Developing Your Professional Voice

How does professional writing differ from other sorts of writing, such as academic writing or personal writing? Which editing principles do you apply on a regular basis? What other tools or techniques have helped you develop or shape your professional voice?

Comments

  1. Jovan Meyer says:

    Professional writing differs from other sorts of writing, such as academic writing or personal writing. Professional or personal writing is less formal than academic writing. Moreover, professional writing can be thought of as business writing.
    On the other hand, academic writing requires a set of guidelines to follow before the writing process begins. Generally, a topic is chosen for you or you choose a topic. Next, the style of writing is determined. Some writing styles include reflective, persuasive, informative or descriptive writing. In addition, most academic papers should be written in the third person.
    All methods of writing require some kind of structure. The common structure of a paper consist of an introduction, body, and conclusion. Personal writing does not require structure and can contain colloquiums and slang. However, it is recommended to keep writing clean so that it is understandable. In other words, using too many shorthand writing and/or slang phrases can cause a misunderstanding in communication.
    Professional writing and personal writing are both similar in that speaking is from your own perspective or voice. Unlike academic writing, contractions in professional and personal writing are acceptable.
    Some helpful editing principles I apply on a regular basis are as follows. Understand the purpose of what you are writing is a good start to writing any paper. The goal of writing should be to achieve simple, clear, and concise writing. Other tips include controlling sentence length, structure subject and verbs closely together, and use active or passive voice when appropriate. Most of all, remember to not edit work while writing. Edit after the paper is complete to avoid any interruptions in writing.

  2. Bianca Gonzalez says:

    Hi class,

    I have taken two English courses, other than this one, throughout my college career. This class has taught me the most because I feel that it is relevant to my lifestyle and/or future lifestyle. It has given me information that I WANT to know more importantly. Being able to speak and write correctly is one of the most important aspects you can have in business because communication is key.
    I have always had trouble writing and that is because I often do not plan ahead and I tend to procrastinate which leads to be editing while I write. I think it was the first week in this course that I was forced to recognize that and have worked on it since. Had you asked me before the class, I thought I knew everything there was to know about proper punctuation placement and I have since learned so much. I was using commas wrong and have also started using semicolons more frequently in my writing which tends to eliminate “wordiness” ( also a problem that I had). There was a section in the book that went over conciseness and eliminating words that are not necessary and do not add to the point; that was a helpful chapter.
    As stated previously, communication is key and conveying tone, understanding cultures, and knowing when to use formal/non formal language is important especially in the professional world. An unprofessional letter depicts that you are not serious and no one wants to business with someone like that. From week 2 when we formatted a business letter, we have since written formal letters almost weekly and I feel like I have the format completely down pact and it is second nature. That is good knowledge to have and the repetitiveness has been so helpful because now I do not have to look it up.
    This class is so great and I plan to use my professional writing many times in my future to reference just in case I forget!
    I look forward to perfecting and using my professional voice!
    Bianca

  3. Alicia Thompson says:

    Professional writing is a type of written communication used in the workplace. Professional writing is a style of written communication used in a workplace environment that allows professionals (e.g. businesspeople, professors, doctors, lawyers, etc.) to make informed decisions. Professional writing typically has a formal tone and differs from written text that is considered entertainment. Editing is still something I struggle with especially with grammar. Editing other people’s writing makes me feel like I am changing their original thought into something else. Being more concise in my writing is one of the techniques I have learned during this class. Nobody wants to read ling drawn out writings if they don’t have too. Getting to the point and being direct is what I have been working on. I still quite often have run-ons and the flow does not always work but it is a work in progress. I have learned a lot about business writing from this class, not using as much slang was difficult at first but now that I am working on it I use less.

  4. Nia Petersen says:

    Hello everyone,
    Before this class I had no idea what professional writing was. It is used more in a professional setting, such as the workplace. It differs because it is more formal. This writing requires communication, tones, and attitudes. You can not use slang like you would in personal writing. Editing principles that I use now are controlling my sentence length and being concise. Before this class, I would constantly used run-ons. I have gotten better with that. I have really learned to apply the principle that less is more. Other tools that I have used to help develop my voice is provide more examples. I used to just state what I read. Now I talk about how I have experience with it. This also helped me a lot to remember these principles.

  5. Emily Holcomb says:

    I’ve learned that professional writing is much more formal in different ways then what a academic paper. When you send out something that is professional well you have to sound professional. Now a days I find in important to have these skills because with advanced technology there are so many different ways to contact people through the internet that you need to know how to use tone over in certain situation. It’s hard learning and percieving a message that you want to sound professional over an email or something along those lines, but with this class i’ve learned just the right amount to help with that aspect. It’s so important to go back over your writing! Multiple times to say the least. Acedmenic is very percise where you have to hit all the right notes, and find sources, and evidence. Sure you can have the same tone when it comes to both of these writings but they just go about in different directions. Personal writing our your own thoughts, and words. Kind of like a “say what you mean, and say what you feel” you can look at that is way more informal then professional use. I’ve learned with all of this when it comes to editing that “LESS IS MORE” no body wants to sit there are read paragraph after paragraph. I learned to narrow things done to get to the main point. Which is something I can honestly say that i’ve honestly struggled with only because I want to make sure that who ever is reading knows that I know that i’m talking about, but really I never had to write beyond that main point, and those quick breif side points. The other tool that has helped me out a lot is sentence, and word choice. Finding words that I know or a different form to make my papers, and letters sound better. That tool was something I really needed to take time with and learn more about the word choice and sentence structure and the tools learned have helped out a lot!

    Thank you so much for your time!
    Emily Holcomb

  6. Lexi Marshall says:

    Professional writing differs form other writing like personal or academic in many differnt ways. The word “professional” makes a statementright away. In professional writing you have to be very formal and you want to be spot on with your punctuation and even your word usage, their can be know slip-ups of slang such as if you were texting a friend. You also want to be as straight to the point as possible with professional writing, you want to be serious and make your given statement with the facts and sources to prove it with whatever it may be. In some cases for professional writing you may also have to stick to a format. You take your time and check over your work making sure your writing portrays the way you want to be seen as a professional.
    When it comes to personal writing the first thing that comes to mind is text messaging, or when your writing a note to a friend in class. These forms of writing are about as un-professional as it gets. When you text you use all sorts of acronyms like; lol, hbu, rofl, or we use slang like; sup, or bruh.
    When it comes to academic writing it is like the median of professional and personal. You are given a topic in which you have to write about. You have given guide lines to follow instead of trying to make statment of your own whether if your answering a question of a writing problem, or writing an essay. But you also do not want to use slang and acronyms because it shows how serious you are about your work.
    Tools and techniques that have helped me shape my professional voice are having experiences with a professional. I hear how my managers at work speak to customers, and I know what to say and what not to say. Also, I have had plenty of experiences with having to write professional style papers. I had to wrtie a lot of papers in high school, that were professional.

  7. Monika Lam-Chi says:

    Professional writing or business writing is less formal than academic writing. Although professional writing may be persuasive, it is mostly informative. The writing is simple, clear, and concise (no background thinking/process); formatting is used to highlight main points and to make the information easy to read.
    Academic writing is formal, and unlike professional writing, process is very important. Academic writing has many forms: informative, expressive, persuasive, and argumentative. APA formatting is a type of formatting used in academic and not in professional writing.
    Personal writing is informal and thus takes whatever form the reader and writer are comfortable with; slang, text message language, abbreviations only known to the reader and writer, no salutations etc.

    When editing, I make sure my work is concise, and my punctuation marks are in the right places. I also correct any wrong tenses to maintain parallel structure. I have come to love ellipses and dashes and hope to sprinkle them in my writing as I get more comfortable using them.

  8. Anna Zelenika says:

    Professional writing is different in many ways compared to academic and personal writing. First, professional writing is more formal than academic and personal writing. This style of writing is used to communicate with clients and co-workers. The biggest principle I have used day to day is the You viewpoint. Instead of focusing on yourself, you are connecting with your reader and focusing more on them and whats in their best interest.
    In my own professional writing, I make sure to keep my message straight to the point and keep out any empty information and to make connections with the reader.

  9. Taylor Borders says:

    Hi Everyone,
    When it comes to professional writing I believe there is a completely different goal trying to be accomplished. With professional writing I believe that the goal is a lot more serious and a lot bigger than when someone is doing some personal or academic writing. When someone is doing some personal writing they are writing for themselves and only themselves so they may not be as worried about their grammar or the way that their paper sounds. When it comes to the academic writing the goal is to impress the professor or teacher with information and skills. I feel that the goal of professional writing is to make ones self look and sound appealing to future employers, current employers, or employees.
    While writing a professional piece I take a lot more steps than I would usually. When it comes to professional writing I know create an outline, then write a rough draft and begin a long editing process from that point on. I feel as though professional writing is a lot more serious than other types of writing. Using professional writing skills appropriately can open a lot of doors for someone and can put them ahead in some fields.

  10. Jillian Homans says:

    Hello All,
    Each form of writing has unique characteristics. Professional writing is formal. The formatting of professional writing can change the way employers interpret your work. The weekly forums helped me to learn the crucial aspects of formatting different types of writing. Previously, I did not know the specific details of each type of formatting. This “Writer’s Handbook” and “Professional Writing” book have enhanced my learning. I now understand the importance of formatting and the difference it can make in formal relationships.
    Academic writing is more impersonal and objective than professional writing. Academic writing is usually assigned and completed in order to meet a requirement. By writing more often, a unique writing style can be achieved and both professional and academic writing can be made easier.
    I have learned less is more when writing professional and academic documents. The reader wants to know exactly what the document is going to be about. I used to add a lot of excess words into my writing and an important skill I have learned is to be concise. By being concise I get straight to the point and say exactly what I want to say without any excess. The weekly forums have helped me refine this skill and I have noticed it carrying over into my writing. Writing is a great skill to have and can make a huge difference on your professional, academic, and personal life.
    All the best,
    Jillian

  11. Terrence Hamilton says:

    Hello all,
    Professional writing differs among personal writing style; for example, correct usage of commas, punctuation, and free from grammatical errors; also, paying attention to the tone of voice that is used when conveying messages to your audience.
    Professional writing; also, requires formal writing when speaking to the audience, and not offending your audience. Putting important information first, and using a direct style of writing is necessary when writing professionally. This kind of writing wouldn’t be used in Personal writing.
    Personal writing style is informal towards your audience; for example, using slang, abbreviations, and using a tone of voice, as if you were speaking to your friends or family members. This kind of writing style should not be used in Professional writing.
    The editing skills that I use on a regular basis is first to “compose fearlessly”, and then “edit ruthlessly”. For example, after composing my material I review what was composed, and then have someone else read over the material and get constructive feedback. Make revisions from the constructive feedback and read over the material again. Lastly, once this is completed I give the material to another person to read and get more feedback. Checking for any grammatical errors, punctuation, and spelling errors. Then read over the material a couple of more times and then submit.
    The other tools that have helped develop my writing style is learning a new word daily and using it in a sentence. Also I’ve been learning new words daily and using them in a sentence, expanding my vocabulary is of interest to me. Learning new words not only expands your daily word usage, but it also helps your mind to grow.
    All in all, throughout this semester the one thing that really stands out in my mind is that “less is more,” and the more we practice, the better our writing style will develop. In addition, the more we participate, the more we will learn; also, my usage of the semicolon has developed more.
    Everyone enjoy your week.
    Terrence Hamilton

  12. Natali Hernandez says:

    Hello Everyone,

    Professional writing to me is more business related. In comparison, academic and personal writing is more casual. Academic and personal writing are less formal and demand less structure. They are also intended more for self than for others. Professional writing is much more formal and format structure is also very important. Ethics are held to a high priority when composing professional documents and this writing is used more in the workplace for the needs of others. Appropriate word usage is also important when putting together a professional report.
    An editing principle that I use on a regular basis with all forms of writing is rereading my work at least once. When rereading my script I like to shorten sentences so they are clear and concise. I also like to have a thesaurus open so I could change minor words that I use too often to less common words.
    A tool that helped develop my professional writing skills is Professor Young’s “Professional Writing” text. It helped tremendously with proper communication skills, formatting techniques, and paragraph structure. It also helped a lot with distinguishing professional persuasion skills.
    In my future nursing career, I strive to have a professional voice to help make changes that are helpful for both patients and nurses. Learning professional writing skills is vital for me to achieve that goal.

    All the best,

    Natali Hernandez

  13. Jordan Parker says:

    Professional writing differs in many ways. It shows that you are able to be established when communicating to the outside world, such as clients. It also allows you to communicate quickly to employees in the office, which is informal. Formatting is more detailed on spacing and headers verses academic writing. Academic writing is showing off your ability to talk about a subject effectively in your writing. The two though do work together in a way as well. Using your voice in your academic writing and also showing confidence in what you are speaking about applies to professional writing as well. You want to come across as intelligent and also as a confident professional.
    Appling skills in your learning process makes professional writing become easier and more effective. I always say when in doubt of an editing style or what your writing is stating, practice it more often to make it come across smoother. In class, all the skills we are gaining really help me further my skills as a writer in general. I am becoming more confident in what I am saying and sharing with the group as this semester comes along.

  14. Conrad Moore says:

    Hello everyone,
    Professional writing differs from other writing such as academic and personal writing mainly because professional writing is more formal than the other types of writing. Unlike personal writing which contains slang and language we typically use when we are in situations like being at home or being with friends and family. Professional writing uses clearer language that gets the idea across more clearer and understandable. Academic writing is a more unnatural type of writing we use in writings such as school papers and uses more impersonal language we typically do not use every day while professional writing uses a more clear approach so your reader can understand more clearly and a different format for the writing to have a better transition.
    Before I didn’t really know the proper way to format documents such as emails and business type letters to others but now I correctly format my writing the proper way such as including the cc in emails and using the correct spacing between paragraphs. I also have used modifiers to my advantage now since before that was a weakness in my writing.
    Lastly, I have enjoyed learning all the principles such as using pronouns the correct way and the proper way of using commas to further better my writing and to make it more concise and clear to my readers. The proper way to format letters such as the correct paragraph margins and the correct spacing between paragraphs have also helped since this will be useful latter in my life when I have to encounter a business type of environment.

  15. Stephanie Perez says:

    Hello Class,
    Professional writing differs from academic and personal writing by being more formal. When writing professionally, you aim to structure your document differently rather when you’re personally writing. For example, when you write to a friend you will use acronyms, abbreviations, and sometimes slang. When you are writing on a professional level you have certain guidelines to follow for your document to stand out from the rest.
    Editing principles I apply on an everyday bases includes appropriate comma and pronoun usage to where my writing appears clear and concise. Learning to keep my writing as simple as possible is becoming more easy for me because I learned less is more when it comes to writing.
    I have realized that the forum postings required weekly have helped me improve the overall quality and structure of my writing. Getting a message out in a concise manner is crucial. I am learning to keep my personal opinions to myself and using respectful terms no matter the circumstance of the document.
    Regards,
    Stephanie Perez

  16. LaTreece Hemphill says:

    Hey Classmates!!!
    The difference between professional writing and any other writing is that it is less formal. You are able to use contractions in e-mails, as long as they are spelled correctly. Professional writing is primarily informative and the context of the situation defines the problem. The editing tools I have to constantly use are commas and trying to keep my word usage to a minimum. I have an issue with using extra words, because I’m afraid the sentence may seem incomplete without them. I have to remember that less is more when it comes to writing.

  17. Rhonda Planck says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Professional writing and academic writing are similar with punctuation and grammar. I have learned a lot with academic writing that I have been using in my other class for my paper. What I have really enjoyed was professional writing. I use professional writing everyday in my work. When I send emails I have been updating the cc often now to reflect the message of the email. I send emails with more confidence. I make sure I have the introduction, body, and a closing. I keep my emails to the subject. I try to attempt to respond to email in a more timely fashion.

    I have also reformatted my memo’s when sending them out with bullet points and align them accordingly..

    Editing and proofreading has changed for me. I am working very hard on getting my words down on paper prior to proofreading and editing. This is a continue challenge. I put my words down on paper prior to editing; and I feel this helps my writers block.

    Lastly, I continue to take away new processes with every chapter. As Professor stated the more you work and write the easier it gets. Confidence will show in your writing.

    Have a good night,

    Rhonda Planck

  18. Rhonda Planck says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Professor writing and academic writing are similar with punctuation and grammar. I have learned a lot with academic writing that I have been using in my other class for my paper. What I have really enjoyed was professor writing. I use professor writing everyday in my work. When I send emails I have been updating the cc often now to reflect the message of the email. I send emails with more confidence. I make sure I have the introduction, body, and a closing. I keep to the point.

    I have also reformatted my memo’s when sending them out with bullet points and align it better. One other practice that I have taken away with is to respond to the emails in a more timely fashion.

    Editing and proofreading has changed for me. I am working very hard on getting my words down on paper prior to proofreading and editing. This is a continue challenge. I put my words down on paper and I feel this helps my writers block.

    Lastly, I continue to take away new processes with every chapter. As Professor stated the more you work and write the easier it gets. Confidence will show in your writing.

    Have a good night,

    Rhonda Planck

  19. Brenda Stellema says:

    Hi Everyone:
    I’ve learned that professional writing is a less formal style than academic writing. It contains informational content should be grammatically correct and the format should be proper but the tone is more relaxed than academic writings. Professional writing intends for me to connect with the reader so it should be concise. Academic writing follows precise requirements as it will be evaluated to be credible as evidenced by using APA formatting.
    I have also learned that any type of writing is a process; the more I do it, the better I become at it. I’m learning to write more concise so that the reader can easily understand what I’m trying to convey. I’m learning to write in a consistent tense so it doesn’t feel like the writing teeters back and forth. I find I am much more conscious of what I’m writing and I take more time to review what I’ve written before I send it off. I’m still working on refining my use of grammar rules.
    It is important for me to refine my professional writing since I do so much of it in my position as a director of program involved with the court. Case reports and other objective documents are written and edited on a regular basis for court consideration. It is important they are concise and accurate before submitted so I am using techniques I’ve learned to help me in this area.

  20. Grace Jones says:

    Hello Everyone,
    Professional writing is something I haven’t had a lot of experience with until this class. Simply due to the fact that it differs from other forms of writing in english like personal or academic writing and I never really had a need for it. Although I am sure I will have to utilize professional writing a lot more in the future after college in my career. The ways professional writing differs is the different tones and formats that need to be used when creating a document. By that I mean it is crucial to get formatting correct in order to be professional with your writing. With other forms of writing I feel as if there is more room to choose how you want to lay out your document unlike professional writing.
    Some editing principles or techniques I use on a regular basis especially in school work is to proofread myself multiple times at different times. Also I like to have others look over my work as I have found from experience is that the more eyes to read over your work the better. Less room for errors. Another thing I use as an editing technique is to focus on words I tend to repeat and try to replace those repetitive words with different word. When developing my personal voice writing more e-mails and forums have really helped although I do think that being more direct and getting to the point with most things have helped as well.
    Professional writing is defiantly something that has helped me develop more as a writer.

    All the Best,
    Grace Jones

  21. Jacqueline Hoover says:

    In my opinion, professional writing and academic writing are similar in many ways. For example, these two types of writing follow the same grammar rules most of the time and also use the same formats sometimes. What professional writing teaches you that academic writing does not is how to communicate with someone in a business- fashion, also it helps you come off as intelligent through your writing by sounding professional and having correct formats. Personal writing is completely different from these two types because it is free. Personal writing allows anyone to follow their own rules because they are not writing to someone or for a grade, but just for them so they can feel the satisfaction of writing.
    On a regular basis I make sure to follow all of the grammar rules because I know that mistakes can stick out to people very easily. I think it is important to use proper grammar everywhere because it makes you sound educated and it also helps people take you more seriously. For example, when I write memos for work I always use proper English and grammar because it makes people realize that my memo is serious and it needs to be followed. On the other hand, when my coworker makes memos she does not double check her spelling or grammar and people tend to make fun of them and not take them seriously. Other tools I have used to shape my professional voice are all of the formatting rules we have learned. I am taking three other online courses right now and I use the formats whenever I can. This is because it looks professional to other professors and helps them see I am taking this course seriously even though I have never met them

  22. Irma Solis says:

    Hi class,

    Professional writing is something I just learned this year. I have taken writing classes with basic English,but this is more to get a student prepared for a job for the future. I never knew there was even such a difference between different types of letter and the formatting. Having weekly forums and writing assignments has definitely disciplined me to dig deeper in writing and see what I am capable of.
    Professional writing differs from other writing because it is more formal. Personal writing has more slang or improper English. A form of personal writing would be at home language. Professional writing is more to the point and short.
    Academic writing is more precise, semi-formal, impersonal, and objective. It is more of a type of writing to fulfill a college requirement. Some examples of academic writing are books, essays, translations, research paper, academic journal, thesis, or abstract.
    I always make sure to proof read my writing. I also have at least three people go over my work because they always see something that I do not. I also like to use spell check because I like to avoid little errors as much as possible. If there is a checklist or grading rubric, I like to make sure I hit each point.
    However, I have found that the more a person writes, the better the writing gets. So my biggest tip is to keep writing and have fun with it.

    All the best,

    Irma

  23. Professional writing is much more different than academic writing or writing for personal use. Professional writing has a totally different format than most writing, and you must always be aware of the tone you have when writing in a professional form. Personal writing is less formal and sometimes use slang. Academic writing usually refers to research papers or some sort reference to another. When you engage in professional writing you must also know your audience and how to connect with them. When writing incorrectly you lose credibility and your whole paper is useless. I have learned so much about professional writing in this class. Now I draft my paper and edit afterwards, which has decreased the amount of errors I make. I found that the comma and semicolon exercise was very helpful, it sounds bad but until that exercise I never really knew about all the rules that applied.

  24. Timothy Jackson says:

    Hi Classmates,
    When I was in grammar school, I remember the teacher once said, “being able to speak well is one of the greatest assets you can have — it will pay you dividends.” Then, I didn’t realize how much speaking well is related to writing well; fortunately, now I do.

    Writing well is a powerful communication tool that is complimented with sentences that are structurally sound, grammatically correct, and easy to read. This professional writing style differs from other personal or academic styles that are usually informal: with nor rules of grammar or punctuation, and the sentence structure consist of phrases with all lower case letters; or formal: where a thesis statement is used to develop the introduction, body and conclusion; and characterizes research papers, arguments, essays and creative writing, respectively (Young, 2014). And yes, that was a long sentence you just read.

    I have improved my professional writing style by creating sentence structure that is clear, concise, and gets the message across quickly (no pun intended) in the active voice; grammar usage that supports subject/verb agreement; and in most cases, the proper use of pronouns and punctuation marks: such as commas, colons, semi colons, and dashes. I’ve also learned, by improving my professional writing voice, I can give life and excitement to otherwise choppy, flat-to-read sentences. Who enjoys falling asleep while reading? Not many people — especially if the reading material is confusing and boring.

    Therefore, I would like to thank my grammar school teacher, college professor, and classmates for helping me develop my professional voice. I am encouraged to improve my writing style in such a way that others will enjoy to read.

    Written with confidence,

    Tim

  25. Gagan Kaur says:

    Professional writing is a type of writing style that is mostly presented in the business world and also in a more formal format. Unlike academic or free style writing forms, the writer who writes in professional writing has to pay attention to their tone of voice,the structure of the writing piece and the specific editing requirements. In free style writing, writers tend to use slang and jargon and in academic writing, the writer has to pay attention to their feelings and arguments. These qualities are not what a professional writing piece would have. I use basic grammar and punctuation editing skills everyday, because of work and school. Encountering these basic skills is everywhere now from cellphones to Facebook. I only,however, use professional writing and editing skills at work and school. If I were to use other styles of writing at work, it would be considered inappropriate. The principles from the two books that we use in class have helped me improve on my professionalism. I now know how to properly write and structure a business letter,memo and email at work. Techniques that I use to improve my professionalism are avoiding contractions/slang and abbreviations. This technique gives the writing a good presentation. I have noticed my professionalism improving day by day.

  26. Megin Jones says:

    Hi All,

    Professional writing is one of the most important class that I have taken so far. It differs from other writing styles because it has more structure. In the business world we encounter a number of different people from different backgrounds; writing in a general business format helps keep boundaries on what is presented. In personal writing you can be more relaxed and write the way you speak. In the text, we learn that everyone does not know other colloquialisms.
    Waiting to proofread until I am done writing is a editing technique that I use more often now, after taking this class. I use to proofread while writing and I would lose a lot of time that way.
    Professionalism in my work emails and texts on work phones. The text mentioned how we can become comfortable in our work environment and view co workers as family. In doing that we may become relaxed in sending email and text, joking, using slang, and even sending angry messages. Always remember that I am on work property and whatever you say can be used in a court of law. In addition to that principle, wait until you are calm and not emotional to send messages or write letters.

  27. Erica Rodriguez says:

    Professional writing differs in a variety of ways from other writings. Professional writing is more formal than personal writing. In personal writing you tend to use abbreviations and slang. In professional writing this is not acceptable. In professional writing you want to keep it short. This is usually not the case for academic writing. You want to avoid emotions, for the most part, in professional writing.
    I always make sure to go over my writing before sending it at least two times. I check for any spelling or grammatical errors. Sometimes I may not how to do something right, but I know that I am doing something wrong. So I always check my book for the right way. If I am unsure that my word usage is correct I will use Google. I do this even in my personal writing. I find editing in my personal writing helps me in my professional and academic writing.
    The best tip is to practice. The forums have really helped me in my professional writing. The forums just help me retain the information. If you do not know how to use something properly, do not use it! The number one technique that I use is to not edit as you write. This has helped tremendously in both my academic and professional writing. Editing as I was writing just gave me writers block. Another useful tip is less is more. I have a tendency to add unnecessary information to my writing.