Category: Effective Writing

Parallel Construction

Posted on Tuesday, July 6, 2010, at 3:01 pm

Sentences and lists are awkward when they contain a series of items with inconsistent grammatical structure. But as your reader scans through a series of items with parallel grammatical structure, the relationships between different items of information become clear. Here’s an example: Which of the two sentences below is easier to follow? At the February …

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Tips for Twitter

Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010, at 10:39 am

Twitter's limit of 140 characters creates some risks. Here are some guidelines for maintaining a professional tone for your tweets: 1. Ask if a tweet is the right format for your message. Step back if you find yourself struggling too hard to fit your message into the site's character limit. Instead, try turning your message …

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Writing Elegantly

Posted on Monday, March 1, 2010, at 9:12 am

Most of us know clumsy sentences when we hear or read them, but we don’t always know exactly why they are clumsy or possess the skills to fix them. An E-Newsletter reader heard the awkwardness of the following sentence but was puzzled by how to reword it. The network that this computer is able to …

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Guidelines for Aspiring Writers

Posted on Saturday, February 7, 2009, at 11:42 am

This is a Q & A with Wendy Burt-Thomas, a full-time freelance writer, editor, and copywriter with more than 1,000 published pieces. Her third book, The Writer's Digest Guide to Query Letters hit stores in December 2008. To learn more about Wendy or her three books, visit Q: Can you tell us about your …

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Definite Ideas About Definite and Indefinite Articles

Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2009, at 10:13 am

Take a look at this sentence from a restaurant review that was sent in by a reader: The restaurant operates with an efficiency and authority that defy the chaos in the pleasant but cramped room. Is it correct to use the indefinite article an in front of an abstract noun (efficiency)? If so, should we …

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