Stephen Wilbers | Star Tribune
Columnist | Effective Writing

Stephen Wilbers teaches seminars in effective business writing. His column appears online every other Monday.


After 26 years and 1,000 columns, columnist begins a new chapter

Although I will continue teaching and writing, I've decided to make this, my 1,000th column, my last.


The columnist who wouldn't go away is really (finally?) leaving

We were paddling out of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on a summerlike day in mid-September. The lake was as smooth as glass, the…


Recognizing the awesome power of language

"I tell them they can do anything they like with my suggestions!" Jane said laughing. "It's their text."My wife and I were having breakfast in…


Choose your words with decision and write with concision

We're surrounded by sloppy language and careless word choice. And if we don't watch out, we risk developing bad habits.


Wilbers: Quote marks aren't always easy, but don't quote me on this

Punctuation rules are simple and straightforward — right?Imagine the following conversation between a Terrific Boss and a Hapless Employee.TB: Why do you keep making so…


Take time for what really matters – like connecting

"When you're not feeling well," said Carol Burling of Pathways, "details are not your friend." Pathways is a healing center in Uptown that serves people…


Effective Writing: If you want to connect with people, write with heart

I was moved by Jon Tevlin's June 15 column about Joe Minjares, owner of Pepitos Restaurant in south Minneapolis. Minjares is struggling with the effects of pulmonary fibrosis.


Wilbers: When linguists get competitive, English majors wield scalpels

I was having lunch with a friend when our server asked if we were finished. She didn't say done; she said finished. As any educated…


Beware of the grammar suggestions from AI

Disclosure: This column was written with the assistance of AI.According to/Per Stephen Hawking, the human species is at risk of mass extinction. Just last November…


Effective Writing: When things get complicated, take it step by step

If you are like many people, you love to have written more than you love to write. The hard part is getting there.