ProWritingAid Review – We Tested the Grammar Checker

ProWritingAid Review – We Tested the Grammar Checker

Would you like to have a friendly editor reading your drafts and pointing out typos and clunky sentences – before you show them to the rest of the world? That’s what ProWritingAid can do for you. What is ProWritingAid? ProWritingAid is an automatic editor for your writing and works similarly to tools like Grammarly and the Hemingway editor. It looks like this: It goes way beyond a simple spellchecker and flags up issues from incorrect punctuation to stylistic suggestions (like avoiding…

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How to Write Dialogue

How to Write Dialogue

Dialogue refreshes. Seeing quotation marks on a page has been proven to increase readability, which means that readers find the page more interesting. And you want your readers to stay interested. Dialogue breaks up “gray text” and gives your eyes a break too. Dialogue uses basic rules for punctuating and formatting: When the speaker changes, hit Return and start a new line (which Maeve Maddox demonstrates in Formatting Dialogue.) Put punctuation, such as the closing comma, inside the quotation marks….

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Video: 10 Incorrect Pronunciations to Avoid

Video: 10 Incorrect Pronunciations to Avoid

As you might know, some time ago we created a YouTube channel to publish some of our content under a video format. Here’s one thing we discovered: producing videos that talk about grammar and punctuation and that are entertaining at the same time is quite a challenge! That being said, we believe we are getting closer, and would love to have your feedback on the video below. Please let us know with a comment if you like the video and…

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Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2018

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2018

The Oxford Dictionaries has announced that its Word of the Year for 2018 is toxic, which visitors to its websites searched for not only in isolation but as an element in multiple phrases. Toxic, which derives ultimately from the Greek term toxon, meaning “arrow,” came to apply to poison delivered on the point of an arrow. In Greek, toxikon meant “poison arrow,” and later, the Latin word toxicum pertained to poison itself. The primary definition of the adjective toxic is…

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The Quest for Universal Plot Types

The Quest for Universal Plot Types

For centuries, writers and critics have tried to put stories into basic categories. Novelist Kurt Vonnegut described eight of them: Man in Hole, Boy Meets Girl, From Bad to Worse, Which Way is Up?, Creation Story, Old Testament, New Testament, and Cinderella. He argued that stories have beautiful shapes which can be drawn on graph paper or fed into computers, rising and falling emotionally over time on a horizontal B-E axis (Beginning/End) and a vertical G-I axis (Good Fortune/Ill Fortune)….

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8 Writing Tips for Beginners

8 Writing Tips for Beginners

Welcome to the wonderful world of writing! However young or old you are, writing can be so rewarding. For some writers, it’s a fun hobby and a creative outlet; for others, it’s a dream career. When you’re just getting started, you might feel excited but also a little daunted – where should you begin? What do you need to know and learn? The great thing about writing is that whatever stage you’re at, you can keep growing your skills and…

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The 10 Most Frequently Looked-Up Words

The 10 Most Frequently Looked-Up Words

According to Merriam-Webster’s website, these are the ten most frequently search terms on the site—not what is trending now, but the words that consistently rank among the top searches. 1. Affect/Effect This double entry is not surprising; the confusion between affect and effect is one of the most common among homophones (words that sound alike but are spelled differently) and near homophones. Merriam-Webster advises that writers can use a simple rule in mind when determining which word to use—affect is…

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Hot Takes and Spit Takes

Hot Takes and Spit Takes

Take is one of the most generic and therefore versatile verbs (and, as a noun, has multiple senses), prompting an extensive collection of idioms, many of which are listed below. give and take: compromisehot take: a published reaction or analysis of a recent news event that, often because of the time-sensitive nature, doesn’t offer much in the way of deep reflectionI take it: a synonym for “I understand” as an introduction to expressing that the speaker or writer believes that…

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Hyphens Guide: Functions and Examples

Hyphens Guide: Functions and Examples

The functions the hyphen appear to be straightforward, but exceptions and inconsistencies abound. This post serves as a guide to the recommendations of The Chicago Manual of Style regarding hyphenation. Hyphens are often introduced when new noun compounds are created, including in technological vocabulary, but such terms usually become closed compounds, though there are exceptions, such as mind-set and light-year. Other exceptions include constructions with certain first or second elements, such as in the case of self-respect and president-elect, and…

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Don’t Overload Your Readers With Your Message

Don’t Overload Your Readers With Your Message

Great writing is not only enjoyable, it has something to say – there is greatness in the theme. It may not be primarily a moral or a lesson, but something about the story appeals deeply to the heart. I believe that your skill as a writer determines the weight of the message you can communicate. The more skilled you are in handling the basic elements of plot, character, setting, conflict, and point of view, the more ambitious your theme can…

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