April 2009
Writing eTips UpWrite Press

For Training Professionals…

We welcome you to visit the new “Training Resources” section of UpWritePress.com, where you’ll find advice on how to profit from the Write Program. While you’re there, give our product tours and course comparisons a look, pick up tips for gaining and training clients, download free articles and product samples, and join the conversations on our trainer forums. Find out how the Write Program can make your job both easier and more profitable!



March Winner in Our Monthly Facebook Drawing

Congratulations to “Business Writing with UpWrite Press” Facebook fan Nikki Hornsby! She’s the March winner of a free copy of Write for Business, A Compact Guide to Writing & Communicating in the Workplace and the emPOWERED Business Writing Job Aide.

You could be our next winner. We’re giving away a book and a Job Aide each month. To qualify, just become a Facebook fan of “Business Writing with UpWrite Press” and RSVP to our event invitation each month.

The Amazing Power of Good Design

While the primary power of writing lies in its content, its appearance can be nearly as important to delivering your message. That’s why understanding the principles of good design is so significant.

Good design is more than just a nicety: It emphasizes the main points while allowing the reader to easily follow and understand your complete message. Here are some basic principles to keep in mind.

  • Does the page look balanced? Your information should be presented in small blocks for easy reading. Avoid large blocks of unbroken text that can cause a reader to lose focus or get confused.
  • Does your information flow well? When reading English, the eye moves naturally from left to right and from top to bottom. Does your design work with that natural movement or against it? (For example, a graphic on the right side of a page confronts the reader more strongly than one positioned on the left.)
  • Do visual cues help to establish hierarchy? Bulleted or numbered lists, section headings, and graphics can tell a reader which points are critical and which are secondary. Also use white space to effectively frame your ideas.
  • Are your design elements consistent? Typeface, color, and graphic choices can visually connect related items, but use such elements sparingly for a clean, uncluttered look.
  • Have you followed the standard rules for your document? Memos, formal letters, and proposals each have a number of standard formatting features. Present a professional document by following expected standards.

Good design can be a powerful asset to your writing. A clear, well-designed document marks you—the writer—as a sharp, focused professional.

You can find more about creating effective design on pages 101–104 of Business and Sales Correspondence, part of the E-Z series of business writing materials from UpWrite Press.

Our Staff Writers’ Blog

Get the latest insights into writing from our staff writers. In March, Tim Kemper wrote about “Gritting It Out: From the Hardwood to the Word Processor”; Dave Kemper discussed the Depression-era Federal Writers’ Project in “Wildcat Banks Revisited” and provided writing advice in “In regard to…regards” and “Simply Speaking”; Joyce Lee offered grammar tips in “‘Me’ versus ‘I’” and in “Adverbs: Maligned, Misunderstood, Misused”; and Lester Smith expressed the universality of writing in “Everybody Dance Now!” Visit our blog for these and other great articles!

That Little Extra:

Your business cards require good design as well. In fact, because you need to say so much in so little space, design is paramount. Make sure your business cards include readable, vital information, but little else. Use white space to separate blocks of information into discrete units, font size and style to identify essential info (like your name), and alignment to make the overall card visually appealing. Whether sleek and modern or homey and comfortable, let your well-designed card convey the essence of your business and professionalism at a glance.

Join Our Writers’ Forum

We invite you to be part of our monthly eTips. Each month we pose a question or problem regarding the use of writing in business. Send us your reply along with your name, your company’s name, and a brief description of what you do. We will print the best responses, and you will get your name out to our more than 6,000 subscribers! (We reserve the right to edit your remarks for fit and suitability.)


April Writers’ Forum Topic

Studies show that writing is playing a larger role in the workplace. In what ways has the role of writing changed in your own career? How did your pre-career training prepare you (or not prepare you) for that writing? What steps are you taking to improve your writing skills? We look forward to reading your experiences and recommendations.

Email your response to writersforum@upwritepress.com. Write “April Writers’ Forum” in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

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Coming in May

Creating Global Correspondence

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eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, Inc., P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2009,
UpWrite Press. All rights reserved. Visit www.upwritepress.com.