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Top tips for writing essays in a foreign language

Posted by [email protected] on May 28, 2015 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

It is commonplace to get stuck on writing an essay in your native language let alone having to take up the same task in a foreign language. You might wonder whether the essay you write will be comprehensible in the foreign language which will, in turn, breed anxiety. Here are top tips to avoid this and to jump-start your fluency in writing in a foreign language.

Draft your essay in the foreign language

Doing this first will save you a lot of time during the writing process. When you stick to your target language from the start, you will make the essay more consistent to the conventions of that language. Drafting an essay in your native language and then translating it to a foreign language will not quite work because sentences that flow in one language does not always flow the same way in another. This is because phrases and figures of speech that you intend to use may not exist in both languages.

Think in the foreign language

You will gain the fluency that is required in your essay when you think in the foreign language, especially before you start writing. It will help you write phrases in the foreign language correctly. Read literature or have a conversation with someone in the targeted language. You could look up YouTube videos or web podcasts where conversations are held in that language too. This will refresh your mind with words that you probably would have left out in your essay.

Look at other essays for inspiration

Collect other essays written in the foreign language that inspire you. If they contain good vocabulary, sentence structure, and formulate strong arguments, then use them as guides to give you more confidence to compose your essay. Make sure you have a good dictionary to hand to help if the essay examples prompt you to use words that are new to you.

Proofread your essay thoroughly

Make extra time to run through your essay so you can amend errors that you find before you submit it. Proofreading work in a foreign language will be more difficult than doing it in your native language so make sure you allow yourself the extra time to do this thoroughly. Pay attention to grammar, vocabulary, and gender and plural protocols in the foreign language. You could ask someone else who speaks the language to read it to ensure that your essay is error-free.

Like in all types of writing, clarity and brevity in essays is paramount and, therefore, should not be overlooked when you are writing in another language. The writing process will pan out much easier for you when you apply the first three tips prior to composing your essay – then use the final tip to polish off your essay so it reads well. Remember to think, write and talk in the foreign language beforehand and you will be on your way to writing your essay clearly and confidently.

For English essay proofreading -

Writing Secrets - Sentence Harmony

Posted by [email protected] on March 24, 2014 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

England's greatest bard, William Shakespeare, did not always stick to the rules of grammar.

Take for example one of his well known lines from Hamlet. It should have been written to be or not being - that is the question? Doesn't have the same ring about it really, does it?

The version of the sentence he used is an axample of sentence harmony. A good sensence should also be an harmonious sentence.

Just imagine that you are writing about the month of November in your novel about Manchester. You want to convey that it is a month of bad weather in order to set an atmosphere for the next act.

November in Manchester is a month of fog, rain and snowing.

It grates a bit doesn't it? That is beacuse it is not harmonious. What is inharmonious about it? It uses two nouns and a participle, that's what. To create a harmonious sentence, all of the elements should be in agreement. In this case, 3 nouns or 3 participles, but not a mixture, that really doesn't work. In this case, it would only really work with nouns as fogging does not refer to the weather but something that happens to film, glasses, windscreens and other such objects. So your harmonious sentence becomes:

November in Manchester is usually a month of fog, rain and snow.

It is not just nouns and particples that can destroy your harmonious sentence. Phrases need to match too.When proofreading your own writing, it is easy to overlook disharmony, especially with phrases as we often use them in speech.

Poor grammar in a manuscript is like having BO, even your friends won't tell you!

So what is wrong with that? It sounds OK. Nope!

Poor grammar and having BO is a mis-match. You need to remove the word 'having' from in front of BO or add something like 'using' or 'employing' at the very start of the sentence. Then your sentence is back in harmony.

The Final Word

As with Shakespeare, sometimes it is worth throwing in a non-harmonious sentence or two every now and then. They can make your writing more interesting by providing some discord. When your manuscript about life in Manchester is completed, it is best to have it proofread by someone who looks at the style too. A fresh pair of eyes with no vested interest in the writing can spot sentence harmony and offer suggestions as to whether it should be corrected or left as it is.

Writing a tie-in Book

Posted by [email protected] on August 28, 2013 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)


'Tie-in books' are basically novelty books, that in some way relate to another entity; a character, a TV show a hobby, radio character. They come in all shapes and sizes and they can be small gift books, large-format luxury novels, fun books that have sound and noise gimmicks, and practical books which include materials to help you further a hobby and of course the Annual!

So, how do you go about writing such a book?

Start with doing some research. If you are writing a tie-in or novelty book that is based on a TV programme then spend time watching the programme. 

The next piece of research you need to think about is your target audience. Who is going to buy this book? What do you know about this audience? What trends are out there at the moment that are popular in the world of novelty books? Do these trends fit with your target audience? And do they fit with the proposed subject matter of your book? The Internet can be a good source of information.

The licensor is the person or company that owns or holds the licence to the overall brand of the television programme, toy or character that you are hoping to write about. They have to give their seal of approval to your book idea before it can be published. 

Illustration, size, and ultimately what it is that makes the book a novelty book are all hugely important to how well a tie-in book will sell, and thus how well received it will be by a potential publisher or agent. So if you are not able to create a mock up of the book then ensure you have articulate ideas of how the book will look and feel, so that you can describe them to the publisher.

When your manuscript is completed, make sure it is noticed - order proofreading and a publisher pack from Words Worth Reading Ltd.



Proofreading isn't just for writers ...

Posted by [email protected] on August 7, 2013 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

In the ever more competitive jobs market, a little proofreading can go a long way. Sending in a CV that is riddled with grammatical errors and badly organised could kill off any chance you have of getting an interview.

In the past, anyone with an education could be pretty much guaranteed a good career. That is no longer the case. Nowadaysa degree isn't always enough to convince recruiters that you're the right person for their graduate job. With so many graduates to choose from – many of whom have top grades and CVs full of exciting and worthwhile extra curricular activities – recruiters are looking for people who really stand out. An internship could give you that edge, along with an address book full of contacts and some high-level work experience. Internshipsare structured work placements. They tend to be offered by larger organisationsin a wide variety of career areas, from banking to the public sector. Crucially, unlike other kinds of work experience, they're likely to involve working on real projects and tasks, so if you're offered an internship you certainly won't be trapped in the photocopying room or left making the tea and twiddling your thumbs.

Online applications are the norm for most large organisations. You'll need to take just as much care with these as you would for a paper application for – more so, in fact, because although it's tempting to cut and paste your answers to save time, many online systems are designed to filter out applications based onthe number of specific words used. To be successful you'll need to match your application to each organisation's requirements. It goes without saying that you should proofread everything before hitting the submit button.

How to Make Children Appear Believable

Posted by [email protected] on March 2, 2013 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

When including children within your manuscript it isimportant that you write about them and for them in such a way that they appearbelievable. This includes considering such elements as their physicalappearance, their clothing, their interests, their relationships and theirlanguage.

As a writer it is often difficult to get inside the mindsetof your characters, particularly as an adult trying to write the character of achild. As with all characters, to help you with this process it is essentialthat you do adequate research and planning before you get down to the actualwriting. There are several ways in which you can do this research; listen tothe conversations of children that you may pass on the street, watch characterson television who align with the type of character that you are trying todevelop and pull on some of their mannerisms or their fashion style. Importantlyyou should also read others' books to see how they make the children in theirstories believable, or not, as the case may be.

One of the most important aspects to consider is language -which can manifest itself in both dialogue and thought. Remember it is no goodsimply ensuring that your character speaks like an 11 year old girl if theythen go on to think like a 50 year old man!

Points to consider with respect to language therefore - inspeech and thought, are:

 Use of slang                                                                         

Not all children will use slang but it is likely that theywill have their own words to describe certain items or situations. An examplecan be seen in the way that children have described something that is perceivedas good, over the years; mega, cool, wicked, sick etc. are just some of theterms that have been used and words such as these are continually evolving sotry to ensure that you use the right phrases for the time period that yourchildren and your story is set in. The urban dictionary is a good place to gofor an insight into the most current terminology used.


Remember that the language used by you as a writer will notbe the same level of language used by a child. Keep it simple.

For example, rather than:

'I could not even begin to contemplate what I was supposedto do next'


'I didn't know what to do!'

Children do not generally think or speak in long convolutingsentences and therefore keeping them concise and simple will allow for yourcharacters to become believable.

Incorrect sentences

If your characters are very young children, consider howthey would form sentences - they may not do it correctly, omitting words orconfusing words even, but providing you have developed your characterappropriately, writing in this way will be believable. A grammatically poorsentence can be just the thing to make your character believable.

With adequate planning and working on getting the languagejust right your character should begin to develop into someone believable,someone that looks, thinks and sounds like a child.


When your manuscript is ready for submission, use the Words WorthReading Ltd professional manuscript proofreading service to make sure that your characters arereally convincing.


Improve your grammar by studying English.

Posted by [email protected] on October 17, 2012 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

English is a core subject in British schools. All pupils from infant to school leaving age are required to study it in one way or another. The study of English at a higher level continues to be popular but it is not for everyone.


Most traditional English courses were largely literature based. This meant, and still means, that you have lots to read. If you enjoy reading then this is no problem, but much of the reading in fact most of it is likely to be done in your own time. You will be asked to read literature from different ages and of different genre. It is likely you will study prose, poetry and drama. Unlike some other subjects where there is heavy emphasis on absorbing facts, English is often different because it relies more on your personal responses to what you have read.


More recently there has been a growth in the number of English courses which are language based and look at different aspects of English and linguistics. In courses like this for instance, you may be asked to translate a text from one genre to another. There has also been a development in writing courses which enable students to write expertly in both creative and functional language. Subjects often associated with English are Media Studies and Drama.


The downside of studying English particularly in the more traditional courses is the huge emphasis on reading. If you are not an avid reader and get little pleasure from reading then it might be wise for you to think twice about studying English. With the emphasis being on personal response and opinion rather than on fact based outcomes, then this may cause problems for some. The requirement to write long essays is not specific to English. Other subjects require projects, dissertations, and long essays, but it is unlikely you will be expected to write quite as much as you would for English study.


A qualification in English at whatever level is likely to be an important factor in making the search for a job easier. There are many opportunities for people with English at degree level because its value is recognised in business and the professions.

The semicolon.

Posted by [email protected] on November 24, 2011 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Semicolon or comma? This can be a sticky question to resolve but here are some tips that we hope might help you to decide.

Love it or hate it, the semicolon is here to stay. George Orwell hated the semicolon so much that he refused to use it in one of his books - coming up for air, written in the year that the second world war broke out, does not have a single semicolon. George Bernard Shaw despaired of Lawrence, who used colons, commas and full stops but hardly ever a semicolon.

 So how should it be used?

It can be used as a join, it represents a pause somewhere between a comma and a full stop. If you find that you have written a gramattically correct long sentence, stretching over multiple lines, a proofreader might suggest that it be split into smaller sentences. Smaller sentences make the written word more readable. However, you as a writer have the last word and should you decide that a long sentence is about a single subject and you want it to remain as one long sentence, you can use semicolons instead of full stops. Thus grammar, your proofreader, you and the reader are catered for. This also would apply to long sentences suffering from a plethora of commas to separate clauses; swapping some for semicolons keeps the effect but is easier on the eye and potentially less confusing for your readers.

In some sentences, it is necessary to present the reader with a list. Normally, list items are separated by commas, however, with complex lists, a comma may be found within a listed item; the semicolon can then be used to impart a greater clarity.

A semicolon is also required both grammatically and rhetorically before adverbs. When using words such as moreover, nevertheless, however, consequently and so on, adverbs that imply some sort of reflection about the following idea, a semicolon before them is often needed in place of a comma.