From the blog

How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay

by Julie Petersen Dec 09, 2016

How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay

Argumentative writing is different from other types of papers (such as narrative, descriptive, or cause/effect). With this essay, you should investigate a topic from multiple angles. You’ll do that by collecting and evaluating evidence. Then, you’ll established your position and support your thesis with indisputable facts. The purpose of this type of academic writing is to convince the reader to consider your point of view.

How exactly do you write a powerful argumentative essay? You’re aware of the effect you should achieve, but how do you get there? We have some tips that will help you get better at argumentative writing.

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by ProWritingAid Dec 06, 2016

As someone who lives and runs a business in the UK and has travelled extensively in the US, I can tell you from first-hand experience that there’s a world of difference between the way Americans and Britons do things. And I’m not just talking about the fact that we drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road (though, you know, obviously remember that if you decide to visit).

There’s the whole ‘s’ versus ‘z’ argument, the fact that we prefer spelling colour with a ‘u’ and gray with an ‘a’. And of course, let’s not forget about our penchant for the imperial system.

Grammar and measurements aside though, when it comes to marketing across the pond the differences are both vast and nuanced. We’re all speaking English, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same language.

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Get Paid to Write: 9 Sites Looking for Submissions Now

by Mary Walton Dec 05, 2016

Get Paid to Write: 9 Sites Looking for Submissions Now

It feels as though getting started as a writer is impossible. With so many people asking for your services for free, how will you ever make a living with your skills? Thanks to the internet, there is a way. There's plenty of people out there who need writers and are willing to pay. Here's nine sites where you can find them and start making some cash.

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Humor Sells – How to Add it into Your Blog

by Zoe Anderson Nov 28, 2016

Humor Sells – How to Add it into Your Blog

It's said that laughter is the best medicine. It's also an important and useful tool for building an audience for your blog. Writing with humor will improve your writing and is more likely to attract readers.

There's a fine line between being funny and being offensive. The first will make people more likely to share your blog with their friends and visit your site again in the future, while the second will upset your audience and drive them away. Know the audience you are writing for, and know what lines should not be crossed.

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Summary Report: The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

by Kathy Edens Nov 21, 2016

Summary Report: The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

We have just released the new (and much improved) ProWritingAid editing tool and we wanted to tell you a bit more about one new feature that we are particularly excited about.

What is it? A Summary Report is an all-in-one look at the statistics in your writing. Not just the basics like word count, sentences, and paragraphs, but it also points out the key actions you need to take to strengthen your writing.

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How to Foreshadow Like Alfred Hitchcock

by Kathy Edens Nov 21, 2016

How to Foreshadow Like Alfred Hitchcock

Foreshadowing allows you to plant clues, hint at what’s to come, build the tension, or even place a red herring in your reader’s path.

You can use foreshadowing in a variety of ways. The resulting action can be immediate or delayed. You can use dialogue or narrative to set the scene, and you can foreshadow a symbolic event or an ethical dilemma. You can use direct or indirect foreshadowing, and it can even be true or false.

Foreshadowing can feed the tension of a scene. Who doesn’t know the famous shower scene in the movie Psycho? Right before the character Marion Crane pulls up to the Bates Motel, her windshield wipers are slashing through the rain, foreshadowing what awaits her in the shower scene.

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Flashbacks: A Writer’s Best Friend (or Worst Enemy)

by ProWritingAid Nov 21, 2016

Flashbacks: A Writer’s Best Friend (or Worst Enemy)

A flashback is a scene you use in your current narrative to show something that happened in the past. The two key differentiators are: 1) it must be a scene (as opposed to narration about an event), and 2) it’s past news.

Flashbacks are great for building three-dimensional characters because readers gains insight on how a character’s thoughts, feelings, and morals were formed by important events. They’re also useful for dropping hints about what happened to lead your main character to the current point in time. They help your readers understand and care deeply about your characters and what happens to them.

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2017 Content Marketing Trends You Need to Know

by Kathy Edens Nov 21, 2016

2017 Content Marketing Trends You Need to Know

The good news for copywriters is that content is still king. The bad news is that only the really good stuff will sell.

In the past, the low barrier to entry for copywriters created a glut of writers hanging out their shingles. Companies are now beginning to realize, however, that all content is not created equal. Their audience is tired of the hype and the fluff. Readers expect value in exchange for their time spent reading your content. If they don’t find value, they’ll turn elsewhere.

We’ve pulled together a few predictions on trends that will rule content in 2017. Like most predictions, take what you need and discard the rest.

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Check Out These New ProWritingAid Features

by ProWritingAid Nov 16, 2016

Check Out These New ProWritingAid Features

The newest version of ProWritingAid comes with some shiny new features to check out including a Word Explorer, summary reports, easier navigation, contextual thesaurus, detailed explanations and more. Take it for a spin now.

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Writing for a British Audience

by Heather Baker Nov 16, 2016

Writing for a British Audience

As someone who lives and runs a business in the UK and has travelled extensively in the US, I can tell you from first-hand experience that there’s a world of difference between the way Americans and Britons do things.

And I’m not just talking about the fact that we drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road (though, you know, obviously remember that if you decide to visit).

There’s the whole ‘s’ versus ‘z’ argument, the fact that we prefer spelling colour with a ‘u’ and grey with an ‘e’. And of course, let’s not forget about our penchant for the imperial system.

Grammar and measurements aside though, when it comes to marketing across the pond the differences are both vast and nuanced. We’re all speaking English, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same language.

Read More »

7 Online Tools for Fast and Easy Infographics

by Stacey Marone Nov 04, 2016

7 Online Tools for Fast and Easy Infographics

People’s attention spans are getting shorter and a huge portion of the population identify themselves as visual learners. In this environment, using infographics can be the perfect way to get your point across.

Infographics allow you to compress information in an engaging way, bringing numbers and statistics to life. But they rely on a good balance of graphics and content, and that’s not always easy to achieve.

Here are seven online tools to make fast and easy infographics that quickly engage your audience’s senses.

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Cut “That” Out—Seriously

by ProWritingAid Oct 28, 2016

Cut “That” Out—Seriously

You want clear, concise writing, so make every word count. Cut out extraneous words, especially “that,” taking up space without adding value. This practical post is full of examples where the word "that" could be cut, and other times when it should be included for clarity.

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How-To Techniques to Establish Pace

by ProWritingAid Oct 28, 2016

How-To Techniques to Establish Pace

Pacing your story is like using the throttle to give an engine more gas. With more throttle, the engine revs up and speed increases. Less throttle slows you down so you can see the passing scenery.

Controlling the pacing of your story is like maneuvering through city streets, main thoroughfares, and high-speed highways. You need different speeds to maintain control of your vehicle in each situation.

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Do Your Subjects & Verbs Always Agree?

by ProWritingAid Oct 24, 2016

Do Your Subjects & Verbs Always Agree?

We know that a singular subject goes with a singular verb, and a plural subject goes with a plural verb. This is fairly straight forward and won’t throw most people off balance.

There are some instances, however, when you might confuse what is the actual subject of the sentence and choose the wrong verb.

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How Literary Devices Can Add Depth to Your Writing

by Kathy Edens Oct 14, 2016

How Literary Devices Can Add Depth to Your Writing

The term “literary device” refers to some common techniques that writers use to add meaning to their writing and get their message across more poignantly. When mastered, literary devices can help your reader interpret your scenes and understand your ideas with greater depth.

There are hundreds of literary devices to choose from, but let’s talk about some of the ones that will add layers to your writing.

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Writing App Reviews…Rough Draft

by Kathy Edens Oct 14, 2016

Writing App Reviews…Rough Draft

We love technology at ProWritingAid and how it helps writers improve. Over the past few months, we’ve been checking out some of the best writing technology out there. We've already reviewed Scrivener, The Novel Factory, Ulysses, and ILYS, this month we look at a new app called Rough Draft.

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Want to be a beta tester for ProWritingAid’s new online editor?

by ProWritingAid Oct 14, 2016

Want to be a beta tester for ProWritingAid’s new online editor?

We have been working away on this new tool for months now and we are excited to share it with you.

Please put it through the wringer. We want to know every glitch you encounter, every link that doesn’t work, every error message you receive.

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Can Distractions Actually Boost a Writer's Productivity?

by Tess Pajaron Oct 12, 2016

Can Distractions Actually Boost a Writer's Productivity?

As a writer, you may dream of a day where you can sit down at your desk and simply write, with no distractions. Instead, you have to deal with phone calls and emails, and people coming over to talk to you. You have the whole of the internet at your fingertips to distract you, as well as the sounds of the outside world. You can even be distracted by your own thoughts.

But what if we are thinking of these distractions in the wrong way? Could they be something that actually improves your productivity?

Let’s take a look at the ways in which this could be true.

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When to Underline & When to Use Italics

by ProWritingAid Oct 12, 2016

When to Underline & When to Use Italics

To italicize or underline. That is the question. How do you handle the titles of magazines, books, newspapers, academic journals, films, television shows, long poems, plays, operas, works of art like paintings and sculptures, music albums, etc.?

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How to Seamlessly Shift Between POV Characters

by Kathy Edens Oct 07, 2016

How to Seamlessly Shift Between POV Characters

Very occasionally some exceptional writers can get away with shifting Point of View (POV) between two characters within the same sentence. Most of us, however, should avoid this kind of head-hopping.

Where Faulkner and Joyce are masters at POV shifting (and they make it seem so effortless), here are a few rules the rest of us should follow when shifting between characters.

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