Tag: Best

The Most Popular Fiction Authors in America By Number of Sales

Calle de Macharaviaya (Málaga)

It may shock you to know that there is no single repository of statistics for the number of books sold by an author. Likewise, there is no keeper of records on the sales of a particular book title. (Registering your book with the Library of Congress only protects the copyright. The library does not track sales.)

Authors or publishers get an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) that is unique to each book format. Thus, a title may have several ISBNs attached to it, one for hardback, one for paperback and one for an ebook. Writers may change publishers, and publishers may change their names, merge or disappear. Multiply this complexity by the sales made worldwide, and you can understand why the following figures have a tremendous margin for error.

This list includes only American fiction authors, who have sold over an estimated 100 million books. William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie, both Brits, are by far the largest individual sellers of books with an estimated 2-4 billion. Yes, that is billion with a capital B. Keep in mind that the numbers refer to the complete works of an author (including co-written works) and not a specific title.

The list is fluid in that younger authors will no doubt improve their rankings over their careers. Likewise, as populations and communications have increased, so has the exposure of these authors to an increasing audience. The added popularity gained when a book is made into a movie or television show can cause sales and rankings to soar.

The prolific series of children's or young adult books by RL Stine, Ann M. Martin, Stan and Jan Berenstein, Richard Scarry, Gilbert Patten or Norman Bridwell (from 400 to 80 titles each) average just 2 million units per title. Taken as a body of work, each of these writers has sold over 110 million books. Dr. Seuss wrote just 44 books with the same rate of sales and like Stine and Patten are in the top ten. Only one nineteenth century writer, specializing in rags-to-riches stories about young boys, is in the top ten. Horatio Alger wrote 135 dime novels.

Although only ten American women (one of those, Jan Berenstein co-wrote with her husband) made the top forty, a woman, Danielle Steel, came in at number one. She has sold between 500-800 million romance books and has written about 120 titles. Other best selling romance writers include Janet Dailey, Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber and the youngest and least prolific author, Stephanie Meyer of Twilight fame. Other women in the top forty include gothic / horror author VC Andrews, which works are now ghost written by a man; Anne Rice, the queen of vampires; suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark; and forensic writer Patricia Cornwell.

Two Western authors made the top twenty. Louis L'Amour and Zane Gray have both sold over 230 million books. L'Amour is credited with over 101 books, while Zane Gray's count is unclear. Publishers sold about 24 of his books after his death in 1939, but a conservative estimate is around 55 titles.

Only one other American has done as well as Stephanie Meyer when it comes to selling the most books with the least number of titles. His name is Dan Brown. Thanks to Tom Hanks ( The DaVinci Code ) he has sold over 120 million books with just 5 titles. Likewise, only one name on the list is someone you may study in an American literature course. His name is Erskine Caldwell. You may have heard of his books, including Tobacco Road and God's Little Acre .

Mystery, suspense, thriller and private detective genres are often grouped together in the minds of readers. Together they represent the largest group of bestselling authors. Sidney Sheldon of television fame, Irving Wallace, champion of the underdog, and Mickey Spillane of the Mike Hammer series, have all reached their high rankings with roughly 25 titles. David Baldacci is gaining in rank with 25 titles of his own to date. The more fruitful authors include Dean Koontz, James Patterson and Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain), all of hover hover around the 100 mark. Straddling the middle ground of productivity with 50 titles is Rex Stout, famous for his Nero Wolfe series.

Legal and medical mysteries / thrillers are taken out for their occupational themes. John Grisham with 33 titles and Earl Stanley Gardner with 140 titles are the most noteworthy for their sales. Gardner, the Perry Mason writer may someday get surpassed in books sold given Grisham's continuing movie adaptations. In the medical field Robin Cook has 27 titles, while Frank G. Slaughter wrote 62 books before his death.

There are two top-forty writers who fall under the adventure genre. Harold Robbins has sold over 750 million books with just 23 titles. Clive Cussler has 37 books with less than 150 million in sales. Cussler, L'Amour and Gray are what many women consider romance writers for men.

Some writers just do not fit any mold. They not only stand out in their own unique way, but also define their genre. Among these are horror / fantasy writer Stephen King with 70 books to his credit and spy writer Robert Ludlum with 40 books. Michael Crichton of The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park is considered a techno-thriller / science fiction author. He wrote 25 books. James Michener had 47 titles to his historical fiction credit.

One last author that may surprise you wrote about 70 books, many in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He was eager to exploit his most popular fictional character, who has become an American icon. He even set up his own printing operation to publish his books. He became one of the oldest war correspondents in WWII and died in 1950. You may have heard of him, Edgar Rice Burroughs. If not, surely you've heard of his famous jungle character, Tarzan.

Importance of Website in Schools

Qoʻqon UZ - Dakhmai-Shokhon 01

Internet has become one of the largest platforms of communication. It is the most effective technology available today. Building a website for school can prove to be extremely beneficial if it is done in the right way. It maybe time consuming and include a lot of effort to be put in for developing a website for the school, but it is very advantageous for the school community. The school website gives the school’s information and also clear idea about what they are good at. School websites will provide the up to dates, as well as help them to link between schools, their communities and also to the entire world.

Opportunities provided by a school website:

  • Parents become more aware about the schools functioning, and also feel involved. Through the websites parents can be easily informed about the upcoming events like activities, exams and also tips that could help children. Thus websites play a vital role in removing the barrier between parents and the school.
  • With the help of websites teacher’s can share their views and ideas with the rest of the faculty as well as the parents.
  • Te website makes it easier for the parents to give the school and the teachers their valuable feedback.
  • Parents get the opportunity to become well versed with the education system of their child.
  • The website provides a platform for the school to build contacts and link with business, families as well as other schools. Especially for families who relocate very often, these websites become great sources for them.

Few elements necessary for a school website:

  • Background of the school and other information like history and staff.
  • Basic contact details should always be mentioned in the website like, address, phone number, etc.
  • The website should contain all the day to day information or notice like upcoming inter and intra school events, holidays parent teacher’s meeting, etc.
  • School websites should also avail blogs and forums to give an opportunity to have an interaction.
  • The necessary teaching aids, teaching materials, journals, lesson plan, and other education resources should be provided.
  • Photographs and write-ups about school, classroom, school trips, etc. should be put up. Also suggestions to be given to parents, assisting them to help their children at home.

Creating websites of your own is the same as being a publisher, but a website is always convenient for both students and educators. Here you make your own website without being criticized and it also saves time. Students should be encouraged to make the website for the school as they have more knowledge about technology than adults. Thus it becomes a learning experience for them, making them more versatile in what they do and create.

Many a times people tend to consider the school website to be a substitute for all the face-to-face interactions. It is a very wrong notion that they hold. The website should be perceived as an extra resource benefit provided to the world by the schools.

Benefits of Short Stories

Sissinghurst Castle Gardens

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.

Marketing Planning – Don’t Do SWOT

Puerta en Macharaviaya (Málaga)

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is a popular framework for developing a marketing strategy. A Google search for “SWOT” and “planning” turned up almost 93,000 hits (August 2004), most all of which laud the use of SWOT. Some students have said that it is the most important thing they learned at the Wharton School.

Although SWOT is promoted as a useful technique in numerous marketing texts, it is not universally praised: One expert said that he preferred to think of SWOT as a “Significant Waste of Time.”

The problem with SWOT is more serious than the fact that it wastes time. Because it mixes idea generation with evaluation, it is likely to reduce the range of strategies that are considered. In addition, people who use SWOT might conclude that they have done an adequate job of planning and ignore such sensible things as defining the firm’s objectives or calculating ROI for alternate strategies. I have observed this when business school students use SWOT on cases.

What does the evidence say? Perhaps the most notable indication is that I have been unable to find any evidence to support the use of SWOT.

Two studies have examined SWOT. Menon et al. (1999) asked 212 managers from Fortune 1000 companies about recent marketing strategies implemented in their firms. The findings showed that SWOT harmed performance. When Hill and Westbrook (1997) examined the use of SWOT by 20 companies in the UK in 1993-94, they concluded that the process was so flawed that it was time for a “product recall.”

One advocate of SWOT asked: if not SWOT, then what? Borrowing from corporate strategic planning literature, a better option for planners is to follow a formal written process to:

  1. Set objectives
  2. Generate alternative strategies
  3. Evaluate alternative strategies
  4. Monitor results
  5. Gain commitment among the stakeholders during each step of this process.

I describe this 5-step procedure in Armstrong (1982). Evidence on the value of this planning process, obtained from 28 validation studies (summarized in Armstrong 1990), showed that it led to better corporate performance:

  • 20 studies found higher performance with formal planning
  • 5 found no difference
  • 3 found formal planning to be detrimental

This support was obtained even though the formal planning in the studies typically used only some of the steps. Furthermore, the steps were often poorly implemented and the conditions were not always ideal for formal planning.

Given the evidence, SWOT is not justified under any circumstances. Instead, use the comprehensive 5-step planning procedure.

References

Armstrong, J. S. (1982) “The Value of Formal Planning for Strategic Decisions,” Strategic Management Journal, 3, 197-211.

Armstrong, J. S. (1990), “Review of Corporate Strategic Planning,” Journal of Marketing, 54, 114-119.

Hill, T. & R. Westbrook (1997), “SWOT Analysis: It’s Time for a Product Recall,” Long Range Planning, 30, No. 1, 46-52.

Menon, A. et al. (1999), “Antecedents and Consequences of Marketing Strategy Making,” Journal of Marketing, 63, 18-40.

Some Interesting Facts About York, England

Supernatural sunset

Did you know that York’s minster has its own police force – its true! The only other cathedral in the world which can boast this is St. Peter’s in Rome which has its own police force in the form of the Swiss Guards. Here we have compiled a list of interesting facts about York. 

There is a street in York called The Shambles which is where ancient butchers used to ply their trade. The upper storeys of the fifteenth century houses lean inwards so far that the roofs on either side almost touch. Walking this street, you will notice raised pavements either side of the main cobbled road which form the channel through which the butchers would wash away offal and blood. York is steeped in medieval history, the battlement walls and bars (gates) to the city were built during this period and are still greatly preserved today. Clifford’s Tower is a popular tourist haunt these days but has a grisly past, getting its named from Roger de Clifford who was hung using chains from its battlements after the Battle of Boroughbridge in 1322.

The minster is the 2nd largest gothic cathedral in Europe and its construction took an astonishing 250 years. The minster also has its own police force, the only other cathedral in the world which can boast this is St. Peter’s in Rome which has the Swiss Guards. York’s first Minster was built for the baptism of Anglo Saxon King Edwin of Northumbria in 627. The original church was a small wooden construction that had been built for the baptism and was later rebuilt in stone on Edwin’s orders.

York has featured in many film and TV series sets over the years, such as Brideshead Revisited and Robinson Crusoe. York also has more than 360 pubs, at least one for every day of the year. York’s economy was once largely driven by the railways and the chocolate industry and indeed today you may still smell cocoa in the air when walking around the city’s streets.

York holds the UK’s largest food festival, held each September and lasting 10 days. York also has its own race course and annual music festival. The Association of Voluntary Guides give free two hour walking tours of York every day. The tours start in Exhibition Square, between April and October – there is generally 1 in the morning at 10 o’clock and one at 2 pm (check with tourist information on arrival in York). The tours are free, informative and informal, and there’s no need to book you just turn up.

York was named the most haunted city in Europe by the Ghost Research Foundation International (GRFI), the first recorded ghost walks began here in the early 1970’s and still run a busy trade today. For every room, building or street seems to be haunted in this bustling, beautiful city, there are apparently 140 ghosts haunting York, with an astounding 504 recorded hauntings. York is apparently haunted by a lost Roman Legion. Harry Martindale, an apprentice plumber was installing a heating system in the cellars of the old Treasurer’s House in 1953, and reported seeing the 2000-year old ghosts. He first heard a horn in the distance, and then a disheveled Roman soldier on a horse emerged from the brick wall, followed by a few hundred others, all carrying swords and spears. He reported that that the ghosts appeared to be walking on their knees. This is an interesting observation since the old Roman road is located fifteen inches below the cellar and it is believed that Martindale wasn’t aware of this when questioned. So the ghosts would have been walking on their own familiar road, on their way to the Minster. There have been numerous other sightings since Martindales’ but sadly, the old cellars are now  closed to visitors.

The Most Popular Fiction Authors in America By Number of Sales

Lone Tree, Snowdonia

It may shock you to know that there is no single repository of statistics for the number of books sold by an author. Likewise, there is no keeper of records on the sales of a particular book title. (Registering your book with the Library of Congress only protects the copyright. The library does not track sales.)

Authors or publishers get an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) that is unique to each book format. Thus, a title may have several ISBNs attached to it, one for hardback, one for paperback and one for an ebook. Writers may change publishers, and publishers may change their names, merge or disappear. Multiply this complexity by the sales made worldwide, and you can understand why the following figures have a tremendous margin for error.

This list includes only American fiction authors, who have sold over an estimated 100 million books. William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie, both Brits, are by far the biggest individual sellers of books with an estimated 2-4 billion. Yes, that is billion with a capital B. Keep in mind that the numbers refer to the complete works of an author (including co-written works) and not a specific title.

The list is fluid in that younger authors will no doubt improve their rankings over their careers. Likewise, as populations and communications have increased, so has the exposure of these authors to an increasing audience. The added popularity gained when a book is made into a movie or television show can cause sales and rankings to soar.

The prolific series of children’s or young adult books by R.L Stine, Ann M. Martin, Stan and Jan Berenstein, Richard Scarry, Gilbert Patten or Norman Bridwell (from 400 to 80 titles each) average just 2 million units per title. Taken as a body of work, each of these writers has sold over 110 million books. Dr. Seuss wrote just 44 books with the same rate of sales and like Stine and Patten are in the top ten. Only one nineteenth century writer, specializing in rags-to-riches stories about young boys, is in the top ten. Horatio Alger wrote 135 dime novels.

Although only ten American women (one of those, Jan Berenstein co-wrote with her husband) made the top forty, a woman, Danielle Steel, came in at number one. She has sold between 500-800 million romance books and has written about 120 titles. Other best selling romance writers include Janet Dailey, Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber and the youngest and least prolific author, Stephanie Meyer of Twilight fame. Other women in the top forty include gothic/horror author V.C. Andrews, whose works are now ghost written by a man; Anne Rice, the queen of vampires; suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark; and forensic writer Patricia Cornwell.

Two Western authors made the top twenty. Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey have both sold over 230 million books. L’Amour is credited with over 101 books, while Zane Grey’s count is unclear. Publishers sold about 24 of his books after his death in 1939, but a conservative estimate is around 55 titles.

Only one other American has done as well as Stephanie Meyer when it comes to selling the most books with the least number of titles. His name is Dan Brown. Thanks to Tom Hanks (The DaVinci Code) he has sold over 120 million books with just 5 titles. Likewise, only one name on the list is someone you might study in an American literature course. His name is Erskine Caldwell. You may have heard of his books, including Tobacco Road and God’s Little Acre.

Mystery, suspense, thriller and private detective genres are often grouped together in the minds of readers. Together they represent the largest group of bestselling authors. Sidney Sheldon of television fame, Irving Wallace, champion of the underdog, and Mickey Spillane of the Mike Hammer series, have all reached their high rankings with roughly 25 titles. David Baldacci is gaining in rank with 25 titles of his own to date. The more fruitful authors include Dean Koontz, James Patterson and Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain), all of whom hover around the 100 mark. Straddling the middle ground of productivity with 50 titles is Rex Stout, famous for his Nero Wolfe series.

Legal and medical mysteries/thrillers are sought out for their occupational themes. John Grisham with 33 titles and Earl Stanley Gardner with 140 titles are the most noteworthy for their sales. Gardner, the Perry Mason writer may someday get surpassed in books sold given Grisham’s continuing movie adaptations. In the medical field Robin Cook has 27 titles, while Frank G. Slaughter wrote 62 books before his death.

There are two top-forty writers who fall under the adventure genre. Harold Robbins has sold over 750 million books with just 23 titles. Clive Cussler has 37 books with less than 150 million in sales. Cussler, L’Amour and Grey are what many women consider romance writers for men.

Some writers just don’t fit any mold. They not only stand out in their own unique way, but also define their genre. Among these are horror/fantasy writer Stephen King with 70 books to his credit and spy writer Robert Ludlum with 40 books. Michael Crichton of The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park is considered a techno-thriller/science fiction author. He wrote 25 books. James Michener had 47 titles to his historical fiction credit.

One last author that may surprise you wrote about 70 books, many in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He was eager to exploit his most popular fictional character, who has become an American icon. He even set up his own printing operation to publish his books. He became one of the oldest war correspondents in WWII and died in 1950. You may have heard of him, Edgar Rice Burroughs. If not, surely you’ve heard of his famous jungle character, Tarzan.

Jock Itch or Herpes? Here’s How to Tell the Difference

St. Wojciech church or St. Adalbert Church - Poznan

A persistent groin itch is enough to make a sane man crazy, as part of the brain is always resisting the urge to scratch. Men with itchy, sore genitals might also be frightened of the cause of the itch, worried that the symptoms they’re experiencing might be due to something chronic, like herpes. While herpes is common, some cases of crotch itching are caused by more benign conditions, including jock itch. This article will outline the difference between herpes and jock itch and provide some penis health care tips that could help keep both conditions from causing aggravation.

Jock Itch: Causes and Symptoms

A tiny fungal spore, tinea cruris, is responsible for jock itch. Most fungus cells thrive in moist, damp conditions where light is sparse. Men who work out or otherwise engage in hot, steamy sports while wearing tight pieces of clothing create the perfect environment for this fungal infection. Symptoms can vary a bit from man to man, but most people with the infection report intense itching and pain centering on the inner thighs, buttocks or the groin.

Herpes: Causes and Symptoms

Herpes is considered a sexually transmitted disease, because contact with infected skin is necessary for the condition to take hold. Herpes can cause flu-like symptoms, including a fever and swollen lymph nodes. Those symptoms tend to appear in the days and weeks following infection, and they’re followed by an outbreak of wet-looking, incredibly itchy sores. The spots tend to stay in place for about 2 weeks, and they resolve on their own in time. An outbreak might recur at a later date, however, causing the same types of sores to reappear.

Key Differences

Jock itch can spread to the penis, but that’s not common. Instead, this rash tends to focus on the legs and the dark crevices of the body. Herpes, on the other hand, can infect the penis itself, and sores on the head of the penis are quite common. The itching symptoms caused by the two conditions can be quite similar, but the areas in which the itching takes place tend to be quite different.

The appearance of the two conditions is also strikingly different. Where jock itch tends to look a lot like a red rash, with a few tiny blisters on the edge, herpes infections look like heat blisters that are filled with fluid. When these blisters pop, they form painful, crusty sores. Jock itch doesn’t behave in this way.

Getting Better

Rashes and sores of any kind should be brought to the attention of a doctor. Medical professionals can use laboratory tests to determine exactly what is causing the itch, and they can prescribe appropriate treatments to keep that problem from spreading. Any man with an itch should put a call to the doctor at the top of his to-do list. With proper diagnosis, these self-care tips can help to speed healing.

Herpes is considered a chronic condition, because there are no specific medications that can completely eradicate the disease from a person’s body. Drugs can keep new outbreaks from taking place, but people who have herpes will need to take extra care to ensure that they don’t infect other people in the future. For men, this means using medications regularly, avoiding sex during breakouts and always wearing a condom. Applying a penis health crème can also help the skin to stay resilient and strong between outbreaks.

Jock itch, on the other hand, is far from hearty, and a few doses of antifungal cream can make the symptoms go away. By staying clean, men can ensure that the condition doesn’t come back. Quick showers after sweaty workouts can wash spores away, and following up that cleaning with a penis health crème (most experts recommend Man 1 Man Oil) can help the skin to stay soft and strong, which might provide a less hospitable environment for future infectious spores.

The Purpose of the Science Fiction Novel

Pat Boone key fob from the fifties

Where fantasy goes into uncharted territory, the kind of story that could not exist, science fiction, a term made famous by the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein, goes into charted territory. Let's make sense of that last statement: Science fiction is based on truths, questions of reality, and questions of survival. Its purpose is to go where other fiction can not. Unlike horror, it tells something far more dangerous because it could happen. Unlike mystery, there is not always someone at the other end of the gun, maybe "something" instead. Like mainstream work, it proposes fascinating philosophies on mankind in the past, present, and future.

When reporters talked of space stations maybe they were onto something. When Star Trek characters could talk to each other on small, hand-held phones, most thought it was too good to be true. Now we have cell phones, computers that can talk, computers that can think in some ways, and a variety of other ideas that were often suggested in science fiction.

But the science fiction novel has its own place outside of the realm of Star Trek and Star Wars. For one, the legend must be created in words, not film or TV images. Second, the writers behind it are often as much philosophers as authors. Lastly, science fiction is its own frontier, a place for free thinking.

The thesis for all this would be that the science fiction novel engages a reader in a "This is how it could happen." The purpose is, as in all writing, to say something different. Long before "War of the Worlds" and even longer before Star Trek and Star Wars, people looked to the skies with hope, emboldening their legends with all kinds of flying creatures-angels, demons, sometimes aliens-who could do things they could not . That is exactly the purpose of the modern science fiction novel-it says we, the human race, can do something that right now we can not.

The final purpose of the science fiction novel is always to make a mark on society. Star Trek could only go so far. When one looks at a science fiction novel, however, sometimes it seemsingly is a race to the finish instead of a treat on life in the future. Something is always happening; it happens fast. Take Philip K. Dick, for example, who once wrote 11 novels in 2 years (he used various drugs, much like Hunter Thompson, to improve writing speed). However, there is nothing superficial about the science fiction novel. This is because even films have a hard time capturing the legion of ideas presented in the classics, like "The Man In the High Castle," Philip K. Dick's best novel. If any film does capture the purpose of science fiction, it's "Blade Runner," considered to be one of the best films of all time, based on the Philip K. Dick story "Do Andods Dream of Electric Sheep?"

Where it can be hard to pin down the modern science fiction novel, it can easily be seen that writing one can be a lucid ride into the unexplored. One of the best in recent memory is "Hyperion," a science fiction novel that won the famous Hugo award. Here, Simmons explored what is real, much like Philip K. Dick, and did it as though he was poet, forming a tale of seven pilgrims to a far away world, much like "The Canterbury Tales."

Some of the finest novels of the 20th century were labeled "junk" because they explored taboo subjects or had sexually revealing covers. Without the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and the hundreds of other talents, maybe there would have been no Star Trek, Star Wars, or Battlestar Galactica. Without the junk science fiction novel bought for a nickel in the 1940s and 50s maybe mankind would never have dreamed of stepping on the moon in the 1960s.

The Importance of Landmarks

Cramond Island

There are structures that are built not only to serve a purpose, but to impress as well. Some of them are so iconic that even their silhouette alone can make them easily recognizable. Examples of these are the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Of course, there are those that play second fiddle. They may not be as famous as their iconic counterparts, but they’re also beginning to make a mark in their respective locations. In Australia, some examples are the Q1, or Queensland Number One, The Oracle, and Circle on Cavill.

It is important for any country, state, town or city to have its own landmark. A landmark is usually associated to the location where it was erected and can be one of its biggest tourist draws. Here are some of the reasons why landmarks are important:

Source of pride – Having a landmark always makes a community proud. It is usually what sustains and spurs social, cultural and economic activities. It revitalizes its people and somehow inspires and motivates them to do things for their community. Landmarks are usually steeped in history, so they are what make for a good story to tell to children and visitors.

Tourism generation – One of the biggest income-generating ventures of any place is tourism. For some cities, tourism is actually its biggest source of revenue. Landmarks always play a big part in attracting visitors. Sometimes, a landmark is even the only reason for some people to pack their bags and give the place a visit. They spend their hard-earned money just to be near or even touch a historic landmark. It is where many people pose with for picture-taking.

Value – Aside from making a city more popular, landmarks also improve the value of the buildings and structures around them. The value of the properties surrounding a landmark increases because of it. The real estate around the area appreciates even more. This is why properties around an important landmark are typically expensive, making their resale value also high.

Landmarks are the heart and soul of any place. Without it, a city would not be too interesting to visit. They may be ancient structures or modern buildings, or even statues, and they’re there to impress, educate, and inspire. It is important for any city to take care of its own landmark so it can preserve its past so the future generations can still see it.

Understanding Discourse Community And Its Importance

Belem Tower

As an experienced conversationalist who has been wielding verbal words since toddlerhood, you easily move from one group of people to another adjusting your tone, your vocabulary, and your syntax accordingly. Often without thinking about it, you speak differently to your parents than you do to your teachers and differently from both groups when alone with your friends. You would not dream of using the same speech patterns in the locker room and the church sanctuary.

Most writers understand the concept of audience and why it is important to understand who their audience is when composing. Yet simply understanding the “who” of your audience is only the beginning for experienced writers. Effective writing, writing that works and delivers the intended message and effect, must fit within the discourse community it is destined to serve.

What is a discourse community? A discourse community is a group of people who “speak the same language” or in other words people who share an interest in certain topics, share a body of knowledge about those topics, and possess a common vocabulary for discussing those topics. Have you ever been around a group of people who shared a common passion that you knew nothing about? Perhaps it is a particular sport or activity, an artistic talent, or a job, but it is likely that without sharing that same passion you find it difficult to follow their conversation. That is because you are not a member of that discourse community. While they are speaking the same language as you — English — the context of the discourse community changes the way language is used as well as the content of that language.

You already belong to several discourse communities as a result of your family, ethnic, and religious background as well as your personal interests and activities. Students enter the larger discourse community of the instituion they attend as well as numerous smaller discourse communities within that institution including specific classrooms, clubs and organizations, and majors and programs.Workers enter the larger discourse community of their employer and depending on the size and focus of the institution may also enter smaller discourse communities within it as well. For example, in a hospital a nurse might belong to the discourse community of the hospital, the nursing staff, and the Emergency Department.

So why is it important for writers to consider discourse community?

Discourse is a conversation or more extended and more formal discussion of our ideas in either speech or writing. Discourse is important as this is how we communicate in the social world that we live and work in. The social groups we communicate within are called communities. A community is a group of people connected for a common goal or purpose. So then a discourse community is a social group that is involved in discourse.

When you participate in a discourse community you must understand what language is used, how language is used, what knowledge is generally possessed within the community, and what motivated and interests the community. Understanding discourse community extends beyond simply knowng your audience and purpose — it means understanding what words to use, how to frame those words into units (sentences, paragraphs, etc.), and what information is already possessed by community members.

Once you understand the concept of discourse community and begin to apply it to your writing you will immediately see a rise in the effectiveness of your writing. Then you can begin to make informed decisions about every aspect of your writing from the word choice, grammar, and sentence/paragraph construction to tone and level of formality.