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Welcome to "Writing tricks," a free, online course to improve your writing skills. As an English teacher, I know how hard writing is. I will show you how to connect words to make sentences; how to use punctuation; how to write effective paragraphs; how to write coherent and cohesive texts; how to write an essay, articles, reviews, letters, emails, reports, proposal, stories. You'll understand how to pass the written part of Cambridge First, Cambridge Advanced, Trinity College ISE, APTIS, IEL ...
 
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How can you go from plain, boring messages in Whatsapp to spectacular ones? Keep listening. Learn how to impress all of your friends with these super-cool "writing tricks"! TRICK 1: BOLD MESSAGES To bold your message, place an asterisk on both sides of the text, like this: *text* TRICK 2: MESSAGES IN ITALICS To italicize your message, place an unde…
 
Are you writing too much? Well, don't! If you want to become a proud, consistent writer, just follow these two easy tricks… TRICK 1: Set the bar ultra-low Never set goals like, “I want to write 1000 words a day.” That’s too much, and you'll get disappointed with yourself as soon as you miss one day. Instead, your goal is to write only one true sent…
 
What is a report? Why should I care? How do I go about it? Find out in today's epidode SAMPLE REPORT TASK: The international organization where you work has a sum of money available for making improvement to the work environment in your office to make it more productive. You have been asked to write a report for your manager in with you Outline the…
 
What on Earth is a proposal? Will I ever need to write one while I am in College? Well, there is an easy trick to help you with it. Here Is What You Should Do For Your PROPOSAL. Follow this sample one... SAMPLE TASK: “You are member of the Students’ Council at the college where you study. The principal of the college wants to make it easier for fir…
 
What's the Single Most Important Thing You Need To Know About PROPOSALS? No, not that kind of proposal... Proposals in an academic setting. What Is a proposal, what is a report, and How Do they Work? Keep listening: here Is What You Should Do! THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you…
 
So, you want to write addictive articles. What's the first step? The title. How do you write a “clickbait” one? Find out here... HOW TO WRITE ADDICTIVE TITLES - Write something shocking: “Computer games are way too soft; we want brutality!” - Leave your reader interested: “You'll never believe the kind of night life waiting for you in Madrid!” - Us…
 
What are the top six steps that can turn your last article into a viral one? Is there anything you can do, or anything that you should avoid? Find out in today's episode OUTLINE: 6 EASY STEPS TO WRITE AMAZING ARTICLES AND BLOGPOSTS STEP 1. Select your topic. Narrow it down. STEP 2. Address your audience's needs. Pick three words to describe them. F…
 
As we have covered in the previous episode, writing an article in an English exam context is just a way to show your examiners that you can write in a personal, direct, engaging way. What are the kind of things you will have to write about? Is there a sample article we could analyse? Can we have a glimpse of the features that will make it successfu…
 
What is an article? Or, at least, what do examiners mean by an article? What is the difference between an article and other academic genres? What are the top 5 things to bear in mind when writing one? Find out in today's epidode. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering s…
 
Let's have a look at a sample review of a restaurant. I hope it will inspire you to feel confident and to post something online! REVIEW THE LOTUS FLOWER I tried the Lotus flower for the first time this month with my family for my dad's birthday, and I realised that it was easily the best Chinese restaurant we've eaten in. The surroundings were very…
 
What is the most optimum way to write the internal part of a review, as well as its conclusion? In this episode, we will have a look at how to solve this problem looking at different angles. From a semantic point of view, we will look at what to include and how to distribute it in different paragraphs. In order to acomplish this, we will use the Ti…
 
What is the first thing you need to know about writing a proper review? Discover how to establish your authority. Experiment and surprise your audience by including a revelation that you had thanks to the very same thing that you are reviewing. Invite your reader to come with you on that journey of discovery. As you move through this episode, you w…
 
Is there a strategy that can help you producing the perfect review? What are the main communicative functions that we need to portray when we are writing an excellent one? How can we optimize them so that in a few sentences we can produce a memorable review? Whether you are trying to write about a product on Amazon, or a hotel on booking.com, an ex…
 
What is the secret to writing a successful job application letter? Find out in today's episode. SAMPLE TASK Wanted Friendly, English-speaking people to work as restaurant and bar staff on our Mediterranean cruise ships. Tell us about Why you would like to work for us Any relevant experience you may have Personal qualities that would be useful on bo…
 
Do you know how to begin and end a formal letter (or email) correctly? Find out in today's episode THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it helped you looking at things from a different perspective. If you enjoyed …
 
What are the key ingredients of an informal email or letter? How can you approach this task? From planning to finished product, find everything you need in this episode. INFORMAL EMAILS: SAMPLE TASKS You have just received this email from Jo, a friend in Canada. From: Jo Subject: Help me! I really want to be selected for the college ice hockey team…
 
Can you write an impressive email? Do you know how to include good content, score high in communicative achievement, show good organization and structure, and display appropriate language control? Find out in today's episode. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering somet…
 
How do Cambridge examiners mark papers? Find out about "Content", "Communicative achievement", "Organisation and structure" and "Language control". Discover what each one of them entails. Understand how grammar, syntax, punctuation, format, tone and ideas are assessed. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode.…
 
What are the key ingredients of a discursive essay? How can you approach this task? From planning to finished product, find everything you need in this episode. SAMPLE ESSAY TASK In your English class, you have been talking about the benefits of regular exercise. Now, your teacher has asked you to write an essay. Write an essay using all the notes …
 
What makes a good "agree/disagree" essay for the Cambridge exams, at a B2 level? Find out in today's episode. SAMPLE ESSAY TASK In your English class, you have been talking about wildlife conservation. Now, your English teacher has asked you write an essay. Write an essay using all the notes, and give reasons for your point of view. "Not enough is …
 
What makes a good essay for the Cambridge exams, at a B2 level? Find out in today's episode SAMPLE ESSAY TASK What can young people do to help the environment? Write about: 1. Recycling 2. Using cars less 3. Your own idea SAMPLE ESSAY (SIMPLE VERSION) There are many things young people can do to protect their local environment. Some of these are re…
 
What are the main communicative functions that you should ideally include in your conclusion? What is something that you should never include? Find out in today's episode. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it h…
 
What are the key ingredients that make for a fantastic body paragraph? Find out in today's episode THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it helped you looking at things from a different perspective. If you enjoyed …
 
Do you know how to write a good essay intro? What would you use as a "hook"? What is a thesis statement? How would you structure your arguments in order to defend your point? Find out in today's episode. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing tha…
 
What is an essay? What are their main functions? How are essays organised? What are their main features? Find out in today's episode. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it helped you looking at things from a dif…
 
Do you know how to identify cohesive elements in texts? Listen to this episode to reflect upon some cohesive devices found in a short, given text. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it helped you looking at thin…
 
What is cohesion? What is the connection between cohesion and coherence? What are some cohesive devices at your disposal? What would happen to a text if you used cohesive devices excessively!? Find out in today's episode. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something…
 
In today's episode, we are going to explore how to fix a faulty, incoherent sentence in which some piece of key information is missing. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it helped you looking at things from a d…
 
Can you identify what supporting sentences will increase your text coherence? And more importantly, why? Find out in today's episode with a little bit of guided practice. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it he…
 
Can you identify what supporting sentences will increase your text coherence? And more importantly, why? Find out in today's episode with a little bit of guided practice. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it he…
 
What are the characteristics of coherent texts? How can you recognise them and use them to improve your writing? Find out in today's episode. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it helped you looking at things fr…
 
Before we move any further into how to write a very good, decent paragraph, we need to consider two absolutely essential concepts: coherence and cohesion. They are transversal to all kinds of writing, and communication at large even. Any reader — examiners included — will notice immediately if any of this two aspects are missing. They might not be …
 
Do you know how to identify a faulty topic sentence? Would you know how to fix it? Can you do it so that the rest of your related ideas flow naturally? Find out in today's episode. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or …
 
What is the secret to the perfect topic sentence? Do you know how to build a topic sentence that is interesting, not too narrow, not too broad, and that is not a chunk? Find out all the yummy tricks of the trade in today's episode... THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discoveri…
 
What is a paragraph? What are the main "ingredients" of a successful one? How can you control its structure? Do you know when to start a paragraph and when to finish it? Find out in today's episode. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you…
 
Can you identify sentence structures by understanding their underlying syntax? In this episode, we we'll have some guided practice so that you can become confident at deducing architectural features in sentences. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about wr…
 
What are compound-complex sentences? How can you identify them? What are their main ingredients and characteristics? Find out all about them in this episode. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it helped you look…
 
In this episode, we are going to practice sentence formation. Starting from two independent clauses, we are going to create their corresponding compound and complex sentences at the same time. This way, we are going to go deep into the relationship between syntax, punctuation and meaning in English. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you…
 
Find out how to convert compound sentences into complex ones. Follow these guided exercises and learn how to translate coordinating conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs into their corresponding subordinating adverbs. Semantically, let's change a relationship of independent equals into a relationship of inescapable dependency. THANK YOU FOR LISTENIN…
 
Let's review how to create complex sentences so that we can start converting compound sentences into complex ones. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it helped you looking at things from a different perspective.…
 
What do English teachers mean when they say that you should create complex sentences? How can we visualize them? In this episode, we will define them, give you tips so that you can identify and create them, and drill their corresponding punctuation. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it help…
 
Are the following sentences simple sentences or compound sentences? How can you even tell? Listen to this episode to find out the answer and to start the journey from meaning to structure in English. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that yo…
 
Get some practice into creating compound sentences. In this episode, we will have a semi-guided exercise in which you will be able to blend syntax, punctuation and meaning in English. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, …
 
Practise how to blend two ideas into a compound sentence. Link them with coordinating conjunctions, semicolons, and conjunctive adverbs. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it helped you looking at things from a …
 
Find out how to link two independent clauses with conjunctive adverbs or adverbials. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it helped you looking at things from a different perspective. If you enjoyed it, you might …
 
Find out about the second way in which you can use a semicolon: in complicated lists, in order to create internal order and taxonomy. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helped you discovering something about writing that you did not know, or that it helped you looking at things from a dif…
 
Is there a way in which we can link to independent sentences, but without explicitly explaining what the connection is between them? Visualize the union between two independent clauses as a marriage of equals. Can we find the equivalent of a "wedding ring" indicating as that there is a marriage, but without explaining what the marriage is about? Th…
 
Do we always need to add a comma before the coordinating conjunctions of the FANBOYS? Find out in this episode. We will also explore what a phrase is, what a clause is, as well as introducing compound subjects, compound verbs, and compound objects. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THIS EPISODE Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that it helpe…
 
How to link two independent clauses or sentences into a compound sentence using a comma and a coordinating conjunction (FANBOYS). From a semantic point of view, this would be the equivalent of having a marriage of two strong, independent people. Individually, they can survive, but together, they're stronger. Coupling sentences in this way —using a …
 
In this episode, we will talk about "the colon". This is a very interesting piece of punctuation that can allow us to expand on ideas, to create lists, and to alter sentence structure for impact. Listen to this episode, pay attention to the syntax involved, and I hope that you can make your writing far more interesting from now on! THANK YOU FOR LI…
 
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