Federal Plain Language Guidelines

Federal Plain Language Guidelines

Although oriented towards helping U.S. government employees write clear regulations, the Federal Plain Language Guidelines offers great advice for any nonfiction writer. It includes a section on writing content for web sites.

Here are some highlights.

Address one person, not a group. Remember that even though your document may affect a thousand or a million people, you are speaking to the one person who is reading it. When your writing reflects this… [it] has a greater impact.”

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The Elements of Eloquence

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The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase

by Mark Forsyth

The Elements of Eloquence is about “the figures of rhetoric, which are the techniques for making a single phrase striking and memorable… They are the formulas for producing great lines.” Mark Forsyth writes with a sense of humor and he quotes examples from The Beatles, John F. Kennedy, Shakespeare, and Yoda. Continue reading “The Elements of Eloquence”

Everybody Writes

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Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

by Ann Handley

Everybody Writes is a catchy title, although a more accurate one would be Writing Tips for Content Marketing.

Here’s the secret formula: “The multiplication signs are important, because if the value of any one of these things (Utility, Inspiration, or Empathy) is zero, then the sum of your content is a big fat zero, too… Utility x Inspiration x Empathy = Quality Content.” I think she means product—not sum—but I like the idea.

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I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar

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I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar: A Collection of Egregious Errors, Disconcerting Bloopers, and Other Linguistic Slip-Ups

by Sharon Eliza Nichols

This  collection of linguistically impaired signs includes dangling modifiers, apostrophe errors, misspellings, and other amusing misadventures. As a coffee table book, it is sure to get a few laughs.

Here are some examples: Continue reading “I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar”

An Insider’s Guide to Publishing

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An Insider’s Guide to Publishing

by David Comfort

An Insider’s Guide to Publishing is a well-researched dose of reality for aspiring novelists looking to get their work published. Although not mentioned on the cover, the content is specifically for writers of fiction. It is organized into 58 short chapters grouped in 13 parts, making it convenient to read in small increments of spare time. David Comfort demonstrates a sense of humor in his own writing and his selection of quotes from others. Continue reading “An Insider’s Guide to Publishing”

How to Write Short

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How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times

by Roy Peter Clark

“A time-starved culture bloated with information hungers for the lean, clean, simple, and direct… Think of how grateful you are as a listener when the graduation speaker, no matter how powerful, delivers the goods in ten minutes rather than twenty, or, even better, five minutes rather than ten.” Continue reading “How to Write Short”