Writing Workshops & Seminars               
Copyright by Stephen Wilbers, Ph.D.


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Writing Exercises

Personal Reflections



Free monthly writing tips


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


20-point plan for better writing


If you miss seeing my column in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, you can read previously published columns here or here.

Writing topics & 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

Vocabulary words you should know

Book recommendations


Books by Stephen Wilbers






















































































































Writing Exercises

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



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

Online guides
Bibliography: Resources and recommended reading

Blogs & newsletters
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness:


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

Capitalization rules


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


     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 vs. hyphens
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
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


     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

Nine rules

Oral presentation skills
     Compared with writing skills

     PowerPoint review
Parallel structure
Passive voice, uses
Performance reviews

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

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

     "Feeling poorly" & other usage questions
Reading, the importance of
Recommended reading & references
Resignation letters
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

Stress points in sentences



     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


     Confusing word pairs

     Correct word choice
Verbs: Agreement with subjects

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


Writing Exercises


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

     Find 26 missing commas

     Understanding nonrestrictive commas (PowerPoint)
Concise writing: Techniques to eliminate wordiness
Dangling Modifiers (PowerPoint)
Errors, common: Editing sentences (PowerPoint)
Errors, common: Editing paragraphs (PowerPoint)
Error checklist challenges
Errors that undermine your credibility when speaking
Grammar: Take the challenge

Hyphens in Unit Modifiers (PowerPoint)
Legal writing exercises from Richard Wydick's Plain English for Lawyers (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
     The no-excuse 12 (plus The big 3)
Take the challenge quiz
     Columns, exercises, and word list
Vogue words (PowerPoint)
Word choice: Take the challenge
Wordiness, eliminating

Workshop PowerPoint exercises
Workshop preview

Writing assessment:
     15-point quiz (PowerPoint)


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