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I wrote these 25 commandments as a panic response 15 or more years ago to an invitation to do some media training for a group of Elsevier editors. I began compiling them because I had just asked myself what was the most important thing to remember about writing a story, and the answer came back loud and clear: "To make somebody read it." Ultimately, there's no other reason for writing. Journalists write to support democracy, sustain truth, salute justice, justify expenses, see the world and make a living, but to satisfactorily do any of these things you have to have readers. Fairness and accuracy are of course profoundly important. Without them, you aren't in journalism proper: you are playing some other game.
Effective writing skills are to a writer what petrol is to a car. Like the petrol and car relationship, without solid skills writers cannot move ahead. These skills don’t come overnight, and they require patience and determination. You have to work smart and hard to acquire them. Only with experience, you can enter the realm of effective, always-in-demand writers.
by Mark Nichol The three types of essay most commonly assigned in school — the narrative essay, the persuasive essay, and the expository essay — conveniently correspond to those writing forms most frequently published online and in print. Your experience with these prose forms is ideal preparation for writing for publication.
by Mark Nichol You probably know a preposition — a word that shows a relationship between two words or phrases by demonstrating place, time, or another quality — when you see it, but that’s grammar. What about usage? Which prepositions go with a given verb or adjective, and when?
by Mark Nichol As much as many humans have tried to deny, or have conveniently ignored, that Homo sapiens is just another species of fauna, writers readily use animals or their (sometimes supposed) characteristics to describe people. Words like catty , dogged , foxy , and slothful all attest to the vivid imagery that easily arises when we compare people to various other species. In addition, we speak and write of somebody eating like a bird (to refer to light gustatory habits, though many birds seem downright voracious if you watch them dining), drinking like a fish, or behaving like a bull in a china shop. Some idioms, however, contradict each other, such as “Work like a dog” and “(living) a dog’s life.”
Dozens of software applications are available and marketed to writers, yet many of these programs can be both expensive and difficult to use. While standard word processors serve the needs of many writers, some writers require more adaptable and agile solutions. For writers unwilling or unable to spend hundreds of dollars to invest in the multitude of purchasable programs, there is a plethora of free, user-friendly programs available for download.
by Mark Nichol Whether you’re moonlighting as a writer or it’s your sole source of income, you must take it seriously in all aspects, from workplace organization to work habits to professional development to marketing to client relations. Here’s some advice about succeeding as a professional writer: 1. Establish a professional work environment.
by Maeve Maddox I’ve noticed that some people talk about “fiction novels.” A novel IS fiction. One can talk about writing a novel OR about writing fiction.
by Mark Nichol Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to conceive written communication. So many pairs or trios of words and phrases stymie us with their resemblance to each other. Here’s a quick guide to alleviate (or is it ameliorate?) your suffering: 1. a while / awhile : “A while” is a noun phrase; awhile is an adverb.
This is a guide to the LaTeX markup language. It is intended to form a useful resource for everybody from new users who wish to learn, to old hands who need a quick reference. TeX and LaTeX TeX is a computer program for typesetting documents, created by D.
Textbooks There are several good textbooks on TeX/LaTeX. Here we recommend only a few of them. Knuth D. E., The TeXbook , Addison–Wesley Professional; Spiral edition (January 1, 1984), ISBN: 0-201-13448-9.
Texmaker is a free, modern and cross-platform LaTeX editor for linux , macosx and windows systems that integrates many tools needed to develop documents with LaTeX, in just one application. Texmaker includes unicode support, spell checking, auto-completion, code folding and a built-in pdf viewer with synctex support and continuous view mode. Texmaker is easy to use and to configure. Texmaker is released under the GPL license . (the structure, the document and the embedded pdf viewer side by side)
Getting to Grips with LaTeX - LaTeX Tutorials by Andrew Roberts @ School of Computing, University of LeedsHere are some tutorials I have written for getting up to speed with this excellent document processing system. Funnily enough I wouldn't consider myself an expert, per se, but I'm learning all the time. I recall finding it quite taxing when I started to learn LaTeX, which is why I have started these tutorials.
References and citations are best handled in a consistent way by using BibTeX . In this method, you supply all the relevant information about references in a ``.bib file'' without regard to ordering or style.