Effective Writing for Professionals
Target Audience
This workshop is geared to professionals (mid-level and above) who have a good grasp of the fundamentals. It covers the more challenging issues of focus, reader-direction, scope, organization of ideas, format, coherence, clarity of style, economy of expression, and emphasis. Typically, participants are intimately familiar with their subject. Overall, the training is designed to show writers how to increase the readability of their writing -- to consider occasion, audience, and purpose -- and to vary their approach accordingly.

Objectives of the Training
Most professionals have all the skill necessary to write simply and efficiently. Many, however, inadvertently complicate (1) the act of putting words on paper and (2) the clarity of the text itself. The goals of this workshop are to simplify the writer's job (when planning and drafting the text) and to provide techniques for ensuring that the writing is clear, complete, and concise. The program helps writers

  • systematically approach the task
  • reduce the time spent writing
  • write well for a specific audience
  • provide good focus and reader direction
  • adjust format for clarity
  • ensure good scope and coherence
  • enhance the clarity of sentences and paragraphs
  • eliminate clutter from the text

Tailoring the training
We customize every presentation. By using participants' on-the-job documents as examples (for discussion) and exercises (for revision), we ensure that the training will be realistic, relevant, and practical. And because we know that the hands-on approach is the most effective, we have the participants write. To guarantee that each workshop will be helpful and immediately useful, we create (for each presentation) writing exercises that reflect situations your writers encounter in their day-to-day writing. After all, workplace writing means one thing to an accountant and another thing entirely to an engineer.

Workshop Content
The manual that accompanies Effective Writing for Professionals acquaints participants with a writing process that's practical in the workplace, and it introduces many techniques to enhance the overall readability of a document. While the instruction applies these techniques to the specific documents of a given group, each workshop covers the following:

  • Planning -- How to focus the core statement, anticipate the reader's reactions to that statement, and determine the proper scope; how to visualize what the document should look like.

  • Discovering ideas -- How to find the right ideas quickly and easily by using various brainstorming techniques; how to distinguish relevant from irrelevant ideas.

  • Organizing ideas -- How to group and arrange ideas in the sequence most appropriate to the document's occasion, purpose, and audience.

  • Formatting for clarity -- how to guide the reader with headings, sub-headings, bulleted lists, italics, boldface, single-sentence paragraphs, text boxes, screen shots, tables, and graphs.

  • Drafting -- How to start without effort, overcome the writer's block, and compose the document quickly.

  • Cooling -- How to see what is actually on the page (as opposed to what the writer thinks is on the page).

  • Revising -- How to revise the draft for (1) the organization and coherence of the entire document, (2) helpful formatting, (3) the precision of words and sentences, and (4) economy of expression. Writers learn when to use (and when to paraphrase) jargon and "terms of art," how to provide reader-direction, and how to simplify highly complex material. They also learn how to recognize and eliminate the following patterns of language, which frequently contribute to vague and "cluttered" writing:

    • confusing use of the passive voice
    • false subjects
    • unnecessary modifiers
    • out-of-place modifiers
    • strings of nouns
    • doublings
    • negations
    • intruding words
    • imprecise verbs
    • smothered verbs
    • wordy expressions
    • redundant expressions

    Lauchman Group
    1324 Wild Oak
    Rockville, MD 20852

    Telephone 301-315-6040
    Fax 301-838-9044
    email richard@lauchmangroup.com

Our Clientele
ABB Environmental Services
American Bankers Association
American Chemical Society
American Institute of Architects
American Red Cross
American Security Bank
Agency for International Development
The Baldwin Group
British Aerospace
Bureau of the Public Debt
CAIS Internet
Central Intelligence Agency
Chevy Chase Federal Savings Bank
Defense Communications Agency
Defense Informations Systems Agency
Defense Intelligence Agency
Defense Logistics Agency
Defense Mapping Agency
Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Energy
Department of Homeland Security
Department of the Interior
DoD Office of the Comptroller
DoD Office of Health Affairs
DoD Office of Family Policy Support and Services
Edison Electric Institute
Fannie Mae
Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Home Loan Bank Board
Federal Trade Commission
First American Bankshares
Freddie Mac
Goddard Space Flight Center
ICF Kaiser Engineers
I.M. Systems Group
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
InterAmerican Foundation
John Hanson Savings and Loan
Lockheed Martin
Military District of Washington
Mortgage Bankers Association
NASA Headquarters
National Archives and Records Administration
National Association of Child Care Resource
   & Referral Agencies
National Education Association
National Institutes of Health
National Cancer Institute
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal
National Institutes of Science and Technology
National Ocean Service
Naval Research Laboratory
Nextel Communications
Northeast-Midwest Institute
Office of Technology Assessment
Perot Systems
Perpetual Savings Bank
Potomac Electric Power Company
Project Performance Corporation
Riggs National Bank
Ryland Homes
Sallie Mae
Small Business Administration
Smithsonian Institution
State Department
Technology Planning and Management Corporation
United Savings Bank
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office