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Welcome to the ProWritingAid Grammar School. Grammar School posts will take technical writing terms, rules and concepts and make them simple and understandable. Expand your knowledge and make your writing stronger.
If you have a question that you would like answered by our Grammar School pros, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.Read More »
You’ve heard it before, most likely from a teacher, an editor, or your agent. But Anton Chekhov said it most eloquently:
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
It may seem apparent when Chekhov says it, but sometimes it’s hard to put that advice into practice. There are times when your reader needs to be “told” because brevity is called for. On the other hand, no one wants to read your brain dump on every little matter.Read More »
Our good friends over at Standoutbooks love helping writers succeed as much as we do and they've put together a publishing package giveaway worth $5222. To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is answer a simple question before May 1, 2016.Read More »
When you paint a picture with your character’s actions instead of using an “ly” adverb to try to set the mood, you give your reader a much deeper understanding and pull him or her closer into the drama.
It all comes down to “He said, She said” eventually. Professional editors and authors agree that you want your dialogue tags to be invisible to the reader so that it doesn’t slow him or her down or bring notice to the writing itself.Read More »
Sometimes verbs get confusing, so here’s a little trick to help you figure out participles:
Participles, both past and present, are verb forms that can be used as an adjective or a noun.
Take a common verb like jump. It can be used as a noun as in:
- Jumping over the hedgerows is exhausting.
Infinitives are verbs preceded by the word “to” that function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs in a sentence. An infinitive does not function as a verb. This means you can never add s, es, ed, or ing to the end.Read More »
We want our blog to be your first stop for any questions you have about writing. Our goal is to take complicated technical elements of writing and make them clear and easy to understand. We need your help coming up with topics. What have you always wondered? What do you find that people are always misunderstanding or getting wrong?Read More »
A clause is a group of words containing both a subject and a verb. Examples of clauses are:
The bells are ringing
She ran away
Each sound that you hear in a word is a Phoneme. It’s the smallest unit of sound that makes up a complete word. This is not to be confused with the letter itself; Phonemes are only the sounds made.
There are 44 Phonemes in the English language, consisting of 24 consonant sounds and 20 vowel sounds. Think of the different combinations of consonants and vowels (like “ch” or “ea”) that make unique sounds.Read More »
Your sentences would lie dead in the water without a verb. Verbs are the most important part of your sentence. But how do you select the right verb to get across your meaning? By understanding the different types of verbs and how they’re used.What is a verb?Read More »
Repeating a word or phrase happens to the best of us at times, especially if you’re writing an article and using a specific vocabulary for your topic. You won’t even notice you’ve used the same word several times in the span of one paragraph because it’s foremost in your mind. But those repeats can set off an echo in the reader’s mind - that subconscious feeling of “Didn’t he just say that?” It can be irritating to read and, worse, it can detract from what you are trying to say. The more uncommon a word or phrase, the more likely it is to echo, even pages apart.Read More »
A cliché is a tired, stale phrase or idiom that, because of overuse, has lost its impact. What was once a fresh way of looking at something has become a weak prop for writing that feels unimaginative and dull. Clichés are what you write when you don’t have the energy or inspiration to think of a new way to express an idea.
George Orwell in his Rules of Writing said: “Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.” Be creative and come up with something fresh. A new analogy or metaphor will make much more of an impression on your readers than a dusty old cliché.Read More »
Flesch Kincaid Reading EaseBased on a 0-100 scale. A higher score means the text is easier to read. Low scores suggest the text is difficult to understand.206.835 - 1.015 x (words/sentences) - 84.6 x (syllables/words)A value between 60 and 80 should be easy for a 12 to 15 year old to understand. Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaGrade Level indicatorsThese equate the readability of the text to the US schools grade level system.Flesch Kincaid Grade Level0.39 x (words/sentences) + 11.8 x (syllables/words) - 15.59 Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaSpache Readability formaulaSimilar to the Dale-Chall Formula, as it used a list of familiar words, but used for third grade and below. Spache Readability Formula - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaGunning Fog Score0.4 x ( (words/sentences) + 100 x (complexWords/words) )SMOG Index1.0430 x sqrt( 30 x complexWords/sentences ) + 3.1291Coleman Liau Index5.89 x (characters/words) - 0.3 x (sentences/words) - 15.8Automated Readability Index (ARI)4.71 x (characters/words) + 0.5 x (words/sentences) - 21.43Read More »
This post is “Affiliates 101”. Many of our users are already part of our affiliate program. They're earning passive income by promoting us on their websites and social media. Our top affiliates earned over $1000 in 2015. However, there are a lot of you out there who have great websites and blogs but haven’t linked up the program yet. This post is for you. Here is what you need to know. What is an affiliate program?Read More »
The contextual thesaurus report is designed to allow you to play with your words quickly and easily. We want you to be able to find vocabulary enhancements that fit perfectly into the context of the sentence. Unlike most thesaurus suggestions, our report takes into account the context of the word in the sentence to provide suggestions that work well within the sentence.Read More »
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