Thursday, 14 July 2011 18:41

Writing Skills: Hedge Words

There is a lot of research on the persuasiveness, or otherwise, of so-called "hedge words" — words that qualify a statement or make you sound equivocal (such as "possibly" and "probably"). Most research I have read recommends eliminating hedge words, where you can. More nuanced research suggests that qualified statements can be more persuasive than unqualified statements, depending on your audience. For example, if your reader knows and is interested in your subject, then qualified statements may persuade them more than unqualified statements; however, for people who do not know your subject or who are uninterested or who are too busy to really pay attention, then hedge words can deplete the strength and meaning of your message. Here is a list of hedge words to think carefully about.

Published in Writing
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 20:38

Writing Skills: Prefer Understatement

It may sound counter-intuitive, but using emphatic language can sometimes weaken your argument rather than strengthen your argument. By contrast, understatement has much more persuasive force. Look at the following list of emphatic words and phrases and think about whether you really need them in your writing.

Published in Writing
Tuesday, 12 July 2011 10:05

Writing Skills: Write Positively

If you're like me, then you prefer to read what did happen rather than what did not happen. To improve your writing, try turning negative words and phrases into "positive" words and phrases. Here is a list that might help you.

Published in Writing
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 00:15

Common English Errors: Ante and Anti

ANTI and ANTE are both prefixes. They are added to the front of other words to create new words with new meanings. However, even though there is only one letter's difference between them, ANTI and ANTE have quite different meanings.

Published in Spelling Tutorials
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 03:19

Editing: Proofreading Marks 2

Proofreading marks are used when you're editing and marking up a printed paper manuscript. Whether you have an essay to edit, or a whole book that's on its way to press (congratulations!), these proofreading marks will help you do a professional job.

Published in Writing
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 00:38

Editing: Proofreading Marks 1

Whenever you need to edit or proofread a manuscript on paper, it is really helpful if you know these proofreading marks. This article covers some of the most basic marks, just for starters.

Published in Writing
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