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Writing Center

Singular or plural?

Criteria, phe­nom­ena, data, and media Judy Vorfeld “Criteria” like “phe­nom­ena” is plural “Criterion” like “phe­nom­e­non” is sin­gu­lar “Data” and “media” are the same whether singular/plural. Some peo­ple may dis­pute this, but as we move fur­ther into the 21st cen­tury, the use is up to the writer.

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Make your para­graphs interesting

Judy Vorfeld Not only do we need to write clearly and tightly, we also need to make para­graphs inter­est­ing. When pos­si­ble, avoid all short sen­tences or all long sen­tences in a para­graph. Vary them. (I just did so in this para­graph). It’s not nec­es­sary to do this with […]

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Redundant words and phrases

Judy Vorfeld Use redun­dant phrases spar­ingly (or omit) in busi­ness cor­re­spon­dence, arti­cles, head­lines, and other writ­ten doc­u­ments. Here are a few that peo­ple use reg­u­larly: * Absolutely essen­tial (essen­tial) * Added bonus (bonus) * Both of them (both) * End result (result) * Exact same (exact or same) […]

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Write Powerfully: Avoid Useless Words and Phrases

WORDS CAN WEAKEN SENTENCES AND THOUGHTS Judy Vorfeld Do you pub­lish a newslet­ter, have a web­site, or write arti­cles or reviews or a blog? If so, you’re already doing your best to pub­lish well. But if you aren’t cer­tain that you’re suc­ceed­ing, here are a few ideas that might help. Try to […]

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Explicit or Implicit?

Judy Vorfeld EXPLICIT Something delib­er­ately spelled out (con­tract, doc­u­ment etc.). Something fully and clearly expressed (could be writ­ten or spo­ken). Explicit crit­i­cism means being very hon­est or can­did. IMPLICIT means some­thing not spe­cific, but either suggested/necessary to meet goal. American Heritage Dictionary says it can mean “understood […]

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