March Newsletter: Comma or colon before a quotation?

I instinctively choose between a comma and a colon before a quotation. But I wondered if there was a rule that I should know about.

I was happy to discover Grammar Monster’s “Comma or Colon before a Quotation?” The blog post features an easy-to-follow flow chart for picking a comma or a colon. The key is deciding whether what precedes the quotation is an independent clause (in other words, could it be a standalone sentence?).

Write a great “about” page

The 7 Questions Your ‘About’ Page Should Answer” by Andy Crestodina was highly recommended by my friend, the extraordinary copywriter Robyn Bradley, so I had to check it out. It features a nice template and practical tips.

I was interested to learn that Crestodina thinks conflict is an essential element of a good “about” page on your website. His explanation makes sense, but I’d never thought of the topic that way until I read his article.

Discounted paperbacks of Financial Bloggingbook cover: Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients

Buy a paperback copy of Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients for only $39 (regular price is $49) while the supply lasts. This offer is only for shipment within the U.S. Simply email me with your mailing address, pay the invoice I’ll email you, and I’ll send your book via priority mail.

I’m happy to sign the title page of your book. Just tell me to whom to inscribe it and what you’d like me to write.

Why there’s no apostrophe in writers room

My post on “Why there’s no apostrophe in writers room” inspired a piece of fan mail to me recently. Honestly, this topic continues to confuse me, so I circle back to this post occasionally.

As I proofread this newsletter, my software tells me that I need an apostrophe in “writers room.” This is an example of why you can’t rely solely on automated grammar and spelling checks.

Reminder: April will be my last month on Constant Contact

April will be the last month that I’ll email this newsletter to you via Constant Contact. After that, you’ll find it here on my blog. Visit my blog monthly and follow me on LinkedIn to ensure you keep up with the newsletter.

How AI affects evaluating student performance

With generative AI making it easier for everyone to write exam answers and essays, the role of written communications will become less important in academia, according to “AI in the Academy: Cautious embrace of a new technology” in Harvard Magazine. As a result, “The role of oral, live, public speaking assignments is going to increase,” says Professor Jeffrey Schnapp.

I wonder if this will also affect how companies interview writers and editors before hiring them. However, I think the best way to assess editorial skill is with a paid assignment. Even before AI, readers never really knew if a published article or editing sample was solely the work of one individual.

What my clients say about me

“Fast, effective, insightful. I can think of no better resource for superior financial writing.”

“Susan has an exceptional ability to tailor investment communications to the sophistication level of any audience. She has an uncanny ability to make very complex investment and/or economic topics accessible and understandable to anyone.”

“Susan’s particularly good at working through highly technical material very quickly. That’s very important in this business. A lot of people are good writers, but they have an extensive learning curve for something they’re unfamiliar with. Susan was able to jump very quickly into technical material.”

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Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients is available for purchase as a PDF ($39) or a paperback ($49, affiliate link).

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