Articles about writing, editing and improving content

  • The potty-mouthed guide to using apostrophes

    By Dan Kaufman on February 15, 2017
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    If you find yourself swearing while figuring out when and where to use an apostrophe, you’re not alone.

    This tiny punctuation mark causes a lot of confusion – which might explain why someone finally wrote a book called Fucking Apostrophes …

  • Headline writing tips from David Ogilvy

    By Dan Kaufman on November 30, 2016
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    When the original madman David Ogilvy wrote Confessions of an Advertising Man, no-one had even heard of the web – and yet most of his headline writing tips are still worth following …

  • The evil writer’s guide to writing in the middle voice (and the nice writer’s guide to effective voice)

    By Dan Kaufman on October 4, 2016
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    My last post explained how to write in the active voice – but what’s far less known is the middle voice, not to mention the effective voice …

  • How to write in the active voice

    By Dan Kaufman on July 18, 2016
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    Writing in the active voice is key to making your copy sharper and easier to read. Yet while many people have heard about it, there’s a lot of confusion about what it means.

    Some think it’s about tone or style, others think it’s about tense.

    Instead, active voice is about having the subject perform the action of the verb – rather than being acted on by it …

  • 5 media law issues you ought to know in Australia

    By Dan Kaufman on May 23, 2016
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    An editor once told me you’re not a real journalist until you get your first lawsuit. That was 20 years ago and although he was (probably) joking, I perversely liked the sentiment. After all, great journalism is all about keeping the bastards honest – and it’s hard to do that without ruffling feathers. The fact that a defamation suit turns your life to hell was a detail that escaped me in my youth.

    These days I’m older, possibly wiser, and certainly more wary. After all …