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Her pencil drew what 'er her soul designed, and oft the happy draft surpassed the image in her mind
John Dryden, 1631-170
English poet/translator

Writing series

Stephen Wilburs' lessons learned

 from 200 Columns on Writing

Techniques and strategies for writing:
Stephen Wilburs' reflections or blog on writing

  • Writing helps clarify your thinking:
    You don't really know what you think until you write it
  • Writing on a regular basis makes you a better writer:
    Like anything else, the more you practice, the better you get
  • Deadlines can be helpful;
    They can give you the energy and concentration you need to write
  • Length limits are good for your style:
    Eliminating wordiness improves your emphasis and impact
  • Good writing is edited writing:
    You never outgrow your need for a good editor
  • Letting your first draft "rest,"
    will help you edit it more effectively:

    Certain problems become obvious if you allow time to pass between drafting and editing
  • Some stages of writing are inefficient and sloppy:
    Accepting the imperfection of the first draft is a wonderful freedom
  • Making it fun keeps it fresh:
    As with most things, a column on business writing doesn't need to be dry and boring
  • Writing counts:
    Writing is a reflection of your personality and style,
    a statement of your professional standards.
    It counts as much as anything else you do
A digest of Stephen Wilbers' "Effective Writing" column 
as printed in the Business Section, Minneapolis Star Tribune,
Friday, February 23, 1996. Digested with permission.

Writing assignments

Writing for the "Web" | The five-paragraph essay | Essays for a literature class |
Expository essays | Persuasive essays | Position papers | Open book exams |
Essay Exams | White papers | Lab reports/scientific papers |
Research proposals | Elements of a Research Paper
Seven stages of writing assignments | "Lessons learned"