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This lesson explores how to write well. It is a general introduction for all ages.

Writing is a tool used exclusively by humans to convey thoughts through a visible form which represents language. Just like in speaking, there are limitless ways in which words can be put together in order to convey ideas, thoughts, images and feelings. The purpose might be to inform, persuade, entertain, or a combination of the three.

In many written forms of language, there are a few basic components of writing. There are things like paragraphs, which are generally separated by indentations or line breaks. There are also words, which are collections of letters. These collections of letters are words, and words can represent a variety of different things. There are also punctuation marks which tell the reader how to time their reading. Sentences exist to isolate small ideas. Paragraphs isolate collections of sentences which together convey an idea greater than the sum of the sentences. Essays are collections of paragraphs that can be long or short. There are a variety of types of essays. Fiction is writing in which the ideas are made up. Non-fiction is writing that attempts to write about ideas and concepts that are generally considered real or true.

Tips for better writing (mostly for English)[edit]

  • Do not make sentences too long.
  • Do not use words like "very", "good", "get", "thing", or "things" if it can be avoided. These words do not generally enhance writing because they are like a boring painting - they don't do a lot to enhance the reader's understanding.
  • When writing formally, don't use contractions like "don't", "can't", "wouldn't", "shouldn't", etc.
  • Do not confuse words like their, they're and there; weather and whether; etc.
  • Know how to use it's and its. It's is always a contraction of "it is"; its is possessive ("belonging to it"). .
  • Full stops (.) separate sentences.
  • Colons (:) separate related clause clauses.
  • Semicolons (;) serve to join two related complete sentences.
  • Commas (,) serve to join a sentence with a sentence fragment using a coordinator like "and", "so", "yet", or "but".
  • Spaces ( ) separate words (and sentences, when used in conjunction with a full stop).

Collaborative papers[edit]

You can start a collaborative paper in the main namespace, or if you would like to create something individually, please keep it in the user namespace on your userpage or as a subpage to your userpage.

see also[edit]

external links[edit]

The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr.