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
235 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
217 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
290 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
846 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
64 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 ...
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
569 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
217 views

Indirect Narration Style

Does the indirect narration style (as in: 'Surely she was going to ask him out tomorrow.') directly fall into the classification of Narration?
3
votes
5answers
269 views

Which English grammar should be followed when writing for a global audience?

In relation to my question on Usage of 'z' in the word serialized in English?, it seems I was mistaken in assuming there is a generally accepted correct variant of English. The question Which variant ...
1
vote
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
121 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
326 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
337 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Is there a way of listing the elements that makes a real fact fun?

For instance I wrote this thing that is real God’s love is like your parents love / except for the ‘‘burning, crying, and screaming for eternity in hell" part / if you don’t obey them. and ...
7
votes
4answers
739 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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?
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
74 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
220 views

How deeply should I study the background of a community before writing about it?

By "background", I mean the dialects, habits and culture of the community. Also, I wonder if it is even possible to write about a community without being a part of it? I am only asking this in terms ...
0
votes
1answer
245 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, ...
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?
15
votes
2answers
642 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
66 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
7answers
186 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
11k views

All persons fictitious disclaimer — ideas regarding modification?

I'm creating a parody/spoof magazine which contains some "real" advertisements and businesses in. How should I word an "all persons fictitious" disclaimer to include fictitious businesses? This is ...
7
votes
4answers
375 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 ...
19
votes
17answers
2k views

Are complex sentences uncommon or unwanted in English?

I wrote my opinion essay using a lot of different complex grammatical structures, linking words and so on, and some of the sentences were even over 4 lines long. However, I was afterwards told by my ...
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?
12
votes
5answers
589 views

How much should I describe things or persons, that are not important for the story?

I discussed a book with a friend, and he disliked that the author described a person who is dying shortly after and has no further effect on the story over a page or more. The same would go for ...
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
578 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
8answers
423 views

How much leeway can be expected from an editor regarding my preference for nonstandard punctuation?

As I hope to present a unique style to the world, as I am not especially tolerant of being told I'm doing things "wrong" when that's a subjective statement related to writing style, and as I've never ...
6
votes
4answers
3k 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
144 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
906 views

Referring to oneself in first vs. third person in online profiles

Suppose I am writing a post/blog, how should I mention myself? For example, Ray Wenderlich (Site Admin) Ray is an indie software developer currently focusing on iPhone and iPad development. ...
12
votes
5answers
568 views

Is discovery or outline writing connected to personality type (e.g. MBTI)

I'm on a bit of a Myers-Briggs spree at the moment (which is dangerous, because it is so easy to read way more into it than you are supposed to). For those of you who are not familiar with it, it is ...
3
votes
3answers
95 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
3answers
536 views

First Person Voice - Same as speaking?

When writing in first person, if the POV character talks with a certain dialect or type of diction (eg. "I ain't got all day! Hurry it up, will ya?") should they narrate with the same accent, or can ...
3
votes
2answers
152 views

All persons fictitious - where to place it?

I've got an all persons fictitious disclaimer similar to the one mentioned at All persons fictitious disclaimer — ideas regarding modification? but where should I place it? Bear in mind, this is a ...
8
votes
5answers
999 views

How should dialog be formatted?

Is there any "official" rule that I should keep in mind when formatting character dialog? Line breaks, placement of quotes, mixing dialog with action descriptions etc. For example, I want to build a ...
12
votes
3answers
326 views

How to create space

Recently, a few snippets of my fiction have received critiques along the lines of 'Does not give a sense of space'. Or 'needs more description, sights and sounds'. I think where I am going wrong is ...
7
votes
2answers
840 views

How to write great movie review?

What should we write in a movie review?
4
votes
3answers
81 views

Is it acceptable to mix how you address the reader in an instructional Wiki?

I'm working on a Wiki article that explains to new developers how our product life-cycle works. Originally, my goal was to completely avoid the word "you" and use a more general description like "the ...
1
vote
2answers
168 views

Is there anything wrong with saying “Thanks” several times in the same email? If not, how could I correct it?

E.g. here is an email I just sent: Hello X, Okay I see - thanks very much for all the code! I'll definitely have to take some time to study it before I can ask any questions. :) Also - ...
27
votes
3answers
832 views

Explicitly correcting yourself while writing - how appropriate is it ?

Like so: He worries – well, not worries, but laments a little – that he senses people don't read Henry James anymore (sentence source: Monkey See, NPR Blogs ) I've used this style myself ...