April Lee reports:
"Though early detective stories often featured a group of amateur crime sleuths trying to find the murderer, later detective stories introduced the hard-boiled private investigator. For anyone who wishes to learn how to write in the crime genre, the detective story provides a staple formula to follow. Introduce the crime. The crime should be introduced in the first three chapters...You can use a chapter or two for background or setting up the crime[,] but if you place the crime too late into the story, the reader will quickly lose interest. Introduce the detective. Typically the victim of the crime or someone related to the victim calls the detective, who is a private investigator, and asks him to investigate the crime. The detective is typically a middle-aged man who is cynical, [brash and difficult] to deal with and yet possesses a brilliant, logical mind that other characters envy. The detective should also have a bad, addictive habit such as drinking or smoking. If the detective isn't a private investigator but an amateur, then the detective will typically be a main character caught in the middle of the crime who displays these same characteristics. Introduce the prime suspects and the antagonist. All the prime suspects should be introduced early on in the story, after the crime has been committed and the detective introduced, so that the reader can attempt to guess who is the guilty party. Prime suspects typically have annoying personalities or destructive habits that make them disliked by the reader. Keep the reader in the dark. If the reader solves the crime before the end of the story, then the reader will regard the book as simple and not feel challenged. Don't let the reader into the thoughts of the prime suspects or the antagonist. Give the illusion that characters are living lives off the page so that the reader can make guesses as to what the characters are doing when the detective isn't around to watch them. Provide clues. Even though you're keeping the reader in the dark, you should also provide clues so that the reader can attempt to guess who committed the crime and how it was committed. If the ending comes completely out of left field, then readers will feel cheated, so the writer should provide just enough information to allow the reader to try to solve the crime without giving them enough information to actually solve it. Create a dangerous scenario for the detective. Before the end of the story, the detective is usually placed in mortal peril by the antagonist. Once the detective figures out who committed the crime, the antagonist tries to murder the detective or sets up a trap for him. The detective must escape the trap or defeat the antagonist so he can reveal to the other prime suspects who committed the crime. Have the detective solve the crime. The detective solves the crime by using logical deduction, not through a deus ex machina, a supernatural occurrence or an accident. The detective's brilliance should be revealed to the reader with his ability to take all the different clues and put them together. Answer all unsolved questions. Avoid leaving the reader wondering what happened in a specific instance by making sure everything is explained at the end of the story. The reader should end the story feeling satisfied at the conclusion, not confused."
Charity Tober reports:
"Anti-discrimination laws protect individuals from workplace harassment and discrimination...and promote a positive work environment for employees. All employers should have an anti-discrimination policy in place and should distribute a copy of the document to each employee to foster understanding and compliance...Research your state's laws regarding anti-discrimination regulations and procedures. The anti-discrimination policy for your business should be tailored to cover all required state and federal laws as well as provide protection for your company in the event of legal issues that arise regarding discrimination within your workplace. Have a lawyer review the policy before you distribute it to employees so it complies with all state and federal regulations...In the first paragraph, state the purpose of the policy as well as explain the company's stance on discrimination. Explain that discrimination will not be tolerated and that the company is committed to a positive work environment, free from discrimination and harassment. Avoid writing in general or broad language and instead use clear and concise wording that is easy for employees to understand but also fully states all the necessary legal aspects...Next, define the word 'discrimination' and state specific and common examples of this type of behavior...Providing real-world examples gives employees a better understanding of actions that are considered discriminatory behavior...Conclude the policy by stating how employees can report discrimination in the workplace. Give clear instructions as well as departments or names of managers who handle discrimination issues. Explain what happens when discriminatory behavior occurs and how management deals with participants in this type of behavior. Include a separate sheet at the end of the document for employees to sign that states they read and will comply with the company's anti-discrimination policy."
Kori Morgan reports:
"Whether it's a historical incident or a family story, real-life events offer rich inspiration for fiction writers. However, they also impose many challenges in terms of plot development, creating characters and staying true to the events and people involved. You can write a story based on real occurrences by being willing to alter the actual events, transforming facts into plots and understanding the ethical issues that come with this source of inspiration...One challenge of writing about actual events is the temptation to incorporate every detail of what happened into the story. Novelist Julie Schumacher says that even though your memories inspired the story, the act of writing puts distance between the memories and the finished product. Because the circumstances of real life and the imaginary world you're creating are different, the events and characters may change to fit the story. Although the final draft may differ from your original memory, being willing to deviate from the events will make the story more unified and enjoyable for readers...In fiction, plot is the order of events in a story that gradually build tension. Although there may be elements of tension in the real events, fiction writer Robin Hemley says that until you impose the order of plot on the events, they are just episodes, or pieces of a story...If you're writing about a historical event or something that happened in another time period, research will be a key component of your process. Writer Caro Clarke states that fiction writers must create an authentic, accurate world without giving readers too much or too little information. It can be easy to make mistakes, but careful research can help you avoid anachronisms and factual errors...Writing about real life ultimately requires you to think about the people behind the story, especially if telling it could damage their reputations. Santa Clara University professor Ron Hansen warns that even if a project is fiction, stories that defame others or misrepresent events can be deemed libelous. You may want to be creative in your adaptation of the events if there's a chance someone could be hurt by the story."
Matt Duczeminski reports:
"The main idea, or topic, sentence of a paragraph is the sentence that gets to the heart of the subject of that paragraph. The purpose of a main idea sentence is to tie together all the other facts presented in a paragraph to prove the author's point. While elementary students are most often taught that the topic sentence should be the first sentence of the paragraph, it's possible to make the main idea clear to readers in more subtle ways -- without leading with a blanket statement...The main idea sentence sets the stage for a paragraph. It may help a writer come up with the details of a paragraph first and then decide on a topic sentence that ties everything together. For example, if the essay is about international foods and a specific body paragraph deals with Italian dishes, good writers brainstorm different dishes to write about and then come up with a topic sentence such as 'Italian dishes often include various pastas, sauces, and cheeses.' By leading with such a sentence, the reader gets a preview of what he will be reading about in the paragraph to follow...Main idea sentences can be specifically stated or implied by details in the paragraph...Implied main idea sentences may also be conditional sentences...Although it's not explicitly stated, leading with these sentences prepares the audience for the information to come in the paragraph...Topic sentences fall either at the beginning or [at the] end of a paragraph. At times, it's important to lead with a sentence that explains the main idea so the reader knows what details of the paragraph are important...However, sometimes leaving a topic sentence for the end of a paragraph helps build suspense and ties together seemingly unrelated ideas. An author may choose to barrage the reader with details about a backpacking trip through Europe and wrap the paragraph up by stating, 'The opportunities I had over the past summer have helped [change] the way I see the world.' Again, although not explicitly stated, this paragraph is built to make the reader aware that traveling the world can change her perspective...Main idea sentences can be split to convey contrasting viewpoints. Paragraphs using split topic sentences often follow a curve: One viewpoint is stated and supported with details, followed gradually by details that refute the original statement; the paragraph ends with a final refuting statement...The two statements 'bookend' the details, creating a clear picture of the main idea of the paragraph."
Enago Academy reports:
"Some journals or style guides require papers to have a running head. A running head is a short version of the paper title that is printed as a heading at the top of each page. If your document includes page numbers at the top, the running head can precede the page number or appear on the opposite edge of the page. In APA style, the running head is placed in the upper left. The publisher often requests running heads for practical reasons. It is desirable to have every page clearly labeled as being part of the paper. If your paper is printed as a hard copy and the various pages fall to the floor or are mixed up, having a running head and page number on each page helps the reader to put all the pages back in the correct order. Even readers who are viewing an electronic version of the paper may appreciate the clear labels, especially if they are sorting through many documents simultaneously...The specific requirements for running heads vary. In general, running heads should be brief. APA guidelines require that running heads be a maximum of 50 characters (spaces count as characters). The running head is usually written in all capital letters. (For style purposes, the examples in this article use regular title case.) It is placed in a header at the top of the page. Check the journal or style guidelines for any specifics on margins, spacing, or font. In APA, the running head is introduced on the first page by the phrase 'Running head' and a colon, i.e., in the following format: 'Running head: SHORT VERSION OF TITLE.' Subsequent pages have only the running head itself. In other formatting styles, the running head may be introduced in this way as part of the information that appears on the title page...If your paper title is already within the character limit, simply use the full title as the running head—no special changes are needed. However, if your paper title is over the limit, then you need to create a distinct running head that fits within the style guidelines. First, identify the main part of your title...Make the choice based on which ideas and concepts are most prominent in the paper. If it does not make sense to take part of the title to serve as the running head, try making a few tweaks or even paraphrasing the title entirely...Second[ly], eliminate articles such as the words 'the' and 'a.' The title 'Re-examining the Literary Traditions in Ancient China' can be shortened to 'Re-examining Literary Traditions in Ancient China.' In this case, simply removing the word 'the' from the title creates a running head that fits within the APA’s 50-character limit...If you are typing your paper in Microsoft Word, use the 'Word Count' function to count characters: To do this, highlight the running head and then go to the Review menu and click on 'Word Count.' The results box will show the number of 'Characters (no spaces)' and 'Characters (with spaces).' Read the journal or style guidelines carefully to know which number you should look at. In APA, it is the second option that is relevant, as spaces are counted as characters...Create a header by going to Insert and selecting 'Header' under 'Header & Footer.' A header will be created at the top of each page. Modifying the header on any page changes it on every page. If you wish to have the phrase 'Running head' appear on only the first page, as required in APA style, check the option 'Different first page' that appears under the Design menu when the header is inserted or edited. Checking this option allows you to edit the header on the first page independently while maintaining the headers on the second, third, and all other pages as the same."
Flora Richards-Gustafson reports:
"When you don’t have a good inventory report for your restaurant, you can’t really know about the establishment’s profitability. A profitable restaurant’s food cost should be 28 to 35 percent of revenue, according to the website Restaurant Report. In addition to impacting the bottom line, miscalculating the inventory can reflect on the skills of the management team and affect the quality of food and value of service provided to diners. When calculating a restaurant’s inventory, use a ledger to [handwrite] information onto a count sheet and transfer the data into a spreadsheet...Prepare five rows in your ledger and a new spreadsheet worksheet. Label each row with the following: Item, Unit of Measure, Inventory Amount, Unit Price and Total Cost...List all the items you have in your restaurant under the Item column...Keep in mind that your restaurant inventory items are the consumables — edible or not — that you use for your operation...Write down the unit of measurement for each item in the Unit of Measure column. A unit of measurement is what you use to determine or measure the quantity of an item purchased for the restaurant...Indicate the number of units you have for each inventory item in the Inventory Amount column...Write down the price you pay per unit of inventory in the Unit Price column. The unit price is the worth of an item...Multiply the figure in the Unit Price section by the figure in the Inventory Amount section for each inventory item and write the answer in the Total Cost column...Calculate the restaurant’s average daily inventory cost in a section of your ledger. To calculate this figure, divide the total inventory cost for the purchasing period by the number of days in the purchasing period. Use your profit and loss statement to determine the total inventory cost for the period...Estimate how long the inventory on hand will last in the restaurant. To find this figure, divide the cost of the current inventory you have, adding the totals on the inventory report you created, by the average daily cost of food, which you figured out in the previous step...Website Restaurant Owner states that you should ideally have less than a [week's] worth of inventory on hand, particularly for food items, so there is less waste. Smaller operations should have about three to five days of food and other inventory items on hand. If you have more than the recommended amount on the shelves, you may be purchasing too many items...Conduct an inventory of the restaurant weekly so you can have the most accurate picture of the inventory cycle in your establishment."
Ginny Wiehardt reports:
"In setting out to write a short story, it doesn't hurt to know that the short story is a fairly young form, dating back only to Nathaniel Hawthorne and his 1837 book Twice-[T]old Tales. For Edgar Allan Poe, who called them 'prose tales,' the fact that short stories could be read in a single sitting was key to the form. It allowed the reader to have an uninterrupted experience of the fictional world. As a recent genre, the short story has few formal elements that are not shared with the novel. The challenge for the short-story writer lies in developing the major elements of fiction — character, plot, theme, point of view, etc. — in about ten to twenty-five pages. (The cut-off for most journals is 10,000 words.) To meet this challenge, short-story writers generally follow, consciously or unconsciously, a pretty standard list of rules...You simply will not have room for more than one or two round characters. Find economical ways to characterize your protagonist, and describe minor characters briefly...Though some short-story writers do jump around in time, your story has the biggest chance of success if you limit the time frame as much as possible. It's unrealistic to cover years of a character's life in twenty-five pages. (Even a month might be a challenge.) By limiting the time period, you allow more focus on the events that are included in the narrative...As with poetry, the short story requires discipline and editing. Every line should either build character or advance the action. If it doesn't do one of these two things, it has to go...Though you may not have room to hit every element of traditional plot structure, know that a story is roughly composed of exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, and denouement. However much you experiment with form, something has to happen in the story (or at least the reader has to feel as though something has happened). Things like conflict and resolution achieve this effect. Storytelling may seem magical, but the building blocks are actually very concrete. As with any type of writing, the beginning and the end are the most important parts. Make sure your first and last lines are the strongest in the story...Alexander Steele points out in his introduction to the Gotham Writers' Workshop's Fiction Gallery that the short story lends itself to experimentation precisely because it is short: [S]tructural experiments that couldn't be sustained for three hundred pages can work beautifully for fifteen. And today, the lines between genres such as the short story and the poem are blurred in exciting ways. Keep in mind, however, that telling your story is still the most important thing. If breaking a rule allows you to tell your story more effectively, by all means, break it. Otherwise, think twice, or at least be honest with yourself if the innovation fails. Following these rules should help you complete your stories successfully. If you find that your story overflows these boundaries no matter what you do, consider expanding it into a novel. The short story isn't for every story — or for every writer."
Mary K. Wilson reports:
"A staple of fantasy novels, the horse often demands to be written into tales. As a source of transportation, recreation, or a magical being, nearly every fantasy novel has at least one horse. When they're written well[,] horses add sparkle and life to a story. When they're written badly the writer may find his or her book thrown across the room with disgust. It isn't important that the writer knows a lot about horses. She needs only know as much as the material demands. Fantasy, as a genre, demands much more from its authors than knowing the horse is a four-legged mammal. With horses playing such a prominent role, many knowledgeable readers will be quick to point out an author's error. When looking to add a horse to a tale, consider what purpose it will serve. The carriage horse needs to be built, and written, differently from a riding horse, and will have a different personality than a child's pony. The war steed for a valiant knight differs considerably from a lady's palfrey, though ladies are often found riding war steeds instead...Although there are no universally accepted terms used for the build of a horse, for the purposes of this article, I will use light, medium, and heavy. A light horse (or pony) would be one of very fine bone structure and conformation. Think of the refined Shetland ponies, Arabians, and racing thoroughbreds. Medium-build horses are those of sturdy build that were meant for [everyday] work. The majority of carriage and riding horses fall into this category...Heavy horses are those with thick bones and structure. Mostly draft breeds, many of the warmbloods used in competition also would fall under the category of heavy breeds. All draft horses...fall into this category. If you research into the history of various breeds you'll find that draft horses and light horses were crossed to create many of the medium-built horses. Modern warmbloods, for example, were developed from a cross of light Arabian horses (among others) with native draft (or war) horses. With this knowledge in mind, the appropriate horse can be selected for its job. A peasant working in the fields of a fantasy book may choose a draft horse, which is commonly used for hard labor such as plowing and heavy hauling. The peasant may also use this same horse to pull a cart to go into town, as it is unlikely that a peasant would have more than one horse. Keep in mind, too, that horses meant money in ancient societies, so that same peasant may have had to survive with a heavy pony, or perhaps a badly put together carriage horse for the same jobs. A knight readying himself for battle will find himself better mounted with a heavy draft horse, or a draft-cross that will bear up well beneath the weight of man and armor. Cavalry horses will also need to be heavily built; however, keep in mind that a fighter needing speed and agility will have to sacrifice armor for this, and would mount himself on an appropriate lighter-breed horse...Although the horse must be the appropriate size and build for its job, the horse also needs to be the right gender. Horses, like most domestic animals, come in three genders: male, female, and neuter...It may seem noble to have the lady who is running the keep all on her own riding a stallion; however, keep in mind the personality of these animals...[T]he levels of training for both horse and human need to be considered, as well as the type of mount appropriate to the character...Once the three issues of size, build, and gender are determined, then the writer can adequately equip his character. Further refinement can be added to the process by researching various breeds of horses and basing a fictional breed on ones found in modern day...Too many fictional horses exist on air and sunlight. In countless stories, a horse and rider gallop for miles, without any thought being given to the horse's stamina and energy levels, both of which are directly related to good nutrition. When it's time for war, these same steeds valiantly dive into the battle without worrying about enemy weapons, unless it's crucial to the plot. Then, the poor horse dies in a big, heroic battle, and the rider finds another steed to abuse. As with humans, good nutrition lies at the foundation of proper horse care. Horses require food in large quantities to function properly. The diet of a horse depends on its workload, its age, and its stage in life. Most fictional horses work for a living. Whether as a knight's mount, a plow horse, or a king's hunter, these horses exert large amounts of energy in the course of their daily lives...Given that an average horse runs from 1000 to 1200 pounds, your character is looking at feeding at a minimum 15-20 pounds of hay or forage a day. This means if the horse is on the road, it will need to stop and graze at several intervals through the day. A heavily worked horse will need 1 to 1.5 pounds of hay and .5 to 1.5 pounds of grain a day (again per 100 weight). Grains can be as simple as a mixture of oats and corn for a country character to an elaborate version of sweet feed that is fed to horses today. Sweet feed, a staple in many barns, is a mixture of oats, corn, and other grains laced with molasses. When a fresh bag of sweet feet is opened, the sweet aroma smells good enough for humans to eat. Some manufacturers add pellets containing nutritional supplements to their sweet feed. Mares in foal and weanlings need even more food than described above, while horses 'out to pasture' need less. Other foods such as beet pulp, milk products, and corn syrup can be added to the grain mixture to give it a different taste or to form a special mixture. A king's barn may feed horses as lavishly as a show barn would do today. Barn managers and grooms also carry with them their special recipe for bran mashes and other delicacies to improve the condition of a horse. Your character should also keep in mind the cost of feeding a horse. If he travels and doesn't carry his own feed, then he will need to purchase it at the inns where he stables his horses. Most inns should keep a 'house blend' of horse feed on hand, but just like full-service boarding barns, they will charge a premium price. A horse in campaign most likely will be fed from the ration wagon, which will carry feed for horse and rider, and on a farm, the farmer will keep some stock of grains on hand to feed the horses. Can a horse exist on sunlight and air? If it is properly explained through the particulars of a fantasy world, I don't see why not, but keep in mind that real horses need real food."
Shelley Frost reports:
"Honesty in the workplace encourages a sense of trust among employees, the company and the community. The leadership style and environment in the workplace often affects the level of honesty employees exhibit on the job. Changes to the way the company is run can help highlight and encourage honesty from your staff...Write a vision statement that highlights the values you want your employees to embody. If honesty is your main goal, focus on it in the statement. When you hire employees, emphasize the value you place on honesty. While you can't always assess honesty and other values during the interview, do your best to get a sense of how each candidate values honesty. When checking references, ask about honesty and integrity related to the candidate...While some information needs to be confidential, make it a habit of keeping your staff informed on basic company operations. Most employees appreciate transparency from the company even if the information they receive is negative...By creating a company culture that values honesty over perfectionism, you highlight the importance of honesty...Create a safe environment that places trust in your employees to handle their duties. Provide feedback without...employees feel[ing] ostracized if they make a mistake...Before promoting anyone to a leadership position, discuss with the person the significance of honesty, both with...subordinates and [with] superiors. Check the leader's actions against what she says to ensure they are in alignment. Another way to encourage honesty is to highlight employees who display honesty. Point out examples for other staff members to recognize and use as a role model."
Ian Linton reports:
"Advertising agencies make pitches to clients to present their credentials and proposals for handling a client’s advertising campaign...Review the client’s brief carefully before writing the pitch. A good brief sets out the objectives and intended results for the campaign, together with details of the market, target audience, budget and time frame. Carry out market research to gain a further understanding of the campaign requirements and fill any gaps not covered by the client’s brief. Prepare a structure for the pitch to ensure that you cover all the essential elements in logical order. Ask other members of the agency team to provide input on marketing background, media plans, creative proposals and agency credentials. Open by thanking the client for the opportunity to pitch. Introduce the agency team who will be present at the pitch. Summarize the client’s campaign objectives to demonstrate that you understand the brief. Set out in general terms your assessment of the creative and media requirements needed to achieve the client’s objectives. Describe your agency’s credentials for the campaign. Focus on any relevant experience in developing advertising for the client’s market sector. Provide a list of clients and briefly describe successful campaigns...Mention any awards you have won. Provide a brief biography of the agency team that will work on the campaign if your pitch is successful. Set out your strategy for the campaign. Describe the information needs of the client’s target audience and explain why your approach would persuade the audience to take action. Set out the action the audience would take in response to the campaign...Explain the rationale for the creative treatment you propose and briefly describe the creative elements...in your pitch document. Describe why your creative treatment would have impact and differentiate your client from competitors. List the media you would use and justify your choice, showing how your schedule provides best coverage of the target audience at the lowest cost. Provide detailed cost estimates and a time frame for developing and completing the campaign material. Summarize the key benefits of appointing your agency and thank the client for the opportunity to work with the company."
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