Common Errors in English Usage

Getting quick answers to grammar-related questions can be a challenge. Here’s a great free online resource called Common Errors in English Usage by Paul Brians. Brians is an Emeritus Professor of English at Washington State University. Many grammar guides offer lengthy convoluted descriptions of grammar rules. I especially like this one because of its practical […]

The ROI of Writing Effective Procedures

A Small Investment Now Well written procedures (instructions) are worth their weight in gold, so to speak. Think about it. A single set of instructions can be used over and over by dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of employees (or customers) over a period of many years, with no additional effort or expense. By quickly […]

Write for the Reader

A Sure Way to Confuse Your Readers In school and throughout our lives, we’ve learned to write using the academic model, i.e., introduction, body, and conclusion. In business writing, this approach greatly limits our ability to get things done. We can think of the academic model as a movie, where the plot gradually builds before […]

Get Things Done by Communicating a Sense of Urgency

Vague Niceties Lead to Inaction When a friend ends an email with a vague statement like, “We should get together sometime.” what happens? Nothing! Until someone offers a more specific suggestion, e.g., “Are you free on Saturday?” any talk about getting together is just a nicety. Business Writing is No Different The same is true […]

The Risk of Negative Emotions in Email

The Hidden Cost of Negative Emotion When we’re frustrated, irritated, or overwhelmed, we’re often tempted to respond in the heat of the moment. Though satisfying, that initial good feeling can quickly give way to one of deep regret. Many a relationship has been strained, opportunity lost, or career damaged, due to a single off-the-cuff business […]