Business

When your spouse wants to leave you because of your poor writing

Posted on

I am often asked why I started editorr and how I came up with the idea. The answer is quite simple. I saw a problem that needed to be solved and I solved it. Easy, right?

It started with my co-founder, Boris. He is one of the smartest and nicest guys whom I have ever met. Boris was born in Russia, and English is not his first language. He had recently spent several years in Singapore working at a high-level tech job. He was in charge of a very large team that consisted of some of the most intelligent people in his industry. He explained to me how he realized that most of his co-workers, especially those who are first-generation Americans, couldn’t write. We are talking about senior level executives here. Sure, they had admin assistants and departments to help them with documentation and technical writing… but that just wasn’t enough. While English is the language of business, he often found it tedious at best and impossible at worst to deduce what business e-mails were saying. Many of his colleagues were aware of their own shortcomings; some believed they were passed over for promotions in favor of expatriates who were less qualified but better able to clearly express themselves in English. So there you have it, the basis.

We joked about how we both struggled with our writing and how we continually relied on our wives to fix our writing, as well as how they grew impatient with their workday being interrupted by our “writing requests”. This was our “there has to be a better way” moment. We discussed how there were so many “on demand” services that were popping up and how there should be one for writing. Once we considered further about how often we would use this service, we realized that there is a larger community that would greatly benefit from it.

Therefore, we decided to build a solution with simplicity and convenience in mind. An easy-to-use, curated service such as editorr has exponential applications and possibilities.

Don’t jeopardize your relationships with poor writing.

Share and like this post:
blog

If You Want People To Read What You Write

Posted on

Whether you know it or not, when you write an e-mail, you are designing. And good design gives you an edge. How big of an edge? It’s the difference between getting read or getting ignored. You don’t have to understand Photoshop or other design software to be able to write clean business communications. You just have to develop an attention for the difference between visual order and visual distractions.

Since you are probably like me and don’t have time to take a design course, here are some basic rules:

  • Ask yourself: Does this writing have a sense of structure, or is looking at it painful?
  • Shorten your writing. Get to the point and be respectful of your audiences time.
  • Tidy up messes. Even if you did not make the mess, your recipient will thank you.  If you’re sending someone a thread but only one sentence of it is important, remove the unnecessary 34,000 words. Delete automatically generated dotted lines, indentations, and fonts in multiple colors.
  • Cut down on the total of hard returns, particularly in e-mails. They generate visual noise.
  • Steer clear of large, massive blocks of text. Absolutely no one will read them.
  • Don’t get fancy. If you haven’t taken a design course, stick with a classic font. Don’t use more than three font variations on a page. That means changing typeface, size, or style (i.e. italics or bold). Don’t underline.
  • For e-mails, pick a font that is web safe (e.g. Arial, Helvetica, Lucida Sans, Verdana). That way, you will ensure that the way your message seems to you is the way it will appear to the reader.
  • Learn to use pull quotes. If you have a long chunk of text, take out the most significant sentence and create asimple way in for the audience, like a magazine would.
  • Understand to enjoy white space. Don’t load the page edge to edge with writing. Leave room for items to breathe.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. Break up a business plan or a memo with professional graphics. Stock photography or illustration houses like iStock and Pexels are your friend. Just make sure not use tacky pictures.
  • Be attentive with color if you don’t know what you’re doingyou could hurt someone. Stick to one color, like black,to be safe and use shades of gray to add class.

If you forget all of this, just think simplicity. Less is more. Good design doesn’t insert thingsit takes stuff away. Don’t get fancy; don’t overdo anything; and don’t use gimmicks. Simplicity and power are not mutually exclusive. They are often one and the same. Do any of these annoy you or are you guilty of any?

Share and like this post:
Creative Writing

Creating an Effective Thesis Statement

Posted on

The thesis statement seems to be the most challenging sentence in any essay or research paper for my students to create. They don’t know whether to write it first—before the rest of their paper—or at the end. I tell them something they don’t want to hear: both.
 
When you start writing, you should have a pretty good idea of the angle you want your paper to take. However, your thesis statement may change as you write and research your subject. Depending on how much you change your mind about the topic, your thesis may change a little or a lot.
 

 
The thesis statement gives meaning to every other sentence in your essay. It presents your paper’s topic and controlling idea. It is the road map to the rest of your paper, and all roads should lead back to your thesis statement. Your thesis is located in your introduction paragraph and the remainder of your paper (and topic sentences) should support your thesis statement. If part of your paper does not support your thesis, it should not be part of your paper.
 
When drafting your thesis statement, keep these points in mind:
1. It should be a full sentence, not just the topic or title

2. It should provide some direction, an opinion, or a point of view
 
Let’s say your instructor has given you the topic of ‘American politics,’ and you would like to write about the seniority system in American politics. An incorrect thesis statement on this topic would be: “A seniority system exists in today’s American politics.”
 
This is insufficient because the writer’s point of view is not incorporated into the thesis. We can turn a flat or factual statement into a thesis statement by including a point of view or our own slant on the issue.
 
Look at these two examples of effective thesis statements:
1. “The seniority system in American politics contributes to unwarranted power being controlled by the old timers.” This statement has a negative slant or point of view about the American political system.

2. “The seniority system in American politics grants leadership positions to experienced politicians.” This statement has a positive slant or point of view about the American political system.
 
The key to creating an effective thesis is knowing what you want to say about your subject matter. If you have given yourself enough time to read and research your topic, you will have a better grasp of what you want to say, and you will be more likely to produce a thesis that is clear, organized, and fully developed. Good luck!
 
By: Dawn S., On Demand Editor for editorr
 

Share and like this post: