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StyleWriter FAQs
Who needs StyleWriter?

Just about anyone who writes. Research has shown:

  • Managers claim that 80 percent of their employees lack good writing skills.
  • Employees claim managers are poor writers, set bad examples and offer little guidance to improve their documents.
  • Whole professions, lawyers, government officials, social scientists, computer technicians have reputations for bad writing and poor communication.
  • But when people were asked if they had good writing and communications skills, everyone claimed they did!

StyleWriter is for anyone who writes, but is most useful for the typical office worker in business or government who has little or no training in good writing skills.

If you use a word processor, StyleWriter offers you better quality documents. StyleWriter is for anyone who writes:

  • Advertisers for better ads, leaflets and press releases.
  • Editors who want to use software to develop a house style.
  • Journalists to check and polish their writing style.
  • Judges for legal briefs to be just that - brief.
  • Lawyers trying to break centuries of bad writing habits.
  • Scientists who want to write clearly about complex issues.
  • Social Scientists who want to sound human.
  • Students wanting to get A-Grade essays.
  • Technical Authors for shorter, readable documentation.
  • You, if you want to learn the secrets of clear, direct language.
Doesn't plain English patronize readers by writing down to them?

No. Plain English is a term adopted by government, business and organizations that want to adopt a clear English style. Plain English is simply clear English. Here's an example from The Economist magazine.

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This is plain, clear English. It has a strong style, good information and is easy reading but it is not simplistic or patronising. It's the style your audience will want to read.

Does StyleWriter encourage a standard writing style?

No, just the opposite. StyleWriter frees up your style to help you express yourself in your own words - clearly and concisely. If you study most business letters or government reports, you'll find they have a standard writing style. It is typically, dull, long-winded, passive and boring. By removing these bad habits, you let readers concentrate on the document's content and absorb the information presented. Using plain English does not mean everyone's writing must sound the same as there's no single right way to express an idea. There's plenty of room for individual style, rhetoric and imaginative writing. So let StyleWriter help you get rid of your poor writing habits and help you express yourself clearly in your own words.

How can StyleWriter edit different documents such as a technical report, essay or business plan?

Good question. StyleWriter encourages you to write clearly and concisely - characteristics of all good technical reports, essays and business plans. You can select a writing task style that rates different documents in different ways. By cutting out the verbiage and simplifying the style of any document, the program encourages the style that underlies every piece of good writing. But if you write a technical report, StyleWriter will not stop you using specialist terms as these are usually necessary for writing precise information.

Can StyleWriter solve all writing problems?

No program can claim to do that. StyleWriter assumes you can write a grammatical sentence. It does not duplicate your spelling checker - although it does offer advice on preferred spelling. Instead, StyleWriter concentrates on finding thousands of faults to teach you to work like a professional editor.

StyleWriter cannot think through your writing task for you or work out the best information to present to the reader or decide the best order to present it. Although there are help screens on these and hundreds of other writing issues, StyleWriter cannot tell if your content is good or bad. One reviewer summed it up well: "StyleWriter will show you how to write anything in a clear, concise and readable style. However, if you write nonsense, it will show you how to write clear, concise and readable nonsense."

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However, StyleWriter is the best way to learn the art of good writing because it constantly applies good writing principles to your document. It offers a quick way to improve every document, but the greatest change in your writing comes after using StyleWriter for a few months. You'll find you automatically draft shorter, clearer and more effective documents as StyleWriter's philosophy of plain English becomes your way of thinking and writing.

Should I follow all StyleWriter's Advice?

You do not have to make every change suggested by the program. Good editing means thinking about suggested changes, using common sense and deciding what's the best way to redraft the sentence. Although StyleWriter's advice reflects the accepted wisdom of many authorities on good writing, you will always need to have the final choice.

We've designed the program to help you how much editing you need to do. We separated the advice on style and usage.

We advise you edit as many of the style suggestions shown in dark red. You do not have to change the usage issues, shown in black, unless they are wrong. The best writing scores under 20-20-20 for the Style Index, Average Sentence Length and Passive Index. If you edit until you get three scores under 20 with excellent ratings, your writing style is fine and the one or two passive verbs and the occasional complex or abstract word will cause your readers little difficulty.

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What word processors does StyleWriter work with?

StyleWriter works with all versions of Word and WordPerfect. You can also use StyleWriter with any Windows application through the clipboard. You need to have Windows 95 or later.

How does StyleWriter distinguish between American and British English?

StyleWriter comes in three versions - United States, United Kingdom and Australian.

Is there an Apple version?

Sorry no. But some people use StyleWriter on the Apple by using the Virtual PC program. Email us here for more information.

Is there a 30-day money-back guarantee?

Yes. If you have a genuine reason to return the program, we'll refund your money.

What's the technical support?

Technical support is available to all single-user licence-holders by e-mail:

support@editorsoftware.com

Separate technical support arrangements are available for large, corporate users. Contact Editor Software for more information.

info@editorsoftware.com

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Still not sure? Click here to find out about our Software for Writers CD which includes a fully-working 30-Day trial of StyleWriter.

 

Find out how StyleWriter can help you with: Technical Reports, Journalist Writing, Advertising Copy, Minutes of Meetings, Writing Memos, Writing Policies and Procedures, Legal Documents, Essays and Research Papers, Business Letters
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