Category: Writing

Don’t let poor writing hold you back – how to get help

To get ahead in most workplaces, secondary and technical colleges, and universities, you need to communicate well. This includes writing effectively. Sometimes, even tiny mistakes can have big negative effects. I once had a boss who would (literally) toss job...

/ 2 November 2016

Want your writing to sound smarter? Get rid of pointless, long words!

The worst thing about reading research articles is the awful writing. Every now and then, an exception pops up: a clear, short article made up of common words spelling out results in Plain English.  But lots of research in my...

/ 17 November 2015

Classic writing tip: let strong nouns and verbs do the work

Strunk & White’s classic writing guide, The Elements of Style, has been derided recently by Steven Pinker.  But one of Strunk & White’s rules stands unchallenged: Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs.  The adjective hasn’t been...

/ 16 February 2015

Who we help: meet Rakesh and Alice

In addition to traditional speech pathology services for people with communication impairments, we work with professionals, business owners and others who need to improve their professional communication skills to achieve their work and life goals.  We’re passionate about helping professionals and...

/ 26 January 2015

25 rules of effective writing from a plain English legend; and my nine all-time favourites

My regular readers know I’m a big fan of plain English and Rudolf Flesch. One of my favourite writing books is Dr Flesch’s “How to write, speak and think more effectively”. First published in 1946, its tips are as relevant today...

/ 21 November 2014

Apologies to Mrs Dixon: taking notes by hand is more effective than by laptop

This surprises some people, but, when I was in grade 1, I was – just a tiny bit – precocious. I also had terrible handwriting, a fact my long-suffering teacher seemed to relish reminding me about.  One freezing Ballarat morning,...

/ 20 May 2014

Speech Talk 5: Alan Siegal – plain English – striving for simplicity

As a speech pathologist, lawyer, plain English lover and a small business owner, this one is close to my heart! Official documents don’t need to be complicated. Government forms shouldn’t take an hour – or a PhD – to fill in....

/ 28 April 2014