A TECHNIQUE FOR WRITING CLEAR, LOGICAL PARAGRAPHS

A valuable skill I learned during my college days was how to structure an essay, and write paragraphs. It may sound simple, but isn’t so for students with English as a second language. Even native speakers, if they haven’t devotedly read Strunk and White, would feel as if they had been asked to climb an insurmountable cliff. Toronto colleges have programs for that College students usually go wrong with this aspect of writing. It’s easy to learn, and here is a simple trick on how to write a clean paragraph, whether the writing is academic or corporate and business communication. But first, let’s brush up on some basics. What is a paragraph: It’s a unit of thought (not length). One paragraph details exactly one main idea. Why are they important: Misunderstanding happens when unrelated ideas get connected, or the reader entirely misses your point. And in the age of social media, clear writing can prevent much…[damage]. Writing clean, logical paragraphs Weak writing can be easily spotted...
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A SIMPLE PRESS RELEASE STRUCTURE

Writing a press release might be the second most boring work in the world (next to watching the 4th edition of Terminator). Here is how to neatly structure all information to create a simple press or media release structure that is reader friendly and easy to follow. Press releases make for good content marketing, and so every organization wants to rush into distributing one. But a badly written press release brings about a downpour of news, facts, dates, figures, claims and statements. Let’s read one such sample: NAIL Group Company, SmartPower, the leading power equipment supplier in the world, has successfully completed the installation of a super-voltage, offshore power plant for the ElectricSmile project, a 1,000 MW (500 turbines of 2 MW) Greenland offshore power generating geography located 20 kms from the sea, and which will supply 100,000 households with green energy. The power units were successfully hauled onto the plant area in Dobohahn, Dejavu on Monday, April 1. The installation was trouble free, and the...
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Customized content, or writing you can pick and use?

Here is a question that’s been at the back of my mind for sometime. Can content or writing be offered as packaged, templated, or automated in some way, so that customers can pick up the write-up they want and use it right away, with some little tweaks? Ever seen a grocery website that says – we sell processed food, write to sales for more information? We wouldn’t really know what they sell. But we do know, or at least have a vague idea of, what we want. So as customers we want to see the actual product, go over choices, and take our pick. And that’s how it is done. This option is usually not available when we want content done for internal projects and marketing. Writing agencies can only offer ‘writing and editing services’ (like offering processed food), dive into process details, and show samples of work done earlier. After all, every write-up is meant to be fresh and unique. And to...
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Project status, tracking template in Excel for content management

Messy and garbled Excel sheets are a nightmare for content writers and managers. To make project tracking simple, I created this flexible and responsive project tracking template Excel sheet. Content writers and project managers sometimes handle loads of documents. A lengthy and multi-point content review process adds to the complexity of knowing the exact situation of each article or content piece. There are many project templates available on the internet. Some are simply timelines templates. But few come close to tackling the details and complexities that exist on the ground for writers and content creators. The Excel project tracker is divided into three neat areas: Writing, Review and Final Status. This makes it easy to switch and check the status of each stage, and prevents the tracker from getting cluttered. The project status template is meant to be maintained by writers, though reviewers too can add their status updates. The tool uses automatic field update features of Excel to reduce manual entry in multiple columns. So when a writer enters a status...
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Jargon Density Checker: Optimize your language to drive conversions

I know, its a lowly Word macro, but it also comes adorned with your ultra favorite, old styled windows message box. Presenting the Jargon Density Checker macro for Word 2007 and later versions, with all my pride. No one knows how or when it began. I suspect technology had a hand in it. Or may be business owners wanting to say something as well as not say it. After all, everyone had to have a ‘core’ competency. Not less or more. Core, as in core. Jargon isn’t always ‘blue sky thinking’, but it was ‘scaled’ high enough to shake some grounds of sanity when words like ‘predictors of beaconicity’, ‘coterminosity’ and ‘double devolution’ were heard. Your friendly jargon density checker is ‘driven’ by a custom list of 200 words to avoid in formal business and corporate writing. Maybe not avoid, but at least know that you are using terms that can switch off minds as fast as one could possibly do to those designer bulbs of innovation...
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Jargon is king, wants to conquer every written territory

Or give them a headache. Or leave a bad taste in the mouth. People who are doing this are not on Facebook or Buzzfeed or writing on fashion and lifestyle blogs. This kind of business speak is the norm in an awful lot of websites of businesses and industries. It’s shorthand and generic. Like ‘key competencies’, ‘enhanced quality’ and ‘optimized solutions’. Sounds sweet? Just two words doing the work of at least ten. After all, they said brevity was the highest mark of craftsmanship in writing, didn’t they? The damage adjectives can do But they also said, ‘kill adjectives’. Key, enhanced, optimized – they pump in a whole lot of air. I collected a lot of such terms, called jargon (in its avoidable version), while recently doing a light review of nearly fifty manufacturing and heavy industry websites. Most of these terms occurred on the About Us pages. The list is given at the end of this article. Complaining against jargon has become old hat, I know....
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