Tagged Questions

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

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4
votes
3answers
615 views

Very long sentences: personal style or just bad writing?

I'm writing a story targeted towards children in which the protagonist is a young girl. I find that in writing her dialog and the narrative, I'm producing a lot of very long sentences, to the point ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Must every piece of speech get its own paragraph?

I've had a few people read pieces of narrative writing I've done, and they seem to take issue with the fact that I sometimes put a piece of speech inline with the rest of a non-dialogue paragraph, ...
-1
votes
4answers
238 views

Please help me re-word this sentence [closed]

I'm having a hard time formulating a sentence with the following meaning Please note that not all eBooks support all the different platforms and devices. I think the sentence conveys the idea ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Looking for some tips on how to improve writing [closed]

I have just completed my first draft of a novel. Now the story is completed it's time to capture the style so the reader can engage in the story. I want to make sure the story style is easy enough for ...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

Differences in personal statements between American and UK universities?

A friend has asked me to review a personal statement she's written for acceptance into a UK university. I have experience in assisting others with their writing, but as an American I want to ensure ...
0
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Using dashes in writing dialogue

Does anyone use em dashes (or two hyphens) to denote speakers in dialogue passages? Joyce does this as does William Gaddis. Many others. I practice it, but my only "conceptual understanding" is that ...
6
votes
2answers
262 views

What exactly is wrong with 'It was a dark and stormy night'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is “It was a dark and stormy night..” not a good opening? The phrase in question is derided everywhere. Wikipedia calls it infamous and purple prose, the ...
11
votes
2answers
597 views

Striking the balance between dialogue and narrative

I am participating in National Novel Writing Month this year. I have never in my life written so much of a single story. Although I am supposed to tell my inner editor to shut up this month, she is ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Stick to in-text citation or use a mixture of both parenthetical and in-text?

I'm currently writing an academic paper for a school assignment, specifically a short Position Paper with 500 word limit. I have chosen to use APA for my citations. I am wondering if that it is ...
-2
votes
1answer
281 views

Does stilted english means that the writer is dumb in using the langauge? [closed]

Does stilted english means that the writer is dumb in using the langauge? Or can it be said to be their style? Some said that it can easily be pointed out if someone is not a native English speaker. ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to write time duration correctly

Within a user manual, I need to convey the maximum time period allowed as "365 days 23 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds" - are commas expected between each component? Is the word "and" expected before the ...
0
votes
1answer
924 views

Problems with past tenses in formal paper on a novel with MLA Format

I have been writing high school English paper on a novel in MLA format. Is there any rule about using past participle or past imperfect? Throughout the essay there have been many places that can be ...
6
votes
2answers
454 views

Is there some guideline that I can point to about the overuse of bold and underline?

I am getting really tired of getting emails and PowerPoint presentations in which half of the words are bold and underlined. There is also excessive use of exclamation points, all caps, and overly ...
6
votes
2answers
531 views

What is “head popping” and why is it bad?

Most of my writing experience has been with first person, nonfiction stories. Now I want to try some fiction. I'm working in third person, but I'm a little bit confused about how to pull something ...
4
votes
2answers
86 views

Knowing When To Cite?

In my essay (specifically a recount essay of a moment in the past), my objective is to end with the discussion of Death as a being (because my recounted moment will be related to death). I'd like to ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Are contractions antithetical to academic writing?

This question is very specific to academic writing: I used the contraction "don't" instead of "do not" in some of the papers. Some of the reviewers mentioned that "don't" is not a formal style of ...
1
vote
5answers
414 views

Is the following piece of text comprehensible and written in good style?

I am a PhD candidate and I am having difficulty in communicating effectively in writing. Specifically, this post is a piece of text submitted for critique and, in addition, explains what I am trying ...
9
votes
5answers
480 views

How can I learn how to outline, so I can write like an architect?

I've just watched one part of Brandon Sanderson's lecture on writing, the section entitled Gardeners & Architects and I realised I'm a Gardener, almost exclusively. This often ends up with me ...
3
votes
1answer
231 views

Book cover conventions

I'm looking for an authoritative convention for attributing a book to both an author and editor. It is necessary in this instance to have the editor's name on the cover as well as the author's. None ...
0
votes
2answers
124 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
304 views

Is it good idea to create a Sarcastic tone for provocative thoughts [closed]

For writing a editorial note covering some misjudgement facts (basically criticism of new policies based on failed results), I am writing in a sarcastic tone to get the message clear and effective as ...
0
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
2k views

How to separate scenes in a chapter?

I have multiple scenes in a chapter, sometimes from different POVs, or different locations/times. Now I would like to make it clear to the reader that they have left a scene and are entering a new ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Abbreviation for “figures” in scientific papers

In scientific papers, the term "Figure" -- referring to an illustration in the text -- is often abbreviated as "Fig." But is "Figures" abbreviated as "Figs", "Fig.s" or "Figs."? I am proofreading a ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

The most natural paragraph [closed]

Could you choose the most natural paragraph, please? I will come to your place as soon as I am done with the selling of the/our house. Don’t get bored without me. It’s a/the beginning of ...
5
votes
3answers
170 views

How to leverage social proof?

How can one use social proof as an argument without sounding like "just because everybody is doing it so should you"?. My problem is trying to demonstrate with social proof that trendy ...
0
votes
1answer
84 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? ...
4
votes
2answers
496 views

Citing in a paper: one citation for two paragraphs?

I'm writing a short paper on macroeconomics; the professor gave us two tries, I submitted the first try, and now got my feedback. The feedback is: "The first paragraph could also deserve a ...
2
votes
3answers
211 views

When to start a new paragraph and when to start a new “scene”

This is an extract of a short story I'm writing. Sometimes I get confused about when to start a new paragraph and when to start a new "scene." So I would like to know if I'm doing it properly here ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

How can a practical learner get up to speed on APA quickly?

I'd like to learn the APA style guide, so that, in addition to the fiction and general non-fiction I work on currently, I can start accepting academic editing jobs. However, I know very little about ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Referencing figure in text - capitalize the word “Figure” or not? Why?

I see it quite a lot. It looks a bit like this: It can be seen in Figure 3 that... My gut feeling is that there is no reason to scream in the middle of a perfectly calm sentence. I would like to ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

What's the difference between academic and journalistic writing?

I'm not talking about "boring" academic papers that are 99% science and 0% interesting. But in comments on a draft of my senior thesis, my teacher made the comment that my writing style was quite ...
13
votes
5answers
370 views

How do you find your unique style?

Let me preface this by saying I am quite young as writers go, only 20. Oftentimes as I am writing, I find myself simulating the style of whatever I most recently read-- sometimes the clipped and ...
0
votes
4answers
363 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
335 views

How Important are essay writing conventions in the university level and above?

I go to a CEGEP, which is basically pre-university in Montreal. In my Introduction to English class, I had a teacher who allowed us to go around the typical essay writing conventions. Conventions like ...
0
votes
1answer
504 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
849 views

Is it overkill to follow style-guides for technical writing?

I currently work for an engineering company as an electrical engineer. A good chunk of my time is spent writing testing reports or instruction documents. Currently my company doesn't have any sort of ...
4
votes
3answers
101 views

Floating vs Float

I was writing a short story piece where one person drops something in the water. I got puzzled by the following two choices. Google books seem to be using both of them. Jena and Mike went outside ...
-1
votes
1answer
73 views

College Application Essay Opening and Help [closed]

I currently have to write an application for college that I wish to go to over the summer. I have no idea where to turn and what to write. The prompt is to explain my interest in technology. Two ...
4
votes
3answers
131 views

What's the appropriate way to write numbers in educational contexts like papers?

I want to know if numbers should be written alphabetically in educational contexts, for instance: 10 plasma samples out of 1016 cannot be ignored. Or Ten plasma samples out of one thousand ...
-1
votes
1answer
90 views

Writing for all ages? [closed]

What writing style should be used if you are attempting to write a book for the general public between the ages 9 through 25?
3
votes
2answers
221 views

How do I express opinion informed by my beliefs without being hamfisted? [closed]

As authors, our influences can come from many places. Religion is definitely one of many influences on people's work. I believe a work should be a reflection of its author, yet religion can be really ...
5
votes
3answers
75 views

Deaf speechmarks? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does one present spoken dialogue as a secondary language to signed speech? I want to write a novel and I was thinking of including a deaf character. I want to know ...
4
votes
1answer
584 views

Is there a style / terminology guide for Android OS application documentation?

This relates to my earlier question: My first professional writing job: any advice? I will be involved with writing documentation for an Android OS business application. Is there an Android style ...
4
votes
1answer
215 views

What tense to use in an academic paper when speaking about correspondence?

What is the correct tense to use in an academic paper when speaking about correspondence? Say one of my source materials is a letter written by someone named William, in which he says he went to the ...
3
votes
3answers
63 views

“The company from Redmond” vs “The Redmond company.”

I'm writing an article about Microsoft for my tech' analysis website and I got into a stylistic roadblock. Which of the following sentences should I use? As I said before, the company from ...
0
votes
1answer
246 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
782 views

Should I prefer long or short sentences in scientific writing?

Currently, I am writing papers with rather short sentences: About half of them contain around 20 words, about 10% to 20% even less. I am doing this for three reasons: I find short sentences easier ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

Style signatures and uncommon formatting patterns

Style signatures are bits of words and phrases used consistently throughout the entirety of a work (but not necessarily among my unrelated works). I would like to try using style signatures in a work ...