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Copyright by Stephen Wilbers, Ph.D.


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Tips & Techniques





monthly writing tips


Email courses

“Better Writing in Six Weeks”
“Better Style in 10 Weeks


Weekly 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 tips & exericses
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

























































































































Active/passive voice: Columns
Alzheimer's & Mom: "Dancing in Avalon," a story
American Sign Language (ASL)
Angry letters
Annoying phrases: "went missing" and others
Answers to readers' queries
Apology and customer relations letters
Application letters
Bibliography: Resources and recommended reading
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness: 
     Nature writing

Bureaucratic writing
Business writing: Article published in The College Board Review

Capitalization rules
Checklist, editing
Checklist, writing
China Connection:
English for Chinese business writers, tour guides, and
Clichés & figurative language
Collaborative writing
Coherence, sentence to sentence

College application essays
Commas (nonrestrictive) & skydiving
Commas with that and which
Complaint letters
Compound words:
     Spelling with or without hyphens

Computers & language
Concise writing

Confusing word pairs
Copy & imitate to learn stylistic technique
Correspondence: Use to build relationships
Criticism: How to offer
Customer relations and apology letters
Dangling Modifiers
Dashes vs. hyphens
Dictionaries: Paper & online

Editing checklist
Editing & revising: Techniques
Editing relationships: How to be a good critic
Editors, letters to
Elegance & beauty in writing: The Elegance
     of the Hedgehog

Elements of effective writing, five
Elements of effective communication checklist
Email: Do’s and don’ts
Error Checklist: 75 common errors
Essay test questions: Writing under time limit
ESL (English as a Second Language)
Evidence, rules of

Figurative language & clichés
First person
Five elements of effective writing

Gifts for June graduates
Golden Pen Awards
"Got": misuse and overuse
"Good Writing for Good Results":
       Article published in The College Board Review

Grammatical Affair: A Romance with Language (a novel)
Grant proposal writing: Links, resources, & columns

Habits of writing, seven (in honor of Stephen Covey, 1932-2012)
Handwriting & texting
Hyphens and compound words
Hyphen rules, when to use
Hyphens vs. dashes

Imitate to learn stylistic technique

Index to syndicated columns

Job applications
Journaling, with style
June graduates: Gifts

"Lake Wobegon: Mythical Place and the American Imagination"
Legal writing, columns
Letters of application

Letters of resignation
Letters to the editor
Libraries, importance of
Loft Literary Center (Minneapolis):
       Programs, resources, and services for writers

Managerial communication
Messages, three-step
Minnesota Authors Campaign,
support of the Minneapolis Public Library
Minutes, how to write effective
Mission statements

Nature's Gallery: Photos from poet John Caddy
Nature writing: Boundary Waters Chronology
News releases
Newsletter checklist
Nonrestrictive commas
Nonrestrictive commas & skydiving
Numbers usage: Columns
Numbers usage: Nine rules
Oral presentation skills (PowerPoint)
Parallel structure
Passive voice, uses
Performance reviews
Persuasive writing
Persuasive writing: Using logos, pathos, & ethos
Plan, writing
Poetry: Weekly poems from Ted Kooser
Policies & procedures

PowerPoint Presentation: Workshop Review
PowerPoint: Making your point more powerfully
Prepositions: Use and over-use
Press releases

Procedures & Policies
Progress reports
Proofreading electronically produced text
Publication, Writing for (articles by Scott Edelstein)
Punctuation: FAQ
Quotation marks
Readers' queries: Answers

Reading, the importance of
Recommended reading & references
Resignation letters
Resources for graduating high school seniors

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 to convey information
Style: Five elements
Style: In journaling
Style: Monthly tips by email

Style & personality: A checklist
Style Sheet: 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
Usage: Confusing word pairs
Verbs: Agreement with subjects
Vocabulary: Columns
Vocabulary: Lynell's workplace word list
"Went missing" and other annoying phrases
White papers
Who or whom?

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

Writing plan


Tips & Techniques

Abusage: Word-choice errors (PowerPoint)
Assessment, writing: 15-point quiz (PowerPoint)
Coherence, sentence to sentence
Commas, nonrestrictive (PowerPoint)
Concise writing: Techniques to eliminate wordiness
Dangling Modifiers (PowerPoint)
Exercises linked to columns
Errors, common: Editing sentences (PowerPoint)
Errors, common: Editing paragraphs (PowerPoint)
Grammar: Take the challenge
Hyphens in Unit Modifiers (PowerPoint)
Internet: As a teaching tool
M.B.A. Exam
M.O.T. 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
Proofreading quiz
Punctuation errors: The no-excuse 12 (plus The big 3)
Punctuation: Take the challenge
Vocabulary: Columns, exercises, and word list
Vogue words (PowerPoint)
Word choice: Take the challenge
Wordiness, eliminating

Workshop PowerPoint exercises
Writing assessment: Column
Writing assessment: 15-point quiz (PowerPoint)


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