The Wordsworks Blog

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Keep it simple like Leonardo

Writing tips|

When he wasn't busy painting masterpieces or inventing helicopters, all-round-Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci found was one of the leading thinkers of his day.

What’s your favourite headline ever?

General musings|

We've been doing some work on headline writing in our workshops recently. It reminded me of the story behind one of our favourite ever headlines …

Accessing new jargon

General musings, Writing tips|

What is it with the word 'access' all of a sudden? You can't move these days without people 'accessing' education, 'accessing' information on the web, 'accessing' resources in the library, or 'accessing' lists of annoying words.

Should it be spelt with a ‘c’ or an ‘s’?

Write words, Writing tips|

English is renowned for its quirky, often logic-defying spelling rules. Gives it character, a mark of our mongrel heritage, we're told. It doesn't make it any easier to write, though. One common area of confusion is when seemingly the same word has two spelling variations - one with a 'c', and one with an 's'.

Stick to the rule of three

Write words|

They say three's company (don't they? It might be two, but for our sakes, let's say three), and when it comes to fluid, high impact writing, three is certainly the magic number. The rule of three is simple. It says that when you're describing something - the features of a new service or the benefits of a new product - a list of three characteristics is always the most effective.

Getting your message across clearly and concisely

Writing tips|

Good writing is all about clarity - getting your message across clearly and concisely. But in the wrong hands, words can often cloud, rather than clarify, the intended message.

Try to align your tone with your brand

Business writing, Writing tips|

One of the key purposes of business writing is to write in a way that reinforces your brand. It's also one of the main areas where much business writing often fails. If your brand is about dynamism, energy and modern thinking, your writing needs to support that. So that means using appropriate language, tone and structure.

Is the web making us lazy?

Writing tips|

Isn't the web great? There are all sorts of great writing tips out there. I came across this excellent - and funny - article about writing for the web. It cocks a bit of a snoop at some of the web-writing theories about how people read online.

Why bullet points make sense for clearer writing

Writing tips|

Some of the most effective tools for clearer business writing are so obvious we tend to overlook them. Take bullet points, the unsung heroes of the print world.

Make your key points first

Writing tips|

Readers - like all of us - are busy people. They want to know if and why they should continue reading your text. So in your copywriting, you need to grab their interest quickly, and not make them read through several lines of secondary information before you get to the point.

Will politicians cut the jargon?

General musings, Writing tips|

With a general election on the horizon, will politicians finally get the message that clarity trumps jargon every time?

How to write a headline that grabs attention

Writing tips|

We were doing one of our writing workshops in London earlier this month. One of the most illuminating exercises we do is headline appraisal. May sound dull, but it's actually good fun. We take a bunch of headlines from local, national and trade press, and discuss what makes some of them work and why some of them just leave us cold.