I'm wondering what I should do with action items that have not been completed and will not until a time later in the year? As an example, I take monthly meeting minutes for a committee at a university and if an action item cannot be completed until the fall semester starts, should these items stay on every set of minutes with "not completed" or "carried over", or should this item be removed from the minutes until the time arrives when it can be completed? And, if this is the case, how do you remember to put them back in at that time?
– Write too many words if your English is average (aim for 250-265)
– Use contractions such as “don’t”, “shouldn’t”, etc
– Overuse connecting words (assessors expect that!)
– Jump from one idea to the next: link, link, link!
– Mix arguments “for” and “against” in the same paragraph
– Use the wrong tone (essays are always formal)
– Use abbreviations
– Repeat words or overuse primitive verbs (does, makes, gets)
– Cross out many things
– Write illegibly
– Use idioms too frequently or inappropriately
– Write in a babyish manner (bad grammar and poorly developed ideas)
– Become a clock victim (constantly look at the clock and panic)
– Start writing without a plan
– Forget to leave a blank line between paragraphs
– Use generalisations (“All”, “Every”) as this reflects an immature way of thinking
– Use simple sentences if you want a high score
– Use cliches as they are often too informal
– Use ‘lazy’ expressions (“and so on”, “etc”).
– Copy part of task question
– Agree with both sides – choose one side to make your opinion clear
– Let adrenaline make you arrogant
– Go off topic
5 Note to self
Last but by no means least, after finishing each one of your written business communications, ask yourself the following before sending:
•Is it right for its audience? Always know who the intended recipients are for your words and tailor them accordingly. The language, vocabulary and level of formality will differ depending on the audience.
•Does it get straight to the point? Don’t make the reader have to work hard to find the purpose of your writing.
•Have I used long-winded words or sentences? Aim for simple, direct and active constructions instead of flowery prose that doesn’t contain much substance. Be ruthless in self-editing.
•Have I checked spelling and grammar? Spelling and grammar tools have a lot of value, but don’t let them be your sole means of checking your work.
•Have I reread it at least once? Before sending, try reading it aloud to get a feel for whether the words sound natural.