Do you find yourself making the same grammar mistakes over and over again? Would you like to sharpen up your copy and get it right first time? My tips below can help.
- Master one of English’s most intimidating punctuation marks: the semicolon. Semicolons are stronger in effect than a colon, but not as final as a full stop. They are useful in three ways. You use a semicolon between two main clauses that balance each other and are too closely linked to be made into separate sentences. “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times,” is a classic example. A semicolon can be used where your sentence is already peppered with commas, as it acts as a stronger division. I also like to use a semicolon to separate items in a list.
- I’m not going to teach you to suck eggs by spelling out the differences between “your” and “you’re” and “their”, “they’re” and “there”. But what I will say is this – read your copy back to yourself when you use these words. So long as you understand the difference you’ll notice your mistake straightaway.
- Learn how to use “its” and “it’s”. I confess – there are rare occasions where my mind goes blank and I need to think about this one myself! If this happens to you too don't panic – you're only human. “Its” is the possessive form. “It’s”, with its apostrophe, indicates a missing letter and always means “it is”.
More tips to improve you writing can be found on my blog, http://www.seeemilywrite.com/blog/. To find out more about my freelance copywriting services, or to discuss a project that you have in mind please email firstname.lastname@example.org.