If the answer is "pick a method and be consistent", your question may be one of style.

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1answer
204 views

Should I indent when I write just a short sentence?

I'm writing a curriculum vitae and in Special skills section I wrote as the following: 8- Special skills I have the following skills: C++ Objective-C Should I indent "I have the following ...
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3answers
137 views

How to reword this: repeated back on him?

I don't know how to reword this: Along the way, we see how the faults Jacob made earlier in life are repeated back on him. I know repeated back on him doesn't sound correct, but I ...
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3answers
36 views

How can a screenplay writer learn to write a novel?

I am the sort of person that is really great at coming up with amazing ideas, plot-lines, worlds, etc. for stories, but I'm not so good at putting them to paper - at least not in a novel. I'm really ...
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3answers
73 views

“And” vs “with” in description lists [closed]

When should I use the former or the later? Examples: It was a bird. It had a black head and wings and a golden underbelly. It was a bird. It had a black head and wings with a golden ...
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2answers
5k views

What is the correct location for page numbers in a report?

I am writing a report on our project in school, and we were discussing what would be the best place for the page numbers. It seems obvious, at least to us, that the page numbers should be ...
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3answers
256 views

Words in author's native language?

Why in some essays or articles there are words in author's native language? (In other words, the essay is in English and there are some Spanish word spread out in whole essay) Does it necessarily ...
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1answer
186 views

Is it good style in fiction to write sentences as a flow of (disjointed) thoughts? [closed]

I was wondering whether it is okay to write like this or not: I never went for the grooves. But I did take a seat near the bar table and checked out the pretty ladies. Drinking was not my cup of ...
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2answers
162 views

Am I correctly referencing chapters which belong to the same book?

Looking for some help on how to reference chapters in a book inside of a booking I'm helping with. Should I be capitalizing Chapters 3 and 4 and would referring to chapters simply by capitalized ...
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3answers
40 views

The difference between two speech formats

I am conflicted about which one is appropriate for a story, or whether it makes a difference at all. A few years ago, god knows where, I've seen speech that was formatted like so: Hello. - Tom said. ...
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4answers
231 views

How important is a story's introduction?

I would feel like an introduction would be the first impressions and knowledge someone has of a book, along with the cover, just like a good movie. However, you can just skip a book intro. I've heard ...
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2answers
113 views

Are using adverbs in dialogue/action tags a sign of bad writing?

Examples from my own writing: She smiled kindly. “Maybe I can help you. What are you trying to find?” "Probably," he said apologetically, as if he were personally responsible for ...
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92 views

Is the following “…noun, adjective…” structure allowed in fiction?

Exhausted, I continued lying on my back. A cloud drifted lazily in the sky, heart-shaped, its curves flawlessly outlined as if drawn with a compass. Or should I write this instead? ...
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33 views

How to tell where to place a parenthetical em dash phrase?

Sometimes it's clear to me. But other times I get kind of confused. Example: After returning the materials back to their shelves, I turned—as were the others—the chair upside down on the table ...
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347 views

Screenplay format: Can character names be shortened after the first mention?

For example: TED DIBAR, (40s) swings his cape to the side, as he approaches Felix. Do I need to continue to use the character's full name, or can I shorten it in subsequent mentions?
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4answers
119 views

Indentation, paragraph spacing, when?

What are the proper rules for indentation in text? When should there be larger spaces separating paragraphs? In this particular example, I am writing a math book, so there are several different ...
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4answers
455 views

How to use “I think, therefore I am” in a more fluent manner?

I want to allude an experience that feels almost like Descartes' idea of "I think, therefore I am". Because the phrase is a proposition, I find it very difficult to fit in the statement in because I ...
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2answers
147 views

What can I write to improve reader participation at this blog?

I work for a costume company that has a company blog intended to inspire costuming and general ideas. We focus on Halloween sales, but we also have Renaissance and Oktoberfest themed costumes that ...
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2answers
25 views

Format for capitalizing quotes

Do you have to capitalize the second part of a dialogue if the second part is separated from the first. “Behind every great fortune,” he said as he started to zip up his jacket, “is a great crime. Do ...
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4answers
86 views

What do you think about having very different tones in a single story?

What if a chapter is incredibly depressive, dark, with intense language. And the next reads almost like a dialogue from a Seth MacFarlane comedy. Or even better, what if the tone switches occur ...
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192 views

What is it called when an author uses vague words for concrete concepts, “hedging”?

As an editor for an academic press, my pet peeve is when authors write sentences like "attempt to conceive of a possible approach to resolve X" instead of "try to resolve X". Obviously one big ...
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4answers
225 views

Dot after figure title?

Whether there should be a dot after a figure title (in a scientific book)? Note that I have figures numbered like "Figure 1. ..."
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2answers
227 views

Should I write “also known as” in full or as an acronym (aka)?

Example: It was located in the East Coast National Scenic Area, also known as China's Last Unspoiled Land. Is that how it should be written? Should I put it in quotes? Lowercase?
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2answers
251 views

Using Present Tense to describe a Fact on a story that uses Past Tense

newcomer here, and I have a question. I have a story that starts with the sentence, 'the ocean is vast'. However, I'm actually going to write my story in past tense form but changing that 'is' to ...
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2answers
2k views

How do I choose the most appropriate font for a professional document?

I've written many documents at school, but there is one thing I'm always struggling with: Font types. I never know which font to choose for which occasion. At the moment I'm writing a document that ...
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1answer
93 views

Using “by” on the book cover

I have seen many books covers with the following format: [Title] by [name of author]. In other instances, the word 'by' is omitted. Is there any convention for using 'by' on the cover page of a ...
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92 views

Giving something an alias

Within a technical document I want to refer to a system or process by a shorter name. I have no idea what this process is called so searching the internet is not getting me anywhere. Is this correct? ...
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694 views

What are the names of the different levels of English?

In a recent discussion regarding software manuals, we came across the issue of different styles of writing / speaking in English. I am having a hard time finding a list of the different styles, such ...
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76 views

Clarity: What supports it? What hinders it? [closed]

A friend recently challenged me on communicating an idea clearly, and we ended up discussing clear thinking. I explained that in the idea communication process, concepts sometimes get tangled amidst ...
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2answers
91 views

How to close read and do an oral presentation on it in 12 minutes orl less? [closed]

so i am going to recieve a random passage from the book "1984" and will be given 12 minutes to read it, write all over it, and then do a 4+ minute oral presentation on it. My teacher also says to ...
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1answer
108 views

Is there a way of listing the elements that makes a real fact fun?

For instance I wrote this thing that is real God’s love is like your parents love / except for the ‘‘burning, crying, and screaming for eternity in hell" part / if you don’t obey them. and ...
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2answers
29 views

How to start writing short stories

I wish to write short stories based on the experiences I have from my life. Also, I love writing inspirational stories. But somehow, when I start to write them, I could not focus on the subject; also ...
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3answers
73 views

In a formal writing, does having a paragraph rewritten by another person make the style change noticablely?

I am writing a personal statement to apply to a grad school. At first, I have thought that because the role of this statement is to show an image of me as a person, using the tone I usually use when ...
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1answer
44 views

How should I break down a huge table of contents?

I am creating a table of contents for a book, and there are 4 ways of splitting information up. The biggest zones are 'Chapters', those can span several pages; these are bold, underlined and in large ...
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1answer
37 views

In what situation do you put a full-stop after an ellipsis?

In some style guides, I see this mention of putting a full-stop after an ellipsis when you are stopping the paused sentence and going onto another new sentence, but when reading several very ...
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1answer
40 views

Lists of description appropriate for formal writing?

In a formal piece, is it appropriate to write a list, especially one of descriptions? It's the easiest way to get information across sometimes, especially on a tight word limit. For example, if I had ...
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1answer
38 views

How to use academic titles in the beginning of a paper

Should I use titles e.g. Dr., PhD, MS., BS, etc the beginning of a paper along with author names? Does the rule, if any, differ for different styles e.g. APA, MLA, etc.? Is the following, to make ...
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3answers
92 views

How can clarity and flow of long sentences be improved? [closed]

Sometimes it seems desirable to pack a lot of interrelated information into a single sentence, but such sentences can lack clarity or seem tiring. For example, the following sentence seems to leave ...
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1answer
78 views

When should headers be used in writing?

When I ask the Should I use hypophoras at the beginning of every paragraphs? question, Lauren Ipsum suggests me to organize things with headers while Kristina Adams advises me to avoid headers in ...
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1answer
32 views

Use of dash in section numbering

I am writing my thesis report and I am doubt which one is acceptable and correct? 1- Section 1 1-2- Subsection 2 Or this way? 1 Section 1 1-2 Subsection 2 And also if it is possible say that is ...
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1answer
40 views

Capitalize and/or hyphenate “ the Start Your Own Business project”?

I have come across a situation which drives me mad, and I cannot find any satisfying answer in the Oxford Guide to Style, which I tend to follow. The problem concerns the phrase "Start Your Own ...
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2answers
204 views

What are the Criteria that Distinguish a Thriller from Horror?

The criteria that come to mind are not exclusive to horror novels, so I'm a little confused and annoyed (annoyed because I find horror novels scary, and yet just cannot define it logically when I try ...
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2answers
47 views

Which opening for my book is better? [closed]

I am currently writing a fictional book. I have no idea how to introduce the new country and the history. I already have three ideas on how to start the book, but I don't know which one to use and ...
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2answers
63 views

Should I italicise when the protagonist quote other character's words?

For example in a story I'm writing a character says the following: “Be careful,” An-Mei said, ignoring my question. “No matter what, don't get close to her.” Later on the protagonist thinks ...
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1answer
107 views

Maintaining the consistency of voice and spontaneity throughout a piece

So straight to it, I don't write very long pieces. Usually poetry or flash fiction and a smattering of short stories whenever it needs to be longer, though I have aspirations (mostly just dreams) of ...
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1answer
134 views

A more effective way of writing this dialogue:

I'm translating a story, and there is scene in it where an ex-colleague asks the man who had slapped the female protagonist the reason for his doing so. In reply, all he says is something like, “What ...
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1answer
143 views

Should I punctuate abbreviations for Old English, Middle English etc. in academic writing?

When using an abbreviation such as OFr (Old French) or ME (Middle English) in academic writing, what is the best way to stylise it? Masses of punctuation looks messy, but I am concerned my assignment ...
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1answer
2k views

Should paragraphs split over pages in thesis?

I am writing a technical thesis with quite a few figures, tables and equations. These items break up the "flow" of the document. To mitigate this some journals suggest placing such items at the top or ...
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1answer
111 views

Main idea or Thesis

When I was taught to write in school, my teacher told me to start with an introductory paragraph and end that paragraph with my thesis. I understand what I was writing in school was very elementary ...
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1answer
406 views

Describing a machine's world in a metaphorical manner

The actual meaning that I want to convey is sort of like a good design covers up the nitty gritty technical aspects of a machine and provides a smooth experience when using it. I want to describe ...
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1answer
67 views

How to format neural actions in a story

I'm writing a short story with androids and cybernetically enhanced humans who have access to neural interfaces. Essentially, they open up some kind of computer terminal, but it's via internal sensors ...