Simple, clear help for your writing problems

This blog is about writing problems. More specifically, it’s about helping people to fix their writing problems. To that end, it presents writing-related topics including:

  • Grammatical writing problems: recognize and fix grammatical errors
  • Stylistic writing problems: make your writing clear and effective
  • Word-use writing problems: cut down on confusing jargon, and stop using the wrong words
  • Punctuation problems: learn how to use punctuation correctly.
  • Social networking writing problems: resist the debilitating influences Web 2.0 has on writers

Grammar-related Writing Problems

No Grammar-Speak Allowed

Many of us learned grammar in school. We diagrammed sentences, identified types of words and phrases, learned about tenses and how to conjugate verbs, and we used such terms as transitive, intransitive, adjective, adverb, participle, gerund, possessive, plural, contraction, subjunctive, fragment, preposition, and infinitive. Grammarians need to use those words (I call it grammar-speak); writers don’t.

Grammar-speak is the jargon of writing elitists. Sure, you can learn grammar-speak and use it to explain the rules of grammar, but you don’t need to. It’s possible to write engaging, flawless prose without knowing a single word of grammar-speak.

One mission of Writing Problems Explained is to teach the rules of grammar without resorting to the jargon of grammarians. On this web site, we discuss writing problems in jargon-free English, and explore strategies you can use to overcome the problems.

Here’s a crazy notion: I believe that most people who create internet content have good grammar. Unfortunately, many do not use good grammar in their web content. If you feel challenged by the rules of grammar, you know what I mean: When you’re having a conversation, most of what you say out loud is grammatically correct. For some reason, when you write, grammatical errors arise. Writing Problems Explained will help you overcome this common difficulty.

Stylistic Writing Problems

Most people who create internet content recognize good writing style. In fact, they produce a lot of well-structured sentences every day. Unfortunately for some, those sentences come out only in conversation. When it’s time to record thoughts for a blog, a wiki entry, advertising copy, or other web content, the words come out wrong. Writing Problems Explained will help you develop a relaxed, conversational writing style.

Word-Use Writing Problems

Even the best writers stumble over words. Some challenges arise from the similarities between words. For example, does the sentence you’re writing require the word there, their, or they’re? Other word-use challenges arise from your environment: if you constantly hear people misuse or abuse words, you might accidentally make the same mistakes. Writing Problems Explained helps you learn to make good word choices.

Problems with Punctuation

When we speak, we punctuate without thought. But it can be challenging to translate spoken pauses into written punctuation—particularly when there may be more than one acceptable way to punctuate a sentence. Writing Problems Explained helps you punctuate for clarity.

Social Networking Writing Problems

Web 2.0 is a remarkable experiment. It intends to let internet users, through the process of social networking, identify and promote the best web sites and web content. The dynamics that create successful writers within social networks actually encourage bad writing. Writing Problems Explained highlights the ways social networking can degrade the quality of your writing and helps keep you off of the slippery slope.

Visit Often. Ask Questions

I want Writing Problems Explained to become one of the most useful web sites you visit. Please help: Let me know when my posts or articles are useful to you. Tell me when you don’t agree with what I’ve said. Ask questions. I’m looking forward to a long, and spirited conversation about writing problems.

Here are links to other articles with encouragement to fix your writing problems:

  • 225 Ways To Drive Traffic Away From Your Blog – Lately, I’ve been trying to improve my blog traffic and increase the number of subscribers to my RSS feed. I’ve done all sorts of things like networking over MyBlogLog, digging my own posts, and writing catchy headlines. …

  • finding the right words – cash advance. good copywriting requires knowing the right words. but what are the right words, and how do you find them? there are three main factors. know your audience, don’t use the same words repeatedly, and understand the feelings …

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4 Responses to “Welcome to Writing Problems Explained”

  1. By CA Heidelberger -- Madville Times on Jan 4, 2009 | Reply

    Thanks for the comment, Daniel!

    Indeed, it is astonishing that such an obvious error would make it into brass. I see these types of errors all over the internet, but hope that more formal settings apply better quality control. While working alone makes it challenging to eliminate all our writing errors, every content-provider owes his or her readers a best effort. I write a blog where I occasionally turn my attention from South Dakota politics to helping people fix their writing problems: the mighty Madville Times. Please take a look and recommend it to content providers with chronic writing and political problems.

  2. By Momisodes on Mar 20, 2009 | Reply

    What a wonderful site! I know this will be an incredible resource for me and so many others. Thank you for leaving your link.

  3. By Marion on Mar 24, 2009 | Reply

    Oh, God bless you. Buddha should bless you; the Mets, the Jets, who(m)ever and whatever you worship, may the deity of dignified speech shower you with lotus petals for this, a haven of sane speech.

  4. By admin on Mar 31, 2009 | Reply

    Momisodes: I’m embarrassed that I took so long to thank you for your comment. I’m finding it challenging to explain grammatical errors without resorting to grammar-speak, but I’ll keep trying.

    Marion: I’ve been self-conscious of this blog from the beginning; some writing problems are hard to explain. You’ve made me even more self-conscious. I’ll try to keep the standard high enough to deserve some kind of shower at least once a week.

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