Archive | Writing Advice

A simple fix for writer’s block

Whether someone is creating something for work, for school, or for any other purpose, nine times out of ten, their struggle begins with the first words they need to put on the page. Some people call it writer’s block, although people who write seriously will tell you that block is an entirely different animal. Fortunately, […]

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Is appropriate inappropriate here?

Frequently, copy contains words that don’t really need to be there. A great example is “appropriate,” as in sentences such as “once we review the information, we’ll take appropriate action.” That’s because saying “once we review the information, we’ll take action” is every bit as meaningful and effective. Since it says the exact same thing […]

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Are you very unique?

Are you unique? That’s good. Are you very unique? Probably not. No, I’m not suggesting that individuality is a bad thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing. And the word “unique” should be a very good word. Unfortunately, it’s misused so often that it is losing its uniqueness. In simple terms, “unique” means “singular” […]

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Three simple steps to sharper copy

Thanks to a handy tool within Microsoft Word and most other word processors, it’s easy to make your writing tighter and more powerful. That handy tool is the Word Count indicator. And here’s how you can use it to improve your writing: highlight whatever it is that you’re writing, whether that’s a page or a […]

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Even still more goofs and gaffes

Again and again, I see proof of professional reliance on spellcheckers instead of good old proofreading and editing. Case in point: a Northwest Indiana Times article about funding for safety improvements on the South Shore Railroad. The reporter included this bullet point: “Implementation of Positive Train Control, a federally mandated safety system that tracks the precise location […]

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