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By Nancy Muir Boysen | Friday, May 22, 2015

Four Simple Ways to Improve Your Technical Writing

improve your technical writing

People in technical fields are often asked to write about technology—and the task can be daunting. After all, you’re not likely to have trained as a writer, learning the fine points or grammar or crafting an elegant sentence, because your focus has been to learn the ins and outs of a technical profession.

The good news is that you can make your technical writing easier for anyone to understand—whether or not your readers have a technical background—by mastering a few simple tips:

  • be concise
  • avoid jargon
  • use the active voice
  • be specific

By Judy Steiner-Williams | Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Consider Your Audience: 3 Tips for Clear, Effective Business Writing

effective business writing starts with considering your audience

Most of us consider knowledge to be a wonderful thing—a thing worth having. And it is. But it also comes with a curse.

The “curse of knowledge” is this: When we know something, it’s hard to remember what it’s like not to know it. So we often assume that everyone else knows it, too.

That faulty assumption plagues us in writing, especially: If I know what I mean, then everyone else should, too.

For clear and effective business writing, we must consider the backgrounds and knowledge of audience when deciding not only what to communicate, but how.

Follow these three tips for clear, effective business writing — that does what you want it to do.

By Starshine Roshell | Monday, October 27, 2014

Stop Boring Your Audience! It's Time to Kill the Cliche

Injecting a cliche into your copy tells readers there's nothing new here.

It’s a busy time in a busy world and people aren’t as patient as they used to be. We want what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next—not the same old information we heard about yesterday.

Why, then, are you still stuffing your copy full of been-there-heard-that phrases?

By Judy Steiner-Williams | Monday, August 25, 2014

How to Write a Research Paper — in 3 Steps

 

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The thought of researching and writing a paper can be intimidating.

Your syllabus lists four research paper assignments. Questions begin swirling through your mind: Where do I start? What format should I use? And most importantly—how do I get an A?

I’ll answer these questions and more, and show you the three easy steps to writing a research paper to impress your professors:

By Judy Steiner-Williams | Sunday, August 17, 2014

Writing Tips: Start at the End

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The second habit of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is “Begin with the end in mind.” That concept applies not only to highly effective people—but to highly effective writing, as well.

Before architects begin building a house, they know what the completed version will look like. They have a blueprint and they know that each step is necessary to get to the next one; the excavation must be complete before the framing begins, etc.

Similarly, when we plan a trip, we usually have a destination in mind before we plan the route and mode of transportation.

Why, then, do people begin writing without thinking about the desired outcome, the purpose, and the necessary stages to produce an easy-to-read, well-organized business message?

By Judy Steiner-Williams | Thursday, August 07, 2014

Writing Tips: Take the Grrrr out of Grammar

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“Grrrr …”

It’s a common reaction when grammar is mentioned. Why? “The rules keep changing.” “Nobody really knows or cares what’s correct.” “And come on, you knew what I meant.”

I’m going to debunk those excuses and give you some tricks for learning the rules of grammar.

By Lorrie Thomas Ross | Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Power of Modern Press Releases

The power of the modern press (releases)

Press releases are essential to effective public relations, but they’re not written for the press alone. Press releases are emerging as a critical component of content marketing, social media marketing, earned media, and search marketing strategies.

Modern-day press release writers need to know what to write about, understand formatting, and have a strategic distribution plan.

By Jess Stratton | Monday, May 05, 2014

Write an Email That Gets Results

Write an email that gets results

Last week on Monday Productivity Pointers, I showed you how to write an email that gets read. Now that you’ve got your readers’ attention, let’s talk more about the content of that email. In particular, this week we’ll examine strategies for writing an email asking someone to do something—or giving someone an action item.

An action item could be a physical task, or a request to provide information. Whatever it is, you’re not just informing them about it in your email. Asking for something that needs to get done takes a special type of communication.

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