Videos · Writing

Video – 5 tips to improve your writing

I am aware of these tips but I ignore them when writing my posts. However, I decided to start writing better from now on.

1. Avoid contractions
(e.g., Don’t, can’t, shouldn’t couldn’t, …)

2. Avoid there is/are

There are many development projects that the UN supports. [✕]
The UN supports many development projects. [✓]

3. Avoid using really, a lot, very and so.

A lot of the students … [✕]
Many students … [✓]

A lot of time is wasted. [✕]
Much time is wasted. [✓]

4. Avoid using passive voice as much as possible

5. Use strong verbs

Weak verb: He gave assistance to my friend
Strong verb: He assisted my friend

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Writing

My quest writing the first sentence

I hate the first sentence in my blog. It takes me more time to 

I think then write then erase. I write then erase

The most important sentence in any article is the first sentence. It is the one sentence that determines the  One sentence that determines the w the life of an article. The first sentence always causes me a headache. I spend m Sometimes, I spend more time on trying to come up with the perfect sentence than the time I spend writing my post.  a post. I hate the first sentence I am even dedicating this whole post for it. complaining about it. ranting about it. Many times, I think of an excellent topic for a post but it ends up in my drafts folder because I couldn’t figure out what the first sentence should be. I have more than 200 drafts because of the stupid first sentence. I am not sure what type of article I am writing now. It doesn’t have content and a closing statement. It only has an opening and a very bad one indeed. A very bad one indeed. I am just ranting here. about the stupid first stamtenet Sorry for wasting your time. But I have to say it is your fault, once you didn’t like the first sentence you shouldn’t continue reading. Anyway, thanks for suppor your patient trying to figure out what I am up to. I am just an amateur writer trying to come up with a good first sentence just barely good sentence.

Social Media · Writing

Journaling

I treat this blog as my not so private journal. It helps me record segments of my life and thoughts. I have another two blogs one for my teaching and another one for my research. The one for teaching I use to update students by posting new notes, algorithms, assignments, etc. I found the dynamic blog to be better than a static website. Students like it. I knew that from the students’ end of semester evaluation forms. My research blog is not as good as it should be. I found that blogging is not the best way to keep a journal for the research. I use other tools to keep track of my research work.

The most I like about writing in my journal is it reduces stress. I use it as a relaxation tool. It is a way for me to vent. Although, when things get really bad and while I am wearing my black hat I vent into my spiral notebook. Some thoughts are better kept hidden from the public.

Many bloggers left for a younger trendier social media called Twitter. But I don’t think Twitter can replace blogging. Twitter is very helpful when it comes to know something about everything. My best usage of Twitter is to follow the news media I usually browse their websites. Instead of browsing each individual media website, now I can read the latest news headlines from one place and decide what I want to read, skim or ignore. Of course, there are more useful usages of Twitter. I am trying to discover or like them one by one, slowly.

I am still a fan of blogging. I enjoy reading concise one page posts. The Chronicle has a good article about different types of journals and the benefits of journaling:

Journaling regularly relieves stress

Journaling help you keep a list of things you are grateful for

Journaling can help you record your short-term goals to help you achieve them

Journaling reminds yourself of your intentions

Journaling reminds you of your mistakes (to show you how you overcame them)

Journaling allows a place for honesty

Journaling helps you overcome writer’s block

Journaling records the highs and the lows of your year

Journaling provides an outlet for pent up emotions

Journaling gives dreams and ideas a place to grow and be respected

Journaling allows you to gain clarity as you sort through the constant deluge of daily life

The article also provides some helpful links about writing. It also includes some tips on how to start a journal. One suggestion is to start blogging, an idea that I found very useful when I start this blog. When you treat your blog as a journal finding topics becomes much easier. Some topics would find readers others not. Blogging is a very good way to improve your writing. When I read some of my early posts I found many mistakes that I try to correct when I write my newer ones.

Blogging is good. Hopefully to see more Jordanians write blogs. The more the merrier. More blogs means more topics and more diversity. It is good to find some specialized blogs in local affairs, arts, design, advertisements, entertainment, politics, etc.