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Personal Reflections
 

 

 

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Email courses
Better Writing in Six Weeks
Better Editing in 10 Weeks

 


Guides to Excellent Writing
Online, self-paced instruction

 

Columns
My column appears every other Monday in the business section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. If you missed it on hard copy, you can read it here.
 


Writing topics & exericses
C
olumns, advice, and exercises on topics ranging from
annoying phrases to punctuation, salutations, wordiness, and writer’s block

 

English language skills
Take the grammar, proofreading, punctuation, and word choice challenges.
 

Plain English
 

Improve your vocabulary
 


Book recommendations

 

Books by Stephen Wilbers
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Topics & Techniques     Exercises
 

Active/passive voice
Administrative writing
Angry letters
Annoying phrases: "went missing" and others
Answers to readers' queries
Apology and customer relations letters
Apostrophes
Applications:

     Jobs

     Letters

Artificial intelligence, language, and you
Better writing:
     Email courses

     
Online guides
Bibliography: Resources and recommended reading

Blogs & newsletters
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness:

     Chronology

     Story: "In Search of a Whole, Live Moose"
Bureaucratic writing
Business writing: Article published in The College Board Review

Capitalization rules

Checklists:
    
Editing

     Style & personality
    
Writing
Classical schemes: From Cicero to Prince
Clichés & figurative language
Closings
Collaborative writing
Coherence, sentence to sentence
College application essays

Commas

     Nonrestrictive commas (with which but not that)

     Rules for commas

     Skydiving with nonrestrictive commas
Complaint letters
Compound words:
    
Spelling with or without hyphens
Computers & language
Concise writing

Conflict resolution
Confusing word pairs

Connecting through writing
Copy & imitate to learn stylistic technique
Correspondence: Use to build relationships
Counterfactual thinking:
     Jane McGonigal

Criticism: How to offer
Customer relations and apology letters
Dangling Modifiers

Dashes
Dashes vs. hyphens
Deadlines
Dictionaries:
Paper & online

Defensive vs. supportive communication:
     Jack Gibb

Editing checklist
Editing & revising: Techniques
Editing relationships: How to be a good critic
Editors, letters to

Elegance & beauty in business writing
Elements of effective writing, five
Elements of effective communication checklist
Email courses: Better Writing & Technique
Email: Do’s and don’ts
Error Checklist: 75 common errors
Essay test questions: Writing under time limit
Evidence, rules of

"Feeling poorly" usage
Figurative language & clichés
First person, writing in
Five elements of effective writing
Fund-raising
Gibb, Jack:
     Defensive vs. supportive communication behaviors

Gifts for June graduates
"Good Writing for Good Results":
     Published in
The College Board Review

"Got": misuse and overuse
Grammatical Affair: A Romance with Language (a novel)
Grant proposal writing
Guides to better writing
Habits of writing, seven (in honor of Stephen Covey)
Handwriting & texting

Hyphens

     Hyphen rules
    
Hyphens & compound words
     Hyphens, when to use them
    
Hyphens vs. dashes

Imitate to learn stylistic technique
Index to syndicated columns

International writing
Jack Gibb:
     Defensive vs. supportive communication behaviors

Jane McGonigal:

     Counterfactual thinking

Job applications & self-appraisals
Journaling, with style

June graduates: Gifts
"Lake Wobegon: Mythical Place and the American Imagination"

Leads (or ledes):

     How to engage your reader
Legal writing
Letters of application

Letters of resignation
Letters to the editor
Managerial communication
McGonigal, Jane:
     Counterfactual thinking

Messages, three-step
Minutes, how to write effective
Mission statements

Nature writing: Boundary Waters Chronology
News releases
Newsletters & blogs
Nonrestrictive commas
Nonrestrictive commas & skydiving

Numbers
     Usage
    
Nine rules

Oral presentation skills
     Compared with writing skills

     PowerPoint review
Paragraphs
Parallel structure
Passive voice, uses
Performance reviews

Persuasive writing:
    
Columns
     Using logos, pathos, & ethos
Plagiarism
Plan, writing
Policies & procedures
PowerPoint Presentation: Workshop Review
PowerPoint: Making your point more powerfully
Prepositions: Use and over-use
Press releases

Prince & classical schemes
Procedures
Progress reports
Proofreading
Proofreading electronically produced text
Punctuation: FAQ
Quotation marks
Readers' queries:

     "Feeling poorly" & other usage questions
Reading, the importance of
Recommended reading & references
Resignation letters
Résumés
Revising & editing: Techniques
Rogerian argument, persuasion

Rules of evidence
RULES, Rules, and rules
Sales letters and proposals
Salutations: FAQ
Say no, how to
"Scholars (sic) Walk" at the University of Minnesota
Self-appraisals & job applications
Sexist language: How to avoid

Skydiving & nonrestrictive commas
Speaking and writing skills, how they compare
Speeches (PowerPoint)
Spelling compound words, with or without hyphens

Storytelling, the power of

Style:

     Checklist

     Five elements
     In journaling
     Monthly tips by email

Style sheets:

     For company-wide consistency

     CRI’s “No-Excuse 10”
Stylistic technique through imitation
Subject-verb agreement
Teachers: A tribute
Technical writing & technical writers
Technology's influence on reading, writing, and thinking
Texting, handwriting, & language
Thank-you letters
Threatening communication,
    vs. trust-inspiring

Usage:

     Confusing word pairs

     Correct word choice
Verbs: Agreement with subjects
Vocabulary:

     Columns
    
Lynell's workplace word list
"Went missing" and other annoying phrases
White papers
Who or whom?

Word choice:

     Confusing word pairs

     Correct usage
"Word Crimes": 29 errors from "Weird Al" Yankovic's music video
Wordiness: Patterns to eliminate
Workshop Review (PowerPoint)
Writer’s block
Writing checklist
Writing guides
Writing internationally

Writing plan

Writing for the web

 


Exercises
                  
Topics & Techniques

Abusage: Word-choice errors (PowerPoint)
Assessment, writing: 15-point quiz (PowerPoint)
Coherence, sentence to sentence

Commas
     Find 26 missing commas

     Understanding nonrestrictive commas (PowerPoint)
Concise writing: Techniques to eliminate wordiness
Dangling Modifiers (PowerPoint)
Error checklist challenges
Errors, common: Editing sentences (PowerPoint)
Errors, common: Editing paragraphs (PowerPoint)
Grammar: Take the challenge
Hyphens in Unit Modifiers (PowerPoint)
M.B.A. copyediting exam
M.O.T. copyediting exam
Nonrestrictive commas (PowerPoint)
Numbers usage (PowerPoint)
Parallel structure
Passive/active voice, exercises
Plain English: The SEC’s A Plain English Handbook

Proofreading: Take the challenge quiz
Punctuation e
rrors:
     The no-excuse 12 (plus The big 3)
    
Take the challenge quiz
Vocabulary:
     Columns, exercises, and word list
Vogue words (PowerPoint)
Word choice: Take the challenge
Wordiness, eliminating

Workshop PowerPoint exercises
Workshop preview

Writing assessment:
     Column
     15-point quiz (PowerPoint)
 

 


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