How do you express numbers in your writing? When do you use figures (digits) and when do you write out the number in words (letters)? That is, when do you write 9 and when do you write nine?
1. Number versus numeral. First things first, what is the difference between a number and a numeral? A number is an abstract concept while a numeral is a symbol used to express that number. “Three,” “3″ and “III” are all symbols used to express the same number (or the concept of “threeness”). One could say that the difference between a number and its numerals is like the difference between a person and her name.
2. Spell small numbers out. The small numbers, such as whole numbers smaller than ten, should be spelled out. That’s one rule you can count on. If you don’t spell numbers out it will look like you’re sending an instant message, and you want to be more formal than that in your writing.
3. No other standard rule: Experts don’t always agree on other rules. Some experts say that any one-word number should be written out. Two-word numbers should be expressed in figures. That is, they say you should write out twelve or twenty. But not 24.
4. Using the comma. In English, the comma is used as a thousands separator (and the period as a decimal separator), to make large numbers easier to read. So write the size of Alaska as 571,951 square miles instead of 571951 square miles. In Continental Europe the opposite is true, periods are used to separate large numbers and the comma is used for decimals. Finally, the International Systems of Units (SI) recommends that a space should be used to separate groups of three digits, and both the comma and the period should be used only to denote decimals, like $13 200,50 (the comma part is a mess… I know).
5. Don’t start a sentence with a numeral. Make it “Fourscore and seven years ago,” not “4 score and 7 years ago.” That means you might have to rewrite some sentences: “Fans bought 400,000 copies the first day”instead of “400,000 copies were sold the first day.”
6. Centuries and decades should be spelled out. Use the Eighties or nineteenth century.
7. Percentages and recipes. With everyday writing and recipes you can use digits, like “4% of the children” or “Add 2 cups of brown rice.” In formal writing, however, you should spell the percentage out like “12 percent of the players” (or “twelve percent of the players,” depending on your preference as explained in point three).
8. If the number is rounded or estimated, spell it out. Rounded numbers over a million are written as a numeral plus a word. Use “About 400 million people speak Spanish natively,” instead of “About 400,000,000 people speak Spanish natively.” If you’re using the exact number, you’d write it out, of course.
9. Two numbers next to each other. It can be confusing if you write “7 13-year-olds”, so write one of them as a numeral, like “seven 13-year-olds”. Pick the number that has the fewest letters.
10. Ordinal numbers and consistency. Don’t say “He was my 1st true love,” but rather “He was my first true love.” Be consistent within the same sentence. If my teacher has 23 beginning students, she also has 18 advanced students, not eighteen advanced students.
The advancements in technology have made people lazy. No one checks their work anymore. They expect the computer to do it all for them, but it cannot and will not catch everything. There are some errors that only the human eye will catch, making it all the more important that you proofread whatever you write. Its not only necessary, its just a good idea. It is always better to catch your own mistakes because someone will find them eventually.
It makes no sense to spend all that time and effort creating a piece of written work, only to have it marred by spelling and grammatical errors. Spell check is not as reliable as everyone would like to believe. Sometimes, a word isn't misspelled, it is just the wrong word for the sentence. What happens when your spelling error results in the correct spelling of an unintentional word? Spell check does not correct those kinds of mistakes. It cannot tell you if you have used the synonym of the word you intended. The same goes for any program that checks for grammatical mistakes. It will not catch everything. Making sure verb tenses match, whether a noun should be pluralized or not, and other subtle errors are not often caught by the computer. It is best to take the time and review your work with human eyes.
Make a habit out of it and you will never forget to do it. The benefits are not limited to avoiding silly errors. The practice will make you a better writer. The works you produce will be free of more and more mistakes. Before long, grammatical mistakes will be a thing of the past. Even if it did not improve your overall writing skills, it is a recommended practice. People will notice those errors when they read over what you have written. Whether it's a professor, colleague or boss, the mistakes you leave in your writing will reflect badly upon you. It seems silly to put all that work into researching and writing something, only to have it marred by easily avoided errors.
Two of the biggest obstacles people face when writing is getting started and continuously producing work. It takes discipline to consistently write well and produce work on a regular basis. The key to both is very simple: start scheduling time in your day that is for writing.
Writing is a muscle that must be flexed all the time to maintain your skill at it, as well as, to improve it. The less you use it, the harder it is to get started when you need to get some writing done. When your are used to writing, ideas come to you faster. The speed at which you organize those ideas into formal thought to be written also increases. It does not matter whether you are writing fiction, a research paper, or a blog. Any form of writing, performed on a regular basis will aid your skills overall.
As your rate of production increases, your tendency towards laziness will decrease. The most alluring obstacle in writing is procrastination. Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow? Especially, when you think the assignment will take no time at all, procrastination seeps in and delays any progress. What normally happens is this: You procrastinate on the assignment for some reason that you justify to yourself. No writing takes place till the last minute, where you expect to get it done in no time. Lack of writing has dulled your skills and your thoughts on the matter. The material is not as fresh, the ideas not coming as readily as they could have a day or more ago. What should have taken a few hours ends up taking an entire day or more. Sound familiar?
Avoid this and schedule writing time. If you have to get a lot of writing done, this is the only way to guarantee results on a consistent basis. As you become accustomed to sitting down and writing on a schedule, you will find the work never piles up and actually gets done faster. Your writing ability will grow and it will not seem as tedious a task.
Schedule your writing to stay ahead of your workload and improve your ability.
This husband gets a hard lesson in the do's and do not's of motorcycle maintenance. Lucky for us, his wife spread the story of his tragic, yet gut busting story.
This reporter fudges up this "breaking news" segment, not once but twice! Listen very closely in the beginning, the news anchor states that the fire was set by the "Boys own 14 year old son"! Not only that, the on site reporter states that the 14 year old boy murdered his family members and set fire to his own house AFTER he killed himself!
Business correspondence is a very important aspect of a professional's reputation. It represents them in their office and their industry. These are important issues to take into consideration when performing the seemingly ordinary task of communicating with co-workers through any written communication. Ever since internal company emails were successfully used in a court of law to credit or discredit a case, their importance became immeasurable. It is now all important for the employees of any business to apply proper writing standards to any written communication. How a company and it's employees sound on paper can instill confidence or insight panic. It is an inexcusable, yet common way, to lose clients and hinder your own reputation.
The manner in which a company and it's employees communicates is very informative. It gives insight to employee character and the structure, or lack thereof, within the company. Successful companies sound smart and concise in both their internal and external communications because they know the company and its employees can be held accountable for information that is passed through all their written documents, physical or digital. It should be expected that anything an employee writes will include proper spelling, punctuation and grammar. Sentences that are complete and covey information in a well thought out, accurate manner are to be used. Personal or other irrelevant information should be kept to a minimum within internal communications and all but excluded from external communications.
Of course, not every business places proper standards for communications as a priority. Such practices, to be sure, are useful for any organized company that is interested in increasing efficiency and presenting a strong image. However, many companies express a more relaxed atmosphere for their employees, which often includes a relaxation of the standards on their professional communications. For the small business owner that has a desire to put the companies best foot forward in all things, hiring the editing and custom writing services of professionals would prove beneficial in enhancing their reputation and perceived business acumen.
Regardless of size or industry, no company can allow their image to be marred and client's confidence shaken due to poor written communication. Make sure it makes the list of priorities for your business.
Did you ever have a moment when you just cannot think of what to write? You may be shocked to find this out but this happens to everyone… even our Wizardz! Writing Wizardz would like to give you some helpful tips to solve your writers block! v Play a word game: · For example, you can play “Whirly Word”. This exercises the brain by helping you spin your wheels to unscramble words. This opens the mind to creativity and really gets your mind working v Free Write: · Free writing can do wonderful things for your imagination and clarification of thought. Check out this article on free writing that was written by one of our Wizardz! v Keep a Journal: · When you write often, your brain becomes more comfortable with the flow of thought. Writing a few times a week in a journal can help prevent potential writers block. Check out this article on journal writing that was written by one of our Wizardz! v Read your work out loud: · Go back to the beginning! Read your work out loud. Not only does this help you find mistakes, but it also will help you find your place so that you can continue writing! v If all else fails, take a break and try to complete the cross word puzzle below! If writers block continues to be a problem for you when writing, contact us and we’ll write it for you! Get your free quote today!
“There” is not the same as “Their” and “Their” is not the same as “They’re”! Let’s face it; everyone tends to mix these three little words up all the time! Here are the differences, definitions and uses according to www.Dictionary.com:
v There [th’air; unstressed th er]
o Adverb; § In or at that place (oppsed to here): She is there now.
§ At that point in an action, speech, etc…: He stopped there for applause.
§ In that matter, particular or respect: His anger was justified there. § Into or to that place; thither: We went there last year
§ Used by way of calling attention to something or someone: There they go!
§ In or at that place where you are: Well, hi there!
o Pronoun; § Used to introduce a sentence or claise in which the verb comes before its subject or has no complement: There is no hope.
§ That place: He comes from there, too!
§ That point.
o Noun; § That state or condition: I’ll introduce you to her, but you’re on your own fromthere on.
o Adjective; § Used for emphasis, especially after a noun modified be a demonstrative adjective: Ask that man there. o Interjection; § Used to express satisfaction, relied, encouragement, approval, consolation, etc…: There! It’s done.
v Their [th’ air; unstressed th er]
o Pronoun; § A form of the possessive case of they used as an attributive adjective, before a noun: Their rights as citizens; Their departure for Rome.
§ Used after an indefinite singular antecedent in place of definite masculine form his or the definite feminine form her: Someone left their book on the table; Did everyone bring their lunch?
v They’re [th’ air; unstressed th er]
o Contraction of they are.
Some people would think that there is no way to confuse these three words, however they’re often misled by their assumptions!
The word memoir comes from the Latin memoire, meaning “memory” or “reminiscence”. Memoirs are a subclass of an autobiography. A memoir is an autobiographical writing; however it tends to encompass the writer’s entire life span. Memoirs follow a chronological scope determined by the writers’ context, therefore making it more flexible than traditional autobiographies. Memoirs have become a very prevalent form of literature available for public consumption. Though you would think that they are memoirs of celebrities or historical figures, that is no longer the case. For example, people who have lived extraordinary experiences have found a new and intriguing way to write about it; through memoirs. The art of writing a compelling memoir can be broken down to a handful of basic steps.
The most important step in writing a compelling memoir is to “go deep” into emotional experiences (Crayne, 08). A good way to help to convey an emotional experience in a memoir would be to try and remember exactly how it was and how you felt while that particular event was happening. Some writers of memoirs find it helpful to go as far as writing a complete story about the specific events being recalled. Some find it important to write from the point of view of the younger you, who went through the experience, as opposed to the present you who is recalling through memory. The more descriptive the memory is including place and time of specific events, the more a reader can find themselves understanding through the writers eyes. A common goal of writing a memoir is to write what you would normally be afraid to write. Readers often gain a better experience through your writing by emotionally connecting with the writers’ words and conviction. Often, these readers that are able to emotionally connect with the memoir will mostly favor these deep, descriptive and emotionally charged sections of the memoir they are reading.
Victory Crayne wrote in 2008, “If it feels like you’re writing a novel, well, in a way you are!” Memoirs that have complicated emotional conflicts experienced by the reader through the writer, often reads like a novel due to the interesting characters, detailed visions and descriptive scenes that people enjoy while they are reading (Crayne, 08). One should not be afraid to write any of their feelings, experiences or emotions. While keeping yourself open-minded, you end up with a more authentic feel to your final product. In the end, your memoir gives a more authentic feel to your story. With a gripping, captivating memoir, you are more likely to get noticed by all potential readers, including publicists and publications.
Crayne, Victory. (2008, August 12). “Getting Started Writing a Memoir.” Retrieved June 8, 2010, from Crayne: www.crayne.com
Free writing is a pressure-free way to get your thoughts onto paper, to practice your writing skills and to brainstorm without any reservations. The process can be either completely unregulated or somewhat focused, depending on the context and purpose for the writing. Free writing can be a very enjoyable and productive thing as you continue to practice often and produce more and more work.
Many people have trouble jumping into writing and getting started with the process. Free writing is a great way to get started with the writing process and free associate. “Free writing resembles the warm up you might do before exercising. There is no ‘correct’ way to do this,” so you can try a variation of techniques and use what works best for you (Richmond 2009). As you make free writing a habit and write more, you can tweak the process to fit your needs. The best way to begin is to just have a blank computer screen or notepad and begin writing for a few minutes. You can time yourself, say about five minutes, and then look back over what you wrote and see if you can make something out of your words!
If you like or need more organization to this process, you can pick a topic of your choice to write about. This will naturally make your brainstorming more focused. This is an approach that teachers use in the classroom often to get students thinking about a particular issue. This approach is also a good way to initiate a group conversation (everyone writes down their individual thoughts first, and then share their thoughts with the group). As you can see, free writing can be used in many contexts and is a great way to spend some time working on your writing skills and writing organization.
Richmond. (2009). Freewriting: A Way Around Writer's Block. Retrieved June 8, 2010, from Writing2: http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/freewrite.html