Language Arts

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Boosting Your Vocabulary for Standardized Tests

During the years of your formal education, you face numerous standardized tests — at least in the U.S. school system. The following suggestions can help you get your skills up to speed for the reading [more…]

Constructing Your Manga Plot

Following are the basic stages that a manga-ka (a manga artist) uses to create an original plot. The basic stages are widely embraced by the manga-ka community today, and they originate from classical [more…]

Budgeting Your Time to Complete a Research Paper

In a perfect world, writing a major research paper would be such a delightful experience that you would eagerly jump right in and start writing a brilliant paper that's just the right length and completed [more…]

Committing a Few Number-Editing Rules to Memory

Most rules are rife with exceptions in the publishing industry, but a few are so standard and ubiquitous that they're well worth memorizing. One set of rules that are pretty standard is how to deal with [more…]

Quoting Correctly

A quotation is a written repetition of someone else's words — just one word or a whole statement or passage. You see quotations in almost all writing: newspapers, magazines, novels, essays, letters, and [more…]

Knowing Where and When to Have Love Scenes in a Romance Novel

You have to know where to place the love scenes in your book to make them really effective. Even a beautifully written love scene jars the reader when you put it in the wrong place, making her question [more…]

Examining the World of the Technical Writer

People who write technical documents come from all walks of life — and most aren't technical writers per se. Here are some actual situations of people who were called upon to write technical documents [more…]

Surviving Research Paper Disasters

Fifteen books, seven Web sites, and over a hundred articles after you started your research paper, disaster strikes. You find the perfect idea in your notes, but no source or page number. Or, you've got [more…]

Earn More Royalties via Self-Publishing

Major publishers typically pay authors a recoupable advance, plus a pre-determined royalty on book sales as compensation. Writers who self-publish their books, however, must cover all their project's development [more…]

Tuning Into the Market for Romance Novels

Many aspiring writers sit down to tell a story without a clear idea about what kind of story they're writing, whether (and where) a market exists for it, or what they'll do with the manuscript when they're [more…]

Debunking Some Myths about Copyediting and Proofreading

Maybe you're carrying around some archaic images in your skull about what copyediting and proofreading entail. If you assume that taking this career path means you'll be wearing nerdy glasses while forever [more…]

Understanding the Players in the Publishing Game

The core members of any publishing acquisition team are made up of two very different types: The creative, editorial types and the more financially driven sales and marketing types. Generally speaking, [more…]

Tracing the Rise of Manga's Popularity

Although manga (pronounced MAHN-gah or MANG-ah) may seem like a fairly new art form, humorous and satirical illustrations trace back to 12th-century Japan. Although now understood to mean [more…]

Copyediting for Political Correctness

What do Tron, Rubik's Cubes, parachute pants, and political correctness have in common? They all got their start in the 1980s. And while Tron is now a cult classic, Rubik's Cubes are tradeshow freebies [more…]

Designing a Computer-Based Training Process

In any good architecture, the vision drives the details, and the details shape the vision. Therefore, a good outcome depends on a good design. It requires knowledge of how people learn, and it deserves [more…]

Choosing the Right Content for Your Self-Published Book

To ensure that your book targets the appropriate audience, provides information of interest, and stays on target in terms of the content, ask yourself these questions: [more…]

Slipping Between the Covers of a Technical Document

When you prepare a lengthy user manual, include all the information readers need and make the information easy to find. Following are guidelines for what to include. [more…]

Getting Your Arms around a Technical Document

The purpose of writing a technical document is to explain or report on a technical or complex subject. Therefore, unless you're the technical guru writing about something you know intimately, you must [more…]

Establishing a Fictional Character’s History

To better understand a character’s history, or backstory, many fiction writers create entire histories for their characters. When developing a character for a story, determining the character’s personal [more…]

Building Up Your Author Support Network

If you’ve finished writing a novel but aren’t published yet, you should have two goals: to make sure your novel is as good as it can be and to market yourself to agents and editors who can help you get [more…]

Good Ways to Promote Your Novel

Although it’s a wonderful feeling to finally hold your published novel in your hands, it’s an even better feeling to watch your book sell. How exactly do you go about making sure that your novel sells [more…]

Writing Fiction For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Writing fiction is fun, and also full of challenges. A good way to work through the challenges is to outline the histories of your characters, which helps you present them more clearly to readers. Another [more…]

Practising Your ABCs

When you’re learning English as a foreign language, print out and keep this alphabet handy. We include a pronunciation guide to help you say the English letters correctly. [more…]

Counting in English

Counting in English, when English isn’t your native language, is easy to learn with this useful Cheat Sheet and pronunciation guide. Use this Cheat Sheet to practise telephone numbers, currency and people’s [more…]

Practising Greetings and Questions in English

When you’re learning English as a foreign language, practise these greetings and questions to sound like a British native in no time. Remember to tailor your greetings – whether formal or informal – depending [more…]

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