Tag: 2014

Benefits of Short Stories

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A short story is a literary work that tells a series of event in a specific setting. These series of events are the product of the writer’s powerful mind and imagination. They are the result of contemplations, and realizations done by the writer either during his gloomy or happy days. Short stories are the outlet of the writer’s emotions. It is through short stories that a writer directly or indirectly expresses his ideals, beliefs and opinions regarding issues that continually confronting the society. Thus stories are written due to several purposes such as to inspire, to educate, to entertain and to provoke one’s emotions.

Whichever the purpose of a particular story, one thing that is very much sure is that stories have lots of benefits to everyone.

For children stories teach them moral lessons which will be planted in their young minds and that they can ponder upon as they grow older. Other than that, they help in the enhancement of children’s imaginative thinking which leads to creativity. According to some experts, children are being trained to think imaginatively while listening or reading stories in accordance to how the writer describes the setting, characters, and events that took place in the story. More than that, children are taught to focus their attention to a specific topic so that if they will be engaged to more complicated brainstorming or emersions they won’t have any difficulty. One thing more, their vocabularies will be developed. As a result,, this will help them develop their communication skills both in oral and written communication.

For older person, stories especially with those that contain humor entertain people. Short stories would also provoke questions in the minds of people regarding life and society. Short stories enables them see realities even though the events in the stories did not happen in actual scenes; but there are several situations in life that can be related to those events. The readers are made to see and think of the realities in life. Another thing is that stories teach people to appreciate the beauty of life. This is because through short stories that the adventures of people are told. These characters are used to symbolize things in the real society. It is through them that writers relate the message they wanted their readers to grasp. Despite the fact that these characters shown in these stories don’t exist in real life, their struggles can be compared to someone in real life.

Those benefits mentioned above are only among the many benefits of reading short stories. Seeing those benefits that stories can give, it is just correct to conclude that reading short stories is helpful to all.

Technical Writing – What’s a Reading Level Anyway?

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“The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.”

Walt Whitman, 1819-1892, American Poet

The client said, “We want this written at a 10th-grade reading level.” I said, “What’s a 10th-grade reading level and how is it measured?” The client said, “Hey, will you look at the time! I have to leave right now.”

Similar experiences on a number of occasions made me think that people use the phrase reading level without actually knowing what it means. They read it somewhere and think they sound smarter if they can toss it into the conversation. That sent me on a quest to find out what it means and how it’s measured. Here’s what I found out.

First, this is an important issue, and one that’s not well understood or carefully considered by many clients and the tech writers who work for them. For writers with a lot of experience who write for a wide range of audiences, it becomes instinctive. They know their audiences. They know how to write in a way that the readers can understand. They make adjustments for the specific audience they’re writing for. For writers new to the business or with experience writing for a limited audience, it can be a problem when they need to write for an audience they’re not familiar with.

Next, when people say something is written at a tenth-grade reading level the target audience’s ability to read that concerns us. Someone could read “Uber der Welt so hoch” and still not understand it. The goal is to write in a way that the target audience can comprehend. That involves using vocabulary and sentence structure that fits the reading comprehension level of the audience. , it’s a misnomer. What they really mean is that it’s written at a tenth grade comprehension level or what’s called a readability level. It’s not

Finally, the good news. Readability can be measured. The experts in the field of linguistics know what a tenth-grade readability level is and how it’s different from another level. It’s not an exact science, but it’s well enough developed that it can be used by writers to help them hit the mark with more accuracy. We won’t get into the really technical aspects of the subject, but we’ll provide enough background and illustrations that you’ll know how to find out more about it.

Readability Formulas

Readability formulas are used to determine if a document is written at the right comprehension level for the target audience. There are a number of readability formulas used by various linguistic groups. For now, we’re going to focus on the Gunning’s Fog Index because it’s one of the most famous and one any writer can use. The index was developed by Robert Gunning in 1952. The basic idea is that the bigger the words and the more complex the sentences, the more difficult it is to understand the document. Small words and short sentences are still the easiest to understand.

For convenience, the Fox Index levels equates to the number of years of formal education a reader needs to understand the material. By the way, this is based on the American system of twelve elementary and high school grades with the number of years of college education numbered thirteen and up. A high school education is a level 12. A master’s degree would be about a level 16.

To put this in perspective, a typical big-city newspaper is written at a level 7 or 8. The belief in most industries is that anything above a level 12 is too hard for most readers to understand. Remember, the Fox Index is not an absolute measure. It is, though, when used over a range of samples, a very good indicator. Here are some Fox Index levels for popular publications.

Atlantic Monthly = 12

Newsweek = 10

Reader’s Digest = 9

True Confessions = 7

Most comic books = 6

(This article = 11.6)

The Fog Index Applied

Here is an example of the same information written at two different readability levels as measured by the Fog Index.

Example One: Untold numbers of eternally optimistic individuals buy lottery tickets with odds in the multimillions against their chances of realizing success. They’re sustained by a level of ignorance that keeps them from recognizing that the likelihood that such an unrealistic eventuality would actually occur is of an order of magnitude beyond their capacity to comprehend. They cling to the notion that if an event is possible it certainly must happen regardless of how great the statistical chances are against it. Their cry is always, “Well, somebody’s got to win,” which is sufficient to block even the brightest glare of the cold light of reason.

The level is arrived at by counting the number of words, the number of sentences, and the number of three-syllable, or longer, words. Then a formula is applied that gives the readability index level. In this example, there are 103 words, 4 sentences, and 20 three-syllable words. Using the formula, the Fog Index level is 18. That means the reader should probably have a doctorate to ensure comprehension.

Example Two: A lot of people who never give up hope buy lottery tickets even though the odds against them ever winning are enormous. What keeps them buying tickets is that they aren’t able to understand that the odds against them are so great that they can’t really expect to win. They believe that because something is possible, then it must happen no matter what the odds against it are. Saying, “Well, somebody’s got to win,” is enough to keep them from seeing the reality of the situation.

Using the same method, the 86 words, 4 sentences, and 6 three-syllable words in this example give a Fog Index level of 11. That’s a high school junior.

Now You Try It

Pick a text sample from a source you’re familiar with. It helps if it’s a fairly big block of text. The larger the sample, the more accurate the index figure is. For example, I selected two blocks of text from the guide that came with my Nikon camera. Follow me through the process:

1. Count the number of words in the sample. If there are hyphenated words, count each part as one word.

(My count: 120) (Your count: )

2. Count the number of sentences in the sample.

(My count: 5) (Your count: )

3. Count the number of big words in the sample: 3 or more syllables.

(My count: 3) (Your count: )>

4. Calculate the average sentence length. To do this, divide the number of words by the number of sentences. For example, 120 divided by 5.

(My number: 24) (Your number: )

5. Calculate the percentage of big words. To do this, divide the number of big words by the total number of words. For example, 3 divided by 120 = .02 = 2%.

(My number: 2) (Your number: )

6. Add the average sentence length to the % of big words.

(My number: 26) (Your number: )

7. Multiply the result by 0.4.

Fog Index (My level: 10th grade) (Your level: )

Now try it on something you’ve written. From what you know about your audience, does your Fog Index match with the readers’ comprehension level? It’s a very important question, and this formula can help you answer it.

For more information on readability formulas, use any search engine to find sites related to readability formulas, Passive Index, Flesch-Kincaid Index, or Lexical Density Test.

Writing a Cover Letter on a Step-by-Step Basis

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You need to do everything by the number. How true can this line ever be? If you're inclined in mathematics just like the accountants you could have agreed with that line. Being a fresh graduate who's not inclined with writing, then writing an accounting cover letter may be that hard for you. So we'll write your accounting cover letter in a step by step process. I am pretty sure that you are familiar with the term marketing? Well in business this means the presentation made for a certain product in order for it to be patronized in the market.

In reality the purpose of accounting cover letter is somewhat similar to marketing, wherein the letter serves as the presentation. But the only difference was that in an accounting cover letter you do not present a product but yourself. If you see advertisements those are forms of marketing strategies, you may not noticed that they tend to exaggerate things; they use bright colors and famous celebrities just to catch the attention of the audience. Obviously you can not apply those in accounting cover letters because the only thing that you can use is the power of words. Yet you just can not underestimate words because if mastered it can be of good help for you in grabbing the attention of your possible employer.

You can actually select from a wide array of strategies that you can use in snatching the interest of your hiring manager. One of the most effective techniques which are often used in accounting cover letters is the proper understanding of the position that you would want to have. It's not showing off when you start through your accounting cover letter to lay your cards. But just make sure that what you are giving out are related to the position you want, because if not you'd only end up being laughed at by the ones who'd read your letter.

Another technique is persistence; let your eagerness to get an interview be seen through your accounting cover letter. Since this is your aim after all, why not make the most out of it. Be firm with what you want and you will most likely get it.

Secrets to a remarkable accounting cover letter

It is but normal for accounting related professionals to have a bit of a hard time in expressing themselves since it is not terribly considered in their field. That's why they end up writing mere babbles which lead to the land of now. Trust me if you're the employer, it's very much understood that you would immediately dump a confusing letter without even considering taking a peek on the resume.

The lesson here is very simple, write in such a way that you would easily understand. Try to draw away from superfluous words that normal readers do not understand, this should be observed for two reasons. One is that you are not writing for a literary competition and the other is that conciseness would be very much appreciated by your prospective employer. So just shelve your deep vocabulary and master using just a conversational language.

It is also important that you maintain a good tone and pacing in your accounting cover letter. Do not let them feel the boredom of computing interests and other formulas. Let them enjoy what your accounting cover letter by adding some hints of excitement.

Eight Common Characteristics Famous Celebrities Have

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Celebrities come and go. They can either stay for a couple of years, but some fail to carve a niche in the entertainment industry and remain a starlet. Some are successful and become iconic in the music scene, television and movies.

You might be wondering why some of them have disappeared in the industry. If you observe their stellar status, the luckiest are those who share common characteristics that made them rich and famous.

Take a peek at the 8 common characteristics famous celebrities have in common. Find out if you have any of these traits that can be helpful in your chosen profession.

1. Strong determination and confidence. Celebrities are confident and determined to pursue their goal no matter what happens. They are the kind of people who do not care about what others say when they pose nude in a men’s magazine or wear a bizarre outfit. Getting out of poverty and to become famous are two things that prodded them to try their luck in Hollywood hoping that they could find the right people to help them in their budding career.

2. Their work ethic is infectious. Actors and singers are deprived of sleep as they have to stay awake until the following day to finish their commitment. They work hard not only because they know that they are highly compensated for their efforts, but because they want to leave a legacy when they are no longer active in the industry. Highest paid actors only spend 2 to 3 hours of sleep until their project is finished. But the prices they get from being workaholics can buy them a new house, a car, a set of jewelry and a swanky bag.

3. They work for the sake of art. Multi-awarded actors are choosy in their roles despite the high talent fee that they could receive for a particular project. Top caliber actors who have become financially stable would pick meaty roles that could earn them an Oscar award. They don’t mind if they have to go bald or topless for as long as the role will increase their level of creativity and transform them into a respected actor. Some celebrities accept roles that are challenging even if they don’t share the same billing stature with the main actors.

4. They are creative and unique. Famous Hollywood personalities defy the standard and social norms. They never stop creating and reinventing themselves to enable them to catch the public’s attention. Miley Cyrus, Madonna, J Lo, Michael Jackson and to name a few, had their own strings of gimmickry and controversy to promote their albums or movies. Even local artist in some key cities in the world do the same thing even if it could ruin their reputation and make them infamous. Defying the norm and ignoring their bashers is the best action that celebrities must do to succeed in their showbiz career. Gossips are part of showbiz and welcoming them with an open heart can make them stronger and better celebrities.

5. They think, believe and dream big. True artists think that there is no small role for them. Budding actors must heed what their veteran counterparts say that in order for them to be recognized and earn big, they should accept any role that can hone their acting prowess. Since the competition in the world of showbiz has become stiff, they must grab every opportunity that comes their way. Not unless they are products of reality shows or beauty contests, penetrating the entertainment industry is a bit hard. Changing their mindset from small to big things will inspire them to strive hard and make it big in showbiz.

6. They have a high emotional quotient. Although beauty and talent are important things to consider when discovering a new talent, movie directors and producers would prefer actors with a good work attitude. Celebrities who are acting like divas will most likely to lose their chance of getting the right break because their attitude can cause a lot of problems during location shooting. High EQ celebrities come to work before call time and they do not cause glitches or delay at work. They can mingle with anyone in the set from the director to the janitor. They can laugh at their own mistakes and can exchange jokes with their fellow workers, even if they have been sleepless for several nights. Most of all, they welcome strangers and mobbing fans for autograph and photo ops.

7. They enjoy every bit of their work. Become passionate about your work as an artist in the real sense of the word will give you more inspiration to hone your craft. Celebrities who are enjoying their career are the one who will become successful as they do not get discouraged when failure comes in one point of their lives.

8. Money and fame are only secondary. These two things that can lead to frustration if celebrities are unable to achieve them. Some famous celebrities who are getting less projects and their fans are ignoring them have become depressed and suicidal. This is because they think that money and fame are the most important things in life. But the truth is, any career that is taken with passion can be a great source of your finances if you know how to save your money.

Celebrities who have lost their careers because of their bad attitude have realized that becoming famous and wealthy does not happen overnight. They have to learn the traits that could propel their popularity and eventually land them a lot of projects.

Aspiring actors/actresses who are given the break should realize that the competition is so high in the industry. A single flaw is observed from you could put you down and it would be too late to realize that a newcomer will soon replace your position in showbiz. Getting rich quick is a mere fantasy as you need to start from scratch, and when you are already at the top of your success, remain humble and grounded.

How to Do Effective Writing in IELTS

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Writing has always played a dominant role in the field of communication since the primitive times. Despite the fact that latest technology has taken the means of communication to a new horizon, writing has not been substituted. There is a famous saying 'Pen is mightier than sword'. One, who uses the pen effectively and judiciously, can express himself / herself impeccably. The indispensable function of writing is to convey the message in a subtitle way from one person to another. Writing test in IELTS lasts for 60 minutes, and candidates need to complete two tasks, each of which requires different text types (description, letter, report, discussion, argument, opinion text).

An effective writing in IELTS depends on the various factors:

"Writing"

Task response Grammatical accuracy

Lexical Vocabulary Coherent and Cohesion

Task Response
The Task 1 (150-180) and Task 2 (250-280) needs to be written in 60 minutes.

Candidates must try not to use more or less than the required word limit as the chances of going off the topic (when writing more) or penalty (when writing less) is there. The content should be relevant to the issue which has to be discussed in the writing task.

For example:

Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country. Do you agree? What are the factors which are usually related to academic success in high-school students? Do the advantages of study abroad justify the difficulties? In this topic, we need to discuss the problems and solutions which are being asked rather than emphasizing only the important aspect of education.

Lexical Vocabulary and Grammar Accuracy

How to do Effective Writing in IELTS
Candidates should take grammar and spelling into consideration. There should be proper sentence formation and vocabulary.

For Example:

Mrs. Rita brave the resume to the interviewer.

Mrs. Rita submitted the resume to the interviewer.

Students who want better scores will always reckon the grammatical usage in an apt way.

Coherent and Cohesion
Cohesion refers to the connectivity of text whereas coherence refers to the understanding level of writing. Paragraphs need to have a lucid and organized pattern wherein candidates can give their idea. Sentences within the paragraphs may be linked together from one sentence to another by various ways.

  • Repetition of important words
  • Substituting the pronouns like 'it', 'these' and 'this'.
  • Using synonyms
  • Using linking words Example 'however', 'moreover', 'furthermore', 'consequently' can be used to show the complex relationship between ideas.