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  1. #1
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Any online guides on improving your Grammar?

    It's becoming more and more noticeable that the more I write the more my grammatical faults seem to show up. Although I tend to write fairly well when dealing with less serious articles I've started to take up some more serious work involving money. Now it's time for me to finally brush up on my grammar and learn to write without the glaring errors I get when I write now.

    Does anyone have any good online resources or techniques on how to notice grammatical errors, and how I can do away with them? A lot of the writing I may need to do in the future is very expressive and I'll need to be able to show exactly what's in my head through my writing; something I find extremely difficult to do now.

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    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    you cannot do better than H W Fowler

    see The King's English

    other online usage guides at bartelby: http://www.bartleby.com/usage/
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    ya you can use softwares such as typing tutor, it not only increases u r speed of typing but also inproves u r grammer caz u hav to write the keywords correct. moreover online websites are there which can help u.

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    "inproves u r grammer cuz u hav to write the keywords correct"

    dude, you need major help yourself, no offence

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    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    you cannot do better than H W Fowler

    see The King's English

    other online usage guides at bartelby: http://www.bartleby.com/usage/
    Looks like a fantastic resource, although lots of text on a HTML page tends to be hard for me to read. Might need to drag this one into a PDF or something. Thank you very much for sharing this!

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    SitePoint Evangelist old_expat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ULTiMATE View Post
    It's becoming more and more noticeable that the more I write the more my grammatical faults seem to show up.
    That's probably your self improvement efforts paying off. Maybe you didn't see your grammatical faults when you first wrote the piece.

    Quote Originally Posted by ULTiMATE View Post
    Although I tend to write fairly well when dealing with less serious articles I've started to take up some more serious work involving money. Now it's time for me to finally brush up on my grammar and learn to write without the glaring errors I get when I write now.
    If by "involving money" do you mean writing for hire .. or copywriting? Those are entirely different approaches.

    Quote Originally Posted by ULTiMATE View Post
    Does anyone have any good online resources or techniques on how to notice grammatical errors, and how I can do away with them? A lot of the writing I may need to do in the future is very expressive and I'll need to be able to show exactly what's in my head through my writing; something I find extremely difficult to do now.
    One of the best "resources" is reading aloud after you finish a piece. You may be amazed at how clumsy or confused some of your passages sound.

    Go slowly on weilding the grammar of the English language. Don't write beyond your ability to completely understand word and phrase usage. Gauge your readership and write to them. I remember one text on writing short and long fiction suggesting writing so a 10 year old could understand it. Some ESL programs use grade 6 texts.

    Some works call for a more relaxed narrative than others. Look at cadence. Verbs can be your best friends.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist old_expat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    you cannot do better than H W Fowler

    see The King's English

    other online usage guides at bartelby: http://www.bartleby.com/usage/
    Great advice on that site:

    "Any one who wishes to become a good writer should endeavour, before he allows himself to be tempted by the more showy qualities, to be direct, simple, brief, vigorous, and lucid."

  9. #9
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_expat View Post
    That's probably your self improvement efforts paying off. Maybe you didn't see your grammatical faults when you first wrote the piece.
    I wish. Most of the comments typically come from those who have read my work. A lot of my ideas far outreach my writing ability, and in an overall scope I find it hard to express those ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by old_expat View Post
    If by "involving money" do you mean writing for hire .. or copywriting? Those are entirely different approaches.
    It's funny, but I've been up to a lot lately, such as:

    1) Working on writing some fiction with someone based off this idea for a story we both had.

    2) Serious article writing on Computing issues, which I'll get paid for

    3) Generally writing for academic purposes, like university.

    4) Writing for a website I'm working on. I guess you could call it business-style writing.

    These all take entirely different approaches, but my lack of writing ability still shines through in whatever I do. Overall my writing isn't terrible, but I make glaring errors now and again and never realise until someone points it out, and those can be pretty fatal in certain situations (on job applications, for example). I was hoping to find a general guide on improving your writing, and hopefully the article mentioned will put me well on my way to actually being able to fulfil my plans.

    Quote Originally Posted by old_expat View Post
    One of the best "resources" is reading aloud after you finish a piece. You may be amazed at how clumsy or confused some of your passages sound.

    Go slowly on weilding the grammar of the English language. Don't write beyond your ability to completely understand word and phrase usage. Gauge your readership and write to them. I remember one text on writing short and long fiction suggesting writing so a 10 year old could understand it. Some ESL programs use grade 6 texts.

    Some works call for a more relaxed narrative than others. Look at cadence. Verbs can be your best friends.
    I think one of my major problems is that I work in spurts. I can work under normal settings, but I get times when I am at my creative peak where the work just flows and I get thousands of words done in an hour. This rush usually leads to my downfall, as by the time I go back to rewrite I've already used that energy up doing that or something else.

    Another problem most likely stems from the fact that I haven't received the best education throughout my life. I typically write how I would say something, and my speech isn't exactly great. For all those who know the UK well I suffer from the 'Westcountry Accent'. It's an absolute killer in a professional setting and anyone looking to do well in any kind of professional practice is usually told to get rid of it.

    So yeah, I write and talk like a common westcountry guy, kind of like Bill Bailey when he's ranting about something.

  10. #10
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ULTiMATE View Post
    I wish. Most of the comments typically come from those who have read my work. A lot of my ideas far outreach my writing ability, and in an overall scope I find it hard to express those ideas.



    It's funny, but I've been up to a lot lately, such as:

    1) Working on writing some fiction with someone based off this idea for a story we both had.

    2) Serious article writing on Computing issues, which I'll get paid for

    3) Generally writing for academic purposes, like university.

    4) Writing for a website I'm working on. I guess you could call it business-style writing.

    These all take entirely different approaches, but my lack of writing ability still shines through in whatever I do. Overall my writing isn't terrible, but I make glaring errors now and again and never realise until someone points it out, and those can be pretty fatal in certain situations (on job applications, for example). I was hoping to find a general guide on improving your writing, and hopefully the article mentioned will put me well on my way to actually being able to fulfil my plans.



    I think one of my major problems is that I work in spurts. I can work under normal settings, but I get times when I am at my creative peak where the work just flows and I get thousands of words done in an hour. This rush usually leads to my downfall, as by the time I go back to rewrite I've already used that energy up doing that or something else.

    Another problem most likely stems from the fact that I haven't received the best education throughout my life. I typically write how I would say something, and my speech isn't exactly great. For all those who know the UK well I suffer from the 'Westcountry Accent'. It's an absolute killer in a professional setting and anyone looking to do well in any kind of professional practice is usually told to get rid of it.

    So yeah, I write and talk like a common westcountry guy, kind of like Bill Bailey when he's ranting about something.
    One of the best books on writing I ever read is "If you can talk, you can write".

    So far in this thread, I found your posts very well-written. If others are finding errors in your work, the thing you need to do is walk away from a piece after "finishing" it and come back later to read it before publishing it. You'd be amazed at the errors "fresh eyes" can find the second time through! And by the way... you accent doesn't come through in your writing.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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  12. #12
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    SitePoint Evangelist old_expat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ULTiMATE View Post
    I wish. Most of the comments typically come from those who have read my work. A lot of my ideas far outreach my writing ability, and in an overall scope I find it hard to express those ideas.
    If the comments are coming from outsiders, you are lucky to get their feedback. I assume it must be constructive. If you understand your "errors", practice write a couple of passages using that same concept. If you don't understand them, research until you do and make sure you fully understand.

    It's funny, but I've been up to a lot lately, such as:

    1) Working on writing some fiction with someone based off this idea for a story we both had.
    IMHO, two writers can't write on the same work, especially in fiction writing. Each writer will use a slightly different "voice" and maybe a different cadence. The reader will likely pick up on the differences and be uncomfortable.
    2) Serious article writing on Computing issues, which I'll get paid for

    3) Generally writing for academic purposes, like university.

    4) Writing for a website I'm working on. I guess you could call it business-style writing.

    These all take entirely different approaches, but my lack of writing ability still shines through in whatever I do. Overall my writing isn't terrible, but I make glaring errors now and again and never realise until someone points it out, and those can be pretty fatal in certain situations (on job applications, for example). I was hoping to find a general guide on improving your writing, and hopefully the article mentioned will put me well on my way to actually being able to fulfil my plans.
    I think you might be surprised how many times great writers rewrite. John Grisham's forst novel was so poorly written it was rejected a number of times. The publisher who finally brought it to market had to completely re-collate the manuscript .. shifting chapters, etc.

    Most experts in writing will tell you, as Shyflower has mentioned, to put the work aside long enough to forget story lines, dialogue, etc .. then plan on coming back to it with a fresh approach.
    I think one of my major problems is that I work in spurts. I can work under normal settings, but I get times when I am at my creative peak where the work just flows and I get thousands of words done in an hour. This rush usually leads to my downfall, as by the time I go back to rewrite I've already used that energy up doing that or something else.
    You can't force good writing or creativity. Some days you are "off", pure and simple. One thing you might do to better utilize your time, when you're fiction creativity dwindles, switch to computer articles or other web articles.

    Another problem most likely stems from the fact that I haven't received the best education throughout my life. I typically write how I would say something, and my speech isn't exactly great.
    Are there any writing classes around your area? Also, look for informal writing clubs or groups. Few people can write really well without effort, study and practice. Some of us can't write really well even with effort, study and practice.

    I would suggest that you find a well written article and read it in a normal manner. Put it aside, wait a day or so, then write an article on the same topic. Then compare the two. I'm sure you will see differences on how the original article "said" something and how you "said" the same thing. Repeat as necessary.

    Another approach .. if your vision is lucrative enough, consider a ghost writer who can translate your ideas from concept to the written word.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Evangelist old_expat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    And by the way... you accent doesn't come through in your writing.
    Y'all come back now, ya hear.

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    can any one suggest software which suggest us if any grammetical mistakes is there in paragraph. i know about one "white smoke" but it paid. can any one suggest any free software with same functionality.
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    SitePoint Enthusiast 2synapses's Avatar
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    Talking

    Online as in Software? or as in Resource?

    Software, nope... no ideas, sorry.

    Resource: Go to the original, the best and the concise. Strunk & White have been improving writing for a very long time now, and they are available at at least one site that I know of, and use.

    http://www.diku.dk/hjemmesider/studerende/myth/EOS/

    This guide will definitely improve your usage.

  17. #17
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2synapses View Post
    Strunk & White have been improving writing for a very long time now, and they are available at at least one site that I know of, and use.

    http://www.diku.dk/hjemmesider/studerende/myth/EOS/
    also available at bartleby (in fact your dk version of EOS actually links to bartleby)

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    SitePoint Addict BlazeMiskulin's Avatar
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    For a "quick & dirty" grammar lesson, do a search for "Celestial Grammar".

    However "dirty", in this case, means "naughty". Celestial Grammar and Advanced Celestial Grammar use examples from pornographic stories to demonstrate proper use of English Grammar. The articles cover all the basics and the examples make it much easier (and more fun) to remember.
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  19. #19
    SitePoint Member PC101's Avatar
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    I think the best way to improve your grammar is to read more. Yes, you could pull out a manual or two on how best to "structure" a sentence but, increase not just your grammatical skills but also your diction, presentation, thought flow... etc... etc... is to read more. Read more of what you want to right about! I think then you'll find the insight you seek.

    Good luck!

    Lyte

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    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by PC101 View Post
    Read more of what you want to right about!
    ... to write about

    lern 2 spel, eh
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  21. #21
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    Well The King's English is quite helpful too. Recommended site.

    Good Luck

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    SitePoint Enthusiast ScottyDM's Avatar
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    For fiction join a critique group. I'm a member of CritiqueCircle. You not only gain when other's give you feedback on your work, but you gain by giving feedback on their work because it teaches you to look at things critically.

    Quote Originally Posted by old_expat View Post
    IMHO, two writers can't write on the same work, especially in fiction writing. Each writer will use a slightly different "voice" and maybe a different cadence. The reader will likely pick up on the differences and be uncomfortable.
    Sure, if one writer takes the even chapters and the other the odd, or some other back-and-forth division. However, if they take different tasks it could turn out quite well. First, they could brainstorm and design the characters and story together, then the one who is able to quickly toss a manuscript together could do the first draft, and they could go back and forth on the editing passes. In addition they could each write dialog for different characters. It's common for beginning writers to make all their characters sound alike and this would be an easy way around that.

    It doesn't have to be a disaster of style. IMO a bigger problem is one writer becomes a slacker, but sill wants their name on the piece.

    Scotty
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    SitePoint Member amelia_seo's Avatar
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    yeah I agree with PC101, reading more and more will help you improve your grammars. Even me I also have those grammatical errors by the way no one is perfect were only humans.

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    SitePoint Member kotsengkuba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royalbeast View Post
    ya you can use softwares such as typing tutor, it not only increases u r speed of typing but also inproves u r grammer caz u hav to write the keywords correct. moreover online websites are there which can help u.
    When composing entries, I use MS Outlook since it has a spelling and grammar checker. Then again, it's also important to re-read your draft before publishing. And as a guide, if something doesn't sound right, then there something wrong with the grammar.

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    SitePoint Addict GuardianAngel's Avatar
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    Just hope I could still add something. I am a big fan of this blog and I am learning so much. I hope this can help somehow.

    Daily Writing Tips

    Thanks!


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