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Writing Advice: Ask for Explanation

When it comes to grammar, punctuation, or business style, people often insist that it should be “this way” or “that way,” when in reality, they don’t know the answer. Too many disputes erupt simply because no one bothers to check a resource book.

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Good Writing is a Product of Revising

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.

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AP: No More Hyphen in Email

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.

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Pity the Poor Passive

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.

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One Space after a Period

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.

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By Ken O’Quinn

Focus on Them Focus on Them

As a contributing author in this book on leadership, Ken offers insights and tips for managing difficult conversations, providing effective feedback, and being authentic. Order here.


Perfect Phrases for Business Letters (McGraw-Hill) Perfect Phrases for Business Letters

Provides the right words and phrases for any situation - quickly. The book was reprinted in Japanese because of high-volume sales there.


TD at Work — Business Writing for Managers

The Association for Talent Development invited Ken to write this 22-page booklet for the TD at Work series.

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Praise from Clients

The feedback from the 40+ communicators who participated in the workshops was overwhelmingly positive. He is passionate about good writing, and it is contagious when he presents. We’re already planning to have him back.
Jill HollingsworthInternal Communications ManagerQwest

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