Logic, Clarity, and Precision

Ensure that your writing is clear and logical. Avoid ambiguity, and make sure your words convey precisely the message you intend to convey.

Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers and Other Illogical Constructions: We will focus on the careful placement of modifying words, phrases, and clauses and raise awareness of the need for precision in professional writing. In addition, we will addresses the problem of redundancies and other errors in logic:

  • Should we write “The corporation only grossed $3 million this year” or “The corporation grossed only $3 million this year”?
  • Can we write “Driving home from the office, the car swerved out of control”?
  • What is wrong with road signs that say “Prepare to stop when flashing”?
  • Is it acceptable to write about “advance reservations,” “underage minors,” or “free gifts”?
  • Can e.g. and etc. appear in the same parenthetical expression?

Word Confusion: Our lexicon changes constantly. We will review a number of words that writers often confuse or misuse. Here are just a few we cover in this seminar:

  • insure, ensure, and assure
  • anxious and eager
  • effect and affect
  • bimonthly and semimonthly
  • farther and further
  • like and as
  • disinterested and uninterested
  • inferand imply
  • lay and lie

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