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9 Ways You Drive Readers Away (And 9 Tips to Keep Them Reading)

About This Course

We know that people read all day long, but they often stop reading before they've read a whole story or even a whole tweet.

The nine simple tips in this Webinar will help you make sure you've done everything you can to keep readers engaged in whatever you're writing, whether it's a story, article, blurb, e-book, caption, tweet, menu, flier, Facebook status, blog post, script, advertisement, graphic novel, comic, brochure, editorial, email, manifesto, letter, birthday card, bumper sticker, wedding invitation, classified ad or graffiti.

Whether you work with an editor, you are an editor yourself, or you're on your own, adding these strategies to your playbook will help make sure the readers you've drawn in aren't driven away.

What Will I Learn?

  • Proofreading strategies to avoid having your audience "fill in the blanks"
  • What cues your audience uses to interpret your meaning, and how to make strategic use of these
  • Practical advice for making sure your audience doesn't have to "back up"
  • How you "interrupt yourself" and why and how to avoid that
  • How to avoid depending on your audience to solve your writing problems
  • What NOT to worry about when you're writing

Who Should Take this Course?

Anyone who writes and wants to make sure his or her entire message is read and received — writers, bloggers, reporters, editors, copywriters, communications professionals.

Course Instructor

Merrill Perlman

Merrill Perlman

Merrill Perlman is a consultant who works with news organizations, private companies and journalism organizations, specializing in editing and the English language. She spent 25 years at The New York Times in jobs ranging from copy editor to director of copy desks, in charge of all 150-plus copy editors at The Times. She is an adjunct assistant professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and writes the Language Corner column for the Columbia Journalism Review. Merrill is a recipient of the Glamann Award from the American Copy Editors Society. She was a reporter for four years before becoming an editor.

Before going to The Times, she was a copy editor and assistant business editor at the Des Moines Register. Previous to that, she was a reporter and copy editor at the Southern Illinoisan newspaper. She has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a master of arts in mass communication from Drake University.

Training Partner

ACES: The Society for Editing

ACES: The Society for Editing is a nonprofit education and membership organization working toward the advancement of copy editors. Its aim is to provide solutions to editing problems, training and a place to discuss common issues.

The organization is an international members' alliance of editors working at newspapers, magazines, websites, traditional media outlets and Fortune 500 companies, as well as freelance editors, students and professors. It is an organization built on the advocacy of editing as a craft vital to clear writing and reader advocacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What web browser should I use?

The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.