Garbl's Action Writing Links is an annotated
directory of websites that can help you get people to read your writing, keep
readers interested and persuade them to respond while they're reading or
afterward. In a democracy, we each have the right and
the responsibility to speak out on matters that concern
Why do you write or want to write? To entertain? To inform? To
explain? To persuade? Those are the most common purposes for writing, at least
if you're writing something for someone else to read.
Whatever our purpose in writing, we usually have some hope or
expectation that the reader will respond in some way--in what she or he feels,
thinks or does.
The response we seek as writers might be subtle, small and
invisible, or it might be substantial, enormous and observed by thousands:
All we may hope for is a smile or a jog of the memory or a
clarification of a particular fact.
Or we may seek an email message from a friend in return, a
letter printed in a newspaper, a published news release about our community
club event or a top grade on a research paper.
Or we may be hoping for that book contract, that phone call from
an employer for an interview, that changed vote of our elected
Even if you're not interested in writing letters to editors
or politicians or getting a news release published, the tips provided by the
websites listed here can aid you in making your writing more effective.
In combination with the advice on the Plain Language page, the advice
here can help you fulfill your needs as a writer by helping you meet the needs
of the people to whom you write.
Speaking Out: Your Right. Your
"Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream
things that never were and say why not"--Robert F. Kennedy, 1925-1968,
paraphrasing playwright George Bernard Shaw.
Use your writing, speaking and thinking skills to make a
difference in your community, your country and your world.
Mindless loyalty is neither patriotism nor a
principle of a democratic nation.
of My Success--Harley Hahn, writer, computing consultant and
author of many Internet books, including Harley Hahn's Internet
& Web Yellow Pages
"Whenever someone spends more effort helping you than it would take to
write a thank-you note, send a note."
Hundreds of pre-written sample letters that you can copy, paste, edit and
print--for free. Letters include complaints, condolences, congratulations,
cover letters, recommendations and requests.
Basic news writing is built on a writing method called
the inverted pyramid. Journalists use it effectively, but
it's also useful for other types of writing--from writing for the Web to
writing letters to friends and employers to writing executive summaries in
corporate reports. An essential ingredient is a beginning that grabs the reader
immediately because it is interesting, informative or important.
How Users Read on the
Web--Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D., user advocate and principal of the
Nielsen Norman Group, Fremont, California
Renowned expert on Web usability recommends use of highlighted
words, subheadings, bulleted lists, one idea per paragraph and inverted pyramid