Bob’s Tips for Wrighting Good

Writing Tip 1: In diction, strive for the vernacular and endemic; in other words, refrain from using lexemes, locutions, et hoc genus omne not of high frequency in standard English corpora, and avoid terminology of excessive length or technicality or peculiar derivation when alternatives more accessible ton koinó ánthropo are readily available.

Writing tip 2: Let me just say that it is not simply the firm belief of the present author but is more generally accepted to be the case by authors everywhere that, as discerning stylists writing in English (and, indeed, in other languages) have noted, in order to ensure ease of understanding on the part of your reader and/or auditors, it has been found and is doubtless true, if you think about it, that avoidance of excessive wordiness, or pleonasm, and especially of the sort that involves unnecessary self reference or reference to the reader or use of stock phrases that add no additional information or repetition or redundancy in the expression of that which is intended to be conveyed, per se, (the message or theme or denotative object, that is) has, as it were, a salutary, or, even,as is sometimes said and may here be productively recapitulated, a salubrious effect upon the overall, or general, style, qua style, of the work being effected by the communicator for interpretation or explication by the communicatee.

Writing tip 3: And, of course, avoid beginning a sentence with a coordinating conjunction. Or ending one with a preposition, something many editors will not put up with.

Wrighting tip 4: All ways proofread carefuly.

Writing tip 5: And no sentence fragments.


For more pieces by Bob Shepherd on teaching literature and writing, go here:

For more humor by Bob Shepherd, go here:

For short stories and essays on fiction by Bob Shepherd, go here:

For poetry and essays on poetry by Bob Shepherd, go here:


About Bob Shepherd

interests: curriculum design, educational technology, learning, linguistics, hermeneutics, rhetoric, philosophy (Continental philosophy, Existentialism, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics), classical and jazz guitar, poetry, the short story, archaeology and cultural anthropology, history of religion, prehistory, veganism, sustainability, Anglo-Saxon literature and language, systems for emergent quality control, heuristics for innovation
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1 Response to Bob’s Tips for Wrighting Good

  1. Pingback: On Editing and Being Edited | Bob Shepherd | Praxis

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