Improve your own manuscript

Over the years, I have made several attempts to think logical thoughts about aspects of curious game that is technical authorship, and to set them down for the benefit of others. I wrote a short book on the subject, How to Run a Paper Mill, which was published in 1992. It went out of print years ago, but you can probably find a copy on the Web. However, there is no need to pay unrealistic prices, because a PDF version is available for free. In the late 90s, I put up a set of Web pages called "Yarn", which also formed the basis of a little talk that I gave in various places. The "Yarn" pages are no longer available: I am revisiting them as one source of material for these advice columns.

You may wonder why I am bothering to provide free advice, since I am asking people to pay money for my comments on their manuscripts. However, I know from experience that very few people ever read advice on technical writing. You, the person reading this now, must be the exception, and you are in the happy position of being offered something for nothing. The columns are also here so that I can refer authors to them, instead of having to provide the same response to common problems time and time again.

It's very easy for me to say "check this, check that", but it's not easy to remember many different pieces of advice at once, especially when coping with a foreign language. Some problems can be detected and eliminated quite simply using the search and replace tools provided by every text editor. From time to time you will come across a little red arrow sign, which is written like this "", and points to suggested ways of using mechanical assistance in checking your manuscript.

Comments on these advice pages would be welcome. You can contact me at the following address:

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