Writing Tips


Simple sentences - those with only one subject and one predicate

Active voice - verbs with a direct object (Ed learns grammar.)

Passive voice - is a verb phrase consisting of a form of the verb be followed by a past participle (Grammar is learned by Ed.)

Preposition - a part of speech that is used to show the relation of a noun or a noun equivalent to some other word in the sentence Words commonly used as prepositions include across, after, as, at, because of, before, between, by, for, from, in, in front of, in regard to, like, near, of, on, over, through, to, together with, under, until, up, with.

Cliché - a trite phase or expression (every inch a gentleman).

Jargon - verbiage the confuses rather than clarifies

Euphemism - trite wordy phrases (stretches the truth) as contrasted with (lies).


Use a minimum number of abbreviations and acronyms in your text.

Avoid using above and below when you mean preceding and following.

Know the difference between affect and effect. Both are nouns. Affect denotes an emotional state. Effect denotes the result of a process, event, or activity.

Use a colon at the end of a sentence to indicate that further explanation follows: This may include a list or an example.

The semicolon connects two sentences that are closely related to one another. Use the semicolon rather than a period when the two sentences constitute a single thought.

Commas should be placed wherever a speaker should pause, or whenever, there is a logical shift in your sentence.

Ensure, assure, and insure have different meanings. Ensure means to make sure of a state of affairs or that an event occurs. Insure means to obtain insurance. Assure means to make safe or to give confidence.

Note the spelling of someone, every one, no one, and none.

Hyphens are used to tie together two words that modify a third, when the third word follows the first two (e.g. Internet-specific information).

Do not use impact when you mean influence or effect. Do not use impact when you mean affect.

Maybe means perhaps. May be is a verb phrase.

Spell the numbers from one to nine and use numerals for other numbers.

Use shall to predict the future. Use will to imply intentionality.

Do not split infinitives (To blindly go where no man has dared).