eTips Mid-Month MiniTM

October 2006

Welcome to the eTips Mid-Month Mini, an UpWrite Press extra
designed to get you actively involved with writing.

| Business Writers’ Forum | Word Pair of the Month | Personal Coaching |
|Coming Next Month | Writing Tips | Suggestions | Our Products | Blended Learning |

Either write something worth reading
or do something worth writing.

—Benjamin Franklin

This month’s forum topic:
What writing aides do you have on your desk right now?

Thank you to all those who responded to our October eTips questions: What writing aides do you have on your desk right now? A dictionary? Thesaurus? Grammar guide? Which ones do you use the most and find most useful? Below are some of the responses we received.

Writing Aides

Alicia Daberkow, of Beckman Coulter, Inc.

Alicia keeps a Secretary's Desk Guide to Punctuation and Spelling, Word Division and Hyphenation on her desk. She says the volume helps her avoid common grammar roadblocks such as complex uses of possessives. She states, "Practicing polished writing has helped me create the professional image I desire in my workplace."

Pocyline Karani, of The Standard Group Ltd, Newspaper Division

Pocyline keeps an economics dictionary and thesaurus handy. "As a business writer covering almost all segments of business reporting, I come across specialty words used only in the business world, words whose meanings I have to check in the dictionary." Pocyline finds the thesaurus critical to check synonyms and antonyms for a growing vocabulary.

Tam Rodier, Administrative Coordinator for the
Public Works Administration of Billings, Montana

"I have the usual collegiate dictionary and thesaurus, but I also have . . . Lifescripts for Managers, edited by Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine. I use this when I enter unfamiliar territory or an uncomfortable situation with a subordinate or supervisor. It helps me to get my thoughts in order before the confrontation."

The upshot is this:
Desktop references—like the award-winning Write for Business and Writing Effective E-Mail—can help you increase your writing skills, widen your vocabulary, and manage your office more efficiently.

What's on your desk?

Watch for another Writers’ Forum question in our November eTips.

WORD PAIR of the MONTH: real, really, very

This month's pair is actually a trio: real, really, and very. The thing to remember here is that the word real is an adjective that means "authentic," as in the following sentence:

He was searching for the real McCoy.

It should not be confused with the adverbs really ("in reality") and very ("extremely").

He did not really comprehend the seriousness of the accident.

She worked very hard for the promotion.

See pages 223-240 of Write for Business for more commonly confused word pairs.

UpWrite Press Offers Personal Coaching
for Business Writing Skills

What’s the quickest way to improve your business writing skills? Personal coaching may be the answer.

UpWrite Press offers a variety of personal coaching plans that teach traits and techniques of business writing.

Our personal coaching delivers real results with minimal investment in time and money. We start with your own writing samples. Our professional writing coaches study and assess them. Then we contact you at the time and place of your choosing and set up a teleconference that gives you concentrated, personalized attention. We discuss your strengths and weaknesses—no scripted observations. We show you how to improve your business writing skills by capturing your ideas, with your style and voice, in the most powerful, clear, and engaging way possible. We show you how to write faster with fewer changes. Plus, we give you strategies for improvement that you can use beyond the session.

Personal coaching is today’s “executive summary” for effective business writing. For more information
about this dynamic new approach to training, download our Personal Coaching Plan* document, or call
1-800-261-8258 ext. 17.

*The Personal Coaching Plan document is provided in PDF format. For free PDF reader software, visit

Primary Research

Coming in the November eTips:

Conducting Primary Research

Writing Tips


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eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, Inc., P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2006, UpWrite Press. All rights reserved. Visit