Grammar-itis Take One

It must be grammar day. Or writing day. Or something day. In my emails today, I was tagged with two grammar sites and three different writing commentaries. Actually now that I think about it, that’s not much for me. It’s actually a slow day when I don’t get a few posts about writing.

But not everyone has friends who are writers, aspiring writers, or amateur writers. (And hey thesaurus, amateur doesn’t necessary mean sloppy!) So I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been sent over the next few entries.

Today from the lovely k3nj1ph1, I have an article about word usage from Writer’s Circle. Now anything I link to or post on here is to be used at your own discretion. It is not intended to become a bible for you.

So the idea here (as near as I can tell) is to use more active words. And I’m all for that. I think writing should be exciting and fun and we should have action in it!

Now if you haven’t clicked the link, you should because I’m going to discuss a couple of the things in the actual article.

Very/Really
I’m not sure you need to delete this completely. I could understand using them in some places. Or at least using them sparingly. That being said, I am going to keep an eye on MY usage over the next few weeks of my writing.

Suddenly
I’m sure I use this entirely too much. Or I did. I’m absolutely going to keep an eye out for the usage and attempt to replace it. In my editing if nothing else.

Amazing/Awesome
I had a difficult time not laughing at this one. It’s one I hear A LOT with students so it’s already on my list of not to use, but it’s still a good one to keep in mind.

That
I actually had a professor my senior year of college who made us go through three or four papers and find our most commonly used phrase. Mine was “the fact that”. Now this was essay writing and I still find myself using the phrase, but I’ve cut down a lot. I can see how it would be useful not to use it.

I found the article interesting, I will definitely be reading more on this site. And I hope you found the article helpful. Until next time. Happy writing!

That Golden Writing Time

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about this week (and this was supposed to be last week’s entry so you’ll get another one in a day or so), but I was talking to my friend and fellow writer, Hope, and she came up with the idea of making time to write.

So I’m going to start with a couple of questions:
1. How and when do you make time to write?
2. What do you find most difficult about finding time to write?
3. What is your ideal time to write?
4. (and this one might seem a bit off-topic) Do you like quiet when you’re writing or do you like some type of noise?

And then share my own answers:
1. How and when do you make time to write?
I work around my work and family schedule so my time varies from day to day and week to week. I most often find the best time for me to write is later in the evening after dinner because my family is settled in for the evening and is less likely to interrupt me. I generally still get pulled away from time to time, but at this point; I have found that requesting time just to write doesn’t work. I have learned to grab minutes here and there when I can. It doesn’t make me very consistent, but I have learned to write a lot in a little bit of time.

2. What do you find most difficult about finding time to write?
Finding time between everything else I think I SHOULD be doing. Or getting distracted by all the other things I COULD be doing. Like over the weekend, my room was such a mess that I put off writing to clean it. I felt much better once it was done but that was two hours when I was cleaning out my closet and putting things away that I possibly could be writing. Of course now I have a nice clean room where I can think and not be distracted by disaster.

3. What is your ideal time to write?
I prefer to write in the evenings. Not just because it’s most likely the time I’ll be left alone, but because it’s MY best brain time, despite what this article says. This though is an interesting commentary about getting up and writing.

4. (and this one might seem a bit off-topic) Do you like quiet when you’re writing or do you like some type of noise?
I like noise. I prefer to have the television or music on, to have conversation in the background, just some type of noise. I work better that way. Some people might find it distracting, but I can stare blindly at the TV screen and it jump starts my brain when I get stuck.

So what are your thoughts? Also is there anything you’d like to see in the next few blog posts? I’d love some feedback!

Breaking Writer’s Block

So it’s not going to be a long post this week. I’ve got some kind of killer cold (possibly bronchitis). And the brain is a bit fuzzy. I was going to write a review of This Side of Salvation but I just can’t pull my thoughts together enough to write something justified for it. Hopefully for next week.

Meanwhile, I’ve got this funny and amusing article that fellow writer, Dee Willis, linked me to about how to get back on track when you stumble with your writing. Follow the links in the article because those are almost as great as the article itself.

The article by Amanda Patterson talks about what to do when you’re stuck with your writing and how to get out of the rut. They’re simple, easy to do ideas that will help a struggling writer or even someone who just wants to try something new.

Hope it helps!

Five Paragraph Essay

 

I got an assignment at work the other week to write up what is needed in a Five Paragraph Essay. I thought I’d share what I wrote up with all of you just in case it was helpful.

 

A Five Paragraph Essay—Simply

 

Simply put, a five paragraph essay has five paragraphs:

–an introduction

–3 body paragraphs

–a conclusion

 

The Introduction:

Introduce your topic, state your main points, make sure your thesis is argumentative and controlling. (See handout on Tips on Writing a Thesis Statement.) This is your outline of your paper; it guides your reader on where you want to go.

 

Body One:

This should be your strongest point. Remember to start with a topic sentence. Have supporting details, use transitional words, and keep to the topic of both your essay and the paragraph. The topic should relate to the thesis statement.

 

Body Two:

This paragraph should be your second strongest point or an obvious follow up to the previous paragraph. Make sure you use a transitional sentence or topic sentence from the previous paragraph. Stay on topic and keep to the format. The topic should relate to the thesis statement.

 

Body Three:

This should be the weakest argument or relate back to the proceeding paragraphs. It should have a topic or transitional statement back to the paragraph prior to it. The topic should relate to the thesis statement.

 

 

Concluding Paragraph:

This paragraph should have the following items:

  1. A summary of the important points in the essay
  2. A restatement of the thesis that does not copy the thesis exactly
  3. Make sure to cover the 3 important points that were covered in the essay (briefly)
  4. A final statement so the reader knows the essay is finished.

 

Also remember:

Thesis statements should be argumentative, controlling, and specific.

Body paragraphs should only contain information relating to the topic.

Paragraphs should be a minimum of 5-7 sentences.

Writing should be clear and concise.

Sentences should be varied in length.

 

 

Five paragraph essay information from:

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/five_par.htm