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Richard Branson — pro writer

I already shared this on twitter but thought it was worth sharing here as well because I have a different set of followers here on Pros Write. Branson’s description of his process and what he does and does not delegate will help you understand a piece of what it means to be a pro writer.   How…

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What have we learned about information design in white papers?

Not too long ago, I concluded that we need some research on white papers if we want to offer evidence-based guidance for their writers. (You can get some background with my summary of the available evidence on writing white papers and more about what experts say about developing content for white papers.)  We — that’s Dr. Jefrey Naidoo and me…

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Friday fun with a passive quiz

I’ve been meaning to send you over to this grammar quiz from James Harbeck. But first let me remind you to avoid listening to any “expert” who focuses on limiting your stylistic choices by telling you to “avoid passives.” Here are the items you must judge as passive — or not. An accidental discharge of…

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How useful are readability formulas?

Not very. I read about some interesting research last spring and meant to write more about it then.  Here’s the bottom line. The researchers evaluated 9 of the most commonly used formulas. Here’s how Willingham summarizes their findings: All of the readability formulas were more accurate for higher ability than lower ability students. But only one—the…

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Friday fun with translating economic jargon

If your brain isn’t too tired yet, check out this quiz from the Washington Examiner and do your best to translate statements from the current and former Federal Reserve Chair(wo)man into plain language.  Somehow I got 5 out of 5.  It was sheer luck! If this jargon was used only with other economists, it would be…