Stephen Wilbers

Columnist | Effective Writing
Stephen Wilbers teaches seminars in effective business writing. His column appears online every other Monday.

Recent content from Stephen Wilbers

How Rogerian persuasion can turn losers into winners

Are you feeling oppositional these days? If so, you're not alone.

Updated: November 07, 2010, - 03:04 PM

Stop the error. Then break the bad habit.

Make an error once, and you can bet you'll make it again. Why? Habit and generalization.

Updated: October 17, 2010, - 03:24 PM

Stephen Wilbers: I'll get straight to the point after answering this new e-mail

I'll get straight to the point after answering this new e-mail

Updated: October 03, 2010, - 05:00 PM

Sometimes the idiomatic phrase just seems idiotic

In response to my using the expression "Better hit the road," one reader wrote: "I am puzzled. While we know what meaning is being conveyed, my former teacher would have scolded me for using the word hit. She would have asked, 'What did you hit the road with?'"

Updated: September 19, 2010, - 02:35 PM

So you think the comma is pretty minor?

Knowing when to use it around clauses can make your writing stronger, clearer.

Updated: September 05, 2010, - 03:28 PM

With time, compound words often become one

When Confederate soldiers erected a light fence just inside the stockade wall of the Andersonville prison where they were holding captured Union soldiers, they were participating in one of the most common and natural features of language. "Stay away from the wall. Step over the fence and you'll be shot," they told their prisoners.

Updated: August 29, 2010, - 06:43 PM

In a job search look outside, then inside

If you're lucky enough to have a job, you've probably written a self-evaluation for your annual job performance review. If you're unemployed or underemployed, you've no doubt written a letter of application -- or maybe dozens of them.

Updated: August 15, 2010, - 03:23 PM

Avoid the experts' most common error in PowerPoint

A funny thing happened to me on the way to writing this column.

Updated: August 01, 2010, - 03:46 PM

Proper word choice can be a matter of principle

Which is the correct word choice in the following sentences?

Updated: July 18, 2010, - 03:30 PM

Go with the flow in parallel structure

What could be worse than making a mistake, projecting it on a large screen, standing before an audience and pointing to the error? It's an awkward situation, one that often occurs with PowerPoint presentations.

Updated: July 05, 2010, - 12:11 PM

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