As more traffic comes from mobile devices, it's helpful to consider how editing choices affect reader engagement. As you know, people don't read the same way on mobile phones as they do on a desktop computer (or the same way they read a print magazine or newspaper, for that matter). Think about how you consume … Continue reading 6 tips for editing mobile content
Here's a question I get a lot: Should I capitalize "the" in publication and organization names? And here's my answer: It depends on the official name of the publication or organization. In general, capitalize "The" if the publication or organization does in its official name. (If the name does not start with "the," add a … Continue reading When to capitalize “the” in publication and organization names
As writers, we know how important word choice is, and even subtle changes in wording can make a big difference in the message we send. And sometimes, our words may send the wrong message, even if that wasn't our intention. It's probably obvious that we should avoid overtly offensive, defamatory language that targets groups or … Continue reading Use inclusive language
Now that births, weddings and other royal milestones are in the news again, here's an AP style refresher on nobility titles. Capitalize king, queen, prince and princess when they are used directly before one or more names; lowercase them when they stand alone. Prince Harry is engaged to Meghan Markle. The queen turned 92 last … Continue reading Royally confusing titles
Do you know the difference between farther and further? These words are sometimes used interchangeably in spoken conversation, and some dictionaries acknowledge some overlapping of the two. But the Associated Press Stylebook and other style guides draw a distinction: Farther refers to physical or spatial distances. The sun is farther from Earth than the moon is. I ran … Continue reading What’s the difference between “farther” and “further”?
Planning its stealthy attack from afar, a cheetah locks its eyes on its prey before racing toward it at speeds of up to 70 mph. So, is the cheetah honing in on or homing in on its target? You've probably heard both expressions. But which is correct? The right answer is to home in on, … Continue reading Is it “hone in on” or “home in on”?
You've probably heard this advice before, but it bears repeating: Write with stronger verbs (action words), instead of adding adverbs. The right verb can do the job of both the verb and the adverb, making your writing more powerful, engaging, concrete and concise. Adverbs, on the other hand, are often unnecessary. Adverbs describe the way … Continue reading Why most adverbs are unnecessary
A few months ago, I wrote about why you shouldn't follow the made-up rule to never start a sentence with and or but. This week, I'm defying your grade-school teacher again. You've likely heard the old-fashioned maxim to never end a sentence in a preposition (such as after, at, before, for, in or through). Although … Continue reading Can you end a sentence in a preposition?
We have only a few seconds to capture and retain readers' attention. That's why it's so important for the lede or intro to be clear and compelling: We want people to keep reading, engage with our content and, in many cases, go on to buy a product. There are several ways to engage readers in … Continue reading Lead off right
I've mentioned the importance of avoiding fallacies, which are errors in logic that weaken an argument. By eliminating them, we strengthen our statements and gain readers' trust. In a previous tip, I covered one type of fallacy, called hasty generalization. Today, I'll highlight another: post-hoc. A post-hoc argument assumes a direct cause-and-effect relationship between two … Continue reading What is ‘post-hoc’? Strengthen your writing by avoiding this fallacy