The Basic Rules of Writing

The basic rule of writing is to make a clear sentence. That one basic rule embodies more rules that include basic grammar rules, thought building, and a way to communicate or express oneself in a language.

Knowing grammar entails being familiar with the figures of speech: noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.

Each part of speech embodies a set of rules, as to how each part should coordinate with the other parts of speech in writing a sentence. A sentence is written, and analyzed as to idea, construction, or style. Different languages display various basic sentence patterns, like the English language.

When a child, words are learned from the foundations of vocabulary building and thought building. Later, many forms of literature are available. So this one basic rule is easy, as it is hard. Remember the Kiss Theory, "Keep it simple stupid." Sorry for the negative connotation, but that word was emphasized to make us remember how to make a good sentence.

Have this in mind:

A sentence must have unity, coherence and emphasis.

A sentence has unity when it expresses a single complete thought. The sentence contains only significant details. Unity is oneness.

A sentence has coherence when the parts of the sentence have an apparent and logical relationship with each other. The idea is expressed in a logical manner and/or a consistent manner.

A sentence has emphasis when a word or idea shows clearly what is important. The emphasis helps in an expression of a strong idea; a strong sentence.

After the sentences, paragraphs are built. A good composition follows from the effective paragraphs, after good sentences are made and/or written. Again, the paragraphs require unity, coherence, emphasis, until all revolves and highlights a complete thought. The complete thought could be shown from a topic sentence. In a more formal paper, the complete thought is the thesis, which is supposed to be supported with significant details.

Know by heart the use of proper punctuations. Know the rules of capitalization, which are included in the study of nouns and pronouns. Know how to spell. Spelling goes in getting familiar with words and more words. A dictionary will help.

Be familiar with sentence faults, and practice how to express yourself clearly. All these, and you will get through one by one. As one poet says about writing in a metaphor, "Writing is learning bird by bird." And don't worry if errors come, "No grammar is perfect." Learning how to write requires checking and revising, among others.

Finally, read a lot. If possible, read the news everyday. Also, one article or one story each day would help. After learning the rules, break them and write in your own voice or style.

Good luck!

rose flores martinez


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