Writing Tools

WRITING TOOLS

Rule #1: Write for an audience.  Gary North explains:

One way to overcome the problem of not being able to write coherently is to begin with a particular audience in mind. Not only do you have the audience in mind, you have in mind an imaginary person who is representative of this audience. You write for this person. The same thing is true when you write a speech.

If you can get inside the mind of your listener or reader, you can structure your thoughts so as to persuade this person. Never write for a committee. Always write for a person.

I think the problem that puzzlers have is this: they are writing for themselves, not for a particular person in a particular audience. They are struggling to get things clear in their own minds. They are not struggling to get things clear in the mind of someone who reads them. They are not paying attention to the intellectual limitations, goals, and time constraints of the representative person in the audience they are trying to reach.

Van Til did write one essay in which he really did attempt to do this. It is widely regarded as his greatest essay: Why I Believe in God. But this was a rare essay. It was as if his essays were trying to convince his atheistic professor of philosophy, A. A. Bowman. They would not have convinced Bowman.

[ACADEMIC WRITING]

I.  KINDS OF ACADEMIC ESSAYS

II.  Writing Introductions.  You should know the different kinds of introductory methods. Your English instructor will for sure teach you.  

III. USAGE
1.  Tips on Usage at Daily Writing Tips.
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REQUIREMENTS FOR EFFECTIVE COLLEGE ESSAYS:
1. Data rich.  This means that you have to marshall plenty of relevant data that persuades your point or the point of your overall essay–your thesis–as well as the individual points made in each paragraph.
2. Two, you will need to have all of the finer points of writing down pat with each essay.  That means that you need to have a hook in your introduction.  Even if it is not the best or the most effective, have one.  Your instructor will minimally appreciate the effort you took to include a writing technique.  You’ll need topic sentences at the beginning of each of your body paragraphs.  You’ll need this.  If you can’t think of a topic sentence, start by creating a headline for that particular paragraph.  At least you’ll have something. 
3. Of course, you’ll need commentary of the evidence you present.  By commentary, I mean evaluate it, critique it, praise it if need be. 
4. Penultimately, have sentences that flow.   
5. Finally, in your final draft be sure that your essay has a story-like quality to it.  You’ve heard it a dozen times that people like stories.  So give people what they want.  So the last editorial decision you make will be one where you fix the flow of your paper so that it reads like a very effective, very smart, very flattering experience for the reader–in this case, your college-educated professor.    

CHECK YOUR GRAMMAR
1.  http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

“. . . production schedules trump quality every time. . . “

And should.

Almost no one cares about grammar.

In contrast, every subscriber cares about four articles a day, six days a week, 52 weeks a year. That is what they pay for. That is what they get.

2.  Grammarist is a good site for checking one’s grammar and word usage.  Check it out.
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ACADEMIC REPORTS

WRITING COURSES & RESOURCES 
1.  Circe Writing Institute.
2.  How to Write an Essay from UC Berkeley.  It’s free. 
3.  Free Writing courses.  You really should take all of these free courses, most if not all from prestigious universities the world over. 
4.  Some folks I know are using this gal’s writing resources.  Her name is Susan Wise Bauer.  I personally have not tried it; have, in fact, not even looked at it.  But thought that I would provide something here for anyone looking.
5.  Another list of online English coursesMore

WRITE CODE 
1.  Code Academy.
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LETTER WRITING
1. Need help writing letters of sympathies, like when someone dies?  Check out this list.  This will make you memorable.
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DAILY PRACTICE WRITING TOOLS
1.  Write daily with 750Words.com.
2.  Analyze Your Writing.
3.  “9 Steps to Writing and Publishing Your Novel on Amazon,” Bill Myers.
4.  List of Drama screenplays.
5.  Price your book for maximum sales on Amazon, using CreateSpace.
6.  Blankpage.io

8.  2000 to 10,000: How to Write Faster, Write Better, and Write More of What You Love, Rachel Aaron, 2012.

[SKILLS]

TYPING SKILLS
1.  How fast can you type?  Ratatype, Typingweb, Typingclub, and or Typeacer
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CURSIVE WRITING
1.  Write more beautifully.  Try this.
2.  How and Why to Write Better Cursive, Brett & Kate McKay, Dec. 16, 2014.
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STUDY HABITS?
1.  Here.
2.  Better to take notes by hand than by computer or e-notebooks.  But you already knew this.
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PATTERN WRITING
I’ve never heard of this before.  I believe that pattern writing has to do with writing computer programming and software.  I have heard of compositional modes, like expository, persuasive, analytic, and so forth, but this sounds like nothing I’ve heard of. 

The use of patterns to communicate wisdom and insight in computer/software systems design is a relatively new idea.  As such, techniques and approaches for writing patterns and pattern languages are continually being improved, as creative individuals try new ways to organize and communicate their thoughts.

So I’ve got something new to learn today.  Take a look at this, this [one here is the what I am familiar with], this, and this.  

PATTERN LANGUAGE
Read this.  

pattern language is a method of describing good design practices or patterns of useful organization within a field of expertise. The term was coined by architect Christopher Alexander and popularized by his 1977 book A Pattern Language.

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