9

five and a half years No hyphens. Hyphens are for adjective phrases: It was a five-and-a-half-year journey. You also don't use the hyphen with the fraction. 51⁄2 years


8

There are two elements of a quote for which clarity is far more important than friendliness: The description of your services. The statement of your fees. If you like, make everything else in your message friendly. But write the description of your services clearly. Then write a short line like this: My fee for these services is $100. None of that "I ...


6

Good morning XXX, I wanted to touch base with you about the status of your article for the newsletter. Please advise whether you will be able to send it to me by the end of the week. If it doesn't work with your schedule, that's fine; I just need to know one way or the other for planning purposes. Thanks! Regards, [your name]


6

I don't think that gender and middle names are a very big deal these days. Some of the biggest bestsellers have been written by females (with distinctly female names), and I doubt that there's much of a bias. Same goes for middle names - most book covers don't even mention them. I suppose if you are writing a ridiculously sappy, romantic novel about angsty ...


6

Not sure what you meant about saying this "in reverse", but possible variations: "It is with regret that I have to inform you ..." "It is with great sadness that I have to inform you ..." "I'm sorry to have to let you know ..."


6

I liked this question - writing letters is a professional use of writing skills, but it's becoming rare to the point of looking like a lost art. The norm (UK, at least) always used to be that if the letter began "Dear Sir / Madam" it would end with "Yours faithfully", while a salutation of "Dear Mr. Smith" would give the valediction "Yours sincerely". ...


5

Your question 1 is too long, but where you should break it is not where you broke it. The information about the professor is a sidenote and is a parenthetical remark if ever I saw one. Also, you can't "carry out" a degree, and "I hold a degree that was earned" is verbose; "I earned my degree" would be more concise. So my suggestion is: I earned my math ...


5

There are probably about as many ways to write a CV as there are people who have ever read or written at least one. You might want to include at least also an e-mail address in the contact details section. One thing you would put into the Additional section (unless you add a specific section for it) is any (professional) references. I simply wrote a fairly ...


5

I would respond negatively to this. The message says nothing about what attracted you to the recipient, or what would attract the recipient to you. I have received such messages. They indicate no knowledge of me beyond my name and my having a LinkedIn account. I interpret such messages to mean that my profile has matched some sort of automated keyword ...


5

Pretend you are writing an email, and that the recipient will read it as plain text. "To put spacing between sections, hit 'enter' instead of using the space bar.... To highlight subheadings, use all caps. In lieu of bullet points, use "-" or "*" characters" (How to Format a Resume for Online Applications). (You can also use "+".) See if you can find an ...


5

I've done this sort of thing as part of evaluating technologies. It's usually cast as an evaluation, covering both benefits and weaknesses, rather than just weaknesses. I suggest getting clarification on whether to address benefits too. The purpose of such a document is to help people make informed decisions about technologies or designs they don't fully ...


5

Most résumés seem to solve this issue by creating bullet points and starting each bullet point with the verb.


4

If there is a tight deadline, as you seem to have, I always follow the sentence containing the deadline information with another sentence that says something like, "If you foresee a problem with replying by tomorrow, please let me know that as soon as possible." This gives them a chance to tell you that the deadline is not feasible for them.


4

"Persuasiveness" is highly subjective. I can't imagine how you would measure it other than to perform an experiment with real people. You didn't say what the subject of your paper is, which is probably good because that helps us to discuss the question of persuasiveness without being biased by whether or not we agree with you. I know of three basic ...


4

Buying guides, including reviews and prices, are not uncommon, with the quintessential example (at least in the US) being Consumer Reports, a monthly product-review magazine (with web site). Local laws may vary, of course. Since this is a "small localised list", perhaps there is a matter of etiquette involved. If you live in a smaller town where people ...


4

That would be the "author bio" Here are some links that may be of use: http://www.rachellegardner.com/2011/07/how-to-write-a-terrific-author-bio/ http://www.absolutewrite.com/freelance_writing/bio.htm


4

You can try to "rubber duck". Explain what you need to convey out loud to someone not in the know or even to a rubber ducky from the bathtub. Then write it down. When still unsure, wait a day and read it back to see if the text still makes sense. Keep at it, talk about it, it is a learn-able skill!


4

The problem you're having is in attaching the final clause: NAME is...that helps...by rating...and helps... . When the reader gets to the "and" he's expecting it to bind to the "by" -- NAME helps by doing two things, rating and...helping. But the next word is "helps", which doesn't fit that pattern. So the reader has to mentally backtrack and conclude ...


4

It depends upon the content of the letter. Just "Thanks," alone can sound off key if there is nothing obvious for which thanks to the reader is warranted, or too light-hearted when providing serious information. "Sincerely," is (to me) taking on an emotional component of a personal relationship to emphasize feelings. In professional communications no such ...


3

Short answer: If the font is easily readable, then it's fine. I wouldn't obsess over this. I'm sure psychologists and marketing people and psychics are convinced that choice of font has profound implications on the effect your material has on readers. Personally, I doubt it. Unless the font is unusual enough to stand out, unless readers see the font and ...


3

First, ask yourself if all the illustrations are necessary (i.e. are these screen captures illustrating a screen with one button on them?). The reader is going to be very annoyed having to flip back and forth between the procedure and the diagram. I don't have any links to show you for that, but I've done actual testing with users and the overwhelming ...


3

Writer's block is probably part of it, but another part is just knowing how to make ideas and words flow grammatically. I noticed you had a few minor mistakes in grammar, such as that you should have said, "when it comes to speaking in English," and "I consider myself to be at an intermediate level." (Although I would've said "I think I'm at an..." because ...


3

Just a reminder: I need your feedback by this Tuesday, 10 April, before 2pm. Thanks!


3

If your first language isn't English and you write your CV in English, find a native speaker who can correct your errors. English CVs start listing the previous jobs/education with the newest topic (your last job) and go down to the oldest (where you went to school). In Germany, for example, it's the other way around. But you do not have to follow that ...


3

Your next step is to start editing yourself. First up: clean out those clichés, redundant words, and worn-out filler phrases you're relying on without even noticing. To wit: ...and started a blog site in order to become a better writer and communicator. ..and started to blog to improve my writing. I'd like to figure out how exactly I can improve ...


3

Looks like you're already following the One Big Law of becoming a good writer: Write! :-) So, with that out of the way, I have a few ideas to contribute. These are in no particular order though they are interrelated. And, of course, all standard disclaimers apply: 1) Find a local writing group to join that can critique your work. You say you miss feedback, ...


3

When you're looking for a job, you have (a) your skills, which is what you offer the company, and (b) your professional desires, which is what the company offers you. Examples: A graphic designer who (a) can work in print and on the web wants to (b) get more experience in creating responsive websites. A journalist who (a) has covered sports and local ...


3

In CMOS 16th edition, section 9.29 (Numbered divisions in legal instruments) comes (as best I can determine) to answering my question: "Arabic or roman numerals are sometimes used to distinguish divisions within legal instruments and other documents. ... A mixture of arabic and roman numerals sometimes distinguishes small from larger divisions." The ...


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