Writing An Article Basic Rules Of Grammar

Writing An Article Basic Rules Of Grammar

Some would-be writers think they can dash off an​ article without bothering to​ learn the​ basic rules of​ grammar. But just as​ any craftsperson spends time honing his skills to​ make the​ perfect piece of​ craft,​ so must a​ writer work hard to​ present an​ article that will be a​ pleasure to​ read and not shame him for its sloppy grammar and punctuation. True,​ some errors are typos,​ but doesn’t that reflect a​ certain laziness on​ the​ author’s part? an​ article should be closely examined for typos before it​ is​ sent off or​ uploaded.

Don’t trust your spell checker. No automated spell-checker can alert you to​ every error. Whose and who’s,​ lose and loose,​ quiet and quite,​ its and it’s are all legitimate words,​ so there will be no red line under them. Spell-checkers are not clever enough yet to​ tell which one you meant to​ use. And if​ the​ error is​ not due to​ a​ typo,​ it​ means you need to​ keep a​ dictionary on​ hand to​ check anything you are uncertain of.

Remember that when a​ word ends in​ “ ‘s” it​ means there is​ a​ letter missing. “It’s” means “it is”. if​ you are unsure which one you should be using,​ try saying the​ sentence both ways.

For instance…

“ It’s a​ good day today/ it​ is​ a​ good day today”. the​ latter example makes perfect sense,​ so it​ is​ okay to​ use “it’s”.


“Here is​ a​ rabbit. Its burrow is​ over there.”

Does,​ “It is​ burrow is​ over there”,​ make sense? No.

Of course if​ you said,​ “The rabbit’s burrow is​ over there,​” then the​ apostrophe denotes possession (and only one rabbit),​ not a​ missing letter.

“The rabbits burrow is​ over there,​” (with no apostrophe) means there are several rabbits.

And just for the​ record,​ “loose” means not tight,​ while “lose” means you’ve lost it.
“Who’s” is​ short for “who is”,​ but “whose” is​ the​ possessive form of​ “who” (as in​ “Whose is​ that car?”)
“Quiet” means “hush”,​ while “quite” is​ an​ adverb (which should usually be left out).

“I felt quite silly,​” sounds better as,​ “I felt silly”.

“I felt like an​ idiot,​” may be even better.

Sometimes rules of​ grammar get in​ the​ way of​ good writing. if​ this is​ the​ case they can and should be broken,​ otherwise your writing will become pedantic and even mechanical. One such rule is​ that a​ sentence should not begin with a​ conjunction. Both “and” and “but” can certainly be used to​ begin a​ sentence,​ or​ even a​ paragraph,​ but not to​ end one. Using either of​ these conjunctions to​ start a​ sentence can be a​ natural transition to​ carry the​ reader forward.

A rule of​ style tells us to​ never use the​ same word twice in​ a​ sentence,​ but if​ you have to​ search for several other clumsy substitutes to​ do the​ job,​ then please repeat. Repetition of​ someone’s name is​ a​ little different. it​ can easily be replaced with “he” or​ “she” as​ the​ sentence progresses.

A persistent myth masquerading as​ a​ rule tells us not to​ end a​ sentence with a​ preposition. Winston Churchill is​ supposed to​ have made fun of​ this by stating,​ “This is​ the​ sort of​ English up with which I will not put.” of​ course a​ sentence may end with a​ preposition. a​ good rule is​ to​ write the​ way you speak. But unless you have grown up speaking English,​ ignore this rule too.

A few more pointers…

· When writing an​ article,​ watch that you don’t repeat information unnecessarily. Even if​ you use different wording,​ it​ still gives the​ reader the​ impression that you think he was too dumb to​ get it​ the​ first time.

· Use short sentences more than long ones,​ but do vary the​ length.

· Break up the​ text by using bullet points,​ or​ asking a​ question. Why? it​ will add interest and prevent your reader falling asleep – or​ simply turning the​ page.

· Use short paragraphs too. This will make the​ job of​ reading it​ all seem much easier. in​ this fast-paced world readers are mostly in​ a​ hurry. if​ they come to​ a​ huge block of​ text with no white space,​ they’ll usually skip most of​ it.

If you keep these tips in​ mind,​ your articles will keep both editors and readers happy.

Writing An Article Basic Rules Of Grammar

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