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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1answer
124 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
416 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
424 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
votes
1answer
557 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
votes
1answer
94 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
226 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
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
335 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
83 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
110 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
84 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
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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
256 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
votes
2answers
517 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
votes
2answers
301 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
273 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
votes
2answers
281 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
votes
1answer
111 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
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
votes
6answers
739 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
5answers
707 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
2answers
229 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
202 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
530 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
651 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
268 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
votes
5answers
227 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
votes
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
154 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
5answers
156 views

When is repetition good?

I'm aware that, in writing, repetition is sometimes bad. For example: "You forgot my birthday!" I said. "No, I didn't forget your birthday." "Then why didn't you wish me happy ...
2
votes
3answers
119 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
95 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
129 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
votes
4answers
296 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
votes
5answers
270 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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3answers
132 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
166 views

Proper way to punctuate an abrupt stopping of speech?

I'd like to properly punctuate one of my characters being stopped in speech, followed by a sentence that explains that the character didn't have time to finish. It's going to be something like this, ...
2
votes
4answers
410 views

How to reference a figure from text in a technical document

I'm preparing technical documentation for some software. For the installation, there are lots of screen grabs and they all have Figure x captions. What's the correct styling and means of referencing ...
2
votes
3answers
99 views

How to list concepts and tie them in together?

The green pieces of paper folded up in your pocket, the balance in your checking account, your mortgage, and that time you paid for dinner with your friend and she said that the next time is on ...
2
votes
5answers
204 views

Punctuating Thoughts

Following my question here I am still unsure if it is a 'hard and fast' rule to italicise thoughts. My preference is to use normal quotation marks, so that if a person is thinking in a dialogue ...
2
votes
3answers
105 views

How much can I talk about other people's works?

Let's say I'm writing a novel set in the future, clearly on Earth, with all the history that has happened through today. Obviously in the real world, there are numerous works of fiction that are ...
2
votes
3answers
95 views

How to express myself in a sensible way

I find really hard to express myself I mean it's pretty difficult write clearly what I mean. Any time I try to write something even for my job I am stuck, I look at the page and no words come to my ...
2
votes
3answers
222 views

Are essays supposed to be formal?

After reading a prompt to one of essays, and then looking at this link, I realized how little I know about the actual meaning of an essay. Here is how my definition of "essay" has become muddied over ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Which one is the correct dialogue punctuation format?

I am writing my first novel and this the very first confusion I would like to clarify. As I am not a native English speaker, I find it very hard to understand the punctuation scheme in direct ...