How to write effectively

( googled and shared…)

1. Organize and argue.

Good writing is about raising important issues, making persuasive arguments, and marshalling evidence. The key to expressing your ideas effectively is sound organization. Follow a logical design and build your paper with clear sentences and coherent paragraphs.

2. Be concise.

William Zinsser writes, “Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.” Ruthless editing of unnecessary words, phrases, and sentences will improve your writing dramatically.

3. Write what you mean.

Know what you mean, know the meaning of words, and choose the words that precisely express your thoughts.

4. Write with force.

Express your ideas directly and gracefully. Vague words hide good arguments, but they don’t camouflage bad ones. Using strong verbs in the active voice will make your writing more forceful. Keep subject and verb close together.

5. Write for a reader.

Your professors are a captive audience. In your professional life, you will not have this luxury. Most readers are busy and impatient, and you will lose them quickly if you make their job difficult. Develop the habit of reading your writing as another person might read it. Read your sentences aloud. Test your work on readers, including the peer.

6. Revise and rewrite.

The bad news is that writing is hard work. The good news is that with hard work you will become an effective writer. Make drafts a habit, even when they are not required. In addition to editing on screen, edit hard copies of your drafts in the cold light of day.

7. Avoid common errors.

Rules of grammar organize communication, and your readers will judge you by your knowledge of these rules. On the reverse side of this page are common errors. Learn to avoid them. Learn other rules of grammar by paying careful attention to comments on your paper and asking questions about comments that you do not understand.

1. Sentences.
A sentence has a subject and a predicate. Do not link two sentences with a comma or run together two sentences with no punctuation.

2. Punctuation.
Use a comma to separate two independent clauses separated by and, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet. Use a comma after an introductory phrase or clause. Use a semicolon between two independent clauses not separated by one of these conjunctions.

3. Agreement.
A singular subject takes a singular verb; a plural subject takes a plural verb. Use a singular pronoun with a singular antecedent and a plural pronoun with a plural antecedent. Some singular pronouns to remember: anyone, each, either, everyone.

4. Parallel Construction. Sentence elements connected by idea should be expressed in similar form.

6. Voice.
Use the active voice, in which the subject acts, unless you have a good reason to use the passive voice.

7. Pronoun Reference.
Avoid the vagueness of pronouns, especially at the beginning of sentences and paragraphs. Rather than write “This is” or “It is,” use as subject the noun that is the actual subject of your sentence.

8. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers. Misplaced modifiers are words or phrases that, due to incorrect placement, refer to the wrong word in the sentence. Dangling modifiers do not refer to any word in the sentence.


voices and images

Strange voices and images often visit
my sleepless nights,and in
days too-without light-
to incite my sensuous pleasure,
but they speak naive tunes-

I, being a literary-blind
set forth my reason
for the newly vocal and graphic trends and to pensome odd emblems.

They say Homer did write eloquently
and Iliad was a masterpiece…
O, but I’ve seen

more Afflictions in recent times and Helen’s Troy is just a middling rhyme.
And If you take away from me
this harsh helplessness
that sicken my Art,
then you will see my words
danc a tango
on the harvest’s wind.

The mind of a Man is prolific
but if your words are snooped
and vision is deterred, then you must encrypt your thoughts
and immerse your Art
in a land
where only love lasts.


Do not stand at my grave
and cry, my heart still beats in you
but you can’t feel it at all…
Look, the sun rises and sets
and stars whisper in nights,
spring appears and melts in despair, yet love stands still like heaven and never falls,
so wait, a little more.
I hear thy agonies and pain
like a falling star
In the dark bitter sky, or
like a tiny, lonely dew,
freezes at dawn;
and all they tune an eternal song
Of love lost and bond.
So dear love, do not complain,
wait and we will be together again.

Grey shades of life.

Man has short time to stay
as colors of spring,
yet he takes for granted
the smiles of a child, when
coming home, and
unseen tears of a man
when his only son meet his doom.
As time passes
grey shades of sorrow
make life boring;
books, music, plays, promises,
even faces seem
as dull as winter at extreme…
Lonely and blue I stepped
along the empty road,
only could hear echoes my own footsteps,
and some hollow screams;
wondered how the world has changed
and so is the man.
Now we do not dream
those dreams, nor fancy
the awaited sweetness of spring,
but we have let the evils
to hex and rob
our innocent hearts.


The Death of Romance

long ago
the poets sang from the heart
and love to pen epic, ballad
and lyrical romance;
they stressed in lofty tone
emotionality and subjectivity
to evoke
feeling of tranquility deep.
The beauty of shining stars,
of the rising moon
of the night’s storm
of the morning dews
of the roaming clouds
of the autumn leaves
and of the fadding eve
all are buried in the distant past.
Art has changed and so
is the man:
overwhelmed by motives, fears and follies of folk,
passion for beauty and love
has gone, and
Art and form are often seen
in the shadows of unseen dreams…
In digits and dots they measurethe charm of the idyllic scenes.
Woes, wailing and war
plauge the modern art,
and abstract obscurity and
harsh critiques become
a heaven creed. long ago
the poets sang from the heart
and love to pen epic, ballad
and lyrical romance;
they stressed in lofty tone
emotionality and subjectivity
to evoke
feeling of tranquility deep.

The beauty of shining stars,
of the rising moon
of the night’s storm
of the morning dews
of the roaming clouds
of the autumn leaves
and of the fadding eve
all are buried in the distant past.

Art has changed and so
is the man:
overwhelmed by motives, fears and follies of folk,
passion for beauty and love
has gone, and
Art and form are often seen
in the shadows of unseen dreams…

In digits and dots they measurethe charm of the idyllic scenes.
Woes, wailing and war
plauge the modern art,
and abstract obscurity and
harsh critiques become
a heaven creed.

Show vs Tell ( poetry)


First thing a writer must understand is that the concept of (show vs. tell) is different for Poetry than it is for short stories or novels. Not so much that they become totally different concepts, but enough to say they are like two different species of dog. Sure, they’re both dogs, but a Great Dane needs different care than a Jack Russell Terrier.

Time in ones life
Several years ago I was in a creative writing class that had a difficult time thinking in metaphors. I was, in turn, having a hard time sharing my thoughts on the subject. It was when I was listening to the radio on the way to class that a spark hit my brain, like it did Frankensteins monster.
I was listening to Billy Joel’s Piano Man, which is full of Imagery, and I was inspired by how he showed age. Instead of saying he was in his twenties or some other such generality or even a specific age, he wrote: ‘When I wore a younger man’s clothes’
Heres the difference. Telling is saying an age or age category, like 22 or in his twenties. Showing is giving us this image of a man in his youth.
I toyed with this idea for a while and came up with this line, ‘When she first learned the difference between noun and pronoun’ which gives the impression of early school-age.
Then I also came up with this line: ‘As she became armed with drivers license, keys and immortality’ leads the reader to a teenage image.
Passage of time
Remember I said I was inspired? After having tried those two images, I decided to try something a bit different within the realm of time. I wanted to show the passage of time as well as showing age and I came up with this line: ‘One day she woke to find the pages of forty calendars littering the floor at her feet, like confetti.’
This line not only indicates the approximate age of the woman but also shows some time has passed since the last stanza.
Other examples of showing an (image):

her hair was a mess
(tangles and snarls sprang from her head)

I hate the smell of roses.
(one whiff of any rose and I am sick)

he couldn’t wait to see her again
(a second seemed an eternity without her)

you always change your mind
(your mind quickly shifts with the wind)

the moon is full
(like an un-cut round of cheese, the moon begs to be devoured)

I refuse to give up
(in all my quests I am steadfast)

I feel weak
(I could barley lift the spoon to my lips)

I am Blind
(It’s a beautiful day but I can’t see it)


Practice free-writing:
Set a timer for 3 minutes, and write continuously until it ends. Don’t stop for anything. Then edit!
As always, remember ‘Show don’t tell’, pay extra attention to ‘Title / First line / Last line’, and remember your goal is to evoke emotion through metaphors – by showing a detailed scene the reader can experience and feel the emotion intended.

In the Greece of Sappho, Homar Pindar and Sophocles,
In the England of Shakespeare ,Milton and keats
Poetry experiencing the pleasures of Art and justice,

And to be considered
A noble practice,
But now- generations later-
The faults and follies are called
A poetic Art.
Devoid of any form and pattern

Lesson . Structure

What separates poetry from other kinds of writing?
There are many answers to that question. One answer might be that poetry organizes ideas and images in a way that gives more information, tells us something about the way the poet is thinking, helps us to focus on particular words and phrases to give us a new and different perspective on the world.

The poet’s choice of how long to make each line and where to break thoughts from one line to the next creates a poem’s structure.
In open form poetry (also called free verse), the poet is free to write poetry with lines of varying length, choosing the best way to convey a particular message. While at first glance, it might seem that the lines are randomly arranged.
The best free verse is carefully crafted to isolate ideas and images to make them stand out individually, at the same time they are taken together to express a complete story or perspective.

Line breaks and stanza breaks are very important; you want the reader left with a strong impression as they go from one line to the next.

It is best to never end a line on a preposition or word that is not strong. You want your last word to be something that will hit hard and carry throughout the poem.
In free-verse lines can be of any length, but it’s often best to keep them short, and stanzas are best made in groups of two, three, four, or six lines, and are often little paragraphs or phrases.

Make sure your line break leads to the reader wanting to go to the next line to see what happens.

Note that the poem below uses some enjambment: which is when a line leads to the next without punctuation at the end of each, or without a complete thought within each.

Example of free-verse:

I dream of suitors; faceless entities
who try to win me over.
each kiss is a cold tongue
wet and unctuous; uninviting.
why should I dream of such things?
what does it mean – these frigid mouths –
that they illicit such unease.
am I the one who’s cold?
having frozen them with my touch
no warmth I hold inside
that can reach any man; unable,
even in my reverie to betray my heart.

Example of syllabics verse:

On the Sonnet by John Keats

If by dull rhymes our English must be chain’d,
And, like Andromeda, the Sonnet sweet
Fetter’d, in spite of pained loveliness;
Let us find out, if we must be constrain’d,
Sandals more interwoven and complete
To fit the naked foot of poesy;
Let us inspect the lyre, and weigh the stress
Of every chord, and see what may be gain’d
By ear industrious, and attention meet:
Misers of sound and syllable, no less
Than Midas of his coinage, let us be
Jealous of dead leaves in the bay wreath crown;
So, if we may not let the Muse be free,
She will be bound with garlands of her own.

Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent meter, syllable count, patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern. It thus tends to follow the rhythm of natural speech. A rule of thumb is that any given line should not go over 20 syllables long as not to be considered prose poetry.

Syllabic verse is a poetic form having a fixed or constrained number of syllables per line, while stress, quantity, or tone play a distinctly secondary role — or no role at all — in the verse structure.
Assignment 2:
Lesson I: The Five Senses

LESSON 1 — Welcome to the class! I am your teacher, Karen. There will be a few questions in the assignment below to tell me a little about yourself.

First of all I would like to clarify what poetry is and isn’t. Writing poetry is best described as a composition that uses literary techniques and is not prose. Writing Prose is best described as writing that uses ordinary speech or language, such as a story or letter. However, there is such a thing as prose poetry that does use poetic devices, but it is still written in journal, letter or paragraph or story form. Poetry is written with a certain poetic structure of line breaks and stanzas. We will get more into the structure of poetry later in the course. Now that we have that cleared up, let’s forge ahead.

1. Before writing a poem you should have an idea of what you are going to write about. Capture your muse on paper before starting, and build around that as a central point. You should know if you want to give imagery to provoke the senses, the emotions, or both before all other things. Once you have that decided, every word becomes a brick in the wall until you have built a solid poem. The concrete use of the senses makes a poem come to life.

2. What do you want readers to feel?
Do you want to put them at ease, make them irritable, make them cry, confuse them, make them laugh, make them think, excite them, put them in a dreamy mood etc…? Figurative language controls not only emotions, but the five senses. Well placed figures of speech are the very essence of poetry! For example, the use of simile is a good way to bring in the senses without having to use them directly if the senses are not being used directly. An example of this is, ‘the anger within her churned like a thunder storm rolling in.” This is using the sense of sound, as well as imagery, to give a metaphor to how someone feels. It is giving a concrete use of a sense as a comparison to something more abstract.

3. Which senses will you need to focus on?
To get the emotional response you want, will you appeal to any or all of the reader’s 5 senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, or touch?

The five senses:

We are going to use two of the senses for the assignment below: touch and sound.


Touch — She runs her fingers through the dog’s coat,

as static electricity tingles her hand.

Sound — Music floats from the meadow;

soft flute notes, carried by breezes …

Notice that writing in the present tense makes the scene more real and vivid to the reader. Try to use tangible and concrete examples either through the use of the senses directly or through simile, which is comparing something to another things

Assignment 3:
Lesson II: Figurative Language

Figurative language is a poetic technique using figures of speech, especially metaphor, which is a comparison of two separate things. It is a word or phrase used in a nonliteral sense to add rhetorical force of artistic effect and persuasion to a spoken or written passage.There are many types of figurative language. We will focus on two for now;Personification and Simile.


1. Personification is giving human qualities to animals or objects.

A poet will use personification when one wishes to ‘humanize’ the world around us. Animals, nature, Earth, the moon are all objects and creatures that poets personify with human qualities. In a way it draws comparisons between humanity and the world around us. Personification helps the reader understand and relate to what the poet wants to share with his/her reader.


a smiling moon, a jovial sun

In ‘Mirror’ by Sylvia Plath, for example, the mirror–the “I” in the first line–is given the ability to speak, see and swallow, as well as human attributes such as truthfulness.

“I am silver and exact.

I have no preconceptions.

Whatever I see I swallow immediately

Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.

I am not cruel, only truthful–”

In John Keats’ ‘To Autumn’, the fall season is personified as “sitting careless on a granary floor” (line 14) and “drowsed with the fume of poppies” (line 17.)

2. Simile is the comparison of two unlike things using like or as.


He eats like a pig. Vines like golden prisons.

Poetry is, first of all, a communication – a thought or message conveyed by the writer to the reader. Poetry not only creates a vision of what the poet wishes to show, but shares that vision with the reader. It is an interactive art that brings the poet and his/her reader together. To help the reader understand what the poet is sharing, it is important to understand how the poet writes. The poetic and figurative language that he/she will use. How the poet can give new meaning and make the reader draw certain comparisons between thoughts, ideas, and things that they would not normally see.

Comparison is one of the simplest and most recognizable ways of sharing ideas and thoughts. It is also a very effective way to give new meaning and understanding to the mundane. In poetry, the two basic uses of comparison are the use of metaphor and simile.

We will look at simile: the comparison of two unlike things using ‘like’ or ‘as’ (there are others, but we will use these for now).

Examples of Simile;

“fresh as a daisy,” “tough as leather,” “comfortable as an old shoe,” “it fits like the Paper on the wall,” “gay as a lark,” “happy as the day is long, pretty as a picture.”
These are all recognizable similes; they use the words “as” or “like.” These are also clichés, and it is always nice to take old adages and come up with a fresh, new way of expressing them. For example; ‘comfortable as an old shoe’ could be ‘comfortable as an old pair of jeans.’