Many writers sit for hours in front of a blank screen, exasperated that they can’t get started. Without realizing it, they are trying to write the first few sentences in their head, and it is a waste of time. Good writing comes from revising, so draft first, then rewrite.read more
The decision by the Associated Press to drop the hyphen in email is causing a stir as more writers and editors learn of it, but that is the type of change that tends to occur periodically in the language. Usage evolves over time. If we are worried about the quality of writing, we should concern ourselves with other flaws.read more
We often think of audiences as being either supportive or oppositional, but you sometimes have to persuade those who simply don’t care.read more
Adjectives play an important role in helping us describe, but avoid an over-reliance on them. They sometimes add nothing more than decoration.read more
The passive voice has gained a bad reputation because people who discourage the use of it fail to explain when it is acceptable. Passive sentences are an important part of good writing when used selectively.read more
You occasionally still see two spaces after a period, because people tend to do what they were taught in school.
But it actually has been obsolete for more than 100 years.read more
A key to being persuasive is to provide concrete details, rather than abstract generalities, and the information doesn’t necessarily have to be in written form. Spoken words also can influence behavior.read more
A major reason people do not read e-mail messages is because writers are sloppy about subject lines and, as a result, fail to pull the reader in.
The subject line is the first place you are communicating with a reader, the first place you are saying to the reader, “Here’s is why you need to read this.”read more