1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Helping a non-writer write

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Point of Order, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    What links, examples, tools, stories do you often use to help someone who is not a writer by trade write something? What's the best advice you could give someone who is smart but doesn't write a lot?

    Does anyone have any good law school personal statements at their fingertips? The person I'm trying to help has drafted up a very flowery, flourishing "thing" of a statement that is really hard to follow. Advise me on how to advise him. Thank you.
  2. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Less is more, and, unless your Walt Whitman, structure trumpts personal style.

    I tutor once a week for the GED, and the essay portion of the GED is one many people find challenging. What I stress is a three-part expository essay. I have them write a lot of them: intro, details, and summary/conclusion. You're not trying to impress someone with your creativity and personal expression. You're trying to impress someone with your clarity and mastery. Get in and get out. Figure out what has to be said, say it, and wrap it up.
  3. Quakes

    Quakes Guest

    I think Buck's advice is well-taken, but keep in mind that writing something to earn a GED is different than writing a personal statement to get into law school. Too flowery is bad, but a very formulaic, intro-body-conclusion essay probably won't be that impressive to an admissions committee, either.

    I like to say that you should write like you speak. Think about what you want to say and how you would say it if you were actually telling it to someone, or delivering it in a speech. That way, it sounds natural. You avoid the temptation to use too many fancy words or get too flowery. Try to hear it out loud as you're writing it, and see if you're comfortable with it. Of course, you should write it using proper grammar, and without "like," "you know," etc. And make sure your thoughts are organized logically.
  4. CentralIllinoisan

    CentralIllinoisan Active Member

    Short, active, declarative sentences. Like Buck said, structure trumps style when first starting out.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page