Today we have officially started a challenge to improve our writing skills. It was something I absolutely needed to do myself – go over the lessons and practice – and some of the readers of my blog joined me which makes it even more fun.
If you want to take this challenge, too, you can use the form below this post, and you will receive 10 other complimentary lessons in your email, one by one. We’ll discuss for instance how to do research, the importance of an outline, grabbing readers’ attention, what’s more effective closure than summarizing and how to proofread like a pro.
And no strings attached!
This lesson isn’t inside the course, because I wanted to publish it here in the blog instead:
Making Your Styling Consistent
Consistency of styling your writing makes everything you write appear more professional. While most readers don’t pay much attention to good styling, almost everyone instantly notices inconsistency and with that you can lose a lot of credibility.
Here are some of the key points to pay attention to when styling your content:
- Check that the bullets match the pre-frame, for example if you start a bulleted list with “You’re about to learn …” then each bullet has to be readable and continue that sentence.
For example, “You’re about to learn…
— How to keep a consistent style with your bullets (works with the lead-in)
— Learn if you need a period at the end of your bullets (doesn’t work with lead-in)
- Stay consistent with your bullets’ punctuation. Some lists end with periods while others have no punctuation at the end. Both styles are accepted, but make sure you stick to one or another.
- Make sure the indentation and spacing of your bullets match throughout your document. Sometimes you may need to manually add a line break between bullets to add more spacing.
- In a short document, all your bullet symbols should match.
- Subheads shouldn’t end with a period, colons or exclamation points.
- Use your subheads to walk your reader through a story, or in fact an overview of the whole article.
Text and Page Styling
- Make sure your line height, line spacing, font and text sizes are uniform throughout the page.
- Double-check your font any time you copy and paste anything into a document. Often times’ unwanted formatting is copied along with the text.
Consistency in Spelling
- Be careful of American vs. British spelling. Pick one and stick with it. Example: “color” vs. “colour”
- Be consistent in your acronym use. Typically a good approach is to spell out the acronym in full the first time you use in, followed by the acronym in parenthesis. Then use just the acronym from there on. Don’t switch back and forth between full spelling and acronyms.
For example, for the first appearance, write: Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Then refer to the organization as just MADD from then on.
- how to use various voices in your writing
- how to evoke emotion with your readers
- how to back up your ideas with compelling statistics and case studies
- how to conduct better research
- the best method for proofreading your content and
- how to end your content with a bang