Posted by: episystechpubs | July 8, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Tips 6 and 9 – Citing

Today’s two writing tips are both about citing—no, not Bigfoot or Loch Ness Monster sightings, but citing numbers and examples. These are still from the list of ten top tips from the article “10 Top Writing Tips and the Psychology Behind Them,” by Josh Bernoff.

Tip # 6 Cite numbers effectively.

Why it matters. Used properly, statistics can back up your point.

Why you use numbers the wrong way. You think a number—any number—adds credibility. But they’re so easy to misuse.

How to fix it. When citing a statistic, include the context (compared to what?). And statistics shorn of sources are meaningless; “It is estimated that” might as well say “I made this number up.” Here’s a proper way to use a statistic: “Forrester Research estimates that by 2017, 2.4 billion people will own smartphones, or around one third of the world’s population.”

Tip # 9 Cite examples.

Why it matters.Text without examples is dull and not credible. Text with examples comes alive.

Why you lack examples. Examples come from research, which is work. They make you pause and think as you’re writing, which slows you down.

How to fix it. For a piece of any length, plan to spend half the writing time doing research first. If you can’t get an actual example, use a hypothetical. If possible, cite a person who did something, not just a company.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: