How a Writer Can Excite the Reader
"We all want to make our readers excited by what we write: That is why many authors are looking for writing advice and tips on how to engage the reader. It can be tricky to target your audience these days. The truth is, there is a lot of exciting written material out there, and there are a lot more ways to stay entertained with television, movies, music, and more. Why should a reader pay attention to you? Rise up and answer the question by taking control of what you write. You can command the attention of your readers by following a few tips of effective writers...When something grabs your attention, it is hard to divert your attention elsewhere. Sometimes, it is material that shocks us. Sometimes, it is because the theme or some specific information hits home with us in a very personal way. More often than not, grabbing someone’s attention has nothing to do with what you write – it is related to how you write it. Some writers have the knack of making anything sound exciting and thrilling. This is because they have mastered the art of hooking people in to their writing. It seems like they know the kinds of phrasings that people respond to – and then they go out, write it down, and make it happen...The most important thing to do is to believe in what you write. Everyone can tell when someone is writing about something for which they don't feel any passion. You can feign this passion by:
Max Miller reports:
"A good proposal will help put you ahead of 95% of your competition. Mastering this skill can really help your business take off...Planning an event requires a lot of attention to detail, scheduling, organization and [follow-up. By] presenting a well[-]formatted event proposal or RFP, it subliminally shows your potential client that you have the skills they are looking for. Writing a good proposal requires the ability to understand all the fine requirements of the client. Part of the responsibility of a good planner is to create order and produce amazing results even on short deadlines. Clients are [oftentimes] unorganized and nervous about their events. With your experience and professionalism you can make a huge impact on helping clients...Keep in mind that most clients do not know what they want. They are looking for the right event planning company with a vision to assist them in planning a beautiful event...[I]t all starts with a well[-]written proposal that describes the event. As a professional planner or a volunteer, you should be able to sell your skills to the client through a well-researched and well[-]written event proposal...Even if you have an idea of what the client wants or you have planned hundreds of similar events before, the first step is having a one[-]on[-]one conversation with the client to find out what she wants or what she would like to accomplish during the event. During this meeting, take notes of all the logistics such as the time, desired location, date and any other key points. In addition, listen to her/his ideas for the catering, color scheme, theme and other visual elements they would like for the event. Do not write an event planning proposal that reads like a formal letter. The proposal should speak directly to the client needs that you observed during your meeting. Keep in mind that your client is probably looking at a couple of other proposals from different planners and they will pick the one that best understands their needs. Also, ensure that you include your company logo and contact information on the cover page. The proposal title is also very important especially if you are proposing for a specific company. You want to customize the title to your specific client so they do not think you have a template you use for all clients...You can summarize your client’s needs in the title of the event description. It serves as a summary of all the client needs as well as the client’s goals for the event. When a client sees this information right away it brings them reassurance that you understand their desires. The description is generally where you repeat what the client told you about the event but in a more professional and organized way. This shows that you fully understand what they are looking for. Any information that you may have obtained about the event during the first meeting comes in handy; the entertainment options available, the facilities available at the proposed venue and many more. You should also strive to give more helpful suggestions than what the client asked for. You do not want to overwhelm them but you can look for other options that you think the client may like and are within her budget. You can also include images of the venue locations which enables the client to see exactly what they are getting and also gives you a better chance of being hired as most of your competitors are likely to send boring non-custom word documents...A brief summary of yourself or company is important when writing an event planning proposal. It gives the client an idea [of] who you are as well as how long you have been in business. If your client has to get approval from their boss about hiring you it is good information for the decision maker to see. Include your capabilities, brief information about your experience as an even[t] planner and past customer client work that you did a good job on. In case you do not have much experience planning events yet, you can mention any internships, volunteer work, coordination or project management experience in any other field. Ensure that you also mention any other relevant experience or training that you have if you do not have too many hands-on events under your belt...Following the above information, the client will want to know the services you can offer during the event. If the event is extremely large with multiple functions...it is appropriate to have headings for each function then indicate what you can offer in each function...In case it is a smaller event...you might consider creating a bullet point list of your duties as well as the vendor and location you will use. You can attach photos of a similar event you have done in the past to help the client get a clear picture of what you can offer...[Y]ou should summarize [in a 'Services Provided' section] the event in 1 – 3 sentences and then have sub-headings for each part you will take care of...[In] sub-headings you should have a couple [of] sentences about what can take place and an approximate cost for each item. The cost for each item should be the total amount you will charge the client. If you mark up the vendors then be sure to take into account your markup; or if you pass the cost through as is then you can include that amount...Naturally, all clients will look at any event planning proposal in hopes of seeing how much it will cost them to hold an event of their choice. After describing the event in a way that a client can taste, smell and see how amazing it will be, create a section to summarize in detail all the costs or each item as well as their purpose in the event...At the bottom of the sheet, make a detailed computation of all the costs. It can also help to provide any perceived discounts such as discounts for early booking or discounts for multiple bookings at the same time...You can end the proposal by having a page about your policies. This helps to manage your client’s expectations properly...Finally thank the client for the opportunity and remember to provide your contact [information such as a] phone number or email address so that the client can contact you."
Sara Mahuron reports:
"Employers often ask for a personal statement because they want more insight into who you are and why they should hire you. The job application is standard and asks for objective facts and details that [allow] them to evaluate candidates against job requirements. A personal statement, though, gives applicants a chance to express themselves through essays and highlight anything in their background that is helpful for the employer to know but not obvious on applications...Envision your audience. Before you begin, take a moment to think about who will be reading your statement and what they might be looking for. Think about the job description and the industry for which you are applying. Review the company's mission statement and vision. Acquaint yourself with the company's culture...Write down a list of...achievements that are not evident anywhere else in your application and explain why these achievements are of value to this employer. Make a list of skills you have, including soft skills such as communication skills and people skills...Write down your career goals and why you want the job. Think of anything in your life that has been unique and has prepared you for this job...Answer any questions the employer asks you to address in your personal statement. Prepare answers that are specific and detailed. The employer will not assume anything in your favor, so be sure to specify exactly what you did or how long you have done something...Start writing the first draft of your personal statement and incorporate the achievements you have identified, your career goals and your answers to the employer's questions. Maintain an essay style and use the five-paragraph essay model, which includes a first paragraph as the introduction, followed by three paragraphs as the body and a final fifth paragraph as the conclusion -- unless you can justify making the letter longer. Use a consistent tone and make sure each paragraph focuses on one point and is backed by supporting evidence...Revise your personal statement. Ask a peer or colleague to edit it and provide feedback. Proofread it yourself. Evaluate the importance of each point you make. Analyze the essay to make sure it is easy to read and understand and that it supplements your resume appropriately...A personal statement should never reiterate your resume. The employer wants to know what else there is to know; they are not looking for another way of saying the same thing you have already told them."
Edward Chang reports:
"If you want to inform a certain medical school that they are your top choice, you must write (now usually through email) them a letter of intent. The letter of intent is important because medical schools want to accept applicants that will actually attend their school. If they know that they are your top choice, they are more likely to accept you. This letter should communicate why you want to attend that school and why you would be a good fit. It should be formal, specific, and direct. This letter cannot be generic. You can write letters of intent to multiple schools if necessary[.] If you have any advocates...that is helpful as well...Try to limit your letter to one page...You need to communicate with the people making the decisions. Do your research and figure out who is the dean or director of admissions. Use the correct titles and spellings when addressing your letter. Also, if there was a particular interviewer who you really clicked with, you should include him or her on the cc line as well...[Introduce yourself and get to the point by saying something like this:] My name is John Doe and I am [a] current applicant to Best University School of Medicine. I interviewed on December 1st. I am writing this letter for two purposes. My first purpose is to reiterate that Best University School of Medicine is my top choice for medical school and explain why I am a good fit for the school. Second[ly], I want to update you on any new accomplishments that may not be in my current file...Give legitimate reasons why you would attend this school over any other school. Include any memorable moments from your interview. If you really enjoyed your time with your interviewer, mention that as well. There might be aspects of the school that would really mesh with your personality or learning style. You can talk about the vision, mission, or certain emphasis of the school and how it resonates with you. Ultimately, you need to explain what makes you a distinct candidate that will fit into their school. Highlight some accomplishments that may make you unique...Include any newsworthy updates that would not be in your primary or secondary application and update letters. You can also talk about your upcoming plans. You can include things like a new research publication, leadership endeavors, and accomplishments at your job or volunteer place...Give a final statement that reiterates your interest. Thank them and express how you look forward to the rest of the admissions process. Use a professional closing such as sincerely or best wishes. You should be aggressive when it comes to contacting schools and writing letters of intent. If you are really interested in one school, it is acceptable and helpful to write multiple letters of intent to that school. A good guideline would be to send a letter once a month. Just make sure that each letter is unique and informative."
Jordan Meyers reports:
"Getting fired or quitting your job doesn't always mean the permanent end of your employment relationship with a particular company. If you were an asset to the company in the past, you might have a chance at reinstatement. A successful bid for reinstatement often starts with a well-written letter. Your chances for success might be highest if you provide concise details and a compelling reason for rehire. Melodramatic explanations, on the other hand, could hurt your cause...Use a word processing program to set up a letter in business format. Type your address at the top of the page, including your street address, city and state. If you have a letterhead that includes this information, you do not need to type it again. Skip a line, and then type the current date...Type the contact information of the company or organization you want to petition for reinstatement. If you're seek[ing] reinstatement of your job, type the name of the company that employed you. Then type the company's official address, including [the] name [of] the contact person and the department name, such as your company's human resource department. You will need to learn this person's name in advance. Usually, you can do so by contacting the company's human resource department or the person officially responsible for hiring/firing...Write a salutation that includes the name of your contact person and his title. Use 'Mr.' or 'Dr.' for a man and 'Ms.,' 'Mrs.,' ['Miss'] or 'Dr.' for a woman. Ask which title the person uses when you call to obtain the contact person's name, or check for a title on any correspondence you have received from him. Write, 'Dear Mr./Miss/Mrs./Ms./Dr. Contact Name:' for the salutation...Type a detailed explanation of the reason for your letter. Explain that you seek reinstatement for the job you lost, and include the name of your position, the department in which you worked and the name of your direct supervisor. If you have an employee identification number, include that as well...Detail the reason you left the job and explain why and how the circumstances have changed...Express thanks for the consideration of your reinstatement request...Provide additional information the contact person may need to make a decision. Include your telephone number and email address so he can follow up with you quickly. Refer the reader to any attached documents that support your case...Close the reinstatement letter in a professional manner. Type 'Sincerely,' or '[T]hank you,' and then leave the space of four lines before typing your name. Sign your name in this space before mailing the letter. Type the word 'Enclosures' one line after your name to indicate any included documents."
For ESL Teachers: Four Activities to Try with Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
Susan Verner reports:
"The structure of comparative and superlative adjectives in English is quite simple. When comparing two items, also known as comparative adjectives, add –er to the adjective to express superiority. This holds true for any adjectives that are one or two syllables. For three[-]syllable adjectives, use 'more' to express the comparison.
Lesley Peters reports:
"Endorsements and recommendations [need] to shine a light on the talents of the person you are writing about that build up the person. It’s helpful to consider your relationship, and try to explain in a few words how you know this person and what your relationship was or is, and why you think she or he is a valuable business resource...Ask your colleague if they wish to include any specific skills, talents, or abilities. You can also ask them how they would like your relationship described...Think about your requestor’s business, and the audience they want to have reading the endorsement/recommendation. You want to show the value your requestor brings to 'the table'. Writing about this person’s successes, helpfulness, and talents bring the person to life, so that readers nod, and say, 'This is someone I want on my team, or at my company, or I want to have in my corner.” You want your endorsement to ring true, be honest, and [be] factual...Explain your relationship, and what work you have done together in a concrete, factual way so your readers understand how you know this person, and why your comments are valuable. You want to be specific about what you did together, and the results you saw this person achieve...If it’s for LinkedIn, read the other recommendations for your requestor on [LinkedIn. See] if you can say [it] with a different point of view, or emphasizing another skill or ability that isn’t already there...Consider writing a few words at the end about their personal style, and what you particularly like about them that other business people would find helpful."
Shaunacy Ferro reports:
"There is plenty of scientific evidence indicating that writing by hand is an important skill. Compared to typing, writing by hand seems to activate the brain in ways that help you process and remember information. Whether you need to learn cursive to access the full benefits of writing by hand, however, is another story. KQED recently highlighted science writer Philip Ball’s dive into whether cursive is more beneficial for kids’ learning than printing at Nautilis. There’s no conclusive research to show that learning cursive is uniquely beneficial, Ball writes, quoting neuroscientist Karin Harman James...There is some research that has found that cursive aids dyslexic students, in part because it doesn’t require taking the pencil off the paper as often, but other research shows that because cursive adds yet another layer of complexity to writing, kids can learn to write more quickly, and write more legibly and accurately, using manuscript. With the lack of scientific consensus about whether one type of writing is superior for learning, it’s clear that school policies that require cursive are more about culture than research. Cursive is required as early as kindergarten in France, and in some U.S. states, students are required to proficiently write in cursive by a certain point in their elementary school career...Given how deeply parents and people who write education policy feel about cursive—'People talk about the decline of handwriting as if it’s proof of the decline of civilization,' Anne Trubek, author of The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting, recently wrote in The New York Times—it’s not likely to disappear from schools [any time] soon."
Bonnie Trenga reports:
"No one likes feeling useless, but adverbs might justifiably feel that way. Adverbs find themselves much maligned because they're often redundant or awkwardly placed...It’s not that I don’t like adverbs; they modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, and whole sentences—sometimes smashingly so. Let’s see some examples. The adverb 'quickly' could modify the verb 'to run,' as in 'A tiger! Run quickly!' The adverb 'overly' could modify the adjective 'sensitive' if you wanted to describe an 'overly sensitive young man.' If you wanted to criticize someone’s cooking and use an adverb to modify your entire complaint, you might say, 'Clearly, you didn’t read the recipe.' So, adverbs have their place, but often writers can improve their writing by pruning adverbs. Adverbs have their place, but often writers can improve their writing by pruning adverbs...Let’s quickly deal with adverbs you can easily cut: repetitive adverbs. You could, for example, write[,] 'She smiled happily,' but that would be redundant, and no one would smile happily while reading your (un)carefully crafted sentence. 'Frowned morosely' and 'jumped up and down excitedly' are other examples of repetitive verb-adverb combinations. Most of the time, a descriptive verb will suffice. The norm is to smile when you're happy. Only an unusual smile needs the highlighting of an adverb--a crafty smile or a resigned smile may merit a descriptor. Now for a brief list of very, very useless adverbs: the ones often used carelessly as intensifiers. You really should cut these out: 'extremely,' 'definitely,' 'truly,' 'very,' and 'really.' You can totally use them in dialogue[,] though, especially if your characters are surfers. Otherwise, avoid them mightily. You’ll also hear complaints about adverbs that are used alongside verbs of attribution, which are words such as 'said,' 'asked,' and 'stated.' Some overeager writers think they’re being clever when they tack on adverbs to their ['saids']...Instead, stick with a lone 'said' most of the time. Let the substance of the dialogue get across the way it’s being said; don’t rely on an adverb to do the work for you. When you peruse your close-to-final draft, critique your adverbs on a usefulness scale. If you could cut the adverb without irreparably harming the sentence, please do so, and do so happily...Next we come to adverbs that are allowed to stay—but not in their current position. Adverbs unwittingly get misplaced, especially when your sentence has two verbs and one adverb. In the sentence 'She was looking at the man thoughtfully,' the adverb 'thoughtfully' clearly modifies 'was looking.' Things get a bit dicey if we add another verb, though: 'She was looking at the man running thoughtfully.' Here, 'thoughtfully' could modify two verbs: 'was looking' and 'running,' so the sentence could mean she was looking thoughtfully at the man, or she was looking at the man who was simultaneously running and pontificating...Most readers would likely assume that 'thoughtfully' goes with the closer verb, in this case 'running.' No matter the correct interpretation, you don’t want to leave your readers wondering. Rewrite as appropriate: [E]ither 'She was looking thoughtfully at the runner' or 'She was looking at the man who was running thoughtfully.' The adverb 'only' also gets stuck in the wrong place...If you say, 'Candace only edits on Tuesdays,' you’re suggesting that the only thing Candace does on Tuesdays is edit; she doesn't write, she doesn't sleep, she doesn't eat. She only edits. Granted, misplaced 'onlys' pop up in everyday speech, but in writing it’s best to be more precise and use 'only' in the right place. The right place is almost never before the verb...As you’ve seen, you are allowed to use adverbs, but use them wisely and only occasionally."
Angela Colley reports:
"Pet resumes might be the next big trend in renting. And even if a potential landlord doesn’t ask for a CV for your canine, you might want to have one ready...Not all landlords are asking for pet resumes, but more renters are getting them. Cathy Klein, a professional designer who creates professional pet resumes through the aptly named PetResumes.net, has received requests from all over the country, particularly in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. And they aren't just for large dogs...Even if the landlord doesn't request it, being prepped could set you apart from the pack. 'If an applicant provided me with this information without being prompted, it would speed up the screening process and make me feel more comfortable with the applicant—thereby increasing their chances of getting accepted,' said Lucas Hall, chief community manager at Cozy.co and an experienced landlord himself. To start your pet's resume, get the basics in order. Hall recommends all resumes start with this information:
Writing and editing can be pretty rigorous processes if you want to do them well, but that's what this page is here for. Check out the latest tips here.