Monday, November 30, 2015

You Should Write Better than You Speak

Here's a general rule: 
- You're writing should sound better than your everyday talking.

Most people use excessive amounts of filler words when they talk (Um, uh, yeah, like, so ... ) as well as rhetorical questions (You know what I mean?).  This is to be expected for everyday speech. A small measure of such colloquialisms can even be useful to avoid sounding pretentious.  However, in the written world, these parts of speech represent mental baggage that will tire out your readers.

If your readers have to spend to much energy sifting through superfluous language, then they will miss the message you are trying to convey.

As the writer, you must carefully measure the value of each word, phrase and sentence to make sure they contribute to your message.  Otherwise, you will alienate your reader by requiring them to sift through the "fluff" themselves.  Most people, unless they are teachers who are being paid to read your writing, will abandon your essay or article before too long, and rightfully so.

Here's another rule: 
- Make your writing easy to read.

Do the necessary work ahead of time to gather the information you want to convey and then present it in a concise, orderly fashion.  Build logical flow into your written work so that your readers will naturally comprehend the point you are trying to make.  And, while you think about the overarching structure of your essay, you must continue to avoid excessively verbose or passive language.

This is a lot to think about, I know.  But, with the right kind of practice, you will develop your writing mind to the point that you naturally recognize some of the best practices referred to here. You can also practice by reading quality written book (published books, for example), getting feedback from experienced writers (your English teacher for example) and by using every available editing tool that you can find.

One such tool that is designed to make you a better writer is Document Grader.  It's free and will provide you with real-time feedback, including relevant suggestions and examples, after you paste your essay into the grading text box.

So, do you want to become a better writer?  If yes, then try out Document Grader today!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Writing is a Process

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Writing is a process" ?  

It's true.

Well written essays, books or even basic emails became well written because their conscientious authors took the time and effort to revise them several times.  No one writes a perfect essay, article, or term paper on the first try.  But you can make your written work close to perfect with enough concentrated, dedicated effort.  

In order to create a truly high quality piece of written work, you must pour over every sentence, word by word.  You have to mull over the context of every sentence.  Is the statement each sentence is making relevant?  Is the wording ideal?  Each paragraph must be considered in light of the whole document, and then you must consider how all the paragraphs flow together within the document to create a clear, logical train of thought.

Then again, as you make multiple revisions, you must also consider the reader's point of view.  YOur readers may know nothing about the subject matter you're addressing.  Who is your audience anyway?  What is their reading comprehension level?  What are their expectations in light of where your work will be published?

There are many subtle, painstaking aspects to making a single written work truly great.  And, hopefully, Document Grader can help you with this process.

Document Grader will bring your attention to a wide range of potential issues, from work choice to whether or not your phrasing is too verbose, to whether or not you are using the wrong word given the current context.

Whether you're a busy student, a stressed out professional, or an overworked teacher, Document Grader can really lighten your workload.  

So go ahead and give it a try ... it's free!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

We're Live!

What is Document Grader?

Document Grader (docgrader.com) will help you grade any kind of English writing. Using the guidance provided by this service, students of all shapes and sizes, bloggers and professionals can improve the quality of their writing.

Document Grader is primarily a teaching tool, secondarily a correction tool.  This means that, while in many cases an automated correction is available, most of the time you will receive relevant guidance in the context of your paper so you can make your own corrections.  This will require you to think about any writing issue found (or whether the issue in question is an issue at all) and then make corrections (or not) based on what you think will sound best in your essay (or email, or blog article, etc.).

This service will be a constant work in progress, and so I welcome any and all feedback!  See my contact info here.

So what are you waiting for?  Go give it a try!