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  4. The consequences of plagiarism can be severe for both the plagiariser and the person whose work or ideas have been plagiarised. Just the mention of the word plagiarism is often enough to strike fear into the heart of any writer or student, or in fact in the heart of the creator of any original work. This article looks at why plagiarism is such an important issue, some of the main types of plagiarism, and how you can actively avoid plagiarising another person’s work. What is plagiarism? “plagiarism: The practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own. Recorded from the early 17th century, the word comes from Latin plagiarius ‘kidnapping’.” ~ Oxford Reference Plagiarism is seen as a form of stealing - illegal, unethical, and damaging to both plagiarist and those being plagiarised. What sort of content does it cover? It covers not only written content such as books, articles, and essays, but anything that is another’s original work. For example, music, graphics, video games, TV programmes and films, paintings, photography, computer software, and clothing. Producing original written work for yourself and for others is crucial to retaining your integrity, and that of your work. If you pass off the work of others as your own you risk losing professional or academic credibility, and permanently damaging your reputation. The consequences of plagiarism are just as far reaching for those whose work has been used without permission. I know someone well who had their writing stolen from their website, and word-for-word made into a book which sold on Amazon for more than a year before the original author discovered it. The impact on the original author was not only on an emotional level; the work had now been published which made it impossible for them to publish it themselves without rewriting. The only ‘consolation’ the true author of this work took away from their experience, was that the book received many favourable reviews. However, to see someone else receiving praise and financial compensation for something you 100% created yourself is a very unpleasant experience. Even when content is being given away for free by the original author, as was the case with this book, plagiarism isn’t by any means a victimless act. If, for example, university students routinely plagiarise content in order to get higher grades, the value and academic integrity of university degrees would be undermined. And if someone gains professional credibility through passing off someone else’s work as their own, the advantages and respect they consequently receive from colleagues and the wider community are not earned, and may well be taken at the expense of others. Types of Plagiarism Accidental or unintentional plagiarism The book example above was deliberate plagiarism – the plagiarist knowingly copied that work and published it without attribution or consent. The original work was clearly marked as copyrighted but even if it had not been, they knew none of the content they published belonged to them, and they deliberately set out to gain financially from another’s work. Accidental plagiarism on the other hand, occurs when someone unintentionally uses another’s work or words without identifying the author or original source. However, the fact that you did not intend to deceive is no defence against accidental plagiarism, and the consequences can still be serious - your reputation may suffer regardless of whether the plagiarism was intentional or not. Unfortunately, it’s easy to unintentionally plagiarise someone else’s work. We have access to online resources and sources that we can simply copy and paste from when we read something that we would like to refer to in our own writing. Or we might copy an extract from a printed book, journal, research paper etc., and forget to make a note of where those words come from. When we return to our notes later, we think the words are ours and they are included in our final piece without credit to the original author. Very often, accidental plagiarism is simply caused by a lack of knowledge about how to credit sources properly. And sometimes it’s caused by a writer’s lack of confidence in their ability to put their thoughts or ideas into their own words. Direct Plagiarism The example of plagiarism we discussed earlier, where a whole manuscript was taken and turned into a book sold under another’s name, was an example of complete plagiarism. Direct plagiarism is similar to complete plagiarism in that it relates to the word for word copying of someone else’s work without giving proper attribution, but direct plagiarism refers to the copying of sections of work, rather than the whole text. Self-Plagiarism Self-plagiarism is the reuse or duplication, without attribution, of work you have previously published. It might seem strange that you can plagiarise your own work – after all, you created it – but self-plagiarism is also frowned upon and can have serious consequences. If you’re a published author, it’s likely you will need permission from your publishers to reuse any part of your work. Check your publisher’s rules on this. As a student, you cannot reuse content from one essay in another without citing that you have previously used it. Freelance writers often write on similar topics for multiple clients. Your clients want original work, and they own the work you created for them, and for which they paid you. Although you wrote the words, you cannot reuse them without permission. Mosaic plagiarism or patchwork plagiarism Mosaic or patchwork plagiarism is taking someone’s sentences or phrases and inserting them throughout your work without using quotation marks, and without using proper citation. It includes rewording or paraphrasing the material whilst at the same time keeping the same sentence structure of the original source. How to avoid plagiarism Be confident in your own writing skills and your unique perspective As mentioned above, some instances of plagiarism occur because writers are new and not yet confident in their subject or their writing skills. They are learning their craft, and learning the subject they are writing about, and much of this learning is done by looking at the work of others who seem to express so easily exactly what they would like to say. In those circumstances it might seem easy to copy a few perfect sentences or turns of phrase. But instead, be confident in your own ideas and your own way of expressing them. We all have something to offer, an opinion, or unique perspective or point of view. You’ll become more confident in including these in your writing the more you practise the art of writing, and the more you learn and write about your subject. Know when to exercise caution if you employ virtual assistants, ghostwriters, or freelancers Claiming you didn’t know the work written by your freelancer, ghostwriter, or virtual assistant was not original is not a valid defence. Make sure the people you employ to create work for you are aware of the potentially serious consequences of plagiarism for both of you – for your careers and credibility. And make sure they know your policy regarding crediting the work of others. Do you have a checklist you can provide for them as a reminder? If not, create a document that shows exactly how you want them to quote or cite and reference etc. in the work they create for you. If you’re using a site such as Fiverr where you can get blog posts or articles for a very small sum in a short space of time, exercise caution and check the work before you publish it. There are many good writers on these sites who are simply starting out as writers and earning a small income before they get established, but there may be others who are not as genuine and who will pass work on to you that is, wholly or partly, reused or copied from elsewhere – be careful. Automatic plagiarism checkers make it easy to check the written work you commission is original. It’s also worth keeping in mind that for good quality original work you should expect to pay more. Use consistent note-taking techniques to help avoid plagiarism If you’re making notes in Word or any other electronic note-taking system, immediately highlight any text/quotes etc in yellow (or a different colour of your choice) so it’s obvious you didn’t write it. Include a link to the original source, or notes about the book, other printed sources, so you can go back and reference your sources properly before you publish. You could do the same on paper with a highlighter pen – or write the copied text in a different colour. Know how to use citations properly, and credit all your sources Very often, plagiarism occurs simply because of a lack of knowledge about how to credit original sources correctly, rather than the intent to deceive and pass off another’s work as your own. Use your own words and ideas as much as you can, and make sure you know and follow your university’s, employer’s, or publisher’s guidelines for citation style. If in doubt, cite. Use a plagiarism checker Plagiarism checkers show you whether your text contains any duplicated content. Anyone who creates original written content can also check to see if someone has copied parts of their work. If you put your work through a plagiarism checker and find apparently duplicated copy, don’t panic, it doesn’t automatically mean that the content identified is plagiarised. Use the checker as a tool to help you find anything you might have missed. Look at the parts highlighted as identical or very similar to other content – do they need citations, or quotation marks? Maybe you forgot to put them in. If you think you’ve quoted or copied something but not credited it, do a simple internet search and see if you can find the original source. It may be that the expression or extract highlighted is simply a commonly used expression and not something copied from another person’s work. Summary The consequences of plagiarism can be serious even if it is unintentional. It can be easy to commit plagiarism whether out of forgetfulness, or a lack of knowledge about the correct way to credit your sources. Always err on the side of caution and provide citations for words and ideas that are not your own. Refer to your university’s guidelines - or whomever you are writing for. Adopt a careful note-taking process that will help you minimize the potential for inadvertently passing off another’s work as your own. And don’t forget it’s possible to plagiarise your own work! Passing your work through a good plagiarism checker will help you identify any missing citations or quotation marks.
  5. Love the website so far the interface is seamless :) One thing that would be really great is an ability to turn on a "bland word" checker where it would search for bland words in the writing ie: good, bad, said and it would highlight them and recommend better words ie: instead of bad = horrendous or said =stated. Anyways, keep up the good word :)
  6. What do you mean? The app is ad editor.typely.com
  7. Where is the app????????? Can't find online?????
  8. Elf

    loosing my works

    Thanks for responding, I've gotten everything back. Elf
  9. romeo

    loosing my works

    what exactly do you mean? Your work is not saved?
  10. Not able to return to my work(s). elf
  11. Then, of course, there are the double contractions, perfectly understandable by most-every English speaker, yet just as universally declared as inappropriate to use in the written word. Such as, I wouldn't've known better, if Ms McCarthy hadn't learnt it into us good... Did you boys steal that pie? ... "'Twasn't any of us, Ma'am" Almost always, the double-contraction is an ordinary contraction, negated. {---} + not + have. The second example is particularly hard to decide, it being such a common Americanism. And there are the entirely linguistic contractions that no one attempts to spell out: 'was' + 'his' ... as in "That was's name, yessiree". Obviously, no one uses the "Was's" form But that IS how a large minority of the public would actually say it. Anyway... a minor in linguistics aside, I rather like using contractions these days in most of my writing, when appropriate. Why not. Life is short, and we really aught to have fun writing, especially since it seems to be something of a dying Art. GoatGuy 1/22/2020
  12. In this post we first look at what adverbs are and what they do, along with some examples of adverbs in use. We’ll see how adverbs can be very useful in our writing and, conversely, how they can also be a problem - especially if they are overused. Finally, we’ll look at when, and where, we should consider pruning them from our writing. INTRODUCTION “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice As I was writing this post about the much-maligned adverb, and thinking about how valuable, or problematic, this part of language is for writers, it occurred to me that much like Jane Austen’s universally acknowledged truth about wealthy single men, it seems it’s a universally acknowledged truth that adverbs are a problem – that they should be avoided, entirely if possible, and sought out and ruthlessly pruned from our writing. Perhaps an appropriately similar quote would go something like this… It is a truth universally acknowledged that writing in possession of too many adverbs must be in want of some pruning/editing! I expect you have read a great deal of advice that recommends avoiding over-using adverbs in your writing, especially with regard to creative writing. Mark Twain complained of an “adverb plague”, and according to Kingsley Amis, if you are using an adverb, you have got the verb wrong. But probably the most quoted advice is from the writer Stephen King I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout if from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day . . . fifty the day after that . . . and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s — GASP!! — too late. But are adverbs really such a problem? Should we purge them from our writing, or should we celebrate them as a perfectly good and useful part of language, and an essential part of the writer’s set of tools? First, let’s take a quick look at what adverbs are, and what they do. What are adverbs and what do they do? Adverbs are words that modify (describe) verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. They provide us with additional information and describe the way something happens or happened. They can tell us things such as how, when, and where something happens, and to what extent or under what conditions. For example: She sings beautifully. I write in my journal daily. He writes very well. We saw her yesterday morning. We’re looking for somewhere to stay in France. We’ve never been to Paris. Some examples of common adverbs ‘How’ adverbs badly carefully cheerfully expertly quietly well ‘When’ adverbs afterwards – They met in May 2009 and got engaged shortly afterwards. daily early monthly never now often regularly soon still then today – Are you working today? ‘Where’ adverbs here – The countdown to Christmas starts here. outside somewhere there – I emigrated from the UK in 1992 and I haven’t been back there since. ‘Adverbs showing the extent of something extremely – She did extremely well in her exams. quite terribly – Would you mind terribly if we didn’t come to your party next week? very Adverbs modifying verbs Our greenhouse was badly damaged in the storm. He walked home slowly. He gets up early every day. I’m sorry, I must go. My train will be arriving soon. She stepped carefully into the steaming bath. Adverbs modifying adjectives He drives a very fast car. My grandfather was an extremely tall, thin man. Our boss expects us to work impossibly long hours. Adverbs modifying other adverbs My train arrived unexpectedly early. He ate his food extremely quickly. Many adverbs end in -ly These are formed by adding –ly to an adjective. For example: beautiful – beautifully bold – boldly eager - eagerly slow – slowly quiet - quietly If the adjective ends in a ‘y’ you need to change the ‘y’ to an ‘i’ and then add -ly. For example: angry – angrily cosy - cosily easy – easily moody – moodily ready - readily steady – steadily Some adverbs have the same form as adjectives, for example: fast hard late well wrong daily, weekly, monthly, yearly For and against adverbs The main argument against adverbs is that they can make your writing weak by littering it with unnecessary words. However, as we have seen above, we need some adverbs - those that tell us things like how, when and where, and to what extent etc., something happens. We also need linking adverbs – these are words such as ‘therefore’, ‘however’, ‘nevertheless’, ‘whereas’, and ‘while’, that enable us to do things such as connect or contrast ideas and emphasize contrasting points or arguments. Adverbs can add meaning, clarification, colour, depth and interest to your writing. Used properly, they strengthen your writing. If a character in your story is singing, you can give your reader more information with adverbs… Elsie sang quietly to herself as she folded her baby’s clothes. You can use adverbs to create sentences that create a picture for your readers, or that evoke an emotion: “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams” – from The Cloths of Heaven, W.B. Yeats “…or if your wish be to close me, i and my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly…” – from somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond, by e. e. cummings How to identify and cut unnecessary adverbs from your writing Locate the adverbs in your writing – and see how removing each one affects its sentence. Ask yourself whether, without the adverb, the sentence has less impact and its meaning is now less clear. If so, keep the adverb in, or think of a stronger word or expression to replace the adverb. Conversely, if by removing an adverb you feel a sentence’s clarity and impact for your reader has now improved, feel free to unceremoniously eject the offending adverb from your writing. Here are a few things to look out for… Adverb/verb combinations Adverb/verb combinations can sometimes be better written with a single (stronger) verb, e.g. ‘She ran quickly up the stairs’ could be ‘She sprinted up the stairs.’. ‘He walked quickly through the graveyard and into the church’. Depending on your character and the effect you want, perhaps this could be better written as… ‘He strode through the graveyard and into the church.’ walked slowly – ambled smiled cheerfully – grinned Intensifiers Intensifiers are words such as, absolutely, completely, definitely, extremely, highly, really, so, totally, truly, and utterly. They are very common in speech… Oh my God, this song is totally amazing. Her wedding dress was absolutely gorgeous. …but ‘amazing’, and ‘gorgeous’ are strong descriptive words that most likely don’t need those modifiers in your writing, unless you are writing very informally, or you are writing a character’s speech. My father was extremely angry when I got home late. Here, ‘extremely angry’ could be replaced with a strong adjective like ‘livid’. The hurricane completely obliterated the town. The intensifier ‘totally’ is redundant here because if something is obliterated it is already wiped out or utterly destroyed. Redundant or repetitive adverbs Other redundant or repetitive adverbs include descriptors such as: she screamed loudly – ‘loudly’ is redundant because a scream is usually understood to be loud he smiled happily – ‘happily’ is redundant because it’s generally accepted that a smile is happy. An adverb would be an appropriate addition to ‘smile’ if you want to convey something other than happiness, e.g. sarcasm, malice, or fear. Conclusion Very often, adverbs are useful because they are helping you define and clarify meaning. But sometimes they are redundant, and excessive, and are simply literary litter to be deleted posthaste. It’s impossible to completely avoid using adverbs, but when you check for them in your writing consider each one’s value and the work it’s doing for you and your reader. Consider which ones are unnecessary and can be removed where doing so will improve your writing, and which ones should stay because they are earning their keep. Don’t automatically assume that adverbs must be avoided at all costs – after all, it’s your writing, your unique style, and your audience. But certainly, do use adverbs wisely and remove them judiciously – use them, but don’t overuse them. Finally, let’s finish with a positive shout-out for adverbs… “I adore adverbs; they are the only qualifications I very much respect.” Henry James
  13. Hi... Is my first time in Typely, I am learning writing in English , and this is an excellent tool for me. This allow me correct my writings in the most practical issues, except Grammar. My QUESTION OR SUGGESTION IS: WHY DONT YOU HAVE A BOTTON OR ICON FOR ERASE/DISMISS OR ERASE DOCUMENT, NEXT TO THE RED OPTION IN RESULTS WHERE SAYS: SAVE YOUR DOCUMENT , Maybe you could add next to this the option : ERASE DOCUMENT ???? PLEASE? Because I do not find the option to erase the doc and sustitute for another one quickly withpoit save. So, in my case, I use interchange documents frequently, adn I think this option could be very useful for all users of Typely. Thank you so much for your Excellent Program.... Sounds and Pomodoro included...!!!! Sorry, I forget another suggstion>>> could you add an Icon to erase or dismiss your suggestions of correction highligted in the text? I mean, with out disable the results (blue round botton). Because this erase all the possible errors higlighted, and not just the one we want overlook. (Like in Grammarly?), sorry. Thank you so much Felix
  14. This post looks at redundancy in writing: what it is, why you should avoid it, whether it’s always a bad thing, and how to identify it in your writing. It also includes a list of common examples of redundancy. Etymology: from Latin redundant, redundāns, present participle of redundāre - to overflow What is redundancy? Redundancy in writing is the unnecessary repetition or duplication of words, phrases, sentences, ideas and information etc. - anything that could be omitted without loss of significance or meaning. A simple example would be something like: We also went to Cambodia too. also and too have the same meaning and therefore one of those words is redundant. We can omit one of them without losing any meaning. What potential problems does redundancy cause? "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." – French writer and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupery Superfluous words make your writing less succinct. They’re distracting for your reader and can confuse meaning. Words and information that add unnecessary length, but nothing else, simply make your writing longer while contributing nothing to its quality. Is redundancy always a bad thing? Although the word redundancy carries negative connotations, and as we’ve seen it can affect the quality of your writing, redundancy/repetition is also a linguistically sound way of showing emphasis in your writing. It can be used for rhetorical effect to draw your readers attention to certain words, ideas, and information. It’s also useful for reducing the scope for readers to misunderstand or misinterpret your words. And although it’s more common to use repetition in speech, where the possibility for a listener to misunderstand is greater than for a reader, repetition in writing is still a useful tactic. If a message is entirely without redundancy, if it contains ONLY that which is strictly necessary, it’s easy to lose or radically change the meaning in that message when even a minor error is made. And last but not least, redundancy can help with the rhythm of your sentences making your writing easier to read. Examples of redundancy Below are some common examples of redundant words. Some have a brief explanation, but in general no explanations are needed because the redundancy is clear. 1. new innovation – an innovation is a new idea or product etc. so there is no need to add the word new With redundancy: A new innovation designed to improve surgical and medical procedures... Without redundancy: An innovation designed to improve surgical and medical procedures … 2. advance warning - a warning is already advance notification about something; the word advance is superfluous here 3. blend together 4. briefly summarize 5. close proximity 6. collaborate together 7. completely finished 8. consensus of opinion 9. end result 10. evolve over time 11. exactly the same 12. free gift – a gift is already something given free of charge 13. longer or shorter in length – longer or shorter 14. past history – we already know history is something that occurred in the past 15. plan ahead - planning is already preparation for future events and outcomes 16. postpone until later - to postpone is to put off until a later date 17. repeat again – we only need *repeat* here 18. revert back to – and here we only need *revert* 19. unexpected surprise – a surprise is something that happens unexpectedly 20. 6.00 a.m. in the morning - a.m. already tells your reader it’s in the morning 21. A total of fifty runners took part in the marathon. “A total of” is superfluous. “Fifty runners took part in the marathon” is succinct. Many of these phrases - like free gift and end result - are common enough that we now don’t give them a second thought. The ubiquitous free gift is so familiar as to be largely unquestioned (except perhaps among the slightly more pedantic). And I think it’s now even expected that the word ‘free’ is added to avoid any doubt that something is free of charge. Redundant acronym phrases You’ve probably heard people say “PIN number”, or even said it yourself. I know I have! The acronym PIN stands for Personal Identification Number – the numerical code used in electronic financial transactions. So, “PIN number” - which translates as personal identification number number - is a good example of redundancy. ATM machine - automatic teller machine machine - is another good example. A redundancy of this type is known as a redundant acronym phrase (RAP), and its use is known as redundant acronym syndrome (RAS). Or, self-referentially, as an “RAP phrase” and “RAS syndrome”! Other RAPs include: HIV virus - human immunodeficiency virus virus LAN network - local area network network LCD display - liquid crystal display display The above are just a few examples of redundancy, but they should give you an idea of what to look out for in your writing. How to find examples of redundancy in your writing Check your work for potential redundancies with online proofreading software which will flag up any repetition for you to check and edit if necessary. You can also go through your finished document yourself using proofreading techniques to check for superfluous content that can be cut out or improved. An excellent way to identify redundancy is to read your work out loud. Any instances of repetition or duplication should be obvious. As you’re proofreading, consider whether you really do need technically redundant words for emphasis. And whether repeated information could be removed without affecting your meaning.
  15. Hi, I opened this topic to say that I like this online editor, and I find it to be the best out there. Thank you to the developers of this awesome editor.
  16. Hello Rich, thanks for stopping by. I will allow it to read much bigger chunks but for the premium plan because it is costly for us too.
  17. You already have the best vocal read back I’ve heard. Hope you expand it to handle chapter-size chunks, or at least a larger portion than it is now. So helpful after multiple edits.
  18. i might be wrong https://github.com/defmethodinc/just-not-sorry
  19. A common mistake due to the pronunciation of could've would've and should've is to write it incorrectly as could of would of and should of. This should be linted to return either 've or have.
  20. romeo

    Plagiarism checker

    A huge portion of our audience are students doing essay editing. A plagiarism checker makes a lot of sense and is in the works for the next version.
  21. romeo

    Speech to text

    Feature that allows users to use a microphone and dictate to Typely which will use AI to identify and send back the spoken words. The feature will have to include some trigger words or sentences to manipulate the content such as: new sentence (period) new phrase punctuation formatting shortcuts The speech-to-text feature is highly requested as it brings a lot of benefits such as: faster typing (writers can be up to 3 times faster compared to normal typing) you can work literally anywhere without issues it integrates very well with mobile phones where typing is hard/slow
  22. If you're a writer, you're probably always looking for some way to get ahead in the game. What if I told you that there was one technique that could take your regular writing and make it pop? This technique is simple, anyone can use it to make their writing more effective, exciting and most importantly, professional. What is this technique? It's called writing in an active voice. You might have heard the words passive voice and active voice before when it comes to writing, but what exactly do these words mean? Simply put, an active voice is a sentence where the subject is performing an action. Grammatically speaking, we would look a sentence like this Tom hugged Sally. If we look at the breakdown of this sentence, we can see that Tom is the subject, hugged is the action and Sally is the object. Subjection + Action + Object. The active voice is more alive and exciting than the passive voice. The active voice conveys a sense of action and movement, it makes the writing stronger and gives it a better punch. Let's rearrange the sentence a little bit to find out how the passive voice would read. Sally was hugged by Tom Here, we find that everything is backward. Sally is now the subject, the action is being hugged and it doesn't have a lot of action to it. She's simply receiving an action and there's no amount of punch or energy to it Sally is entirely passive. That's where we get the word passive voice. The subject is active in the first sentence, but passive in the second sentence. This is a very simplified example, we will look at some more things that qualify a passive sentence a little later on. First, we must ask the hard question, why avoid passive voice? Sometimes rules of language can be a little confusing and no one wants to adhere to arbitrary constraints on language. However, the simple explanation of why you should avoid passive voice is all about style more than anything. Style determines how a person perceives your work. When the language is passive, few people will be impacted by the strength of the writing. When there is energy in your words, you will convey a stronger sense of urgency. Compare these two sentences below and determine which one reads better to you: Jacob charged at the troll with his sword. Vs The troll was charged at by Jacob. Quickly, you can see that there is a significant amount of energy in the first sentence. This conveys a sense of action, impact, and strength. The second sentence isn't wrong on a grammatical sense, but stylistically, it lacks the punch and energy of the first one When you are writing, your biggest challenge is drawing people into your words. Your words can either draw people in or push them away. If you don't avoid passive voice, you run the risk of boring your readers. If a reader becomes bored, you run the risk of them moving on to read something else. There are millions of things that a person could be reading with the click of a button, so there is no reason for them to engage with a work that isn't rewarding to them. This fact alone should motivate you to want to keep your voice as an active as possible. So let's talk about some more rules that will help you identify passive voice in your writing. The easiest way to identify a passive voice is to always follow the “to-be” rule. There are various forms of to-be words such as is, was, are, were, have been, has been, will, will, etc. These words are the gateway to quickly identifying a sentence that is passive. The rule is simple, if a to-be word is followed by a past participle, then the sentence is passive. A past participle, if you don't remember, is a verb that ends in an -ed such as loved, hugged, touched, etc. When you combine a to-be word with a past participle, you are most likely going to be finding out that your sentence is indeed written in the passive voice. Susan was grabbed by the pirate. The pirate had been stabbed by Susan's protector. Susan was being saved by the handsome rogue. All of these sentences are passive, and while they are functional in the fact that they convey information, they don't carry a lot of energy and excitement. Revising these sentences doesn't take much effort and provides you with a considerable amount of forward motion in your writing. This captures the imagination and can excite those who are reading. Remember, the more visceral and alive your work is, the better. The pirate grabbed hold of Susan. Susan's protector lunged forward and stabbed the pirate. The handsome rogue saved Susan. See how much more energy comes across in these words? They are basic changes to the structure of the sentence, but they are arranged in the correct order. The best way to avoid passive voice is to make a habit to start evaluating your writing every day. Look for the simple combination of to-be words and past participles to determine if your writing is passive or not. Once you get in the habit of identifying them, all you have to do is rearrange the structure and your writing will take on a much stronger voice. You must remember that when it comes to learning to write in the active voice at all times, that practice will make perfect. Writing is nothing more than a collection of habits and inclinations. Your writing habits are shaped by the discipline and importance that you place upon writing itself. If you don't see the passive voice as something to avoid, you will never work to get rid of it however, if you understand and respect the active voice, if you make sure that you earnestly believe that the passive voice is inferior, you will have a much easier time getting into the discipline of sitting down and rooting out the passive voice. Practice as much as you can, each time you find yourself writing in the passive voice, stop and rewrite it then remind yourself why you are rewriting. Remember, the best type of writing is the kind that can draw readers in and active voice is the best choice for that.
  23. A contraction, or short form, is an abbreviated form of a word or words, from which one or more letters have been left out and replaced by an apostrophe. They're very common in conversational spoken English. For example, when speaking informally we usually say words such as ‘I am’ as ‘I'm’, ‘he is’ as ‘he’s’, ‘it is’ as ‘it's’, and ‘we will’ as ‘we'll’. What about contractions in written English? Informal writing Informal writing is very much like a spoken conversation because you’re writing as you would speak. So contractions are also very common in informal written English such as personal letters, emails, text messages to close friends and family, and postcards. Contractions can also be used in business correspondence such as letters, emails, and email newsletters, where you want to communicate with clients or customers in a friendly, conversational tone. Blog posts are almost always written in an informal way, as are many longer online articles, and so contractions are common in both. Depending on your audience, website content such as Home and About pages are also usually written informally. Fiction writing Contractions are common in fiction writing, both in dialogue and normal prose. The playwright George Bernard Shaw famously didn’t use the apostrophe for contractions in his fiction writing, preferring to write ‘dont’ instead of ‘don’t’, ‘wouldnt’ instead of ‘wouldn’t’, ‘cant’ instead of ‘can’t’, and so on. Equally famously, author Lewis Carroll took things to the other extreme with extra apostrophes; writing ‘ca’n’t’ instead of ‘can’t’, ‘sha’n’t’ instead of ‘shan’t’ (shall not), and so on! Formal writing Style guides and recommendations for the use of contractions in formal writing vary, but the general advice is that you shouldn’t use them. So, for example, instead of ‘it’s’, we should use ‘it is’, and instead of ‘didn’t’’, we should use ‘did not’. However, there are varying degrees of formality, and contractions are increasingly accepted in formal writing because they make the writing more natural, and easier to read. The best advice is to write in the style most appropriate to your specific audience, and in the style which is required or recommended by the context, profession, business, or institution you’re writing for. Academic writing Academic writing, which would normally be included under formal writing, does at times use a more informal tone with some contractions, for example in some course books and scholarly articles. But for university assignments and research papers you will almost certainly be required to write formally, using long rather than short forms of words. And of course many other academic texts, technical writing, and legal documents, etc., are also expected to be very precise and formal, with only long forms of words used. So, what are some of the most common contractions? Common English Contractions First of all, and as we said above, in written English the apostrophe ( ’ ) is used to replace the missing letter or letters in contractions. For example: am becomes ’m are becomes ’re had becomes ’d has becomes ’s have becomes ’ve is becomes ’s will becomes ’ll would becomes ’d List of common English contractions Long form Contraction/short form I am I'm he is he's it is it's she is she's they are they're we are we're you are you're I have I've it has it's he has he's she has she's they have they've you have you've we have we've I had I'd it had it'd he had he'd she had she'd they had they'd you had you'd we had we'd Question words + 'is' Long form Contraction/short form how is how's what is what's when is when's where is where's who is who's why is why's Negative Contractions Long form Contraction/short form are not aren't were not weren't do not don't did not didn't has not hasn't have not haven't had not hadn't is not isn't was not wasn't can not can't could not couldn't must not mustn't might not mightn't shall not shan't should not shouldn't will not won't would not won't Example sentences using common English contractions he'll – he will Do you think he'll pass his driving test? I'll – I will I'll see you next week. I'm – I am I'm going for a walk. I'm hungry - can we eat now, please? it's – it is It’s freezing outside! she'd/he’d – she/he would or she/he had a) I wish she'd told me she wasn’t coming. (she had) b) Do you think he’d like to come to our party? (he would) Contractions are used often in negative sentences. For example: aren't – are not Why aren’t you answering your phone? can't – can not I can't find my glasses anywhere. didn't - did not They didn't tell me the meeting was cancelled. hasn't - has not He hasn't been in touch for over a month. mustn't - must not You mustn't be late for work shouldn't - should not I shouldn't have eaten so much! won't – will not My husband’s been feeling ill for days, but he won’t go to the doctor. wouldn't - would not My dad wouldn't let me drive his car. Questions words + ‘is’ What's the time? (what is) Where's my newspaper? (where is) When's your wedding? (when is) Who's coming to your wedding? (who is) Summary Contractions (or short forms) are abbreviated forms of a word or words, from which one or more letters have been left out and replaced by an apostrophe. They're very common in spoken English and many forms of informal writing, and are increasingly accepted in more formal writing. However, in some formal writing such as university assignments it’s still considered inappropriate to include contractions. Write for your audience and your purpose, and follow any guidance you have been given by the profession, business, or institution you’re writing for.
  24. How confident do you feel about using English phrasal verbs correctly? If you’re a non-native English speaker, the prospect of mastering the use of these frustrating, but very common and very useful, parts of language might fill you with dread! I know English language learners often worry about learning how to use them correctly. But if you’re a native English speaker, there’s a good chance you use them many times a day without giving them a second thought. And although they’re very familiar to you, it’s possible you might not even know what these much-used parts of language are called. Here’s a very brief explanation and reminder if you need one… What is a phrasal verb? Phrasal verbs are also sometimes called multi-word verbs. They’re used just like other verbs and are a combination of a verb, such as ‘talk’ or ‘run’, plus one or two particles (an adverb or a preposition), that results in a new word or unit of meaning. Examples of common phrasal verbs: buy out call off cool off eat up fall for freshen up hit it off look after pull out run out sell up show off step up soup up talk over write off Phrasal verbs are particularly common in normal conversation. Using phrasal verbs in your informal speech makes it sound more natural, and if you’re a non-native English speaker, using them makes your speech much more like that of a native English speaker. But what about phrasal verbs in writing? Phrasal verbs are also very common in informal writing where the style of the writing is similar to a spoken conversation. In informal writing you’re writing very much as you speak and, according to the context, your writing may include slang, idioms, colloquial expressions, abbreviations, contractions, and of course, many phrasal verbs. Because of their frequent occurrence in informal speech and writing, it’s not unreasonable to think that phrasal verbs are always informal. You may have read that phrasal verbs should be avoided in formal writing, and that the single verb equivalents should be used instead. While to some extent that’s true, the reality is more complicated. Phrasal verbs in formal writing There are many phrasal verbs that can and also should be used in formal writing. You will often see them used in many quite formal and formal texts such as business letters, academic writing, scientific papers, technical papers, legal documents, news reports, and official government documents. Before we move on to examples of phrasal verbs that are useful and appropriate for formal writing, let’s look at language register for a moment... ‘Register’ is the term we use to refer to different varieties or styles of speaking and writing, and also the degree or level of formality with which we speak or write. Degree of formality is on a sliding scale rather than in distinct categories, and although phrasal verbs are often thought of as an informal part of language, most of them are neutral, and some are in fact rather formal. Some phrasal verbs are definitely informal, for example: beaver away – work hard for a long time belt out - sing or play a musical instrument very loudly harp on – talk non-stop about something in a boring or annoying way pig out - eat a lot of or too much food In your formal writing, you should of course avoid phrasal verbs that are at the informal end of register, and steer clear of slang phrasal verbs, and those that would be considered by many to be offensive. A good phrasal verb dictionary will tell you which phrasal verbs are informal, slang, or offensive. It's true that very often, single verbs are more formal and therefore are more appropriate for formal writing than their phrasal verb equivalents. Some examples of these are: Single verb/Phrasal Verb constitute/make up calculate/work out cause/bring about discover/find out discuss/talk about emerge/come out eradicate/stamp out increase/go up maintain/keep up organize/set up propose/put forward select/pick out However, most phrasal verbs are neutral, neither informal or formal, and in general there’s no reason to specify they shouldn’t be used in formal writing. In fact, in some cases it’s more appropriate to use a phrasal verb in place of a single verb. For example, the phrasal verb ‘carry out’: “Researchers carried out a survey into …” sounds much better for formal writing than “Researchers did a survey into …” At the other end of the formality register, there are phrasal verbs that are so formal they’re only used in very formal or serious speech or writing. If you were to use them in informal writing they would very strange and out of place. Examples of formal phrasal verbs adhere to appertain to ascribe to disabuse of emanate from/to depart from engage in enlarge on/upon enter on/upon offend against permit of pertain to provide against set forth As always with writing, context is everything – remember to use the language most appropriate to your audience. Your university, organization, etc. will most probably have a guide to the language you should use for formal writing, including their preferences for using phrasal verbs or their single verb equivalents. Summary Often, single verbs are more formal than phrasal verbs and therefore can be more appropriate for formal writing than their phrasal verb equivalents. Nevertheless, phrasal verbs are very common in formal writing. Offensive, slang, and informal phrasal verbs are not appropriate for formal writing. Most phrasal verbs are neutral and therefore, in general, there’s no reason to specify they shouldn’t be used in formal writing. Some phrasal verbs are so formal they’re only used in very formal or serious writing. Yes, you can use phrasal verbs in formal writing, as long as you choose those that are the most suitable for your context or audience.
  25. their, there, they’re (/ðɛː/) ‘Their’, ‘there’, and ‘they’re’ are commonly misspelled and used incorrectly in writing, even by native English speakers. It’s easily done because they’re homophones - words that are pronounced the same, but are spelt differently and have different meanings. The word ‘homophone’ comes from Greek homóphõnos homo same – phõné sound However, although these three words sound the same, they have very different meanings, and so it’s important to use them correctly. For example: their – Their car is blue. there – It's parked over there. they're – They're going to buy a new car soon. THEIR ‘their’ is a determiner meaning belonging to, or associated with, people, animals, or things previously mentioned, or easily identified. It’s nearly always followed by a noun. For example: their children their car their house Example sentences using ‘their’: I could use some ideas about the best ways to help my children with their homework. The couple and their accomplice were eventually caught red-handed. Have you seen their new house? This is their car, and this is ours. We also use it as a gender-neutral alternative to ‘his’ or ‘her’. For example: Someone left their coat in the bar last night. Who finished their dinner first? Anyone who cares about their writing should proofread and edit it carefully. Some people dislike the use of ‘their’ as a gender-neutral substitute as they feel it’s ungrammatical. But it's now become widely used in this way and generally accepted as a natural part of language use. THERE there – in, at, or to, that place I had a great time in Malta. I’d like to go there again. there – used to introduce the subject of a sentence There’s someone at the door. There were too many people on the bus to work this morning. get there – arrive somewhere It took us more than five hours to drive home in the snow. I thought we’d never get there. THEY'RE ‘They’re’ is a contraction of ‘they are’ - the ‘a’ from ‘are’ is replaced by an apostrophe. ‘They’ is a pronoun used to refer to a group of people, animals or things that have already been mentioned, or are easily identified. Example sentences using ‘they’re’ I saw Marie and David last week. Did you know they’re getting married? They’re getting here around six o’clock If they said they didn’t know what they were doing, they’re lying. My parents said they’re going to Nice for their holiday. Example sentences that have their, there, and they’re in the same sentence Their parents live in Canada and they’re flying to Quebec to be there with them for their fortieth wedding anniversary. When they get there, they’re staying in a hotel with their extended family. They’re staying there for ten days and then travelling to visit their friends in Montreal. They’re hoping to have time to visit all their favourite places while they’re there. How do I know if I’m using their, there, and they’re correctly? Mistakes made by confusing ‘their’, ‘there’ and ‘they’re’ in your writing are not usually picked up by proofreading software because although you may have used a word inappropriately in a sentence, if it's spelt correctly the software doesn't recognise it as an error. So, how do you know if you’re using them correctly? In most cases, the following tips should help you decide if you’re using the right word in the right place... THEIR: Try replacing ‘their’ with ‘our’ in your sentence. Does it still make sense? If it does, then you’re using it correctly. For example: Their parents live in Canada. Our parents live in Canada. Have you seen their new baby? Have you seen our new baby? THERE: Try replacing ‘there’ with ‘here’. Does your sentence still make sense? If it does, then it’s correct. THEY’RE: For ‘they’re’, does your sentence still make sense if you replace ‘they’re’ with ‘they are’? If it does, then it’s correct. A final word from their, there, and they're … Remember, they’re easy to mix up because their sound is the same, but their meanings are different. Proofreading software won’t help you identify when you’re using them incorrectly but, for most cases, there are questions you can ask yourself to test whether you have the right word.
  26. An explanation of the definite and indefinite articles in English, and how we use them. With example sentences. What is an article? Articles are a part of grammar often included in the word class determiner. In English, there are two articles: the indefinite article, a/an, and the definite article, the. We use the to refer to something specific, and a/an to refer to something non-specific or general. For example, if we say, “He’s married to an English woman.”, this could refer to any English woman, we don’t know specific which one he’s married to. If we say, “He’s married to the English woman.”, we know which specific English woman he is married to. Indefinite articles: 'a' and 'an' Let’s have a closer look at the indefinite articles 'a' and 'an'. 'a' and 'an' are used to modify non-specific countable nouns. We don’t use them with plural nouns or uncountable nouns. For example: “Let's watch a DVD.” We have more than one DVD we could watch, but we don't yet know which one we will choose. “She ate a banana.” There are probably several bananas, but we don't know which specific banana she ate. “She read a book.” There are many books, but we don't know which specific one she read. “His son really wants a ride in a helicopter for his birthday.” This could be a ride in any helicopter. “I’d love to go and see an opera this Christmas.” This is referring to any opera, not a specific opera. 'a' and 'an' are also used when we refer to what someone is, or what job they do. Here are some examples: She’s an airline pilot. He's an electrician. She's a university student. He's a Muslim. But remember, they are not used with uncountable nouns or plural nouns. For example: He likes brown bread (uncountable noun) He loves fast cars (plural noun) We use 'a' before words that start with a consonant or consonant sound. For example: a government a bird a book a horse a language a library a university - /ˌjuːnɪˈvɜː(r)səti/ a European - /ˌjʊərəˈpiːən/ We use 'an' before words that start with a vowel or vowel sound. For example: an apple an engine an English lesson an exam an honour - /ˈɒnə(r)/ an hour - /ˈaʊə(r)/ Where the noun is modified by an adjective, you use 'a' or 'an' depending on whether the adjective starts with a consonant or consonant sound, or a vowel or vowel sound. For example: a red car a terrible accident a difficult exam an exciting party an interesting job an action-packed football match Definite article: 'the' Now, let’s have a look at definite article ‘the’. 'the' is used to modify specific nouns when it’s clear what is being referred to. It can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns. For example: “On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon.” We only have one moon, so we know which specific moon is being referred to here. “The English course for beginners starts next Tuesday.” A specific English course starts next Tuesday. “They were lost in the Sahara Desert for four days.” There is only one Sahara Desert. “We went on a boat trip on the Danube.” There is only one Danube river. “She sailed solo across the Atlantic.” “Can you pass me the hammer and nails, please?” Examples of the definite article used with uncountable nouns. “Who's used all the bread?” “The weather has been gorgeous all weekend.” “The scenery around our hotel was amazing.” "I don’t have the courage to do a parachute jump.” Incidentally, according to the Oxford English Corpus, 'the' also happens to be the word that occurs most frequently in written English. Omission of Articles Some nouns don't take an article before them. For example, we do not use an article when referring to: the names of sports: e.g. hockey, football, tennis, ice-skating, swimming. academic subjects: e.g. geography, history, English literature, physics. the names of languages and nationalities: e.g. Italian, Chinese, English, French, Mandarin, Polish, Catalan. Note: If you are referring to the population of a country or nation, an article is used. For example: The French, The Chinese. "The French are well known for their excellent food." the names of countries, territories or islands: e.g. Holland, Peru, Latvia, New Zealand, Easter Island. Note: There are some exceptions to this. For example, the US/the United States, the Caribbean, the Philippines, the Netherlands. the names of continents: e.g. Africa, Asia, Europe. the names of cities or towns: e.g. London, Moscow, Sydney, Athens. Some languages have complex systems of articles relating to gender, person, number, and case, whereas other languages have no definite or indefinite articles at all. The English language only has 'a/an' and 'the' to learn and remember so, in theory at least, they should be straightforward to learn and use. Nevertheless, remembering their correct use and non-use can still be quite difficult for learners of English. Remember… We use the indefinite article 'a/an' to talk about something that is not specific or definite. We use the definite article ‘the’ to talk about something specific. Indefinite: “I’m going to eat an apple.” This could be any apple, we don’t know which one. Definite: “I’m going to eat the apple.” We do know which apple I’m going to eat. If you can remember these two rules, you’re off to a very good start mastering English articles 'a/an' and 'the'.
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