Saturday, March 17, 2012

Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck | Brain Pickings

His tips are followed by this ironic Steinbeck quotation: "If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story.”

Plain Language and Science Writing for the Web | Point Source

The author writes:
Writing about the pollution in my neighborhood will look very different if I am writing to get a politician to take action against a polluter versus describing the conditions to a scientist to inform their future data collection decisions. It’s not just about scientific jargon: plain language is about selecting the words, tone, and style that will be most clearly understood by your audience in order to achieve your purpose and intended outcomes.
For more online resources about concise writing and plain language, check out these free websites of mine:



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide


Here's a recent addition to my website, Garbl's Writing Center, on how to write clearly to meet the needs of your readers--and your needs too!


Fine print: The devil is in the details | Call 12 For Action | WPRI.com

The Center for Plain Language is calling on government agencies and businesses to make agreements understandable and readable. Each year it puts out a list of the most confusing documents out there, from health insurance forms to software agreements and car seat installations.
For more online resources about concise writing and plain language, check out these free websites of mine:



 

In Praise of Plain Language | General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division

The author concludes:
Plain language doesn’t mean “dumbing down” your material; it means you use appropriate language for the individual or group with whom you’re communicating. Writing, and speaking, more clearly yields big dividends: in litigation, in transactions, in all aspects of our day-to-day business.
For more online resources about concise writing and plain language, check out these free websites of mine:



 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly [infographic]

Everyone makes mistakes, but that notion seems to go out the window anytime syntax is misused. If the wrong there, their, or they’re is used at the wrong time on the internet, prepare for every web user to attack your intelligence and attempt to obliterate your self-esteem.

The author writes:
I know, we all have our momentary lapses. But with the help of the infographic [at this link], those lapses can come less frequently. It shines light on the usual culprits, such as the tricky it’s/its decision and affect versus effect. The infographic also shines light on how to properly use the apostrophe and the correct spellings of commonly misspelled words.
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