Friday, August 28, 2015

What Is the Best Way to Develop a Writing Style?

Whether or not you realize it, you have a writing style. It’s like fashion: sometimes you don’t notice it at all (jeans and a t-shirt), and other times you can’t take your eyes away (Fashion Week, or Lady Gaga). Whether you’re trying to make it as an author or churning out dozens of business emails a day, your writing style is your signature way of communicating.

Your writing style is uniquely yours, but that doesn’t mean it has to be so unique that it causes confusion.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Appositives—What They Are and How to Use Them

An appositive noun or noun phrase follows another noun or noun phrase in apposition to it; that is, it provides information that further identifies or defines it. Such “bonus facts” are framed by commas unless the appositive is restrictive (i.e., provides essential information about the noun).

Appose is a very old word that one doesn’t cross paths with much except in the realms of grammar and science.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Post-Vacation Blues: Is There Any Way to Beat Them?

You’re getting your tan on at the beach. You’re living your Lord of the Rings fantasy on a mountaintop. Maybe you’re just catching a snooze on a couch. What matters: you’re on vacation.

But then, with a sudden jolt, the freedom you briefly tasted is snatched away. Jetlag ensues. The alarm clock goes off. You’re back under the fluorescent lights of your office. How do you bounce back?

Monday, August 24, 2015

What You Absolutely Must Do After Making a Mistake at Work

You messed up on the job. Big time. Now what?

Making a mistake at work can be both horrifying and humbling. Not only does it leave you feeling embarrassed, but your professional reputation and credibility may hang in the balance. We don’t do our best thinking when we’re stressed or anxious, so knowing how to react before a mistake happens will prepare you to react sensibly.

How to Get a Grip After You Make a Mistake

Before you react, take a deep breath.

How to End an Email: 9 Best and Worst Email Sign-Offs

You’ve worked to make your email clear, and you’ve carefully edited to streamline your writing. The body of your email might well be perfect, but it can all go awry if you use the wrong sign-off. It’s just a word or a short phrase, followed by your signature, and yet finding the right tone to close your email often requires a surprising amount of thought and finesse.

When you’re struggling with how to end an email, it’s best to consider the context.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Comma Rules for Business Emails

Let there be no mistake—the comma wields a power far greater than its humble looks might suggest. “You will go you will return never in the battle you will perish” is the most famous example of it. This saying is usually attributed to the Oracle of Delphi, and it is supposed to be an answer to the question of whether or not to go to war. If you place a comma before “never,” the answer becomes a green light.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

4 Ways to Get Back to Work When You (Really) Don’t Want to

You know you need to work, but you really don’t want to. Millions of distractions—some worthier than others—compete for your time and attention. How do you drown out the voice of procrastination?

Here are four ways that will get you working again, even when you’d rather be doing anything else.

1 Reward Yourself

In Key of Knowledge, prolific author Nora Roberts writes: “There’s no reward without work, no victory without effort, no battle won without risk.” The converse is also true.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Here’s Your Ultimate Sunday Night De-Stress Playlist

There’s a gentle balancing act in calibrating a mellow playlist, say for the Sunday evening before a hectic workweek.

Cue up too many happy songs and the result can feel saccharine. Too many sad ones will just leave you depressed. Jams that get you moving are fun when you’re going out, but tonight you’re staying in. Then again, you need something with a pulse: you’re not winding down for bed quite yet.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Strikethrough and Why It’s so Popular

A very long time before any of us was born, there were no computers, typewriters, or printing presses. Books were written by hand, on pieces of specially treated leather called parchment or vellum. Back in medieval times, books were not only written but also illuminated, embellished by colorful drawings. And the lettering, even though you might not be able to read it easily, is a testament to the skill and patience of the scribes who wrote them.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Complete Guide to Reevaluating Your 2017 Goals

You came into 2017 with high hopes.

Maybe you decided Stephen King isn’t the only writer who can mash out a few thousand words every day. If Chuck Palahniuk can hammer out an entire novel in under two months, you reasoned, then surely you’d be able to finish your opus by springtime. Journalists churn out many hundreds of words each day and presumably still see the sun once in awhile.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Separable and Inseparable Phrasal Verbs

A phrasal verb is a verb combined with a preposition or adverb (or both) that means something different from each of the words that make up the verb. There are two types of phrasal verbs. Separable phrasal verbs can be broken up by other words, while inseparable phrasal verbs cannot be separated by other words.

Separable Phrasal Verbs

You can insert other words into the middle of a separable phrasal verb.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Why You Should Take a Vacation, Even If You’re Busy

“I hate vacation,” said no one ever. So why are we so bad at taking time off? North Americans in particular are notorious for rarely taking time off work. A study by Expedia found that each year workers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico take twelve, fifteen, and twelve days off respectively, while Europeans take between twenty and thirty days off.

Granted, employers in North America tend to offer significantly less vacation time than European ones, but workers often don’t even take all the time they’re entitled to, and that’s bad.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Inaugural Guide to Writing the Perfect Tweet

Today marks the fifty-eighth United States presidential inauguration. As the US swears in Donald Trump as their leader, the world will watch not only the proceedings but also the new president’s active Twitter account. President Trump’s Twitter usage has been unprecedented compared to previous candidates and has put the social network squarely in the headlines for over a year.

Since the new leader of the United States loves Twitter, what better way to honor this inauguration than with an extensive guide to writing the perfect tweet?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Top 10 Student Writing Mistakes: Finals Edition

The Grammarly Editor has reviewed thousands of essays, term papers, and short stories from students of all ages. As a result, we’ve been able to collect data on the most common types of mistakes that student writers are making. As finals season approaches, take a look at the errors on the list below to brush up on your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Good writing habits will not only serve you well in school, but written accuracy benefits professionals throughout their careers.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Why You Don’t Get Anything Done After 2pm

Yaaawn. You were having a productive day.

This morning you were launching emails with the rapid succession of a fireworks display and smashing deadlines like an elite Whac-a-Mole champion who can see the future. It’s one of those magical days where you managed to titrate your coffee dosage perfectly—you were awake enough to contribute plenty during your team’s morning meeting, but not caffeinated to the point of jitters or psychosis.