Different Types of Dashes and How to Use Them In Your Writing

different-dashesDashes are used in all types of writing for many different reasons. To the untrained eye (which is almost everyone, including lots of seasoned writers) these dashes are all the same. However, all dashes are not created equal and you may get dinged by an editor if you use the wrong one in the wrong situation.

Confused? I feel your pain. Dashes come in three different varieties. You have your hyphen, the em-dash and the en-dash. It’s challenging to write effectively and use immaculate grammar when you make mistakes that you didn’t even know were mistakes.  Read on! (more…)

Attention, Writers and Editors! Beware the Dangers Lurking in Large Type…

large typeIf you’ve ever had to look through an article or other piece of writing that was presented in a large font, you may have missed some rather obvious errors. Whether the writing was your own or someone else’s, large type lends itself to grammatical and spelling errors being left on the page instead of corrected.

Despite the wording in the title of this post, the issue isn’t really with the size of the type, but with the person editing it.  (more…)

3 Ways to Create an Effective Writing Outline

writing outlineWhether you’re creating a monthly report, a term paper, a website or a short story, a writing outline is usually a good starting point. A proper outline helps you organize your thoughts and ideas and presents them in logical form.

This simplifies the writing process, because everything is laid out in front of you. In a way, you can “empty your mind” onto the screen or paper, and the likelihood of leaving out any pertinent information or plot twists is minimal.

Below are three different ways you can create an effective writing outline. Choose the one that appeals most to your personality and get to work! (more…)

A Simple Guide for Metaphors and Similes

metaphors_similesIf you’re like a lot of writers, students, business people or others who use words to make a point or tell a story, you’ve been confused about metaphors and similes at one time or another. That’s not to say you haven’t used them successfully. All writers use them to help paint pictures in the readers’ minds, so the writing is richer and more complete.

These two literary tools are similar but different at the same time. Every simile is a metaphor, yet not every metaphor is a simile, but they are both used to make comparisons. Here are some basic definitions to help you out.  (more…)

Flare vs. Flair…and Why It’s So Tricky to Tell Them Apart

flare vs flairFor this month’s edition of our “vs.” post, the words “flare” and “flair” came to mind.

Flare and flair are a couple of homophones that differ in spelling and in meaning, yet figuring out which one to use in the proper situation is often more of a guess than anything else. Here is some information on the two words that should help point you in the right direction.  (more…)

Tip for Writers: How Not to Take an Editor’s Corrections Personally

editor-feedbackFor a productive writer in any genre, there is rarely time to get down about editorial corrections or criticism. Yes, it may sting sometimes and no writer enjoys seeing their work dissected and critiqued, but good writers find a way to come back stronger than ever.

It’s quite normal to take comments and remarks personally when we feel they are about us. We let it drain on our emotions and self-esteem, even if we aren’t completely sure we were the intended target.  (more…)

Does the “I Before E Except After C” Rule Work In Every Situation?

ibeforeeHere’s a classic grammar rule that we’ve all heard a time or two. In fact, if you went to any school from kindergarten through grade 8, you’ve probably heard it hundreds of times.

“I before E, except after C” was a great way to help with those tricky English spellings that had us scratching our heads every day. With the rule in place, we could write a paper or a story, then go back and fix any words where the rule applied.

It’s a nice little rule, but does it really work in every situation? You’ll be shocked and dismayed at the answer! (more…)

Lead vs. Lead vs. Led….I’m Seeing This One Way Too Often Lately!

lead-led-leadIf you’ve been following the Re:word blog posts each month you know that we try to include at least one “vs.” themed post (if you haven’t, go back and read them because they’re pretty enlightening).

This month, we’re going to toss three words into the ring. I’ve been seeing a lot of confusion with these ones lately, so this must be a good time to straighten it out. Keep reading to get a handle on lead, lead and led(more…)

Personality Traits of Highly Effective Copy Editors

effective-copy-editorHere at Re:word Communications, we’re under the impression that we have some of the most effective copy editors in the industry. Whether it’s a white paper, a term paper, a website or a training manual, our editors have established quite the reputation for taking unpolished groups of words and sentences and getting them ready for the world to see.

So, with that in mind, we thought we’d create a post about the various personality traits our editors have, and those we think are important for all highly effective copy editors.  (more…)

Tips for Making Your Writing “Engaging”

writing-engagingWhether you are a professional writer, a student or a small business owner who prefers to tackle your own blogging and web content, you’ve probably read about the importance of making your writing “engaging” to your intended audience. Here are some tips to help you out:

What It Means

Let’s start by saying the word “engaging,” as we use it here, means to attract the interest of your target audience and keep it until you’ve gotten your message across or persuaded the appropriate action. An engaged audience is an interested audience, and in order to keep an audience interested, you must know the who you are writing to.  (more…)