Thursday, 9 July 2015

Technical Writing - The Difference Between a Flyer and a Brochure

These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but it's pretty well established in the tech writing business that there's a difference. It's not that one is better than the other, but, generally speaking, they have different uses.
Flyer (also leaflet and handbill)
A flyer is a single sheet of paper, usually 8 1/2 x 11 (A4), used to get information to a large number of people inexpensively. Flyers are popular for small scale advertising.
They're often, quite literally, throw-aways because they're handed out at random or posted in public places in the hope they'll be read. If they're intended to be posted, such as on a bulletin board or put up in a window, they're printed on one side only. If they're going to be hand held or mailed, they can be printed on both sides.
The purpose of a flyer is to provide a limited amount of information for a limited time at relatively low production costs. Some common uses are:
  • announcements of social or commercial events
  • product information such as a spec sheet left in new cars
  • fact sheets distributed at a press conference
While desktop publishing has made it easy for non-professionals to produce quite sophisticated flyers, many businesses rely on professional writers and graphic artists for the copy and layout of business flyers.
There is some disagreement on whether a flyer and a flier are the same thing. The preferred usage in Standard Written English is that a flier is someone or something that flies.
Brochure (also pamphlet)
Brochures are normally more sophisticated than flyers and more expensive to produce. As much time, effort, and expense can go into producing a quality brochure as producing a short video. Businesses produce millions of brochures every year, and a skilled brochure writer is well paid.
Brochures are used as sales or information resources that may be retained and read a number of times by a specific audience. They're commonly displayed in racks at airports, hotels, and doctors' offices, but as random as this seems, it's expected that only the people interested in the subject of the brochure will take one.
They're not intended to be throw-aways. They're widely used as follow-ups to initial sales contacts and as supplementary information sources. An insurance company, for example, might use one brochure as a sell-piece and later mail a different brochure to provide details of its policies to a person who has indicated interest.
There is no limit to the size or shape of a brochure, but the most common format is a single sheet of paper folded once - to create four panels - or twice - to create six panels. The first format is most often called one-fold or bi-fold. The second one is usually called tri-fold or tri-panel.
If you can write a simple sentence and organize your thoughts then technical writing may be a rewarding field. You can easily make it a second income stream in your spare time.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average salary for technical writers is $60,380. Freelance technical writers can make from $30 to $70 per hour.
The field of technical writing is like a golden city. It's filled with wealth, rewards and opportunities. After learning technical writing you can branch out into business writing, marketing writing and communications writing. All of these can become additional income streams.
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How to Write a Paper in One Night

Being in college is a chore. It takes a lot of work, carefully planned over the course of a week, or a month, or a quarter to make sure everything gets done with the full attention it deserves....are you laughing yet? No one puts in the time "required" to properly complete their college work. No, rather it's a rush at the end every week or two to complete a 10 page paper or learn 200 years of ancient Roman history overnight. You all do it, I did it. It's probably a better training skill than all the random stuff you "learn", because honestly in real life do you think you'll have the time to sit and schedule everything that pops into your life ahead of time. Yeah...thought not.
Anyways, for those of you just entering college from the snore inducing boredom and ease of High School, you're probably incredibly unprepared for the shear amount of work you'll have to pull out in the last second. I'm not saying it's easy just because you'll procrastinate. No, it's still hard. You really should take the time to do your work properly. You just won't, and so you need to learn how to procrastinate. It's a fine art, in which I feel I've become something of a Renoir.
First off, make sure you've got all your books and notes. If you don't go to class, which is entirely likely for those of the procrastinating ilk, make sure you get them from a classmate. Also, double check and make sure your professor doesn't have a website. They'll usually tell you, but more than once I've found a class's notes sitting in an archive online, especially now that 90% of them put everything they teach you into PowerPoint presentations and then just read it to you for an hour every day (yeah, lazy). It's usually only an extra 30 seconds out of their day to put the stuff online, and then when they receive twenty plus emails a week asking for the lecture notes, they only have to point you to the website. Well, some are a bit more facetious about their pupils not even bothering to come to class and don't openly offer said notes. However, for sick students and whatnot, they'll put them online to save paper and all it takes is a couple of quick Google searches or an email to a sick student and you've got your notes. Or...just ask a classmate. But then you're relying on them actually paying attention.
You should have your books too. If you never bothered buying them because you would just take notes or go to sparknotes, then you'd better go buy them, because BSing your way through a paper is going to take at least some resources. You can't magically ascertain the information from just being near smarter people. School would be much easier if that were the case.
So, sit down and start reading. Yup, you're going to be reading a lot the night before your work is due. But, this is better than doing all the assigned reading, because now you're searching for specific information. Instead of general learning (which would only stick around and clutter up your brain later) you're doing targeted research. An eighth the time, and none of that pesky remembering it. You should have your topic at least. If not, start surfing message boards and snag one from someone smarter than you. Don't ever take their work though. The last thing you need is to get kicked out of school for plagiarism. It's lazy and embarrassing. Steal concepts, but never words. And if you steal a concept from the middle of their work, cite them. Your university will not take kindly to cheating. You'll be so red taped and black listed, you might as well go and get an application at Jack in the Box, and trust me you don't want to work in fast food.
You can't procrastinate now. You've done that for three weeks, so I'm sorry (I know it hurts), but in terms of actual physical writing time, you'll need at least three hours to type your paper, which speaks nothing of writing it. And writing it involves finding quotations and that ever so pesky chore of thinking. Sit down, grab an energy drink and a bag of chips, close your door and put some headphones on. No television, and put your phone on the charger. Now open up the word processor and just start typing.
You probably think you have writer's block. But, writer's block is completely unrelated to having absolutely no idea what you're talking about. You're stuck with the second one right now, so just keep on reading on your topic and finding bits and pieces to put together.
The thing here that most people don't realize is that the standard writing process isn't in effect for you. You're not drafting, or brainstorming. That's the stuff you should have done two weeks ago. No, you're writing your paper, so make sure you've got your idea and just start writing and keep writing until you create a thesis somehow.
I usually start as broad as possible, and just start talking about something. If I'm writing about the Hero Quest of Pip in Great Expectations, I start by talking about Greek Mythology and the origin of the classical hero. Working my way down, I'll talk about the modern hero, then about the alterations made in the industrial age, and how Dickens rewrote archetypes for his comedy, and finally start talking about Pip. By now you should have a general idea about what you want to say. It might be general but you'll clarify in your next few paragraphs, and then come back and rewrite the first paragraph.
Paragraph one is almost always trash. Especially with this method, because your weary, angered professor after reading 30 of these lovely last minute essays will put a big red X through anything that doesn't have to do with your paper, and those first few grasping sentences are completely unrelated.
But now you can start stealing from the text. Snag a quote and make a point. Snag another quote and make another point. If your thesis ends up as something incredibly broad and useless like "Pip's quest from anonymity and worthlessness into a position of wealth and power in London mirrors the classical hero quests, but works through Dickensian views of industrial England" you're still good. It sounds intelligent and has a lot of promise. Now just find specific quotes and build a narrative. Start at the beginning of his change, talk about his childhood, then go to when he changes, then compare to the Hero quests of old, then show how they're different.
Almost any paper, if written quickly can boil down to something simple and incredibly easy to write, a compare and contrast paper. You choose a prominent theme from the book you just "read". Find a source that mirrors or better yet foils this theme and compare the two. Don't just list how they're different though. That's high school stuff right there. You'll want to write exactly how the outside source changes what you think of your book. It sounds hard but jus think about it. You've got Great Expectations. It has a main character who goes on a kind of quest. Now you have a classic archetype of which there are hundreds of sources to draw on. You take a basic outline of this archetype and apply it to Pip's quest and how he fits it, and when he doesn't fit it. Now you finish your paper by describing why he doesn't fit it sometimes. Which gets you back to the Dickensian views part. You've just pretty much written a paper that says, Pip's quest is classic but different because Dickens was writing about a different time in human history. Incredibly simple; you're not telling anyone anything new, but three things will guarantee a good grade.
1. If you write well at all. You've got to be a halfway decent writer, which if you're in college I'll assume you are.
2. Professors love outside references. It shows initiative and research and makes it seem like you did extra work (which you didn't). I've written papers overnight without drafts and without ever reading them back to myself and received comments that I must have spent hours working on it. Not quite.
3. Confidence in your assertions. Say everything with absolute certainty, and back it up with a quote. Do this enough and even if you're wrong, it'll seem like you've made a decent point, which gets you brownie points.
Writing a paper is a tumultuous task but it's also a scalable task that can be made incredibly quick and easy if you know how. My second to last quarter of college, I wrote three papers in two days; two of them 10 pages, and one 25 pages, and received a 3.8, and two 3.7s. It's a matter of confidence and above all else an unmitigated fearlessness to be incredibly lazy.
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How to Begin Writing an Essay - The Power of 3 For an Easy Takeoff

So, you've finally sat down to write your essay that is probably due very soon. You're staring at the blank screen thinking to yourself: "Why do I have to do this?!" You're probably having a bunch of other thoughts that you're welcome to share with me and my readers. Let's face it: you have the Acquired White Page Fear Syndrome.
I hear you because I've been there. I've found out for myself that the hardest part of writing an essay is writing that first sentence. So, what is the cure?
The Power of Three:
Write your essay in 3 steps
  1. Write your Thesis Statement
  2. Write your Body
  3. Do the Power Proofread
To Write your Thesis Statement:
  1. Choose your Subject
  2. Choose the Verb
  3. Come up with Three Supporting Points (Yes, the Power of Three again)
1. Your subject is essentially what your essay is about.
Here's an example of a Thesis Statement:
Video gaming benefits the players' health.
What is the Subject of this sentence? In other words, what is this sentence about? It's about Video Gaming. Note that it's not just about video games or the players. It's about the act of playing video games specifically.
2. The Verb simply describes What the Subject Is or Does.
In this example, the Subject is Video Gaming. So, what does it do, according to the thesis statement? It benefits the players' health. So, the verb is 'benefits.'
Now that you have the Subject and the Verb (and, in this case, the Object as well, which is 'the players' health), your Thesis is done. But a Thesis is only the main part of the Thesis Statement. In order to complete the Thesis Statement, you need to do Step 3:
3. Come up with Three Supporting Points (Yes, the Power of Three again).
So, instead of being stuck thinking of what to write next, here is a great way to make your essay creativity explode:
Come up with 3 Supporting Points to support your Thesis. What can they be? The easiest thing to do is to just think of your thesis as an answer to a question. So, if the aforementioned thesis is the answer, then what would be the question?
How does video gaming benefit the players' health?
In which ways does video gaming benefit the players' health?
And since you are using the Power of Three, here's your answer:
Video gaming benefits the players' health in three ways.
Okay. Do you see where this is going? Now you have a nice little structure forming. And all you have to do is to come up with three ways that video gaming can benefit the players' health. Here are just some of the ideas:
Video Gaming can benefit health in the following ways:
  • It improves hand-eye coordination
  • It provides a relief from stress
  • It burns calories
Wow! I can't believe I just came up with three health benefits of video gaming! And I did it without doing any research. And it took me about a minute. Now, if you're writing a research paper, then you better go on the Internet and do a simple search to validate these claims. However, if you're just writing for a writing class, such as English 101, then chances are that your professor or instructor doesn't care if you've done your research and only cares about the quality of your essay.
And now - your complete thesis statement:
Video gaming benefits the players' health in three ways. First, it improves hand-eye coordination. Second, it provides a relief from stress. And finally, it burns calories.
And that's your first paragraph. Now, depending on how many pages your essay needs to be, just focus on a section at a time and provide some evidence. I'll show you how to do just that in another article.
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Challenges of Travel Writing: Sharing My Experiences

Living on the road
Writing about places you see, like and fall in love with in this huge wonderful world is a very interesting experience for any writer. Professional or simply passionate about words, with a literary background or just a dedicated and traveller, we often feel the need to share our feelings and impressions with the others - family, friends or anonymous readers. On the basis of our direct experiences we might be tempted to make recommendations about places or to describe with our own words the feelings and pleasures roused by a certain corner we were lucky enough to discover.
The easiest and most affordable way to do it is by taking pictures. They are just one click away and, unless you do not intend to make after an exhibition or to publish in a glossy review, you do not need extraordinary skills. The widespread use of digital cameras offers to anybody, up to the account and interests, the possibility to fix your memory in pictures, easy to download and easy to share - off or online. A picture might talk the language of thousand of words of a potential book. And you do not need too much inspiration for taking them: be in the right place, at the right moment and click. It is all you need - not, as in the case of writing, a special space, silence, a notebook or a computer.
But, if you want to do more than posting or printing some photos on the Internet, and you are longing for turning into an occasional or dedicated travel writer, you open the right drawer. This book is for you: a short non-exhaustive and open to discussion guide about how to better use your words for telling good stories about places you visited.
Maybe you don't intend now to turn into a professional writer. And, it is possible that your contacts with the writing world are sporadic. But, in the same time, you believe that you have to share somehow to the world of ideas your own version of the reality. It might be available for any kind of writing activities, weather is about journalism, literature, poetry, children books or...the subject of our book: travel writing. If you feel spiritually fulfilled when you write, it is a reason enough to continue to polish and refine your style. It is not your profession and the source of your income. But, more than your daily schedule, we need to rely on our dreams and passions. And, if travel writing is one of them, be sure that you will find enough time in your daily program to work to your dreams.
If your curiosity and interest are bigger enough, we hope to offer you in the following pages first-class directions for a qualitative added value into your writing career. Furthermore, if the title of our booklet is answering some questions and preoccupations you already expressed, we hope to offer a larger as possible support for your intentions. Our intention is offering you the best guidelines for progress of your writing plans. You are free to make further the choices you consider the most right, by identifying the adequate editorial recipes. And, of course, I fully urge you to make your own contributions, by sharing your own writing experiences.
As a passionate writer myself, I discover the pleasure of travel writing relatively later in my writing career. In comparison with other projects I was involved - as diplomatic journalism, such as - the challenge of putting in writing my very own travel experiences not as easy as I expected. In this case, it was more than relating naked facts and figures, it was about sharing a unique feeling inspired by a place, a very personal experience in fact. And, I must confess that at the beginning I was very reluctant to do it, simply because in my perception, the real journalism and the direct, personal understanding were at a great extent incompatible. But, I was omitting a very simple fact: I was facing a very different writing and journalistic category. And it took me a bit of time to enter a different shape and style.
The considerations included in the following pages are nothing but a short essay in sharing my experience of traveller and writer, activities that are for a very long time part of my daily life. There are practical advices - as, for example, how to make your writings known to a wider public using the social media tools - or stylistic considerations - about the most appropriate ways to discuss the subject - or even organisational aspects - concerning planning and documenting your trips.
Our aim is very simple: helping you to enjoy as much as possible both the pleasure of writing and of travelling.
For those interested in sipping the words of highly evaluated professional writers, I prepared an extended list of literature recommendations, going far beyond the classical touristic guides you are buying before going into a trip.
I would like to end this introductory chapter with another couple of personal considerations about both travel and writing. As I wrote, for many years already, travel is part of my daily life. Either I am discovering the places of the town I am living in - not always the same - or I am packing to see another continent and country, I am always feeling the joyousness of learning about new places, new cultures and to meet new people. IT is a valuable part of my school-of-life education. Without this usual roller coaster schedule, I feel less myself. This is the reason I am performing this ritual as often as possible. I had the wonderful chance to live and travel in very interesting places around the Globe and I am convinced that amazing other places are still waiting for me. Shortly: I love to travel.
The Never Ending Task of Polishing the Words
You might be a natural-born-writer, but without exercise and discipline of your daily program your talent would be wasted easily.
Writing could be a pleasant activity, but in the same time, as any intellectual activity, it is not effortless. Of course, you do not need to run or to put your health on trial, but the intellectual attention and effort required could equate in some cases the preparation for a marathon. As in the case of running, you need exercise and experience for successfully reaching your goals.
The usual writing activity looks sometimes as a never-ending story: writing, rewriting, editing, editing again. This is the sweet monotony of all those for whom playing with words is the main job or passion. At the end of the process, it might happen to lose the pleasure to read again - or ever - your words. But, years after, it might be a very pleasant surprise.
A couple of practical considerations will ease your work, available in general for any kind of writings:
- Polishing your words might be a very exhausting and anti-inspirational stage of your writing projects, but never avoid doing this at least twice. Even your ideas are brilliant, a bad grammar or various misspelling will discourage any editor or publishing house to consider your works for publishing
- Before starting your daily writing program, be sure that you have an easy access to a dictionary - of synonyms, of words of the language you are writing in - a grammar guidelines, online or offline Internet resources - for fast checking of the correct spelling of the names of places or for accessing various historical and cultural references necessary in creating context of your works. Your credibility created by different small details and technical elements part of your activity, among which the accuracy of the information sent to your readers or the literary quality of the written text. It is not always easy and you need permanent efforts for improving and upgrading yourself. Attitude available for any other kind of professional activities.
- Take your time and try to focus as much as possible on your subject. When you are starting to write, anything but your works matters. Either you have 20 minutes or 2 days, focusing on your writing must be the most important part of your day, during which put on-hold any other time-consuming activities - as, for example, permanently checking your e-mail or social media accounts.
- Read as much as possible literature relevant to your topics. Be updated with the main trends and concerns in the area, by taking part to various online or real-life seminars and discussions. Be active and raise your problems and questions by taking part to various discussion groups -on Google or Facebook.
Planning your Writing
Thus, before starting a new paragraph be sure that you have a general schedule of your writing program - an approximate planning of the results you intend to make, as of the main ideas you want include in your work. And, of course, prepare of being critical enough with your writings.
Before starting to write, try to ask yourself a couple of questions:
- What I want to write about? You might be tempted to cover big and generous topics as: Paris, travel. But, your originality and creativity consist in finding new angles and perspectives. Consequently, by being more specific - as, for example, the morning from the window of my hotel - you will concentrate new and interesting information.
- How I want to write about? A dialogue, a personal memoire, a short story, a description of a specific touristic service - as, for example a hotel or ways of transportation.
- For whom do I want to write? It might sound mercantile, but you always have to imagine how your audience looks like and thinks. It is a travel magazine, a blog for friends - case in which, for example, mentioning some adventures of people all of you know will add a very familiar note to your writings, a short story for kids etc. If you are writing for a magazine, your task is easier, as you have already the general description of the market.
- How much time I have at my disposal? Again, if you have to deal with magazines' deadlines, your entire work must be carefully organized to cover all the three stages I mentioned before: documentation, writing, editing. If you are writing for your personal blog, this time pressure is absent and you are more relaxed in meeting your own deadlines.
- How important is writing into your life? It is a very general and philosophical question, but it is important for your next steps for being fully aware of the place occupied by writing. So, try to think about, for example: How many days are you able to live without writing? What prospective plans do you have with your writings - publishing a book or an article.
- How much time could you dedicate exclusively to your writing activities? If your income resources are other than those provided by writing, you have to think about the right balance between hobby and profession. Even if you are planning to switch soon your career to the full, professional writer's level, be sure that this decision will not affect in a dramatic way your family and your daily life. A progressive transition, mixing the normal job with the free time used for covering your writing projects would be a wise advice for a successful start.
As soon as you have an approximate list of answers to the previous questions - perhaps there are many more, I only wanted to outlined some of the most important - try to make a draft plan of your day.
- When you feel the best prepare to write: early in the mornings, evenings or during the lunch breaks?
- Organise for short-, medium or long-term your activities to be able to respect in the stricter sense of the word this schedule.
- You need to have at your disposal at least two hours dedicated exclusively to writing. Starting must be slow and as for running, the wake-up exercises can not be skipped.
- Make a plan of what of advancing your writing, day by day, week by week: one week dedicated to put on paper your impressions; one day for writing the introduction; another day for putting in order and connecting your paragraphs etc.
- As in the case of a business plan, check carefully at the end of the day and of the week your progress: How time you needed to write the starting sentences, for example; How realistic was your plan given your writing speed? All these considerations are very useful in rescheduling your activities and reconsidering the timelines you will be able to finish your project(s).
- Even the temptation to write on many projects in the same time, mostly if you are at the beginning of your writing activities, try to focus on one project at the time. You will avoid sparing lots of time and energy while jumping from an idea to another.
- Before starting writing, try to cover as much as possible the literature dedicated: travel blogs or books, guides, literature books. In this way you will be able to usethe right language and vocabulary.
- Focus on a mixture between descriptions and practical information. The qualities of a fiction writer - as offering through words a description of a place - are completed by a journalistic, up-to-the point style - as for example, describing the ways in which you must arrive to a hotel.
- Try to be as specific as possible. Maybe not all your readers visited the place you are writing about, so they will need, beyond plastic descriptions, also content information to convince them to go to see the place. There are many wonderful places in this world, but each of them could be described through largest five specific key-words.
- Be careful to details and cultural characteristics. Document each of them cautiously, to avoid stereotypes or ready-made negative ideas. Local media is a helpful support, but the background obtained by a direct discussion with local people or academic/literature documentation might be more helpful.
- The camera or the voice recorder could be helpful in keeping a certain authenticity you could rely on later during the process of writing.
- Be as critical as possible with the information you are processing. Some guides could be misleading or some observations of other travellers wrong. Keep awake your critical capacity and dare to make the proper corrections and observations.
To do or not to do? Any answers?
I will enlist a couple of things that usually I am interested in while reading a text about travel. Separately, I will enlist all those aspects that I find boring, irrelevant, and, in general, not worthy to use my brain and eyes for reading.
To do
- Find the key-words - maximum five - describing the place.
- Find a subject for your writing - mostly useful when you are dealing with an article. For example, "food in California" will cover extensively your experience in tasting the special cuisine from this region and not the nature or the film industry.
- Use the fluency of the fictional writing wrapped in the journalistic tools. Be specific, but using descriptive sentences. Recreate an atmosphere, but connect your readers with practical information - for example, when describing the local food you tasted in a restaurant you recommend.
Not to do
- Reference to people and acquaintances not introduced formally - as talking about what your kids did in holidays, without getting connected with the place you are in.
- Unbalanced reporting - focusing too much on telegraphic information - as time zones, weather, ways of transportation or too much on plastic descriptions.
- Too much focus on "you". Of course, I am expecting to read a piece about a subjective experience, but with a relevance for at least one other person, meaning me, the reader.
- Avoid to change yourself into an advertiser. As your success and profile are increasing, you will be contacted, for sure, by various specialized agencies, with generous budgets. Mentioning your connections will be an act of fairness to your public. Writing for or against a certain place, without disclosing your allegiances are against the rules of fair-reporting.
Preparing the Trip. Some Technical Details
Try to involve your reader as much as possible in every stage of your trip, including the preparation. Even you are not too much aware of this aspect, it might be a valuable help in offering him or her valuable information for proceeding in a similar way.
There are some of the questions I have in mind when thinking about this aspect:
- What is the cheapest and more convenient way to reach the place? Find as many information as possible about suitable travel agencies, airfares, quality of roads. Also, there are variations from a season to another: the places with beaches and sea are preferred by Europeans during the cold winters, as in some places, the summer periods are extremely hot and not suitable for people with toddlers and small kids, for example.
- What are the average temperatures from a season to another? Although we do not think too often about these mundane aspects - at least I haven't for a long time until the last two or three years - it is very important in planning our trip. Being prepare for the good and bad weather will make possible a good planning of our trip. For example, trying to visit museums during a rainy day and planning a trip in the mountains when the weather is fine.
- What are the most encountered security risks for a traveller? They must be wars, dangers of terrorist attacks, risks of various natural calamities, pandemics. Looking for extreme adventures might be a way of living, but if our lives must be endangered, it is better to watch our steps and think about a better planning. Our life is one of the most precious assets so it is better to live it at its fullest but being aware that we don't live for ever.
- Do you need a visa? Where you could find reliable information about these issues available for beholders of various citizenships? In some cases, the visa rules must be long and obviously with lack of chances to solve it from a day to another. In some cases, if the travel arrangements are made via a travel agency, the visa rules could be included. If we are on our own, we have to be aware of the conditions and rules in due time, for properly preparing the documentation.
- How safe is to travel alone?
This information is available for both male and female travellers. Some countries must be restrictive and not very foreigners' friendly, in some places women are imposed to respect various travel and dress restrictions. Hitchhiking is easy in most part of the European countries, but not very sure in South America or Africa, for example.
- What reliable sources you must take into consideration for making the reservation for a hotel? Read carefully the hotel descriptions; try to contact them directly people who wrote their impressions.
- Which is the most spoken language? Language is very important, because in many situations you do not have too many options in finding ways to advance your trip - for buying a train or bus ticket, for example - or to find various directions. We are used to think that English is the most used language, but this is not always true. For an easy access to the local people, a basic Phrases Dictionary must be helpful for a good communication.
- Which is the most used currency? This is important for a good financial planning of our trip. Also, we could do the exchange process in our country of origin, avoiding various communication problems at our destination. ATMs are widely available, it is true, but on the other side, in places more exotic and isolated, we must counter the risk of not finding any available and it is better to have on us, for the beginning a smallest amount of money.
- Any other relevant information: as, for example, regarding the dress code for women in certain Muslim countries etc., the possibilities to call abroad - including the availability of some mobile networks, newspapers available, various medical warnings, affordability of some cultural places, restrictions addressed to foreigners etc.
All these information might be found easily on the Internet, but in a disparate way. What the writer have the occasion to do is to put all these data in a different shape, addressing them coherently and making a story out of it. For example, by telling the story of how he or she discovered it, what thought had in mind when found out - putting on hold a certain destination because high health risks. Try to be creative and personal and aware that your story is worthy to be told and listened afterwards. Beyond the purely informative aspect, you might use your words for making a difference. It is what gives substance to your writing profile and increase your joy of writing and being read.
For every kind of trip - from mountain biking, to a short week-end trip - the orientation provided by the maps is extremely valuable and are very important as illustrations of the writing.
Tell a story
Honesty and the preoccupation for telling the truth are the main constant of the work of a writer.
Use your imagination and your cultural background, but in the same time, unless your work is not a complete work of fiction, respect the truth and the reality. You might think it is not a work for you, as long as you love to be creative and do not like the grey guide-like type of stories. But, in the same time, you must be aware of the fact that, in the luggage of good cultural and writing experience every opportunity for a new subject is more than useful. Maybe your starting point is very prosaic - as the presentation of the coffee bars in a certain area - but you could add your own style by focusing on the people you surprised at a certain moment of the day, the specific smell of the coffee, the behaviour of the bartenders. We have a lot of story subjects around us. All we need is a better education of our sight and an open mind.
Why should somebody read a book about travel, instead of a normal touristic guide?
In my case, before preparing for a trip or choosing a certain destination, I always prefer to document myself via various references. Sometimes I am curious to find out more than touristic information, going in-depth with political or social information. Maybe there are some rules or regulations I have to be aware of, as a foreigner. Maybe during my trip there will take place elections and I will have the occasion to see not only nice places, but also lots of people on the street and electoral billboards.
Today, the usual traveller is more exposed to various kind of information and references that at the very beginning of touristic travelling. We are interested not only in running from a touristic goal to another, but also to understand the background of the place we are seeing. It is a matter of telling and listening a story.
I mentioned several times since now how I am doing the documentation, from the point of view of the sources used. I will not insist too much upon this and for some valuable resources in this respect, I strongly recommend you to consult the bibliographical link at the end of the booklet.
I would like to insist a bit on the organisation of our information.
As a writer on the road, there are not too many chances to be completely mind free. Of course, the travel is mostly aimed to divert and offer various leisure opportunities. And, a good writer will enjoy these offers as well, while keeping his mind and eyes open to discover the world around. From my direct experience, I must confess that I never felt as a burden the need - or the professional obligation - to write about the places I was. Writing is so much part of my life that I took this task as natural as possible, being fully aware that my experiences could be an interesting story for my readers.
So, have your notebook and pen ready at any moment to keep your impressions.
But, in this case too, the over organised mind should prevail.
Carefully plan your day - What are the aims of your trip: you want to see a famous museum, a must see place, a garden, or you want to melt into the daily atmosphere of a flea market? Or maybe you are interested to enter in touch with the fancy places, as discos or shopping malls? Try to get from the ground as much information as possible - description of places, people, the hour when you've been there. In some cases, a photo might help you, as the digital photography is indicating the day and the hour the picture was took.
Write the possible questions about certain customs or places, to be answered later, by supplementary documentation.
Try to imagine what kind of article or essay you will write after. Write the lead in your mind and based on this, try to organise a bit your material you have by now.
At the end of the day, evaluate how much of your plan was accomplished and what do you need to do more in the next days.
This planning depends on a great extent of the time you have at your disposal. In my case, the short and intense trips offered me several "hooks" for my articles, more than in the cases when I had one week to spend in one place. Of course, when you have more time, the chances to find new directions for your writing are increasing. But, with a good planning, everything is on the good track.
Possible sources
- Official touristic websites and local leaflets
- Comments and reviews of the visitors posted on the websites
- Literary and cultural sources
- Previous articles published in the media - local or international
- Discussion groups on Google, Yahoo, Twitter or Facebook
- People from the street that we meet accidentally - in a market, at a shop, people we are asking about a specific place
- Local blogs
- Cooking books
- Travel fairs - It is a very direct occasion to enter in touch with both the providers of various touristic services and the direct beneficiaries. You have access to presentation materials, videos, leaflets, images. For me, it always worked as a very inspirational event, both for my future destinations and for my updates about the trends in the industry.
Of course, all these sources must be scrutinized from a critical perspective. And this is the reflex of the journalist. Never trust one single source, trying to confirm or deny your information after consultation of at least three sources.
Financial Information
The practical information must have a specific place in your reporting. It is nice to go in a place described as fabulous, marvellous and attractive, but maybe your need to pay the entrance fee in the local currency and you need to know more about the differences.
As a possible solutions:
- Introduce some practical lines at the end of your article including references to currency, eventually as a comparison with the prices from the home
- If you intend to cover more than one country, setting a couple of comparative lines will be useful
- Try to find some information useful for families travelling with children - as prices of tickets in some museums, special meals or playgrounds in some places.
How to Communicate Your Stories
- Try to make comments on fellow writers' articles, on forums, blogs or newspapers.
- Open a blog, with a detailed plan of posts, updated permanently - at least twice the week. Don't forget to upload as many pictures as possible.
- Create a Twitter account and try to identify people with similar interests, as well as representatives of the industry. Network your articles and contributions, as well as fresh impressions about your trips.
- Create a Facebook page
- Post your short movies on YouTube, with or without background comments.
A Preliminary Conclusion
We are now at the end of a short travel along the landscape of writing tools. We hope it was worthy to spend some time together and I offered you a couple of interesting suggestions and insights about this wonderful hobby, pleasure and/or job: that of a writer.
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APA Essays - The Citation Format Explained

This citation format is generally used for essays, research papers and theses particularly relating to social sciences. This citation was first introduced in 1929. At that time it appeared as a seven page guideline in the Psychological Bulletin. However today it exists in the full fledged format. Not all writers consider the format easy to use.
That said the APA format is advantageous to both writers and readers. It is beneficial to writers because it enables them to arrange their paper in a more professional manner. This citation format automatically qualifies a paper for publication in a psychological journal. This citation format has an in-text citation and reference system that makes it absolutely easy for readers who want to refer to the sources cited and do additional research.
An essay or research paper under the APA citation format generally has the following components. The paper has a title page. Then there is an abstract of the paper. This is however optional and left up to your mentor. This is followed by the body of your paper. And finally at the end of the paper on a separate sheet is the reference list.
The abstract is a summary of your paper. It gives readers an idea of what your paper is about. Based on this abstract a reader normally decides whether or not to read the whole essay. The abstract does not normally exceed 120 words. You have to make these 120 words so interesting that the reader is compelled to read the whole paper.
Under the APA citation format an essay normally has an introduction. The purpose of the introduction is to acquaint the reader with what the essay will be dealing with. It is written on the basis that the reader is new to the subject.
The first page in an essay under the APA format must meet the following requirements.
It must have the paper's title, the name of the author and the institute of affiliation. These should appear centered on the upper half of the page. The other elements of the title page are the header and a running head. The header is a short form of the title and should be no more than one or two words. The running head should be within 50 characters.
In addition to this there are a few requirements that are basic to the APA citation format. It requires that the essay or research paper is typed on paper that is 8.5 inches by 11 inches. It also requires that the all-around margin be 1 inch. The line spacing should be double. All the pages of the essay should have a header and a page number. These should appear in the right hand corner. This detail should also appear on the title page.
When you quote someone or use an idea that is someone else's the APA citation format requires that you use parenthetical documentation method for in-text citation. The way in-text citation is done differs a little if the work cited is by one or more authors or from a secondary source or is a direct quote. In APA the parenthetical documentation should include the last name of the author and the year of publication. If the name of the author forms a part of the essay text the year of publication is alone mentioned in parenthesis.
As per the APA citation format the reference page should be a separate page with the works cited arranged in alphabetical order. References should be double spaced with no space between references. If a reference runs to more than one line, all subsequent lines should be indented.
APA essays that conform to the APA format are invariably more professionally written. Hence this format is recommended for essays that relate to research papers and social sciences essays.
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Guidelines in Writing With Chinese Business Professionals

Does your organization do business with Chinese companies? As you're probably aware, business convention when it comes to letters, memos and other written correspondences aren't exactly uniform across all countries and cultures. While standard American business writing is largely applicable to Chinese culture, there are certain things you may want to consider the next time you compose an email.
Pull up a reference. If this is a first communication, always preface it by using a reference. "Cold calling" is not as popular in Chinese business climates as it is in other areas of the world. As such, that brief paragraph explaining how you came upon their business can prove crucial.
Be conscious of addressing them as equals. When corresponding with personnel from other companies, always address them as equals. You're neither their boss nor their subordinate, so the tone of your writing must reflect that. Be conscious of the words, phrases and clauses you employ, taking care that it communicates that you're on equal terms.
Use titles and family names. Business correspondences must remain formal. As such, always refer to individuals using their title and surname (e.g. Dr. So, Mr. Chan), never their given names.
Make sure translators know the rules. We're big proponents for translation software, but avoid using it for official emails and letters, as it's prone to grammatical foibles and some mistakes - you don't want to paint that kind of picture to potential business associates. If you're hiring a translator to port your English correspondence to Chinese, make sure they know the importance of the above rules, as they can mean the difference between clear communication and misunderstandings.
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The Impact of the Internet on Contemporary Literature

Literature basically is everything that has ever been written. Anything from the earliest poems of Homer, to today's web pages, can be considered literature. But for a specific sense, there are various kinds of literature. Literature can be written in a specific language, like English Literature or be written by a specific culture, such as African Literature. But literature really means more than printed words and the internet certainly is a part of literature. I should note that the word literature comes from the French phrase belles-lettres, which means "beautiful writing". When a piece of work is called literature, it is usually considered a great work of art. The internet literature does not necessarily have to be this way for the fact that no one controls the internet literature. In the following essay I am going to speak about the impact of the internet on literature of nowadays.
There are two main classes of literature which are also present on the internet: fiction and nonfiction. Fiction is writing that an author creates from the imagination. Authors may include personal experience, or facts about real people or events, but they combine these facts with imagined situations (Moran, 45). In non-internet literature the project undergoes at least some sort of censorship in terms of what words can be used, yet the internet allows the authors to put anything they desire on the web site and enjoy it. Most fiction is narrative writing, such as novels and short stories. Fiction also includes drama and poetry. Nonfiction is factual writing about real-life situations. The principal forms of nonfiction include the essay, biography, autobiography, and diary (Browner, 90). The internet presents a new forms--internet pages, or internet books.
People read literature for a variety of reasons. The most common reason for reading is pleasure. People read to pass the time, or for information and knowledge. Through literature, people meet characters they can identify with, and sometimes find solutions for their own problems. With literature, a person can often understand situations they could not otherwise understand in real life (Koehler, 28). Often, just the arrangement of the words can be enjoyable, just as a child likes the sound of "Ring Around the Rosie", even though they might not understand what the words mean. There are four elements of literature: characters, plot, theme, and style. A good author has the ability to balance these elements, creating a unified work of art. The characters make up the central interest of many dramas and novels, as well as biographies and autobiographies. A writer must know each character thoroughly and have a clear idea about each ones look, speech, and thoughts. The internet literature is not difficult to create for the fact that unlike "traditional" literature the internet literature requires minimal start up costs (Moran, 47). And because reading usually involves convenience, at some point of time one would not be surprised to see convenient electronic devices that could be transported anywhere and would download books from the internet and present them in digital format.
Motivation is the reason for characters actions. A good writer will be sure that the motives of a character are clear and logical. The internet writers do not have to be this way, they are not controlled and they hardly risky anything by publishing online. Setting is where a character's story takes place. The plot is built around a series of events that take place within a definite period. It is what happens to the characters. No rules exist for the order in which the events are presented. A unified plot has a beginning, middle, and an end. In literary terms, a unified plot includes an exposition, a rising action, a climax, and a denouement, or outcome. The exposition gives the background and situation of the story (Browner, 93). The rising action builds upon the exposition. It creates suspense, or a reader's desire to find out what happens next. The climax is the highest point of interest, also a turning point of a story. The denouement is the conclusion. The theme is the basic idea expressed by a work of literature. It develops from the interplay of character and plot. A theme may contain morals, to warn the reader to lead a better life or a different kind of life. The internet literature does not have to be this way at all because no one controls it. The write take minimal risk in terms of investment, yet possibly can find readers from all over the world, which can pay for the e-book and download it to their own computers, is very high (Moran, 49).
A serious writer strives to make his work an honest expression of sentiment, or true emotion. They avoid sentimentality, which means giving too much emphasis to emotion or pretending to feel an emotion. A writer of honest emotion does not have to tell the reader what to think about a story. A good story will direct the reader to the author's conclusion. Style is the way a writer uses words to create literature. It is difficult to enjoy a story's characters or plot without enjoying the author's style (Browner, 98). The style of an author is as important as what he is trying to say. Point of view, or the way a story is presented, is another part of style. A writer may tell a story in the first person, using the pronoun I, as though the narrator were a major or minor character in it. Or, the writer may use the third person method, in which the narrator stands apart from the characters and describes the action using such pronouns as he and she. There are two types of third person views: limited and omniscient. In the third person limited point of view, the narrator describes the events as seen by a single character. In the third person omniscient, or all knowing, point of view, the narrator reports on what several characters are thinking and feeling. Reading is an intently personal art. There are no final rules for judging a piece of writing. Often, people's judgment of a work can change as taste and fashion change. Yet the classics continue to challenge readers' imaginations and give ageless advice. Shakespeare will most likely be as popular a hundred years from now as he is today. That is power of literature. Literature is timeless (Moran, 53).
It should be noted that literature can have many and different values on a person and it is the internet that allows literary values to be delivered to the audience without any barriers. It is all depending on the story and the value or moral issue the author wants, you, the reader to get out of it. The value literature had on me was actually hard to put into words. But to understand the value of literature you must know the definition of value and literature. Value has many meanings but there is two that relate (Browner, 102). Worth in usefulness or importance to the possessor and a principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable. Literature is a body of writings in prose or verse. Literature produces value because it is basically an analysis of an experience or situation (Koehler, 30). I got a different value out of each story. With Mark Twain's The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn it showed me that one does not have to be civilized or conform to the ideas of society to become cultured or mature. With Huck Finn he ran away from everything that was considered civilized (Moran, 58). He had nothing and really did not want anything. But at the same time he experienced and matured living dangerously. This made me value Huck's adventure and take it as my own. Huck proves his maturity when he comments on how the king and duke dupe the villagers into believing that they are the dead man's brothers, and Huck says, "I never see anything so disgusting."(Twain 163) Even though the king and duke commit an awful act on the villagers he still feels sorry for them when they get tarred. Huck comments, "Human beings can be awful cruel to one another."(Twain 225) In William Faulkner's Barn Burning it told of a man named Abner Snopes who burned barns when upset or mad. This was his way of getting back at them. "Barn Burning" has two very evident struggles (Browner, 105). Abner oppresses his family just as the upper class has oppressed him. "Barn Burning" to me is based on misdirected anger. Which is basically happening in these days. For example, a teenager and his parents have it out, he leaves, and now his anger is directed toward anything in his pathway. "Barn Burning" has a value in that it shows in life that people actually misdirect their anger. Such as in the school shootings and bomb threats that have occurred in the past couple of years (Koehler, 33). Just like Abner Snopes felt like an outsider to the upper class, so did the students who committed these violent acts. In "The Swimmer", it made me value life and what it brings. Because if your not careful or you do not watch out it will past you up without notice (Browner, 109). As with "Everyday Use", one of the daughters did not value who she was or whom she was because she was going out looking for her history. Which she already had at her fingertips.
In conclusion I would like to note that reading all of the literature which colleges and universities assign to their students involves very high costs to the society in terms of paper consumption and time wasting (that involves going to the library, or to the book shop, etc). The internet and the ability to download the books from online to one portable device would reduce the costs, save the trees, and will make people more efficient. I realize that there are a lot of things that we as people in this society take for granted. Literature has made me value a lot of experiences and situations so far and I enjoy holding the paper book in the evening preparing for the next day, yet I do not protest against the use of the digital technology to create digital books that would contribute not only to the efficiency but also to the reduced costs to the whole society.
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