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

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0
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1answer
515 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
886 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
132 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
224 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
76 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
601 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
258 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
798 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
156 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
259 views

A friendlier way to write charges or fees to clients?

What is a better way to write in an email to tell my client that I will charge him a fee of say $100? Often, I feel very reluctant to write these ways: I will quote the hosting and development ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Are there good writing exercises for compressing expression?

I recently sat down and wrote a poem after a long hiatus. It was a narrative poem with a formal rhyme scheme. I'm pretty dissatisfied with my initial draft, as it was far too wordy. Besides editing ...
1
vote
1answer
315 views

ESL Writing How to quote article sentence?

I am studying English as my second language. I was thinking about following situation. In a writing class, I wanted to say "the author's argument" but the author name showed up the first time. so I ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

Does this passage convey an appropriate mix of seriousness and levity?

The following is a standalone passage from a collection meant to deal with topics of psychology, philosophy and self-help. The question is: Is the quirky style helpful in driving home the point, or ...
1
vote
3answers
906 views

Where should index and glossary appear in a report?

I am writing my thesis and now wonder whether I should typeset index and glossary as an appendix or after them. There's no department-level accepted writing style, so my adviser's opinion might be ...
17
votes
8answers
1k views

Is it frustrating not to know the narrator's gender?

I have written a 1st person piece and reading it I realize it's very difficult to tell if the narrator is male or female. There are one or two clues, and they come pretty late in the piece. Would ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Numeral Citation Scripts

I am writing a report in Farsi and using ieeetr bibliography style for my references. This style uses numeral references like [1] [2] etc but regarding context (Farsi) I am using Arabic number scripts ...
2
votes
1answer
221 views

Using Glossary Instead of Footnotes (for translation/transliteration)

I am writing a technical report with keywords which are mainly English. I am using a Glossary at the end, which describes translated keywords. Is it a replacement for footnotes or I should just keep ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

How to create varying, yet realistic, speech patterns

Different characters speak differently. If someone reads me a letter written by an immediate relative, I can tell right away who wrote it. I believe --and correct me if I'm wrong-- that giving each ...
7
votes
4answers
668 views

Using poetry in novels a good option?

I write fiction as well as poetry. And many a times I use poetry as a tool to bring out that acute feeling of pain or love (as required) in my explanations. What if I use poetry to introduce or end a ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Is it okay to attempt to write in the style of another person, and how is that done well?

I want to write like Neal Stephenson- I read Snow Crash and absolutely fell in love with the style. I'm trying to write a cyberpunk style book myself, and I have a good plot (I think), but I want to ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How to explain a war scene?

In my novel, I have a part where there is a war scene, and I need to explain it precisely from the king's point of view. How can I explain the war graphics vividly?
0
votes
2answers
73 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Is emphasizing a point by underlining still appropriate?

Instinctively I find underlining for emphasis distracting and much prefer bold or italic. From my research it seems underlining is a carryover from typewriters that were incapable of italicizing or ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

How to write realistic female dialogue

I just can't make my dialogue sound like it's being said by a woman. As a friend of mine pointed out, "This woman talks just like you, Jack." I tried imitating the speech patterns of various females ...
19
votes
2answers
6k views

Which words should not be capitalized in Title Case?

I would need a list of all words that are not capitalized in English titles. I would also like to make sure if it's true, that all first and last words of a title are capitalized no matter what. I'd ...
0
votes
1answer
239 views

Statement of Purpose writing style

I cannot decide which style is better in writing Statement of Purpose for graduate school application. I am asked a few questions in writing the SOP, such as purpose in applying for graduate study, ...
3
votes
3answers
324 views

How to discover clichés

What is the best way to find out if a certain phrase is considered a cliché? Is there an online resource, a specialized dictionary-like lookup? EDIT I found these so far: Cliché Finder Movie ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Are there alternatives to 'in such a way'? [closed]

Considering the sentence: I'd like to do ... in such a way that ... is achieved. Does this sound wordy? If so, is there a way to streamline it?
2
votes
6answers
273 views

How do I keep up with current written English language?

I am a speaker of English as a foreign language. I appreciate that English is a living language and that different regions in the world use English differently. I wanted to know how I can keep up with ...
15
votes
2answers
584 views

Techniques to disguise authorship of text

As Wikipedia and at least one answer on this site suggest, the name stylometry encompasses certain techniques to determine authorship of text. Although stylometry itself appears to require a certain ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

When is it correct to capitalize terms/phrases in a personal statement?

I'm writing a personal statement for graduate admissions, and I've a query regarding the use of capitalization in the midst of sentences. For example, is it correct/expected to capitalize the names of ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

How to use His/My/Your permutations in adressing persons [closed]

I'd like to understand the rationale of when, why and how His/My/Your are used in titles of addressing people. For example, the standard commonly accepted uses are: "His Honour"("His Grace", or ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Writing a Lullaby

I need to write a short folk lullaby as part of my story, but am having trouble getting the feel of it in my lyrics. What are the general conventions of writing a lullaby? Any general principles ...
3
votes
3answers
558 views

How to write English in Merlin (TV Series) style?

I find the writing style of the show Merlin to be very good, and much better than current/modern English usage. Details about the show can be found at IMDB's Merlin page, and Wikipedia's entry about ...
4
votes
7answers
184 views

Unpunctuation: bug or feature?

Cormac McCarthy's style is worthy of a topic all its own. I've read all his books. Hasn't written a bad one, though some owe more or less of a debt to Faulkner. Anyway, to the point: he doesn't use ...
1
vote
4answers
5k views

How do I sign a (formal) email?

My email client includes a signature beneath the text of my writing. Currently it is of the form: ------------ John Doe Acme Widget Company 123 Elm Street Metropolis, USA phone:222-555-1212 ...
7
votes
4answers
362 views

Spaceships - It or She?

I'm writing a Science Fiction novel and describing a space ship. Sea Ships are usually feminine, while space ships don't seem to be either feminine or neutral. Would you stick to one? Or would you ...
0
votes
1answer
127 views

What sytles and templates are available to write a brief? [closed]

I want to write a brief on a conference I recently attended. What resources and styles should I consider to make this document effective and professional?
6
votes
4answers
267 views

Italicize part of a word in fiction?

I am wondering if I can or should take a bit of stylistic license and italicize just part of a word: He took a sharp turn back into a side street, and collided hard with something that sent him ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How to reference data files, APA-style?

I'm preparing an assignment which requires two MS Project files to be submitted, containing WBS/GANTT charts for a fictional project, and a textual explanation of what I did and why, which. (All the ...
6
votes
2answers
89 views

First person with co-authors?

I'm rewriting a technical book that will list two authors: the original author and me. Much of the text has been changed and there are some informal parts where reader is addressed in first person: "I ...
2
votes
6answers
533 views

How should I phrase “requests” to a higher-ranked individual in another department?

At work, I lead a small team of programmers. I often have to request equipment and services from our I.T. department, and all of those requests have to go directly to the C.I.O., which is an ...
12
votes
2answers
99 views

Notes Placement

Why is it standard for a book's notes to be placed at the very end of the book—book endnotes—while only a small minority of books place each chapter's notes at the end of each respective ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Help with Impersonal Past Tense

'The Report is to be presented in the “impersonal past tense” e.g. Personal – I worked in the Design Department. Impersonal – The work was carried out in the Design Department.' ...
6
votes
2answers
143 views

What is this writing standard called, and where can I look up the exact details?

My English instructor said that he wants us to submit a heading and a header on our essays, taking the following form. The first page only should have our name, his name, the date, the subject (not ...