If You Want to Write a Great Speech, Here’s How to Do It

Writing a speech isn’t all that different than writing for other mediums. You need to know your audience, the required length, and the purpose or topic. This is true whether your speech is for a business conference, a wedding, a school project, or any other scenario.

But there’s something about speech writing that’s especially nerve-wracking.

If you write and deliver a speech that doesn’t go over well, you’ll get feedback in real time. The people sitting in front of you could lose interest, start talking, doze off, or even wander out of the room. (Don’t worry, only audiences in movies throw tomatoes).

Of course, a poor speech is not the end of the world. You can give plenty of crummy speeches and live to tell the tale.

But we also know that a great speech is capable of changing the world. Or at least sparking an audience’s imagination, catapulting your business into success, earning an A+ on your assignment, or ensuring that the bride and groom are still friends with you after the wedding.

So if you’re feeling stressed over your impending speech writing duties, fret no more! Today we’re breaking down for you the step-by-step process of exactly how to write a great speech.

Here’s a tip:  Grammarly runs on powerful algorithms developed by the world’s leading linguists, and it can save you from misspellings, hundreds of types of grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context. Learn More 

1 Tips to Write (and Live) By

Let’s start with the 30,000 foot, big-picture view. These are the tenants that will guide you in your speech writing process (and pretty much anything else you want to write).

  • Know The Purpose: What are you trying to accomplish with your speech? Educate, inspire, entertain, argue a point? Your goals will dictate the tone and structure, and result in dramatically different speeches.
  • Know Your Audience: Your speech should be tailored for your audience, both in terms of ideas and language. If you’re speaking at a sound healer convention, you won’t need to explain the concept of energetic blocks. And if you’re speaking to an octogenarians-only quilting circle, you probably shouldn’t drop as many F-bombs as you would with your local biker gang.
  • Know The Length: You don’t want to underwhelm or overwhelm your audience.Ten minutes may be too short for your keynote address, but it’s probably too long for your best man speech. Don’t leave things up to chance. Your writing process will be much easier if you keep your eye on your target length.
  • Write, Revise, Practice, Revise, Practice…: MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech wasn’t written in a day. Give yourself the time you need to practice your material and work through multiple drafts. Don’t expect to nail everything on the first try.

2 The Step-by-Step Process

Still feeling stressed over how to get started? Here’s how to write your speech from concept to completion.

Step 1: Outline your speech’s structure. What are the main ideas for each section?

Step 2: Flesh out the main ideas in your outline. Don’t worry about finding the perfect words. Just let your creativity flow and get it all out!

Step 3: Edit and polish what you’ve written until you have a cohesive first draft of your speech

Step 4: Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice your speech the more you’ll discover which sections need reworked, which transitions should be improved, and which sentences are hard to say. You’ll also find out how you’re doing on length.

Step 5: Update, practice, and revise your speech until it has a great flow and you feel it’s ready to accomplish its purpose.

3 The Universal Structure

Getting hung up on Step 1? Here’s a structure you can follow for any type of speech.


Who are you, why are are you giving this speech, what is your main thesis?

The “who” and “why” can be longer or shorter depending on the context. For example, if you’re speaking at a wedding, you’ll want to explain your relationship to the bride and groom and why they mean so much to you. But if you’re presenting to your class at school, you may be able to head straight into your thesis.

If you’re presenting in a business or motivational setting, this is a crucial time to hook your audience’s attention and pique their curiosity. Typically someone else will have already introduced you and your accolades, so use this to your advantage and dive straight in.

“Hi everyone, it’s great to be here! As Kevin just said, I’ve been an urban beet farmer for 30 years, and a couple years back I got this absolutely crazy idea. What if…”

Main Message

Idea 1, Idea 2, Idea 3…

The majority of your speech should be spent presenting your thesis and supporting material in a simple, organized way.

Whether you’re giving an inspirational talk or a business presentation, rambling is a sure-fire way to lose your audience’s attention. Don’t try to share absolutely everything you know on your topic, instead pick a few (two to five) key points to present to your audience.

Stick to one point at a time and finish the thought before you move on to the next. Build in clear, logical transitions from idea to idea.

Want to make your speech memorable? Studies have shown our brains are great at remember stories! As much as is appropriate, make your speech personal and include your own anecdotes and thoughts.

We’re also better at remembering big ideas if they’re condensed into a few memorable words, so do your best to sum up your thesis.

“I have a dream.” “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” “Make good art.”


What do you want your audience to walk out of the room remembering?

Wrap everything up and drive home your main idea, whether that’s through providing a few (one to three) key takeaways, or telling one last story that perfectly illustrates your point.

Here are some examples of how your outline might look

As a researcher presenting your findings…

Introduction: Explain the key problem or question of your research.

Main Message: Describe the research process, then describe your three key findings.

Takeaway: Present your conclusions and their implications, then your next steps for moving forward.

As the maid of honor giving a speech at your best friend’s wedding…

Introduction: Explain who you are and how you met the bride.

Main Message: Recount three funny and heartwarming stories about your decades-long friendship with her, plus your first impressions of the groom.

Takeaway: Wrap things up by expounding on how amazing the bride and groom’s love for each other is, how they’re meant to be together, and how you know their love will last a lifetime. …L’chaim!

What are your favorite tips for writing a great speech?

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What to Do When You Make One of These 5 Common Interview Mistakes

It’s not something we like to reflect on, but the truth is that there are plenty of things that can go wrong when you submit an application and start the interview process for a new job. But even if the stakes are high, you can’t let the fear of making a mistake hold you back—there’s a wonderful new job out there with your name on it, and the only way to get it is to take a risk, submit the application, and do your best in the interview.

But what if you feel like you didn’t do your best? Or what if you know for sure that you made a misstep?

If you think there’s a chance you messed up during the interview process, you need to implement some damage control right away. Here’s what Halai Shukran, Director of Talent Management at Viant, Inc., has to say about the five most common interview mistakes she sees when working with prospective job candidates.

Mistake #1: Missing the phone screening or interview

“A huge pain point for recruiters is putting all this work into finding a stellar candidate and scheduling a phone screening to feel them out for the role, only for the candidate to miss it,” says Shukran. “Missing the phone screen and not following up to reschedule shows a lack of professionalism, time management, and follow up, and these are key skills a recruiter looks for when assessing someone for any role.”

How to recover:

If you’ve already made this mistake, it’s not a complete loss: follow up with your contact as quickly as possible, take full responsibility for the slip, and explain the mitigating circumstances. Anything less—like dismissing it as no big deal or assuming they’ll reschedule quickly—won’t win you any favors (or second chances).

READ: 6 Useful Tips for Acing Your Next In-person Job Interview

Mistake #2: Sending a generic follow-up or not following up enough

Shukran notes that another common interview mistake is sending a bland follow-up note or not following up at all. This causes you to miss out on an enormous opportunity to stand out among other prospective hires and—more importantly—to continue the conversation and build a relationship with your interviewer.

How to recover:

If you made this common interview mistake and haven’t followed up to an interview yet, do so! Just make sure it’s unique to the person with whom you interviewed and shows you’re paying attention to the conversation: “Whenever possible, think back to something an interviewer said about the company and comment on it, or follow up for more information, or . . . share an interesting article tied to the role. A follow-up that showcases whether or not you’re a fit shows more interest post-interview than a generic one,” remarks Shukran.

“I know of a candidate that was interviewing with a company, and while they were waiting in the wings to hear back from the recruiter, the company received some good reviews in the press,” remarks Shukran. “The next morning, the candidate reached out just to say congratulations on the big win. That thoughtful gesture showcased that person’s passion for the company and helped that candidate stay top of mind.”

Here’s a tip:  Grammarly runs on powerful algorithms developed by the world’s leading linguists, and it can save you from misspellings, hundreds of types of grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context. Learn More 

Mistake #3: Following up too much

“When a candidate follows up too frequently, I start to wonder about what’s going on,” says Shukran. “Did they get turned down by another company, so they’re latching onto this job? Did they not hear when we said we’re going through [the] first round of interviews and will get back to them next week? Either they’re not listening or they’re too aggressive, and either way that’s a turnoff.”

How to recover:

Aside from chilling out and stepping back, you can’t recover from too much follow up. Your best bet is to learn your lesson and apply a more moderate approach to following up your next interview (or better yet, ask your interviewer what the follow-up schedule looks like and act accordingly).

If you think that’s harsh, consider this: interviewers know that how you follow up to interview is how you’ll follow up with customers and co-workers on the job: “An aggressive level of follow up concerns me because it’s a preview of what that person will be like as part of a team,” explains Shukran. “I’m thinking, ‘If this person is working with another stakeholder on a project or deadline, they might not be cognizant or respectful of what the other person’s timeline is.’”


Mistake #4: Not asking any questions

If it seems like asking questions at the end of an interview is optional, Shukran wants to be clear that it’s not: “An interview is more of a conversation than anything else,” she says. “When you’re really listening in an interview and having an insightful conversation, you have an opportunity to dig deeper. If you’re not asking questions, it shows a lack of interest and passion.”

How to recover:

If you find yourself in the middle of an interview and you really can’t think of any questions, it’s OK to ask to circle back with questions later.

“Not everyone can think on their feet,” Shukran says. “When you’re still in the moment and you can’t think of any questions, it’s OK to say, ‘This is a lot of info to digest, I’d like to think through the questions and follow up by email.’ That would show me a strong sense of self-awareness that you know you’re not the person to think on your feet but you know what you need to do to get the job done.”

If you didn’t ask questions in the interview, all is not lost. The next time you’re in touch with your interviewer—whether that’s a scheduled follow-up call or a check-in a week or two after your interview—ask if it’s possible to take them up on their offer to ask questions and include a few thoughtful ones in your email.

READ: 25 Smart Questions You Can Ask in a Job Interview

Mistake #5: Not showing industry know-how

The best way to impress a recruiter or hiring manager is to do your research in advance of the interview—that means doing your due diligence and reading the company’s website, performing a web search for articles mentioning the company or recent press releases, and reviewing all interview-related email correspondence.

“I work in ad tech, so what’s always very impressive to me is when candidates come in from outside our industry with a strong understanding of the business,” says Shukran. “There may be gaps or mistakes in how they’re addressing what we do, but whether they have the details right or not, it shows me that they have a strong passion for the potential opportunity and a strategic, business-oriented way of thinking.”

How to recover:

This is yet another common interview mistake where the best approach is a preventative one. Research the company and the position as thoroughly as possible in advance of your interview so you’re prepared to have an intelligent discussion about the position and the role it plays in the company’s big picture.

If you made the mistake of taking the interview cold, make sure you show that you’ve done your research when you follow up. Mention a recent press release or acquisition, or ask a question that shows that you’ve put some thought into how the position will play into the company’s long-term goals. As Shukran explains, “When you can connect your day to day to the bigger picture on an ongoing basis, it’s much more valuable compared to someone who is focused on the tasks associated with the job.”

If you blew an interview with one of these common interview mistakes, take heart. You’re not alone, and the mistake can likely be fixed. And if it can’t, you’ve learned a valuable lesson that will serve you well for future interviews. Don’t give up, and you’re bound to find the job that fits your life.

A version of this post originally appeared on Glassdoor’s blog.

More from Glassdoor:

The Ultimate Guide to Analyzing a Company’s Glassdoor Page

10 Smart Ways to Improve Your Chances for a Raise

8 Honest Reasons You Didn’t Make It Past the First Interview

The post What to Do When You Make One of These 5 Common Interview Mistakes appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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Why Writing with Confidence Really Matters and How You Can Do It

Learning to write well is like any other skill—it takes time and practice. But feeling like your writing isn’t where you want it to be can lead to intense feelings of self-doubt.

Unsurprisingly, those feelings do nothing to help your writing ability. Feeling uncertain or thinking you’re not good enough will be reflected in your writing—if you get started at all. Imposter syndrome can be paralyzing, leading to inaction or the temptation to agonize over every word and idea.

Feeling secure in your writing abilities may not happen overnight, but there are some clear steps you can take to move out of self-doubt and into writing with confidence. Here are seven practices to get you started.

1 Write First, Edit Later

When you sit down to write, does your brain start spinning in a loop of negative self-talk?

“This is total crap! Who am I kidding?! Why did I ever think I could write?”

According to brilliant author, Anne Lamott:

Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper. What I’ve learned to do when I sit down to work on a shitty first draft is to quiet the voices in my head.

It’s okay (and normal) for that first draft to be dreadful. Agonizing over it will only slow you down and stunt your creativity.

There is a huge difference between your first draft and your completed, polished piece. Even experienced writers will tell you it’s necessary to write through challenging moments before you can get to the good stuff.

Here’s a tip:  Grammarly runs on powerful algorithms developed by the world’s leading linguists, and it can save you from misspellings, hundreds of types of grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context. Learn More 

2 Do Your Research

Let’s say you’re writing a blog post for the first time. Doing something that’s completely new to you can feel intimidating and may bring up feelings of self-doubt and insecurity.

A great way to combat inaction and procrastination is to educate yourself. Whether you’re writing a blog post, essay, or short story, there are plenty of great articles on the internet with clear direction for how to tackle your project.

Just don’t use your research time as another excuse not to get started. Set a timer for a reasonable number of minutes you can spend researching, then get to work!

3 Create an Outline

Whether you need to research first, or you’re already familiar with a project, having an outline is key to writing with confidence.

A good outline is a roadmap for success. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a large project, such as a 20-page essay or 60,000-word novel, creating an outline will help you break your project into manageable pieces. It will also help you complete your project on time and stay focused on your goals.

4 Improve Your Spelling and Grammar

When spelling and grammar aren’t your strong points, putting your writing in front of an audience is especially nerve-wracking.

At Grammarly, our goal is to help you with your writing so you can feel greater confidence in putting your work out there. Our writing assistant removes the pressure for you to catch all those pesky errors, including grammar and spelling, and shows you the correct answers so you can continuously improve your skills.

Click here to download our free browser plugin.


5 Read What You Want to Write

The primary way you can improve your writing is by writing regularly. The second is by reading regularly.

When we learn how to talk, we learn sentence structure by listening to how others speak. When we learn to write, we learn how to structure written sentences by reading what others have written.

Do you want to be a novelist? A thought leader? An A+ student? Read the work of successful authors, bloggers, and academics. Pay attention to how they structure their sentences, stories, arguments, and ideas. Learn from their example.

6 Take Advantage of Critique

Confident writers are secure in their skills while also knowing their writing will always have room for improvement. They know their skill has increased since they began writing, and with hard work will continue to grow over time.

Part of working to be better is being open to input from others. Asking for feedback might feel scary, embarrassing, and intimidating at first, but it’s an essential part of improving your writing.

Your ideas may be so clear in your head that you don’t realize they’re not clear on the page. Getting an outside perspective will help you see when the dots aren’t connecting like you thought they were.

7 Stop Worrying About “Perfection”

You’re not a “perfect” writer—no one is. All any of us can do is our best. Stop worrying that your work isn’t worthy of an audience. It’s time to get out there, take action, and yes, make mistakes.


…if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

…Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. – Neil Gaiman

What are your favorite practices for becoming a more confident writer?

The post Why Writing with Confidence Really Matters and How You Can Do It appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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4 Irish Authors Who Will Inspire Your St. Patrick’s Day

4 Irish Authors Who Will Inspire Your St. Patrick’s Day image

St. Patrick’s Day, which is on March 17, is celebrated differently in the United States and Ireland. Irish-Americans initially celebrated the holiday as a show of solidarity and strength of the Irish in a foreign land. Today, the celebrations include parades, shamrocks, green outfits, green beer, and corned beef and cabbage. In Ireland, it’s a religious holiday that celebrates St. Patrick bringing Catholicism to the Irish Pagans. Periodically, sales of alcohol were banned on this holiday, but today there are celebrations aplenty.

In honor of this holiday, we’ve compiled a list of four talented authors from the Emerald Isle.

1 James Joyce (1882–1941)

Joyce wrote Ulysses (1922),  which is hailed as one of the most groundbreaking novels of the twentieth century. The book made Joyce famous for its stream-of-consciousness style and explicit content. Joyce was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1882, and moved to Paris before settling in Italy. He died in Zurich, Switzerland in 1941. Joyce’s other published works include Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegan’s Wake (1939), which was recognized by poet Ezra Pound when he put the book into a magazine serial. An excerpt from Ulysses reads:

“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”

2 Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

Also a Dubliner, Wilde is known for writing The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). Wilde was educated at Oxford and toured the US and the UK giving lectures. He was married and had two children when he was arrested for having an affair with a young man. He was imprisoned for two years and, after being released, died from cerebral meningitis at forty-six years old. His two best-known works are among the greatest accomplishments of the late Victorian period. The following excerpt from The Picture of Dorian Gray, is about a man whose image in a portrait ages while he himself remains forever youthful so he can commit to a life of sin:

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”

3 Leland Bardwell (1928–2016)

Bardwell, a poet, dramatist, short-story writer, and novelist, was born in India, but moved to Ireland at the age of two. Her novels The House (1984) and There We Have Been (1989) cover the topics of Protestantism, history, and relationships. Bardwell’s writing captures life in a small Irish town in Mother to a Stranger (2002). In the novel, the town’s inhabitants convene at the pub for community news:

“Not many sick this weather?” Matt queried. “Francie McCarthy’s mother has the shingles.” “That’s a terrible dose.” “She must be a quare age.” “Eighty-three.” “Is she gone into the general?” “Is Francie upset?” Nan asked. “Ah, you know Francie.”

4 Emma Donoghue (1969– )

Donoghue, the third on our list to have been born in Dublin, is famous for Frog Music (2014) and Room (2010), which was made into a movie Donoghue earned a Ph.D. from Cambridge and has earned a living as a writer since she was twenty-three, stating, “[I] have been lucky enough to never have an ‘honest job’ since I was sacked after a single summer month as a chambermaid.” She currently lives in Canada. Here is an excerpt from Room, narrated by five-year-old Jack, who lives in captivity with his mother:

“In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time…I don’t know how persons with jobs do the jobs and all the living as well…I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter all over the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there’s only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.”

Get ready for this St. Patrick’s Day by familiarizing yourself with these great Irish authors and others, such as Anne Enright, Bram Stoker, and Frank McCourt. However you’re celebrating this year, have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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24 Quick Tips That Will Improve Your Writing

Every day, we write college papers, blog posts, work documents, emails, and social media updates. Our writing represents who we are personally and professionally, so it’s worth it to hone your skills. Here are twenty-five tips to help you communicate better in text.

How to Get Started

1 Set writing goals.

Maybe you want to write a certain number of words per day or upgrade your vocabulary. You can’t reach a goal unless you have one, so write that goal down and work toward it.

2 Write in the morning.

For many people, writing comes easier right after a good night’s sleep. Grammarly’s research also shows early birds make fewer writing mistakes.

Here’s a tip:  Grammarly runs on powerful algorithms developed by the world’s leading linguists, and it can save you from misspellings, hundreds of types of grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context. Learn More 

3 Get inspired by research.

Before you begin writing, do some reconnaissance reading. Take notes as you read up on your subject material. Ideas will form as you research.

Here’s a tip: Once you’ve jumped into the writing process, don’t stop to do more research. Instead, add a placeholder like [RESEARCH] and keep rolling. You can come back to finalize facts and add references when your first draft is finished.

4 Outline.

If you often find yourself rambling on without a clear structure, start with an outline. Follow this simple, no-fail outlining process to organize yourself from the start.

How to Write Email and Other Professional Documents

5 Keep it brief

Brevity is important in professional communication. Respect your colleagues’ time by knowing exactly what you need to communicate before you begin writing so you can keep your message concise.

6 Don’t neglect context.

Does the person you’re communicating with have the same information and frame of reference you do? If not, make sure you provide context. You don’t have to give the entire backstory, just fill in the missing pieces so your message will be clear.


7 Format your email properly.

Use good email formatting structure. Write an enticing subject line so your recipient is compelled to open your email. Understand proper email salutations and closings.

8 Don’t email angry.

Yes, you might be irked at your colleague for dropping the ball on that project and making you look bad, but don’t send emails when you’re still fuming. If you must write when emotions are hot, do it offline. Walk away for at least twelve hours, then edit with a calm head.

Here’s a tip: Don’t treat email as anything less than an extension of your professional persona. The way you communicate in professional settings reflects on you in a potentially lasting way.

9 Proofread thoroughly before you hit SEND.

Typos and grammar gaffes make you look bad. Scan your email and fix errors before you send it. You’ll look your best when your correspondence is mistake-free!

How to Write Naturally

10 Write like you talk. Within reason.

Your writing should sound natural and fluid. Unless you’re communicating in a more formal context, write as though you’re talking to a friend.

11 Don’t ramble.

We just said “Write like you talk”, but there’s a caveat—don’t ramble. Avoid winding twists and turns, and don’t use filler words such as like, really, and you know. Good writing should get to the point and avoid fluff.

12 Be a storyteller.

No matter what the message, we humans are drawn to stories. Consider Pixar’s guide.

Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling


13 Empathize with the reader.

Empathy can improve all kinds of writing, from fiction to content marketing to email outreach. Take the time put yourself in your reader’s place. Are you preaching to her, or are you engaging her by showing that you relate to her feelings and experiences?

14 Be fascinated in order to be fascinating.

The more interested you are about the subject you’re writing about, the more intrigued your readers will be with what you’ve written.

Here’s a tip: Faced with less-than-inspiring subject material for an assigned project? Find a fascinating angle for your story. With the right approach, it’s even possible to write an interesting story about something unappealing.

How to Clean Up Your Writing

15 Let your writing rest for a while and edit fresh.

Whenever possible, don’t edit just after you’ve finished writing. Come back after a break and review with fresh eyes. Even stepping away for a quick walk or a cup of coffee can help you shift gears from writer to editor.

16 Get rid of filler words and phrases.

When you edit, it’s time to cut the fluff. Every word needs a job, and those that aren’t pulling their weight have to go. Here’s our list of words and phrases you can eliminate right now.

17 Dump adverbs.

Get rid of most adverbs and use stronger verb choices instead. When you do, ran swiftly becomes darted and cried pitifully becomes wailed. Remember what Stephen King said: “I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

18 Develop your comma mojo.

The comma is a misunderstood punctuation mark. There are a number of rules for proper comma usage, but if you study them, they’ll become second nature. Here’s a quick guide. And here’s another that lists the most common comma struggles and how to solve them.

19 Put everything in the right order.

We often write in the order that ideas and thoughts come to us, but that’s not always the best way to present the final product.

Here’s a tip: If you didn’t outline before you began writing, try outlining your finished draft. Sometimes, the process of outlining a finished draft will reveal paragraphs or whole sections that would make more sense if they were moved.

20 Read your writing out loud.

One of the best ways to find clumsy sentence structure is to read your writing aloud. If you stumble as you’re reading, take a look at the sentence you tripped over and see if you can clear it up.

21 Keep a list of mistakes you make often.

We all have our writing struggles. Make a list of your most frequent mistakes so you can easily find and eliminate them next time.

Here’s a tip: Let Grammarly do the tracking for you! Members receive free weekly email insights, which include not only statistics about their writing habits and level of mastery, but their top writing mistakes.

22 Enlist a friend to read your draft.

Sometimes a second pair of eyes can prove helpful. Just remember the mnemonic, TWYWALTR—in creative circles, it means Take What You Want And Leave The Rest. Give all the advice you receive your full consideration, but make your own choices in the end.

23 Get a hand from Grammarly.

Editing yourself is hard. Grammarly’s app can help you find all kinds of writing errors. Think of it as a helpful friend looking over your shoulder and saying, “Hey, that doesn’t seem quite right. Want to take another look?”

24 Keep reading, learning, and practicing.

Read about writing. (You’re here, so you’re off to a good start!) Read in general, and you’ll learn style and grammar by osmosis. And practice often. The best way to improve your writing is by doing it. Onward!

The post 24 Quick Tips That Will Improve Your Writing appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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Grammarly’s Path to Effective Communication

Emails have replaced letters. Text messages supersede phone calls. An entire generation has stopped using voicemail. And everything — from our relationships with friends and family to interactions with coworkers to the way we pay our bills and schedule appointments — is moving online.

Communication has become more frequent and instantaneous, yet more varied and important. Each message we send to a friend or family member presents an opportunity for misunderstanding. And our jobs increasingly require successful teamwork and collaboration.

But effective communication is difficult. The internet, and the rise in geographic and professional mobility, helps us connect with more people of diverse backgrounds, but nuances of communication can get lost in the shuffle. It requires talent, skill, and effort to clarify one’s thoughts and feelings and to articulate those in a way recipients will understand.

What if we could harness the power of artificial intelligence to help every English speaker communicate what they mean? What if we could help people truly understand each other?

What would happen if we democratized effective communication?

Where We’ve Been

Nine years ago, we founded Grammarly with the goal of using technology to help people communicate what they mean. While social media, email, and collaboration tools have increased the frequency and speed of communication, Grammarly has always focused on improving the substance of communication.

From the very start, we’ve invested in linguistic technology to provide actionable feedback that helps Grammarly customers improve their writing. Through a combination of natural language processing and advanced machine learning technologies, we’ve approached our goal in stages.

Initially, we focused on creating software to improve writing accuracy — namely spelling, grammar, and punctuation. We started with a tool that enabled students to follow rigorous standards of academic writing. Realizing the need for better writing existed beyond academia, we soon began to offer Grammarly to anyone looking to communicate better in English — from crafting an error-free social media post to perfecting a cover letter for their dream job.

Over time we expanded beyond accuracy, with the goal of making writing not just mistake-free, but more compelling and easier to read. We introduced feedback along two new dimensions: clarity and effectiveness.

Today, our sophisticated algorithms help millions of people communicate better. Whether it’s through our browser extension, the Grammarly Keyboard, Grammarly for Microsoft Office, or our Grammarly Editor, we’re here to assist and empower writing on multiple platforms across devices. Every day, our customers share stories about how Grammarly has helped them communicate more effectively. This is what drives us.




Where We’re Going

As we continue to grow our team and evolve our AI-powered products, we ultimately have our sights set on something bigger: becoming a true communication assistant that improves how people connect with and understand each other.

We’ll also continue to deliver our products with an easy, pleasant user experience — wherever communication happens. That includes continually integrating our products into more platforms, sites, and collaboration tools.

In the short term, we’ll roll out a series of updates that expand Grammarly’s ability to assist with communication. We’ll apply natural language processing and machine learning to further develop our feedback on clarity and effectiveness. This means taking the context of a written message into consideration — its intent, audience, style, and emotion — and providing suggestions on advanced elements of communication, like conciseness and tone. In doing so, we hope to continue bridging the gap between how people express themselves and how they’re understood.

Making this possible requires evolving aspects of Grammarly’s interface and the way we deliver our suggestions to customers. We’re starting with a new Grammarly Editor that will make it easier for users to understand and interact with our clarity and effectiveness feedback.

We’re not stopping there. Long term, we’ll add new ways to help people facilitate clearer, stronger communication, with the eventual goal of becoming a comprehensive communication assistant that promotes true understanding. Realizing this vision means growing our team to deliver on the technical innovation at the core of our products.

In an increasingly polarizing world, Grammarly seeks to increase connection and understanding with one another. We believe in empowering everyone to communicate clearly, effectively, and confidently. We’ve made great strides on our path to effective communication, and we’re just getting started.  

The post Grammarly’s Path to Effective Communication appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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Now’s The Time To Create Your Personal Website for 2018 — Here’s How

Nothing makes you stand out more than a personal website that showcases your education and experience, just like a standard resume would. There are a few reasons why personal resume websites are far better than traditional resumes. First of all, more and more employers are turning to the Internet in their search for new employees. You need to show up in their searches, and having a website is a great way to be able to do this. Today we are going to talk about the benefits of a personal resume website, and how you can create your own site that is going to get noticed by potential employers.

Here’s a tip:  Grammarly runs on powerful algorithms developed by the world’s leading linguists, and it can save you from misspellings, hundreds of types of grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context. Learn More 

Benefits of a Personal Resume Website

Having a personal resume website isn’t just a way to show off your computer and website building skills. There are actually numerous benefits to having your own resume website. For starters, it is going to make you seem more dynamic than other applicants who just send in digital copies of their resumes. Traditional resumes don’t give potential employers the complete picture of their applicants, but you can say a lot more when you have a personal resume website. Other benefits of having a website include:

  • Be More Discoverable: These days, more and more employers and HR managers are searching online for new employees. If you have applied for a position, chances are that they are going to search your name online. Wouldn’t it be nice if they were able to find your personal resume site as soon as they type in your name? Having a website makes it easier for potential employers to find you and learn more about you.
  • Gain Credibility: When you are able to show examples of work you have done in the past on your resume, it lets you really showcase your skills and talents. Using photos and videos is something that you can’t do with a traditional resume, but you are free to get creative with your personal resume website. An added bonus is that potential employers are going to be able to see just how creative you are.
  • Show a Willingness to Work: Creating a personal resume website involves a lot more than just putting together a site and then ignoring it. You need to maintain and update the site regularly, and you need to market and promote your site so you get noticed. This means that you are going to be doing a lot of work and learning new skills as you go, which is something that is going to be noticed by potential employers.

Creating Your Personal Resume Website

1 Get a Domain Name

The first thing you need to do is get yourself a domain name. The obvious choice here is to use your name with a .com extension. You can have the domain name begin with your first or last name, adding your middle initial or name, with your first initial and last name, etc. The choice is yours. Just make sure that people are easily able to see that this is your personal resume website. If they are specifically looking for you, this is going to make it easy for them to find you.




2 Find a Hosting Plan

The next step is to find the right hosting plan for your personal resume website. Check out Squarespace. Some plans can be purchased for just $12 per month, and you can often buy the domain name and get hosting from the same provider. Look for a provider that offers excellent customer support. You never know when you are going to need help, and you need to know that you can get that help when you do need it. The best providers offer 24/7 customer assistance.

3 Link Your Resume to a Landing Page

It is a good idea to create a great landing page that has a button that links to the PDF version of your resume. A great-looking landing page with a short biography and a photo that shows you or what you do can entice potential employers to want to learn more. Having the link right there makes it easy for them to find you and take a look at your full resume.

4 Create Separate Pages

Rather than having your entire resume on one page, break it up so that each section has its own page on your website. This gives you more of an opportunity to really get into detail about your education and training, experience, etc. Set up a site menu so readers will know exactly where to go to find the information they want to learn about you, and they can get there quickly and easily. Choose a website builder that will let you do this easily.

5 Create a Multimedia Timeline of Your Work History

Find a website template that will allow you to create a page that is long and scrolling, and that lets you put things into different sections, referred to as an index. This is going to be used for your work history page, and you can really make it stand out by adding a variety of multimedia elements, such as photos or videos. Begin with your most recent work experience, and work your way back. Don’t forget to mention volunteer work and other side projects you are working on.

6 Include a Blog

If you really want to be noticed, include a blog on your personal resume website. This is a great way for you to be able to share your ideas about the industry you work in or wish to work in or engage with more people. Just remember, if you are going to include a blog, make sure that you update it regularly with new and interesting posts.

7 Make Downloading Your Resume Easy

Make sure that it is going to be easy for potential employers to download your resume so they have a hard copy. Your website should include a button that lets them download the resume in a single click, as well as print it out. Then, they will be able to print it and share it with others who may be a part of the hiring process.

A version of this post originally appeared on Glassdoor’s blog.

More from Glassdoor:

The Ultimate Guide to Analyzing a Company’s Glassdoor Page

10 Smart Ways to Improve Your Chances for a Raise

8 Honest Reasons You Didn’t Make It Past the First Interview

The post Now’s The Time To Create Your Personal Website for 2018 — Here’s How appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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Quiz for Lessons 371 – 375 – Mechanics – Punctuation – Quotation Marks

Instructions: Use quotation marks and capitals where needed in these sentences.
1. That is an interesting story, said Sarah.
2. Could you, asked Jack, tell us some more stories?
3. I like old stories from long ago, remarked Jane. My mother used to read them to me.
4. Joe said that he had heard the story before.
5. I doubt that you know what your are talking about, stated Charlie. Well, replied Joe, you are incorrect this time. Charlie looking at Joe then said, I apologize for my unkind remark.
6. The children said that they would look for more books with interesting old stories.
7. Have you ever been to Persia? asked Henry. No, I haven’t, said Bill, and it is not called Persia now. What is is called now, inquired Jane.
8. Look, cried Sarah, Mom is bringing refreshments!
9. This sure has been a fun day, guys, giggled Jack.
10. I hope we can do this again soon, said Bill. There is so much to learn from good stories.
–For answers scroll down.

1. “That is an interesting story,” said Sarah.
2. “Could you,” asked Jack, “tell us some more stories?”
3. “I like old stories from long ago,” remarked Jane. “My mother used to read them to me.”
4. Joe said that he had heard the story before.
5. “I doubt that you know what you are talking about,” stated Charlie.
“Well,” replied Joe, “you are incorrect this time.”
Charlie looking at Joe then said, “I apologize for my unkind remark.”
6. The children said that they would look for more books with interesting old stories.
7. “Have you ever been to Persia?” asked Henry.
“No, I haven’t,” said Bill, “and it is not called Persia now.”
“What is is called now?” inquired Jane.
8. “Look,” cried Sarah, “Mom is bringing refreshments!”
9. “This sure has been a fun day, guys,” giggled Jack.
10. “I hope we can do this again soon,” said Bill. “There is so much to learn from good stories.”

For your convenience, all of our lessons are available on our website in our lesson archive at http://www.dailygrammar.com/archive.html. Our lessons are also available to purchase in an eBook and a Workbook format.
from Daily Grammar Lessons Blog

This Is What a Perfect Professional Email Signature Looks Like

Before email was a fact of life, a business card or letterhead served to showcase a person’s professional or personal brand. Now, your email signature has to deliver that payload. Is yours doing the job?

The average worker sends about forty business emails each day. That’s two hundred emails in a typical work week, and a whopping 10,400 per year. Each email is an opportunity to share a little information that helps build recognition and trust. And when you have a good signature, you can promote yourself, your services, the company you work for, or all of the above.

How to Create a Professional Email Signature

Your signature doesn’t need to be flashy to be effective. In fact, the best email signature is often simple. Here are a few do’s and don’ts.

  • Do keep it short. Use no more than 3-4 lines of text.
  • Don’t throw in the kitchen sink. Prioritize rather than including every social media or website link.
  • Do include an image. Your corporate logo or a simple, professional headshot can add authority and build trust.
  • Don’t include your email address. Although it seems like a no-brainer, lots of people add their email address to their signature unnecessarily.
  • Do be careful with contact information. You don’t want everyone you email to have your mobile phone number.
  • Don’t promote a personal agenda with a work email signature. Sure, you’re proud of your cat’s Instagram. But it’s not related to your professional life, so it doesn’t belong in your professional signature.
  • Do use color. Match the color scheme and typeface to your company’s marketing materials.
  • Don’t go font-crazy or use animated gifs. Two fonts, max. No flashy blinky things, please.
  • Do optimize for mobile. Send yourself a test email and check your signature on your mobile device to make sure it looks good.
Here’s a tip: Does your company require any legal disclaimers or privacy addendums? It’s always a good idea to consult your employee manual or consult with HR to make sure that your work signature is in compliance.


Here’s how to set up your email signature manually in different email platforms.

Here’s a tip:  Grammarly runs on powerful algorithms developed by the world’s leading linguists, and it can save you from misspellings, hundreds of types of grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context. Learn More 

Three Signature Generators to Try

Signature generators let you create a dazzling signature with a few clicks and keystrokes. A drawback to using them is that most will require you to populate the email address field, hence adding your email address to your signature (redundantly so) whether you like it or not. They’ll also include a bit of their own marketing, such as “Get your own free email signature here,” with a link to their product. You’ll have to weigh the benefits of having a robust, attractive signature against the downsides of including extraneous info.

HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator

HubSpot offers a signature creator that lets you play with layout and colors and add an image. You’ll also be able to include social media links, certifications, and a call-to-action.

You’ll have to include your email address and phone number to use this signature generator, and HubSpot will also prompt you to answer a few questions about your company.

HubSpot | Free Email Signature Generator

Exclaimer’s Free Email Signature Creator

This signature creator allows you to include a logo, banner, social media links, and even a company disclaimer. As with HubSpot, it will make you populate the email address field. It will also add a bit of promotional language in tiny text below your sig. Bonus: If you share Exclaimer on your social channels, they’ll remove the branding from your signature. Score!

Exclaimer’s FREE Email Signature Maker


WiseStamp puts a lot of signature-generating power at your fingertips. Use it wisely. (With great power comes great responsibility, after all.) You can do anything from requesting support for a charity to showing off your latest YouTube video. Just make sure your signature remains professional and doesn’t get overloaded with too much (or work-inappropriate) information.

You can upgrade to a monthly plan to get even more options and remove the company’s branding from your signature.


4 Signature Examples

Here are some ways to use signatures to leave a lasting impression.

Plain and Simple

Keep it simple, silly! Often, your name, title, company, and contact info are all your business context need. When that’s the case, a simple signature like this one will do the trick.

Showcasing your social feeds

If you want to boost either your company’s or your personal professional brand, include your top social media links in your signature.

Promoting a newsletter

Every newsletter subscriber is a potential lead or contact. Collect them when you can! Adding a newsletter subscription link to your signature will help.

Just text

Sometimes plain and simple is the best option. There’s nothing wrong with a text signature. In fact, it’s an easy, mobile-friendly format.

Joe Otter | Chief Executive Slider

Riverside Water Slides, Ltd.

W: riversideslides.ott

Other ways to leverage your email signature

Don’t be afraid to get a little creative. Just make sure to choose one or two angles that will do the most for your business or personal brand. The goal is to make it easy for your contact to interact with your signature, not to slam them with a wall of links and social icons.

Ask yourself, What do I want my contact to do when he or she sees my signature? It might be simply to recognize your name, title, and company. Or it might be:

  • Connecting with you on LinkedIn
  • Visiting your website
  • Reading your blog
  • Checking out your YouTube channel
  • Registering for an event or webinar
  • Responding to a specific call-to-action

No matter how you use your signature, keep it clear and concise to make the best closing statement.

The post This Is What a Perfect Professional Email Signature Looks Like appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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4 Popular Writing Goals to Set This Year

Even Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg sets writing goals at the beginning of a new year. Back in 2016, she challenged herself to journal at least three of each day’s joyful moments.

We asked Grammarly blog readers, “What are your 2018 writing goals?” Their replies reflected the goals of accomplished writers, such as Nayomi Munaweera, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Callum Sharp.

1 To write.

An objective doesn’t have to be elaborate to be effective. Grammarly blog reader Sydney Petty’s goal is simple: “To write.”

According to the Huffington Post, writing is like physical exercise for your brain: “Like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. And habits formed in one area of life tend to spread; as keeping your office clean leads to keeping the bedroom tidy, your daily practice of writing will domino onto other healthy habits.”

How professional writer Nayomi Munaweera said it:

My New Year’s resolution for 2018 is the same as it’s been every other year: write more, write better.
Here’s a tip:  Grammarly runs on powerful algorithms developed by the world’s leading linguists, and it can save you from misspellings, hundreds of types of grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context. Learn More 

2 To improve your business.

Australia’s Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science states that writing “clear, well-defined goals” can help business owners “improve teamwork and collaboration.”

You can also use writing to attract new clients. For example, Grammarly blog reader Amanda Edens wants to record a writing podcast to boost her novel editing business.

How Simon Slade, Special to CNBC does it:

“As an entrepreneur and business owner, I have used journaling extensively, and the habit has been integral to my achievements.”

3 To write for enjoyment.

Belinda Tennyson identified a common problem in the goal she posted on Grammarly’s Facebook page. “I want to write poems,” she writes.

This year, why not write what makes you happy?

What marketing copywriter Callum Sharp pledges for 2018: “I want to do more work for me, not for anybody else. I write day in, day out. . . for an agency. . .I think it’s important to write first and foremost for myself. I’ve sidelined my book for quite some time now, and it intimidates me every time I go to pick it up. In 2018, I intend to overcome that fear and finish the damn thing.”

4 To master a second language.

Grammarly blog reader Eli Russell wants to learn British English for a move to London this summer.

Whether you are mastering a foreign language for travel or just for fun, writing is one of the most challenging aspects of the process.

In a 1995 study, Japanese researchers found that the most proficient bilingual writers transfer their learned skills from their native tongue. In other words, pre-writing, composition, and revision strategies continue to pay off when you use them to write in a second language.

How Jhumpa Lahiri describes writing in her third language:

“Italian offers me a very different literary path. As a writer I can demolish myself, I can reconstruct myself.”

At the end of 2016, Sandberg admitted that it was the first year she ever completed a New Year’s resolution. Will this be your year? Tell us how you’re doing in the comments below.

The post 4 Popular Writing Goals to Set This Year appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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