Writing

Blogging: The Writer's Best Friend

Having a best friend is one of the best gifts that God may give to mankind. These days, having a friend is not only restricted into having a human friend to hang around and tell stories to. People with dedication in writing often find their companion in paper and pen and in most cases, in their personal computer’s keyboard.

With the advancement of the Internet, anyone can now share their stories online through blogging. Anyone can express how they feel in a blog, just like having a best friend. Blogs frequently become more than a means to just speak up or communicate. However, it also becomes a means to think about or reflect on life or mechanisms of art. Blogging may impose sentimental quality. There are some who posts their poems, experiences and ideas in their blogs. It can even be used to announce something or to acknowledge someone. Others make use of it more like their personal online diaries. Blogs can even be a good means in providing information about places, pets, music, books, an author’s masterpiece, restaurants, bars and more. It is also a good means in marketing a product. One can simply post anything by blogging.

Oftentimes, blogs are imparted with passion or feelings that the writer desires to convey. At the outset, it may show and reflect a writer’s experiences. But later on, as the writer steps forward, he can then make use of it in writing an article of topics that interests him. He can write simply anything he wishes to, from marketing certain products to speaking about God or events. Many writers also make use of blogs as a means to earn extra cash by writing about a variety of topics as they deliver and post their masterpieces on various blog websites.

A usual blog coalesces images, text and links to webpages, other blog sites and other media associated to its topics. One important part of blogs is the space that would enable other people to leave comments. Most blogs are predominantly made up of text alone but there are also some that focuses on photographs, sketches, art, videos, podcasts and music.

Writing blogs is just the same as writing in well-known word processors. It differs only with the blogging feature that let bloggers to key in some terms or keywords that enables the said blog to easily be accessed via search engines like Yahoo!, AOL and Google. This often results to the generation of Internet traffic via SEO. Search engines make accessible simply everything that one may need in his everyday life, studies, jobs and more. It is no secret that blogging is a good way in boosting SEO rankings. Some websites make use of blogs in order to be ranked quickly. Nevertheless, SEO usage is not suggested when marketing services or products because SEO does not assure high transaction and sales volume.

The cry for foremost reconstruction is immensely in advancement in the World Wide Web as it ceaselessly facilitates to move along process in the everyday life of each human being.…

Current Programs and Activities - Writing Grant Proposals

Current Programs and Activities Section Components

When writing the current programs and activities section, grant writers should highlight organizational strengths while concentrating on information that is relevant to the proposal and corporate mission. This section should highlight any programs and activities that are currently funded by grants and indicate who is funding those projects and note the level of monetary support.

Funders are interested in learning if the applicant’s current programs and activities have shown growth since their inception and if the number of served constituents is clear. Application evaluators may view program stagnation and negative growth as potential problems.

 

 

Grantors also want to know if the organization demonstrates a willingness to partner with local, regional or state agencies to provide coordinated programs and shared activities. Organizations can illustrate this by using programs designed after successful national models.

While it is important to list relevant activities, it is also crucial to avoid including irrelevant and unsuccessful programs. Inactive programs and those that have received negative news coverage should also be left out. Services that duplicate the activities of other organizations within the target communities can also have a negative effect on a proposal and should either be left out or discussed in a downplayed and concise manner.

How Funders Evaluate Current Programs and Activities

Funders are extremely interested in an applicant’s current programs and activities because they reveal target populations and indicate the organization’s ability to focus on projects that are relevant to the company’s mission. Evaluators are more likely to continue reading the proposal if the applicant actively pursues its stated interests and serves the same constituent group that is of particular interest to the funder.

Long-running programs signify stability, so grantors want to know how many activities have been in operation for more than one year. Funders are hesitant to grant money to organizations that start programs and suspend them when the original funding source stops or interest declines. Associated with stability is organizational capacity. Programs that are not running smoothly may raise questions about the organization’s ability to properly staff and manage projects.

Grantors are also looking for the applicant’s ability to maintain and improve existing programs. Specifically, funders are looking for the organization’s up-to-date documentation about creating, maintaining and improving its programs.

Funders do not want to see applicants starting new programs and suddenly stopping operations after a relatively short period of time. This indicates the organization is unable to sustain grant-funded programs.

Where to Find Information About Current Programs and Activities

Information about the applicant organization’s current programs and activities can be found through numerous sources, including:

  • Annual Reports
  • Most recent strategic plans
  • Most current organizational brochures
  • recently submitted grant proposals
  • Past year’s press releases
  • Fact sheets on programs
  • Talk to program managers
  • Evaluation reports for current programs

After reading the current programs and activities section, the grant proposal evaluator should possess thorough knowledge about the applicant organization’s ongoing pursuits and believe the company can implement the same processes to successfully execute the proposed project.…

How to Generate Writing Ideas

Young children are encouraged to write freely in journals with little attention to grammar, spelling and organization. As children mature, they are suddenly expected to follow the formal writing process beginning with the prewrite stage. Adults are not the only people who experience writer’s block. Does your child often say, “I don’t know what to write about.”? Remedy this problem with a handy Prewrite Binder.

Prewrite Binder
Solve writer’s block with a creative project to get the words flowing.

Materials
(1) 3-ring binder
(1) scissor
(1) glue stick
(1) hole puncher
recycled magazines, books and trinkets
personal pictures
lined and blank paper (colored and white)
pens, pencils, crayons

Step 1
Explain to your child that he/she will periodically add pictures and words to the Prewrite Binder like a scrapbook.

Step 2
Let your child decorate the outside of the binder using the materials suggested. The Prewrite Binder should reflect your child’s interests.

Step 3
Have your child brainstorm about his/her favorite things and add those ideas to the sheets of paper contained in the binder either with drawings, words or cut outs from the compiled magazines, books and pictures.

Step 4
Help your child generate additional items to add by talking about his/her favorite movies, books, pets, vacations, birthdays and other cherished memories.

Step 5
Print out graphic organizers online that include beginning, middle and end or setting, characters and events to be added at the end of the binder.

Step 6
Keep the Prewrite Binder in a readily accessible spot so your child can grab it at any moment and insert additional ideas.

The next time you hear, “I don’t know what to write about,” you can respond, “Grab your Prewrite Binder.” Your child is sure to find something to write about in a binder reflecting him/her. It will also be fun for your child to reminisce while perusing all the pages.…

Writing a Memorable Graduation Speech

Congratulations! You’ve been named valedictorian of your 2009 high school graduation class. Take a little time to celebrate this honor with family and friends. Then get busy. You have a graduation speech to write.

Before you put pencil to paper (or fingers to computer key board), here are a few tips to help you write a memorable speech.

Choose an appropriate theme. Choose a theme that is relevant to the occasion. For example, you might want to talk about what your school means to you, what you learned outside the classroom that will help to shape you life going forward, the importance of education, or any number of topics.

Use anecdotes and reminisce with your audience. Graduation is about looking back as well as looking forward, so color your speech with anecdotes about your school, your classmates, and your teachers. Reminisce a little with your audience by talking about important events during your high school years, dances and proms, fundraisers, plays, sports events, and so on. Bring up occurrences that are especially meaningful to your class, such as sports championships won or the loss of a student or teacher.

Use humor cautiously. If you use humor in your speech, be careful. Admittedly, a joke can be an effective icebreaker to open a speech. But, if poorly executed, it can leave the audience uncomfortable, which is not how you want to start your talk. Be sure any humor you use is appropriate and stay away from inside jokes that will be understood by only a few members of the audience.

Reference pop culture. Including references to pop culture (movies, music, books, personalities, etc.) can help to make you speech more personal and more accessible to your audience. However, don’t go overboard. This is one area where a little can be a lot.

Don’t be preachy. As a high school graduate, you are still somewhat naïve in the ways of the world, whether you know it or not, so don’t make your speech preachy or heavy on advice-giving.

Show appreciation. Say thank you to parents and teachers and express appreciation for their support and for the opportunities provided by your school.

Be inclusive. You are representing your entire class, not just Honor Society members or those in the drama club with you. Try to make your speech resonate with all your classmates, not just a few.

Limit the comments about yourself. We not I should take center stage in your speech.

Practice. Practice your speech, a lot. Rehearse it for family and friends so that you can get feedback from them, but remember, in the end, it is your speech and it should be your message that comes through. Practice out loud.

Be brief. Make your speech long enough to be interesting but not so long that you lose your audience to inattention and boredom. Know the time allotted for the speech and stay well within it.

Enjoy yourself. Once you’ve written and polished your speech and practiced it to the point that you can give it in your sleep, relax and let yourself enjoy the occasion and the much-deserved attention and recognition.

Sources:

Maggie Vink, diylife.com, How to Write a Graduation Speech

Naomi Rockler-Gladen, collegeuniversity.com, How to Write a Graduation Speech, Memorable Commencement Speaking for High School and College Graduation

wHow Education Editor, ehow.com, How to Write a Graduation Speech…

Finish My Sentence - Writing Starter

Finish My Sentence is a writing “game” children like to play. I used this in the classroom, but it would work well in a home setting as well.

Each child writes the beginning part of a sentence on a sheet of notebook paper. This includes the subject and good adjectives. Then they fold down the top of the paper to cover what they wrote. They use two paper clips to keep this in place. Then they give their paper to another student. * The second student writes the rest of the sentence. This is an interesting verb and modifiers. Then we share the sentences. Some of them make sense, but most are silly…the students like these best, of course. I comment on good descriptive words, great use of spelling or vocabulary words, etc…

We do several of these and then I often let them have some writing time. I say “let” because they enjoy this…well, many of them did not at the beginning of the year because they feared writing, thinking they could not write. However, they have all overcome this. They WRITE!!!

During this writing time, they select ANY of the sentences that were shared. They write a short story working in the sentence. If there is time, I let them draw picture(s) to go with their stories. Then, of course, we must have time to read the stories aloud.

Sometimes, I read the stories. Then they try to guess who wrote the story. It is interesting how well they got in recognizing each others writing. Of course, there are clues. Margaret is an excellent writer and seems able to take any topic and make it a story. Her sentences will be well written and her penmanship makes them easy for me to read. Then there is Anne. Anne loves horses and will almost always work them into her stories. If it is about armies or dinosaurs it is probably Nat. …then it is Josh. As the year progressed the children tried to “fool” others by writing about something they thought would disguise their identity. One of the funniest was when Ricky (Mr. Athlete) wrote about ballet…no one guessed.

* NOTE: We keep changing the way we exchange papers so children get a different student’s words each time. In a home setting there may be fewer people to participate, but even just exchanging pages between Mom or Dad and one student can work well. If there is only one student he can even do this as a solitary project. Have him write five or more sentence beginnings each day for a week. The second week take five of the folded papers each day and write sentence endings. When all have been completed, the fun begins. Each day select a few of the completed sentences to read and choose one to write on.…

Tips for Students on Writing a High School Graduation Speech

So you have to write a graduation speech? Congratulations! Now take a deep breath, and keep these 10 things in mind when you’re sitting down to write that speech. (Try not to procrastinate!)

1.Humor – If you’re good at humor, use humor. If you aren’t, then you might want to avoid it. Be yourself in your speech. It will show if you try to force words out of your mouth that you wouldn’t normally say.

2.Anecdote – Lots of the people in your class, especially if you’re in a small one, will know everyone else. Maybe there are stories from freshman year that everyone knows. You can share those, as long as they aren’t embarrassing. If they show how much you’ve all grown, that’s even better.

3.Hope – You’ve got your lives spread out ahead of you. You are on the path less traveled! Deliver a message of hope in your speech in some way. This is the best time in your life to have hope.

4.How you got there – It’s perfectly appropriate to discuss the past and how it’s shaped how you and your classmates ended up sitting on that stage in front of your families. This can be part of the anecdotal part, but doesn’t have to be.

5.Example – Include at least one story about your class. Something that involved lots of people, something that will be a fond memory for a long time. Even if the people watching don’t understand it, your classmates will, and that’s who this whole graduation event is really for.

6.Clarity – While writing, make sure that the words you use are simple, eloquent, and that they’re not difficult to pronounce. Practice reading the speech in front of other people both in person and over the phone. Ask them to point out when something doesn’t sound quite right. Even if it’s grammatically correct, if the people listening don’t understand you then your work choices need to change.

7.Write for your audience – So, who’s your audience? Well, your classmates, everyone in that audience, your whole school (you’ll probably be asked to give the speech at an assembly too), and your teachers and school administrators. Keep in mind that this speech is for all of them.

8.You’re representing your whole class – Do not make this speech only about your specific situation. You’re representing every student who’s on that stage with you. Remember that when deciding what to write about in your speech.

9.Quotes – Find a single quote that sums up what you want to say. Any more than that, and it will get confusing. Use it both at the beginning, then at the end, to close the speech and bring it full circle. If it’s a quote that many of your classmates know as well, it’s even better.

10.Thanks – Don’t forget to thank the people who have gotten you to where you are. They put a lot more effort into it than you might ever realize, and deserve to know that you appreciate them. Teachers, parents, siblings, coaches, administrators, they’ve all worked these last 4 years to make sure that you had what you needed to succeed.

Congratulations on your achievement!…

Learning to Write for Children

Every night you read your child a bedtime story. Sometimes you read the same book night after night. Have you ever read one of those children’s books and thought to yourself, “I can write something better than this?” Well, maybe you can! But before you start typing your future bestseller, you might want to consider taking a writing class. They’re easy to find, and it will help you learn how to write for children–which is harder than it looks! Don’t worry. Many local colleges and adult education courses offer children’s writing classes to adults. Once there, you will learn proper techniques for writing stories and poetry, and you’ll have a better chance of being published. After all, millions of people try to write for children, but very few take the proper steps to learn how to write a marketable story or book.

If you are interested in a distance education writing class, you might consider the Institute of Children’s Literature. Although somewhat expensive, this correspondence course has been around since 1969. Located in West Redding, CT, many of its graduating students have gone on to have their work published. The Institute offers convenient payment plans to students who are accepted into the program. Yes, you have to “audition” first. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t let everyone into their writing school.

Are you interested in pursuing an advanced degree without straying too far from home? Consider pursuing a writing degree at a school such as Spalding University, located in Louisville, KY. Spalding offers a brief-residency program leading to an MFA in Creative Writing. Students have the option of concentrating in Children’s Writing. The program consists of four semesters and five residencies. Students do not have to relocate to Louisville, they merely have to travel to Louisville for the residencies that consist of 10 days each. During each residency, students attend workshops, conferences, lectures, readings, and panel discussions. You’ll have to shell out quite a bit of money for this program, but you’ll end up with a master’s degree, equipping you to write and teach at the college level. If Spalding University doesn’t float your boat, there are plenty of other universities that offer brief-residency MFA programs. Go to google and search for other schools that may be more to your liking.

Gotham Writer’s Workshop teachers 6,000 students annually in its online and New York City classes. The workshop was founded in 1993 by two writers, Jeff Fligelman and David Grae. Online classes began in 1997. These internet courses are “interactive, craft-oriented classes and resources for writers.” Half of the students enrolled at Gotham attend online classes. The school offers a course for children’s writers, as well as classes in other genres. At the time this article was written, tuition for first-time online students in the Children’s Writing Workshops was $395 plus a $25 registration fee. The workshops last 10 weeks. Check out the school by visiting www.writingclasses.com

The well-known author and teacher Anastasia Suen offers a series of writing workshops for children’s writers at her web site http://www.asuen.com. Courses include workshops on writing children’s pictures books, children’s easy readers and chapter books. At the time this article was written, intensive workshops cost about $300 and last one month. The classes are conducted entirely by email.

Universalclassonline.com features children’s writing classes offered by Margaret Shauers. Her current courses include Children’s Fiction: In-depth Plotting, Write Short Stories for Children, and Write Tidbits for Tots Through Teens. Course tuition ranges from $30 to $85. Her prices are reasonable, and the course is self-paced.

Writers who dream of penning the next Young Adult bestseller …