Category Archives: Better Writing

TL;DR – advice to ignore, but implications to heed

Hanging out with teenagers can be an enlightening experience. Last week, I participated in a panel discussion convened by MediaSmarts, “Canada’s centre for digital and media literacy” and a repository of fabulous resources for teachers, parents and kids. The teenagers … Continue reading

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2 words to make your writing more accessible

Let’s say you have a graduate degree and/or 20 years of experience in your field, and you’re used to speaking or writing for people who are similarly well-informed. Chances are you sometimes find it difficult to translate your knowledge into … Continue reading

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Official sexism brought to you by Canada’s national anthem

The following op ed, commissioned by the Montreal Gazette, also appears in  today’s Saskatoon Star Phoenix. It’s like poking a hornet’s nest: Dare to suggest that the words to the English version of our national anthem should be altered to … Continue reading

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Five tips to developing a successful TED talk

Even if you’re telling people 10 things they didn’t know about orgasms, or describing the experience of having a stroke from the inside out, it’s a lot harder to engage an online audience for your TED talk than it is to gather … Continue reading

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Most common errors made by aspiring op ed writers – part 2

Far too much research has already documented that when something goes wrong, women are highly inclined to blame the problem or setback on their own deficiencies. This tendency operates in stark contrast to men, who are more likely to blame … Continue reading

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Don’t Bury the Lede!

If you saw the following sentence at the start of a piece in your daily newspaper, would you keep reading? “You don’t see a lot of naked men in advertising.” Lots of people did — no thanks to me. The … Continue reading

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Most Common Errors Made by Aspiring Op Ed Writers – part 1

Whether you’re picked last for the ball team, get rebuffed on the first date, or fail to elicit a positive response from an editor, rejection stinks. That’s why Informed Opinions offers online editing feedback (free to our workshop participants, but … Continue reading

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Think “outcome” when crafting an op ed

In the middle of delivering an op ed writing workshop recently to a very engaged group of United Way staff and volunteers from across Ontario (organized through Sean Moore‘s fabulous Advocacy School initiative) I was reminded again of the value … Continue reading

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Opening lines – make ‘em work

“No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be a heroine.” “Tap-dancing child abuser. That’s what The Sunday New York Times from March 8, 1993, had called Vivi.” “But, you may … Continue reading

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Don’t do it!

It hardly seems fair: you spend years in school, mastering the impenetrable jargon necessary to earn the degree or qualify for the professional designation. And then someone (ok, that would be me — backed up by thousands of journalists and … Continue reading

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