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Writing Tips of the Month

There is no secret formula to writing well. Practice helps, as well as remembering some helpful tips:

Write directly to your audience.
Use language that connects with your readers.
Develop a logical order of information.
Be concise.
Revise. Revise some more.
Check your message for errors and consistency.

To learn more about communicating effectively, click on the writing tips below.

  Log in vs. Login, October 2018
  Are you still using ‘the Internet’?, June 2018
  The Markle Sparkle: Historic vs. Historical, May 2018
  Compound Constructions and -ly Adverbs, April 2018
  First Annual vs. Inaugural, March 2018
  Allude vs. Elude, February 2018
  Free Rein vs. Free Reign, December 2017
  Anyway vs. Anyways vs. Any Way, November 2017
  Yes, Spelling Counts, October 2017
  Word Usage and Placement Errors, June 2017
  Tamp Down vs. Tap Down, May 2017
  Last vs. Past, April 2017
  Chance vs. Opportunity, March 2017
  Recur vs. Reoccur, February 2017
  Hyphenating "Well," January 2017
  Possession and Compound Nouns, December 2016
  Avoid Unneeded Use of Basis, November 2016
  Ultimate vs. Penultimate, October 2016
  Between vs. Among, September 2016
  Using ‘Literally’ Literally, August 2016
  Myriad vs. a Myriad Of, July 2016
  The Internet is dead, June 2016
  Test Your Hyphen Skills, May 2016
  Chomping or Champing at the Bit, April 2016
  Because vs. Since vs. As, March 2016
  Use Positive Language, February 2016
  Serve vs. Service, January 2016
  All Right vs. Alright, November 2015
  Using Whether and If, October 2015
  Adverse vs. Averse, September 2015
  Colon Uses and Misuses, July 2015
  Tenable vs. Tenuous, June 2015
  Don't Get Caught with Your 'Pants Down,' May 2015
  On to vs. Onto, April 2015
  Got Comma Splices?, March 2015
  10 Questions for Compelling Content, February 2015
  Despite vs. In Spite Of, January 2015
  Gold, frankincense and...myriad?, December 2014
  Emigrate vs. Immigrate vs. Migrate, November 2014
  Reluctant vs. Reticent, October 2014
  College Application Essays and Other Memorable Stories, September 2014
  Compliment vs. Complement, August 2014
  Commas and Coordinate Adjectives, July 2014
  Using Male and Female Words, June 2014
  Capitalization of Business Titles, May 2014
  Cancelled vs. Canceled and Similar Words, April 2014
  What Our Language Says About Us, March 2014
  Gain Attention Using Whom, February 2014
  Incomplete Comparisons Create Confusion, January 2014
  Choose an Object for the Holidays, December 2013
  Get Active with Your Voice, November 2013
  Watch Out for Misplaced Modifiers, October 2013
  Avoid Non-Word 'Words,' September 2013
  Allow vs. Enable, August 2013
  Agreeable Subjects and Verbs, July 2013
  Then vs. Than, June 2013
  Infamous vs. Famous, May 2013
  In to vs. Into, April 2013
  The Power of Stories, March 2013
  Apostrophes and Plural Nouns, February 2013
  Apostrophe Abuse of Plural Nouns, January 2013
  More Than vs. Over, December 2012
  Impossibility of 'Center Around,' November 2012
  Continual vs. Continuous, October 2012
  On to vs. Onto, September 2012
  Using Chairman, Chairperson or Chair, August 2012
  Between vs. Among, July 2012
  Home In vs. Hone In, June 2012
  Use Hyphen with 'Free,' May 2012
  This vs. That, April 2012
  Agreement with Collective Ideas, March 2012
  Flesh Out vs. Flush Out, February 2012
  Grammar Goof on the Campaign Trail, January 2012
  Capitalizing Short Words in Headlines, December 2011
  Proved vs. Proven, November 2011
  Apostrophes as Stand-Ins, October 2011
  Avoid Redundancies: Each and Every, September 2011
  Oriented vs. Orientated, August 2011
  Confused Words: Reticent vs. Reluctant, July 2011
  Use Positive Words. No Problem., June 2011
  Be Possessive with Your Gerunds, May 2011
  Confused Words: 'Jibe' vs. 'Jive,' April 2011
  Confused Words: 'Regardless' vs. 'Irregardless,' February 2011
  Confused Words: 'Fired' vs. 'Laid Off,' January 2011
  Confused Words: 'Amount' vs. 'Number,' December 2010
  Commas with Direct Address, November 2010
  Confused words: 'flounder' vs. 'founder,' October 2010
  Use 'me' with compound objects, September 2010
  Avoid 'me' as a subject, August 2010
  Confused Words: 'Principal' vs. 'Principle,' July 2010
  'Used to' vs. 'Use to,' June 2010
  Confused Words: Who's vs. Whose, May 2010
  Dealing with Dates and Apostrophes, April 2010
  The State of States, March 2010
  Capital letters get 'put down,' February 2010
  Writing Tip Resolutions, January 2010
  Confused Words: "perspective" vs. "prospective," December 2009
  Using 'try and' vs. 'try to,' November 2009
  Write from your reader's perspective, October 2009
  Retire tired business phrases, September 2009
  Pack your headers with power, August 2009
  Choosing Between 'A' and 'An,' July 2009
  Using Articles and Acronyms and Initialisms, June 2009
  Confused Words: Council vs. Counsel, May 2009
  How to Handle Trademarks, April 2009
  Responding to Customer E-mails, March 2009
  What's up with that?, February 2009
  May vs. Might, January 2009
  Writing Tips for Holiday Newsletters, December 2008
  Be Wary of Negative Questions, November 2008
  Effects of Emotionally Charged Words, October 2008
  Got Paragraphs?, September 2008
  To Bravely Split Infinitives, August 2008
  Where Is Your Preposition At?, July 2008
  Commonly Misused Words: Is It All Right?, June 2008
  Recognizing Academic Degrees, May 2008
  Oral vs. Verbal Communication, April 2008
  Create correct em dashes, March 2008
  Parallel Structure Boosts Comprehension, February 2008
  Avoid Incorrect Colon Interruptions, January 2008
  'Tis the Season to Avoid Comma Splices, December 2007
  Choosing between 'we' and 'us,' November 2007
  Never Use 'Him and I,' October 2007
  Throw out 'younger than him,' September 2007
  Helpful Writing Questions, August 2007
  How to Increase Text Readability, July 2007
  Using Hyphens and Dashes, June 2007
  Punctuation: Degrees of Interruption, May 2007
  How to Handle Long Quotations, April 2007
  Writing 'down' style, March 2007
  How to Handle 'Staff,' February 2007
  E-mail or Email?, January 2007
  Correct Placement of "Only," December 2006
  Comparatives vs. Superlatives, November 2006
  Correctly Place Modifying Phrases, October 2006
  When to use ampersands, September 2006
  Confused Words: Imply vs. Infer, August 2006
  Increasing Text Readability, July 2006
  Confused Usage: Work Out vs. Workout, June 2006
  Using Hyphens with Modifiers, May 2006
  Write Lean Sentences, April 2006
  Confused Words: Appraise vs. Apprise, March 2006
  Could you care less?, February 2006
  The Holidays and Apostrophes, January 2006
  Confused Words: Compliment vs. Complement, December 2005
  The Power of P.S., November 2005
  I Feel Good..., October 2005
  Good vs.Well, September 2005
  Misplaced Modifiers Cause Confusion, August 2005
  Go west or West?, July 2005
  Write Tight About Time, June 2005
  Write Tight: Cut "in order to," May 2005
  How to Use Semicolons, April 2005
  March Madness of a 'Different' Sort, March 2005
  Capitalization of Headlines, February 2005
  Confused Words: Less vs. Fewer, January 2005
  Capitalization of Professional Titles, December 2004
  Tips for Using Acronyms, November 2004
  Affect v. Effect and the November Elections, October 2004
  Capital vs. Capitol: What a Capital Idea!, September 2004
  Colons on the Loose, August 2004
  More Confusing Words: Disburse vs. Disperse, July 2004
  Feeling Bad or Badly?, June 2004
  Confusing Words: Moot vs. Mute, May 2004
  Rules for Writing Dates, April 2004
  Correct State Abbreviations, March 2004
  Which is Correct? Assure, ensure or insure?, February 2004
  New Year's Resolution: Cut Expletives, January 2004
  Confused Words: Anxious and Eager, December 2003
  Choosing Between Which and That, November 2003
  Fall Cleaning of Unnecessary Words, October 2003
  Write Tight: Decide or Make a Decision?, September 2003
  Life's a Beach:
Using Lie and Lay, August 2003
  Pay Attention to me, myself, and I, July 2003
  Which Goes First? Quotation Marks and Punctuation, June 2003
  Effective Letter Openings: WIIFM, May 2003
  Watch Your It's, April 2003

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"You learn to write by writing."
Samuel Johnson

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Thomas Jefferson

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