Writing Fundamentals

Does grammar really matter?

Online and social writing is like another language from the normal day-to-day we all use. Communication that is a series of bullet-like statements, hashtags, emojis and text-speak, it’s fair to ask whether grammar and correct use-of English skills matter.

Sneak preview: they really do.

Psychologists at North Carolina State University proved that people who received emails which contained grammatical and spelling errors perceived the sender to be less conscientious, intelligent and trustworthy compared to the same message without errors.

Does that matter? If you’re trying to raise money it might.

A University of Michigan study into whether spelling errors in online peer-to-peer loan requests at LendingTree.com affected the likelihood of funding found that they led to worse outcomes for the applicants.

In both these studies, writers were judged harshly because of the errors they made in their mails and presentations.

Does this ring any bells?

Clear writing builds trust

Academic studies do not tell us the effect of typos and grammar errors in relation to revenue, optimisation, or growth. They do suggest that spelling mistakes impact our credibility and perceived reliability negatively. And it’s not just about knowing the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’; ‘less’ and ‘fewer’.

Clear proficiency in English on a website, in an email or in a social media post, presents you as a trusted professional and does the same for your company. Simple or complicated interactions can open new markets and opportunities.

And, if you’re lucky people who read what you write – your audience – will concentrate on your message, not on any errors or typos. They will be more likely to share your message with others and engage. But what if you’re not lucky? And the person or people whom you wish to influence or with whom you want to engage – a potential employer, for instance; or customer – looks at your mail or post and dismisses you because of your spelling and grammar errors? What then?

Self-learning writing courses

The ethos which underpins Business Writing Academy is that we believe everyone can master excellent and professional writing and communication skills, to unlock their personal potential and that of their business.

Each module in our online business writing course will elevate your English language communication skills. They will help you to grow your career, and that of your organisation, when you unlock the power of the written word. The modules cover everything from how to craft a targeted sales email, press release, business funding request and more.

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