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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How to make your writing better

Hi everyone! In this blog post, I'm going to talk to you about how I evaluate and criticize my own writing. This post will deal with opinionated essays, debates, formal speeches etc. I find that writing stories and poems takes a little more creativity, and so evaluating them can be harder. For the purpose of this post, I'm going to keep my writing simple, and discuss editing and analyzing using a sample piece of writing.
 The text below is around 100 words on hypocrisy. It could be used as an introduction to a speech, or maybe to an essay.The first sample will be a basic draft that could become a strong introduction. The red markings in and around the text, denote errors. You will find the corrections in the edited samples below. So let's get right down to it, shall we?




 Sample 1:
Hypocrisy is a term that most people can relate to. People will find that hypocrisy is present everywhere in their lives, and we need to change that. Being a hypocrite, is like committing a crime. You know it’s wrong, yet you do it anyway. It’s a crime of the heart and of the mind.
  There are so many wonderful people who have tried- and continue to try- to ridicule hypocrisy. A few examples of writers who have ridiculed hypocrisy are Anton Chekhov, Mary Howitt, and Vikram Seth. 

Now look for some basic mistakes in the writing above. I'm not talking about grammatical errors, or spelling errors. Instead, look for details that are making your writing dull and boring  I'm going to mark some with red in the sample below, and we'll correct them in sample 3. 

Sample 2:
Hypocrisy is a term that most people can relate to. People will find that hypocrisy is present everywhere in their lives, and we need to change that. Being a hypocrite, is like committing a crime. You know it’s wrong, yet you do it anyway. It’s a crime of the heart and of the mind.
  There are so many wonderful people who have tried- and continue to try- to ridicule hypocrisy. A few examples of writers who have ridiculed hypocrisy are Anton Chekhov, Mary Howitt, and Vikram Seth. 

Now let me explain why I have marked the words "people" and "you". At the beginning of the first paragraph, I used "people". This implies that I'm talking about people in general. However, later, I used " you" indicating that I was trying to have a personal effect on my reader. Deciding whether you're going to refer to your reader in second or third person ( you or they) makes your writing more effective. For the purpose of this demonstration, I'm going to try and have a more personal effect on the reader, and use the word "you".


Sample 3
Hypocrisy is a term that most people can relate to. If you look around, you will find that hypocrisy is present everywhere in your life, and we need to change that. Being a hypocrite, is like committing a crime. You know it’s wrong, yet you do it anyway. It’s a crime of the heart and of the mind.
  There are so many wonderful people who have tried- and continue to try- to ridicule hypocrisy. A few examples of writers who have ridiculed hypocrisy are Anton Chekhov, Mary Howitt, and Vikram Seth. 

Avoid repeating the same words. Although sometimes, this can add to your writing- as is done with the literary device of parallelism- when writing Proper nouns,adjectives, or describing an event, avoid using the same words again and again. Use synonyms or pronouns instead.


Sample 4
Hypocrisy is a term that most people can relate to. If you look around, you will find that hypocrisy is present everywhere in your life, and we need to change that. Being a hypocrite, is like committing a crime. You know it’s wrong, yet you do it anyway. It’s a crime of the heart and of the mind.
  There are so many wonderful people who have tried- and continue to try- to ridicule hypocrisy. A few examples of writers who have done so are Anton Chekhov, Mary Howitt, and Vikram Seth. 


My last advice for you is to plan how you want to start your essay. There are a number of ways you could do this. You could start with comedy, a question, a quotation, parallelism, a metaphor, or dramatically. For example, if I were to start using parallelism , I would probably incorporate a question and  start like this: " Hypocrisy, What is hypocrisy?". Often, defining your topic in the introduction can prove to be helpful as well.

Hopefully, this post has been helpful, and will remind you of some of the things you learned about when you were in school. If you're in school- like me- then hopefully this will help you out with some of your English submissions.

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