Avoid the widespread tendency to capitalize nouns arbitrarily. Not everything deserves special treatment. People routinely uppercase names of committees, projects, titles, departments and assorted other things, usually for one of these three reasons. They copy what everyone else does, without looking it up. They think it is the formal name of that object or place,… Read more »

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Writing with clarity means providing enough context that the reader can make sense of the message. How many times have you opened an email, and the first words are something such as That sounds great, or It shouldn’t be a big problem. What were That and it referring to? In many cases, you didn’t know. You probably did what… Read more »

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Writers with expertise on a particular topic often are blind to the fact that their audience is not as knowledgeable. When a person has extensive knowledge about a particular topic, she becomes consumed by the details and nuances of the subject, which can lead to what is called the curse of knowledge. The more she learns, the… Read more »

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Whether you are a business professional writing a detailed memo or an author writing a book, you need a sense of direction. Ha Jin, an award-winning novelist, says that when he plans a book, he creates an outline that includes the beginning, the chapters, the major scenes, and the end. “It’s like you’re taking a… Read more »

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Most Americans continue to hear, “Write active sentences,” but that doesn’t mean passive writing is wrong. Just know when to use it. Managers grumble, “Why is there so much passive writing?” and insist that people “write in the active voice,” but without a more complete explanation of what active and passive are and when passive… Read more »

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