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Writing contracts

I’ve been asked recently about grammar and proper English for ‘important documents’ such as a contract.

Writing a contract has so much mystique and importance associated with it that many people find the thought of a contract to be intimidating. And to be honest, contracts written in legalese help that perception.

However, a contract is simply an agreement between two (or more) parties.

And a well written contract is simply communicating the details of an agreement.

A contract will outline the details of the arrangement so some contracts are much longer than others and some need much more attention to finer details such as provided by a lawyer. But the bottom line is that it is a business document and needs to communicate a clear message.

Writing contracts

Writing a contract is like any other business writing in that

  1. spelling is important
  2. grammar is important
  3. punctuation is important to ensure the correct meaning is understood
  4. good writing basics are important – for example, a contract needs no more capital letters than any other document
  5. clarity and simplicity make it easier to understand and read
  6. knowing the purpose beforehand makes it easier to write
  7. proof reading – and a second opinion – is critical
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