From the blog

Affect vs. Effect: When to use each

by ProWritingAid Jun 12, 2017

Affect vs. Effect: When to use each

When to use "affect" or "effect" is so confusing that people are switching to "impact" to use in its place.

Never fear—it's not difficult to use "affect" and "effect" properly. Here is what you need to know:

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Using an Editing Tool Does Not Make You a Lazy Writer

by Kathy Edens Jun 12, 2017

Using an Editing Tool Does Not Make You a Lazy Writer

Do you always check your work for repeated or overused words or phrases? I know I don't. Sometimes I can be so close to my writing that I don't notice when I've used a certain word too many times in the space of 3 or so paragraphs. In my mind, it sounds natural.

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End Hunger by Practicing Grammar? Sign Us Up!

by Monica Puerto Jun 12, 2017

 End Hunger by Practicing Grammar? Sign Us Up! Did you know that if you spend 15 minutes a day improving your grammar and vocabulary on freerice.com, you will be helping end hunger?

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Why You Need an Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing

by Kathy Edens Jun 07, 2017

Why You Need an Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing

Do you regularly create great content for your target audience? Let's have a show of hands: how many of you use an editorial calendar to organize your content?

Not everyone uses an editorial calendar, and if you're one, you're making life more difficult than need be.

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When the Words Won't Come: Word Explorer

by ProWritingAid Jun 06, 2017

When the Words Won't Come: Word Explorer

Use ProWritingAid's Word Explorer to look at any word 14 different ways. Yes, it's true. Here's the list of ways you can check out any given word:

  • Dictionary
  • Reverse Dictionary (this shows you words with your given word in their definition)
  • Thesaurus
  • Lists (lists of dated terms, ironic terms, often used terms)
  • Alliteration (adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs with the same letter or sound at the beginning or adjacent to your given word)
  • Clichés (to help you avoid them)
  • Spelling (good to know if you write frequently in American, British, and Australian English)
  • Rhymes
  • Pronunciation
  • Collocations (adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs that come before or after your given word)
  • Common Phrases (2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-word phrases using your given word)
  • Commonly Possessed By (words that can own your given word)
  • Anagrams (in case you need help)
  • Examples (From books and quotes using your given word)

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Wrestling Run-On Sentences Into Shape

by Kathy Edens May 26, 2017

Wrestling Run-On Sentences Into Shape

ProWritingAid's sentence length check is one of the most important reports I use for every piece of writing. I have a tendency to write long, flowing sentences that meander around, trying to connect numerous ideas together that perhaps don't belong. (The latter sentence a case in point.)

But did you know that's not a technical run-on sentence? It's more of a run-off-at-the-mouth sentence.

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Are You Ignoring Your Best Ideas?

by Hannah Collins May 17, 2017

Are You Ignoring Your Best Ideas?

Bored by your own writing? You could be suffering from the toll of ignoring your best ideas. ‘But why on earth would I ignore an idea if it’s good?’, you’re wondering. The answer is that you probably don’t even know you’re doing it.

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The Evolution of Copywriting

by Patrick Foster May 17, 2017

The Evolution of Copywriting

Throughout history, copywriting has been integral to the success of millions of advertising and marketing campaigns. Here’s how copywriting has evolved, and what today’s copywriters need to bear in mind.

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Why You Need Your Audience to Nod as They Read

by ProWritingAid May 15, 2017

Why You Need Your Audience to Nod as They Read

No matter how brilliant your copy is, if you can't get your readers to nod along as they read, you haven't made that all-important connection yet.

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10 Writing Issues that Your Grammar Checker is Missing

by Lisa Lepki May 15, 2017

10 Writing Issues that Your Grammar Checker is Missing

An editing tool checks for writing issues that go far beyond mere grammar problems.

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Why a Fully Realized Villain is as Important as Your Protagonist

by Kathy Edens May 12, 2017

Your antagonist can make the difference between a ho-hum novel and a break-out one.

A fully realized villain is someone who shows us parts of ourselves in his or her makeup. If you can connect in some human way with the antagonist, it's going to bring up all kinds of tension for readers.

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Growing The Writing Cooperative

by Stella J. McKenna May 11, 2017

Growing The Writing Cooperative

“The Coop” is more than just a Medium publication — it’s a community. And it’s growing.

The motto of The Writing Cooperative is, “Helping each other write better”. This phrase ultimately guides all that we do.

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15 Best Content Marketing Blogs to Follow

by ProWritingAid May 04, 2017

15 Best Content Marketing Blogs to Follow

How do you stay abreast of the latest, greatest information about content marketing? We put together a list of our top 15 content marketing blogs you need to start following.

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How to Write a Killer Transition

by Kathy Edens May 03, 2017

How to Write a Killer Transition

How do you move your reader smoothly between ideas in your content or from scene to scene in your novel? With killer transitions that connect and unify your writing as a whole.

What is a Transition? There are two types of transitions to cover: transitions in content connecting paragraphs and highlighting relevant, important points and transitions between scenes or POV switches in manuscripts.

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A Letter from Roald Dahl: "Eschew All Those Beastly Adjectives."

by ProWritingAid May 03, 2017

A Letter from Roald Dahl: "Eschew All Those Beastly Adjectives."

When a student wrote to Roald Dahl in 1980 asking for help on his thesis, he received this rather curt letter in reply. We think it's wonderful.

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Maintaining Focus While Writing: A Review of the Freedom App

by Kathy Edens Apr 21, 2017

Maintaining Focus While Writing: A Review of the Freedom App Do you get distracted easily when writing? Do you check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram when your writing slows down or you reach a difficult section?

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What is the Most Important Copywriting Skill to Master?

by Kathy Edens Apr 21, 2017

What is the Most Important Copywriting Skill to Master? There are a lot of essential skills to master if you are going to write effective copy. I don't want to downplay the importance of good writing, proper grammar, thorough research, and SEO optimization, but there is another skill that stands above the rest.

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Have You Written Your Story's 'Mirror Moment' Yet?

by Kathy Edens Apr 18, 2017

Have You Written Your Story's 'Mirror Moment' Yet?

I recently came across a book by James Scott Bell that lays out an interesting premise about something he calls the 'mirror moment'.

Bell's theory is that there is a single moment in the middle of the story where the main character takes a "long, hard look at himself (as in a mirror). He asks, Who am I? What have I become? Who am I supposed to be?"

Bell says if you can nail that moment, everything that comes before and after it will have more depth and resonance.

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The 10 Best Facebook Groups for Writers

by Kathy Edens Apr 10, 2017

The 10 Best Facebook Groups for Writers Sometimes as I sit at my desk in a remote corner of the house, writing my soul out on the page, I need the company of other writers. Someone who understands how I can both crave and loathe this quiet aloneness. When it's 2am, and I'm working feverishly to meet a deadline or trying to make sense out of the jumble of ideas in my brain, I need community.

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Gender Neutral Pronoun Consistency—Is This Still a Thing?

by ProWritingAid Apr 10, 2017

Gender Neutral Pronoun Consistency—Is This Still a Thing? How many times have you written a sentence using a gender-neutral antecedent (the word a pronoun replaces) and stumbled? Which pronoun do you use—he or she?The student may borrow whichever book he (or she?) needs. The Traditional Solution

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