25 / 08 / 16
The best way to unlock the information in your head
So, you’ve got something you need to write. It might be a report you’ve had to do mountains of research on, until the facts and ideas are crowded and jostling against each other in your head. Or maybe it’s a document for which you have all the necessary facts in your mind already. Either way, […]
16 / 08 / 16
How to give effective feedback
A colleague gives you a report (or letter or proposal …), asking for your feedback. It’s now suddenly on you to make their document great. Maybe you’re a team leader, who has final sign-off on everything your colleague writes. Or you might just be asked by a friend at work who’s stuck and desperately needs […]
11 / 08 / 16
Is the active voice always best?
The active voice gets a hero’s welcome from most writing guides, which tend to demonise the passive voice as the root of all grammatical evil. Yet the passive voice does have its defenders, who accuse the first group of oversimplifying matters. Generally, the active voice is the way to go. But Team Passive do have […]
04 / 08 / 16
Thanks in advance? No thank you
Look through your inbox or an online forum, and it won’t be long until you hit someone making a request and concluding with ‘thanks in advance’. But they’re probably making a big mistake. What’s more, they may have no idea about the hornets’ nest of irritation they’re poking just by using a few short words. […]
28 / 07 / 16
Writers without borders: three rules for international emails
Given the nature of business today, it’s very likely that at some point you’ll have to write to someone from another country – or someone whose first language isn’t English. (We are making a bit of an assumption – that, since you’re here, you tend to write in English.) English has been called ‘the language […]
19 / 07 / 16
11 ways to stop procrastinating and get writing
Do you ever feel like you’re always in a face-off with your word processor – and losing? If so, you won’t be surprised to hear that one of the biggest problems nearly everyone faces when they have something to write is getting started. Call it writer’s block. Call it finding your muse. Call it spending […]
15 / 07 / 16
Should you use long words?
We’re often advised to avoid long words in our writing when shorter words will do. Like many simple style tips, it’s useful but not something you should obey blindly. Writing guides generally agree that short words are preferable. Many take their cue from traditional authorities such as the Fowler brothers, who on page one of […]
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