Improving Your Writing Class Notes

Improve Your Writing Class Notes

Instructor: Mark Zeid; email—;



Lesson 1

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is your class. Let me know what you want to learn of do. I can easily change and modify the lessons.

 Reasons for poor writing




Layout (e.g. font: Times New Roman; font size: 12; typing errors)


Four books for writing



Grammar textbook

Style book

***Two important things to remember about writing: Remember your audience, and remember why you are writing the document.

For example, why are you writing about a problem with an appliance? Is it to notify readers of an issue, to present a solution, or to just vent?

***In business, it’s always better to present a problem when you have a possible solution.

Zeid’s Rules

These are simply rules I have made up based on my experience in the business world. I present these rules as advice or good practices in the world of business communication. There is no particular order or rank of importance because these are tailored to the situation. Here they are. I do hope you find them useful.

Never reply when angry – we often get email messages or memos from others that upset us. There is nothing wrong with writing out a reply expressing your anger, but do it on a word document, then destroy it. Don’t vent in business communications. Take a day or two to calm down before replying.

Always be professional – no profanity – the use of profanity and insults really have no place in business communications. Arguments backed by logic and facts carry much greater weight. Also, the use of profanity and insults loses you creditability, regardless of how right you are.

One plus three read your message – whenever you write a letter or email message, realize that many others, in addition to the person you send it to, will read the message. Think of every message going to one person who will show it at least three other people. This will make you think carefully how you are wording the message.

Think twice about emojis – these aren’t professional. Remember, others are going to read the message. Do you want them to see your emojis?

Follow up and respond – what’s the status – when someone sends you a message, especially if that person asked you to do something, let him or her know you got the message and what action you are taking. People are a lot more understanding if they know you are taking care of them.

Don’t sound psycho – too many people rant, especially on social media, or they make a statement without explaining what they mean. Think before writing and make sure you statements make sense, especially to those who are not familiar with the issue

Read the whole email chain, but don’t resend the chain if it isn’t necessary – read the entire email chain instead of just the last entry. Often the questions you have are already answered. If this email chain is on a social media bulletin board, don’t resend the entire chain with lots of comments unless it is necessary. Usually, it is not.

Don’t forget attribution – if you are telling me something, especially some fact, let me know where you got that information. Knowing the source of the information helps me evaluate what is written. A lack of attribution hurts your creditability.

During disasters – use texting and instant messaging instead of calling people on the phone. During disasters, phone lines, including cell towers, are overwhelmed. You probably won’t get through. However, text message take less energy and usually do get through.

Let the phone ring – while just about everyone has a cell phone, not everyone is carrying it when you call. Many people have it in a purse or backpack or in their pocket. Sometimes it’s in another room. Let the phone ring at least six times before hanging up. Letting it ring twice and then hanging up is just rude.

Speak slowly and clearly when leaving a message – if you leave a message on voice mail, think about the person on the other end. Give that individual the opportunity to write down your name and phone number, especially if the person doesn’t know you.

Always send a cover letter – never send forms, data, etc. without explaining what the person is supposed to do with them. And always mention all enclosures in the message part of the cover letter.

Once you lose credibility, you will never get it back. If you lie, take credit for someone else’s work, resort to insults and profanity; you lose creditability. Once it’s gone, you will never regain it.

Remember your audience – every letter, email message, report, etc. is written not for you; but for your audience. The goal of communication is to get your message to the audience, not to boost your ego.

Avoid using acronyms – the use of acronyms often creates a barrier between you and your audience. If your audience doesn’t know what the acronym means, then they see you as being arrogant and condescending. They stop trying to understand your message. This means you have wasted your time, because they aren’t listening.

Ten Keys to Writing Success

A report by Mark Zeid on a presentation by Chuck Sambuchino

  1. Always write the best thing you can.
  2. Know what you are getting into before getting into it.
  3. Build your writer’s platform.
  4. Keep moving forward and don’t let rejections stop you.
  5. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  6. Write for love and write for money.
  7. Don’t believe everything you hear.
  8. Don’t let agents reject your manuscript for the following two reasons. The first reason is nothing happens on the first page. The second reason is too much information too soon.
  9. Steal from yourself.
  10. Put down the TV remote.

Every writer wants to know the key to becoming a success. At a writers’ conference in Atlanta, Georgia, Chuck Sambuchino, a writer for Writers Digest, gave us a list of his ten keys to becoming a writing success.

First, always write the best thing you can. His point being many writers become impatient and grow tired of a project, so they hurry to finish and send it off. Sambuchino’s suggestion is instead, put the project aside, work on something else, and return to the project after taking a break from it. One issue with this is “What if I have a deadline?” I wrote many articles for magazines, and they always had deadlines. What I noticed was good writers gave themselves enough time to write, set the article aside for a few days, and return to it before the deadline.

Second, know what you are getting into before getting into it. It’s important to know the issues, problems, and process of traditional publishing versus self-publishing. This applies to any writing project. For example, if you want to submit a short story with a Christmas theme, you need to realize the story will be edited and printed in a publication months before Christmas. The vetting process for the story to reach the editor will be months before that. The best time to send in the story is not in November, but in the spring.

The third point is build your writer’s platform.  (Focus on building a support network of people to help you with proofreading and editing.) The goal is to get as many people as possible to know who you are. Using social media is now becoming a must for any writer. Also, membership in professional, social, and veteran organizations is encouraged. It is important to remember membership is not enough. You need to be active and get your name out there. One reason famous people have best sellers is because the public recognizes the name. The more people know who you are, the better luck you will have in selling you writing. A personal example is my wife, who got commissioned to write a language textbook because of her social platform.

For his fourth point, he stressed to keep moving forward and don’t let rejections stop you.  (Constructive criticism is useful. Still look for people who will give you the tools and support you need to complete your project.) I have written hundreds of articles and I still get rejections. There are many reasons why a publisher or editor will not accept your project. You can’t let it stop you from writing. Sambuchino recommended joining a writers’ critique group. This will not only help you improve your writing, but also give you encouragement and motivation to continue writing.

The fifth point was don’t put all your eggs in one basket. His advice here was to keep writing and don’t limit yourself to just one project. He is not suggesting jumping from one project to another without completing any of them. The idea is not to put all of one’s energy and resources into a single project. Write articles, short stories, letters, novels, etc. Often a writer will have limited success with one project, but great success with others. For me, I had hundreds of articles published, before I got a novel published. While working on my novels, I continued to write articles and get published.

For his sixth point, Sambuchino says write for love and write for money. There is nothing wrong with writing for money to cover living expenses while writing things you enjoy. I work for the government writing technical documents. It’s a job. I don’t hate it, but it’s not my life’s dream either. I write these technical manuals to pay the rent while working on my novels.

The seventh point is don’t believe everything you hear. The main point here is to educate yourself about the industry. Go to conferences, talk to agents and editors, try things yourself, talk to other writers, and read books and articles about the industry. Learn things yourself instead of relying on second-hand information. It is important to note that other writers’ experiences may provide you with ideas and encouragement; not every book follows the same path. For example, my wife wrote and got a textbook published. She did free-lance work as a translator which led to her being commissioned by a publisher to write a language textbook within 90 days. This is extremely unusual, but it proves the point that everyone’s experience is unique.

Point number eight is don’t let agents reject your manuscript for the following two reasons.  (Find out what the boss wants.) The first reason is nothing happens on the first page. It’s not compelling; there is no desire to keep reading. The first page should introduce one of the following: tension, a problem, conflict, or trouble. Make the reader curious as to what is happening. The second reason is too much information too soon. Too often writers tell the back story or describe the characters in detail. A good way to avoid this is to tell the back story in dialogue later in the story and limit any description of a character to a single sentence. One article I wrote was about a chemical substance that changes from a solid to a kind of goo, which can help keep buildings cool or warm. Starting with that kind of sentence is boring. Instead, I started with, “An ice cube may hold the answer to heating your home.” It seemed strange and therefore encouraged people to read the entire article.

For Sambuchino’s ninth point, he recommends stealing from yourself. Many times, you write something great for one story, but the story itself doesn’t work. However, that passage will work great in another story. Many writers will write short passages, even though they don’t have a complete story; but later will find a place to use the material. I write lots of letters, and often an incident I wrote about in a letter can be used in one of my novels.

The last and most important point is quite simple. Put down the TV remote. In short, make time for writing. Every successful writer makes time for his or her writing. Hemingway, who spent a lot of time on his hobbies and drinking, made it a point to write every morning from seven to noon. While it was just five hours a day, it was time when he focused on writing. Sambuchino quoted Michael Jordan who said, “If you put in the hours, the results will come.” From personal experience I know finding time to write when you work full time is difficult. I spend an hour each day, during lunch, working on my novels. I may write only 600 or 700 words, but I am writing, and by the end of a week, I have written at least 3,000 words. That’s a good chunk of writing.

In short, there is no magic trick or shortcut that will make you a success. It takes work and dedication, but the rewards are worth it. Ask any writer and that person will tell you there is a great deal of satisfaction and pride when you see your name in print as the author, regardless of the number of copies sold.


Read authors you like and notice what you like about their books. When you read a bad book, take note of what you don’t like and why. Learn from bad writing.


What are the eight parts of speech?

What are the six wh questions?

What problems do you have with your writing?


What are the eight parts of speech?

Noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, conjunction, preposition, interjection

What are the six wh questions?

Who, what, when, where, why, and how

What problems do you have with your writing?

Reading over my mistakes

Lesson 2—Vocabulary


Nominative / Possessive determiner / Object pronouns / Possessive

I                   my                            me                    mine

You               your                          you                   yours

He                his                            him                   his

She               her                            her                    hers

It                  its                             it                      its

We                our                            us                     ours

You               your                          you                   yours

They             their                          them                 theirs

Writing assignment

Malik Faisai Akram held four people hostage at Temple Beth Shalom in Colleyville, Texas. What do you think will happen because of this? The Jewish Community; the Islamic Community; the terrorist community; the American Community? How are you reacting to this? What actions will you take?

Words that don’t exist


The correct term is “regardless” meaning without paying attention to the situation.

Incorrect: Irregardless of who pays, I’m not going.

Correct: Regardless of who pays, I’m not going.


The correct spelling is “all right.”

Incorrect: It’s alright if you’re late.

Correct: It’s all right if you’re late.


It is not “alot” but “a lot”

Incorrect: There is alot of bananas in the bowl.

Correct: There is a lot of bananas in the bowl.

Correct: There are lots of bananas in the bowl.

***based off

The correct phrase is “based on” not “based off.” Remember things with a base are on the base

Incorrect: Based off the weather report, our picnic is canceled.

Correct: Based on the weather report, our picnic is canceled.


The word “nother” is a dialect of the word “another.” In writing, use the proper form.

Incorrect: I want nother piece of pie.

Correct: I want another piece of pie.

How to sound illiterate

***its vs. it’s

The word “it’s” is a contraction of “it is.” The word “its” shows possession.

It’s the cat’s dinner.

Give the cat its dinner.

***to vs. too vs two

The word “to” is a preposition indicating movement or action, while “too” is a synonym for also or an adverb meaning more than desired. The word “two” is a number.

I’m going to the bank.

I’m going there too.

I need to make two stops before then.

***there vs. their vs. they’re

Their is a possessive adjective meaning people own something.

They’re is a contraction for they are.

There is an adverb indicating a specific place or position.

There is the school my two boys go to.

They’re going to school five days a week.

They ride their bicycles to school.

***your vs. you’re

The word “you’re” is a contraction of you are, while “your” is a possessive pronoun.

I hope you’re going to the banquet.

Is that your coat and hat.

***then vs. than

Than is used to compare two things, while then refers to when an action takes place.

This hotel is more expensive than that hotel.

I went to the hotel, then I went to the banquet.

***insure vs. ensure vs. assure

To assure is to promise or say something with confidence.

To ensure is to make certain.

To insure is to protect against risk by paying an insurance company.

I can assure you the job will be done by Friday.

Please ensure there are enough books for the class.

I need to insure the new car.

***desert and dessert

People often confuse desert, the sandy place, and dessert, the sweet treat. Desert can also mean abandon, such as a deserted town.

Common writing mistakes

***Several years ago, I came across this webpage on the internet. I don’t remember where, but I do know these are common mistakes many writers make.

For all intents and purposes, not for all intensive purposes

A dog eat dog world, not a doggy dog world

All in all, not All and all

Day and age, not day in age

Buck naked, not butt naked 

All for naught, not all for not

A whole different story, or another story, not a whole nother story

Ad nauseum, not At nauseum

Etcetera, not excetera

Safe deposit box, not safety deposit box

Supposedly, not supposably 

Undoubtedly or indubitably, not undoubtable

Should have, not should of

Entitled not intitled or titled – one inherently deserving of special treatment.

Infamous – famous for a negative reason, for doing bad things. George Washington was famous. Bonnie and Clyde were infamous.

Common misuse of vocabulary

***I am always on the lookout for articles about improving a person’s writing and communication ability. Below is a website where I found one such article. I’ve added a few additional comments and edited some of the entries.

Abstain and In Absentia

People often confuse abstain, which means to not do something, with in absentia, which means not present. They often end up combining the two to write abstentia, which is a non-existent word.

Adverse and Averse

Averse means dislike or opposed to. Add a “d” and you get adverse, which means harmful, which is a reason to be opposed to something. People should be averse to the possible adverse effects of using the wrong spelling.

Advice and Advise

These words are often confused, but the difference is simple: advise is a verb and advice is a noun. I’d advise you to make note of this advice.

Affect and Effect

The difference between these two words is a simple matter of cause and effect. Affect is usually a verb, and it means to impact or change, and the effect is the result.

Allusion and Illusion

An allusion is a reference; an illusion is something imagined or deceptive.

Amused and Bemused

Bemused originally meant bewildered or confused, but not in an amusing sense. Bemused, however, sounds so much like amused and has been used mistakenly as a synonym so often that some dictionaries have come to accept this additional meaning.

Aural and Oral

These two have related meanings: aural refers to the ear or hearing, and oral to the mouth or speaking.

Baited and Bated

“With bated breath” means nervously or anxiously; bated is hardly ever used in any other context, and people often wrongly spell it with an “i.” Baited is the past principle of bait, which means to tease or put a trap.

Bear and Bare

Although they are short and simple words, they mean very different things — and each has more than one meaning. Bear can mean carry or endure, bear with someone, or even give birth. It’s also a furry animal. As an adjective, bare can mean uncovered or simple; as a verb it means to expose.

Bazaar and Bizarre

A bazaar is a market. A bizarre bazaar is a strange market indeed.

Berth and Birth

A berth is where a ship moors or a passenger sleeps. Birth can be used as a noun, adjective, and verb in relation to having offspring.

Biannual and Biennial

Biannual means twice a year, while biennial means every two years.

Bloc and Block

Bloc means a group of nations or people united by a common interest. Block has a number of meanings, including prevent, as in block a bloc from working together.

Canvas and Canvass

Canvas is something you paint on or sleep under. To canvass means to solicit votes or support. One “s” makes all the difference.

Capitol and Capital

Capitol refers to a building, specifically, the building where legislators meet. The term ‘Capitol Hill’ refers not to that Washington DC is the capital of our nation, but to the neighborhood that houses the building where Congress meets. Capital is pretty much every other use. It refers to the most important city or the governmental seat of a country, county, state, or other region. It refers to an upper-case letter. And it refers to investment funds.

Censor and Censure

Censor means to remove or suppress content, while censure means to criticize.

Compliment and Complement

Compliment is a verb and noun meaning praise. Complement means goes well with. “My compliments to the chef. The eggs complement the bacon.”

Comprise and Compose

These two words have different meanings depending on whether you are talking about the whole or the parts: “The pizza is composed of dough and cheese and comprises eight slices.” (Some people say “comprised of,” although the “of” is redundant.)

Continuous and Continual

Continuous refers to something that has no end, which is to say that if something continues ad infinitum, it is continuous. Continual refers to something that stops and starts. If you’re on a continuous search for connection, you might be lonely. If your search for connection is continual, then you might be a serial dater.

Council and Counsel

Counsel means advice or the person giving it, whereas a council is a group of people that advises or decides on different matters.

Criteria and Criterion

The difference is simple — criteria is the plural of criterion, although the singular is falling out of use in everyday English.

Discreet and Discrete

Discreet means unobtrusive, low key, whereas discrete means separate, individual. You can have discreet and discrete conversations.

Elicit and Illicit

Elicit means to draw out or evoke. You wouldn’t elicit praise for something that was illicit, however, as that means illegal or unapproved.

Evoke and Invoke

To evoke means to summon or call to mind, while to invoke means to call upon, as in, to invoke a rule of law.

Disinterested and Uninterested

Disinterested means neutral or not having a stake in the outcome, whereas uninterested means you just don’t care.

Faint and Feint

As a verb, to faint means to pass out, while to feint means to fake something, such as an attack. As an adjective, faint means slight or imperceptible.

Fewer and Less

Fewer should be used for things that can be counted, while less should be used for things that can’t be counted or don’t have a plural. Fewer grammar mistakes mean less embarrassment.

Flaunt and Flout

To flaunt means to show off, whereas to flout means to openly disregard a rule. You could flout convention by flaunting your wealth.

Flounder and Founder

To flounder means to struggle whereas to founder means to sink. Of course, flounder is also a fish, and they’re pretty good swimmers, so that might help you remember the distinction between the two. However, founder can also mean someone who builds something up, which is almost the opposite of to sink.

Forbear and Forebear

Forbear is a verb meaning to refrain from something. Forebear is a noun meaning ancestor. You wouldn’t be reading this if your forebears had decided to forbear.

Infer and Imply

To infer means to draw a conclusion, while to imply means to suggest something. Put simply, infer relates to getting information and drawing a conclusion from it, while implying is suggesting information..

Learn and Teach

People sometimes confuse learn and teach. Teachers teach, students learn.


Literally literally means actually, but people often use it when they mean figuratively, which is something entirely different. We’ve all heard statements like, “I literally laughed my head off,” or “I literally died with embarrassment.” These are incorrect.

Moral and Morale

A moral is a lesson you draw from something. Morals are your standards or ethics. Morale is your mental or emotional state. It’s probably good for your morale to be a moral person.

Peak and Peek and Pique

A peak is the top of something, such as a mountain. To peek means to look briefly or glance at. Pique can mean to stimulate interest, but it can also mean to upset somebody. We hope we have piqued your interest and not piqued you.

Perpetrate and Perpetuate

Perpetrate means to commit or carry out something, such as a crime. Perpetuate means to prolong the existence of, possibly forever.

Pored and Poured

To pore means to read or focus on something carefully. I could pour you a drink while you pore over this.

Premier and Premiere

As an adjective, premier means first or most prominent. As a noun, it can be a synonym for prime minister. A premiere is the first time a movie or play is shown. A premier could attend a premiere.

Prescribe and Proscribe

These look-alike words can have opposite meanings. To prescribe means to order or recommend something, as doctors might do. To proscribe means to forbid something, as dictators might do.

Principle and Principal

A principle is a fundamental idea or rule, such as a principle of justice. Principal as an adjective means the most important as in, the principal principle. Principal as a noun means the head of an organization or institution, such as a company or school. The principal should be principled.

Rain and Rein and Reign

Rain falls from the sky; a rein is used to control a horse; and a monarch reigns over a country.

Sank and Sunk

Sank is the past tense of sink, as in the ship sank, while sunk is the past participle, as in the ship has sunk.

Stationary and Stationery

Stationary means standing still, while stationery relates to paper and other office supplies.

Systematic and Systemic

Systematic relates to the process or procedure by which something happens, while systemic means ingrained in the system.


People often say “very unique,” but strictly speaking nothing is very unique. Something is either unique, which means one of a kind, or not — there aren’t degrees of uniqueness.

Poisonous versus Venomous
Poisonous refers to something that is toxic if you eat or drink it. Venomous describes something that is poisonous if it bites you. Snakes can be venomous; they cannot be poisonous.

Infer versus Imply. Infer is on the part of the listener. Imply is on the part of the speaker.

Between versus Among. Between deals with two people or things. Among deals with three or more people or things.

Lay versus Lie
A person does not lay down. A person may lay down a thing. You lay down your book. You lay down the law. Hens lay eggs. If you’re talking about a person lying down in the past tense, then the past tense is lay. If you’re talking about what you did last night, then you laid down. This is not to be confused with the past tense of the word ‘lie,’ when used to refer to a non-truth, in which case the past tense is ‘lied’ as in, ‘He told a lie. Therefore, he lied.’

Sit versus Set
If you’re talking about plunking your bottom in a chair, you want to use the word ‘sit.’ If you’re talking about placing an object, it’s ‘set.’

Shone versus Shown
Shown is the past participle of the word ‘show,’ which is a verb meaning to ‘exhibit’ or ‘present.’ Shone is the past and past participle of the word ‘shine,’ which is a verb meaning ‘to emit light.’

Shone versus Shined
If ‘shone’ is the past tense of ‘shined,’ then why doesn’t anyone say ‘I had my shoes shone yesterday’? The answer is that in modern writing, it’s considered archaic (and therefore, wrong) to use the word ‘shone’ to refer to having shined anything so mundane as shoes, silverware, or windows. That said, it’s perfectly acceptable in modern writing to say that after you shined your shoes, your silverware, or your windows, they shone brightly.

Emigrate versus Immigrate
When you leave your country to permanently live in another, you emigrate. When you arrive in another country to live permanently, you immigrate.

Elicit versus Illicit
Elicit means to draw forth or to coax out. Illicit means improper. To remember which is which, think of the ‘e’ in ‘elicit’ as standing for the ‘e’ in ‘exit.’ If you think there’s something exciting about things that are illicit, consider that ‘illicit’ contains the root, ill.

Continuous versus Continual
Continuous refers to something that has no end, which is to say that if something continues ad infinitum, it is continuous. Continual refers to something that stops and starts. If you’re on a continuous search for connection, you might be lonely. If your search for connection is continual, then you might be a serial dater.

Further versus Farther
Farther refers to actual physical distance, a literal distance, as in ‘My car’s making a funny noise. How much farther is it to the service station?’ Further refers to a figurative distance, as in ‘How much further can this car go before I have to sell it for scrap metal?’

Bring versus Take
You bring things here. You take them there.

Home and Hone
Hone is always a verb. It means to sharpen or make more acute. For example, you can ‘hone’ a skill. Home is a noun also used sometimes as a verb to mean to move in toward a destination or target with accuracy. For example, you can ‘home in on that delicious smell and realize it’s freshly baked cookies.’  Although you might think that you can ‘hone in’ on a target, the proper word is ‘home.’ Remember if you need to add ‘in’ or ‘in on’ after the verb, you probably should be using ‘home.’ If not, then it’s ‘hone.’

Fleshing out versus Flushing out
If you’re talking about adding substance to something, like writing an article you’ve merely outlined, then it’s ‘fleshing out,’ as in adding flesh to bones. If you’re talking about finding something that’s not easily visible, then it’s ‘flushing out’ as in ‘flushing out the enemy.’

Viable versus Feasible
Viable and feasible are often, albeit incorrectly, used interchangeably. However, viable refers to whether something is capable of surviving. Feasible refers to whether an action is possible. Accordingly, a viable candidate must have a feasible plan.

Perquisite versus Prerequisite
Perquisite usually means an extra allowance or privilege. Prerequisite means something that’s required. To remember the difference, think of the film titled The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The ‘perks’ in the title are short for ‘perquisites.’

Pored versus Poured
When you’re talking about studying something intently, use ‘pored,’ as opposed to ‘poured.’ Pouring refers to what you do with a liquid. To help you remember, think of the pores of your skin. To see them, you must ‘pore’ over your face in the mirror.

Regretful versus Regrettable
Regretful means filled with regret. Regrettable means deplorable or unfortunate. Accordingly, one would be regretful over one’s regrettable actions.

Reluctant versus Reticent
These two words have to do with being less than willing to do something. However, reluctant describes unwillingness in general, whereas reticent is used only in reference to speaking. When one is reticent, it means he is reluctant to share his thoughts.

Sensual versus Sensuous
Both words refer to the senses. Sensuous refers to things that relate to the senses or even appeal to the senses. For example, a hand cream can be described as sensuous. Sensual also refers to things that appeal to the senses, but the connotation is erotic. For example, the way one applies their hand cream may be sensual. If you want to describe the lines of a painting, you might use the word ‘sensuous.’ To remember the difference, think of the word ‘sexual,’ which is more similar in spelling to ‘sensual’ than ‘sensuous.’

Appraise versus Apprise
To appraise is to assess the value of something. The word appraise is often used in connection with real estate sales. To apprise is to teach or inform. We at Reader’s Digest always seek to apprise you of what you want and need to know.

Assent versus Ascent
To assent is a verb that means to agree.
Ascent is a noun that refers to a climb, as in ‘the first ascent of Mt. Everest,’ or a liftoff, as in ‘the ascent of the balloon.’

Canvas versus Canvass
Canvas is a type of fabric that tends to be tough and strong.
Canvass is a verb that means to try to ascertain people’s opinions.

Illusion versus Allusion
An illusion is a misleading image or impression, such as an optical illusion. An allusion is a reference to something else, such as a literary allusion.

Defuse versus Diffuse
Defuse is a verb that means to render a bomb non-explosive (by removing the fuse, or otherwise). It can also refer to rendering a situation less dangerous. Diffuse is a verb that means to disperse over a wide area. Diffuse can also be used as an adjective that describes something that is not concentrated (in other words, something that might have been diffused). In the latter case, the word is pronounced with a soft s-sound, like the word ‘so,’ as opposed to a hard s-sound like the word ‘use’

Disassemble versus Dissemble
Disassemble is a verb that means to take something apart. Dissemble is a verb that means to lie.

Disburse versus Disperse
Both disburse and disperse are verbs that involve distributing things. But: disburse means to give or hand over money or funds. Disperse is a verb that means to scatter, and it has nothing to do with money or funds.

Disinterested versus Uninterested
Being disinterested doesn’t mean you’re not interested in something, but rather that you have no bias about it (as in, no personal stake). By contrast, being uninterested means you’re not interested or intrigued by something. If you think your spouse has lost interest, then you’re worried he or she is uninterested (not disinterested).

Eminent versus Imminent
Eminent describes something or someone prominent. Imminent describes something that is about to happen.

Emoticon versus Emoji
Both emoticons and emojis are graphical expressions used in electronic communication. An emoticon is a typographic display intended to suggest a facial expression. For example, the emoticon for a winky-face is a semi-colon followed by a right-parenthesis. An emoji is an actual visual image, and it need not be of a face. Rather, it can be virtually anything.

Remodeling versus Renovating versus Restoring
Remodeling and restoring are terms of art to architects and interior designers, and they mean different things: Remodeling means changing the structure of a space. For example, if you build a second floor on a ranch house, you are remodeling it. Renovating refers to significantly changing a space without changing its structure. For example, if you remove your bathroom fixtures and replace them with new ones, you are renovating the bathroom. If you start moving walls or adding new windows, then you’re remodeling. Restoring means returning a space to its original character or use. For example, removing vinyl siding and repainting the original wood siding of a house is a restoration project.

…versus Refurbishing versus Redecorating
The term refurbishing is a form of renovating. It refers to rebuilding or replenishing with new material. You can refurbish your wood floors as part of a renovation project. Redecorating means changing the character or scheme of a space’s decor. Redecorating is the least structural of all of the aforementioned ‘R’ terms. You can redecorate by bringing in a new sofa or hanging new posters on the wall. Remodeling, renovating, restoring, and refurbishing can involve redecorating.

Judicial versus Judicious
Judicial means ‘connected with a court of law.’ Judicious means ‘wise.’ Here’s a way to remember the difference: Not all judicial decisions are judicious.

Libel versus Slander
Both libel and slander are forms of defamation, which is the making of a statement about someone that is both false and derogatory. Slander is any oral publication of a defamatory statement. Libel is a written publication of a defamatory statement.

Alibi versus Excuse
As a noun, ‘alibi’ refers to proof you were elsewhere when something happened. When someone provides an alibi for you, they are offering that proof. As a noun, ‘excuse’ refers to any explanation of your behavior, it being understood that by offering an excuse, you are essentially admitting to the behavior.

Patent versus Copyright versus Trademark
Created something you think is awesome and you want to make sure you get the credit? If it’s an original invention of some kind, then you’ll want to get a patent. If it’s something you wrote that expresses an idea in a unique way, such as a work of fiction, you’ll want to think about registering the copyright. If it’s a slogan or logo that identifies a product, you’re talking about a trademark.

Nauseous versus Nauseated
Believe it or not, ‘nauseous’ actually doesn’t mean feeling sick to your stomach or afflicted by nausea—that’s nauseated. Technically speaking, every time you say ‘I’m nauseous,’ you’re saying that you cause or inflict nausea, as that’s the actual meaning of ‘nauseous.’ A way to use this word correctly would be, ‘I knew that the milk was rotten when I got a whiff of the nauseous smell coming from the carton.’ Smelling this nauseous rotten milk probably made you feel nauseated. ‘Nauseous’ has been used to mean ‘nauseated’ for so long, however, that many a dictionary editor has come to accept it as another meaning for the word.

Everyday versus Every Day
If you do something seven days a week, you do it every day. ‘Day’ is a noun, and ‘every’ is the adjective that modifies it—two different words. Meanwhile, everyday, as a single word, is an adjective that means commonplace or routine. So, no, you do not brush your teeth everyday. That just doesn’t make sense.

Chronic versus Severe
These two terms are easily confused because both describe extreme medical conditions—but they describe different kinds of medical conditions. Though both severe and chronic conditions are not contagious, ‘severe’ just refers to more extreme, painful versions of common maladies. Chronic conditions must last at least three months, and often last a person’s entire life. Diabetes, asthma, HIV, and cancer are chronic conditions.

Acute versus Severe

Most medical personnel view ‘acute’ as meaning sudden, possibly severe, and requiring immediate medical attention. For example a cut requiring stiches is acute. ‘Severe’ is used to describe to extreme and painful medical conditions which usually require treatment to either cure the malady or comfort the patient.


‘Magnanimous’ means noble of heart, forgiving, and at times generous. It does not mean large or big. ‘That is a magnanimous building’ is incorrect. It is a magnanimous gesture when someone poor donates all of his money to charity.

Lesson 3—Grammar

***Recently I came across two articles on common grammar mistakes. One was written by Morgan Greenwald for Best Life and a second one by Amanda Zantal-Wiener for HubSpot. Here are many of the mistakes they highlighted as well as a few I added.

Misplaced commas

One of the most common comma errors is a comma splice or using a comma to merge two complete clauses when there should be a semicolon or a period.

Incorrect: Beth ate dinner, later she saw a movie.

Correct: Beth ate dinner. Later she saw a movie.

“There’s” and “Here’s”

There’s and here’s are contractions of there is and here is; therefore they are used with singular nouns.

Incorrect: Here’s six new cars.

Correct: Here are six new cars.

Correct: Here’s a new car.

Shortening decades properly

The correct way to shorten decades is to place the apostrophe before the number, not afterwards.

Incorrect: I lived in Asia in the 90s.

Incorrect: I lived in Asia in the 90’s.

Correct: I lived in Asia in the ‘90s.

“That” vs. “Which”

If you can remove a clause from the sentence with changing the meaning of the sentence, then which is the word to use. If it changes the meaning of the sentence, then use that.

Incorrect: For classes which have a lab component, you must pay an extra fee.

Correct: For classes that have a lab component, you must pay an extra fee.

Incorrect: The blue pickup truck, that has automatic transmission, is a great deal.

Correct: The blue pickup truck, which has automatic transmission, is a great deal.

“Affect” vs. “Effect”

Affect is a verb and effect is a noun.

Incorrect: The affects of this new software effects the energy output of the electrical system.

Correct: The effects of the new software affects the energy output of the electrical system.

“Lie” vs. “Lay”

Lay requires a direct object while lie does not. An easy way to remember them: pLAce – because lay involves placing something, and recLIne – because lie involves reclining.

Incorrect: I will lie a pillow on the sofa so that I can lay on it.

Correct: I will lay a pillow on the sofa so that I can lie on it.

“Let’s” vs. “Lets”

Let’s is a contraction of let us, and used in commands and suggestions. Lets is the present tense of the verb let, meaning “to allow.”

Incorrect: If my boss let’s me take off work, lets go to the ball game.

Correct: If my boss lets me take off work, let’s go to the ball game.

“Fewer” vs. “Less”

Fewer is used when items can be counted, such as apples and books. Less is used with singular mass nouns, things that cannot be counted, such as hair and sugar. One easy way to remember is fewer is usually used with nouns that have a plural form by adding “s” or changing letters in the word.

Incorrect: Because I had fewer money, I bought less snacks for the trip.

Correct: Because I had less money, I bought fewer snacks for the trip.

“Many” vs. “Much”

The same rules apply to many and much as with fewer and less. Many is usually used with things that can be counted while much is usually used with thing that cannot be counted.

Incorrect: How many food does it take to feed that much dogs?

Correct: How much food does it take to feed that many dogs?

Add a comma after a state name

When writing the name of a city followed by the state, there should be a comma before and after the state name.

Incorrect: The city of Orlando, Florida has many tourist attractions.

Correct: The city of Orlando, Florida, has many tourist attractions.

“Since” vs. “Because”

Since has two meanings. One is it refers to the cause of an effect. The second is it refers to the time some action began. Because refers only to the cause of an effect or a reason for doing an action.

En Dashes vs. Em Dashes

The en dash “-“ or hyphen, has only two uses: to connect some compound words and to separate numbers. For other uses, such as a break in a sentence, use the em dash “—”.

Incorrect: I’ll mow the lawn today-if I can’t find the time, I’ll have my 12—year—old nephew do it.

Correct: I’ll mow the lawn today—if I can’t find the time, I’ll have my 12-year-old nephew do it.

Forgetting an Apostrophe

With an apostrophe, a noun becomes a possessive; but without one, it’s just a plural form of the noun.

Incorrect: This is Bobs book and that one is Shirleys.

Correct: This is Bob’s book and that one is Shirley’s.

i.e. vs. e.g.

These two abbreviations do not mean the same thing. First, “i.e.” means “that is” or “in other words.” But “e.g.” means “for example.”

Who vs. That

Who is for a person, and that is for a thing.

Incorrect: Bob is the person that sits at that desk.

Correct: Bob is the person who sits at that desk.

Who vs. Whom vs. Whose vs. Who’s

Who is a pronoun identifying a person.

Whom is also a pronoun identifying a person, but usually used with a preposition such as to or from.

Whose is used to assign ownership, as in whose is it.

Who’s is a contraction of who is.

Examples:  Who won the tennis match?

To whom do you want these flowers delivered?

Whose car is the blue one?

Who’s bringing the beer for the party?

Alot vs. A Lot vs. Allot

First, alot is not a word. If you wish to say many things or much of something, the words are a lot. The word allot means to set aside a certain amount of money.

Incorrect: We have alot of apples at home.

Correct: We have a lot of apples at home.

Correct: We will allot ourselves a $25.00 limit on gifts for the office.

Farther vs. Further

Farther is used when referring to physical distances, while further is used when referring to figurative or nonphysical distances.

Incorrect: Washington D.C. is further away from New York than Philadelphia.

Correct: Washington D.C. is farther away from New York than Philadelphia.

Incorrect: Have you made any farther progress towards your degree?

Correct: Have you made any further progress towards your degree?

NOTE: Further is preferred in British English in all cases.

Between vs. Among

The word between is used when referring to two things clearly separated, while the word among is used when referring things that part of a group or mass of objects.

Incorrect: You need to choose among the black cat or the orange one between all of the cats here.

Correct: You need to choose between the black cat or the orange one among all of the cats here.

*** Passive Voice and Three Cures  

You don’t have to be a grammarian to recognize passive voice.  First, find the verb by asking yourself, “What’s happening in this sentence?”  Then find the actor by asking, “Who’s doing it?”  If the actor comes after the verb, it’s passive voice. Look for the word “by” before the actor.  Also, watch for these forms of the verb to be (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been) and a main verb usually ending in -ed or -en.  Let’s look at a few examples and then try the cures, below. NOTE: some languages and cultures, such as Japanese, use the passive voice more often than active voice

Passive:  The mouse was eaten by the cat.   

Active:  The cat ate the mouse.   

Passive:  Livelier sentences will be written by you. 

Active:  You will write livelier sentences. 

Passive:  Water is drunk by everybody. 

Active:  Everybody drinks water. 

Ways to change from passive to active.

1.  Put the Actor (Doer) Before the Verb. 

This:  The handlers must have broken the part. 

Not:  The part must have been broken by the handlers. 

2.  Drop Part of the Verb. 

This:  The results are in the attachment. 

Not:  The results are listed in the attachment. 

3.  Change the Verb. 

This:  The replacement has not arrived yet. 

Not:  The replacement has not been received yet.

Exercise: Write three sentences


Why are these sentences incorrect?

Incorrect: 53d Wing personnel must be experts on the protection of classified information.

Incorrect: OPSEC programs promote awareness.

Incorrect: There’s an abandon shopping center on Highway 41.

Incorrect: Terry walked through the festival atmosphere.

Incorrect: We pray that we see that same spirit in a sentence of these killers, this lynch mob.

Incorrect: The first class was at eight, and students rushing to class with their backpacks, coffee, and paper bags containing either doughnuts or breakfast sandwiches.

Incorrect: We will need at least three bottles, some cups, two bags of ice, and plates.


Incorrect: 53d Wing personnel must be experts on the protection of classified information.

Correct: All 53d Wing personnel must be experts on the protection of classified information.

Do not start sentences with a number.

Incorrect: OPSEC programs promote awareness.

Correct: The OPSEC programs promote awareness.

Do not start sentences with an acronym.

Incorrect: There’s an abandon shopping center on Highway 41.

Correct: There’s an abandoned shopping center on Highway 41.

Spelling and incorrect word choice

Incorrect: Terry walked through the festival atmosphere.

Correct: Terry walked through the festive atmosphere.

Incorrect word choice—need an adjective, not two nouns

Incorrect: We pray that we see that same spirit in a sentence of these killers, this lynch mob.

Correct: We pray that we see the same spirit in a sentence of this lynch mob of killers had for the victim.

Confusion—misplaced modifier—who is the lynch mob? “We” or “these killers”

Incorrect: The first class was at eight, and students rushing to class with their backpacks, coffee, and paper bags containing either doughnuts or breakfast sandwiches.

Correct: The first class was at eight, and students were rushing to class with their backpacks, coffee, and paper bags containing either doughnuts or breakfast sandwiches.

Word choice and missing a modal verb

Incorrect: We will need at least three bottles, some cups, two bags of ice, and plates.

Correct: We will need at least three bottles, some cups, two bags of ice, and some plates.

Faulty parallelism

Lesson 4—Sentences

Every sentence has four parts: subject, verb, predicate or extra information, and a complete idea.

            __1___ subject ___2__verb___3__ predicate __4___.

Space 1 is the front of the sentence.

Space 2 is in front of the verb.

Space 3 is behind the verb.

Space 4 is at the end of the sentence.

 Verb changes Verb

Types of phrases—a group of related words without a subject or verb. (p 306)

Prepositional phrases—off the sofa, from whom, for the dog

Verbal phrases—to serve the sick, serving the sick, serving without complaint

Absolute phrases—to put it bluntly, to speak candidly, waving at the crowd

Appositive phrases—the Emperor of France, my brother living in California

Types of clauses—a group of words with a subject and a verb

Independent clauses—a stand-alone complete sentence: The brown horse is eating a carrot.

Dependent clauses—cannot be a stand-alone sentence: Although the horse is eating

Relative clause—attach themselves to nouns or pronouns: who was born six years after me, when the snow falls

Adverb clauses—modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs: before the horse ate, whenever he was home

Noun clauses—group of words that act as a noun: how a computer works, what politicians say

Types of sentences

Simple—subject, verb, predicate, & complete idea

Samantha fed the horses.

Teresa walked the horses.

Compound—two subjects, two verbs, two objects (predicate) & complete idea

Basically two short sentences joined to make one sentence

Samantha fed the horses and Teresa walked them.

Complex—a dependent clause, one complete sentence, & a complete idea

Before Samantha fed the horses, Teresa walked them.

Compound complex—one or more dependent clauses, two or more complete sentences, & a complete idea

Before Samantha fed the horses, Teresa walked them and Paula put the horses in the stables.

Compound subjects, verbs, and objects

Samantha and Teresa walked the horses.

Teresa, Samantha, and Paula walked the horses.

Samantha walked and fed the horses.

Samantha fed the horses and the chickens.

Samantha, Teresa, and Paula tended and fed the horses and the chickens.


Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns

The angry, perspiring judge scowled at the balding and nervous witness.

Idiomatic—adjectives follow a certain order or they don’t sound right.

The first American satellite, not the American first satellite. (America’s first satellite)

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs

The reporter passionately and repeatedly defended the integrity of her story.

Passionately and repeatedly, the reporter defended the integrity of her story.

The reporter defended the integrity of her story passionately and repeatedly.

  • Note:  Adverbs usually can be placed at different locations within a sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence.

Misplaced modifiers is when the modifying words or phrase hooks up with the wrong word or phrase, sometimes with a comic effect.

Incorrect:  Carved from solid oak, the angry mob could not break down the door.

Correct:  The angry mob could not break down the door carved from solid oak.

Dangling modifiers don’t connect to a word of phrase in the sentence.

Incorrect:  Before sending out the invitations, a hall for the wedding has to be found.

Correct:  Before sending out the invitations, the couple will have to find a hall for the wedding.

Parallelism—used in comparison and contrast

Not parallel:  Pope was a poet of the mind; Byron wrote for the heart.

Parallel:  Pope was a poet of the mind, Byron was a bard of the heart.

Not parallel:  Susan usually likes to order take out or buys sandwiches.

Parallel:  Susan usually orders take out or buys sandwiches.

Steps to improve sentences

Whenever possible, make the subject of the sentence real people or things. (p 341)

Replace to be verbs whenever possible. (p 345)

Use active voice instead of passive voice. (p 346)

Use concrete modifiers instead of vague modifiers (348)

Lesson 5—Organization (p 30)

***Two important things to remember about writing: Remember your audience, and remember why you are writing the document.

***In business, it’s always better to present a problem when you have a possible solution.

***For academic writing, focus on your topic

NEVER, I repeat NEVER, plagiarize. Never take credit for someone else’s work.

Attribution—where did you get your facts.

Example: An article by John Thomas Didymus in The Digital Journal, posted March 2, 2013, an article in The New York Times cited research completed by historian that cataloged more than 42,000 interment facilities throughout Nazi-controlled Europe. These included 30,000 slave labor camps, 1,150 ghettos, 980 concentration camps, 1,000 prisoner-of-war camps, 500 brothels filled with sex slaves, and thousands of other camps used to euthanize the elderly and infirm.

By the way, if you are responsible for a mistake, own up to it.

Organizing Ideas

Take notes during research. Will not use all of your notes, but the more you have, the easier it is to write.

Focus—easier to write about skin diseases on elephants than to write about elephants

Single idea, opinion, or impression. Example: description—if it’s nice, don’t write negative things.

Easier to be negative than positive—remember why you are writing the document.

Examples are great ways to show what you mean. Many times hard to explain, but easy to show.

Use facts to support your opinons.

Six “wh” questions—who, what, when, where, why, and how




Introduction—why this topic and why it is important

Point One

      Fact One

      Fact Two

      Fact Three

Point Two

      Fact One

      Fact Two

      Fact Three

Point Three

      Fact One

      Fact Two

      Fact Three

Conclusion—restate topic and expansion (how this topic applies to other situations)

Linear or Step-by Step

Often used in narratives and processes, such as recipes

Introduction—why use this process, recipe, tell this story (note to self, using examples in teaching classes such as the Carroll Doctrine for searching cars without a warrant)

Paragraph One

      How to start

Paragraph Two

      What is the next step or event

Paragraph Three

      Cautions or risks in the process, or next part of the event


      What to do with the finish product or what were the effects of the story

Cloud or Bubble Outline

Combination of Cloud and Linear

Tree method

Lesson 6—Research

What is the most important thing about writing?

What is the difference between the mean in statistics and the average in mathematics?

What is the one-plus-three rule (hint—Zeid’s Rules)?

Research Sources

Primary Source

Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945; main editor—Geoffrey Megargee

Publisher: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; 2013, accessed 10 Feb 22.

Secondary Source

The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking, by Eric Lightblau

Publisher: New York Times; 1 March 2013

Tertiary Source

Holocaust ghettos and camps now estimated at over 42,000; by John Thomas Didymus

Publisher: Digital Journal; 2 March 2013, accessed 5 Apr 19

Quaternary Source

Mark Zeid in class

Undocumented source: read it on the internet, heard it from someone.

What is the difference between the mean in statistics and the average in mathematics?

What is the mode? The medium? A standard deviation?

In statistics, the 68–95–99.7 rule, also known as the empirical rule, is a shorthand used to remember the percentage of values that lie within an interval estimate in a normal distribution: 68%, 95%, and 99.7% of the values lie within one, two, and three standard deviations of the mean, respectively.

34.1% / 13.6% / 2.1%

Definition—exactly what do you mean by the terms used in the report

Accuracy/consistency—how often do you get the same results

Parameters/restrictions—what qualifies for consideration in the report

Method—how was it done

Evaluation—what do the results mean

Application—how will the research help or be used

Example: the research I did for a defendant for a court case

Step 1:  oral interview.

Step 2:  TOEFL test

Step 3:  Test focusing on Miranda Rights

Step 4:  Preparing the report

            Summary, intro, step-by-step process, evaluation, justification

Step 5:  Presentation—testifying in court, explanation of results, defining terms such as cultural linguistics, etc.


Summary: who, what, when, where, why, how

Step one: criteria, parameters, restrictions, definitions

Step two: method

Step three: results

Step four: application, significance

Step five: recommended additional testing if needed

Step six: conclusion

Lesson 7—Electronic Publication



One plus three

Font style, size and color/background

Don’t use profanity or insults

Can be personal, but not too personal

Always use a header

Use short paragraphs; long paragraphs are difficult to read

Avoid “Reply All,” unless necessary

Make sure attached files are in a format your audience can view (don’t trust computer sales people and what they say)

Use asterisks, dashes, and capital letters to emphasize text

Use a common signature for your message

Mark Zeid                                                       Mark Zeid

Technical Editor/53 Wing                              Technical Editor/53 Wing

Phone number                                     Phone number

                                                                        Street address

                                                                        Mystery Writer

                                                                        Avid animal lover

                                                                        Owner of two cats

                                                                        Former Boy Scout

                                                                        Former bicycle rider

                                                                        Avid cake lover

                                                                        Winner of Master Newspaper Boy 1972

                                                                        Winner of Employee of the Month 1973

Squirrels are nuts, but they are smarter than Congress

Social Media (e.g., Facebook)

Business Writing Mistakes (most of these came from Facebook posts)

Facebook post: I have another. Barnes and Noble signing in December (writer was posting about having a book signing)

            Mistake: when and where not specified / punctuation

Facebook post by another writer:

I’m reading THIS BOOK Inferno by Dan Brown. IT’S TOO IncredIBle, IS IT TRUly not FICTITIOUS?

            Corrected version: I’m reading the book Inferno by Dan Brown. It’s incredible; is it true or fiction?

Facebook post: this was a sign in the window of a restaurant.

            Tables are for eating customers only. No loitering.

Email message: If you are a DTS user, please see below. Many DTS issues can be resolved within the wing; recommend calling or emailing one of the 53d Wing ODTAs in your group/unit listed in the cc line for assistance.

Email message: I have 30 gallons of Antique White paint.  If you want to paint your rooms let me know and I’ll brief you on the proper procedures to follow.  If we don’t use this paint I’ll have to turn it back in to CE.  (need to tell me how to paint?)

Facebook post

            It is time we followers of Christ up and says something before it is too late.

            Corrected version: It is time for followers of Christ to stand up and say something before it is too late.

Facebook post: For all writers: A father beats his son because he was high. (who was high?) (pronoun reference)

            There is stupid people in this world! 

There are stupid people in this world!

Don’t underestimate me because im quite.

Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet.

Hi there, in the first place I hope you’re all fighting fit, and in the second I am deeply saddened being with writers here, as for it widens my horizons in a big way! Dear pals, it is a great honour to vomit it, that I am into writing, at present my plan though it is still up in the air, is to compose a novel. I therefore solicit your pieces of advice on how to do it hands down. Cheers!

            Haven’t even tried to correct it!!!!

We should have a tax exempt status when we retire, since we paid in our whole lives. We should also give Free health insurance to the retired folks.They paid taxes all their lives. They did their part. The legislatureshould stop giving free things to those who don’t Contribute. All these corporationsfind ways to take retirement away, and 401k plans were grossly underfunded by these companies. Billions at the top and nothing at the bottom for the workers. Make these corporations keep their business and jobs in the USA and not in other countries. Fund retirements and do so correctly.

We should be tax exempt when we retire because we paid taxes our entire working lives. We should also give free health insurance to retired folks. They paid taxes their entire working lives. They did their part. The legislature should stop giving free things to those who don’t contribute. Also corporations find ways to take retirement away, and 401K plans are grossly underfunded by these companies. Executives at the top make millions and workers at the bottom get nothing. Make these corporations keep their businesses and jobs in the USA and not in other countries. Fund retirements and do so correctly.

  • Note:  Complaining about two different organizations, the U.S. Government and its programs, and large corporations.

A junior Morrison posted a picture regarding where it said GOP Republicans voted against a bill that would extend benefits to Veterans regarding agent Orange and there was not the ability to make a comment.

A junior Morrison posted a picture which stated GOP Republicans voted against a bill that would extend benefits to veterans affected by Agent Orange, but viewers were not able to make a comment.

However one should also suggest reading the actual bill to see what exactly was voted against her how was voted for politicians are getting pretty tricky on how they manipulate some of that you go in and there’s no votes but it was a no vote in regards to one side wanting to keep it tabled order actually vote on it so just be careful before you get all worked up find the bill read the actual bill and then go from there I think it’s sad and it’s frustrating when veterans are not taken care of.

            Haven’t even tried to correct it!!!!

First off, I want to thank everyone for there service to this country!  (their)

I can say one thing and everyone gets offended. Even if its and observable fact.     ***Even if it’s an obvious fact. (I think?)

Need 15 year girl for hindi album in Mumbai. Please urgently contact.  9594952067

Response to above request:    U vanting me?

            Mate, you sound like a f***ing paedophile . Have reported your profile. Get the f*** off here.

** If you ever come across a suspicious post or email, copy down all the information, including who sent or posted it, before contacting the authorities.

Power Point Slides

Use headings

Limit text and content

Photos are good when useful

Storyboard the pages

What text will be used?

How to break up the text into different pages/slides?

What images (photos, graphs, etc.) will be used?

What documents and style will be used?

What materials are gathered from outside sources (attribution)?

What material are self-created?

How materials are gathered and organized (what will be eliminated)?

Web Sites

Web site formats: hierarchical, sequential, hub

Grey pages—too much text and hard to read

What do like about specific web sites and what don’t you like. Learn from them.

Lesson 8—Letters and Resumes

The “BLIND” Organization Method

When your space is limited by a form or process, the BLIND method of organization places emphasis on the bottom line followed by additional key elements. The BLIND method of organization is especially useful in e-mail communications where the content is brief and needs to be seen by “the boss” for action.

• BL = Bottom Line

• I = Impact on the organization

• N = Next steps to be taken

• D = Details to support the bottom line and any significant discussion points

While there are no set limits on how long a BLIND message can be, the point of the format is brevity. It is not unlike the content for the eSSS that includes Purpose, Background, Discussion, Views of Others and Recommendation; however, the BLIND organization technique is more readily used for quick messages in the field or office to a commander, leader or decision maker that provides enough substance to act without providing everything you know.

The “BLUF” Organization Method

The BLUF organization technique is even less structured than the BLIND organization technique. BLUF simply translates to “bottom line up front” with no set format for what follows. The official e-mail example, above, uses the BLUF organization method. With the BLUF method, the elements of the eSSS may be used to follow the BLUF to provide essential information. Use the technique preferred by the level of command for the intended audience of your e-mail. The point of the BLUF organization method is to maintain a focus on the action needed by leaders and decision makers while also providing key background information.

Seven parts of a letter

Return address


Inside address





Four parts of the body of a letter

Reason for the letter


Action—required or being done


Signature—keep it brief


Job title

Contact information

Cover letters and letters of introduction

How were you referred to the individual?

Focus on job title instead of person (people move on)

Reason for the letter—to read the enclosures or attachments

Include a brief synopsis of your qualifications


   Mr. David Brown informed me you are looking for someone to fill a position in your public relations department. I have enclosed my resume in hopes you will consider me for the position.

   As a former journalist, I have written more than 600 articles on military issues, foreign culture, education, and social issues. Furthermore, I have more than eight years of experience working public relations for two non-profit organizations. In addition, from my military service and living overseas, I have dealt with a wide variety of individuals and issues.

  Please let me know if you need anything else. Thank you for your consideration.


Contact information—name, address, email, phone

Job opening—what job are you applying for


Work experience—last 15 years, relevant experience. Include numbers whenever possible, such as increased sales by $100,000.00 annually, managed a team of eight employees, spent a total of 300 days working overseas in rural environments.

Internships and relevant experience

Military service

Civic organizations/school clubs

Do NOT include references unless requested

Do NOT include hobbies or personal information such as church or social organizations


One-page resume for contacts

Let others know you are looking for a job

Phone messages

    State name, phone number, and reason slowly and clearly

    Let the phone ring more than twice