Other Words for “Said”

Direct speech can be difficult to smoothly navigate when you’re writing, but if you’re writing a novel or short story, dialogue is almost certainly going to happen at some point. When there is a conversation, the most common thing to do is use “said” when a person speaks: “Are you crazy?” said Mary. “Some of …

How to Write a Common Application Transfer Essay

First, boot up your computer. Now write. Well, actually, it’s a little more complicated than that, but it’s still not as difficult as you might imagine. This essay differs from your first college essay, because it has slightly less of a focus on your personality. Why do you have to write this essay? There is …

The Best Ways to End a Letter

When it comes to ending letters, most of us already know about using “Yours Sincerely” and “Yours Faithfully.” When I was at school, we were told to sign off friendly letters with the former, and business letters with the latter, but nowadays, opinions seem to have changed. Many people say “Yours Sincerely” is too formal, …

The Best Words to Describe Yourself in an Interview

Your job interview places you in quite a dilemma. You can’t be overly modest and put yourself down, but you also can’t brag like crazy, or you’ll end up looking egotistical. You’ll be asked a lot of questions about yourself. Which words should you use? Recruiters do like to see a touch of modesty. There’s …

10 Great Pieces of Advice About Editing

If you’re lucky, you know someone who can act as your editor, but most of us end up having to edit our own editing. There’s just one problem: it’s really hard to spot mistakes you made yourself. You might think some commercial editing software can help you, and although I’ll admit some of these are pretty …

How Many Words Is War and Peace?

Leo Tolstoy’s historical novel on the Napoleonic invasion of Russia has become a byword for long books. If someone talks about doing something in the time it takes to read War and Peace, you can be sure that they mean it’s going to take quite a long time, and if your teacher comments that he …

Can You Start a Sentence With “But?”

Today, I am here to set you free from one of the shibboleths of grammar. You will be liberated! I certainly was. At school, we were taught you should never, ever, under any circumstances start a sentence with a conjunction. That rules out starting sentences with either “and” or “but” when writing. I faithfully learned …

What Are Mnemonics? (With Examples)

Mnemonics quite possibly got me through college. If you don’t use mnemonics yet, you should consider doing so. This method is one of the best ways to memorize large chunks of information in an abbreviated form that triggers your memory. Mnemonics can be acronyms or they can be little rhymes or mental images, and they’re …

What Is a Paradox?

If you have two pet dogs, you have a paradox (pair of dogs). Groan! Alright, alright, I’ll stop trying to be punny, and I’ll take this question a little more seriously. Simply put, a paradox is a statement that seems to contradict itself, but could very well be true. I adore paradoxes because they often …

100 Shakespeare Quotes You Might Hear Today

Shakespeare, he’s terribly highbrow isn’t he? And besides, it’s all in archaic English that we just don’t use any more. If we were to go around quoting Shakespeare, people would think us pretentious – or would they? The truth is that Shakespeare was the HBO of the times. He wrote entertaining plays for the masses …