2013 Education Symposium & Expo - Writing Right


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2013 Education Symposium & Expo - Writing Right

  1. 1. Writing Right A Leadership Workshop By Barbara Ann Cox, CMP 2013 TSAE Education Symposium & Expo BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  2. 2. Writing Right What are your words saying for you, about you? Words are powerful. Words are powerful tools to express, clarify, explain, enlighten, entertain, teach, inform . . . to communicate. Words are weapons. Clear, concise and succinct use of words can convey precisely what you want to say, what you want others to understand. Words are toys. Words are playful, whimsical, sassy, comical. When cleverly used, words are musical, poetic, cosmic. BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  3. 3. Writing Right • Except for private journals, the real purpose of our writing words is for someone to READ them. • We are communicating. With words. • We are communicating our words, our thoughts, our intentions, our directives. • The better our words are put together, the easier it is for the reader to read them and then easier to understand them. BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  4. 4. Concise Writing Weasel Words Unique. Quite. Rather. Pretty. Really. Kind of. Very. Actually. Basically. Practically. Virtually. Probably. Definitely. Somewhat. Extremely. Wordy: Actually, we basically packed up the headquarters office, virtually leaving it in somewhat better shape than we definitely found it. Concise: We packed up the headquarters office, leaving it in better shape than we found it. BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  5. 5. Concise Writing Redundant Pairs Full and complete. Each and every. True facts. First and foremost. True and accurate. Free gift. Always and forever. Past memories. End result. Various differences. Basic fundamentals. Sudden crisis. Terrible tragedy. Past history. Unexpected surprise. Important essentials. Future plans. Final outcome. Wordy: Each and every attendee received a gift card as an unexpected surprise. Concise: Each attendee received a surprise gift card. BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  6. 6. Concise Writing Redundant Categories Specific words imply a general category. The category is obvious. Large in size. Heavy in weight. At an early time. In a confused state. Of a strange type. Extreme in degree. Unusual in nature. Wordy: During that time period, homes in South Florida were painted the color pink. Concise: During that time, South Florida homes were painted pink. BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  7. 7. Concise Writing One Word For A Phrase “Circumlocutions” are common expressions that take several words to say what could be said succinctly with one word. Common phrases can be replaced with a single word. Due to the fact that…………..since In light of the fact…………..because Given the fact…………..why The reason for…………..because BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  8. 8. Concise Writing • In the event that…………..if • It is necessary that…………..must • Cannot be avoided…………..should • Under circumstances in which…………..when • Has the opportunity to…………..can • There is a chance that…………..might • The possibility exists for…………..could • Concerning the matter of…………..about BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  9. 9. Concise Writing Prepositional Phrases Prepositional phrases begin with in, for, at, on, through, over. Wordy: The reason for the failure of the baseball team of the University of Florida in the Final Four game against the team from Florida State University was that on that day and at that time, some players could not hit the baseball. Concise: UF’s baseball team lost the Final Four game against FSU because the players could not hit the baseball. BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  10. 10. Enthusiastic Writing Passive vs Active Voice Passive voice puts the subject after the verb. If you have to ask “by” who or what, you have passive voice. Use active voice for dynamic writing and reading. Passive: The packages were taken to UPS by Sam. Active: Sam hauled the packages to UPS. Passive: HB201 was thoroughly examined by the people in the legal department. Active: Legal staff thoroughly examined HB201. BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  11. 11. Enthusiastic Writing Expletives Beginning a sentence with It or There. Connecting clauses with that, which, who. Boring: It is absolutely imperative that we find a solution. Enthusiastic: We must find a solution. Boring: It is the executive board who sets fiscal policy. Enthusiastic: The executive board sets fiscal policy. Boring: There are specific rules which address the dress code. Enthusiastic: Specific rules address the dress code. BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  12. 12. Enthusiastic Writing Action Verbs Verbs act. Verbs move. Verbs do. Verbs strike, soothe, grin, cry, exasperate, hurt and heal. decline, fly, Verbs make writing move and they matter more to our language than any other part of speech. (Donald Hall, Writing Well, Little Brown) BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  13. 13. Enthusiastic Writing Dull: The reception area was full of warm lighting and décor that was colorful. Vivid: The reception area welcomed guests with warm lighting and colorful décor. Dull: The Board was upset at the results of the survey. Vivid: The Board cringed at the results of the survey. Dull: The keynote speaker gave the audience a really good speech. Vivid: The keynote speaker mesmerized the audience with his speech. BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  14. 14. Correct Writing Editing & Proofreading • Read the content first time. Make corrections. • Then, read aloud. • Read content backwards. • Consult authorities when in doubt of style, form. • Ask another person to proofread. • Look for the obvious: headlines, tag lines, subheads, banners. • Check names, phone numbers, websites, addresses, everything. • Read one more time, aloud, with enthusiasm. BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  15. 15. Brave Writing 10 C’s Peter Jacobi, Writing With Style, Ragan Clear Concise Complete Constructive Credible Correct Coherent Conversational Captivating Considerate Peter Jacobi’s A-B-C’s of Writing A – Accuracy B – Brevity C - Clarity BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  16. 16. Brave Writing Your Audience • Consider who is reading your words. • Determine what words you can and should use. • Write appropriately to your audience. “Never put in writing words you would not want to see as headlines in the newspaper.” BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  17. 17. Brave Writing Some Fun With Words Nescience n. ~ Lack of knowledge, ignorance. A word of which — unlike prescience (foreknowledge) — most people are nescient. Hence useful for the Insult Concealed. “My Dear, I can only marvel at the extent of your nescience.” Facinorous a. ~ Exceedingly wicked. “I will speak no ill of my opponent in this election campaign. All of us recognize and accept his truly facinorous nature.” Veneration n. ~ Profound respect and reverence. From the same root, ultimately, as venereal (i.e., pertaining to Venus). A piquant compliment to pay to an attractive member of the opposite sex is: “Sir/Madam, you excite my veneration.” Temulency n. ~ Inebriation, drunkenness. Another good one for sick-leave application forms. BarbaraAnnSolutions.com
  18. 18. Writing Right Questions? Thank you for your participation. Barbara Ann Cox, CMP Barbara Ann Solutions 850.656.0025 850.322.6184 Barbara@BarbaraAnnSolutions BarbaraAnnSolutions.com © Barbara Ann Solutions. 2013 All Rights Reserved. BarbaraAnnSolutions.com BarbaraAnnSolutions.com