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Why You Need To Write For Your Audience, Not The Grammar Police

Why You Need To Write For Your Audience, Not The Grammar Police | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
The great David Ogilvy once said: “I don’t know the rules of grammar… If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the...
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

And there you have it.

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How Virtual Assistants Can Help Independent Authors

How Virtual Assistants Can Help Independent Authors | Writing Matters | Scoop.it

Over the last two decades, the internet has really turned things around for the publishing business, making it possible for a small, unsigned author to get noticed without spending a fortune.

 

All an author needs to do is set-up a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter and maybe even an Instagram.

 

However, doing all these takes away a lot of time away from the author to do what they actually best: writing books.

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Good Grammar Implies Good Taste -- And Competence

Good Grammar Implies Good Taste -- And Competence | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Hyundai is spending millions establishing the grammatically incorrect "Live Brilliant" as an accepted part of English usage. Smaller companies with more limited marketing budgets don't have that luxury, and bad grammar can dent your professional brand. Take the time to proofread and catch the typical errors most of us make. I share a few. You can use the comments to add more.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

"Using poor grammar in your marketing communications will do only one thing: Leave a bad impression with the 10-15% of the population that cares about it."


Apple introduced "Think Different" in 1997; I know that because I looked it up. But I do remember the brouhaha famously and condescendingly ignored by Steve Jobs because "Think Different" was intended to be avant garde and challenge the status quo just as Apple's products did, and do. In the 1997 ad, Apple hypes those who think differently. And yes, "differently" was used IN THE AD so they knew the difference, but simply choice to ignore what was correct in favor of what was, well, whatever it was supposed to be. A peccadillo for the sake of smug advertising splash? If so, it worked and millions have bought into thinking that because they buy Apple products they think different(ly). No small irony there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmwXdGm89Tk

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If You Want To Quickly Improve Your Writing, Do These 10 Little Things Now

If You Want To Quickly Improve Your Writing, Do These 10 Little Things Now | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Want to improve your writing fast? Do these 10 little, painless things from today and you will dramatically enhance the effectiveness of your communication.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

I have to laugh. #8 reads "Trim everything down." It could read "Trim everything" or even just "Trim." 


I'm also curious about the author's definition of "little." While I'm not sure these are "little" suggestions, I agree they are good ones.

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How Stephen King Teaches Writing

How Stephen King Teaches Writing | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Looking back on his days in front of a high school classroom, the acclaimed writer shares his views on grammar and explains why discovering great literature is like losing one's virginity.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Delightful interview with wonderful insights into the ways of learning and teaching about writing.

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Can Writing Be Taught?

Can Writing Be Taught? | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Rivka Galchen and Zoë Heller discuss whether writing can be taught.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

I believe writing skills can be taught, refined, improved. But just as some of us are better with paintbrushes or technology or hammers and saws, others of us are better with words.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, August 22, 3:35 PM

Of course they can be. In fact, it is important to teach cursive writing.

 

 

@ivon_ehd1

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Are You Breaking This Basic Grammar Rule?

Are You Breaking This Basic Grammar Rule? | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
By Writer's Relief staff:

Every writer has a story to tell. But if you want your writing to be published and read by an appreciative audience, it’s important that you say it -- and write it -- well. Good writing skills begin with the very bo...
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

"Good writing skills begin with the very bones of your work: the sentence structure."

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10 Simple Ways to Become a Better Writer

10 Simple Ways to Become a Better Writer | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
If you’re going to write 40,000+ words this year—at minimum!—you might as well learn how to do your absolute best. Here are 10 ways to become a better writer, right away.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Some good strategies for any writer.

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Nicholas C. Rossis's curator insight, August 26, 9:43 AM

Good questions to ask yourself.  Of course, I should have answered them 2 years ago, but perhaps I still have time!

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Audience, purpose, style and tone

Audience, purpose, style and tone | Writing Matters | Scoop.it

First of a series of podcasts on writing. I hope you find them useful.


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The Flash Fiction Challenge 2014

The Flash Fiction Challenge 2014 | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
The Flash Fiction Challenge is a competition that challenges writers around the world to create original stories no longer than 1,000 words.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

DEADLINE IS AUGUST 14.


This is a great tonic for the procrastinator and the writer who freezes up in front of the blank screen. This is 1) write around 1,000 words on 2) using a specific genre, location, and object. There's a bit more to it, so go to the web site for that additional information. It's amazing practice no matter how well you do.


BTW, middle and high school teachers as well as freshman composition teachers can implement variations on this activity. If you want to brainstorm some ideas for your class, let me know.

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7 simple grammar rules EVERYONE should know

7 simple grammar rules EVERYONE should know | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Grammar is fun! Well, not really. But it helps.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

I disagree with the tag line. I think grammar can be fun, but I also realize that grammar and mechanics are more fun for those who are most comfortable with it. So get comfortable with grammar! You can do it!

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How to teach … grammar

How to teach … grammar | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Do your students struggle with misplaced commas or muddled tenses? Here are the best lesson resources on teaching good grammar
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

The key word is "resources."


In my opinion, grammar and mechanics are best learned in context, but one must have some foundational knowledge or the context means nothing.

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Inventing Infographics: Visual Literacy Meets Written Content

Inventing Infographics: Visual Literacy Meets Written Content | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
As the density of visual information increases, consider introducing your students to infographics as a means of more thoughtfully engaging with and creating written content.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

When a writer has the option of including visuals, it makes sense to take advantage of being able to help the audience make the connections you hope they will make. However, visuals can tell a story all by themselves.


I've done workshops during which we've talked about what people see in a variety of visuals. And we talk about why they see what they see. And we talk about what else happens when they start thinking and discussing what they see, and why.


Words are powerful. Images can be even more so.. Marrying the two can be a remarkable experience for the reader and might just enable the writer to convey much more.

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Tokens Of Trade: Prehistoric Bookkeeping Lasted Long After The Invention Of Writing

Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

"In fact, in a literate society there are multiple channels of recording information that can be complementary to each other. In this case both prehistoric clay tokens and cuneiform writing used together." Hmmm.

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What makes writing good?

What makes writing good? | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Stephen King believes good writing can't be taught, but still shares insights from his teaching years. Plus, when to stop writing, the inner voice, and more.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Apparently reading Stephen King's book On Writing will help. I've not read the book so I can't speak to that; therefore, the title question isn't answered. However, this article offers a link that focuses on the writer's inner voices. Yes, that's plural. If you are not writing fiction, perhaps you will hear only one voice: your own. But it is IMPERATIVE you learn to hear your writing voice as your readers will and do hear it. For those who have heard you speak, hearing your writing voice is less of a challenge. For those who do not know you except through your words, well, that's what they have: your words and how you present those words to your readers. So writers, know thy voice.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Secret of Great Writing

F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Secret of Great Writing | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
"Nothing any good isn’t hard."

What is the secret of great writing? For David Foster Wallace, it was about fun. For Henry Miller, about
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

There is no "secret" of great writing. Each writer has a voice, a style, and something he or she believes must be said. The raison d'être for one writer is not the same for any other writer. Yes, there are strategies that contribute to quality writing. Yes, there are certain rules that should be followed that inform good writing of particular types in particular circumstances. What rings true and clearly today may not have the same clarity and purity tomorrow or with a different topic. Great writing is often determined by that exquisite and ineffable meeting of the written word and the reader.

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A.K.Andrew's curator insight, September 14, 9:00 AM

We all have different styles and ideas of what is "good" writing, but they all require hard work and persistence.

Nicholas C. Rossis's curator insight, September 15, 5:16 AM

Lovely words

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INFOGRAPHIC: This Is Why Grammar Matters

BREAKING: words matter....
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Words matter. Good writing matters. Books are good.

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Nicholas C. Rossis's curator insight, September 15, 5:21 AM

I love infographics and this one is good: editing matters!  

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Please, please, people. Let's put the 'awe' back in 'awesome'

Please, please, people. Let's put the 'awe' back in 'awesome' | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Which of the following is awesome: your lunch or the Great Pyramid of Giza? Comedian Jill Shargaa sounds a hilarious call for us to save the word "awesome" for things that truly inspire awe.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

This is hilarious, and true. Jill Shargaa reminds us that we've lost our powerful of words and diminished our vocabulary if everything is "awesome."

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These Writing Tips From George R.R. Martin And Robin Hobb Are Just Epic

These Writing Tips From George R.R. Martin And Robin Hobb Are Just Epic | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
"It's like chasing butterflies and trying not to crush them."
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

On writing: "It's like chasing butterflies and trying not to crush them."

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On teacher pay

On teacher pay | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
I talk about teaching an awful lot on this site, right?  Enough that there are people who have admitted to me that they regularly skip past posts on the topic.  (Which, for the record, is fine.  I'...

Via Ivon Prefontaine
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

We complain that classroom teachers don't do enough. We complain that classroom teachers aren't good enough. We do not treat this profession with the respect it deserves because we KNOW there are plenty of good if not excellent teachers who deserve our respect and our appreciation, and who deserve to get paid commensurate with their abilities, their education, their willingness to keep on learning and growing, and their patience in putting up with politicians, far too many school board members, and too many of the public who know so very little about what they actually do.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, August 21, 5:44 AM

There was a time people went into teaching because it was a way to make a difference in the world. It paid well enough probably that it meant teachers remained in the profession. The article has an American view to it and things are done differently in the US, but there are issues in Alberta. For example, I felt the number of part-time teachers was on the increase. This does not stabilize the profession and will force young teachers to reconsider their choices. I met young teachers who held a second job out of necessity.

 

If School is important, does it not make sense that teachers would be compensated fairly?

 

@ivon_ehd1

Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's curator insight, August 21, 5:55 AM

We complain that classroom teachers don't do enough. We complain that classroom teachers aren't good enough. We do not treat this profession with the respect it deserves because we KNOW there are plenty of good if not excellent teachers who deserve our respect and our appreciation, and who deserve to get paid commensurate with their abilities, their education, their willingness to keep on learning and growing, and their patience in putting up with politicians, far too many school board members, and too many of the public who know so very little about what they actually do.

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The Rules of Writing According to 20 Famous Writers | WritersDigest.com

The Rules of Writing According to 20 Famous Writers | WritersDigest.com | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Few professions are as solitary yet as full of advice as writing. You do it alone, usually, but everyone you meet is an expert in what writers do, don't do,
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

The rule is that there really are no rules for being a successful writer because each writer has his or her own approach to making the work of writing a bit less daunting.

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Writing for an academic journal: 10 tips

Writing for an academic journal: 10 tips | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
What seems like common sense isn't common practice, says Rowena Murray who shares her top tips for getting published
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Whether you're writing for an academic journal or an academic, these are good tips.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, August 17, 4:13 PM

There are some excellent points. Reading journals in your area seems important and is probably overlooked as a template source.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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Weird Al Gives Grammar Offenders a Lesson on #WordCrimes

Weird Al Gives Grammar Offenders a Lesson on #WordCrimes | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Learn the grammar lessons that made the cut in Weird Al's latest parody.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Yes, it's pretty funny. And the notes that follow are useful.


http://www.freestylepen.com.


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200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing

200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
For a coming student contest in which teenagers are invited to write on an issue they care about, we have gathered a list of 200 writing prompts on a wide range of issues.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

I publish this with some reluctance. First, my dismay that we refer to "writing argument" as "argumentative writing." The word "argumentative" is an adjective. The phrase "argumentative writing" suggests the writing itself is being "argumentative," which is rather difficult. Second, the nature of the prompts themselves. I would never approve any of these topics for an argument paper because they are far too broad. I would first ask my students what question they thought they wanted to answer or what point they thought they wanted to make. Third, each topic is accompanied by a brief overview, probably intended to narrow the topic some and a single article. Then, rather than a single question, there are several questions for each topic. The questions could help a writer focus on the topic at hand, but the presentation of the questions is more likely to encourage the writer to be far too expansive. In the end, these are not argument papers but opinion papers in which there could be some elements of argument but are more likely to show features of persuasion.

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What Writers Can Learn From ‘Goodnight Moon’ - NYTimes.com

What Writers Can Learn From ‘Goodnight Moon’ - NYTimes.com | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

I've often told my writing students that they should never underestimate the power of a picture book, even, or maybe especially wordless picture books. Hmmm. I feel a blog post coming on. Stay tuned.

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What Writing a Book Taught This Consultant

What Writing a Book Taught This Consultant | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Readers and clients have some things in common.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Listen better. Embrace risk. Allow emotion (show you care). It's NOT all about you. For writing in the business world, it is about the project, the product, and/or the customer. Tell a story. . .that demonstrates not only how well you've been listening, but how well you understand the nuances of the situation and the audience.


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