Tips for writers: Using italics

Roman (that is upright type) is the standard text typeface, but for various reasons italic type (that is slanted to the right) is adopted. This is often to indicate some form of departure from normal text for the reader to interpret the word or words in a certain way. Some of the main uses of … Continue reading Tips for writers: Using italics

Tips for writers: Avoiding sexist and biased language: part 2

In the first part of this blog I discussed the widespread use of sexist language and reasons and methods used to avoid it. Here I will look at biased language and stereotypes. What is biased language? Biased language refers to words and phrases that can be considered hurtful, offensive, and prejudiced. Biased language includes expressions or terms that demean … Continue reading Tips for writers: Avoiding sexist and biased language: part 2

Tips on how to avoid some pitfalls in writing

They say there is a book in each one of us waiting to be written. If that is true it is probably easier for some people than others to turn that into a published book. The first decision to take is about what to write. Tip 1: Write about what you know Not everyone can … Continue reading Tips on how to avoid some pitfalls in writing

Tips for writers: Collective nouns and mass nouns

At first glance by the layperson the terms collective nouns and mass nouns might appear to be the same, but there are differences. Collective nouns denote a group of individuals, such as crew or family, and the noun can be used with singular verbs or plural verbs. In Britain it is generally more usual for … Continue reading Tips for writers: Collective nouns and mass nouns

Tips for writers: Which spellings to use: -ise or -ize? -yse or -yze?

Have you ever wondered why some books use -ise spellings , such as organisation, while others use the spelling organization? Usually, this is not merely an author's whim but follows a recognized spelling style. In British-style books many verbs that end in -ise can also be spelt with an -ize ending: for instance, organise and … Continue reading Tips for writers: Which spellings to use: -ise or -ize? -yse or -yze?

Tips for writers: Writing reports part 1. How to improve visual appearance

In their headlong rush to communicate as much information and data as possible to their readers, many authors of reports often neglect to pay sufficient attention to how they communicate the facts and figures to their audience. Some of the factors that lead to poor-quality output include: cluttered and fussy visual appearance inconsistencies of style poor … Continue reading Tips for writers: Writing reports part 1. How to improve visual appearance

Tips for writers: Using Find and Replace in Microsoft Word

The Find tool in Microsoft Word is a useful and powerful instrument but can cause difficulties when used in conjunction with the Replace tool without caution. Imagine this situation:  I have been proofreading a document and I have just noticed that a fictitious town name that was earlier spelt as New Hampton is now appearing … Continue reading Tips for writers: Using Find and Replace in Microsoft Word

Tips for writers: How to cut the waffle

  I am sorry if you were expecting a discussion about a favourite foodstuff. I am going to talk about another kind of waffle – writing in a lengthy, vague, or trivial way. If you have ever wished that your writing was more concise or ‘to the point’ you could look at eliminating redundant and … Continue reading Tips for writers: How to cut the waffle