Tip 21: Finding Passive Voice

Do you have trouble catching passive voice in your writing? Word can help! Passive sentences aren’t incorrect: most of the time they just aren’t the best way to phrase your thoughts. Sometimes passive voice is awkward and can obscure meanings, while other times it’s just vague or wordy. Try this in Microsoft Office Word: 1.…

Tip 17: Spelling Hacks

Do you have trouble with spelling? Is it ‘lose’ or ‘loose’? Remember this: “The goose got loose.” Both have two ‘o’s! Is it ‘stationary’ or ‘stationery’? Remember this: “Stay stationary.” Both have ‘a’s! Remember this: “Envelopes are called stationery.” Both have ‘e’s! Is it ‘affect’ or ‘effect’? Remember this: “‘a’ comes before ‘e’ in the…

Tip 14: Biannual/Semiannual & Biweekly/Semiweekly

When to use ‘biannual/semiannual’ and ‘biweekly/semiweekly’ ‘Biannual’ and ‘semiannual’ both mean twice a year. ‘Biennial’ means every two years. ‘Biweekly’ meetings occur every two weeks. ‘Semiweekly’ meetings occur twice a week. Since most people can’t keep them straight, just say “every other week” or “twice weekly.” A note from our Editor Question: “As ‘bimonthly’ means…

Tip 13: Units of Measure

How do you align different expressions of measurements? Use the slash (/) in place of ‘per’ between two abbreviated units of measurement. 40 psi/ft 15 cm/s 40 lbm/ft Use the degree sign (°) with angles, temperatures [except metric K (Kelvin)], and compass coordinates. 20° slope 65° 2°W Abbreviate units of measurement in the text only…