Five Ways to Take a Break in National Harbor

Fellow introverts: If you’re worn out by the end – or even middle – of a conference day and need a break from people, I found five things to do near the Gaylord National Convention Center that will help you recharge.

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Avoid these words and phrases in a letter of recommendation

A quick Internet search will tell you what to put in a letter of recommendation; but it is just as important to know what to leave out. Using certain words, phrases, and information might cause your reader not to admit your student or hire your former employee. These are the most important to avoid:

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Use Your Commute for Effective Writing

When I describe the distance between my apartment and WordRake’s office as “walkable,” people usually envision a fifteen- or twenty-minute walk. My next line is that my commute is an hour and just under four miles.

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Why We Can’t Rely on Spell-Checkers for Proofreading

With the near ubiquity of spell-checkers across all platforms, many people no longer worry about correct spelling. Let the spell-checkers handle it! And they do—mostly. But spell-checkers don’t care about context; if we spell the word correctly, they’re happy. So, “I here you” has spell-checkers turning cartwheels.

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Stop Letting Email Monopolize Your Life | Four Ways to Email Successfully

According to Forbes, business professionals average 6.3 hours a day reading and responding to 123 emails. That’s a staggering amount of time and energy we could use on other projects. Most of us can’t get rid of email completely, but we can all lessen its monopoly on our work lives.

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Software for Writers

WordRake helps us write clearly and concisely, but removing useless words and phrases is only part of writing. These are our favorite pieces of software for brainstorming, researching, and drafting.

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Three Punctuation Mistakes People Often Make

I love editing. I used to edit instructors on an education website. I spent years proofreading and revising my peers’ work for student publications. In college, I volunteered to edit friends’ papers, resumes, and graduate school applications. Over the years, I noticed that many friends made the same punctuation mistakes. Microsoft’s recently released list of the errors people make most frequently while writing in Word includes several of the same errors. Here are three you can avoid.

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Don’t let the blank page intimidate you

Facing a blank page is like stage fright without seeing the audience—maybe the most intimidating experience we can have. It’s intimidating because someone will read whatever we put on that blank page, and they will pass judgment. We’re putting ourselves out there.

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Four Reasons Engineers Must Write Well

A few years ago, one of the WordRake founders was on a plane to Los Angeles, sitting next to a senior engineer at McDonnell Douglas. Their conversation turned to writing, and the engineer said that his primary mission was impressing upon new engineers its importance. “I tell them, but I don’t think they hear it. Then three years later they complain to me they’re not being promoted. I remind them that their writing skills are not good enough to move them into a managerial position. So they get stuck in their career because they can’t communicate with the written word.”

WordRake and McDonnell Douglas aren’t the only companies that need their engineers to know how to write. A National Association of Colleges and Employers survey found the ability to create and edit written reports is one of employers’ top ten criteria when hiring recent college graduates. Here are four reasons writing is critical for engineers.

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Time Management Skills to Improve Your Writing

Writing is the most important thing we do every day (at least at the office). But writing well is time-consuming, so to create that superior product, we must use our writing time efficiently.

As I discussed in our post on writer’s block, the key to writing well is to edit, edit, edit. But we must also go to meetings, handle other projects, and tend to our personal lives. How can we find the time to edit multiple drafts? At WordRake, we write a lot, and we use the strategies below to help us write well and still have time for other things.

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About Gary Kinder

Gary Kinder
Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for the American Bar Association, the Social Security Administration, PG&E, Kraft, Microsoft, and law firms like Jones Day, Sidley, and WilmerHale. His critically-acclaimed Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea hit #7 on the New York Times Bestsellers List.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to provide writers a full-time, reliable editor; to save them time and money; and to give them the confidence their writing is as clear and concise as they can make it. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has awarded nine patents to WordRake's unique technology, and Harvard Law School has recognized WordRake as "Disruptive Innovation."