Active not passive

Active sentences are, more often than not, shorter, punchier and more engaging than their passive counterparts. Here’s why you should ‘give a damn’ about not letting passive voice lead you into vague and ambiguous territory.

Three helpful ways to use a semicolon

The semicolon is undoubtedly the dark horse of the punctuation family. Some people fear and avoid it, some use it incorrectly and others only know it as one half of a winky emoticon.

Seven reasons why you need a good corporate style guide

Think of a style guide as your map around the world – you wouldn’t go sailing without it. From setting the tone of your organisation to preventing unwittingly offensive language, here’s why you need a corporate style guide.

Tips for speedier writing

These days everything seems to be about speed. Learn fast, publish fast, fail fast! Here’s the lowdown on faster ways to punctuate and format in Microsoft Word.

Shhh, I’m proofreading!

Signing off on the final version of a document without having it proofread is like leaving for work without looking in the mirror: you may gain a bit of extra time as you rush for the train (or the deadline), but could end up walking into a meeting with egg on your face (literally or figuratively).

The secrets to writing clear reports

Nude superstars frolicking on a Cannes beach probably have nothing to do with your working day, but now that we have your attention, here are some tips you may find useful for writing corporate reports.

To comma or not to comma?

The humble comma has long been a source of unnecessary confusion for writers. In this article, we’ll show you when to comma and when not to comma by following some simple but effective principles.

Tips for keeping your tender or proposal on track

Coordinating a tender, proposal or application – or any large document with multiple contributors – is a daunting task. But you can avoid coffee-fuelled all-nighters before the deadline by establishing some good processes early on.

Editors are not the style police

There are two schools of thought on how dictionaries should work. Prescriptivists believe that a dictionary’s purpose is to set the rules; descriptivists believe it should merely record current and common usage. Here’s our take on the subject.

What is a proofreader and other pressing questions

Our editing team is often asked about their work in client meetings, at parties, during family dinners and in the odd chance discussion in airports. Here are their answers collected in one convenient Q&A.

How to write brilliant electronic direct mails

Convincing people to take notice of an electronic direct mail (eDM) is increasingly tricky. Yet it remains a convenient and cost-effective way to promote services or products. Here’s how to stand out.

Ten words to avoid in your writing

Good writing often comes down to knowing what to delete. These common words are often overused, misused or unnecessary, which makes them worth watching out for as you write or edit.

Clever little apostrophes

A good proofreader knows where to put the apostrophes. The best ones know that’s only half the job. There’s ‘correct’ and then there’s ‘correct’.

To hyphenate or not to hyphenate?

The humble hyphen might just be a tiny stroke on a page, but it has the power to change the meaning of a sentence depending on its placement. Here’s a primer on when you should (and shouldn’t) hyphenate words.

What is active content governance?

You might have the feeling that things are rapidly spinning out of control in the digital era. But never fear, the same technologies that helped create the problem are being redeployed to help you out.

How to plan a writing job

How familiar does this scenario sound? Last year, a big report had to go out in January. Everything about it was finished late and in a last-minute panic that had people working until all hours, and the end result was, well, underwhelming.

Quibbles over quotation marks

Correct use of quotation marks is a perennial point of confusion, so we’ve created this handy guide to help you settle those nagging questions.

Cut the clutter in your annual report

With the average annual report reaching a (somewhat crazy) 204 pages, investors, regulators and citizens are pushing businesses and governments to get to the point. In a word, they want you to declutter!

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