Use apostrophes correctly

Apostrophes act as signals to readers. They may seem insignificant, but when they are used incorrectly they confuse readers and slow down their reading. Are you’re sometimes unsure about whether a word needs an apostrophe? This article will help you understand the general rules. It's actually quite simple: there are only two occasions when you … Continue reading Use apostrophes correctly

Blade of grass

Streamline your document review

Does it take longer than you expect to finish writing a document for your organisation or business? Do you find that too many people want to change your draft and re-negotiate the contents? These are common problems that have a significant impact on productivity. When many people review a document, sometimes more than once, it … Continue reading Streamline your document review

Woman looking quizzical

Do you need an editor?

Your first draft is never your best If you write documents, you’ll know that your first drafts are never the best versions. Let’s face it, they can be long, repetitive, muddled, badly organised, full of mistakes and untidy. If your documents are poorly written it's hard for readers to hear what you want to tell … Continue reading Do you need an editor?

Helen Bradford running by the sea

Get into good writing habits

Do you want good writing technique to come naturally? Here's what I’ve learnt about creating good habits, from a change I’ve made to what I eat. I think the same principles apply to making good writing a habit. Some of you may know I’m an amateur triathlete; swimming, cycling and running most days is very … Continue reading Get into good writing habits

Now or never written in capital letters

Use capitals wisely

Do you get confused about when to capitalise words? There are times when words must be capitalised, but often capitalising words is simply a style choice. Because people find it quicker and easier to scan and understand lowercase words, many organisations now prefer to keep the use of capitals to a minimum. Read my four … Continue reading Use capitals wisely

Row of colourful beach huts

Be consistent

Consistency matters. It makes your documents and webpages easier for people to read and find their way around. It also makes them look professional. You achieve consistency by making and applying rules to several aspects of your writing. Your organisation may have its own set of rules (these are often defined in a style guide). … Continue reading Be consistent

Woman pointing

Get your tone right

Have you wondered what people mean when they talk about tone and voice in writing? If so, read on! First, let’s look at the difference between voice and tone. Voice means your personal voice. If something’s been written in your voice, people who know you will be able to tell it’s your writing. It’s important … Continue reading Get your tone right

Man jumping and shouting. Helen Bradford writer, editor and coach. Use active voice to improve your writing.

Use active voice

Although we usually use active voice in our speech, we often use passive voice when we write. You’ll become a better writer if you can recognise active and passive voice in your writing and know when to use them. The subject in a sentence is the person or thing that is doing something. When you … Continue reading Use active voice