Category: Process

Write Well; Keep Track of S

I have so much of these in my shelves. But these ones are my favorites.
I have so much of these in my shelves. But these ones are my favorites.

Writing is more than just a talent and a passion, for it is a skill that when we master, it could empower us professionally, and it could enrich us personally. And although there are news, or rumors, or both that our writing skills have gone bad in this Digital age, but given the fact that it’s a skill, I am positive that all of us can write. That the only question is; how well we write.

Regardless, there are “rules-of-thumb” that we, writers and aspirants could count on, and must adhere to ensure good writing. They are as follows:

Sentence

Defined by Encarta as a “meaningful linguistic unit—a group of words or a single word that expresses a complete thought, feeling, or idea. It usually contains an explicit or implied subject and a predicate containing a finite verb,” and depending on the clauses, there are four types of sentences:

– Simple sentence contains a single independent clause.

– Compound sentence contains independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunction (e.g. and, for, but), or a conjunctive adverb (such as however, therefore, thus, hence), or a semicolon alone.

– Complex sentence contains a single dependent clause (headed by a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun) joined to an independent clause,

– Compound complex sentence contains two independent clauses joined to one or more dependent clauses.

writers-blockWe must keep in mind that when a sentence doesn’t express a complete thought, we are not only hurting our writing, but chances are, we might get misunderstood.

Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-Verb agreement is one of the “holy commandments” of writing. It means that if the subject is singular, the verb must be singular as well (For example: Lisa is reading, or Lisa reads).

Structure

Structure is the “skeleton” or the framework of writing—for without a clear and organized structure, our paragraphs will not be in coherent with one another. What’s worse, our readers might end up wandering; meandering as to where our writing is going.

Style

Style is the way we arrange our sentences in the most convincing ways. Style enables us to display our eloquence and intelligence in getting our messages across to our readers.

Spelling

A single misspelled word could hurt our writing substantially. For a simple typo could turn off our readers. So make sure, you use spell checker or a pocket dictionary, along with a thesaurus each time you write.

Succinctness

Succinctness is about brevity, or clarity on how we “neatly” package our words into strong arguments. Ideally, the concept of “short, but sweet” applies in all genres of writing. However, in academics, as one furthers one’s degree, there are more numbers of words required in academic writing (the longest I had was twenty-five pages, in double space, excluding work cited for my business law class). But then again, in most cases, what is ideal indeed, is to deliver our messages in the most meaningful, yet shortest ways.

Simplicity

Simplicity is also in the “holy commandments” of written language. In fact, according to the great William Zinsser “Who can understand the clotted language?” He further stresses that with simplicity at scarce, we are nothing, but “a society of strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills, and meaningless jargon.”

Sense of Humor

“Laughter is the best medicine,” says an old quote. However, we don’t have to take laughter so literally. More so, to ridicule anyone, or ourselves (and engage into self-deprecation) when we contemplate of adding humor to our writings. Nonetheless, it really won’t hurt to add a “dash” of fun, for most of us do appreciates sense of humor. In addition, sometimes, the best key in “winning” our audiences is to make them laugh (or smile at least).

Sound of Your Voice

Writing is a conversation. Which means, we should “speak” naturally when we write. For writing doesn’t have to be stiff and uptight for us, neither for our readers too.

Moreover, writing in the sound of our voices doesn’t only make our writing more authentic and distinctive, but through the sounds of our voices, we can write “with breeze” and ease. In addition, we should never copy anyone’s style, more so, anyone’s words. Although we must follow the same rules and mechanics, but we really must carry our respective characters each time we write.

Sincerity

Lastly, sincerity is the soul behind our manuscripts. For writing sincerely, is the most meaningful way to touch our readers’ lives.

Finally, writing is a skill that when we master, it’ll compensate us professionally and enrich us personally. So, write well, and keep track of all the “s” mentioned above.

Happy writing!

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Write What Matters

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An informal, narrative-process essay required in academia.

Sabiniana Balagtas Baliba

George Garneau, Ph.D.

23 January 2013

Write What Matters

Do you know “who are you writing for?” Because according to William Zinsser, for every writer, “Who am I writing for,” is such a “fundamental question,” that should have an equally “fundamental answer.” Honestly, before reading Zinsser’s On Writing Well, I thought, we, writers should just think of our readers to come up with a meaningful writing. But on Chapter 5, he wrote, “There is no such audience. . .” Now don’t be alarmed; Don’t take it literal! Nor react to “who” instead of “whom.” Of course, he didn’t mean that our readers don’t exist neither, no one would read our writings. Rather, just as every one is different from one another, Zinsser emphasized, “Every reader is different too.”
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For in reality, it is impossible to know what “exactly” our readers would love to read. Moreover, it is easier, doable and attainable to write for ourselves. Because having that mentality, encourages us to fearlessly write and express our thoughts, in the distinct tone of our respective voice, style and individuality, for those should always be present each time we write.

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Just like in academics, our English teachers always encourage us to write on topics that matter to us. Because to come up with a meaningful writing, we have to write about things that we are passionate of; issues that truly matter to us. For that is the strongest foundation of it all—Write what matters—Write what matters to you!

For when we write what matter to us, we would write, just as how we normally converse. Even if we don’t see our readers face-to-face, we should write as if we are talking to them in person, that they are right in front of us; all eyes, all ears listening, so we talk or write from the heart. And when we do write from the heart; in the most sincere and succinct ways, though we may not hear applause, or get a handshake, our readers will know, and they will appreciate that. So, write what matters, and write what matters to you!

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