Jane Austen – My Favorite Quotes

Maybe you think Jane Austen is hard to read. She’s not. Here’s an example of her writing. Most are from Persuasion. “Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter.” “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be […]

Students – how to overcome writer’s block

If you find yourself struggling to write your term paper, prepare a report, or some other writing assignment, the following might help. Here’s the problem. When we think about writer’s block, we tend to focus on the actual writing. How can I write more words, how can I write faster, and, of course, how can […]

Are you a web writer or a blogger?

Do you consider yourself a web writer or a blogger? Is there even any difference? I suspect for most people it means that same thing, but I’m not so sure. I asked a blogger here in Dublin if he saw himself as a writer who blogs, a writer, or a web writer? Or was I […]

How to start writing your first executive summary

Feeling stuck? Can’t start your executive summary? Clock is tick, tick, ticking? They say you should write your executive summary AFTER you’ve written the entire document. I’m not sure about this. Why? If you do, there’s the risk that you’ll run out of time, get flustered, and rush through it — just to get something […]

Are you making these two proof-reading mistakes?

Proof-reading. A bit like flossing your teeth, isn’t it? You know it’s good for you, you know you should do it, but you still don’t want to do it. Why is proofreading so hard? I think it’s the approach we take. For example, if you leave the proof-reading to the very end, you’ll probably be […]

How to create a practical document review checklist

One of the problems of reviewing a document online is that you need a common set of guidelines. In theory a style guide should do this but I often find that people tend to avoid them. They’re too much work. A more practical approach is to create a checklist of the most important things they […]

Should CEOs learn Latin?

Should you learn a dead language? Isn’t there more important things to do? The short answer is Yes. Well, maybe. Actually, No. You really should start learning Latin and here’s why. The Spectator summarising one influential American study carried out in the state of Iowa: “In 1971, more than 4,000 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade pupils of […]

How to start a career as a white paper writer

Want to get started as a white paper writer? It mightn’t be as hard as you think. If you have good (not necessarily perfect) writing skills, in-depth knowledge of a product, service, or industry, and have the right attitude, then maybe you should consider writing white papers to earn extra income. Due to the recession […]

How to improve the subject line of an email

First, think of the response you want from the reader. Second, put the most important point at the start. Third, highlight one thing only. The problem with most subject lines in emails is that they’re written either: As a placeholder, something to put in while you write the actual email After the email is written […]

Are good business writers made or born?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking… made. Why do I say this? Because if you are a ‘born writer’, and have written from a very early age as most do, you’d feel  that most writers are born, not made. You either have it or you don’t. But it this true? I hate to say it […]

Friday Book Review: Patricia Highsmith’s Deep Water

In WSJ, Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone Girl, says about Deep Water, “When you decide to pair yourself off with someone for life, it’s supposed to be this psychologically and emotionally safe place you can retreat to. And often it doesn’t turn out like that, and there’s something very frightening about revealing not just […]

Business Requirements: Should you use Shall v Will?

Should you use Shall or Will when writing business requirements? Or something else? For example, some business analyst friends prefer to use Must. Others insist that Shall is the international standard, so we should stick with it. The counter-argument says that’s not good enough. Times have changed. We need to put the reader first. No […]

214 Style Guides with Tutorials, Examples, Guidelines

Looking for examples of how to write a style guide? We’ve compiled this list to give you different examples to get you started. How to Create a Style Guide Brain Traffic — Web Content style guides that Don’t Suck Creative Blog — Create a website style guide Gather Content — Developing a Content style guide […]

How to be an Early Riser

I’ve always liked the idea of being an early riser. It seems a lot of successful people start early, get a head start. But actually doing it… never really happened. Actually, that’s not totally true. There were times I managed to get up earlier but I always seemed to back slide. However, I’ve recently had […]

Zen and the Art of Training Plan Maintenance

Ever planned to run a 1ok mini-marathon? Good intentions, right? One part says Yes. Another says… No. There’s always that little voice in your head going, “Can’t we do it later? Just a little while? Pur-lease!” For me, I like the idea of training, but making the actual effort can be different. Corporate training is […]