Write Away e-bulletin archiveBack
This month, pick up a little neuroscience and find out why word choice is so important to effective writing.
Then, clear up any questions you may have about quotation marks and punctuation. What goes inside the quotation marks and what goes outside?
Find out how a font technicality may prove a get-out-of-jail-free card for thousands of speeding motorists.
And read up on report-writing software â€“ can it really produce clear and effective documents?Read Bulletin
Writing conclusions can be tough â€“ but getting them right is so important. We've tuned in to the mighty power of rock music to bring you four techniques that will make sure your reports go out in a blaze of glory.
There's also a round up of some of your questions that we've answered recently, such as the correct way to write OK/ok/okay, when to omit that from a sentence, and whether should have and should of are equally valid.
And don't forget to check the results of last month's Twitter competition. We challenged you to shorten a paragraph to 140 characters and tweet it to us. Find out who won and why.Read Bulletin
This month, try out the Pyramid Principle as a way of structuring reports. It's effective, persuasive and easy to do. What are you waiting for?
Also, learn how to use your writing skills to create a LinkedIn profile that will boost your reputation, benefit your business and push you up the search results.
And while we're on social media, why not try your hand at our Twitter challenge? Can you condense the test paragraph into 140 characters without losing the sense?
Finally, read about the President of the Supreme Court's two recommendations for improving the clarity of legal writing â€“ and keeping the public's confidence.Read Bulletin
It's the month for treating your body like a temple, so why not give your writing a touch of the cleansing and purifying treatment while you're at it? These three resolutions will make your writing clearer and more direct.
Also, learn a simple and effective technique for beating writer's block â€“ taking you from blank page to detailed plan in just half an hour.
Finally, check you're clear on the difference between stationery and stationary. And if you weren't, here's a 60-second fix to make sure you always pick the right one.Read Bulletin
How do you begin your emails â€“ 'Dear' or 'Hi'? And how do you end them? Follow our five easy steps to make sure you start off â€“ and finish â€“ on the right foot.
For the local government workers, there's a special focus on writing for multiple audiences â€“ a skill that's increasingly in demand.
And ho ho ho, merry Christmas! To celebrate, we've invited a special guest writer to explain the difference between rein and reign for a festive 60-second fix.
Last but not least, there's a guide to using tools to enhance your Twitter experience, allowing you to schedule tweets, collaborate with colleagues and analyse your reach.Read Bulletin
Polish your proofreading to perfection with this ten-step guide, then test your skills by spotting and correcting the errors in our photo gallery. The first person to report back (correctly) wins a prize.
Also, check out how to write a great graduate CV, including how to avoid the ten most common mistakes. Learn a three-step technique to communicate numbers effectively to a mixed-ability audience. Finally, see three of the best questions we've been asked by our readers this month â€“ along with their answers.Read Bulletin
Is sorry really the hardest word? Examine what makes a good apology, then evaluate those made in the past month by Nick Clegg and Andrew Mitchell and vote in our poll. Who do you think did a better job?
And one for the graduate employees: your writing experience to date has been mostly academic, but you're about to start writing business documents. Here's how to hone your writing style to help you get ahead.
Also, check out our Q&A round-up of the most challenging questions you've sent us recently, and brush up on led and lead.Read Bulletin
This month, test your spelling and grammar skills with our fiendish 60-second quiz â€“ do you know your complimentary from your complimentary and your compare to from your compare with?
Also, brush up on your technical-writing skills, find out whether you should treat data as a singular or a plural and set yourself straight on how to use however.Read Bulletin
Too often, writing an annual report is an exercise in pussyfooting around shareholders. But good annual reports motivate staff, change minds and inspire action. Here's how to write one that gets a complimentary response. Or is that complementary? (Don't worry, our 60-second fix will set you straight.)
Also, take a closer look at fonts â€“ there's a whole world beyond Arial and Times New Roman. Find out what works best on screen and in print. And what's all this about serifs?
Finally, step into the dark world of media manipulation and listen to our interview with Ryan Holiday, author of Trust Me, I'm Lying.Read Bulletin
How better to mark the start of the Olympics than with a celebration of the peculiarities of UK English? Linguistics expert Dr Lynne Murphy rounds up ten words the British and the Americans use differently.
And, interestingly, in other news, sentences starting with interestingly often turn out to be quite the opposite. Find out about five adverbs you should only allow in your final draft after careful scrutiny.
Plus, get a 60-second fix on affect and effect, and a guide to responding to positive customer feedback.Read Bulletin
This month, learn five easy ways to optimise your writing for search engines â€“ and without alienating your human readers.
Then, examine the rule that short words are always better than long ones. Are we right to rein in our love of flourishes?
For management consultants, there's also a guide on how to write team biographies that will help sell your bid.
And, over on the blog, watch Emphasis CEO Rob Ashton as he supercharges a sentence in less than 60 seconds.Read Bulletin
University can leave graduates with a convoluted and old-fashioned style of writing. Kick the academic habit shows you how to move to a more direct, persuasive and professional tone.
And speaking of professional tone, how do you write about brand names such as MORE TH>N, LV=, ASDA and Yahoo! without your prose disappearing into keyboard soup? With a house style is how. Hereâ€™s how to develop one.
Also, thereâ€™s a 60-second fix to set you straight on different from, different to and different than; and a profession-specific guide to writing skills for chartered accountants.Read Bulletin
You may remember being taught at school that it's grammatically wrong to use singular they. But is it? And what's the difference between compare to and compare with?
Also, would you rely on a grammar app to help you perfect your documents? We review Grammarly to find out whether it's word perfect.
Over at the Communication Lab, knowledge management guru Luis Suarez talks about the benefits of doing away with email.
This month, take a zero-tolerance approach to hedging and weasel words with our article on cutting out cowardly language. Then check out our five reasons why email's here to stay and take 60 seconds to get clear on how to use substitute for and substitute with.
Also, let us know what you think about Latin on the loose in business writing, and listen to our latest Communication Lab podcast, featuring linguistics expert Dr Lynne Murphy discussing the differences between UK and US English.Read Bulletin
This month, take our new words quiz â€“ can you decipher what a boomerang child, a helicopter parent and a robocall are? But before you rush out and use them, make sure you read our blog post on the kind of language to use â€“ and avoid â€“ if you want your articles to go global.
Also: why you should never trust a thesaurus, the difference between shall and will and a 60-second fix on whether you dreamt that you learnt something or dreamed that you learned it.Read Bulletin
Get yourself in the festive mood by tackling our Christmas challenge â€“ can you untangle the business speak and reveal the three well-known festive songs hidden beneath? Then, ponder the round robin. Are his days days of self-indulgence numbered? Or can he adapt?
You can also download the latest Communication lab podcast, learn an easy rule to distinguish who from whom, and find out how to tame a run-on sentence.
This month, brush up on your compound possessives, waggle a knowing finger at the most-missable proofreading offenders and take your writing skills to the fourth and final level.Read Bulletin
This month, supercharge your business writing by joining in our free 45-minute web seminar.
We also tackle the question of whether you should use a or an before words such as hotel, historic and heroic, test out an iPhone grammar app and bring you a downloadable list of the top ten typos.
This month we asked people to tell us their email bugbears â€“ and boy, did they. We've condensed the long list into five main gripes. But take a deep breath before you read it, because you've probably been guilty of at least one of them.
As part of our Hit or myth? series, we've examined the popular rule that you can't begin a sentence with and or but. But can you? And should you?
And once you've got that sorted, you can give your spelling a quick brush-up with our 60-second fix. This month we're looking at bear and bare, born and borne.
That might put you in the mood to have a go at our proofreading challenge. Simply cut and paste the example into the comment box and correct all the mistakes, and you could win a free copy of our style guide, The Write Stuff.Read Bulletin
This month, we tackle split infinitives, the correct spelling of judgment/judgement, and the Oxford comma (there's one in this sentence â€“ can you spot it?). We review a new plug-in, ToneCheck, which claims to be able to spot problematic tone in your emails, and we tell you a bit about our report-writing course.Read Bulletin
This month, our Bull fighter takes management-speak by the horns, showing you how to banish it from your workplace. Download our PDF guide to saying what you really mean â€“ with not a 'touching base' or a 'pushing the envelope' in sight.
Rob Ashton, Chief Executive of Emphasis, shares his seven-step process for how to write a winning business plan. Work through each section and you'll end up with an ordered, content-rich document that gets you to where you want to go.
In the first of a new series called Hit or myth, we examine the 'rule' that you must never end a sentence with a preposition. (And we'll see what Winston Churchill had to say about that.) Also on the topic of grammar, one reader wrote to us to ask whether he should write I or me when making comparisons. For example, is it 'he is taller than I' or 'he is taller than me'?
We look at how, when it comes to writing emails, a little overconfidence can be a dangerous thing â€“ and we're not talking about that time when you told your boss you 'resent' his email (re-sent). Research shows that around 15 per cent of emails are at risk of confusing, misleading or even offending their recipients.Read Bulletin
This month, we show you how to grab your readersâ€™ attention and leave a lasting impression when you write introductions and endings.
Emphasis trainer Jan Bateman offers her tips on writing for a global audience. Follow her advice to avoid language barriers and get your writing across clearly â€“ and naturally â€“ to people who speak English as a second language.
Continuing on the international theme, help is at hand for anyone confused about UK and US English. Our guide outlines the key differences in spelling, grammar and punctuation, and suggests what to do when the rules are fuzzy.
Are you 100 per cent sure youâ€™re using â€˜thatâ€™ and â€˜whichâ€™ correctly? Use our grammar tips and avoid making common mistakes.
Researchers have discovered that certain fonts make text more memorable. Find out why and whether you should be using them in your documents.
Plus thereâ€™s an audio clip on how to write better sales proposals â€“ a four-minute tutorial from Emphasis CEO Rob Ashton that will help your bids beat the competition.Read Bulletin
One of the most common problems among Emphasis delegates is writerâ€™s block â€“ so weâ€™ve devoted a whole issue to it.
Youâ€™ll find this e-bulletin is packed full of block-busting
techniques and insights from research. After all, the barriers to
writing are built in our minds. Discover the scientific answer to
writerâ€™s block â€“ a simple cure; find out what causes your words to dry
up and what maintains the problem; and learn how to improve your powers
Check out our tips and practical advice â€“ youâ€™ll find smart techniques that we use on our courses. And discover how Stephen Fry, and a host of other pros, deal with writerâ€™s block. Finally, thereâ€™s 'The deadline-day survival guide', which explains what to do when time is running out and inspiration doesnâ€™t strike.
Breaking the block will be much easier than you ever imagined.Read Bulletin
In the first of our special issues, we find out how using insights from psychology can give your business writing the edge. Discover from the latest research how you can use email to influence how others judge you. You can also find out why putting pen to paper can boost your capacity to learn and how writing can improve performance when it comes to any high-pressure situation.
With writing being such a powerful tool, itâ€™s important to get your message across effectively. Our mini grammar workshop offers three vital rules you need to know, while we look at novelist George Orwellâ€™s rules for effective writing â€“ six golden tips that will give your reports extra clout.
Finally, our 'Bad education' article focuses on the growing problem of typos in CVs â€“ especially in graduatesâ€™ applications â€“ and highlights solutions to the main problem areas.Read Bulletin
This month, we find out why too much internet research can make you depressed â€“ and not just because you miss all your deadlines.
We say now is the perfect time to make your company policies more readable â€“ our action plan shows how simple it can be. Plus, there's our campaign against business babble: this time Ban the bull takes on financial jargon.
Oh, and on the subject of money, thereâ€™s a guide to writing accounting reports in plain English. We'll also show you how to get apostrophes sorted once and for all.Read Bulletin
This month, we unveil research which shows that people are more prone to lying in emails than they are when putting pen to paper.
We look at what HM Revenue & Customs could have done differently when delivering bad news to customers in the recent debacle over tax errors. And we ask what Kraft's decision to lose 'a glass and a half of full-cream milk' from Cadbury's Dairy Milk wrappers might mean for other well-known advertising slogans.
Plus, reflexive pronouns (erm, what are they again?) explained and an invitation to come and meet us at the CIPD annual conference next month.
In September's edition of Write Away, we launch the second edition of our style guide, The Write Stuff, with some pearls of wisdom about how to get your writing read and a great competition to win one of 50 free copies.
We also explore how to write a press release that grabs journalists' attention with tips on how to present your story, newsworthiness, structure and using quotes. And we look at recent eyetracking research, which analyses people's eye movements when looking at news websites, and reveals some compelling advice for creators of online content.
Plus Emphasis trainer Kathy Gemmell gives you her quick tips on writing executive summaries; we put BA's online regulations under the spotlight in Ban the bull; and Rob Ashton offers ten top writing tips for scientists to help them communicate their ideas more clearly.Read Bulletin
In Julyâ€™s edition of Write Away, we have an Emphasis exclusive: the latest project from our Research Centre reveals how the press may have influenced the UKâ€™s recovery from the financial crisis.
Youâ€™ll also discover the proper etiquette for making the Queen your pen pal (or for writing a letter to any titled individual) and how to use the ever-useful word â€˜howeverâ€™.
Plus Emphasis trainer Jan Bateman gives you her quick tips for getting the most out of email; we put the dignity into policies in Ban the bull; and Rob Ashton explains why training and development decision-makers need a strong written voice.
Write Away is now available to take away: find out how in this monthâ€™s edition, along with why commas might give you pause and how three minutes might save your document â€“ or even your reputation.
Also for May, Rob Ashton shows how sharpening your writing skills can put you ahead of the pack in the sales jungle. We launch the Emphasis research centre by looking at tomorrowâ€™s business writers today, and put the Department of Health under the microscope in Ban the bull.Read Bulletin
This month, could the iPad lead us to a paperless office?
Quick guides: you are just ten tips away from perfect punctuation and five minutes from successful speeches.
Plus, why writing skills are more important than ever for todayâ€™s graduates; and how management-speak can dent your popularity.Read Bulletin
Itâ€™s a new year (we know youâ€™ve heard about it), and high time for you
to break the putting-off cycle: we show you how with our top tips for
beating procrastination. Plus, even if youâ€™re still overstuffed from all
that Christmas indulgence, youâ€™ll still have room for one of our
bite-sized audio tips â€“ the latest addition to our free resource
section. This month: Rob Ashton gives away the secret formula for
Also in Januaryâ€™s edition of Write Away, we rehabilitate another item of business bull, and reveal why weâ€™re ready and willing to start tweeting. And youâ€™ll find out how to avoid getting carried away by capital letters.
Don't miss too our financial year-end offer, giving you the chance to get coaching worth Â£2000 absolutely free.
In Decemberâ€™s Write Away, we ponder the prickly issue of putting the PC into Christmas and consider the benefits of focusing (for a change) on the writer of a document. Also this month: brackets (and how to use them), tips on writing proposals, and â€“ in the podcast â€“ how to grab your reader with catchy intros and memorable endings. Plus, we wrestle another specimen of baffling business-speak into submission in our feature Ban the bull. What more could you want in your stocking?Read Bulletin
In Novemberâ€™s edition of Write Away, you will find out the difference between a dash and a hyphen â€“ it isnâ€™t only about length â€“ and how to use them effectively. We continue our quest to rid the writing world of pointless jargon with our new feature Ban the bull; and we take a look at the effect the latest technology may have on our use of language. Also, we provide proofreading tips in Business â€“ the write way, and, in this monthâ€™s podcast, reveal how your choice of design can give your documents the edge.Read Bulletin
Octoberâ€™s e-bulletin arrives with a new look and a new name: Write Away. In it, we let you know how to get the best out of your global business dealings, and reveal the full horror of the gobbledygook amnesty winning entry. Also this month, find out about how you can access all the writing-skills support you could ever need, listen to business-writing radio and find out how to break bad news to employees.Read Bulletin
In August's edition of Write Away we reveal some top tips for making the world of email less stressful for everyone, and show how placing an apostrophe in possessives can be a pain-free process. Plus, recommendations that make writing figures and numbers as easy as pie; and a link to the latest podcast. We also continue to watch over the 'green shoots' in the press.Read Bulletin
This month, we announce an amnesty on gobbledygook, reveal the secrets of proposal writing and perfect punctuation, and continue to track the recovery through our 'green shoots' index. Plus in the latest Write On podcast, top speech-writer Jack Elliott shares his trade secrets and HSBC reveal how Emphasis helped them improve their customer letters.Read Bulletin
June's bulletin sees the launch of Recovery Watch, our monthly look at how many times the UK's broadsheet newspapers use the words 'recovery' and 'green shoots'. Plus we look at ways to beat writer's block and reveal the secrets of effective subheads.Read Bulletin
Alan Sugar may be the ultimate plain-talker, but April's bulletin looks at why The Apprentice is not the best model for business communication. Also, discover why typos are so often missed and how to get the best out of bullets. Plus the chance to win a place on an Emphasis course.Read Bulletin
January's Write Away asks whether President Obama's inauguration speech could kickstart a recovery. Plus discover why internal communication is never more important than in a recession, and why poor grammar and punctuation can signal a much bigger problem.Read Bulletin
In November 2008's Write Away, jargon finds its place and Olympus gets it wrong. Plus find out how to get a free 60-page guide to good writing and how to book a place on our new punctuation and grammar open course.Read Bulletin
Our October 2008 e-bulletin looks at how keeping things simple can make more sense as well as how corporate jargon is beginning to lose its hold.Read Bulletin