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Don't forget these tips when it's time to edit:
If you're lucky, you know someone who can act as your editor, but most of us end up having to do our own editing. There's just one problem: it's really hard to spot mistakes you made yourself. You might think some commercial editing software can help you, and although I'll admit some of these ...
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Do you think it's okay to begin sentences with "and" or "but"?
Today, I am here to set you free from one of the shibboleths of grammar. You will be liberated! I certainly was. At school, we were taught you should never, ever, under any circumstances start a sentence with a conjunction. That rules out starting sentences with either “and” or “but” when ...
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Paradox examples
If you have two pet dogs, you have a paradox (pair of dogs). Groan! Alright, alright, I'll stop trying to be punny, and I'll take this question a little more seriously. Simply put, a paradox is a statement that seems to contradict itself, but could very well be true. I adore paradoxes because ...
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If you'll be writing college applications this year...
High school students often have a lot of confusion as to what exactly “intellectual vitality” means when they are preparing to write their all-important college application essay. What on earth are they looking for, and how can you show you've got it? Relax! Intellectual vitality is your ...
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It's not necessarily 5...
There is no firm rule that says an essay needs to have a set number of paragraphs, but an essay must be a minimum of three paragraphs. There are a lot of people who say an essay should be five paragraphs, but it's an extremely limiting rule, and unless you've been instructed to write a five ...
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The difference between an anecdote and a short story...
Before we start talking about how to write an anecdote, you may be wondering, “What is an anecdote?” Basically, it's a short story about something that happened to you, someone you know, or know of. If you and your friends are chatting about a person, and you remember something they did, ...
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Hint: It's more than half a million...
Leo Tolstoy's historical novel on the Napoleonic invasion of Russia has become a byword for long books. If someone talks about doing something in the time it takes to read War and Peace, you can be sure that they mean it's going to take quite a long time, and if your teacher comments that he or ...
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A great way to remember more when studying...
Mnemonics quite possibly got me through college. If you don't use mnemonics yet, you should consider doing so. This method is one of the best ways to memorize large chunks of information in an abbreviated form that triggers your memory. Mnemonics can be acronyms or they can be little rhymes or ...
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You likely know a lot more Shakespeare that you think
Shakespeare: he's terribly highbrow isn't he? And besides, it's all in archaic English that we just don't use any more. If we were to go around quoting Shakespeare, people would think us pretentious – or would they? The truth is that Shakespeare was the HBO of the times.
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Are you correctly using these two words?
This may not be the most important blog post you'll ever read in your life, but it can teach you a lesson a lot of other people don't seem to have grasped, and prevent you from looking unprofessional when writing to or for people who do actually know the difference between effect and affect.
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There are times when using a pen name instead of your real one for your writing makes sense...
A lot of famous writers have published their work using pseudonyms or pen names, and the reasons they give for doing so are many. Back in the days when women weren't considered bright enough to be serious thinkers and writers, many female authors wrote under male pseudonyms so their work would ...
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Something that rarely goes unappreciated...
Say what? Isn't this the computer age? Can't I just send an email? Well, you can if you want to, but there's something special about handwritten letters. Let's try and pin down the reasons why a stamped, addressed, handwritten letter means so much to a recipient.
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We count words because words count...