Writing the Psychopath

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If you want to create a story that chills and thrills, there is no better way than having a psychopath as a character. Unpredictable, impulsive, self-serving and vicious, using the psychopath in fiction will engage your readers and leave them with a memorable impression of your work. Many of the plot kernels in this story generator involve exploitation and misery, so a psychopathic character can easily be worked into a tale. This article looks at the considerations involved in writing the psychopath.

What is a psychopath?

A psychopath is someone who suffers from a severe mental illness known as Antisocial Personality Disorder. The major characteristics of this illness are: an inability to form normal human attachments, making the psychopath someone who cannot be a true friend or a lover; and an abnormal lack of empathy. What makes the psychopath a terrifying character is that they are often able to mask these flaws so as to appear normal and even charming, until, of course, their true nature is revealed in horrifying fashion. Psychopaths derive pleasure from antisocial behaviour and are usually unable to feel guilt, shame or remorse.

What causes a psychopath?

Psychopathy is likely caused by a combination of social and genetic forces. It is possible that psychopathy is mostly genetic in origin but that its expression depends on social factors. For example, a psychopath raised in a loving home might become an exploitative businessman, a womaniser or a politician. A childhood history characterised by abuse and neglect is more likely to lead to the violent psychopath found in most popular culture. It is also possible that psychopathy is entirely social, and this possibility makes for more interesting fiction. If a child is frequently abused, they can draw the conclusion that the world is a nasty and cruel place and that one must be callous in order to survive in it. This allows the writer of the psychopath to delve deep into their character’s past and create a rounded and believable person.

How to portray a psychopath in fiction

Depiction of a psychopath in fiction depends on whether you are trying to write realistically or not. Most psychopaths do not roam the neighbourhood hacking up people with an axe, because most psychopaths are intelligent enough to know what’s to their benefit and what isn’t (in fact, they’re excellent at this because it’s all they care about). True psychological horror can be evoked from the degree to which a psychopath will subtly manipulate their victims to their own ends.

The first person is probably best avoided when writing about such a character, unless you’re writing from the perspective of one of their victims, but even then you run the risk of sounding like a true-life story in a women’s magazine. Third person is better, as this affords you opportunity to slowly drip-feed a victim’s awareness of their situation to the reader through a limited point of view. Using the third person allows you to portray how a person might be sucked into the psychopath’s web of glib lies and superficial charm, and then slowly realise that they’re trapped in a game where the psychopath wins by making them suffer.

As conflict is the heart of dramatic fiction, having a psychopathic character is an easy way to create a compelling tale. Whether you want to write mindless splatterpunk or a darkly psychological story, the psychopath affords you plenty of opportunity to write a page-turner.

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Top 24 Things Every Junior Copywriter Should Know

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Ideas

An ad is more than just a visual or headline. There has to be a concept behind it. Know how to tell the difference between what is an idea and what isn’t.

Actions

Call to action: What do you want them to do? You need to expect some kind of outcome from your advertising. What do you want to happen, aside from immediate and colossal sales? How are you going to do it? Know all possibilities.

Agencies

You should know how an agency is run. The positions, titles, and responsibilities of each department. Not all agencies are the same either. Research and discover which one is suitable for you.

Body copy

Some ads just work better with copy. Like difficult, complicated, or controversial subjects. Or when you need to differentiate products. If you want to change someone’s mind or have him or her do something difficult, a catchy slogan is not enough. When writing copy, what you say is more important than how you write it. Style can follow later on.

Campaigns

A campaign is a series of ads that work individually and cumulatively to communicate the advertiser’s message to the target audience. Campaigns from a clients point of view is a more effective, profitable, and longer lasting for their brand. Find out what elements are included in a campaign.

Concepting

Concepting is the creative process when developing a big idea. For example, for a print concept you have to figure out what is the one thing you want to say about the product and how you’re going to show it. Learn tips, techniques and universal methodologies to help you concept.

Critiques

Should be short, constructive and to the point. Phrases should be like :

  • I don’t get it
  • been done before
  • sounds like advertising
  • boring
  • too cute
  • ridiculous
  • sounds like bullshit
  • good

Do’s and Don’ts

Advertising-ese, Laundry lists, Bad taste, Poor grammar, Deadwood, Wimpy words, and Generic benefits are just a few of the many things you must stay away from. Avoiding these common traps will make your ads tighter.

Execution

Demonstrate the product in use. Show the product itself. Present a close-up of some critical part of the product. Emphasize not the product but a person connected to it. Go a step further and show the lifestyle the product helps create. Ridicule the product. Make fun of the audience. Make old ads new. Find an old form and breathe a new sensibility into it. There are so many ways to present your message. Do the opposite, don’t look anything like an ad. Despite intentions, traditional ads scream, “I’m an ad!” Just do something else instead. The majority of people hate ads. Learn how to make them appreciate it.

Headlines

Before you’re satisfied with one headline, run it past this check list. Should cover at least some of these guide lines.

o Let your headline sit for a while. Do you still love it a day later? Or are you embarrassed to repeat it out loud to somebody?

o Does your headline/ visual make sense or is it completely irrelevant?

o Can you omit anything to make it stronger?

o Try not to use puns unless it serves a purpose.

o Can you do the “billboard test” and still have a concept that makes sense?

o Does your headline appeal to the reader’s self-interest?

o Does your headline attract readers into the body copy?

o Is this the best you can do? Can you do a list of great headlines? Think campaigns.

Humor

Finding out human truths will make your ad all the better. What do people say to themselves and each other about your client’s product category or brand? What do people all notice but never speak on? What has your own inner speech been saying to you?

Images

Don’t decorate an ad to death. The strongest ideas are the simplest. Art directing is equally as important when crafting an ad. Find the best way to show your idea. Don’t limit your self or give excuses that Google or gettyimages didn’t have the picture you were looking for and “this is all you had to work with”. Be resourceful.

Inspiration

Start a visual scrap book. Sketch, doodle, include jotting down anything that makes you laugh. Ways and actions people respond to things…

Interviews

Be prepared to correctly respond when the recruiting director says “So…tell me about yourself.” , “How much do you want to get paid?” , or “What are your weaknesses?”

Layouts

Here are some of many guidelines you should review:

o Did you consider alternatives? (You can never have too many thumbnails.)

o Did you consider the Four Principles of Design?

o Did you use white space effectively?

o Does your layout have a pleasing and logical visual flow?

o Did you choose display type that matches the tone of the ad?

o Is the body copy inviting to read-the right size and proportion?

o Did you honor the margins-allow enough space around critical elements?

o Did you keep it simple? (Less is more.)

Networking

Online resumes rarely get read. You should spend 70% of your time talking on the phone and networking through people you know. Why do all the grunt work yourself? Talk to people. Ask for informational interviews. Come armed with questions and follow up questions:

o How did you become interested in the field?

o How did you get your job here?

o What skills do you find yourself using consistently?

o What type of background do you think is important for this field?

o What technology skills are critical for new employees?

o How has the industry changed over the last ten years?

o What do you like about this job?

o What is the most difficult thing about this industry?

o What attracted you to the industry?

o What makes someone successful here?

o Where do you see the industry going in the next five years?

o What are the key business issues your company is facing?

o How do you differentiate your business from that of your competitors?

Positioning

Where a brand stands compared to its competitors in the consumers mind. Before you develop the position of your client’s product, you have to ask:

o What is the current position?

o What is the competitor’s position?

o Where do you want to be?

o How are you going to get there?

Process

Getting the facts. Brainstorming with a purpose. Finding the reference/visuals. Drawing a writer’s rough. Working with the art director and the rest of the team. Preselling the creative director and account executive. Selling the client. Great execution. Maintaining continuity. Discovering what worked and why. Know these steps in detail.

Taglines

If they’re done right, taglines can be the most important element of a campaign…

Typefaces

Like many of the design choices you’ll make, your choice of type and color goes a long way toward enhancing awareness and building strategic comprehension. You must have a reason for the typeface you chose. Typography has its own language. Know typefaces and understand them.

Biographies

Know some of the ad greats. At least know who Ogilvy is.

Books

“Hey Whipple Squeeze This” is a mandatory read for anyone getting into this field. Start a library of ad books. Discover other titles that are very interesting and insightful.

Guerilla Ad’s

You’re not just staging a stunt, you’re communicating a brand truth. Stay on strategy. What does your client’s brand need to do or say, and is this a good way to get it done? Know about what benefits and risks you should consider when placing ads in advertising free zones.

Public Speaking

In selling your ideas, you’re also selling yourself. Your insight of the target audience will drive your presentation. It’s very simple-who are you talking to/what will you tell them/how will you deliver the message/how do you know it will work? Don’t memorize. Know your material and speak from the heart, not from memory.

Good Luck!

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How Do Ghostwriters Earn Money?

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A writer who is paid to write articles, books, reports,stories,website material or other content which is officially credited to another person is called a ghostwriter. Political leaders, celebrities, website owners, and executives often hire ghostwriters to draft or edit their written material.

In music, ghostwriters are used in classical music, film score composition, and popular music such as top 40, country, and hip-hop. Sometimes the author acknowledges the writing services of the ghostwriters.

How Does Ghostwriting Work?

The division of work between the ghostwriter and the credited author varies a great deal. In some cases, the ghostwriter is hired to polish and edit a rough draft or a mostly completed manuscript. In this case, the outline, ideas and much of the language in the finished book or article are those of the credited author.

In other cases, a ghostwriter does most of the writing, using concepts and stories provided by the credited author. In this case, a ghostwriter will do extensive research on the credited author or their subject area of expertise. Seldom does a ghostwriter compile a complete proejct with no input at all from the credited author; at a minimum, the credited author usually jots down a basic framework of ideas at the outset or provides comments on the ghostwriter’s final draft.

For an autobiography, a ghostwriter will interview the credited author, their colleagues, and family members, and find interviews, articles, and video footage about the credited author or their work. For other types of nonfiction books or articles, a ghostwriter will interview the credited author and review previous speeches, articles, and interviews with the credited author, to assimilate his or her arguments and points of view.

Ghostwriters are hired for numerous reasons. As is often the case, public figures and celebrities cannot possibly have the time or writing skills to write a “how to” book or autobiography. Even if a celebrity or public figure has the writing skills to pen a short article, they may not know how to structure and edit a several-hundred page book so that it is captivating and well-paced. In other cases, publishers use ghostwriters to increase the number of books that can be published each year under the name of well-known, highly marketable authors.

Payment and Credit for Ghostwriters

Ghostwriters will often spend from several months to a full year researching, writing, and editing nonfiction works for a client, and they are paid either per page, with a flat fee, or a percentage of the royalties of the sales, or some combination thereof. Ghostwriters can charge anything from 10 cents to $4 per word – often more – depending on the writer’s reputation and skills, and the detail required of the article.

Sometimes the ghostwriter will receive partial credit on a book, signified by the phrase “with…” or “as told to…” on the cover. Credit for the ghostwriter may also be provided as a “thanks” in a foreword or introduction. Sometimes the ghostwriter of nonfiction books will be credited as a “research assistant” or “contributor”. In other cases, the ghostwriter receives no official credit for writing a book or article; in cases where the credited author or the publisher or both wish to conceal the ghostwriter’s role, the ghostwriter may be asked to sign a nondisclosure contract that forbids him or her from revealing his or her ghostwriting role.

Types of Ghostwriting

Whatever the genre of writing being published, there is the opportunity for the work to be ghostwritten. These include:

* Non-Fiction

* Fiction

* Political

* Medical

* Blogs

* Academic

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Source by Kerry Finch

5s8fox8

Get Paid to Write Articles Online – Finding Buyers of Articles

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Even if you don’t consider yourself a professional writer, you can get paid to write articles online. There are many opportunities to sell your articles online for use on websites or in email newsletters. It isn’t hard to get paid to write articles online if you know where to look. The three best places to find article writing work on the internet are sites that pay for articles, freelance websites, and forums where website owners browse.

Sites that Pay for Articles

Many people who want to get paid to write articles will naturally start with sites that pay for articles. On these websites, you can choose what you write about so it’s a great way to get started. It isn’t, however, a great way to get rich.

Not all articles are worth the same. You might get a small payment upfront, get paid by views to your article, or you might wait until someone buys the articles you have listed on the site. Three companies you can start with are Associated Content, Helium, and Constant Content. If you want to hone your writing skills and make some extra cash, these companies are a great place to start.

Freelancing Sites

Freelancing sites are for people who want a part-time or full-time career writing articles. On many freelancing sites you need to pay upfront before you can get any work. You are not being hired by the website, but by publishers that need content written for them.

After you become a member of a freelance writing site, you look at the various projects that are posted. When you see one that you are interested in, you will bid on it. You write what your rate is (unless that is specified by the publisher) and provide samples of your work. Some of the most popular freelancing sites are Guru, Elance, and RentACoder.

Website Owner Forums

One of the best ways to get paid to write articles is to go straight to the people who need the writing done. You can build relationships with website owners and work directly with them without having to pay a cut to the middle man.

When you do this, you’ll need to have a portfolio with a few different kinds of articles in them. You’ll have to decide what your rate is and how much work you can handle. It’s easy to become overwhelmed if you take more work than you can comfortably write. To avoid risk, charge a percentage of your fee upfront.

The easiest way to find website owners is to go where they go. Do a search for forums for website owners and internet marketers. Many of these message boards allow you to post a link in your signature file, so make a nice site with your rates and writing samples. Eventually, you’ll find people who need regular content and if you provide good value, they’ll be happy to recommend you as well.

Whether you want to earn some extra cash or want to make a career as a freelancer, getting paid to write articles is a good way to start. Start by building a portfolio and discovering what others want. You don’t have to stop with writing articles-you can also write ebooks, email newsletters, or press releases. Study successful freelance writers, follow the steps, and you’ll become a successful writer as well.

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Cyber Journalism – A Reality Check

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Introduction

 Will you be online today? I will be there. Tell me your mail id……… will update you whenever you are on the way about the latest sensex, and Obama government’s ministerial berth. Nowadays I seldom get chance to read a newspaper….. Really I am indebted to internet vis-à-vis cyber media for getting information.

 This is an honest confession of a professional who has become fond of cyber media because of its speed, timeliness, proximity and uniqueness, the basic ingredients of journalism.

 In the last decade the world has witnessed a stupendous growth of internet users especially in the African, Arab and South-East Asian countries vis-à-vis the proliferation of cyber media. As of today, most of the leading newspapers and magazines have their online versions for more reach ability, and this further enhances the brand of the respective media houses along with the business.

 In this article I will make an attempt to give a basic idea about this new form of media, and a glimpse about the online journalism tools in the backdrop of the convergence concept.

Cyber Media – Definition

 Before going into intricacies let us discuss something about cyber media or internet media.

 Wiener used the term cybernetics, starting in 1948, to encompass a broad range of communications between humans, between humans and machines, and between machines themselves. Within the scope of cybernetics he included the transmission of messages, especially those that exert control; the likelihood of information to degrade as time and distance intervene; and especially the function of feedback between humans and all the systems with which they have contact (Wiener, 1954). The ancestry of cyber media begins with Wiener, who said, “To live effectively is to live with adequate information.”

 McLuhan (1964) separated “cool” media, which demand active participation and an “involvement in process” from “hot” media, like print, which come in complete packages and encourage passive consumption. In McLuhan’s thinking, roads and vehicles, money, and weapons are media, just as movies, books, and radio are. Media act as extensions of the human body, and electric media are extensions of the human nervous system.

 Cyber media doesn’t really exist yet. But it is rushing toward us. According to Mindy McAdams, cybermedia is vast quantities of electronic information stored in incremental form, with the increments able to be combined easily by any user into sequences and sets that suit his or her needs, without boundaries related to subject matter, original authors, or print-packaging conventions. 

Online Journalism

 From the cradle of cyber space the concept of Online Journalism evolved. Though Internet journalism is still evolving, but its contours are getting more sharply defined. Online journalists (read globally) are increasingly becoming aware of the need to develop a new phrase for the medium. The media itself understood that the internet cannot be treated as an extension of the print media despite numerous similarities between the two. There are many advantages of this new entrant in the media bandwagon where a story can be told in three different ways – in the text format, in audio mode, and as a video clip. The medium further demands that stories be communicated in different forms – as a news alert; as a wireless headline; and as well as written story on the net. The medium further calls for knowledge links, audio and video skills, and some latest skills that go far beyond traditional reporting and editing requirements.

New Horizons

 There are five unique areas where online journalism is different from its traditional counterpart “print”.

 The five areas are follows:

–  News Cycle

–  Updating Frequency

–  Packaging

–  Knowledge Links

–  News Vehicles

Principles of Online Reporting

 There are some basic rules pertaining to this online journalism especially from a journalist’s point of view while reporting online. The media has emerged up for the busy people mostly, and for its global reach just with the help of a click.

 While reporting online an online reporter should abide by the following rules:

–  The news story has to be short and precise if it has to sustain the browser’s attention. A story that runs into two or more screens is not likely to hold readers attention for long. Word count continues to be an important yardstick in the case of net. The internet reporter must keep this fact in mind while writing the story. He must ensure that it runs across the minimum number of screens in the format chosen by the site editors.

–  The Internet reporter must adopt the inverted pyramid format. It is the most rational storytelling format. The most crucial point is hosted, right on top of the story, the less important points follow. This saves the user the need to plough through to the last paragraph to find out what happened. The information is available in the first few paragraphs; with facts arranged in their decreasing order of importance.

– The story must be updated as it breaks. The reporter cannot sit back and wait for events to unfold.

–  The reporters writing for web media must learn to write short sentences using simple, common, everyday words that a browser will have no difficulty in understanding. Paragraphs should be short. Long paragraphs create fatigue and push browsers to reach for the mouse.

– The Internet reporter must develop the ability to break a story into short, fascinating side stories. The side stories enhance browser’s interest, and give more hits and clicks for the site.

– The net journalist must go through log reports carefully. He must understand which stories are being read on the net. This will help him work on stories that are likely to be read more. Successful sites are those that share browser behavior with their staff members.

–  The web journalist must understand that a mistake, even if it is corrected after it is omnipresent on the site, does not offer much comfort to the individual or the company that has already suffered loss of face on account of the error. A mistake will be deemed as a blunder in case of incorrect information.

        Editing for the Net

   The first and foremost precondition for internet editing is economy. A story must be reported in as few words as possible. The sentences should be short, easy to read and understand. There are 11 golden rules that are prominent for editing in print. All these rules are invariably crucial for editing on the net. Let us give a glimpse.

–   Use short sentences.

–   Avoid modifiers.

–   Substitute wordy phrases with simple small words.

–   Remove relative clauses.

–   Avoid starting a sentence with a subsidiary clause.

–   One sentence, one idea.

–   Use   active voice.

–  Delete clichés.

–  Proper synchronization of names and designations.

–  Simple, short and familiar words.

–  Avoid abstractions.

Conclusion 

 Reporting, writing and editing for cyber media is an art so as a science, where creative faculty has to submerge with the rational one. A proper style, along with the proportional amalgamation of traditional doctrine” the inverted pyramid” and the latest technique “search engine optimization” could take this media into zenith. The trend is already bullish; the only acceleration and proliferation factors are proper style, tools and techniques. Happy reading.

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Source by Debanjan Banerjee

8 Top Project Design Skills For Nonprofits and Grant Writers

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Successful and sustainable programs and projects begin with a solid design up front and include such design tools as logic models, SMART objectives and environmental scanning. This article will focus on the 8 top “project design and development” skills that non-profit personnel and grant writers should have.

Project design and development is one of 6 main grant professional skills measured by the Grant Professionals Certification exam. These include seeking, project designing, writing, managing, ethics and professionalism, and relationship-building.

Here are the 8 primary skills related to designing and developing your projects that lead to ultimate success and sustainability …

8 Skills for Effective Project Design And Development

To be effective in program and project design and development, you should be able to …

  1. Solicit and incorporate input from stakeholders including clients that is meaningful and substantive. This includes including their contributions into the initial design of new concepts and programs.
  2. Build partnerships with other agencies that are applying.
  3. Educate agencies around financial and program-specific compliance with funder regulations and requirements.
  4. Use “logic models” whenever applicable to assist in program design. The logic model communicates the purposes, components and sequence of activities of a project.
  5. Distinguish between the various key components of project design, such as goals, objectives/outcomes, activities, evaluation and sustainability, as well as tools that optimize design planning like SMART objectives, activity time lines, evaluation plans and sustainability plans. SMARTER objectives are ones that are S = Specific, M = Measurable, A = Attainable, R = Realistic and T = Time-based.
  6. Use data-driven design elements that are descriptive, qualitative and statistical, as well as data-driven design tools such as environmental scans, gap analyses and gap-closing strategies, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analyses, web-based surveys, feasibility studies and needs assessments.
  7. Identify resources that exist in the community that might aid in designing and developing projects and programs.
  8. Insure that your design is accurate,  defensible and leads to increased program success and sustainability.

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Stylewriter V4.0 Review – Plain English for Legal Document Writing

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How would you like it if every letter and report from your professional adviser was quick and easy to read? If their documents were quick to review, with the main points emerging clearly? If you could copy their advice to your business colleagues without first having to translate it into business English?

Some law firms know their clients would love this, but are not quite ready to deliver it. Their lawyers learned their style from judgments, statutes, textbooks, teachers and colleagues, all pretty much using the same style clients have been complaining about for hundreds of years. (IT professionals sometimes meet similar criticism from lawyers.)

That style is not easy to read or quick to review. See how long it takes you to find the error in this 56-word sentence.

‘Without prejudice to any other right or remedy we may have, we reserve the right to set off any amount owing at any time by you to us, whether under this Agreement or any other agreement which may exist from time to time between us, against any amount payable by you to us under this Agreement.’

Perhaps your clients don’t mind legalese in their agreements. But do they want it in your advice? Or in your legal updates and pitch documents? One way to eliminate hard-to-read documents is to use plain English style checking softwaresuch as StyleWriter.

What does StyleWriter do?

StyleWriter is a Word add-on. You click on a button and in seconds it has checked the whole document for the three main obstacles to understanding: long sentences, passive verbs, and hard words. It gives the document a score for the first two, and an overall score for clarity. And it suggests improvements.

It works like a spellchecker, flagging word patterns it has been taught to recognise as potential problems. Where possible, it offers alternatives for the writer to accept or reject (or ignore) with a click of the mouse. Or it may suggest ways to edit out the problem. As you edit, StyleWriter updates its scores. It gathers statistics to help organisations audit their documents for clarity. What you can measure, you can manage.

In three years of working with StyleWriter, I have found its advice sensible and user-friendly. If a document scores well on StyleWriter Software, it is not hard to read.

What doesn’t it do?

StyleWriter is no substitute for expert editing. It can’t solve problems, only flag them up. It can’t tell you where to add headings, or how to chop up a long sentence or why lawyers keep saying ‘from time to time’. If you don’t know these things, you need training to go with it. But it can tell you whether your own solution to these problems is easy or hard to read.

StyleWriter can only check language, not other important aids to ease of reading such as good layout, useful headings or a logical treatment of the subject. And it is no judge of context, so the author must always decide whether to accept its advice.

Other Writing Software like whitesmokeginger software are only check spell & grammar too, but they are focus on text enrichment & grammar checking. More about these 3 top rated writing software, see whitesmoke, stylewriter, ginger software comparison.

Example

Here’s what you get when you run StyleWriter on the clause just quoted.

stylewriter_1

The ‘Style index’ is the score for clarity, taking into account the average sentence length, percentage of passive verbs, and a lexicon of tens of thousands of words and phrases it has been taught may unnecessarily hamper the reader’s understanding.

Here’s another version of the clause, ten words shorter and in three short sentences, making it quicker to review. See how long it takes you to find if the mistake is still there.

Set-off:We may set off anything you owe us under any agreement against anything we owe you under this Agreement. This does not affect any other right or remedy we may have. It is not limited to agreements already made or sums already due.’

Its scores reflect the improvement.

Style Index 45 Average for General Writing
Average Sentence Length 15 Excellent
Passive Index 33 Good

Does it work on legal documents?

StyleWriter is designed for business, government and academic use. So it doesn’t pick up problems unique to the legal profession, like the abuse of ‘shall’ and ‘such’ and it questions legal terms that lawyers use correctly, such as ‘novation’ and ‘fiduciary’. You can tailor StyleWriter’s advice for legal documents; I’ve done it myself twice, although it’s not a job for the novice. But if your aim is to write business English, the original lexicon will give useful results even on legal documents.

What about pitches and legal updates?

Contracts and legal advice don’t need to grab the reader’s attention; any reader usually has a strong motive to find out what they say. If the writer has set no obstacles in their way, you can honestly call the clarity ‘Excellent’.

But the Bog index draws on an even wider lexicon of 200,000 words, plus acronyms and technical terms, to measure whether the text is gripping or boring. If boring, StyleWriter can offer only general advice – to write in personal terms (you and we), use contractions (can’t and won’t), include names (Daphne not The Author) and use lively verbs. You can display graphically the most and least boring words and sentences in your work, to help you edit. The Bog index for both the original and rewritten clauses is better than the Style index, because it gives them credit for using you and we.

The real value of the Bog index is for pitch and marketing text or anything the client or prospective client has not paid for and might decide not to bother with. Take this text from a firm’s web site, which has an Excellent style score but is still boring, with an Average Bog index (55).

A negligence claim against a professional services firm can be expensive, time-consuming and, for the individuals concerned, traumatic. Our lawyers have been helping these firms for more than 10 years. Our professional liability team consists of experienced lawyers from our commercial litigation, construction and finance groups, based in our offices throughout Europe and the Far East.

Compare this opening paragraph from a legal update, with a Good Bog index (27).

Say you received your payslip one day and noticed that out of the blue your salary had been doubled. Tempting as it would be to keep schtum, surely most of us would put our hands up and query the figure?

Doesn’t Word have a style checker?

Word 2003 and 2007 both include a Grammar check tool. It works like a spell checker, with an option to display statistics. Word’s readability statistics for the original set-off clause look like this:

stylewriter_2

This tells you the percentage of passive verbs and the average sentence length. And it says you’d need 25 years of education to understand this clause at first sight. But it doesn’t identify this clause as a long sentence, because it only does that for sentences over 60 words. In fact, Word finds no fault with the clause at all.

Its grammar checker merely tells you ‘That style is not easy to read or quick to review’. If you can add a Style check (2007 only) it actually strips out plain English, suggesting you replace But with Nevertheless and Or with On the other hand. Lawyers don’t need this sort of advice.

Other products exist to help edit your writing, such as MyWriter Tools. This is cheaper but you may not find it as useful.

Are there any technical limitations?

You need Word to get the full benefit of StyleWriter. If Word is your email editor, you can also use StyleWriter to edit Outlook files. And you can edit clipboard text copied from other programs, but you need to copy it back again when done.

You can install StyleWriter on a network, which may involve some work to get it working smoothly with a document management system. You’ll need to decide whether to allow users to add or delete words and phrases, or to do it only centrally. You could also decide to add your own house style to StyleWriter’s advice.

StyleWriter v4 costs £110 plus VAT or $160 for a single user.

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Source by Joseph

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Technical Writing – Definition of Brainstorming

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Good tech writers bring more to the table than the ability to create documents that fulfill the client’s objective. Very often, the writer is part of a team that develops concepts and whole campaigns. The writer is expected to take an active role in the process.

One opportunity for participation is being in a brainstorming session. Some people confuse a brainstorming session with a bull session when people sit around and say whatever comes to mind. There are big differences between the two. The biggest difference is that brainstorming is intended to produce valuable ideas. It’s not a time for expressing random thoughts and telling stories.

A brainstorming session is a group of people who are involved with or interested in a specific topic. They gather to present ideas and – most importantly – to build on the ideas of others in the session. The value of the exchange is that ideas generate other ideas. Directions that none of the participants thought of individually become clear when the input of many people is stimulated and enlarged upon by the discussion. The objective of a brainstorming session is to develop a few, workable ideas that can be turned into the basis for dealing with a situation or going forward with a project.

Unlike a bull session, a brainstorming session has structure and clear rules. They both have to be understood and followed by everyone. If there’s any doubt that they’re not understood by all the participants, they should be presented either orally or as a handout before the session starts. Then, they must be enforced during the session. It’s a free-form brain dump, but it has structure and rules.

The structure

· Brainstorming sessions work well with five to ten participants. Too few and there’s not enough input. Too many and there’s not enough time for everyone to participate.

· There should be a stated time limit for the session. Small groups can often accomplish a lot in an hour or so. Even with large groups, though, three hours is pretty much the upper limit.

· One person is designated as facilitator. The facilitator states the purpose of the session and sets up the guidelines. It’s also this person’s responsibility to keep the session moving along on time and on track.

· One person is designed the scribe. It’s this person’s responsibility to capture all the ideas and write them down.

· The facilitator and scribe are both part of the discussion.

The rules

1. Quantity, not quality, of ideas is the aim; as many ideas as possible from all participants.

2. Ideas should be short and simple enough to be easily understood and written down.

3. Everyone must have an equal opportunity to express ideas.

4. No judgment or criticism is ever made about an individual who expresses an idea.

5. No idea is rejected regardless of how silly or far out it may seem.

6. No idea is criticized during the session, not even by looks, groans, or laughs.

7. Ideas are not discussed as they’re generated.

8. All ideas are written down on a surface everyone can see.

9. Different ideas, no matter how similar, are written down.

10. Only ideas on the stated topic for the session are allowed.

After the session, ideas that are similar can be resolved into one idea, and then they can be ranked by preference. The pros and cons of the top ideas can be discussed until the most workable ideas are settled on

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Source by Bryan S. Adar

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Become A Ghostwriter

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Becoming A Ghostwriter By: Lorraine Cote

Ghostwriting can be rewarding in two ways. a) You get a chance
to research and write about all types of topics that you
wouldn’t normally have a chance to learn about. The old theory
in writing “write what you know” doesn’t apply to ghostwriting
since your clients will dictate what topic you will write about.

b) You can make a decent living at it. If you’re new to writing,
it may take a while to get clients but it is possible. It just
takes a little hard work and perserverance. There are several
ways to get clients. Here are a few.

1. Bid on writing jobs on contracted work site such as
Elance.com, Guru.com and Getafreelancer.com You basically signup
as a service provider to begin bidding on projects posted by
clients. If you win the bid, you do the writing project as a
ghostwriter. 2. Place ads for your ghostwriting service on free
classified ad sites. It doesn’t cost anything to post ads on
these sites and is a good way to get yoru services out there in
front of potential clients.

3. Post responses in forums with a signature that defines your
ghostwriting service and an email address or website URL.
Something along the lines of “Affordable Ghostwriting
Services,[your website url] or email for more details [your
email address].

4. Introduce your services in forums where you are allowed to do
this. Many forums have a section where you can introduce your
business. See out writing forums for this.

5. Have business cards created showcasing your ghostwriting
business. Pass them out every chance you get. Put them on
bulletin boards in supermarkets etc. You can create your own or
have them made.

6 Write a press release announcing your services. There are
plenty of no-cost or low-cost distribution services on the web
to get the message out for you. Ghostwriting may not be for
everyone because you don’t get credit for your work, the client
does. If that doesn’t matter to you and you like writing on a
variety of topics, it can be an enjoyable way to earn some money.

Lorraine Cote

Copyright 2005 Lorraine Cote

This article may be freely reprinted as long as the author’s
information and copyright notice remain intact.

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Source by Lorraine Cote

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Work From Home Moms

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If you want to search for a home based job without sacrificing your parental responsibility then you can select any of the online home based jobs like customer service, online surveys, data entry processing, virtual assistants, online tutor etc. You need to have some basic computer experience.

Work at home jobs is particularly beneficial to moms who need to take care of their children. Thousands of work at home moms’ find available jobs online, which help stay at home moms to get a suitable job and thereby earn a little extra every month.

Work at home moms generally select data entry processing jobs since these jobs do not require much effort and time. You need to fill out the forms provided by the company at your own speed. Moms can do the work when you find free time.

Online tutors are yet another suitable job for stay at home moms. There are some internet based companies that offer help to students of all age groups. If you have adequate knowledge in teaching, you can should look at becoming a tutor online.

If you have good command over the English language, then ghost writing is a suitable home based job for you. You can write articles, books, stories or reports on behalf of clients and get paid for your services. Normally this type of job does have deadlines, so more pressure for completing the job in a specified time period. But if enjoy writing, a job as a freelance writer could be the perfect solution working from home.

Transcription jobs are also suitable for stay at home moms. You need to transcribe the documents and edit records. Transcription jobs do require some special knowledge and so you need to normally do a short course and training.

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Source by Kelly Sam Smith

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