Category Archives: Uncategorized

Great resource: Toolkit for making written material clear and effective

I just learned about a great toolkit for writers, especially those writing for people (patients) with potentially low literacy skills. However, it seems to me that all of these principles would apply to technical writing across the board.

The free download (PDF) is the Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective, offered by CMS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Their audience is those who create “written material intended for use by people eligible for or enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.” Here are the topics you’ll learn about:

Try it! You’ve already paid for this valuable educational experience with your taxes.

A tale of two (actually three) English grammar texts

I had an interesting conversation with my friend Michael Franklin at the AMWA (American Medical Writers Association) conference in Columbus last month. He told me of a must-read grammar text, Understanding English Grammar by Martha Kolln and Robert Funk, that he had studied in graduate school. I nearly fainted when I saw the price at… Continue Reading

Maybe I do know what I know: Enduring principles for writing for both web and print

In my August newsletter, I shared my angst about whether what I teach in my technical writing classes is really informed by research or is simply based on instinct. My headline read: “How do I know what I know?” (My 8-year-old grandson saw that headline and said, “You just know what you know, Grandma! At… Continue Reading

How do I know what I know?

Don’t worry. I’m not going all metaphysical on you. But I’ve recently begun to question one of my long-held beliefs about writing, and I feel conflicted. Here’s how it came about: In my last newsletter, I wrote a review of Marcia Riefer Johnston’s new book Word Up! How to Write Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs. I… Continue Reading