Punctuation explained – Simply

The paragraphs below explain each of the main types of punctuation.  But the punctuation is missing.  By doing this exercise you will therefore learn not only where and what type of punctuation to use, but also get practice in using it.  My suggested answers are given at the foot of the blog. Commas are used in lists of things to clarify meaning after introductory words and phrases like however (at the start or mid-sentence) when providing...

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Tips for writing emails … Avoid P-E-S-T (and other advice)

Tips for writing emails … Avoid P-E-S-T (and other advice)

Emails are great… but because of where and how we use them, it is easy to make mistakes.  Read on for may advice. Don’t let emails be a P-E-S-T P ressure of workplaces makes us over hasty when sending emails – or not check and work, and therefore make mistakes. E motions are hard to convey in text, and can easily be misread by readers who don’t know us etc.  So, don’t email when annoyed, nor late at night/end of...

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Books I enjoyed in 2016

One way to improve your writing skills is to read quality, well written books.  Here are a few books that I read and enjoyed in 2016.  They come with my recommendation (I ditched about half as many again).  Let me know what you think of them. Apart from the Graeme Burnet book (which was on the Booker Prize shortlist), none are that new … but they are all worth reading. Amongst Women – John McGahern Beginning of Spring –...

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Writing is like PAINTING

  When preparing a few things to say for a talk recently, I realised that writers need to be able to switch from reviewing an overall document to checking its micro details – and to be good at both. Then I realised it was a quality also needed by painters … and then I realised there are a few other parallels between writers and painters, such as being willing to experiment, having perseverance, etc.  And THEN … guess what; I...

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A writing habit

  “Habit has written more books than talent.” The quote caught my attention recently in a talk by Philip Pullman. Interesting eh?  And how true. So, if you want to write that book idea of yours, don’t worry about the text needing to be perfect, or that you need something original so say … as Pullman says, what you need more than anything else is to make sitting down to scribble a regular habit. Then, before you know it...

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Index for Business Writing Tips (my book)

The only real critique of my book, when I gave an interview at a book launch in Blackwell’s Oxford last year … What about an index? Well, I spent the quiet days of  January writing one, so the Index is now available  to those wanting it.   The index – what it features  There are over 130 entries covering 3+ pages/columns, with guidance on the following items standing out – at least in terms of cited references, not...

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