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

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1answer
104 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
157 views

The value of labeling book sections

My wife is beginning a novel, and she's written four chapters in under six pages. I suggested that she consider using page breaks or lowercase Roman numeraled sections instead of chapters because a ...
6
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4answers
336 views

How to avoid specifying the gender in English when the original text does not specify it?

I'm translating a short story from Korean into English. One problem I frequently face is the 'antecedent pronoun agreement' when the original text leaves the 'gender' of the subject unspecified (and ...
0
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3answers
164 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
835 views

Is it acceptable practice to use contractions in a fictional first person narrative for children?

I am writing a children's story in first person, present tense. Aside from the quotes from characters, all of the text is meant to represent the narrator's own thoughts, and either describes what they ...
0
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the correct way to write a fractional number in a formal letter?

If I'm talking about a length of time in a cover letter, let's say 5.5 years, what would be the correct way to write this? five-and-a-half years 5-1/2 years 5.5 years
4
votes
1answer
183 views

singular or plural for index entries

I am in the final stages of writing a book and currently I am preparing the index. Are there any rules whether index entries should be listed in singular or plural? Currently I have Markov chains, ...
5
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3answers
493 views

How to use parentheses

Parentheses have many uses; I find myself reaching for them often. Increasingly though, I realise I can convey the same meaning without parentheses with little or only minor loss in succinctness. ...
3
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2answers
304 views

How to cite multiple chapters from same book in Vancouver style?

How can I cite multiple chapters from the same book? Do I have to use separate reference numbers, if they are by different authors?
3
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2answers
226 views

Standardizing capitalization within a bibliography or footnotes when your sources have used different standards

I’m compiling a bibliography and want to know if I should standardize the capitalization within the titles of the articles. I understand that copying mistakes/typos, etc., is one thing, and usually ...
0
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1answer
72 views

Critique of this short text about inequality and contempt

I understand it is possible to ask for critiques here and ask that you guide me to adapt this question if needed. Now, I feel the need every now and then to get a thought down on paper. However, I am ...
2
votes
2answers
179 views

Am i using “he/she” too often during action scenes?

I'm not sure if I am being too overly critical of what I write or if I am actually falling into that "He/She" echo. By that I mean, using "he" or "she" over and over during the action, or combat in ...
0
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1answer
759 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
490 views

How do I change a novel from first person to limited third person?

For various reasons (increased clarity, and an interested agent), I'm rewriting what was once two first-person POVs into a third person limited POV. Other answers have previously established the ...
5
votes
1answer
752 views

How to quote from a foreign journal that has not been translated?

I need to quote from a journal written in Arabic. What should I do? Write it first in Arabic then followed by translation and indicating that it is my own translation (translated by author)? Can I ...
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5answers
332 views

Are there rules for, or guidelines on, time gaps between a plot's scenes/chapters?

I've been reading a host of old favourites, classics and authors outside of my usual reading pool, in an effort to dissect the writing (from plot, characters and environment to voice, pacing and ...
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1answer
129 views

What language style should I use for a tech blog?

I am getting ready to launch a tech/personal opinion blog slightly more geared towards technical details. What documentation style is best for a journalistic/technical doc style? Thanks.
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2answers
173 views

Possible interactions of punctuation marks with the word “however” in a novel

When using the word however in my story, I feel like using a semicolon before it disrupts the flow of words in the readers head too much. So, is the usage of a comma or semicolon necessary in front ...
4
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3answers
650 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 ...
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4answers
8k 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, ...
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votes
4answers
240 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
104 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
170 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
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1answer
175 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
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5answers
2k 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
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2answers
270 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
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2answers
643 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
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2answers
96 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 ...
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votes
1answer
321 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
1k 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
493 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
551 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
426 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
489 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
250 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
126 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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votes
1answer
340 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
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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
4k 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
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0answers
65 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
172 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
593 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
215 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 ...