10 Tips for Better Writing

Written by Tim North

As a proofreader of business writing, I see many ofrepparttar same errors made again and again. Errors in your writing (be they in advertising copy, correspondence, or a web site) are more serious, I believe, than most people realize.

Why? Well,repparttar 129347 standard of your writing has always been important. Today, though, more than ever before, FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT. We are bombarded byrepparttar 129348 written word in its many forms -- books, pamphlets, magazines, signs, e-mail, web sites and many other media.

We are all suffering from information overload and are forced to find ways of screening out as much as we can. We thus tend to make quick decisions on what to read and what not to. First impressions increasingly determine what we read and what we don't, and poor writing leads to a poor first impression.

The following list of tips should help you to avoid some ofrepparttar 129349 most common slip-ups.

1. Capitals: Avoidrepparttar 129350 temptation to capitalize words inrepparttar 129351 middle of a sentence Just To Provide Emphasis Like This. If you want to be more emphatic, consider using bold face, italics, color or larger text.

2. Commas: The most common use ofrepparttar 129352 comma is to join together short sentences to make a single longer sentence. We do this with one ofrepparttar 129353 following small joining words: and, or, but, yet, for, nor, or so. For example:

We have finishedrepparttar 129354 work, and we are looking forward torepparttar 129355 weekend.

Notice thatrepparttar 129356 two halves of this sentence could each be sentences in their own right. They thus need to be separated with a comma and joining word. Inrepparttar 129357 next example, though, we don't need a comma:

We have finishedrepparttar 129358 work and are looking forward torepparttar 129359 weekend.

The halves of that sentence could not stand alone, so no comma was used.

3. Ellipsis: The ellipsis is a series of three -- and ONLY THREE -- full stops used to mark missing words, an uncertain pause, or an abrupt interruption. Avoidrepparttar 129360 temptation to use six or seven dots -- it looks amateurish. For example, we write:


Written by Tim North

Writing to persuade is a tough task, but with a bit of planning it can be made easier and more effective.

When you try to persuade someone, often you'll be trying to do one of these three things:

* confirm an existing belief;

* challenge an existing belief; or

* change an existing belief.

In order to be as persuasive as possible, it's important to decide before you begin writing which of these three you're trying to accomplish as they each need different strategies.

Clearly this is a topic that can have a great deal written about it, but here are a few starting points.


If you're trying to confirm a person's beliefs through your writing, don't simply provide them with information; rather, try to validate their beliefs and compliment them on them.

Try to make them feel comfortable, and remove any reason for them to doubt their existing choice. For example, you might say:

I recommend that we continue these environmentally sound procedures.

Words like "sound", "tried and true", "trusted", "fiscally responsible" and "proven" reassure and subtly flatterrepparttar reader that their current choices are good ones.


If you're trying to challenge a person's beliefs, you'll try to persuade them to question them. You'll deliberately try to upsetrepparttar 129346 status quo and shake things up a bit. For example:

Our belief thatrepparttar 129347 leach pads are not leaking dangerous contaminants intorepparttar 129348 groundwater supply may be unfounded. I urgently recommend a research study to investigate this potentially damaging situation.

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