Top tips from 2018

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At the end of the year, it’s always nice to look back and reflect on what’s happened.

Write for Real People is only a few months old, but we’ve already covered a lot of different writing topics. Here’s a round-up of our top tips from 2018:

  • Finding the right words

Some of our first tips were about choosing words carefully to make your writing easy for your readers to follow:

Cut the jargon

Workshop: Cut the jargon

Repetition, repetition, repetition

Workshop: Repetition, repetition, repetition

  • A direct line

We shared ways to address the reader directly and take a more authoritative approach:

Like a boss

Workshop: Cut the jargon

Hey, you!

Workshop: Hey, you!

  • Point by point

We celebrated the merits of bullet points and discovered the most effective ways to use them:

Why you should be using bullet points

Workshop: Why you should be using bullet points

How to use bullet points

Workshop: How to use bullet points

  • Nice and concise

We practised using a range of tools to make our writing short and efficient:

Cut the waffle

Workshop: Cut the waffle

Cut it short

Workshop: Cut it short

  • Active voice vs passive voice

We took a trip into the world of grammar and learned that the active voice is usually (but not always) the most effective choice:

Using the active voice

Workshop: Using the active voice

Using the passive voice

Workshop: Using the passive voice

 

Ready for more?

Come back next Monday for the first post of 2019. It’s my all-time, number one favourite top tip. You won’t want to miss it…

Happy New Year!

 

What has been your highlight of 2018? Let me know in the comments below.

Five fantastic writing resources

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It’s a funny time this, isn’t it? It’s a sort of festive no-man’s land in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day and a chance to spend time with family and friends.

Speaking of Christmas, I’d like to give you a belated gift.

As my present to you, here’s a list of really useful writing resources. As writers, we’re always learning and these are some great places to start.

1. British Council Learn English website https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/grammar

If you’d like to learn more about English grammar, try the interactive exercises on this fantastic website.

2. Plain English Campaign website http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/

Visit the ‘Plain English tools’ section for handy writing guidance and the ‘gobbledygook generator’…

3. BBC News website https://www.bbc.co.uk/news

This may not sound like a writing tool, but it’s a great place to check the standard British spelling and formatting of words and phrases. If you’re not sure whether it’s ‘prime minister’, ‘prime-minister’ or ‘primeminister’, take a look at BBC News to see how they’re formatting it (the answer is ‘prime minister’).

4. GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/

This site is a great example of how to explain complicated, formal processes in simple language.

5. The book you got for Christmas

Reading is one of the best ways to improve as a writer. It also goes really well with a glass of mulled wine. Read writers you admire and you’ll pick up their tips along the way.

 

What are you up to in the days between Christmas and New Year? Let me know down in the comments…