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Mary Cullen

Mary founded Instructional Solutions in 1998, and is an internationally recognized business writing trainer and executive writing coach with two decades of experience helping thousands of individuals and businesses master the strategic skill of business writing. She excels at designing customized business writing training programs to maximize productivity, advance business objectives, and convey complex information. She holds a B.A in English from the University of Rhode Island, a M.A in English Literature from Boston College, and a C.A.G.S. in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of New Hampshire.



Author's Posts

12 Best Business Writing Books [Updated 2017]

by Mary Cullen on Mon, Feb 6, 2017

Because every business person needs to write well at work, there are hundreds of books specifically about business writing. I have a bookshelf and Kindle full of them because I read everything I can on this subject.

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Topics: Business Writing Resources

18 of the Best Business Writing Tools [Updated 2017]

by Mary Cullen on Wed, Feb 1, 2017

Business writing can be challenging! Happily, there are new inexpensive or free business writing tools available to help you write better at work.

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Business Letter and Business Email Salutations

by Mary Cullen on Mon, Jan 23, 2017

Dear Reader: Dear Reader, Hi Reader, Good afternoon, Reader: Hey Reader! Are you confused about shaping salutations in business letters and business email?

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Topics: Business Writing Skills

Inanimate Possessives: two days’ time or two days time?

by Mary Cullen on Sun, Jan 22, 2017

A WISE CLIENT BUSINESS GRAMMAR QUESTION: “There was always one grammatical mix up for me, and I would like your advice on it. Do we write: I will finish in a week’s time or in a weeks time? In two days’ time or in two days time?”

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Topics: Business Grammar

I Am Sorry: How to Write a Business Apology Letter

by Mary Cullen on Fri, Jan 20, 2017

Here is a classic P.G. Wodehouse quote that so illustrates this misplaced focus of posturing to forge relationships: “It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.”

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Topics: Business Writing Skills

Business Email Salutations to a Group [Updated 2017]

by Mary Cullen on Thu, Jan 19, 2017

I wrote about correct salutations for business letters and business email, prompting a few clients to ask about which salutations work well for a business email to a group.

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Topics: Business Email Writing

How to Use i.e. and e.g. Correctly in Business Writing

by Mary Cullen on Thu, Jan 19, 2017

A client in a business writing course asked if the abbreviations i.e. and e.g. were interchangeable. They are not. Each has a specific meaning and use.

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Topics: Business Grammar

What is Business Writing? [A Simple Definition]

by Mary Cullen on Wed, Jan 18, 2017

Business writing is such an interesting application of writing. It’s very pragmatic.

Improving your business writing can propel both careers and businesses. It’s the channel that transmits nearly all business work and insight and interaction.

It flows up, down, laterally, internally, and externally to customers. It’s the foundation of business.

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Improve Your Business Writing Skills: A Step-by-Step Guide

by Mary Cullen on Thu, Jan 12, 2017

It can be confusing when we either realize or are told that we need to “improve our business writing skills.”

“Better business writing" is a murky goal. How then, do we improve our business writing skills? 

In this post, I am going to outline six steps to start improving your English business writing today. This goes beyond business writing tips and tricks and lays out a simple step-by-step process for improvement.

You will learn how to correct common mistakes, tricks for better formatting, and how to reduce errors in your writing. 

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Topics: Business Writing Skills, Business Writing Training

87 Advanced Business Writing Tips [That Actually Work]

by Mary Cullen on Fri, Dec 23, 2016

I'm excited to share these top 87 business writing tips with you.

They were honed while I studied English Literature and Rhetoric, taught writing at the university level, and worked with thousands of individuals and hundreds of companies to help people write better at work. 

My hope is these tips help you enjoy writing, better communicate at work, get ahead in your career, and grow your business!

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Topics: Business Writing Skills