Writing eTips UpWrite Press - We Make Writing Work For You
August 2007 UpWrite Press - We Make Writing Work For You

The Writing Process: Drafting the Middle
Every piece of writing ought to include an opening, a middle, and a closing. Last issue we discussed tips for drafting the opening. Now it’s time to consider the middle.

The middle portion of your writing contains your main ideas: the detailed information you wish to convey. Here are some tips to help you create a solid middle section:

  • Give each main point its own paragraph with a strong topic sentence that clearly states that point.
  • Use the remaining sentences in each paragraph to expand the main point.
  • Connect paragraph to paragraph with transitions that lead your reader smoothly through your ideas.
  • Use headings, lists, and graphics if necessary to present your points clearly.
  • Maintain a professional voice.
  • Prepare your reader for the closing.

In addition, try to keep your paragraphs short—three to eight lines is a good rule of thumb. This will make your ideas easier to read and comprehend.

You can learn more about drafting a middle on page 128 of Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing & Communicating in the Workplace.

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That Little Extra: Choosing the Precise Word
When writing a letter, choose your greeting carefully. Always try to use the person’s name; but if that isn’t possible, address the person’s title. “Dear Ms. Jones” is better than “Dear Director of Human Resources,” but addressing a title is still more personal than “To Whom It May Concern.”

Join Our Writers’ Forum
We invite you to be part of our monthly eTips. Each month we pose a question or problem regarding the use of writing in business. Send us your reply along with your name, your company’s name, and a brief description of what you do. We will print the best responses, and you will get your name out to our more than 5,000 subscribers! (We reserve the right to edit your remarks for fit and suitability.)

August Writers’ Forum Topic
Have you ever sent or received an email or other office communication that was unintentionally funny because of a typo, spelling error, or grammar mistake? Please share it with us—we can always use a good chuckle! We ask only that you don’t embarrass anyone with your submission. Our intent is to laugh with the author, not at him or her.

Email your response to writersforum@upwritepress.com. Write "August Writers’ Forum" in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

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Coming in September:
The Writing Process: Drafting the Closing
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eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, Inc., P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2007, UpWrite Press. All rights reserved. Visit www.upwritepress.com.