Category: Effective Writing

Singular They Part III

Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Thank you to the many readers who commented thoughtfully on both How Did They Get in Here? (July 3, 2019) and How Can They Be Singular? (July 31, 2019). Today we'll wind up our discussion of the singular they, including modern arguments for its use. When we ran this series in 2015, we received little …

Read More

Protecting Writing from Plagiarism

Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, at 11:00 pm

We as writers have probably all been stuck at some point: What do we say, and how do we say it? We do our best to form the thought or idea into words, but it seems like someone else can simply write it better. The temptation then starts to surface. No one will know if …

Read More

Sentence Sequence and Transition

Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at 11:00 pm

A challenge that any writer can run into is establishing fluent forward movement among sentences. To ensure understanding for readers, writers need to clearly connect related thoughts and properly signal when one is shifting to another. Consider this text: Janice is going to Nashville. She enjoys traveling. She loves rock music and concerts. Her favorite …

Read More

How Did They Get In Here?

Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Writers today have problems keeping their sentences internally consistent. This is especially true of print journalists. Because of staff cutbacks at financially challenged newspapers, many articles are proofread hastily, if at all. Combine that with the shocking decline in Americans’ English language skills over the last fifty years or so and you get sentences unworthy …

Read More

Forging Sentence Ties That Bind

Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Strong writing—writing that moves, directs, and connects people—conveys thoughts and ideas with clarity and efficiency. Badly placed words create vagueness and confusion; well-placed ones achieve logic and unity. Careful writers join elements that are related in thought and separate those that are not. Consider the following sentence: He noticed a glass on the table that …

Read More

1 2 3 38