Category: English

How to solve plot problems with a simple technique

In this article, you’ll learn a simple, yet powerful technique to solve all of your plot problems. If you’ve come here from Wattpad, you probably just want the Solving Plot Problems Template that you can use for your own plot problem today. Especially in science fiction and fantasy, or in any longer story with a large number of…
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'Writing' by jjpacres on Flickr

Create your own personal writing style guide

In this post I’ll give you a free style guide template to work with, and I’ll cover the following: What is a style guide? Why create a personal style guide? How to create a style guide. In university we learn about style guides such as MLA and APA, which are so confusing that you practically…
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A beautiful long sentence about long sentences – Long Sentence #2

Pico Iyer wrote a playful and eloquent article for the Los Angeles Times about his decision to write long sentences as a form of protest against our world’s obsession with speed. He explained that as a young journalist he had succumbed to the need for speed and crunched his writing into short soundbites, but as he…
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What is grammar?

So, what is grammar?  One of the best definitions of grammar that I have heard comes from a book called The Practice of English Language Teaching (link opens book on Scribd), which defines grammar as: “the description of the ways in which words can change their forms and be combined to form sentences.“ For example, “I pie…
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7 Types of Sentence Fragments and How to Use Them

This article is for beginner to advanced native and second-language English speakers and teachers. For a shortened version of this lesson, download my lesson, Advanced Sentences, and feel free to use or adapt it, without copyright. This article contains the following sections, feel free to jump down to any of them: The Importance of Grammar Types…
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Most frequently used words in English

Did you know that the average person uses only 2000-5000 words on a daily basis? One of the most important tools I use as an English, ESL & Literacy teacher is a most frequently-used-words list. It is possible to make countless vocabulary exercises & games from the crucial 2000 most frequently used words, and they…
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Collaborative self-publishing?

I recently read an interesting blog post about the pros and cons of self-publishing vs. regular publishing that really made me think long and hard about how self-publishing could be made more successful.   The answer that I came up with is a collaborative publishing platform.  I don’t think it has really been done yet, and…
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Profound Insights: Out of the Silent Planet by C.S Lewis

The best book I read in 2010 was Out of the Silent Planet, by C.S Lewis.  It is a very small book and inconspicuous.  This was the copy I picked up:

Reading for Learning a New Language

If you are learning a new language, the most useful and pleasant thing you can do for your study is READ!!!  As an ESL teacher, I have noticed that my students who are regular readers, really advance more quickly than students who do not like reading.  Therefore it is important to foster the skill of…
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The Importance of Sound for Mastering a Language

When we are young, we learn the sounds of our language automatically from our parents, but when we learn a new language we need to pay special attention to the sounds. In most languages, including English, sound is made with two types of letters: 1) Consonants and 2) Vowels The consonants are similar in many…
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