Tips for SCOPE Writers

Here are some common issues that writers face, with suggested solutions.

“I don’t know what to write!”

If you have writer’s block, don’t fret. Just start writing.

Do an outline, or simply type out facts or quotes you want to use. Gradually build sentences from facts, and paragraphs from sentences. Move paragraphs around to create a logical flow. Read, edit, and then do something else. Proofreading after a break, you’ll see your work with fresher eyes.

“I don’t know how to spell!”

Admitting you have difficulty with spelling is the first step. Doing something about it is the second.

The closer to perfection an article is when sent, the more I, and your readers, will enjoy it. While I catch more errors than Spellcheck, I’m not perfect, and editing takes time. The closer to perfection an article is when sent, the more I, and your readers, will enjoy it.

Become a Better Speller

  • Get a dictionary, or use an online resource.
  • Keep a list of your misspelled words, and use it.
  • Come up with your own methods to remember words that give you trouble. For example: related to timE = thEn / compAre = thAn.
  • Don’t split your infinitives or dangle your participles. “To be or not to be” is correct; “To boldly go” is the most-notorious example of a grammar error.
  • Learn these words: its/it’s; they’re/their/there; then/than; your/you’re; to/two/too; prospective/perspective; accommodation; affidavit; affect/effect.
  • Spellcheck can be your enemy. “Spiel cheques dew knot cache awl you’re air oars.”

Proper spelling and word usage will improve your ability to be understood in written communication, increase your professional profile and avoid wasting readers’ time. If you’re unsure, use a dictionary.

Read, bookmark and print-out “Ten words you must stop misspelling”:
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling

Use an active voice

If you can add the words “By Zombies” to a sentence and have it make sense, you are using the PASSIVE voice.

For example: “A report was submitted”… by zombies. (Yep, passive)
“The Treasurer submitted her report.” (By zombies? No way!)

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