writing is thinking… People, such as future employers, will judge you based on your ability to communicate in writing.
writing… (remembering the basics)
Sentences… (should be short and clear.)
Marguerite Duras’ Hiroshima Mon Amour
Ernest Hemingway’s Top 5 Tips For Writing Well
Use short sentences. Hemingway was famous for a terse minimalist style of writing that dispensed with flowery adjectives and got straight to the point. In short, Hemingway wrote with simple genius. Perhaps his finest demonstration of short sentence prowess was when he was challenged to tell an entire story in only 6 words:
For sale: baby shoes, never used.
2. Use short first paragraphs. (See previous slide.)
3. Use vigorous English . It’s muscular, forceful. Vigorous English comes from passion, focus and intention. It’s the difference between putting in a good effort and TRYING to move a boulder… and actually sweating, grunting, straining your muscles to the point of exhaustion… and MOVING the freaking thing!
4. Be positive, not negative. Since Hemingway wasn’t the cheeriest guy in the world, what does he mean by be positive? Basically, you should say what something is rather than what it isn’t.
This is what Michel Fortin calls using up words: By stating what something isn’t can be counterproductive since it is still directing the mind, albeit in the opposite way. • If I told you that dental work is painless for example, you’ll still focus on the word “pain” in “painless.” • Instead of saying “inexpensive,” say “economical,” • Instead of saying “this procedure is painless,” say “there’s little discomfort” or “it’s relatively comfortable,” • And instead of saying “this software is error-free” or “foolproof,” say “this software is consistent” or “stable.”
5. Never have only 4 rules. “ I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit,” Hemingway confided to F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1934. “ I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.” http://www.copyblogger.com/ernest-hemingway-top-5-tips-for-writing-well/
A paragraph… (is constructed of a sentence or two that conveys ONE idea) 1
par·a·graph (pr-grf) n.
1. A distinct division of written or printed matter that begins on a new, usually indented line, consists of one or more sentences, and typically deals with a single thought or topic or quotes one speaker's continuous words.
2. A mark ( ¶ ) used to indicate where a new paragraph should begin or to serve as a reference mark.
My dog is button and it is on a diet because two vets told me he was getting fat but we are both in denial. Run-on sentences: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/cgi-shl/quiz.pl/run-ons_add1.htm BEWARE!
There are many ways to spell this word…but “okay” seems formal. Never guess at spelling. Use Google or an e-dictionary. Pay attention to MS grammar and spelling flags. Is okay O.K?
There are instances when a em dash is handy. Use opt+ hyphen. Hypen - is short – is long!
Don’t tell “you” how to think… (…unless one is selling something to the reader.) U
Apostrophes are scary too. ‘
Its = possessive It’s = it is ‘
APA is the standard style used in AE. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/
Help… is where? ? http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/
Double quotation marks always except when there is a quote within a quote. “
tell’em what you are going to tell ‘em. tell’em then, tell them what you told ‘em.
Commas happen at natural pauses (BEWARE of comma spices…know all the ways a comma functions)
A comma splice is the attempt to join two independent clauses with a comma, but without a coordinator.
An independent clause is one that can stand alone as a sentence. (This is not the most precise or useful way to define an independent clause, but it will do for now.) When two independent clauses are next to each other, you have only two choices: you can either join them, or you can separate them..
To join two independent clauses , you must use a coordinator. The coordinators are the correlatives and the coordinating conjunctions. (Correlatives don't figure into comma splices, so we will not worry about them.) The coordinating conjunctions are and, but, or, nor, yet, and so (not for ). You can remember them by combining their first letters into the pseudoword "anboys."
To separate two independent clauses , you must use some form of end-stop punctuation. Here are all of your possible choices: the period [.], the exclamation point [!], the question mark [?], and the semicolon [;]. (Remember, a semicolon is a weak period, not a strong comma.)
Verbs should (most likely) stay in the same tense.
Verbs should agree…Q: singular or plural? Most likely, your verb will agree with the first noun to the left of the verb.
Spell out numbers under 10
Outlines are essential. Work from an outline OR outline your drafts.
Clever vocabulary words save space. Example: American public education is, ideally, egalitarian . I believe in an ideal world the school system in the United States that is designed for all citizens should be fair, democratic, and full of equal opportunities for students.
Edits are essential. About four versions, with time in between them, should work. … remember Hemingway’s s*it pile.
Knowledge of your audience is essential. To what degree do you inform them? What level of formality do you use? What do you need to say to achieve your communication task?