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Bernadette Longo 300

Bernadette Longo is an associate professor of writing studies at the University of Minnesota.

"Be yourself" in holiday cards and letters, U of M expert says

December 9, 2010

For some it’s a chore, for others it’s a joy they’ve waited for the entire year: Holiday card/letter writing. At this busy time of year, how can we make this rite both more effective and enjoyable? 

A University of Minnesota expert who can comment on the rhetorical do's and don’ts of holiday writing is:

Bernadette Longo, associate professor of writing studies, University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts

Longo’s says to first and foremost “be yourself.” This means using the kind of language one would use when talking to one’s family and friends face-to-face. “A conversational tone will reflect your personality and will make your cards and letters sound more like you are right there with the person receiving your holiday message,” Longo says.

A second key tenet: Keep it brief. “Most people are more interested in the highlights of your year than all the details,” Longo says. “When you are writing a holiday letter, include a few of the most memorable things that happened to you and your family over the year. If someone in particular would like more details, you can write them in as a P.S. on that person’s letter.”

Longo discusses "Holiday Letter Writing 101" in this audio clip:

Longo’s teaching and research interests include cultural histories of technical communication; computer technologies in popular culture; technical writing textbooks as cultural artifacts; and technical and professional communication.

To interview Longo, contact Jeff Falk at (612) 626-1720 or; or Kelly O’Brien, College of Liberal Arts, or (612) 624-4109.

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: College of Liberal Arts

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audioLongo discusses "Holiday Letter Writing 101"