Since not only law students need writing skills, others following business English courses might find the advice of David Ogilvy – an iconic businessman and original “Mad Man” – convincing:
- The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. People who think well, write well.
- Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches.
- Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints:
- Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
- Write the way you talk. Naturally.
- Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
- Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
- Never write more than two pages on any subject.
- Check your quotations.
- Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.
- If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
- Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
- If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.
Source: Oglivy, D. (2012). The Unpublished David Ogilvy. London: Profile Books Ltd.