August 2012  
UpWrite Press Writing eTips

Test Your Writing Acumen

Do you know how to spell the plural forms of words ending in “y”? Today’s quiz looks at some of these plurals. In each of the following sentences, select the correct word from the pair in the parentheses.

  1. I want to ride one of those (trolleys, trollies) when we’re in San Francisco.
  2. One of my office (duties, dutys) is to update the conference calendar.
  3. Our house has two (chimnies, chimneys).
  4. My classroom has four (Jennies, Jennys), making for a lot of confusion.
  5. Two (attornies, attorneys) met me at the door to my office.
  6. We discovered two corporate (spys, spies) in our midst.

The answers can be found at the end of this newsletter.

Reviewing the Writing Process

From time to time, it helps to review the writing process, going over the basic steps to good writing and clear communication. We’ll take a closer look at each step in upcoming newsletters.

  • Prewriting. During this step, you prepare your ideas and find the focus of your writing. Consider who your readers are and what they need to know. Do your research, gather information, create an outline that organizes your ideas in a logical way, and determine the best format for your writing.
  • Drafting. This step involves putting your ideas on paper, using your outline as a guide. Don’t worry so much about being perfect. Just get all your ideas down in writing.
  • Revising. Next, take the time to perfect what you’ve written. Read through your words and begin rearranging, adding or eliminating information, and tightening your syntax. Establish your voice and check for its continuity throughout the piece.
  • Refining. Finally, fine-tune your work, perfecting your grammar and mechanics in order to present a correct, neatly designed document.

To become a better communicator, use this process for everything you write.

You can find more on writing persuasive messages beginning on page 71 in Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing and Communicating in the Workplace.

Trainer Tips

We have talked before about the importance of using visual aids in a training session. The best visuals create an immediate impact. This means, for example, using slides that clearly demonstrate your point pictorially or graphically, with very few words. You don’t want the audience reading the presentation from your slides. Wordy slides get boring quickly and negate the power of the picture. If your visual aid is a physical item—a piece of machinery or a product—be sure to pass it around. This gives your audience a reference point for any other information you may add about it. Incorporating a hands-on element in a presentation is sure to boost your listeners’ retention.

That Little Extra

How green is your office? You probably have energy-saving electronics and low-watt lighting, but remember to keep doing the little things that can make a big difference: Turn off your lights when you’re not in your office; set your thermostat lower in the winter and higher in the summer; and remember that green plants are not only pretty, but practical, cleaning the air as they raise your spirits.

   

August Writers' Forum Topic

Here’s your chance to tell us how your work environment operates. Send us your responses to the forum question below, and we’ll print the most interesting in our eTips Mid-Month Mini.

This month we have a question for all the managers out there. What is your favorite tip for someone just starting out in management? We’re looking for advice that can help the person ease into the position.

Email your response to writersforum@upwritepress.com. Write “August Writers’ Forum” in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

Answers to This Month’s Quiz

  1. I want to ride one of those (trolleys, trollies) when we’re in San Francisco.
    When a word has a vowel before the final “y,” just add an “s.”
  2. One of my office (duties, dutys) is to update the conference calendar.
    When the final “y” is preceded by a consonant, change the “y” to “i” and add “es.”
  3. Our house has two (chimnies, chimneys).
    When a word has a vowel before the final “y,” just add an “s.”
  4. My classroom has four (Jennies, Jennys), making for a lot of confusion.
    If the word ending in “y” is a proper name, just add an “s.”
  5. Two (attornies, attorneys) met me at the door to my office.
    When a word has a vowel before the final “y,” just add an “s.”
  6. We discovered two corporate (spys, spies) in our midst.
    When the final “y” is preceded by a consonant, change the “y” to “i” and add “es.”

We Want to Hear from You!

This is your chance to be part of the UpWrite Press newsletters and blogs. What writing topics do you want to hear about? Have you any favorite communications tips you’d like to share? What words do you constantly mix up? Send us your ideas and you could see your name in Writing eTips or the Mid-Month Mini.

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Coming in September

Effective Prewriting

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