Em Dash v En Dash

Noreen Malone, senior editor at New York magazine, admits what everyone else thinks about those pesky em-dashes. “The problem with the dash—as you may have noticed!—is that it discourages truly efficient writing. It also—and this might be its worst sin—disrupts the flow of a sentence. Don’t you find it annoying—and you can tell me if […]

Bertrand Russell: 3 Simple Writing Rules

Bertrand Russell, especially in his book, Why I Write, offers great advice on how to move from wordy, verbose, lengthy, purple prose to shorter text without losing any meaning. Here’s the three step formula he provides: Never use a long word if a short word will do. If you want to make a statement with […]

How can I break into freelance white paper writing?

Q: Where can I find work as a white paper writer? Getting your first project is the hardest. Once you’ve got this under your belt, it becomes easier. I’d suggest the following: Setup a 10 page website. Write about the benefits, sales opportunities, branding development and web traffic that can be made from well written, […]

How to Describe Difficult Technical Concepts

Rule #1! You can’t describe what you don’t understand. We agree? You can try and fudge it, but the people reviewing the document will see through it. I will. You would. Maybe you can try and cheat by cobbling together material that others have written, but it doesn’t work. Anyway, that’s not writing. It’s just […]

[Tutorial] How to Write Software Product Brochures

What are the three documents most potential customers wants to read? I’d say it’s white papers, case studies, and product brochures. The first sets the scene, the second shows you how it works, and the third… this tells you how and why it works. Of the three, product brochures are the least sexy. But they’re […]

How to respond to: “I’m going to be brutally honest with you”

What happens the moment you hear, ‘I’m going to be brutally honest with you’? I tend to filter out the honest part and tense up, wondering about the brutal part. You the same? You sense what’s coming next. It doesn’t feel good. We’re ‘brutally honest’ when someone annoys us but we can’t say it to their […]

How to Use Micro-Tasks in Large Software Development Projects

If you look at a large project as many small tasks chained together, it’s easier to start. Learn more about these excel Change Management templates here We often get stuck with large projects because we can’t find the right place to start. Micro-tasks fix this. They break large projects into bite-sized tasks. With so many […]

Bertrand Russell’s Guaranteed Cure for Writer’s Block

If you’ve ever been stuck with writer’s block, read on. I don’t know about you but when I started writing as a teenager, I often found I could get so far, often twenty or thirty pages into my novels, but then I’d lose direction, flap about, lose momentum, and finally stop. The annoying part was […]

Where in a Business Plan should the Executive Summary go?

Summary: The Executive Summary is the first section of a business document. It typically appears after the Table of Contents and before the Introduction. Some requirements – typically RFPs – stipulate that the Executive Summary is delivered separately. One of the questions for new business writers is whether to put the executive summary before or […]

How to Write a Preface for Technical Documents

Summary: Create a preface for technical documents to describe the scope, contents, and materials referenced in the main document. Does a document need a preface? Not always. Short documents are fine without one. However, longer documents, especially those that have changed over releases will benefit from a preface. From one angle, the purpose of the preface is to set […]

[Tutorial] How to Create an Outline for a Business Document

You wouldn’t go to Paris without a map, would you? Ok, you might find the Eiffel Tower but could you find your way to Notre Dame? A map would help right? It’s the same in writing. Why do we need an outline? An outline is a map of your document. It help you, as a […]

Why Writing Mobile Content is Twice as Difficult as Web Content

Have you noticed the way you read (and work) on your phone is different than on your PC? Size, font, layout are all culprits, but there’s more. Research from the Nielsen Norman Group highlights that short mobile sessions means writers must create mobile friendly content in anticipation of user interruptions, slow download speeds, and user […]

Q: Are you a Business Writer or a Writer in Business?

Here’s a question. Think about it for a second. Are you a writer who’s in business? Or A business person who happens to work in the writing industry? Of course, this doesn’t apply to writers only. What we’re looking at here is your angle on business. I’ll give you an example. In the red corner. […]

How to write mobile content for Android and iOS

Looking for writing guidelines for mobile devices? With one third of all content now appearing on mobile devices. let’s look at how to develop content that works well on small screens, encourages users to perform tasks, for example, buying something on your website, and also ensures that they come back looking for more! Let’s start […]

129 Deadwood Phrases that Kill Good Writing

Reduce the word count and create more space by pruning dead wood phrases, such as: a majority of – most a sufficient amount of – enough according to our data – we find accordingly – so accordingly – therefore, so add an additional – added – bonus addressees – you advance – planning advance – […]