Telling teens why good writing matters: the point that hits home

If you have teenage relatives you’ll probably know that they clam up like, er, clams, when you tell them why writing matters. Mainly they regard “proper” writing as a pain in the posterior. What’s wrong with leaving apostrophes out? Using the latest Instagram jargon? Speaking and writing in hip terms everyone who’s anyone in rap, metal and other such contemporary cultures knows and appreciates?

Telling teens why good writing matters: the point that hits home

When you apply for a job, most of the CVs/résumés on the recruiter’s desk will have mistakes in them. If yours doesn’t, it will stay at the top of the pile. Then, guess what?

As you’d expect, with my own son (poor kid) I hammered the need for correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax into his head before he could walk. These days I’m a little more gentle with teens, but the metaphorical slap-in-yer-face still works. Read on … [Read more…]

How to write a reference or recommendation letter

HTWB recommendation smallUnless you’re about 12 years old or less, sooner or later you will be asked to write a reference or recommendation for someone – whether it’s a colleague, employee, student, friend, or even a whole company. If you Google “how to write a reference” you’ll find loads of advice, as I did just now. But unsurprisingly the available advice tends to be a bit starchy.

So: what makes a reference letter or email help your referee stand out from the crowd? [Read more…]

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