The importance of your very first line

I always tell delegates: “Write your first line last.” I know it sounds strange, but there are three reasons.  First, when you start writing you don’t yet know what is going to follow, so how can you possibly write an appropriate first line?!  Second, reader’s attention is at its greatest at the beginning.  Think about it.  As they read on they get familiar with what you are writing, and start to skim, etc.  So, your...

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How to write and structure an article

Working out where and how to start a piece of writing can be a difficult decision.  Journalists use two models, and these might help you. Let’s look first at news stories. In order to get information to their audience as quick as possible they put lots of information in their first sentence, where they answer several of the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where, why and how) of their story. Using this structure helps news spread as quickly as...

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Writing – The reader, the writer and the topic

          Reader           Writer                Topic    There are three players in a piece of writing – the writer, the topic and the reader (as in the triangle above).  Two of these dominate in any piece of writing, and which two should influence the types of words used.  Why?  Because usage of certain words can enable you the writer to influence your reader – what they know about and think of the topic, their...

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Minute taking – Writing tips

Ten tips to help those new to the job or wanting to smarten their skills. 1.)  Prepare yourself Reading the previous minutes beforehand will give you a flavour of the group, the subjects they discuss, and their recent decisions.  You will also get abreast of important names, personalities and other details.  It means that, come the meeting, you will already be in first or second gear rather than still in the starting blocks. 2.)  What to write?...

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Writing for the Web – course feedback

Just some feedback on a course I did this week for a department at the University of Gloucestershire, in Cheltenham. 15/2/17 “Interesting and thought provoking- I will never look at website in the same way again.” “Really helpful, interesting and enjoyable day. I have learned new things and refreshed my knowledge/understanding of others.” “Useful theory mixed with practical tips and short group exercises.”...

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Report Writing – 3 tips for effective reports

I do a lot of training in report writing.  Here are 3 of my top ideas for writing better reports, tenders, proposals, etc. – so that you engage to the reader, have more impact, and achieve whatever are your objectives.     1.)  May the FORCE be with you… What your text looks like on the page is important. You want your report to be visually attractive for the reader to pick up, pore over and take note.  And nothing beats a...

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