself as a product, an entity separate from yourself. Write to sell yourself as a product. Use strong power words to grab the reader’s attention. Write in a confident, assured manner and let the employer know that you are the person for the job and that you’re capable of handling anything that may come your way.

How to Write a Contract

Learning how to write a contract can save you a lot of money and aggravation. Typically people find themselves in a position where they need to hire a lawyer to negotiate the terminology of a contract. This can get quite costly, especially when the parties keep going back and forth changing certain items. By knowing how to write a contract you’ll be aware of each word and phrase that’s being utilized in this document. This puts you in a better position of knowledge. Many have tried to save money by writing their own contract only to find that they’ve neglected to include details that may be needed to make the contract binding. These are very important documents and should not be attempted unless you learn how to write a contract.

Contracts can be long and complicated documents or they can be short and sweet. Knowing how to write a contract is simply a matter of common sense. You must be aware of what information is essential to the matter at hand and including details that will avoid any future confusion should the matter ever come to a dispute. Keep in mind that you need to clearly state any detail that could be attacked in court. Ask how certain terms would hold up against a skilled lawyer in a courtroom. If you find yourself able to argue points included in your contract then perhaps you need to go back and rephrase or make your point clearer. The whole point of knowing how to write a contract is to make it so that there is no question surrounding the terms of the document.

Before beginning a contract, write out an outline of the terms included in the agreement. Ask questions about those terms outlined to try and foresee any possible complications. Know and understand the terminology that is typically used in a contract. Many times confusion over a simple word or phrase can break apart a contractual agreement between parties.

Using a good contract form is essential to knowing how to write a contract. The proper form provides a strong foundation upon which to build a contract. Typically one begins with the parties involved in the transaction. It’s important to include their full legal names as well as nicknames so that there is no confusion over who is involved. Throughout the document, always refer to the parties by the names you have them listed as in the beginning of the contract and avoid any misspelling. Another important thing to know is that the date should be listed in the first paragraph of this paper. Key a blank space within the paragraph so that the date can be written in as the parties both sign the agreement. Knowing how to write a contract means being organized with your thoughts as you type this document up. Keep it simple yet concise. Avoid any loose terminology that could be misinterpreted. Avoid any creative writing and do not rely on grammatical rules that you may have learned in school. Contract writing needs to be absolutely clear leaving no room for misinterpretation. Never try to speed read through your contract when editing it, as you will certainly leave lots of room for misinterpretation that can cost you a lot of money.

Once you have learned how to write a contract, you’ll find that it is quite simple as long as you know and understand the rules. Knowing how to write a contract can be quite profitable for those who engage in business practices regularly but find that attorney fees for writing contracts can get quite steep. In the beginning, it may be helpful to seek out advice from an experienced person but once you have the essentials of contract writing down, you should be able to write contracts with ease.