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

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3
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2answers
56 views

Repeating a subject

Can I repeatedly use the same subject to start several sentences in a paragraph that describes a process? Does it build continuity or become redundant? For example: A passenger arrived. He ...
3
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2answers
357 views

Does the word “Its” get a capital in The Economist Style title case?

I need some help on the topic of title case following the Economist Style Guide. Does the possessive pronoun "its" get a capital in Economist style title case or not. There was a recent headline ...
3
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3answers
109 views

What's the best way to distinguish between co-authors?

I know a couple of people who are co-authoring a book, and they have been debating how to go about distinguishing between the two of them in their content. They have an outline of topics that they are ...
3
votes
1answer
385 views

Vancouver citation

I just want to confirm if I did this correct. I have this reference: G. Burg, Das Melanom, Serie Gesundheit: Piper/VCH, (1993). And, want to convert it to vancouver style. In this case, this ...
3
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3answers
79 views

Internal Dialog - First or Second Person

I'm writing a story in third person. When writing internal dialog, should I use first person or second person? Does it matter? Should I be consistent in the entire story? Should I be consistent for a ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

How many names in a book are too many?

It seems to me there is a relative limit for commercial fiction regarding the number of named characters. This makes sense, of course. Readers get confused; lots of people aren't good with names. ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

What is the fine line between “confidence” and “presumption”?

I am about to apply to a grad school, and I have prepare the SOP for it (think it like a cover letter to apply to a job). I know the rule: show what I've got, not tell how I think I'm cool. I've ...
3
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2answers
75 views

Dealing with quick shifts in emotion

I have a character that, by design, quickly jumps between emotions. To put it into human terms, I have pictured scenes where he will, literally, within the span of a sentence, go from hysterically ...
3
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2answers
163 views

Citation anniversary editions

How do I do MLA citations for an anniversary edition, e.g. 30th anniversary Selfish Gene. Do I treat it as a normal edition or just ignore that it is a new edition?
3
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1answer
633 views

What are some creative memoir writing styles?

I am in the process of writing a memoir covering several years of my life while I was at Google and working on the earliest versions of Chromebook. My goals are to write a book which is ...
3
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2answers
5k views

How do I write a gory scene?

I'm trying to write some gory scenes. I'm having a few problems, though. I asked around online and determined that I need to really highlight the senses when I'm writing something like this. Mostly ...
3
votes
1answer
130 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
439 views

What is the style used in ISO/IEC publications?

I'm in the process of preparing a document to be sent to ISO/IEC WG14. What is the official style used in ISO/IEC publications (if there is one)? If there is no official style guide, is there a ...
3
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1answer
95 views

Overuse of 'I' in a memoir

Is it acceptable to use I multiple times over and over when writing dialogue and quotes for memoirs. I have been told that if you are using quotes in dialogue that nothing is wrong. I am reading a ...
3
votes
1answer
232 views

Perspective and Balance with Multiple Characters

I am working on a piece of fiction and am having some difficulty locking down which perspective/s to utilize. The main issue at hand is that I have 4 characters that will play "lead" roles and ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Publisher field in Book Review when the book is obtained for free from the internet

I'm writing a book review as part of my English Holiday Homework. The book (or rather, prolegomenon) that I'm reviewing is Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift. Due to obvious reasons for my ...
3
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1answer
352 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
93 views

Is there a way to add discovery into a short story?

I'm planning on writing a short story and I'm just wondering if it'd be possible to add an element of discovery into it. I think it'd be interesting if the reader would be able to learn things about ...
3
votes
5answers
116 views

What aspects of written dialogue are important when giving characters a unique voice?

I have a project that I am working on in which I need to write quite a few fictional informal email correspondences between pairs of characters. I am not using these characters in any other context. ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

How to make a list enjoyable to read?

I think I'm a Modern Man by George Carlin, is a good example. And, after analyzing it, I've come up with some techniques. Varying sentence length I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Do I format other works' titles in my title?

I'm currently writing an essay in MLA format about a short story, and would like to include the title of the short story in my title. We all know that titles of short stories are underlined when ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the difference between the American and the European style in essay writing?

Several times during my studies I have heard about American and European styles in writing essays. From what I've gathered, the American style is supposed to be more argumentative. On the other hand ...
3
votes
4answers
264 views

Story-telling to improve writing skills? [closed]

I came up with a theory that story telling would be a fun way to improve my style and narrative structure in fiction. Does anyone have any experience doing this? Currently, I am making up mostly bed ...
3
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2answers
583 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
333 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
281 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
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2answers
290 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 ...
3
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1answer
114 views

Is there evidence for a categorical difference between British and American literary argument style?

I overheard a friend say: "I was used to writing essays in the American style, where you have to take a position, be really passionate about it, and given arguments with references for and ...
2
votes
5answers
733 views

What does “Exposition and Ammunition – back story” mean in screenwriting?

I am just starting my first screen writing class and I got an assignment that says: Exposition and Ammunition – back story. I have been searching online but I don't get it. Can someone explain it for ...
2
votes
4answers
10k views

Do you use the word “that” too much? [closed]

I find myself using the word "that" too much. How do you really know when you need that "that" word there? Like just now. I don't think I need "that" there. Do you have words you overuse?
2
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6answers
767 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
240 views

Multiple characters without names: how to address

First off, the answer might be pretty much obvious (that there is no clear way to distinguish these characters) but I would still very much like to have perspectives (and perhaps even get an answer). ...
2
votes
5answers
224 views

How to write about disgusting subjects?

Context : I'm starting a story with supernatural creatures and trying to make it both gory and funny. Some creatures I use are really gross. For example, one of my characters is an akaname, a ...
2
votes
4answers
659 views

Jumping between points in time in narrative

Is it acceptable for a writer to jump back in time for a whole chapter? I don't mean a flashback, I mean more like, for example, chapter 5 happening in 25/06/2014 and then the next (Chapter 6) ...
2
votes
5answers
700 views

Techniques for creating variety in prose

When I write my short stories, I usually end up using a direct style as follows: Tim remembered the day he had to say goodbye to Cathy. He did not really have a choice. He had to let go of Cathy, ...
2
votes
6answers
299 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
282 views

Am I making the writing too complex?

My story is of a fantasy world where the wars of several species have all been fought, lost, and the protagonist is writing his journal from inside a jail cell. The writing he does can't be erased. I ...
2
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5answers
239 views

Is it a bad habit to write “something” too much? If so, how to get rid of it?

I just realized my prose is filled with somethings. Here are some examples: I was already too far away to go back, and I figured the dog (if it'd been a real one) had ran back to where it had ...
2
votes
1answer
6k 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
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3answers
59 views

Spelling style in academic papers

When an article is submitted to a conference or journal, is it better to use British or American spelling? Does it have to be according to the conference or journal's style (based on where it is being ...
2
votes
5answers
164 views

How can I stress a certain word in a medium that doesn't allow for font embellishments?

Many of us probably encountered it before on a social media like Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section of a major website. You've decided what you want to say, but you want to stress a ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

How to find the balance between research and the obvious

I'm embarking on writing my first popular science book on a controversial subject. For sure the writing must be rational, coherent with a clear train of thought and littered with references to be ...
2
votes
3answers
109 views

Which citation style do I use if I'm writing a religious book?

Should a self published book on a biblical topic, use MLA or Chicago citation styles? It'll be a persuasive writing on a biblical subject. I want to persuade the reader to my point of view but I know ...
2
votes
3answers
137 views

Writing “X, Y, and Z” vs “X and Y and Z.”

Example: The forest was so dense I was practically swimming through it. A dark, murky ocean of shrubs, trees, and bamboo shoots. The forest was so dense I was practically swimming through ...
2
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4answers
304 views

How to deal with cliche dialogue?

The following is from a story I'm writing: "Goodbye Choco," my mother said, to end the prayer, “may your soul rest in peace,” and crossed herself. “Sorry I couldn’t come earlier,” I said. ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

When should I use italics in scientific writing?

I noticed that proper nouns, such as names of theorems or techniques are often set in italics in scientific writing but not always. Are there rules about it, for example each proper noun should be set ...
2
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5answers
278 views

Writing an article avoiding Libel

I will be creating a blog article that talks about Illuminati in our local country. I will be talking about the "organization's" role in making specific artists popular (for a duration) and in return ...
2
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2answers
83 views

How to convey (screaming) hysterics in dialogue

It happens to most if not all of us. Something extremely emotional happens to us and we're just hysterical. Logic doesn't work. You contemplate punching a wall because that will help . . . somehow. ...
2
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3answers
152 views

How to structure a sentence containing long code examples?

In the context of a technical manual, I need to write instructions guiding users through several standard manipulations. When providing examples of these manipulations, I have written a short sentence ...