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

Wilbers: Use strong action verbs to drive home your point

The verb is the engine that drives the sentence.In “The tracks made a line in the snow,” the engine lacks...

Updated: February 23, 2014, - 02:00 PM

Use two natural stress points in your sentences for emphasis

Beginnings and endings count more than middles.Consider this sentence: “I have never felt more frustrated.” The intensity of that statement...

Updated: February 09, 2014, - 02:00 PM

Wilbers: Maintain parallel structure for consistency, clarity and emphasis

Normally I don’t leave snowy Minnesota in the heart of Nordic ski racing season, but this year I made an...

Updated: January 26, 2014, - 02:00 PM

Wilbers: A good manager is someone who cares and communicates

What is your definition of a good manager?When I ask participants in my writing seminars that question, I often hear...

Updated: January 12, 2014, - 02:00 PM

Wilbers: Send a goodwill message to make someone happy this year

There’s a lot of stress going around these days. Plenty to be unhappy about.Just take a look at your inbox,...

Updated: December 29, 2013, - 02:00 PM

Wilbers: You can't use the active voice until you get to the transitive

The last time I gave a presentation, we had so much fun discussing the active voice that no one wanted...

Updated: December 15, 2013, - 02:00 PM

Wilbers: Follow eight rules for numbers for consistency and precision

“There are three rules for writing a novel,” W. Somerset Maugham once wrote. “Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are.”If I...

Updated: December 01, 2013, - 02:00 PM

The active voice is usually, but not always, the better choice

Which is better: the active voice or the passive voice?Compare “I let go of the Cessna’s strut and prayed my...

Updated: November 17, 2013, - 02:00 PM

Wilbers: Lessons learned from writing 900 columns on effective writing

With this, my 900th column, I can’t help asking myself why I’ve stayed with it this long. If you’ve been...

Updated: November 03, 2013, - 02:00 PM

Wilbers: Avoid overly formal language to make yourself approachable

“As per your request, attached please find …”If you asked me to identify the most clichéd sentence in on-the-job writing,...

Updated: October 20, 2013, - 02:00 PM

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