Business

The Importance of Writing Well in Business

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First Impressions
A face-to-face meeting can offer you perspective on a business. Your first impression is based on the personality and demeanor of the other party. Being charismatic can go a long way, but even the monotonous gain respect over time. However, the same cannot be said when it comes to digital communication.

Whether in an e-mail or on your website, the words you write are permanent. In sum, your writing leaves a last impression – and if you don’t represent yourself well, what you write may be your downfall.

The Cost of Unprofessional Writing
The many writing mistakes employees make may come as no surprise. Some issues are simple (such as spelling errors), while others are more complex. We’re not just talking about grammar, but also tone. Your words inevitably translate a certain voice. Taking the necessary time to master this skill is something very few employees do.

Some examples of expensive mistakes include:

• Suggestive long-form sentences. In many cases, people use run-on sentences as a way to avoid being bold and direct. This often translates to inaction and fails to instill confidence in the reader. As the old saying goes, “Say what you mean, mean what you say.”

• Writing too passively. At times, a passive voice is necessary, but it is rarely required. You will find that there are better ways to shape your paragraphs if you step back and rethink what’s being written.

• Lacking proper formality. Sometimes you have to be formal without being too formal. Some casual writing, also known as conversational writing, is acceptable when the rapport between the two parties supports it. When in doubt, formality is usually a better option.

Training Employees to Write Better
Extensive measures can be taken to ensure that your employees are representing your business well. At the end of the day, however, you cannot expect your staff to transform into Shakespeare overnight. The depths of copywriting and content editing are diverse. Changes in staffing can lead to wasted efforts when you are trying to enhance writing performance at the employee level.

The only real solution is to hire a content editing company to ensure your written materials are both reader and action friendly. Whenever possible, make sure to have your content looked over before sending it out. Once you’ve found a reliable proofreader, stick with the provider that offers you the fastest turnaround time.

Conclusion
The way a business approaches content editing can greatly impact their profitability. Proofreading and editing services are transforming the way this process works. With editorr, you can submit your projects to be immediately proofread and copyedited by an experienced professional, for a relatively small fee.

Try us out and see the difference for yourself!

Writing

Greeklish

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When you live or work in a tourist destination, it is important to be able to communicate effectively with visitors and offer them the best customer experience possible. Your most valuable tool in this regard is language. Language can either be a helpful marketing tool or an uncomfortable obstacle.

The Greek language boasts difficult grammar, a vivid vocabulary, and many words that may seem similar but in reality have important differences. Although its origins are ancient, Greek is a thoroughly modern language. Greek grammar is difficult, but if properly taught, the same words and phrases can be used to convey a number of different meanings.

For simplicity’s sake, over the past 35 years, Greeks have done away with many symbols. These symbols used to give words a particular significance and emphasized the will of the person using them. This has led to the simplification of Greek orthography.  These modern developments have stunted the critical thinking ability of Greece’s young people.

Many people have begun using a language that combines Greek words with the English alphabet, and English words with the Greek language’s attributes, resulting in “Greeklish.”  Many people are also using the English alphabet to write Greek words in order to save time, especially when using their mobile devices.

The problem is, young people have adopted this language as a cool fashion trend, forgoing the authenticity of Greek history and grammar rules which have existed for centuries.  Greek has become so simplified that it is starting to lose its spirit. Many researchers now stress the importance of using traditional Greek language and have made attempts to modify Greece’s educational system, emphasizing the proper usage of various symbols, tenses, and metaphors.  After all, it is the nuances of the Greek language that make it unique.

 

By: Asteria V., On Demand Editor for editorr

Content Editing

Elements of Style and The Paragraph

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The paragraph is one of the fundamental building blocks of academic writing.  Each paragraph in your essay or research should contain a series of sentences which develops one (and only one) main idea. A well-written paragraph usually begins with a sentence that informs the reader of the central idea or purpose of that paragraph. This is called the topic sentence.  A topic sentence consists of the topic and the controlling idea (e.g., an aspect or dimension of the idea).
 
Following your topic sentence is the body of your paragraph. The body of your paragraph should support or develop the main idea in your topic sentence. You can develop your paragraph by providing details, examples, facts, reasons, or incidents – all of which should lead back to the central idea in your topic sentence. If you are crafting a research paper, it is here that you could use quotes from another source, as long as it supports your topic sentence. Quotes, when used sparingly, add credibility to your writing. If all of the sentences within the body of your paragraph support your topic sentence, your paragraph will demonstrate cohesiveness and unity. Unity is one characteristic of good writing. Another quality you want your writing to emit is coherence. Depending on your chosen topic, you can foster coherence by arranging your sentences in a logical order (e.g., chronological or spatial order).
 
The concluding sentence is located at the conclusion of your paragraph. It should be the logical consequence of your thoughts and ideas, which have been developed throughout the paragraph. The conclusion sentence either summarizes your ideas or acts as a transition to the next paragraph, preparing your reader for the central idea which will be introduced in your next paragraph.
 

What follows is writing sample wherein the three main parts of a proper paragraph have been described in red parenthesis:

Mapplethorpe’s compositions reveal his strong, consistent aesthetic goal – one which is not only direct, but which also strives for perfection in both balance in subject and form. (This first sentence is the topic sentence. From this sentence, it becomes clear that the topic of this essay is Mapplethorpe’s compositions, and that the controlling idea throughout this paragraph will be Mapplethorpe’s aesthetic goal). In his works, Mapplethorpe insists on the entire composition, not just the photograph, as being the object – as opposed to merely the subject of the photograph being the sole object. For example, the texture and material of the frame reiterates the subject of the photograph. The goal is to make viewing his works both participatory and confrontational, something he has effectively accomplished with relentless arrogance as seen in his work The Slave. (These two sentences represent the body of the paragraph. Within them, the author explains why she wrote what she wrote in her topic sentence, describing Mapplethorpe’s art and using an example to reiterate her point). Although some of his works have been controversial, Mapplethorpe always managed to produce what he deemed aesthetically important – a powerful and memorable statement presenting two seemingly incompatible qualities: directness and ambiguity. (This is the concluding sentence. The reader should recognize that this is the final sentence of this paragraph because the content summarizes what was written throughout the entire paragraph).

 
When you have finished writing, you should always edit your work. When editing, remember to check that these basic elements are present:

  1. A topic sentence with a controlling idea
  2. Body sentences displaying coherence and unity
  3. A concluding sentence

 
Good Luck!
 
By: Dawn S., On Demand Editor for editorr

Writing

Books for the Grammar-Loving Heart

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There are tons of books out there that can help you improve your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Some do so with humor, which I find attractive when I’m suggesting one to a friend who is not typically interested in such topics. The purpose of these manuals is not to poke fun at those incapable of using commas or apostrophes correctly, rather, it is to promote more accurate and thoughtful communication. The utilization of proper grammar and punctuation allows an author to convey his or her message more precisely.
 
Here is a list of reference books that I have found helpful (some are even good for a laugh):
 
1. Eats, Shoots & Leaves – Lynne Truss goes about her punctuation lessons hilariously. While some might find her to be the stickler to end all sticklers, her sarcastic hyperbole is apparent in lines such as, “If this satanic sprinkling of redundant apostrophes causes no… quickening of the pulse, you should probably put this book down at once.” Or when she refers to the absence of an apostrophe in a possessive as, “…rous[ing] feelings not only of despair but of violence.” Her humor makes this book a fun, unconventional way to brush up on punctuation.

2. The Best Punctuation Book, Period. – June Casagrande is much more formal and to the point, but this is a good thing. Her book is organized into two parts, “Guidelines” (with chapters devoted to individual punctuation marks), and “Punctuation A to Z” (including a table of terms that are often problematic, organized alphabetically). Both sections provide punctuation advice for different styles of writing (e.g., books, news, science, and academic). If you want to know more about the em dash vs the en dash, there is a chapter for each. This is a great grammar reference manual to have on hand.

3. Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen – As former copy editor for the New Yorker, Mary Norris’s memoir and reference guide for grammar and usage is entertaining and will teach you about punctuation and life. She likens her pencil and eraser addiction to that of a food addiction: “I was addicted. They were like Oreos. Soon I was consuming them by the dozen.” With chapters such as, “A Dash, a Semicolon, and a Colon Walk into a Bar,” “Ballad of a Pencil Junkie,” and “F*ck this Sh*t,” you can’t help but love this writer and her take on punctuation.

4. The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need – Susan Thurman has compiled the most important aspects of writing into a handy, accessible guide. This book can be utilized by anyone needing to brush up on the proper use of a hyphen, or where to put a semicolon. Sometimes reviewing basic sentence structure and advice regarding content clarity is exactly the sort of refresher we all need. There are chapters entitled, “Finding the Right Words,” “Writing Better Sentences,” and “Pronoun Problems.” This book is organized so that each and every reader, regardless of his or her skill level, will benefit from its contents.

Have you read any of these? What are your go-to books for all things grammar and punctuation?
 
By: Amber D., On Demand Editor for editorr
scratchthatws.com

Content Editing

Proofreading in a Pinch

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When it comes to proofreading, you usually ask a friend or co-worker to give your memo a once-over. But sometimes you’re in a hurry and you may not have time to seek another set of eyes.

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Here are some tips to clean up your emails, reports, and social media posts when you’re in a pinch:

Run a spell-checker. Sure, we all know that relying solely on spell-check is not a good idea because it cannot discern errors of context, such as “weather/whether,” or “from/form.” However, spell-check identifies minor mistakes that, when left unattended, can make your paper look like crap. The key is to pay attention. For example, spell-check points out extra spaces and punctuation inconsistencies, like a period when there should be a comma (e.g., standard modern usage dictates one space between sentences, not two). Simple errors can kill your credibility, so consider running a spell-checker as your baseline cleaner-upper.

First things first. Be sure to reread, proofread, and read your headline and opening paragraph out loud. Your entire project is important, but a typo or misprint right at the beginning will set you off on the wrong foot.

Print (AKA, kill the trees). If you have access to a printer, go ahead and make a hard copy. Studies have shown that it is much easier to identify spelling and grammar errors on a piece of paper, rather than on a computer screen.

Go larger than life. If you don’t have a printer (or if you are worried about the trees), you will have to do your proofing on a computer monitor. Use the magnify function (labeled “Zoom,” or “View” in Microsoft Word) to increase what you see on the screen to 150% or larger. I typically increase my view to 165% on my 13” MacBook Pro laptop. The larger text allows me to identify and correct more inconsistencies in my content.

Of course, hiring a professional is the most practical and fool-proof answer to proofreading your work. An expert lends credibility to your writing and can save you time and energy. You hire a hairdresser to pretty-up your hairdo when you have a special event. You take your car to the mechanic when it’s time for repairs. Why not seek a grammar and spelling authority to present the best version of yourself on paper?

 

By: Jennifer K., On Demand Editor for editorr
overtheshoulderproofreading.com