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Writing Tips: Advice from One Writer to Another

Professional writers have much to tell us about the writing process, from overcoming writer's block to revising and editing. Let's see what advice we can pick up from the pros.
  1. Editors and Editing (13)
  2. Improve Your Writing (19)
  3. Writers on Writing (99)

Ten Quick Tips to Improve Your Writing
Whether we're composing a blog or a business letter, an email or an essay, our goal should be to respond clearly and directly to the needs and interests of our readers. These ten tips should help us to improve our writing whenever we set out to inform or persuade.

Seven Secrets to Success in English 101
Welcome to English 101--sometimes called freshman English or college composition. It should be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding courses in your college life. But to succeed in anything, it helps to be prepared. So, as an old college English instructor, I'm going to let you in on seven secrets to success.

What Are the Characteristics of Good Writing?
Good writing is much more than just correct writing: it is writing that responds directly to the interests and needs of our readers.

Ten Principles of Effective Writing
In his book "Style," F.L. Lucas offered the following basic principles to "shorten that painful process" of learning how to write better.

Top 10 Editing Tips for Business Writers
You can make your working life a little easier by editing your writing with these principles in mind: be clear, concise, considerate, and correct. Here are 10 quick editing tips for on-the-job writers.

Top 10 Proofreading Tips
Hear what Mark Twain had to say on the subject of proofreading, and then consider our ten tips for proofreading effectively.

"Quote . . . Misquote": The Challenge of Verifying Quotations
If we're going to borrow somebody else's words, we should try to make sure that those words are authentic and accurately referenced.

Phony Rules of Writing
Behind each one of these phony rules of writing lies a good idea, but there are also good reasons why these so-called rules should sometimes be broken.

How to Write Good by William Safire
Language maven William Safire's best known column included these 17 fumblerules--"mistakes that call attention to the rule."

What Is Freewriting?
Freewriting is a useful strategy to help you overcome writer's block and get started on any writing project.

What Is Brainstorming?
Brainstorming is a group project that's especially useful for generating, focusing, and organizing ideas for an essay or a report.

Making Time to Write
The job of teaching students how to write often leaves faculty with little time for their own writing. But it can be done, said Maxine Hairston, and she offered these 10 practical suggestions.

A Trick for Overcoming Writer's Block and Getting Into a Writing Frame of Mind
Listing can help us overcome writer's block and discover fresh topics for paragraphs and essays.

How to Begin an Essay: 13 Engaging Strategies With Examples
A good introduction lets readers know what your essay is about and encourages them to keep reading. Here are 13 opening strategies accompanied by examples from a wide range of professional writers.

How to Write a Letter of Complaint
Here's a project that will introduce you to brainstorming and give you practice in group writing. You will join with three or four other writers to compose a letter of complaint.

How to Write an Effective Ad, by Ulysses G. Manning
Mr. Ulysses G. Manning--"the well-known advertising specialist of South Bend, Indiana"--is here to tell you how to write an effective ad.

When and How Did You Learn to Write?
Readers are invited to recall when and how they learned to write. Please join the discussion.

Readers Respond: When and How Did You Learn to Write?
Readers are invited to recall when and how they learned to write. Please join the discussion.

Can Writing Be Taught?
After you consider the following responses from seasoned journalists, novelists, scholars, and teachers, we'd like to hear your thoughts on whether writing can be taught.

Can Writing Be Taught? - Reader Responses
Can writing be taught? The question seems to invite skeptical replies. The poet Theodore Roethke insisted that writing can't be taught; it can only be "insinuated." And Wallace Stegner said that writing can be taught--but not to everybody. Now we'll hear your thoughts on whether writing can be taught.

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