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Chapter 2. Conan the Grammarian > Mission Possible - Pg. 17

Conan the Grammarian 17 Damage Control Now that you know where you're most likely to need some added writing instruction and practice, try these three ideas to help you see where you should focus your efforts: · Keep track of the writing errors you make by checking your own work or seeing what points your co-workers and supervisors mention repeatedly. · For now, take it one chapter at a time. Concentrate on one element of your writing in turn. Don't try to master all of grammar and usage; you'll make yourself mad and very dull at parties. · Remember that using standard grammar with confidence will help you build the credible image you want--and need--to succeed. Danger, Will Robinson Don't panic if you can't identify each type of error at this point. Just do the best you can. Remember: You're going to take the Writing Inventory again. Danger, Will Robinson When most managers complain that their employees "can't write," they are most often referring to errors their people make in grammar and usage. Mission Possible How can you succeed in improving your skills in grammar, usage, and mechanics? Try these 10 methods. I guarantee success! 1. First of all, recognize that you can succeed. Many, many people before you who weren't very good at grammar and punctuation have learned more than enough to get where they want to be. Face the fact that it doesn't happen overnight. It will take you some time to get it all down. Lose the fear of being criticized. You're no grammar wuss. Decide that you are going to learn. Make a commitment to do it. Practice, practice, practice. Look for opportunities to practice your writing and speaking skills. Find someone who will read your writing and give you an honest critique. Take courses in basic English and reading. Check out adult education in your local school district or community college. Try a computer tutorial program. It has the advantage of being private; just you and your 'puter. Keep a journal of your work habits, strengths, and accomplishments. Not only is it good writing practice, but it's also handy to have at review time. When you talk to your superior about promotions and raises, you can refer to this journal for specific examples of your accomplish- ments. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.