Stephen Wilbers

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

Recent content from Stephen Wilbers

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

Wilbers: When writing to a hostile reader, take an indirect approach

Before you touch that keyboard, ask yourself whether your reader is sympathetic or hostile to your message. And then apply...

Updated: October 06, 2013, - 02:00 PM

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