Friday, March 07, 2008

Part 2 - Dramatically Improve Your Article Writing Almost Immediately Using These Five Easy Ways

When the Preliminaries Are Completed
After the preliminaries had been completed; choosing a topic, narrowing the article focus and outlining the format of the article, we looked at our first two writing improvement target areas. These were using English language spell check and grammar check to aid in avoiding the kinds of errors that tick editors off and send readers scurrying for the delete button – or worse. We’ll continue our how to listing of five easy ways to dramatically improve your article writing with number three.

3. Add Relevant Quotes
There are examples of quotes everywhere. Whenever you watch the news on TV, hear it on the radio or read an article in a newspaper or magazine, they’re all conspicuous for their use of relevant quotes. He said, she said, they said – all lend authority and substance to virtually any prose. So, who’s an “authority”? Anybody can be: your family, your friends, witnesses, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, even your learners. “Am I really an authority?” asked sixth grade teacher, Sonia Ruby Cortez. Absolutely, when it comes to what goes on in her class room she’s an absolute authority, and can express her personal opinions as such as well. Don’t forget, you’re an authority too. Be sure to brush up on the “Reported Speech” elements of English grammar.

4. Add Related Facts and Statistics
Almost nothing else lends an air of authority and depth to a written or spoken piece like the judicious use of relevant facts and statistics. This holds true for oral and written discourse in almost all of the world’s 6912 languages including English. You can easily scoop up relevant facts and statistics from newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs and of course, online from literally camel-loads of websites. You really should maintain a generous set of ready references near your writing place or computer. There are numerous excellent available online references which are free and easy to use as well.

5. Compile Re-Useable References
Whenever you reference an article, statistic, fact, quote or other “fair and best use” of other works, you must always copy and save the source of the information. Not only will this aid you in compiling a list of bibliographical references, but provide you with a starting point for delving into additional work at a later time when researching similar or related topics in the future. This source listing includes images, photos and other graphics too. Some editors will ask for them outright, but whether they do or not, you should be professional enough and organized enough to maintain your references listings as you research, draft and write your article.

So Finally
If you’ll make a concerted effort to have and use the above mentioned references and writing aids, your articles and other writing, whether professional, academic, personal or casual can improve most dramatically by eliminating the most common causes of English errors and mistakes that occur in most forms of writing. The only other problem now is the writing or article content, and that my friend, is still solely up to only “you-know-who”.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 80 countries. Get your FREE E-books,"If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" or "7 Techniques to Motivate Your English Language Learners and Make Your Classes More Dynamic" by requesting the title you want at:

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