Tutorials

The following tutorials will help you improve your business writing. Roughly 80% of writing well is knowing how to edit what you’ve written, so these tutorials are mainly about editing. Here are the most common problems I’ll be attacking, using real copy as examples:

  • The You Rule - Address your readers as individuals.
  • Active Verbs - Change passive and state-of-being verbs to active ones. 
  • Editing - Trim fatty sentences so they're easier for your readers to digest.
  • Logic bombs - Ask the right questions of your writing – so your readers come up with the right answers.
  • Oiling the Gears - Silence clunky links between phrases and clauses.
Then I'll take you through the wonders of sentence diagrams. This is the best way to learn grammar as structure, and structure is the foundation of writing like you mean business.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012 04:58

Dangling Participles - Tutorial No. 3

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Many grammarians identify the participles in introductory phrases or clauses as "dangling" when they are followed by an illogical noun or pronoun. This is usually…

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012 05:17

Editing for Readability - Tutorial No. 1

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In this tutorial I'll take you through the readability edit of a typical About Us page for a small business. The rule for readability is simple: Use…

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012 05:33

Editing - Tutorial No. 4

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Here's a sentence from an annual report. It shows how a string of prepositional phrases can submerge an important word: Key drivers of the Group's…

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012 05:46

Dangling Participles - Tutorial No. 4

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Here are two introductory phrases that do not refer to the nouns or pronouns following them -- which in these cases are the subjects of…

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012 06:00

Sentence Diagrams - Tutorial No. 1

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'Don't let good grammar spoil good writing'. This was the headline of a piece by Philip Yaffe, posted at -- http://www.contentwriter.in/articles/writing/grammar-writing.htm I agree with Yaffe…
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 06:41

Sentence Diagrams - Tutorial No. 2

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Work through Sentence Diagrams – Tutorial No. 1 before you do this one. Mushmouth is business writing that appears to be a communication of some sort, but its…
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 22:29

Sentence Diagrams - Tutorial No. 3

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Work through Sentence Diagrams - Tutorial No. 1 and No. 2 before you do this one. In this tutorial I will show you how to actually draw a diagram.…

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012 22:37

Sentence Diagrams - Tutorial No. 4

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Work through diagramming tutorials 1-3 before doing this one. The sentence for this tutorial is another example of mushmouth, introduced in Diagram Tutorial No. 2. When the writer…
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 23:17

Sentence Diagrams - Tutorial No. 5

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Please start with Sentence Diagrams - Tutorial No. 1 and work your way through. Diagramming is the best way to learn grammar, so stick with…
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John Hancock

John Hancock, author