Tag Archives: Style

How to edit that report when pressed for time

In this tutorial we look at how to edit any document. Before we start: what does it mean to edit a business document? Most people think an edit means: Spellchecking for typos How it looks and feels Grammar (sometimes) Creating a checklist  Instead, create a checklist and review different aspects of the document one by […]

How to move from (Amateur) Blogging to (Professional) Writing

It seems snobbish, doesn’t it? Dividing people into different categories. On one side, formally-educated writers; on the other, dynamic bloggers breaking down the old rules. So, which one is best? Writer v Bloggers: Which One Are You? Let’s flip this around. In reality, neither are ‘best.’ They both offer different types of services. However, I […]

4 Business Writing Tips for Non-Native English Speakers

One of the differences between what they teach kids in high school these days and what I was taught is… business writing skills. When I went to school we studied Macbeth, Lord of the Flies, John Donne and Yeats. Wonderful stuff but not much use when you got into the real world. Most of us […]

J.K. Rowling: 7 Audience Analysis Writing Tips

J.K. Rowling said that she never wrote with a specific audience in mind. When she started to write Harry Potter in a cafe, her priority was to get the story down first and let the rest take care of itself. This approach may work in fiction but can you apply it to business documents? In […]

4 Writing Tactics from Desperate Housewives (+ Audience Analysis template)

Can one hour with Eva Longoria really make you a better business writer? I guess it all depends on the angle you take. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you feel a little bit guilty when watching your favorite TV show. You can’t help wondering if there is ANY way you could apply what’s happening […]

How to Write More Strategic White Papers

If I were to ask you, “What’s the most important part in writing white papers? You’d say… Recently, I’ve been working with clients who’ve written very good white papers – in the traditional sense – but haven’t seen the returns they expected. Do they need to change the language, the tone, length or something else? […]

What correcting other people’s grammar really says about you

Before we start. Should it be people’s or peoples? I bet you noticed that, right? I do. @denise_bryson admits, “I’m such a grammar nazi that if I spell something wrong in a tweet, I have to delete it.” Of course, Nazi is spelt with a capital N but we’ll try to be good and let […]

7 Proofreading Tips for Business Blogs

Writing is easy. Editing is hard. Affect v effect. It’s so easy to get it wrong if you’re not paying attention. One’s a noun, the other a verb. That sounds simple, doesn’t it. Of course, there are exceptions as well and if you’re not paying attention… Let’s look at how to proofread a business blog […]

Why Good Teachers Makes Us Bad Business Writers

Does high school teach us to write in a way that’s counterproductive in the real world? Most high schools teach us to write in a formal, literary style, usually by studying the ‘classics.’ But does this make sense in today’s economy? When you go out and find your first job, what’s the first thing you do? Change […]

7 Case Study Writing Tactics

Do you use case studies to influence prospective customers? My guess is that you do as case studies are one of the most effective ways to soft sell technical products. But are you getting the response you’d expect? If not, then this tutorial will help. Technology Case Study 19 Case Study Templates for only $19.99 […]

How to Write Business Rules

Want to learn how to write business rules? Writing Business Rules should be easy. After all, you’re documenting how the business works, right? This shouldn’t be too hard as you’d assume everyone knows how it works. It’s how they do thing every day. Alas, that’s not always the case. Business Rules Templates (MS Word/Excel) Download these Business Rules […]

12 ways to make your child a better writer

Wish your kids had a passion for writing? Most parents worry about their children falling behind. Maths, writing and science are the three that come up in our house. Like most nervous, first-time parents we tried hard – maybe, too hard – to get our son to read and write. And like most kids he […]

20 Proofreading Exercises For Important Business Documents

Remember, Dan Quayle and that potatoe? A recent bestseller details the world’s worst typographical errors, from hotel brochures advertising a ‘French widow in every bedroom‘ to Tea Party signs declaring President Obama’s ‘crisis of competnce’. Read it again. Proofreading should protect you from this. Of course, proofreading is not only about grammar and punctuation, but content, […]

How to Use Clichés When Writing (+Audience Analysis template)

Most people wag their finger and tell you cliches are bad – Google clichés in writing! – but I have a certain warped affection for them. Here’s why. Where do clichés come from? One of the occupational hazards of being a writer is that you see things that others don’t. Y’know, like clichés? Let’s look at […]

How to kill ‘killer’ headlines

I don’t know about you but I feel it’s time to bury ‘killer’ headlines. Once upon a time… killer was fresh. It had an edge. Attitude. But then it went mainstream. A bit like Talking Heads. Remember Psycho Killer? David wouldn’t write that now… or get away with it 🙂 Why Killer Headlines? Is there […]