On Writing

Unpublished resources:  These tools are available exclusively on this website. If you share any of them, please credit me and benyagoda.com

How to Not Write Bad – early excerpts

Some of the most common writing errors, and how to avoid them

Principles of Newswriting

A brief guide to the basics of writing news stories

Yagoda’s Rules for Quotes

All you need to know to render quotations like a pro!


Previously published:  These articles are available where they were originally published. If you use any of them, please use the citation information from the original publication site.

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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