Category: Effective Writing

Spell Check Overreach

Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, at 1:42 pm

My spell check has been drinking again. It just told me “déjà vu” should be “deejay.” Everyone who uses Word software probably has some form of spell check. Mine—I call him “SC”—also makes occasionally helpful (but often just surreal) suggestions about grammar and punctuation. To be fair, SC sometimes saves me from my own carelessness. …

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When vs. Whenever

Posted on Tuesday, September 4, 2012, at 12:59 pm

Have you ever wondered how to use these words correctly? Have you ever thought, “Oh, either of these words will do”? Let’s have a closer look. Rule 1 - If an event is unique or its date or time is known, use when. Examples: The game will begin Friday evening when the clock strikes seven. …

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Sleek Writing: Put Your Sentences on a Diet

Posted on Tuesday, August 3, 2010, at 10:00 am

We tend to speak plainly and succinctly but for some reason, when we write, we stuff our sentences with extra verbiage, turning streamlined ideas into confusing, out-of-shape messes. Here is a good example of a sentence that needs a workout: The network that this computer is able to connect to contains information that is privileged …

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Become a Better Writer Instantly, Part 2

Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2010, at 12:03 pm

When you drive your car, there are laws you must follow. Well, there are also “laws” or criteria for writing effectively. Enhance your credibility and professional image instantly by paying attention to these criteria: State the main point clearly, right at the beginning Organize information logically Leave out unnecessary information Use short sentences and paragraphs …

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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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