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Open your eyes to critical thinking skills

Open your eyes to critical thinking skills

Open your eyes to critical thinking skills

In the present business and political context, critical thinking skills are more important than ever.  We are figuratively drowning in fake news and  false information, thanks to the new powers that be.

What can you do to be aware of and fight against misinformation? And practice your English writing skills, particularly the skill of summarizing?

In a previous post on critical thinking skills,  I looked at five principles of critical thinking.  You need to be aware of:

1.  Stereotypical or reflective thinking

2. Correct statements vs. false statements, i.e.,  real facts versus “alternative facts”

3. Multiple viewpoints to expand your thinking

4. How your previous knowledge and experience affect your thinking

5. Invalid principles and assumptions or definitions

In a recent article in the Guardian, the author analyzes the message in two great British novels: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.

The article offers some great advice about using critical thinking skills in confronting misinformation.

Here are four strategies to improve your critical thinking skills.

Let’s  learn some great content and at the same time practice summarizing – a useful business and academic skill.

Use critical thinking skills to fight misinformation

Use critical thinking skills to fight misinformation

After you read each point, write the general idea in your own words on a piece of paper.  Then check my suggested summaries after writing your own.  No cheating!

First: treat false allegations as an opportunity. Seek information as close to the source as possible. The internet represents a great chance for citizens to do their own hunting – there’s ample primary source material, credible eyewitnesses, etc, out there – though it can also be manipulated to obfuscate that. No one’s reality, least of all our collective one, should be a grotesque game of telephone.

Second: don’t expect “the media” to do this job for you. Some of its practitioners do, brilliantly and at times heroically. But most of the media exists to sell you things. Its allegiance is to boosting circulation, online traffic, ad revenue. Don’t begrudge it that. But then don’t be suckered about the reasons why Story X got play and Story Y did not.

Third: for journalists, Jay Rosen, a former student of my father’s [Neil Postman] and a leading voice in the movement known as “public journalism”, offers several useful, practical suggestions.

Finally, and most importantly, it should be the responsibility of schools to make children aware of our information environments, which in many instances have become our entertainment environments, but there is little evidence that schools are equipped or care to do this. So someone has to.

We must teach our children, from a very young age, to be skeptics, to listen carefully, to assume everyone is lying about everything. (Well, maybe not everyone.) Check sources. Consider what wasn’t said. Ask questions. Understand that every storyteller has a bias – and so does every platform.

Here is more about about detecting fake news.

My suggested summaries of each of the four points. Don’t worry if your summaries are different. There are lots of different ways to write them.

1. When faced with false news, use it as an occasion to check reliable sources yourself to get the facts.

2. When using “the media”—whose primary goal is to make money,  be aware of any biases or particular viewpoints that exist.

3. If you are a reporter, find out what Jay Rosen suggests in his article.

4. Schools should teach children to be skeptical and aware of any bias in what they read or listen to by checking alternative sources.

Frank Bonkowski's New Course

Frank Bonkowski’s New Course

Find out how to write better with my
online writing course.


Common Writing Mistakes

Learners’ Common Writing Mistakes

Common writing mistakes

Common writing mistakes

It’s no fun making mistakes, especially in important situations. It’s one thing dropping your ice cream. It’s much more serious writing poorly when your reputation is at stake.

Let’s revisit writing mistakes that non-native English speaking language learners often make.

In a previous post, I looked at the misuse of the adjectives “good” and “bad” as well as the adverbs “well” and “badly.” Even native speakers of English are guilty of misusing these words.

Another common writing mistake is misusing linking words. Transitions make a big difference in good writing. They help you understand the flow of a sentence as well as organize several sentences together.

Recently, I asked my upper-level students to tell me their number 1 mistake in writing in English. In an informal survey, here are the common writing mistakes they mentioned related to content and language.

Writing mistakes: content

Students mentioned writing mistakes at the sentence level and paragraph level as well as for the entire document they are writing.

I have trouble to:

Content writing mistakes

Content writing mistakes

Express or explain my ideas.

Develop my ideas.

Come up with a thesis or main idea.

Find a good introduction.

Develop my paragraphs.

Formulate my sentences.

Come up with a conclusion.

Organize my paragraph structure.

Use good connecting words to link one sentence to the other.

Summarize my thoughts.

Introduce citations.

Use citation methods properly.

Writing mistakes: languageWriting mistakes: language

Students mentioned writing mistakes they experience with English grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and punctuation.

I have trouble to:
Find the right words to express myself.

Use basic grammar of English.

Use the appropriate verb tenses.

Choose particular vocabulary and specific words.

Spell properly.

Improve my vocabulary

Use the right punctuation.

What about your number 1 problem in writing in English? Share your thoughts with us.

I address all these writing mistakes and much more in my new
online writing course.

Although it focuses on academic writing, much of the content is valuable in business situations. For example, the lesson on critical thinking can change your thinking.






Topic sentence is key

Topic sentence is key

Good paragraph organization is a key part of an outstanding text in a business or academic context. Well-crafted paragraphs include a topic sentence.

What is an effective paragraph?

Good paragraphs usually have three parts:

  • a topic sentence with a controlling idea
  • supporting details
  • a concluding sentence

Let’s look briefly at these three parts of an effective paragraph.

First, a good topic sentence tells the reader what the paragraph is about, makes a point about the topic, and links to the previous paragraph.

Second, the specific details In a good paragraph support, describe, or explain the main idea expressed in the topic sentence. The paragraph provides evidence, such as examples, facts and statistics.

Third, the concluding sentence of the paragraph acts as a transition to the next paragraph.

So a good paragraph has unity. It helps both the writer and reader.

Including these three features helps the writer properly organize the paragraph. And it helps the reader follow the argument or point of view more easily.

What is a topic sentence?

Write good a topic sentence

Write good a topic sentence

5 key points to remember about a topic sentence:

  1. A topic sentence gives the main idea of the paragraph. It is the most important sentence in the paragraph in fact. Avoid using expressions such as, “In my opinion,” or “I believe.”
  2. A topic sentence is a complete sentence – the subject and verb; it is not a question, fact or phrase or incomplete sentence. It should be focused.
  3. A topic sentence includes both a topic and controlling idea – or specific point in that paragraph. Think of the topic sentence as a clear, debatable and concise statement expressing a point of view.
  4. A topic sentence previews the organization of a good paragraph. As I already mentioned, a topic sentence helps the writer know what essential information to include in the paragraph. And it helps the reader know what to expect.
  5. A topic sentence usually appears first in an effective paragraph. However, it may come second after an opening transitional sentence. If you are presenting a number of details and facts first, you can end your paragraph with a topic sentence.

Check out my new online course: Introduction to Academic Writing:

A multimedia course for better writing with 32 audio/visual lectures, recorded slide decks, and accompanying transcriptions.



Why Quote Reliable Sources

Quote reliable sources

Quote reliable sources

 Quote reliable sources

Whether you are writing a business report or an academic paper, you should quote reliable sources properly.

Why quote reliable sources?  You could get kicked out of your school or you could damage your professional reputation if you don’t.

Here are are five good reasons to use quotations when you are writing.

1. Protects you

It helps you avoid plagiarism  – stealing somebody else’s ideas.

2. Makes your text interesting

When you use quotations from reliable sources, it makes your paper more interesting. You should try to use quotes that are unusual or remarkable in some way.

For example, one of my favourite quotes from the American humorist Mark Twain is, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter so I wrote a long one instead.”

3. Gives supporting proof

Another reason to use the exact word of experts is that it gives strong evidence, details and statistics to support your arguments.

4. Makes things clear

A third reason to quote is that it makes a clear statement and avoids misinterpretation.

5. Allows you to do more things

Finally, if you want to use an exaggerated or opinionated statement that is not your own, you want to quote.

  • Do you know the difference between a direct quote and an indirect quote?
  • Do you know what punctuation to use when quoting directly?
  • Do you know what “ellipsis” and “sic” mean as well as how to use them?

Here are three warnings or things to watch out for when using quotations:

  • Don’t use too many quotations. It is not a good idea to fill up your essay with quotations. It weakens your writing. The goal in good writing is to seamlessly weave quotations into your text.
  • Paraphrase and summarize credible information.
  • Indent the text for quotations longer than five lines.

To find out more,  watch a video I prepared for my academic writing course.



How to Revise Documents


Revise documents:  A step not to miss

Revise a document

Revise documents

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.
Jack Kerouac

An important document, such as a business report, must be unified in all its aspects.

When you revise documents, you look at paragraph unity, development, and coherence.

You need to review the whole text and each paragraph to see that documents hold tightly together.


So you have completed the first draft of the report. What do you do next?

You put aside the text for an hour or two or even until the next day. You go back to the text with fresh eyes and you read it aloud.

First, you look at the whole document. Ask yourself whether the text clearly states the message and supports it with the right content.

Then you look at paragraph unity, development, and coherence.

Finally, you review the transitional expressions in the text.

You may want to go back to what I said about the importance of coherence.

STEP 1 REVISE DOCUMENTS: Look at the whole document

Revise a document:  step 1

Revise documents: step 1

Ask yourself if you:

– Engage the reader from the start with a startling statement or a quotation. For example, someone once said, “All lasting business is built on friendship.”

– State your purpose clearly.

– Use the right tone.

– Give enough background information or historical context to the reader.

– Answer possible questions the reader may have.

– Provide enough details and examples.

– Include any useless information.

– Bore the reader.

– Ask the reader to take action or make a recommendation.

– Need to share the document with an outside trusted reader for honest feedback, especially if the document has high importance.

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to make changes to the first draft of the document. You can add to, delete, or modify parts of the text to improve it.

Revise a document: step 2

Revise documents: step 2

STEP 2 REVISE DOCUMENTS: Look at each paragraph

Ask yourself if paragraphs:

– Fit well together in the overall organization of the document

– Follow some organizational principle, such as chronology, order of importance or problem to solution

– Have sufficient unity or coherence that includes a good topic sentence expressing one main idea

– Have sentences that are properly sequenced and flow well

– Contain material that may be false, inappropriate, or unnecessarily repetitive

– Show adequate development with appropriate supporting details

– Flow smoothly with enough transitional expressions to guide the reader

– Include overviews at strategic points to summarize topics

– Are not too long (three to five sentences – the shorter the better for online reading) and include lists or subheadings.

STEP 3 REVISE DOCUMENTS: Use transitional expressions

Revise a document: step 3

Revise documens: step 3

I talked about the value of transitional signals on the topic of coherence and cohesion.

Here are some more transitional expressions that tie your writing together and make it easier for readers to follow your message.


We looked at questions to ask yourself about unity of the whole text.

Then we showed you questions to ask yourself about paragraph coherence.

Finally, we saw different transitional expressions.


Critical Thinking Skills

Use critical thinking skills in report writing

Use critical thinking skills

Use critical thinking skills

According to the American Management Association, critical thinking skills are an essential part of business success. Other important critical skills are effective communication, collaboration, and creativity.

  • Critical thinking and problem solving—the ability to make decisions, solve problems, and take action as appropriate
  • Effective communication—the ability to synthesize and transmit your ideas both in written and oral formats
  • Collaboration and team building—the ability to work effectively with others, including those from diverse groups and with opposing points of view
  • Creativity and innovation—the ability to see what’s NOT there and make something happen

Critical thinking skills

So you need to write a report or argue a position on a topic.

Let’s explore some key principal and strategies underlying critical thinking skills.

First, we will look at what it means to take an arguable stance or point of view.

Then, we will look at five principles to sharpen your critical thinking skills. For example, be aware of stereotypical thinking.

Finally, we’ll discuss six critical thinking strategies to lay the foundation.

Use critical thinking to take a stance

Use critical thinking skills to take a stance

Take a stance

When you take a stance, you need to come up with a thesis statement. This presents an issue – usually a controversial one – and shows your position on it.

You have to explain, defend or prove your point of view on the topic you’ve chosen.

Then you need to show consistent, verifiable sources of information in support of your thesis statement. The sources you use can be print or electronic documents, primary sources, and secondary sources.

In doing research, you will find experts who agree with you.
And you will come up with facts and evidence as well as reasons to support your argument.

As you do your research, you should also pay attention to opposing viewpoints. By being aware of counter arguments, you show that you:

  • understand all aspects of the topic you have chosen to analyze
  • are not biased (prejudiced or slanted in one way or another)
  • want to build trust with the reader because you come across as being fair
  • wish to strengthen your argument by counterattacking your opponent’s point of view.

Understand critical thinking skills

Critical thinking skills

Critical thinking skills

In her book, Fact and Artifact, Bloom identifies five principles to sharpen your critical thinking (277-281).

Principle 1

You need to be aware of stereotypical thinking and how to deal with it.

Stereotypes are fixed and oversimplified images of a particular person or thing. They are preconceived notions based on automatic and unreflective thinking.

Often these notions are racist or sexist. For example, when we talk about a nurse or a primary school teacher, we usually think of a woman.

Warning: be aware that stereotypical thinking hides differences and individual features.

Principle 2

You need to look for contradictions: ideas or statements that are contrary to each other. Open yourself up to new possibilities and meanings.

Niels Bohr, the Nobel prize-winning Danish physicist once said (Bloom 275):

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of the profound truth may well be another profound truth.

Principal 3

You need to be aware of alternative or multiple points of view. It’s easy to approach problems or issues with generalizations. For example, most wealthy business people are men.

Multiple viewpoints in critical thinking

Multiple viewpoints in critical thinking

Bloom recommends the mnemonic device “Persians” to expand your thinking by viewing multiple points of view (278):
P = political
E = economic
R = religious
S = social
I = intellectual
A = aesthetic (artistic)
N = national
S = sexual

This is a marvelous tool to get you thinking about a topic from different angles.

Warning: when you come to a snap decision in your thinking, pause and think of “Persians.”

Principle 4

Be aware that the way you approach a new subject or topic is influenced by your previous knowledge and experience.

This is only normal; however, it’s important to realize that your thinking is limited.

Don’t close your mind to new, alternative ways of looking at things.

Principle 5

You need to question authority – the powers that be. All current principles, assumptions, definitions, and ways of doing things are not necessarily valid or true.

Don’t necessarily accept the status quo because it’s always been that way.

Critical thinking strategies: questions

Here are six critical thinking strategies that summarize what we been talking about (Bloom 282-283).

  1. Did you choose a narrow subject?Thinking critcally
    Think of as many related sub issues as you can to narrow the subject into a manageable topic.
  2. Did you determine your attitude toward the issue? If you’re passionate about a subject, you’ll have stronger arguments to support your thesis.
  3. Did you define clearly the key terms you use in your analysis?
    Often people approach a topic in personal or idiosyncratic ways. This takes away your credibility and objectivity.
  4. Did you choose an issue or topic that is debatable or arguable?
  5. Did you get your facts right?
    Use consistent, verifiable primary and secondary sources.
  6. Did you use sources of information carefully? You need to properly paraphrase, summarize, and quote to avoid plagiarizing.
How to write crystal-clear emails

How to write crystal-clear emails

Do you need to write professionals emails? Check out our email-writing course.

English writing skills: practice

Improve your English writing skills

Vladimir Horowitz, the famous pianist, once said,

If I skip practice for one day, I notice. If I skip practice for two days, my wife notices. If I skip for three days, the world notices.

Writing–just  like playing the piano–is a complex task.  But you can develop your English writing skills with practice.  One trick to developing better skills is to break down writing into mini-tasks.

According to a researcher in expertise, deliberate practice is a way to learn a new skill or improve one we already possess.  You want to practice something that you can’t do well.

Here are three suggestions for developing your English writing skills.

Practice English writing skills

Practice English writing skills

English Writing Skills Tip 1

Practice writing simple declarative sentences. 

They are called “kernel” sentences: simple, active declarative statements without any other modifiers or connectors.


For example, take some nouns and verbs.  Nouns could include: the manager, he, the boardroom. Verbs could include:  talk, meet, leave.

Now build some simple sentences from both lists. 

  • The  manager left the board room.  
  • He is talking to the manager.
  • He met the manager.

Here you get to practice a subject doing something.

Daily English writing skills practice

Daily English writing skills practice

English Writing Skills Tip 2

Practice using the four different kinds of verbs in English.

      • The be verb:
        The client is happy.
      • Linking verbs:  do not show action, but link with the rest of the sentence.  Here are some examples with the linking verb in bold.
        – The research report looks great.
        – Everyone stayed calm after the company lost a big contract.

      • Transitive verbs:  show action by the subject (noun) to the object (noun).  Here are some examples with the transitive verb in bold.
        –  The client accepted the new agreement.
        –  Our department set a new sales record.
      • Intransitive verbs: show subject performing the action but not acting on the object (noun). . Here two examples with the intransitive verb in bold.
        –  The receptionist responded to the call.
        –  The new company accountant just arrived from New York.
English writing skills made easy

English writing skills made easy

English Writing Skills Tip 3

Practice writing more complicated sentences.

    • Add powerful adjectives to your kernels, i.e., “ The president gave an inspirational speech.”
  • Add adverbs, i.e., The client arrived promptly for the meeting.”
  • Add prepositional phrases – beginning with a preposition and ending with the noun, i.e., “The comment he made in the email was self-explanatory.”
  • Add participial phrases – using a descriptive phase beginning with a present or past participle, i.e., “Realizing he made a mistake, the speaker continued anyway.”

    See my book, Write Now, for other suggestions on having good sentence variety (106-109).


    Adapted from “How To Develop Your Writing Skills To Become An Excellent Writer,” by Barbara Baig.


    Troublesome Hyphenated-Phrasal Adjectives by Mark Nichol


    Do you sometimes wonder when to use hyphenated-phrasal adjectives? When should we use a “hyphen” -?

    Hyphenated phrasal adjectives: sharp-looking glasses, second-hand computer

    Hyphenated-phrasal adjectives: sharp-looking glasses, second-hand computer

    For example, we would write, “My long-term plans include writing several new online courses.” My students never seem to understand this fine point when writing in English.

    For more about this, here is Mark Nichol’s article, “5 Sentences Requiring Hyphenated Phrasal Adjectives” from his Daily Writing Tips.

    When two or more words team up to describe something, they’re usually hyphenated to make their symbiotic relationship clear. Each of the following sentences contains a phrasal adjective that should be linked with one or more hyphens; each example is followed by a brief discussion and a revision.

    1. Their affair wasn’t exactly the best kept secret.

    This sentence refers to a secret that is the best kept, not a kept secret that is better than any other, so link the phrasal adjective together: “Their affair wasn’t exactly the best-kept secret.”

    2. The company conducted an information security risk assessment earlier this year.

    What type of assessment occurred? A risk assessment about information security, or an assessment about information-security risk? Either analysis is correct, but at least one hyphen is required, no matter which interpretation is favored: “The company conducted an information-security risk assessment earlier this year” and “The company conducted an information-security-risk assessment earlier this year.” (Both work, but the former alternative is simpler.)

    3. Smith is widely revered for being the most high profile member of the Mormon faith in America.

    This sentence seems to imply that of all the profile members of the Mormon church, Smith is the one most intoxicated by drugs. A hyphen linking high and profile eliminates any confusion about the meaning of the statement: “Smith is widely revered for being the most high-profile member of the Mormon faith in America.”

    4. The rare book dealer has been in business for as long as I can remember.

    Does this sentence refer to one of the few book dealers or to a dealer in rare books? The latter reading is more likely, but eliminate doubt by hyphenating rare and book: “The rare-book dealer has been in business for as long as I can remember.”

    5. We analyzed the entire play on a scene by scene basis.

    The phrasal adjective “scene by scene” should be hyphenated: “We analyzed the entire play on a scene by scene basis.” (Alternatively, simplify the sentence to “We analyzed the entire play scene by scene”; try this approach for time frames, too, as by replacing “on an annual basis” with annually.)

    Image source: hyphenated-phrasal adjectives: http://www.splitshire.com/


    Help Me Revise “Write Now.”

    Write Now helps you to learn good writing.

    Good writing

    Business Writing that Gets Results

    I created my writing book, Write Now, to help intermediate and high-level non-native speakers of English to write better.

    The book is full of strategies, tips, and language examples. Write Now also has language activities that learners can use to improve their writing now.

    I want to revise Write Now to meet better your writing needs.

    Click here to give me your help.

    I need your help to revise Write Now.

    Please take just 5 minutes and tell me what is the single biggest challenge that you are facing in writing in English.

    It would mean the world to me.

    When you give me your answer, you will receive a FREE bonus, “Learn to Self-Edit in 3 Easy Steps.” 

    Click here to give me your help.

    Why Good Writing is important

    Good writing is Important

    Good writing is Important

    On the topic of good writing, Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

    Good writing reflects well on you as a business professional as well as on your company.

    Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, underscores this point in an excellent article, “Your Company Is Only as Good as Your Writing.” He argues that good “writing is inextricably tied to company identity.”

    He further asserts, “In my experience, the practice of good, collaborative writing makes the difference between great business and bad business — a sale or no sale.” A powerful plea indeed for improving your writing.

    Check out his free handbook for writing manuals and work instructions.

    But good writing is not easy, even for native speakers of English. So if you are a non-native speaker of English, you have to work even harder at getting your message across effectively.

    David Ogilvy, a marketing and communications expert, knew how hard good writing is. He said, “Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well.”

    Write Now can make you a good writer.

    Help me make Write Now a better book to make you a better writer.

    Click here to give me your help.





    The Power of Brevity

    The power of brevity means writing less to be more effective.


    In Write Now, I point out that “the  purpose of business writing is to get your point across clearly and concisely, without wasting your reader’s time.”

    Check out Danny Rubin’s amazing article, “Write less, say more: the power of brevity.” It gives you useful advice on improving your writing.

    When it comes to great writing, less is more. But even if you’re familiar with the mantra to “omit needless words,” tightening your writing is harder than it looks. Which words should you omit? How can you write more clearly? Danny Rubin, a national news consultant and former television news reporter, demonstrates—with examples—the power of brevity.

    Power of brevity

    Power of brevity

    There is a common misconception when it comes to writing that is professional in nature that a person must write in a verbose manner to come across as intelligent.

    I am sorry. Let me do that again.

    People often make a mistake in thinking that writing long-winded sentences with big words makes them appear smart.

    Actually, let me try this one more time.

    You don’t need to write a lot or use big words to sound smart.

    Now, that’s better.

    Too often, people write sentences like the one at the top when they should choose version #3. The main culprit, in my view, is the loathsome college essay. Only in college are we forced to write a paper a certain length. We develop strategies that balloon our paragraphs so we can fill out eight, 10 or 12 pages and pick up our gold stars on the way out.

    In the real world, most people don’t enjoy reading cover letters, resumes and presentations. It’s extra work and burdensome. Worst of all, trying to write beyond our skill level screams ‘I’m in over my head.’

    When you write with brevity, you make your points quickly and shrewdly. You don’t waste words and, in doing so, you don’t waste a person’s time. An employer or hiring manager, for instance, then sees you as sharp and courteous.

    The secret to brevity (and, in turn, clarity) is something we are rarely taught growing up and may appear anathema to a professor of English lit:

    Write like you are talking to a friend.

    I don’t mean write in Internet jargon or shorthand. Whenever I am stuck on a sentence, I step back from the computer screen and ask myself, ‘OK, what am I trying to say here?’ Rather than come up with the most eloquent way to make my point, I write it out in plain English as if talking to a buddy. And once I have my conversational sentence, then I go and attack it with a red pen.

    Let’s use the examples from the top.

    The before:

    There is a common misconception when it comes to writing that is professional in nature that a person must write in a verbose manner to come across as intelligent.

    The after:

    You don’t need to write a lot or use big words to sound smart.

    First things first, I switched the voice from passive to active (from ‘there is’ to ‘you’). Always locate your subject and lead with it. Active voice feels confident; passive does not.

    To write the shorter sentence (version 3), I literally sat up from my computer and asked, ‘What am I trying to say?’ I stopped trying to be clever with it, and the words found their way onto the page.

    I also have a habit of being very critical with the number of words I use in each sentence. Once I write something, I go back and decide if each andevery word I just wrote deserves to be there. Say to yourself: if I remove this word, would the sentence still make sense? If I removed this sentence, would the paragraph make sense? And the ultimate: do I really need this paragraph?

    Speed is key. When people read your cover letters and resume, you need to be very respectful of their time. Don’t write five huge paragraphs that go on and onBe tough on yourself and really give them just what they need to know. You are better off making one or two main points (or telling one great story) rather than trying to jam your entire life into an employer’s brain.

    And when you finish editing your work, go back and edit again. After that,go back and edit some more. A boss may never tell you he/she loved your cover letter or resume, but ones that are tightly written and well-composedwill leave an impression.

    Most of all, you will stand out. College did not prepare us very well for the process of job applications. But those who take it upon themselves to learnto harness the power of brevity will have an edge every time.

    Danny Rubin is a national news consultant for media research firm Frank N Magid Associates. He is a former television news reporter, lives in Washington, D.C. and tweets as @dannyhrubin.

    Image source: http://www.johnmurphyinternational.com/blog/for-high-performance-organizations-less-is-more/