On Writing

5 Ways to Deal with Word Repetition

Word repetition can really weigh down your writing and slow down readers.

Originally published April 16, 2013

Read the article at Writer’s Digest


7 Grammar Rules You Should Really Pay Attention to

The legitimate rules you should be aware of.

Originally published March 14, 2013

Read the article at The Week


7 Bogus Grammar ‘Errors’ You Don’t Need to Worry About

I hate to see people waste their time hunting down so-called mistakes.

Originally published March 05, 2012

Read the article at The Week


Nine Writing Mistakes You’re Probably Making

If you master all nine, I can pretty much guarantee you won’t be writing badly.

Originally published February 05, 2013

Read the article at Huffington Post


In Writing, First Do No Harm

My students can’t really handle writing “well.”  I propose a more modest aim: not writing badly.

Originally published February 02, 2013

Read the article at The Wall Street Journal


Fanfare for the Comma Man

My inaugural post for the new NYTimes blog on writing.

Originally published April 09, 2012

Read the article at newyorktimes.com


The Elements of Clunk

The Internet is giving a new sound to prose.

Originally published January 02, 2011

Read the article at Chronicle of Higher Education


Tense Talk

Examining how tenses are used and misused in sports writing.

Originally published August 14, 1988

Read the article at nytimes.com

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