Improve Your Writing Skills
There are a plethora of writing websites on the Internet. Anyone can write, there's no interview process and you don't need to apply. Simply register with the site, start writing and publish your work over the Web.

The upside is that a writer can display his talents or, the downside; he demonstrates a rudimentary level of incompetence. More often than not, the latter is the case as the rules of grammar, writing, and punctuation are consistently violated.

Articles all over the Internet are poorly written by many who actually believe they are competent writers. There's room for improvement with every freelance writer on the web. The problem: if you don't consider yourself a bad writer, you will not pursue the tons of free assistance on the Internet. The art of writing cohesive articles takes practice and experience just like any other endeavor.

Articles all over the Internet are poorly written by many who actually believe they are competent writers. There's room for improvement with every freelance writer on the web. The problem: if you don't consider yourself a bad writer, you will not pursue the tons of free assistance on the Internet. The art of writing cohesive articles takes practice and experience just like any other endeavor.

It's time to see more quality material on the Internet. The buck stops here! The purpose of this Lens is to begin the process of propagating quality content throughout the web. It's not about trying to change anyone's opinion about a particular topic, but being able to improve the overall quality of writing on the World Wide Web.

On this page you will find numerous free tools to help improve writing skills. This Lens will be updated on a regular basis so please return as often as possible.

Free Paper Grader Grammar.com Transitional Words and Phrases

Article Introduction

by Barry Shaw Sr. from Firehow.com

You're surfing the web, looking for something that peaks your interest. You come across and article of interest, at least the title is, and the first couple of sentences will decide whether you read it in its entirety or you move on. That's how important it is to capture the reader's attention in the introduction or first paragraph of your article. This is the critical area that will make or break the success of what you wrote and in most cases determine whether or not you make money on the article.

If you're writing for the sheer enjoyment of it then you're not concerned about the monetary value of your article but you should be concerned about your reputation as a freelance writer. No one actually has to give you the title "author," or "freelance writer," because if you publish a book, article, journal, manuscript, or any other publication via one of the many media outlets, including the Internet, that makes you an unofficial author. You may or may not be a very good one, but you could technically label yourself an author nonetheless. This refers primarily to the Internet because if you're not a good writer you can forget about getting an article published in any decent magazine or newspaper. Establish a solid "lede" or lead to your story.

The lede, as it's termed in journalistic parlance, is the first paragraph of a story. It should focus on the main points of the story, capture the reader's interest, and do this in as few words as possible. Somewhat daunting tasks because you will need to mix flash with what you are attempting to portray. However, with practice, you will improve your ability to balance your intro with a little wit, pizzazz, and substance. Avoid being too vague when introducing the subject of the article. Utilize the "Substitution Test" which is, if you can swap another noun for the subject, you have more work to do.

The next portion of your article should justify what you're writing by telling the readers why they should care. It should explain your introduction briefly and how it relates to the subsequent paragraphs. Include supporting references or information that tells your audience why this is a timely and important article. In journalism, this section is referred to as the "Nut Graf." Wall Street Journal writer and editor, Ken Wells described the nut graf as "a paragraph that says what this whole story is about and why you should read it. It's a flag to the reader, high up in the story. You can decide to proceed or not, but if you read no farther, you know what that story's about." It's crucial that you tell the reader why she should care. Explain the relevancy of your topic by completing this statement, "This is important because..." Being able to succinctly finish this sentence will increase the value of your publication.

Make sure your adjectives compliment the article and not take away from its substance. Avoid empty, useless adjectives like "fun, great," or "fantastic" and use definitive words "that describe or modify another person or thing in the sentence."

15 Tips to Becoming a Better Writer

  1. Brief sentences: Poor sentence structure usually originates from long, drawn out, awkward sentences. Keep your sentences brief, concise, and make your point in as few words as possible.
  2. Write like you talk: The novice writer tends to go overboard with trying to make a point. A rule of thumb to follow for any writer, with or without experience, is to write like you talk. If what you've put on paper would not make sense in conversation, don't write it down. Stop trying to be Mark Twain and just write in plain English (or whatever language you happen to be writing in).
  3. Present tense, second person: Present tense, second person writing is the most professional way to appeal to the reader. Use "you" as often as possible and eliminate "I" and "Me" altogether.
  4. Don't bore the reader: Blah, blah, blah; the readers have heard it all before, and read numerous boring pieces just like yours. Add spice and controversy to what you write, especially if you're writing fiction.
  5. Know your audience: There are a plethora of categories to write under. Whichever one you choose make sure you know a little something about this particular genre. This way you're not writing to a sector that is not interested in what you're writing about.
  6. Outline: An outline does not need to be complex. It's only for your eyes and should consist of a rough draft introduction, numbered bullet points, and a brief close. That's it. Use this outline to create your article or short story.
  7. Tell stories and paint pictures: Your job as a writer is to tell a story or paint a picture. The blank piece of paper or blank word document is your canvas. Be descriptive and use examples. Describe what may be unfamiliar by using the familiar. For example: "John's first day at work reminded him of the awkwardness he experienced on his first day of school." Find cleaver ways to get the reader to see your point without being monotonous.
  8. Write extensively: Make it part of your daily ritual to write. Many of the writing sites on the Internet give you a little reward for writing without missing a day. It amounts to a virtual "pat on the back" but its recognition nonetheless. It's also a good way to stay focused and improve your writing skills. Practice makes perfect.
  9. Read voraciously: Read as often as you can. Read the works of talented writers like Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Toni Morrison, Charles Dickens, and Jean-Paul Sartre. It doesn't matter whether you like their work or not, the key is to get a grasp of their writing style and use it to enhance your skills.
  10. Six sentences or less: Long paragraphs with more than five or six sentences can be intimidating to the reader. Paragraphs with less than six sentences break up the page and make the article appear less formidable to the reader.
  11. Eliminate distractions: Eliminate all distractions when writing. Find a quiet spot and make it your writing sanctuary. Some writers can write with music playing others cannot. Make yourself as comfortable as possible. Sit in a chair that allows for maximum back support and comfort.
  12. No CAPITAL letters: Capital letters tend to express anger in writing. Writing in caps is also a sign of an inexperienced writing. The only capital letters in your articles should be at the beginning of every sentence and direct questions in quotes (see "Capitalization Rules").
  13. Active verbs: Active verbs are more engaging to the reader. These type words help the writer to get her point across more succinctly. Many people shy away from the use of active verbs because they are attempting to take up space. Ultimately, keeping the message short and sweet, serves the author better in the long run.
  14. Write down ideas: Throughout the day various constructive thoughts come to us but we don't capitalize on them by writing it down. Pen and pad should be available at all times because this keeps your writing fresh and innovative.
  15. Strong introduction and conclusion: The most critical parts of any article or short story are the introduction and the conclusion. In the intro you want to capture the reader's attention. Captivate your audience and make them want more. In the end, summarize, tie lose ends together, and leave them fulfilled, but wanting more.

Finding Topics for Articles

Social networking sites are a great place to find popular, up to date topics. The micro-blogging site Twitter is a real time search engine and can be used for various research projects. It is a good source to find material. From the Twitter home page, check the right hand side of the screen for up to date trending topics.

Read message boards to find topics related to your area of expertise. Message and bulletin boards are filled with article topics. Browse through magazines and newspapers for additional ideas.

Freelance Writer's Glossary includes essential terms needed to maximize your earning potential. It's important to learn the language of Freelance Writing because it gives your writing that professional look and feel and helps to sell your ideas. Knowing how and when to utilize these terms also assist in coming up with topics for articles.

Freelance writing has it's own professional language and the Glossary teaches you that language. It works for emails and for writing and speaking with editors and publishers by using language they understand.

The Write Prompts - Writing Prompts

Great Letters

Letter from Birmingham Jail:

While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities unwise and untimely. Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms. Continue reading..

Romantic Love Letters:

Since time immemorial, we have been writing Love Letters to our beloved. Writing Love Letters is a way of expressing your love through words. Continue reading..

10 Greatest Love Letters:

Millions have written love letters in thousands of styles about thousands of things for thousands of years. But are these the 10 very best, the greatest love letters of all time? Continue reading..

Short Stories

Submitted on Bubblews.com by Deelark on March 04th, 2014

Would you like to write short fiction stories? Do you know how to write one? When I went to short fiction story classes, I was taught some tips on how to make your short story more readable and interesting to your readers. Here are some ideas and tips to make this happen if you want to start writing short fiction.
Continue reading..

Benefits of Article Writing

The more you write, the more you read. Reading is research and to research you must read. One works hand-in-hand with the other and you find yourself reading more than any other time in your life. An added benefit, and a direct consequence to writing is, your typing speed improves.

Writing online increases your productivity. Idle chatting and solitaire playing is reduced to a minimum or cut out entirely. Those who start writing online and continue, do so because of the enjoyment, relaxation, and a sense of accomplishment.

Article writing makes you a better note-taker. Note-taking to a writer is like a script to an actor. Taking good notes makes article writing that much easier and more fluent. The more you write, you'll take better, more concise notes. Ultimately, the notes you take help to organize your thoughts and create a smoother flow for your article.

Online writing makes you more attentive. Your awareness is heightened because you find yourself looking for a potential article in almost all your interactions. Road trips, going to the mall, restaurants, where ever you go, your thought process will always lead you to, "I can write about this."

Writing can be contagious. When others find out you're writing online, and getting paid for it, they want in. You've added a "follower" or associate to your network and it creates a domino effect from there.

from listmyfive.com


"How To" Articles

In the introduction of a "How to" article you have four seconds to capture the readers attention. The intro is your best opportunity to make a lasting impression and convince the reader that it's in her best interest to finish the article. It is incumbent upon the writer to create a delicate balance between substance and flash.

Successful Introduction

  1. Write a good opening sentence. Your opening sentence must provide the reader with context so she immediately understands the focus of the article. Citing a credible source in the opener takes a vague statement and makes it concrete. Don't introduce your topic with a string of generic observations. Utilize the substitution test, which is: If you can swap another noun for the subject, your intro is too vague. Avoid questions in your opening sentence.
  2. Create a solid "nut graf." In journalism, a nut graf puts the story in context and tells readers why the story matters. The nut graf is considered by the majority of editors to be the most important section of a story, since it tells the readers why they should be reading the story, and establishes your credibility in writing the story.
  3. Tell the reader why he should care. Make sure that at least one of your sentences could follow the imaginary preface, "This is important because%u2026" It's imperative that you're able to explain why your topic is relevant and valuable to the reader.
  4. Avoid empty adjectives like "nice," "beautiful," "great," "awesome," "fantastic," "terrific," or "good." Use adjectives that are particular to the subject you're describing. Empty adjectives are descriptors that are unnecessary or do not add any additional value. Examples are, "the child's little hand" .. little is not necessary; or "In the dark night" .. dark should be omitted.
  5. 75 - 100 words in your introduction. Don't put too much information in the intro because most of the facts should be located in the body of the article.

How To Article Steps 

  1. Steps should be in chronological or logical order. Choose the order that best suits the article and that provides the most concise steps. Outline the actions a reader must take to complete the stated objective.
  2. Start each step with an action verb, and tell readers precisely what they need to do, without generalizing.
  3. Steps should be short and concise, two or three sentences. If there is pertinent information needed to further explain it's OK to have one or two more sentences in a particular step.
  4. Refrain from stating the obvious, for example, "Open box and remove." Readers are aware of the fact that they need to open the box. Start with the task. Don't refer to the order of the tasks within the steps. For example, "The first thing to do is ..." in Step 1, 2, or 3. Also, do not refer to the action in a previous step unless it is necessary for clarity.

How to Tips and Warnings 

  • "Tips" provide additional information and advice. Order tips from most to least important. Do not repeat or summarize steps. Warnings should be listed from most important to least and should note possible risk or dangerous consequences associated with the article.

Most Searched Article Topics:

Computer Repair and Virus Protection

Articles about computer repair and anti-virus software gets tons of views. Working as a tech support specialist, over 50% of the calls are virus related.

Web Hosting

Surprisingly, articles about Web Hosting are extremely popular. That's because more and more people are looking to establish a web presence. Also, more people are designing and maintaining their own web site. This fact increases the number of searches done on web design, maintenance, and hosting.

Building Wealth

Whether you're writing about investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, Internet Marketing, or creating multiple income streams, it all falls under the banner of building wealth. Any time you're writing about the potential to make money, you'll attract lots of attention.

Phone Apps

How popular has smart phone apps become? There are apps for apps and the number increases daily. Most apps are beneficial time savers, and some are just for fun and games. Whatever the case, write about it and you'll reap the benefits of one of the most popular I.T. gadgets of the 21st century.


Articles about travel are popular because at some point and time every one will go on vacation. Because of the current recession, the travel agency business has taken a hit but people are still searching for travel ideas, cheap airfare, and hotels.

Imperative Sentences

Imperative sentences make a request, give a command, or express a wish. They are usually simple sentences but it's not uncommon to find a complex sentence is also an imperative one. Depending on the strength of emotion behind the request, command, or wish, a period or exclamation mark punctuates the sentence.


Raise your hand before speaking.
Be courteous to your classmates.
Bring pencil and paper with you everyday.

"Mom" and "Dad"

The words "mom" and "dad" are not capitalized in English grammar unless you can replace the words with their given names.

10 Ways to Overcome Writers Block 

  1. Ask a question - Think about the topic you'd like to write about and ask questions about it. Ask as many as you can think of. Then, all you have to do is answer them.
  2. Start with one word - Think of a good word to start out with. Add another word. Add more words until you make a sentence. Add some more sentences. Make a paragraph. Add some more paragraphs. Before you know it, you'll have something.
  3. Ask for help - Ask someone for advice. Moms are great at giving advice. Anyone will do for advice.
  4. Research - Go on Bing Search Engine, try Wikipedia, open an almanac, or go to a library. There's a lot you can find if you look.
  5. Be Unique - Look for the biggest, smallest, newest, oldest, most expensive, least expensive... you get the point.
  6. Make Connections - Think of a person and something that you don't usually think goes together. How might they fit?
  7. Numbers - How can numbers affect what you are thinking about?
  8. Make a list - Think about what you know about a subject. Create a list, outline, or mind-map.
  9. Adapt - Think of something you know about and adapt it to something you are thinking about.
  10. Ask one question - Think of a really good question and ask several people. Ask the same direct, open-ended question. If you put together enough responses, you'll have something good to write about.

Write to accomplish: A carefully constructed, concise, grammatically correct, letter can get things done. Letters have been written that have caused incompetent people to lose jobs, as well as competent people to get jobs.

Letters have been written that have changed the dynamics of a city; letters have been written to alter the outcome of court cases. If you're a participant of a legal battle you're warned not to write the judge because he or she must remain unbiased, but a well constructed, non-threatening letter, outlining your case, actually won't hurt. It will get you reprimanded but by that time it's been read and the psyche of the reader has already been affected. It's been done countless times throughout history. Therefore, never underestimate the power of the pen.
A couple of years ago, I started researching the universe, or the cosmos. The more information gathered on this fascinating topic, the more I've become enthralled with the subject.

How big is the universe? It is a question man has been asking since the beginning of time. The infinite size is staggering, and even that's putting it mildly. There are no words to describe the gargantuan size of the universe. With countless stars and galaxies we can only imagine what is out there.

More articles on Bubblews...

Traveling at the speed of light - 186,000 miles per second - starting from planet Earth, we will reach the Sun in 8 minutes 19 seconds. After 5 hours 30 minutes, we've passed Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and its companion moon.

We have traveled more than 3.5 billion miles, to the outer edges of our Solar System. Still moving at the speed of 186,000 miles per second, we now travel in a vertical direction away from our planetary system. Glancing in the rear view mirror, we can no longer see the Earth's solar system.

After 5 years, we reach Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to our solar system. Our journey has now taken us more than 25 trillion miles and we've really only just begun. We are 10 light-years from the Sun. One light year is equivalent to just under 6 trillion miles.

100 light-years from the Sun, we can now view the patterns of gas and nebulous that form the arms of our Milky Way galaxy. 1000 light years away, our galaxies arms and disks become more defined.

Continue reading...
Overcoming Writer's Block

by JanieWrites from ListMyFive

Writers Block is a phenomenon most writers have faced at least once. It occurs when the mind simply goes blank and the writer can't think of a single word to put on the page or type into the computer. It is frustrating, and time consuming. The worst time to be faced with writers block is when the writer is up against a deadline. There are ways to get past it, however. The first thing a writer needs to do is acknowledge that he or she is blocked. This will free up the writer to take steps to unblock his or her mind. Not acknowledging will make the writer even more frustrated and he or she will continue to spin wheels instead of getting down to work.

Step Away From the Computer

If you find yourself blocked take your hands off the keyboard and stand up, Stretch your arms, back, and neck. Walk around the room or even out of the office. Take a notebook and pencil with you. Clear your mind, think of nothing for a few minutes. Now start to slowly bring in thoughts that might be related to the writing project, but do not need to be. Just start thinking about something - plan your evening menu in your head, review the steps you took to get where you are in the project. Just random thoughts, but be aware of nuggets of thought that might appear that could help you in the writing project. Start jotting these nuggets down so you can come back to them later.

Jog Your Memory

Sometimes it takes a bit more effort to get those creative writing juices flowing. Try looking through a magazine or newspaper. Clean out a shelf in the garage, paying attention to items you touch or pick up. Go visit a second hand or antique store. What in there is familiar to you? Is there a story there? Jot down your thoughts or ideas. Look at colors and textures around you. What is the weather doing? Can you use these things in the story you are working on?


This is an old trick, but it works. Start writing down random words. Make them into sentences, Keep writing, no matter how silly or irrelevant it seems. You may find yourself putting together ideas and thoughts that actually make sense to your writing. Keep going untl you have broken through and are ready to start working again on the original piece. Do not throw away the page you were brainstorming on -- there are other ideas right there, waiting for you to discover them.

Use Writing Prompt

This is my favorite one. I often write flash fiction (quick, 500 words or less fiction done in a specified time period). Imagine being told you have one hour to write no more than 500 words on any topic you want. The first few minutes could be in spinning your wheels when you should be writing. This is where a prompt comes in handy. A prompt is a few words or sentences telling you what you are to write about.

Read Other Authors

When you read other writing, whether or not it relates to what you are trying to do, you will be amazed at the ideas that come to mind. Always keep a pencil and paper handy when you are reading just to keep track of all those ideas. Now admit it, didn't you think of a few things you could write while you were reading about Granny? Taking your mind off what you are working on will give you all kinds of ideas to go back to and write about!
Writing Links Links for Freelance Writers  

Rules for Using Semicolons

A semicolon is most commonly used to link (in a single sentence) two independent clauses that are closely related in thought. When a semicolon is used to join two or more ideas (parts) in a sentence, those ideas are then given equal position or rank.

Example: Some people write with a word processor; others write with a pen or pencil.

Use a semicolon between two independent clauses that are connected by conjunctive adverbs or transitional phrases.

Example: However they choose to write, people are allowed to make their own decisions; as a result, many people swear by their writing methods.

Use a semicolon between items in a list or series if any of the items contain commas.

Example: There are basically two ways to write: with a pen or pencil, which is inexpensive and easily accessible; or by computer and printer, which is more expensive but quick and neat.

Use a semicolon between independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction if the clauses are already punctuated with commas or if the clauses are lengthy.

Example: Some people write with a word processor, typewriter, or a computer; but others, for different reasons, choose to write with a pen or pencil.

Avoid using a comma when a semicolon is needed:

Incorrect: The cow is brown, it is also old.
Correct: The cow is brown; it is also old.

Using "Furthermore" in a Sentence

"Furthermore" is an adverb that can be used within a sentence to denote additional information. Synonyms are "besides" and "what's more."

Example: The car I considered purchasing was getting rusty, furthermore its breaks were fading.

"Furthermore" can also be used to begin a sentence that is providing additional information.

Example: I believe that I can complete the marathon in under 3 hours. Furthermore, I believe that I can win it.

The word is typically used in formal language within legal and academic texts.

Writing Tips on Video