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Summary of Clear Writing Guidelines and Techniques

Many clear writing guidelines and techniques have been covered on this blog site over the past several months. They have been summarized in my book “The Art of Clear Writing,” available on amazon.com/ Kindle Books and in print. In order to facilitate reader review, I have quoted this portion of my book below.

“This book introduces fundamental guidelines and techniques necessary to develop clear writing skills. The guidelines and techniques discussed in this book may seem obvious to some readers and appear to be common sense to others, but they are important, time-tested approaches to developing a writing style that will lead to the creation of a final, clearly written document.

Writing is no different from any other undertaking in life: you have to start at the
beginning to master it. All art is created through the exercise of a craft such as painting, sculpting,
etc. Every craft must be taught and learned, including writing. Clear writing is an art form because it can be learned through the craft of writing. Almost everyone can write to some degree, but to write clearly is a goal worthy of achievement. The long hours and hard work it may take to get there are tasks eminently worth the effort. Remember that a clearly written document will speak well of the author and the purpose it seeks to advance.

Develop and maintain a strong belief in your ability to write clearly. You can do it if you train yourself to do it, but it takes dedicated effort and continued practice.

The five fundamental guidelines discussed in this book should apply to any writing project, no
matter whether you are writing in English or any other language. Here is a summary:

First, develop confidence in your ability to write clearly by writing every day. Read extensively and study the writing style of experienced writers.

Second, learn to recognize clear writing. You will know it when you see it. A clearly written document should flow smoothly, be easy to read, and be visually attractive.

Third, get organized. Thoroughly plan your writing by organizing your thinking. Prepare a mental blueprint of what you’re going to write, then, prepare an outline that closely reflects your
blueprint. This is, perhaps, the most important step of all to improve the clarity of your writing.

Fourth, know your reading audience. If you don’t know who you are writing for, you may as well not write at all.

Fifth, know your subject matter. Become a maven on the content of your writing. You need expert knowledge to write with authority on any subject. If you try to fake it, your reader will see right through you. Take the time to research your subject matter thoroughly. The result will be high quality content, a vital ingredient for any successful writer.

Develop the many writing techniques discussed in this book by continuous practice. Dedicate yourself to writing every day. Build your vocabulary so you can find the right word when you need it. Be concise in your writing, use shorter sentences, carefully edit all writing before using it, and, most importantly, eliminate all spelling errors.

Also, read good books, magazines, and newspapers. Expose yourself to experienced writers whenever and wherever you can. Learn from their style. Make a list of all new words, learn them, and learn how to use them. Become familiar with all punctuation marks and their application. Train your eye to learn grammar by word association rather than by definition. This is your homework, so to speak. The more thoroughly you apply yourself, the clearer your writing will be.

As a final thought, the creation of a paper trail, as discussed in the introduction to section two, will go a long way towards helping you achieve clear writing success. It’s good practice to memorialize all deadlines in writing as well as confirm all past and future events to prevent misunderstandings. Follow up important letters and emails with a letter and/ or memorandum to the file.

Keep your writing objectives in full view at all times. Clear writing is not easy to achieve. It’s hard
work, very hard work. But when you’re finished writing, dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s, rewritten and revised the document for the umpteenth time until you can’t look at it anymore, then, like an artist, you can sit back and admire your work with the knowledge you’ve given it your best shot.

At this point, assuming you have been diligent in applying the guidelines and techniques discussed in this book, you should begin to notice a definite improvement in your writing. This improvement may not be noticeable overnight but will be over a period of time. Keep working on it!”

Copyright © 2013. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Follow These Techniques To Sharpen Your Writing

In today’s world of global communications, the written word is more important than ever before.  Clear writing is your key to success in any endeavor.  Use of clear writing guidelines and techniques will increase job opportunities for you as well as help to advance your career if you are already employed.

Following the tips listed below will put you on the road to writing improvement. As you use these tips, remember that writing is no different than any other undertaking in life – you have to start at the beginning to master it.  All art is created through the exercise of a craft such as painting or sculpting.  Every craft must be taught and learned, including writing.  Clear writing is an art form because it can be learned through the craft of writing.  Almost everyone can write to some degree but to write clearly is a goal worthy of achievement.  The long hours and hard work it may take to get there are tasks eminently worthy of the effort.  Remember that a clearly written document will speak as well of the author as the purpose it seeks to advance.

Know your reader.  If you don’t know who you’re writing for, you may as well not write at all.

Know your subject matter.  Become a maven on the content of your writing.  You need expert knowledge to write with authority on any subject.  If you try to fake it, your reader will see right through you.  Take the time to research your subject matter thoroughly.  The result will be high quality content, a vital ingredient for any successful writer.

Write in a conversational tone.  This doesn’t mean engaging in meaningless chit-chat in a serious letter such as a job application but try to avoid overly stiff, formal writing.  A relaxed, conversational style should be what you are seeking.  This tone of writing will become apparent to you the more you write – and read.

Be concise.  When I was in Toastmasters years ago, we relied on a simple mantra to guide our thinking about speechmaking:  stand up, speak up, shut up.  The same idea applies to writing: say what you have to say in as few words as possible.  Avoid wordiness.

Be consistent.  Use grammar, punctuation, capitalization, etc., in a consistent manner throughout your writing to avoid having the reader believe that you are a careless or sloppy writer.

Use less jargon, i.e., words that are particular to a specific trade or profession.  Use of words that you may know but are unfamiliar to the reader may cause the reader to see you as a pompous writer and to view your writing with suspicion.

Avoid vague or big words.  Be specific.  Write in plain, ordinary English to avoid reader frustration.  The word “cool” is often used in today’s conversation but it’s too vague and abstract to be useful in clear writing.  Use “end” instead of “terminate,” and “use” instead of “utilize.”  Sharpen your word selection by resorting to an unabridged dictionary.  Also, avoid an overly general use of words, which is the product of a lazy mind.  A good writer uses specifics to encourage visualization and the formation of word pictures in the reader’s mind.  Stronger writing will always use definite, specific language because it will be far easier for the reader to understand a concept when the reader’s mind can form images.

Use short sections.  The sight of long, dense, unbroken text is intimidating to a reader.  Break it up into shorter sections with a good topic sentence at the beginning of each section.  Your reader will be very appreciative.  In the same vein, keep your sentences shorter.

Prefer the active voice, i.e., express action directly.  In other words, to borrow a thought from the legendary songwriter Johnny Mercer, you should “Accentuate the positive” in your writing.  More specifically, the active voice makes it clear who is supposed to perform the action in the sentence.  When using the active voice in a sentence, the person who’s acting is the subject of the sentence.  When the passive voice is used, the person who is acted upon is the subject of the sentence.  The active voice eliminates ambiguity about responsibility for action; the passive voice obscures that responsibility.  For example, “You need a special permit to fish in that lake,” is better than “A special permit is needed to fish in that lake.”  More than any other writing technique, use of the active voice will improve the quality of your writing.

Following these techniques will help make your writing clear and persuasive.

Be positive in your approach to writing.  Don’t assume it’s time consuming or unimportant.

All of the writing tips appearing on this blog and on previous blogs on this site may be viewed under one cover in my book, “The Art of Clear Writing,” which is available at amazon.com in print or on Kindle.  The book and my two Civil War articles are featured on my website at http://www.agregardie.com.

Copyright © 2013.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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Subject Matter Expertise Is Essential For Clear Writing

 Mastery of your subject matter is a basic requirement for clear writing.  Weak writing and resulting reader disinterest will usually result from lack of subject matter preparation.           

A two step process is involved here – acquiring knowledge of the subject, and expressing that knowledge clearly.  But how well you perform the second step depends to a large extent on how well you have accomplished the first.  You can’t write about a subject that you know little or nothing about, whether you are trying to educate the reader, advocate a position, or persuade the reader to your way of thinking.

Following the steps below will go a long way to satisfy your reader that you are knowledgeable about your subject.     

          Research Your Subject Thoroughly

In the first place, if you are writing about a subject you are not familiar with, research it thoroughly.  This is where doing your due diligence really pays off.  Take time to acquire enough background information to satisfy yourself that you can write clearly and with authority about your subject.  This will pay enormous dividends for you.  Otherwise, there is a serious likelihood the reader will simply conclude you don’t know what you’re talking about.

If possible, find someone to review your writing with you.  One of the biggest challenges I faced as an attorney was to read enough cases on the issue being briefed to be able to intelligently answer any later question.  After writing a preliminary draft, I would review it with someone else in the office and then make appropriate revisions.  The litmus test of course was answering questions raised by the judge in court and responding to arguments made by the opposition.  Thorough preparation before going to court was always the key.

As a writer you may not have the “luxury” of responding to questions raised by a judge and by the opposing attorney as a means of testing your preparation.  You must therefore try to anticipate questions the reader may have and then answer them in your writing.

 

           Use Effective Research Techniques

The creation of great content flows directly from effective research techniques.  These typically include at least the following goals:

          Understanding what you have read.         

          Looking for main ideas and  supporting details.

           Organizing your notes in logical  sequence.

           Avoiding the tiresome task of excessive note taking by summarizing as necessary.

Don’t get lost in the forest of too  many words by extensively rewriting what you have read.

Make optimum use of your time in doing   research.  If you’re under a writing deadline,  consider budgeting your research time to make  sure you do not spend too much time in any one area and run out of time in another.     Otherwise, some part of your writing may  suffer.

         Write With Authority on Your Subject

Once you have researched your subject and know it thoroughly, you must still write about it authoritatively.  But it is useless to try to say anything unless you have something worthwhile to say.  Robert W. Bly, a well respected and successful copywriter sums it up aptly:  “[You] must have something to write about.”   (See:  How To Write And Sell Simple Information For Fun and Profit, Robert W. Bly, p.29, Linden Publishing, 2010).  Bly’s talking about the content of your writing, i.e., to write well you need great content in your writing.

While Bly is absolutely right, there’s a fine line to be drawn between what he describes as the acquisition of information, knowledge, and wisdom – a three tiered hierarchy with wisdom at the top.  That’s one approach.  Another is to combine all three levels and just call it expertise.  But the point is, you really can’t write with conviction on any subject unless you’re an expert on it.  However you may describe the content of your writing, whether based on information, knowledge, wisdom, or expertise, your writing will suffer significantly if the reader doesn’t see it.  Following the guidelines and techniques in my book, The Art of Clear Writing, available at amazon.com/kindlebooks and in print at CreateSpace.com, should go a long way toward improving your ability to express yourself with authority.

Copyright © 2012.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

         

              

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Confidence – The Vital Ingredient Needed For Clear Writing

The development of confidence in your writing is a theme that I’ve written about often in this blog.  But it’s important enough to bear repeating.   Without it, your writing is doomed to failure.

“I’m not a good writer!” is an all too familiar and often heard personal lament.  It’s a symptom of the writer who lacks confidence.    I heard it from a family member just recently.  For those of you who believe they fit into that category, i.e., those who don’t believe they are good writers but want to be, my eBook “The Art of Clear Writing” (available at amazon.com/kindle books) can help.  It provides an organized guide to clear writing fundamentals and sets forth down-to-earth, well-established writing guidelines and techniques that have worked for others, not hard and fast rules that must be committed to memory and followed at all costs.  Chapter I deals entirely with developing confidence in your writing.

The underlying proposition of this eBook is that clear writing is an art form – it can be learned.  Anybody can write well – but you need the desire and dedication to do it.  If you’re willing to put in the time and learn the skills, the satisfaction and rewards will come.  These guidelines and techniques are capable of being learned through application and practice, and should result in a marked improvement in your writing.  Even if writing is not your strong suit, you can still learn and significantly improve your writing ability by following the suggestions in this eBook.

As a practicing trial attorney, dealing with the exacting requirements of legal writing over the years enabled me to hone my writing ability to the point where I became an effective writer.  So, unless you are involved in circumstances that require you to write continuously, you will have to dedicate yourself to the task of writing on a virtual daily basis to achieve noticeable results.

Following the guidelines and techniques discussed in my eBook is therefore only a beginning, a light iluminating the right direction.  First, you must make up your mind that you’re going to write well. Then you must put in the time and make the effort to learn.  Practice, practice, practice your writing.  Follow the guidelines and techniques repeatedly until skill is achieved.  A now and then approach will have little effect.  Perseverance and tenacity are required, particularly if writing is not your strong suit.  This effort should remain a continuous and ongoing task.  Poet and playwright Robert Browning summed it up nicely: “Art’s long, though time is short.” (See: The Ring and the Book [1868-1869], IX, Juris Doctor Johnannes-Baptista Bottinius, as shown in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, Fourteenth Ed., 1968, Little, Brown & Company (Canada) Limited,note p. 88).

Also bear in mind that writing, any writing, is a form of salesmanship, i.e., you are selling yourself.  It is a basic sales truism that people will buy from you if they trust you.  That truism applies to writing as well.  Whatever your purpose in writing may be, whether you’re applying for a job, selling a product or service, writing personal or business letters, writing a company manual, or even preparing something as basic as an inter-office memo, the reader must trust you for your writing to be successful.  Achieving this trust will depend on the respect and credibility emanating from your writing.  If the reader believes you to be a credible writer and trusts you, you’ve gone a long way toward accomplishing your primary writing goal of selling the reader on whatever you’re writing about.  Attracting that trust can be achieved only if you dedicate yourself to improving your writing skills.  If you write well, you can do well.  It’s as simple as that.

Where do you start?  Begin with a positive attitude toward what you’re doing, whether writing or speaking.  John Adams, one of our Founding Fathers and a prominent lawyer by trade, successfully argued to the jury during the Boston Massacre trial of 1790 that “facts are stubborn things” and cannot be changed no matter how strong are your passions.  Adams strongly believed in the rule of law and that the British soldiers he defended (successfully, it should  be added), who were accused of murder when they fired their muskets into an angry mob, were innocent.

Clear writing thus depends to a large extent on the power of belief, belief that comes from having confidence in your writing.  When you have that confidence, it will show – the reader can see it.  To obtain confidence you must master what can best be described as the “inner game” of writing, overcoming mental blocks to clear writing.  As with other challenges in life, you must develop the right mental attitude.  In other words, you can’t write clearly if you are nagged by anxiety and self doubt about your writing.  Persistence and determination to write well are omnipotent.  However, don’t expect to get that confidence overnight – it’s not like waving a magic wand over your writing and confidence will show up.  But it will show up if you work at it.  Just keep the faith and it will happen.

Remember, even lawyers and judges, with all their education, are still striving to improve their writing.  So, it’s not too late for you.  Like I always say, better late than never!

Copyright © 2012.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

 

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If You Want To Write, Write! Also, Cy Young History Is Noted.

In today’s world of global communications, the ability to write clearly is more important than ever before. It is a requirement for anyone trying to get ahead.  Without that ability you have little chance to inform or persuade others.  Unclear writing is a waste of both time and money.  Your success will depend on how well you express yourself.

I’ve heard many people over the years lament that they can’t write.  What they really mean is that they can’t write well, but want to.  My standard reply has been, and still is, you can write well if you just try. In my eBook, “The Art of Clear Writing,” (available on amazon.com/kindlebooks, but soon to be available in print as well), I emphasize that clear writing is an art form, meaning it can be learned but you have to work at it.  The guidelines and techniques explained in my eBook have been tried and tested.  They are reliable but require dedication and practice on your part.  The result should be a marked improvement in your writing.

The starting point is to develop confidence in your ability to write well.  The secret to clear writing is practice, practice, practice.   Discipline yourself to sit down every day and just write something.  Pick a subject you know well or feel strongly about, and write it up. Pretend you’re writing a letter to yourself, to a family member, or to a good friend.  Then show your writing to someone you trust to have it critiqued.  Work on whatever areas you feel need attention, whether it’s spelling, punctuation, grammar, or anything else.  The idea is to build confidence in your writing, which can only come with increased writing experience.

Everyone likes a good story.  If the situation permits, tell a story in your writing, whether it’s about a trip you took, someone you know, or some other personal experience.    You can also learn to add sound and color to your writing to make it more interesting.  It’s all about finding the right words to make your writing come alive.  Merely stating facts without some expression of emotion will discourage a reader.

In addition to the discipline of writing every day, you should also read extensively.  Read articles and books written by experienced writers.  Train your eye to observe how they construct sentences and paragraphs.  This is learning by word association, also advocated in my eBook.  Reading will help you in many ways including the development of good grammar, the acquisition of a strong vocabulary, and learning correct punctuation.

Bear in mind that you are promoting yourself when you write.  Poor writing will lead to loss of credibility including possible loss of job opportunities and career advancement.  For businesses it will lead to reduced sales and lower profits.  Good writing sells itself.  If you learn to write clearly, it will also help the economy by adding your writing talents to the work force.

***

Who Was Cy Young Anyway?

Now that the presidential election is behind us, and as a change of pace, I thought it might be interesting to focus on another important selection process which is almost upon us, major league baseball’s annual Cy Young award.  This award is presented annually by the Baseball Writers Association of America to the pitcher in each league, American and National, who is determined to have been most deserving of it based on the winner’s pitching performance for the year.  With the award due to be presented November 14, let’s take a brief look at the background of its namesake.

Cy Young was a major league pitcher who won 511 games during his career, more than any other pitcher.  He also lost 316, more than any other pitcher.  He pitched for 21 years, from 1890 to 1911.  His real name was Denton True Young, the nickname “Cy” having been coined by an observer early in Young’s career when he saw the pitcher’s fastball break a wooden fence. The observer commented that the fence looked as if it had been hit by a cyclone, and the nickname stuck.

His career transcended both the American and National Leagues.  The teams he pitched for in the National League, the Cleveland Spiders and the St. Louis Browns, are no longer active.  The two American League teams he played for, the Boston Americans and the Cleveland Naps, are now known as the Red Sox and  Indians, respectively.

During the first three years of his career, the distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate was 55 feet, 6 inches, 5 feet less than the current 60 feet, six inches, arrived at in 1893.  He won 72 games during that period.

Cy Young was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1937.  Two other pitchers, elected in 1936, were charter members:   Walter Johnson, who won 414 games for the Washington Senators from 1907 to 1927, and Christy Mathewson, who won 373 games from 1900 to 1916, primarily for John McGraw’s New York Giants.

Copyright © 2012. Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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Poor Spelling Is Anathema To Clear Writing – And The Economy

Mastering the subject of spelling may well be the single most difficult task confronting you on the road to clear writing.  But, correct spelling is, without doubt, a goal worthy of accomplishment.

This point must be made absolutely clear:  misspelled words will cause all of  your hard work to sink – fast.  So, be forewarned!  It is absolutely imperative to make sure your spelling is correct.  Misspelled words in particular are the bane of good writing; nothing will undermine your hard work and turn a reader off faster than a misspelled word, particularly if it’s a common one.

Revising and editing any writing as part of the polishing process is a definite must. This is also a good time to double check for spelling errors.  (I always proofread for spelling errors as I am writing.)  You must take the time to check the spelling of any word that looks suspicious to you. It’s a good idea to put a question mark over each word you have doubts about while you are writing, then go back and check the spelling on each word you marked.  Resorting to a dictionary for new or difficult words should be the first and ongoing choice.

You can become a good speller if you go about it in the right way, but don’t expect overnight miracles.  Remember the basic rules, such as i before e, except after c.  There are exceptions to even that rule, however, such as leisure, seizure, financier, species, neither, either, height, and weird.

Many writers shortcut the correct spelling of words either because they don’t know their correct spelling or are too lazy to find out.  Spelling “nite” instead of “night,” and “thru” instead of “through” is the result of careless, sloppy, or lazy writing and is disfavored in good writing.  Don’t take any shortcuts with your spelling; they will stamp you as an amateur.

Another solution is to record all misspelled words on a separate sheet of paper; the act of writing down the correct spelling should in itself help you remember it.  Keep this paper handy for continued reference and add to it on a regular basis.  Try to understand why each word was misspelled.

Spelling by ear and by careful pronunciation can also help improve your spelling.  Exaggeratedly careful pronunciation and spelling the words in syllables may also help.

You can also master the intricacies of good spelling through visualization.   Make full use of your eye in learning to spell.  Train your eye to observe printed words accurately.  This approach is closely akin to learning good grammar by word association, as explained in my eBook, “The Art of Clear Writing,” available on amazon.com/kindlebooks.   Good golfers are said to visualize each shot before hitting it.  If it works in golf, it can work in spelling.  Teach yourself to picture the correct spelling of all misspelled words in your mind.  Concentrate on the correct spelling of these words to be sure you see every letter. Then look away, spell the word, and look back for verification.  Repeat this procedure on a regular basis until you can instantly recognize the correct spelling of each previously misspelled word.

A related trouble spot is the use of the wrong word in place of the correct word.  Thus, except (to exclude)and accept (to take) are often confused, as are affect (to influence) and effect (to accomplish),and allusion (a reference) and illusion (a deceiving appearance).   When a confusing resemblance between two words causes you to misspell one of the words or to erroneously use one instead of the other, a good remedy is to focus your attention on one of the words, learn its spelling and correct use thoroughly.  Use any memory device for this purpose, as long as it works.

It is important to bear in mind that poor spelling may well derail your efforts to find a job, or advance your career.   It can also mean lost sales for your company.   This bodes ill not only for you or your business but for the economy as well.  The ability to spell accurately is but another step on the road  to achieve clarity in communications, which is a vital ingredient not just for your success but for the economic success of the country.  Rebuilding the country’s infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) often mentioned as a means of  creating more jobs, also applies to rebuilding the pathways of communication between people.

Don’t forget to check out my website at www.agregardie.com.

Copyright © 2012.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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Prepare Now For Opportunity

When Opportunity Knocks, Will You Be Ready?

I’ve been a history buff for many years.   I have taken advantage of this interest to sprinkle several historical vignettes throughout my new eBook, “The Art of Clear Writing,” to illustrate various points.  One of my favorites concerns Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase.  I think it’s worth repeating here.

                   “Engineering the Louisiana Purchase – A Look Back

It was the hallmark of President Thomas Jefferson’s political philosophy that the Chief Executive should not have excessive power.  Yet, in 1803, when faced with the opportunity to purchase from France the vast, unexplored, Louisiana Territory that  bordered on the western side of America, he cast that belief aside and signed the agreement to buy the territory for $15 million.

Jefferson’s visionary act removed a potential threat to America’s national security.  One option was to take no action at all, thus leaving Napoleon, builder of empires, in possession of the territory.  But Jefferson, taking the advice of American Commissioners abroad, decided on the purchase.  Paving the way for this historical event was the work of Jefferson’s predecessor, John Adams, in securing peace with France during the so-called “Quasi War,” which ended in 1800.

There was considerable doubt as to the constitutional power to make such a purchase. But when the identical issue came before the Supreme Court in 1828 in a different case, Chief Justice John Marshall, speaking for the Court, ruled that “the Constitution confers absolutely on the government…, the powers of making war, and of making treaties; consequently, that government possesses the power of acquiring territory, either by conquest or by treaty.” (See:  John Marshall, Definer of a Nation, 335, Jean Edward Smith, Henry Holt & Company, 1996, quoting from American Insurance Co. v.         Canter, 1 Peters 511, (1828), a case involving the purchase of Florida, but where the issue was the same as that involving the Louisiana Purchase.)”

The Louisiana Purchase was all about Jefferson’s taking advantage of an existing opportunity to increase America’s security when the opportunity presented itself.  Jefferson, an experienced politician and statesman, recognized the opportunity and was ready when it presented itself.

Opportunities also exist in today’s world, but if you can’t write clearly you will not be in a position to take advantage of them.  This is a world of global communications.  The power of the written word is more important today than ever before.  I believe much of the flatness in today’s economy exists because individual initiative has taken a back seat to waiting for government largesse to happen.  This is wrong and goes contra to the  free enterprise economic background of this country.  Your own individual initiative can help turn things around and you can start by fixing your grammar.

To be more precise, clear writing necessitates use of correct grammar.    Recent blogs have pointed out that poor grammar plagues American businesses today.  You can put yourself in a position to take advantage of job opportunities by reading and writing extensively and on a daily basis.  This discipline will increase your ability to write clearly, sharpen your intellect, and will teach you to learn correct grammar by word association.  This approach, also promoted in my eBook, means you don’t have to rely on memorization of grammar rules to learn and use good grammar.  Memorization of such rules is acceptable, even necessary when you are a student, but once you enter the working world it is likely that you have forgotten them.  Moreover, memorization of rules and definitions will have little effect on learning and understanding the context with which words are used.  Training your eye through extensive reading and writing to carefully observe how how grammar is used in putting sentences together and to constantly practice what has been learned will improve your ability to write clearly.  This approach has worked for me.  It can also work for you.  But it requires hard work and dedication.  A now and then approach won’t work.

It is important to remember that writing is a form of salesmanship – you are selling yourself.  Developing trust in your reader depends  on the credibility emanating from your writing.  Attracting that trust can be achieved only if you dedicate yourself to improving your writing skills.  Employers are more selective in this economy, with jobs at a premium.  Clear writing skills will help to make you stand out from the crowd.

Check out my new website, www.agregardie.com.

The next blog will be posted on Friday, August 31, 2012.

Copyright 2012.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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