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To Write Well, Forget Everything Your High-School English Teacher Taught You: 11 Myths, 11 Maxims

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Fact: many people are bad at writing. They’re clear thinkers, but when it comes to putting pen to paper (or fingers to a keyboard), they’re all thumbs. Even among those who should know better, good writers are hard to find.

In this highly interactive workshop, we’ll help you hone your thoughts into writing that’s accessible, fluid, and energetic. To make things easy and memorable, we’ll walk through 11 myths (for example: “by writing densely, I’ll impress everyone”) and 11 rules (for example: “write the way you speak”). We conclude with a group exercise.

Published in: Education

To Write Well, Forget Everything Your High-School English Teacher Taught You: 11 Myths, 11 Maxims

  1. 1. C
  2. 2. 1
  3. 3. 2
  4. 4. 2
  5. 5. 2
  6. 6. ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓
  7. 7. • • • • • •
  8. 8. LET’S RECAP THE MYTHS
  9. 9. LET’S RECAP THE MYTHS
  10. 10. MAXIM 1 Surprise your readers.
  11. 11. MAXIM 2 Make every verb count.
  12. 12. MAXIM 3 Kill zombie nouns.
  13. 13. MAXIM 4 Embrace analogies.
  14. 14. MAXIM 5 Humanize big numbers.
  15. 15. MAXIM 6 Write the way you speak.
  16. 16. MAXIM 7 Embrace .
  17. 17. MAXIM 7 Embrace personal pronouns.
  18. 18. MAXIM 8 Avoid blocks of text.
  19. 19. MAXIM 9 Use wide margins.
  20. 20. MAXIM 10 Incorporate visual aids.
  21. 21. Style SUBSTANCE
  22. 22. Style SUBSTANCE
  23. 23. Style SUBSTANCE
  24. 24. MAXIM 11 Vary the lengths of your sentences.
  25. 25. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
  26. 26. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  27. 27. AND NOW, THE MAXIMS
  28. 28. AND NOW, THE MAXIMS
  29. 29. BONUS
  30. 30. MAXIM 12 Create a crescendo.
  31. 31. MAXIM 13 Accentuate your adverbs.
  32. 32. MAXIM 14 Think, don’t feel.
  33. 33. MAXIM 15 Revise relentlessly.
  34. 34. MAXIM 16 Employ an editor.
  35. 35. MAXIM 17 Cite specifics.
  36. 36. MAXIM 18 Favor the active voice.
  37. 37. MAXIM 19 Frame the conversation.
  38. 38. MAXIM 20 Couch the negative as a positive.
  39. 39. MAXIM 22 Favor the singular.
  40. 40. MAXIM 23 Jettison the jargon.
  41. 41. MAXIM 24 Break up noun clusters.
  42. 42. MAXIM 25 Avoid the “this” blob.
  43. 43. MAXIM 26 Write for an audience of one.
  44. 44. MAXIM 27 Favor abbreviations.
  45. 45. MAXIM 28 Apply anaphoras.
  46. 46. APPENDIX Trim the fat.

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