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10 Tips & Tricks To Improve Your Writing

10 tips for better writingAs social networking is predominately text driven, it really is a good idea to make sure your writing is up to an acceptable and readable standard. There’s nothing worse than reading a tweet, Google+ or Facebook entry or blog post that is full of errors. It really gives an impression to the reader that you are a either careless, or worse, a bit of a dope. So to help you make a better impression on the few million people that may be reading you, (yes, daunting isn’t it?) here are a few tips you might want to consider.

1. Always check that your verb agree with the subject. I hates this mistake with a a passion.

2. Almost every comptupter has a speelchekker, so use it. Yoo could even use teh auto-tect correction for commun errors.

3. Typos involving small common words like that and than, it  and is and there and their are easy to make. Check before you hit the send button. Better to be safe that sorry.

4. One mistake that irks me is the incorrect use of capitalisation. I just cringe when i see this error.

4. When you use numbered bullets, make sure they are correctly sequential.

6. Check your formatting in blog post as errors are not always obvious.

7. USE OF SHOUTING CAPITALS WILL OFFEND READERS, SO DON’T USE THEM. Except for unavoidable acronyms. LOL

8. There are some who think; oddly enough, that punctuation – commas, colons and em dashes, are a sign: or symbolic, of high intellect. In fact the opposite is true and you stand a good chance of looking like a real fool.

9. I dislike sentences that always start with I. I hate it in fact. I stop reading instantly. I would advise against it. I would.

10. Reading long passages of text on the Internet; whether it be on a computer, laptop or mobile phone is very tiring on a reader’s eyes so you should be careful not to ramble on with long sentences and un-paragraphed passages of text that are neither informative nor interesting as you will lose your reader very quickly as they will become bored and stop reading your diatribe quicker than you can say Jack Robinson, so don’t just keep typing ad infinitum about your pet subject in long and badly punctuated sentences that keep waffling on without ever coming to the point that was probably your intention to begin with but you forgot about once you got started and decided to add one extra point in your sentence that should have included a relative pronoun but you got lazy and just used a random comma and kept on typing. Phew!

11. Be sure that your title is relevant and an accurate summary of your article.

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15 comments

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  1. Stephen L. Brayton

    Thanks for the post. Always good to be reminded about things we sometimes get lazy about. (Yeah, I know I ended with a preposition, but you know what I mean.)

    1. Derek Haines

      It’s ok Stephen. Ending a sentence with a preposition is perfectly acceptable now. It’s something Churchill would be happy to put up with! :))

  2. Kathleen Crossley

    Yes sir. I’ll try to keep this sound advice in mind. Although, girls just want to have fun. And nobody’s perfect but me and thee, and I’m not to sure about thee. :))

    Leave me alone, TWEET DISSECTOR !

    You’re a stickler ! : -)

  3. Cyndi

    I’ve often been told some of us are put here to serve as a warning to others…

  4. elainecougler@rogers.com

    Hooray for these rules. Now can you get people to use them?

  5. Lala

    Love and agree with number eight (purposely not beginning the sentence with “I”). Once I worked for a physician who used semicolons as if they were commas and periods. In the beginning I would transcribe what he said, but it made me feel dirty. Eventually it got to the point where I simply refused to take part in his abuse of semicolons and would no longer transcribe them. He fired me because of it. Now I try to use semicolons sparingly.

    1. Derek Haines

      Well Lulu! You must be the first person I know who has been fired for semi colon harassment. Luckily you didn’t get harassed by his em dashes! lol

  6. linda@adventuresinexpatland.com

    This is so ‘laugh out loud’ funny, you made me spill my glass of wine. Too bad it’s also true. Thank you for making my day. In the future I will forward you a list of my pet peeves and let you handle them!

    1. Derek Haines

      Im soo sorry Linda. Spelling your wyne wansn’t my intention. But I look forward to receiving you ‘pet peeves’! As long as the verb agree! Cheers! :)

  7. Hope

    My passion is writing horror fiction, but my vocation is grant and technical writing. In both worlds, your suggestions are particularly apt. This is an excellent article. My personal pet peeve is #4. It makes me Nuts when I see Everything turned into a proper noun!

  8. Derek Haines

    Agreed Hope. Although I have some pet peeves too, all 10 of these annoy me when I see them. Especially number 11. :)

  9. Cheryl

    Is it OK that I skipped #10 because it made my eyeballs hurt? ;-)

  10. ScottTheWriter

    Great tips, Derek! I have to admit, I don’t always check my work before I send it out, and then I see those little typos all over. And then I don’t learn from my mistakes.

    #4 is the most common problem I see, especially when it comes to government and corporate writing. The intention, it seems, is to make everything grander. And you just can’t convince some people.

  11. Isabella King

    Bit of a dope?
    Is that your Aussie accent slipping out? :)

    1. Derek Haines

      Thank your for noticing Isabella! My ‘Aussie’ vocabulary slips out occasionally. Now I do feel like a real dope. Or even better, a bit of a drongo! :)

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