Tag Archives: writing

#EngClass: Analogy

This article will discuss something that is still related to writing: analogy.

What’s an analogy?
An analogy is a comparison between two similar things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

In English, there are other purposes of making a comparison, but an analogy emphasises on giving an explanation.

Forming an analogy
To form an analogy, we need to make a comparison between two things, using ‘to be like’ or ‘as (adjective/adverb) as.’

Examples
Now, on to some examples. Here is my favourite analogy in case I need to explain a mental health condition to someone who’s not yet aware of it.

“Telling someone with mental health conditions to be grateful because ‘other people have it worse’ is like giving a candy to someone who just fell and hurt themselves. The candy is tasty, sure, but it doesn’t solve the main problem.”

By saying that sentence, I don’t necessarily mean to give a candy to someone who just fell. Instead, I’m explaining to my interlocutor that to treat mental health issues, we might need to go deeper than giving advices.

“Many people told me to go have fun or travel or treat myself with something nice whenever I’m depressed. I’m thankful for the advice, but it’s like telling me to have fun whilst my leg is broken.”

Another popular, albeit debatable, example of an analogy is this line by Forrest Gump:

“My momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.'”

Forrest Gump (1994). Image credit: on the picture

On one hand, the line was meant to say that when opening a box of chocolates, we never know what flavour we will get. This is just like life, when many things are unpredictable.

On the other hand, a box of chocolates contains chocolates, that surely taste similar, so a box of chocolates is not really comparable to the unpredictable life. Which is why some might say that the line could be an example of analogy, but it’s a weak one.

Does an analogy have to be long and detailed?
Not always. Sometimes, it can go just as simple as the following examples:
“My puppy’s coat is as white as snow, so I call it Snowy.”
“The ballerina looks like she’s as light as a feather.”

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 17 April 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: Oxymoron
#EngClass: Paradox
#EngClass: Simile
#EngClass: Simile and Metaphor
#EngTrivia: Anastrophe

#EngClass: Redundancy in English

Indonesian classes at school teach/taught us different types of figure of speech. One of them is pleonasm, the usage of more words than necessary. ‘Maju ke depan’ is a popular example of pleonasm in Indonesian. This article will be talking about something similar, redundancy.

Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

Some say redundancy can take a pleonasm form; others say pleonasm is a more general classification of redundancy.

How are they different?
Pleonasm generally refers to the using of too many words, while redundancy is using two or more words with the same meaning.

“I listened to their confession with my own ears.” <— this is a pleonasm because in order to listen to something, we use our ears.

“The description is sufficient enough.” <— this is a redundancy because sufficient and enough mean the same. We use only one of them.

Other examples of redundancy:
Global pandemic
A pandemic refers to a widespread of a disease on a global level. Use ‘pandemic.’

Reread again
The prefix re- means ‘back’ or ‘again.’ Saying ‘reread again’ is saying ‘read again again.’ Use ‘reread’ or ‘read again.’

Extra bonus
A bonus is something ‘extra,’ something additional. Use ‘bonus.’

Close proximity
‘Proximity’ means ‘close to one’s location.’ Use ‘proximity.’

Gather together
‘To gather’ means ‘to come together.’ Use ‘to gather’ or ‘to come together.’

End result/final outcome
The words ‘result’ and ‘outcome’ indicate that something has come to an end. Something is final. Adding ‘end’ and ‘final’ to modify ‘result’ and ‘outcome’ is redundant.

Still remains
We find this phrase a lot in love songs: “My love still remains…”
‘To remain’ means to be still in one place.

Repetition and redundancy
In writing, we also come across ‘repetition,’ that is repeating one word to put emphasis, to make a point, or to add a dramatic, exaggerated effect.

Example:
“I could not forgive him. He hurt me over and over and over again.”

However, redundancy is more often shunned than repetition, because not only will it make the sentences unnecessary long, leading to boredom, redundant words or phrases don’t add anything new. They don’t give new information.

This is where proofreading comes in handy, especially if what we’re writing is related to academic or professional aspects of our life. It’s important to find the right balance to avoid being tedious and keep our readers engaged.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 4 March 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#BusEng: Basic Etiquette in Writing Business Letters or Emails (REVISIT)
#BusEng: Dos and Don’ts on Writing CV
#EngClass: Good Storytelling
#EngTips: How to Avoid Monotony in Writing
#EngTips: Tips on Writing Essay

#ENGCLASS: GOOD STORYTELLING

A few days ago, one of our followers requested tips on storytelling, especially how to narrate a story in a way that the readers/audience will understand.

Bear in mind that storytelling is not only useful on writings; even audio and visual messages need a good storytelling. Whether you are telling a story verbally or via visual cues, a good storytelling skill is necessary.

Take TV or YouTube ads, for example. Even if they are told via audio-visual, most of them have good storyline. This is especially important to send a message to the audience that the products the ads are trying to sell are worthy.

If you are wondering where to start, think of a storytelling as another way of reporting something but add some emotions to it to make it more relatable to the audience. Therefore, you first need to figure out what you are trying to tell. What is it that you want other people to know? Define this first as the main idea of your story.

Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

From the main idea, develop the story with 4 Ps:
People: characters of the story
Place: the time and location of the story
Plot: how the story starts and ends
Purpose: what is the reason behind the storytelling

Let’s take for example the Harry Potter franchise. We have Harry as the protagonist and Voldemort as the antagonist and the others as supporting characters. They are the ‘people’ of the Harry Potter story.

The time and the location of the story are England and Scotland in the 90s, which means the story should present how England and Scotland looked like at that time. Of course, there are Hogwarts and the wizarding world as a fictional element to this story, which were created based on the author’s imagination.

And then there is plot, which begins with the murder of Harry’s parents. The story then tells Harry’s journey to defeat Voldemort and ends with Voldemort’s destruction. Along the way, there are major and minor subplots to keep the readers interested.

The last one is purpose. What is the purpose of the telling of Harry Potter story? Is it good against evil? Is it portraying the reality at the time? Is it for entertainment? Is it trying to send a message?

Once you have the general idea of the story, begin creating the structure by deciding the parts of the story that are important. How we meet the main character, how the other characters are introduced, and what happens to them.

You can use linear plot, which is a plot where events happen in chronological order. However, if you feel confident, you can try using non-linear plot. It will keep the readers/audience curious to figure out the exact timeline of the story.

Now, how do we make a storytelling effective?

1. Keep it simple
It’s good to give enough details to the story, but sometimes the less is the better, especially if there is a constraint on time and resources.

2. Keep it focused
An elaborated story is good as long as it does not stray from the purpose of the storytelling. Back to the Harry Potter example, we are all invested in how Harry will finally win the war against Voldemort, so Uncle Vernon’s family tree won’t really be necessary. Not only it does not add much to the storyline, it could also be distracting.

3. Be relatable
A great story appeals to our emotions: we care about what happens to the characters because we see parts of ourselves in them. We struggle with Harry when he is living with the Dursleys, we can understand how Ron is sometimes jealous of Harry, we are annoyed by Draco Malfoy, and some of us agree with Hermione in her bossiest, nosiest moments.

4. Use concise language
Concise means delivering a message clearly and briefly, only in a few words. Some of the ways to achieve this are reading a lot, expanding your vocabulary, and doing a lot of practice.

I hope you find this article helpful. Feel free to add your most favourite way of telling a story.

P.S.: mine is using a non-linear plot, jumping from one event to another, and preparing a plot twist or even a vague ending.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 9 November 2020.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngKnowledge: Fanfiction
#EngTalk: Your Learning Method
#EngTips: Academic IELTS Writing Tips
#EngTips: How to Avoid Monotony in Writing
#EngTips: Tips on Writing Essay

#EngTips: Paraphrasing

Hi, Fellas. How is it going? Today’s discussion is about one important element of writing, which is paraphrasing. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “paraphrase” means “to say (something that someone else has said or written) using different words.” It is essential that we understand paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism and prepare for IELTS test.

There are several methods of paraphrasing, they are:

Using synonyms

This is probably the most commonly used method. Words can be replaced by their synonyms with no change in meaning. Remember, you do not need to change all words in a sentence.

Example:

  • “Parents should teach their children to cooperate.”
  • “Parents should educate their kids to collaborate.”

Changing active voice into passive voice, or vice versa

This method cannot be used for all kinds of sentences because only transitive sentences (sentences containing objects) can be changed into passive voice.

Example:

  • “Deforestation causes global warming.” (active voice)
  • “Global warming is caused by deforestation.” (passive voice)

Nominalization

According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, nominalization is “the process of making a noun from a verb or adjective”.

Example:

  • “The price of oil rises.” [rise (verb)]
  • “There is a rise in the price of oil.” [rise (noun)]

Incorporating Data

This is a method of paraphrasing related to numbers.

Example:

  • “From 1990 to 2000, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.”
  • “In ten years, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.”
  • “In a decade, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.”

Adding Information

In order to paraphrase by using this approach, it is better if you add information, which is general.

Example:

  • “Many Indonesian scholars study in London, Paris, and Berlin.”
  • “Many Indonesian scholars study in European cities.:

Joining Sentences Using Conjunction

Conjunction is a part of speech connecting words, phrases, clauses, or sentences, for instance, “and,” “but,” “because,” “although,” etc.

Example:

  • “Students learn English. They want to pursue their education abroad.”
  • “Students learn English because they want to pursue their education abroad.”

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, May 24, 2018.


RELATED POST(S):

^MD

#EngTrivia: Telling time (2)

How was your day? Did you use your time wisely? In this particular article, we’ll talk about time… or rather, the different ways to tell the time.

Slide1

So, how do you usually tell the time? What time is this clock showing? There is more than one way to tell the time. Let’s look into it in more detail. Ready?

1. ‘a.m.’ & ‘p.m.’

‘a.m.’ and ‘p.m.’ are used in the 12 hours clock system. They are more often used in writing.

  • ‘a.m.’ stands for ante meridiem, before noon. It indicates the time period from midnight to midday.
    slide3
  • ‘p.m.’ stands for post meridiem, after noon. It indicates the time period from midday to midnight. Slide4

2. ‘to’ and ‘past’

The most common way to tell the time is to use ‘to’ and ‘past.’ This method is acceptable in verbal and written communication.

  • ‘to’ is used to show the number of minutes towards a particular hour.
    • Example:
      • If it is going to be 8 o’clock in 15 minutes, we say “It’s fifteen to eight.” Slide6
  • ‘past’ is used to show the number of minutes after a particular hour.
    • Example:
      • If the time is 15 minutes after 8 o’clock, we say “It’s fifteen past eight.” Slide7

3. Hour and minute

Another way to tell the time would be by simply saying the hour and minutes. Example:

  • If the clock shows 8:05 p.m. You can simply say, “It’s eight zero five” or “It’s eight oh five.”Slide9

With this method, you don’t need to worry whether it’s morning, afternoon, evening or night. However, do keep in mind to only use this in casual conversation. You are highly discouraged to use this method in writing, especially in formal writing.

4. ’till’ and ‘after’

Especially in American English, some people use ’till’ (until) instead of ‘to,’ and ‘after’ instead of ‘past.’

  • ’till’ is used to show the number of minutes towards a particular hour.
    • Example:
      • If it is going to be 9 o’clock in 25 minutes, we say “It’s twenty-five till nine.”Slide11
  • ‘after’ is used to show the number of minutes after a particular hour.
    • Example:
      • If the time is 15 minutes after 9 o’clock, we say “It’s fifteen after nine.”Slide12

As mentioned above, ’till’ and ‘after’ are only used in American English. And even so, they’re only used in speech; not in writing.

And that’s a wrap, fellas! I hope the explanation was clear enough. However, if you do have any question, feel free to leave a comment in the comment box.

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, April 13, 2017

 

Related post(s):

^MQ

#EngClass: Participial adjective (3)

One of our followers asked the question above on Twitter. Do you have a similar question? Do you get confused as to when you should use present or past participle adjective? Kalau kamu masih tulis/bilang: “I’m interesting” saat mau menyatakan “Saya tertarik,” yuk baca lagi artikel ini sampai selesai.

Participle adjectives are verbs, often ends in -ing and -ed, which are used as adjectives.  There are two types of participles: present participles (v-ing) and past participles (v2). Example:

Present participle

Past participle

Boring

Bored

Relaxing

Relaxed

Tiring

Tired

Confusing

Confused

Exciting

Excited

We use present particular adjectives (v-ing) to talk about person, thing, or situation which caused the feeling. Example:

  • “I am boring.”
    • “Aku membosankan, aku menimbulkan rasa bosan.”
  • “They are confusing.”
    • “Mereka membingungkan, mereka menimbulkan kebingungan.”
  • “The book is exciting.”
    • “Bukunya menarik. Bukunya membuat orang tertarik.”

We use past participle adjectives (v2) to talk about how someone feels. Example:

  • “I am bored.”
    • “Aku merasa bosan. Yang kurasakan adalah bosan.”
  • “They are confused.”
    • “Mereka kebingungan. Yang mereka rasakan adalah bingung.”
  • “She is very excited.”
    • “Dia sangat bersemangat. Yang dia rasakan adalah semangat.”

If we were to compare the two side by side:

Present participle

Past participle

Penyebab perasaan

Perasaan yang dirasa

[Me- -kan]

[ter-], [ke- -an]

Entertaining

Entertained

Menghibur

Merasa terhibur

More examples:

Present participle

Past participle

Boring

(Membosankan)

Bored

(Merasa bosan)

Relaxing

(Membuat santai)

Relaxed

(Merasa santai)

Tiring

(Melelahkan)

Tired

(Merasa lelah)

Confusing

(Membingungkan)

Confused

(Merasa bingung)

Exciting

(Menarik)

Excited

(Merasa tertarik)

So, what do you think? I hope the explanation was clear enough. If you still have any question, feel free to leave a comment down below, or you can also mention us on twitter.

How about having a short quiz to see how well you understand the explanation given above? Look at these sentences and choose the correct answer.

  1. I was really (boring/bored) during the lecture. It was really (boring/bored).
  2. I bought a really (interesting/interested) book last night. If you’re (interesting/interested), I can lend it to you.
  3. I heard an (alarming/alarmed) noise last night, and it kept me (alarming/alarmed) all night.

Answer:

  1. bored; boring.
  2. interesting; interested.
  3. alarming; alarmed.

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Related post(s):

^MQ

#EngTips: How to RSVP

RSVP is the acronym for répondez s’il vous plaît, French for ‘please respond‘. It shows that the hosts are asking us to let them know whether we’re coming to their event.

When invited to an event, it is proper etiquette to respond promptly and politely. By responding to RSVP, you help the hosts arrange seating, catering, etc.

RSVP is usually sent out for events such as wedding reception, dinner party, dance party, birthday party and other official or diplomatic events.

Common format:

RSVP by [date] to [email address or phone number].

Example:

  • RSVP by August 31st, 2016 to etifoyu@gmail.com or (021)654321

 

Or if you’re asking to RSVP on website:

Please RSVP on our website at [web address] by [date].

Example:

  • Please RSVP on our website at englishtips4u.com by August 31st, 2016.

 

You can reply an RSVP immediately or within 24 hours. A quick response shows your enthusiasm and gratefulness to be invited. Or, you can also wait until the deadline to respond. Though this might signal that the event doesn’t thrill you on first thought.

Do we have to respond to every invitation? Yes! Wouldn’t you be devastated if you’re hosting and ignored?

 

Accepting RSVP

Simple way to accept an RSVP:

Subject: Accepting your invitation for [event name]

Thank you for inviting me to [event name] on [date]. I will be attending, and if you are preparing name tags, please put [your preferred name] on mine.

Kind regards [or your usual closing phrase].

[Signature]

 

Casual way to accept an RSVP:

[Name] accepts with pleasure the kind invitation to [event name] on [date].

 

Note how event name & date are repeated in the response. It is to confirm that you get the details right.

 

Declining RSVP

Simple way to decline an RSVP:

Subject: Declining your invitation for [event name]

Thank you for inviting me to [event name] on [date], but I am unable to attend.

Kind regards [or your usual closing phrase].

[Signature]

 

Casual way to decline an RSVP:

[Name] regrets that he/she/they are unable to accept the kind invitation to [event name] on [date].

 

Respond to RSVP even if you won’t be attending. It’s considered rude not to respond.

Worried hosts going to beg if you decline? The best way to avoid such awkwardness is to respond via email.

If you decline for whatever reason, you do not have to offer an explanation officially.
However, if you decline an invitation from a close friend, you may wish to offer an explanation in private. Just keep it as brief as possible.

 

When in doubt

If you’re not sure, please say:

“I’m not sure if I can make it, but I’ll let you know as soon as possible.”

And… make sure to let them know as soon as possible to aid her planning of the party.

Regardless of how you respond, always thank the host for the invitation. It’s a privilege to celebrate key events with them.

 

Canceling RSVP

What if something unexpected happened, but you have accepted an RSVP?
In the event of illness, death in the family, or unavoidable business conflict, canceling an RSVP is completely acceptable.

Call your host immediately. The telephone is the quickest way to reach someone and will save your host unwanted surprises. Canceling or going no show on the last minute without news is considered extremely inconsiderate towards your host’s efforts.

Now is the right time to check your inbox. Have you forgotten to respond to any invitation lately?

 

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, August 7, 2016

 

Related post(s):

^MQ

#EngClass: Common abbreviations in emails

There are numerous abbreviations which you might find in letters, especially those formal ones. Today, we’ll start with some of the most common ones. Let’s start with this blank email.

 

wp-1469852695818.jpg

 

As you would usually do, you type recipient’s mail address at the ‘To’ colom. Let’s say the email is for Eeny.

  1. Cc – carbon copy. This is to say that a copy of the email is also sent to the person(s) mentioned.
  2. Bcc – blind carbon copy. It indicates people who will receive a copy of the message in secret. Other recipients wouldn’t know.

 

wp-1469853185072.jpg

 

  • Example 1 & 2 – Now, have a look at the pic above. It shows that:
    • Meeny also has a copy of the email. And…
    • every other people (Eeny & Meeny) wouldn’t realize that Miny & Mo are in the know too.

 

In emails, ‘cc’ & ‘bcc’ can normally be found at the top part of your emails.On the other hand, in written letters, cc might be positioned at the bottom.

Moving down to the body of the letter/email…

wp-1469853254309.png

  1. Ref – reference, with reference to. It shows which document or piece of information you are talking about.
  • Example 3 – That is a fake reference code… just to point Eeny to the WhatsApp chat they had the night before.

 

  1. ASAP – as soon as possible. If you see this, sender wants something done at the earliest possible time, if not immediately.
  • Example 4 – Here, Etifoyu is urging Eeny to reply promptly, at the earliest time.

 

  1. RSVP – Répondez s’I’ll vous plaît. It basically a request for a respond, in French.
  • Example 5 – Etifoyu expects Eeny to respond soon or latest by Monday, August 1st, 2016.

 

  1. PS – postscriptum, postscript. Its a note added to a letter/email after the writer has signed it.
  • Example 6 – A short note for the recipient.

 

  1. PPS – post postscript, additional postscript. This is for extra notes and positioned after PS. If there’s any, PS & PPS would be found after the writer’s signature.
  • Example 7 – More short note for the recipient.

 

  1. Encl. – enclosed. This shows that something else is being sent with the letter/email. It’s normally placed at the bottom of the letter.
  • Example 8 – This part list out items sent along with the letter/email.

 

wp-1469853521232.jpg

So, here’s what your email should look like now, fellas! And there goes 8 most  common abbreviations in emails.

I hope you find the explanations & graphics clear enough. If you have any question regarding today’s session, feel free to ask away!

 

 

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 31 July, 2016

 

Related post(s):

 

^MQ

#EngTips: Faults to avoid in writing business letters (2)

In #EngTips: Faults to avoid in writing business letters, we’ve talked about a couple of things you shouldn’t do in writing business letters. This time, we’ll continue the topic with a couple more tips.

Let’s get started!

 

4. Needless inversion

In good writing, inversion is used in order to give freshness and force. However, when overdone, it not only becomes very wearisome, but also positively nauseating to anyone who loves the beauty of English language. In business letters, try to avoid using this kind of sentence:

“Greater value than this, never have we offered.”

You should just write:

“We have never offered greater value than this.”

 

5. Words misused

People with limited vocabularies are forced to use the relatively few words they know without any regard for their precise meaning. This is an example of misused word in business letter:

“This most unique Delivery Service…”

“Most unique” is absurd. Either a thing is unique or it is not. The word “unique” means the only one of its kind, and is capable of no qualification.

 

6. Colloquial expressions

Vigorous and vivid language is to be preferred to pompous phraseology, but colloquial expressions should not degenerate into slang. You should simply state what you mean. Try not to use this kind of expression:

“You keep asking us for suggestions and every time we submit an idea, you give it the bird.”

The idiom “give (something) the bird” is an informal way of stating that you disapprove something. In business letters, you should just say “you keep turning it down.”

 

Compiled by @iismail21 for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 3 April, 2016

 

RELATED POST(S):

 

^MQ

#EngTips: Faults to avoid in writing business letters

In this post, we’ll talk about some faults to avoid in writing business letters.

The fault to avoid at all costs in letter-writing is ambiguity. What you write should carry one interpretation only, and that it should be the interpretation you intended it to have.

Let’s get started!

 

1. Faulty Syntax

Faulty syntax is dangerous because it can distort the writer’s meaning. Have a look at the following sentence:

“We are sending you an antique clock by our Mr. Stark, with ornamental hands and engraved face.”

The placement of the comma in that sentence is very important. The phrase “with ornamental hands and engraved face” in that sentence refers to Mr. Stark because it’s placed after the name, separated by comma. That sentence is wrong because the phrase actually refers to the antique clock. This is the correct sentence:

“We are sending you, by our Mr. Stark, an antique clock, with ornamental hands and engraved face.”

That sentence is correct because the phrase is placed after “an antique clock”, separated by comma.

 

2. The double negative

The rule is of course that a double negative makes a positive, but in some instances a double negative is used where no positive is intended. For example, instead of writing:

“Neither of the three samples you send is the correct shade, and are of no interest to us.”

You should write:

“No one of the three samples you send is of the correct shade, or is of any interest to us.”

Nevertheless, avoid using a double negative.

 

3. Overdone superlatives

Giving compliments is good but don’t overdo it. Use only ONE of these: super, breath-taking, supreme, gigantic, exquisite, masterpiece, miraculous, stupendous, etc.

 

Compiled by @iismail21 for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 20 March, 2016

 

RELATED POST(S):

 

^MQ

#BusEng: How to write a good resume (curriculum vitae)

after-helping-his-friend-design-this-resume-rick-mundon-now-sells-resume-formats-online
(Source: businessinsider.tumblr.com)

In this post, we are going to discuss some important tips in composing CV or Resume. Although this session mainly focuses on business/professional work, you could also apply these strategies in your CV for your study or scholarship application.

Here are some strategies to compose a good CV or resume that we have successfully compiled for you:

  1. Don’t lie. Never lie. Simple, tell the truth. Lying makes your CV seems dubious.
  2. Always include an overview paragraph in the head of your CV. This gives a glimpse of your qualifications to the reviewers.
  3. Be succinct. A good CV should not be more than 2 pages long (A4).
  4. Tailor your CV. Read the desired qualifications carefully and selectively pick up relevant professional experiences to include in your CV.
  5. Use effective diction. Some companies use word-search engine so make sure you employ relevant terms/keywords in your CV.
  6. Use ‘doing’ words, such as ‘developing,’ ‘organizing,’ ‘facilitating,’ ‘assisting,’ etc.
  7. Elucidate your experiences efficiently. Avoid jargons. Mention your achievements and challenges you overcame.
  8. Use percentage in your achievements. It gives a clear depiction on how capable you are in doing your job.
  9. A survey by Hilden reveals the top 5 aspects being looked for in a CV:
    1. Previous related work experience
    2. Qualifications and skills
    3. Readability
    4. Accomplishments
    5. Spelling and grammar
  10. Meanwhile, there are 5 common mistakes that applicants frequently commit in their CV’s:
    1. Spelling and grammar
    2. Not tailored to the job
    3. Poor work history
    4. Poor format
    5. No accomplishments
  11. Correct punctuation matters; some companies might consider the absence of a comma and a period as a sign of careless.
  12. Use professional word style. Choose Arial, Lucida Sans, or Times New Roman.
  13. Check, check, check. Make sure your CV is free from misspellings and grammar mistakes.

That’s all for today. Thank you so much for your attention. Good luck with your CV preparation.

 

Compiled and written by @wisznu at @EnglishTips4u on Wednesday, January 7, 2016

 

Related post(s):

 

^MD

#EngKnowledge: Jane Austen

Jane Austen

Good evening, fellas! How was your day today? Mine went pretty well!

I have seen a lot of posts about people’s fave authors lately. Who’s your fave author, fellas?

One of my favorites is Jane Austen. Do you know her? Jane is known for a lot of works like Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and a lot more. Have you ever read any of her novels?

Well, today is actually her birthday. She was born on December 16, 1775 in Hampshire, England. That’s why tonight’s #EngKnowledge is about Jane Austen. If you know things about her, feel free to share.

Jane was a Gregorian era author, best known for her social commentary in novels including Sense dan Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma. Those are some of her most popular works.

While Jane was young, she and her siblings were encouraged to read from their father’s library. Ever fascinated by the world of stories, Jane began to write in bound notebooks.

In the 1790s, she started to craft her own novels and wrote Love and Freindship, a parody of romantic fiction organized as a series of love letters. Her early adulthood was spent by helping run the family home, playing piano, attending, church, and socializing with neighbours.

She loved to read out novels to her family, occasionally one she had written herself. She continued to write and with more ambitious works such as Lady Susan,  Elinor and Marianne which would eventually be published as Sense and Sensibility. She also began drafts of First Impressions, which would later be published as Pride and Prejudice.

In 1801, Jane moved to Bath with her parents and her sister, Cassandra. In 1805, her father died after a short illness. In her 30s, Jane started to anonymously publish her works. #JaneAusten #EngKnowledge

In 1816, at the age of 41, Jane stared to become ill with what some say might have been Addison’s disease. Jane’s condition deteriorated to such a degree that she ceased writing. She died on July 18, 1817, in Winchester, Hampshire, England.

Today, Austen is considered one of the greatest writers in English history, both by academics and the general public. In 2002, the British public voted her No. 70 on a list of “100 Most Famous Britons of All Time”.

The popularity of her work is also evident in the many film and TV adaptations of Emma, Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility, as well as the TV series & film Clueless, which was based on Emma.

Compiled by @FaridArdian for @Englishtips4u on 16 Dec, 2015.

#BusEng: How to write a formal email for job application

email_mobile_icon_w1024

In this post, we are going to have a discussion on how to write email for job application. So, for those who are seeking for a job, this post might be helpful for you. Technically, a formal email should consist of at least one head, one body, and one tail; just like a crocodile. In terms of language style, some rules govern (but not always) a formal email are as follow.

  1. always use advanced vocabulary e.g ‘to enquire’ instead of ‘to ask,’ ‘to obtain’ instead of ‘to get,’ and ‘to supply’ than ‘to give.’ Don’t use colloquial expressions (bahasa sehari-hari). Expose yourself with synonymous words in English. Thesaurus might help enrich your vocabulary. Check http://www.thesaurus.com for synonymous words and always check their usages in advanced dictionaries.
  2. avoid composing simple sentences; try to use complex sentences instead. Some formal sentence or paragraph linkers you could use are ‘therefore,’ ‘furthermore,’ ‘consequently,’ ‘in addition,’ and ‘finally.’
  3. don’t use imperatives. Remember, you beg a job. LOL. A trick you may consider to avoid imperatives is by using passive voice. e.g instead of saying “you may contact me..,” you can say “I can be contacted..” or simply say “I am available to..”
  4. use full verbs; don’t abbreviate e.g “I would like to…” instead of “I’d like to…”

 

Enough with the discussion on language style. Now, we move on to discuss how to begin a formal email.

  1. begin your email with a proper address. If you don’t know the addressee, use “Dear Sir or Madam,.” Should you know the name, supply a title and only print the surname. e.g the full name is Wisnu Pradana, then you write “Dear Mr Pradana,”
  2. 1st paragraph should convey your intention of writing the email. Some opening sentences you may use are: “I am writing this email to..” or “I am writing in response to your advertisement on..”
  3. 2nd, 3rd, etc. paragraphs are supposed to be the body of your email. Communicate and provide elaboration on your expertise, skills, qualifications, and relevant achievements and experiences. Peruse the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Don’t forget to supply reasons on why the company should hire you. Hint, elaborate how your expertise fulfil the requirements and how you may help for the company advancement in the future.
  4. last paragraph is the place for your final remarks, availability for interview, and statement of attached documents. Some sentences you may use are “I am available at anytime to further discuss about…” or “I am looking forward to touching base with you very soon.”
  5. formal ending. You may type “Yours faithfully,” or “Yours sincerely,” or “Yours truly,” or “Sincerely yours.” Dot forget to give some space for your full name below the formal ending.

Before you hit ‘send,’ overlook your email and make sure that the email address and the subject are correct.

 

Compiled and written by @wisznu at @EnglishTips4u on Thursday, October 1, 2015

 

Related post(s):

 

 

^MQ

#EngTrivia: British vs American English Spellings

Do you know that some British English (BrE) words have different spellings from American English (AmE) words?

In general, there are 10 types of spelling differences between BrE and AmE. Here they are:

  1. BrE (-our) vs AmE (-or). E.g.:
    • armour (BrE) vs armor (AmE)
    • favourite (BrE) vs favorite (AmE)
    • honour (BrE) vs honor (AmE)
  2. BrE (-re) vs AmE (-er). E.g.:
    • centre (BrE) vs center (AmE)
    • Litre (BrE) vs liter (AmE)
    • Theatre (BrE) vs theater (AmE)
  3. BrE (-ae-) vs AmE (-e-). E.g. :
    • archaeology (BrE) vs archeology (AmE).
    • Leukaemia (BrE) vs leukemia (AmE)
  4. BrE (-se) vs AmE (-ze). e.g. :
    • analyse (BrE) vs analyze (AmE)
    • apologise (BrE) vs apologize (AmE)
    • emphasise (BrE) vs emphasize (AmE)
  5. BrE (-l) vs AmE (-ll).e.g.:
    • fulfil (BrE) vs fulfill (AmE)
    • skilful (BrE) vs skillful (AmE)
  6. BrE (-ogue) vs AmE (-og). e.g. :
    • analogue (BrE) vs analog (AmE)
    • dialogue (BrE) vs dialog (AmE)
  7. BrE (-ence) vs AmE (-ense). e.g. :
    • defence (BrE) vs defense (AmE)
    • licence (BrE) vs license (AmE)
  8. BrE (-dge) vs AmE (-dg). e.g. :
    • judgement (BrE) vs judgment (AmE)
    • arguement (BrE) vs argument (AmE)
  9. BrE (-que) vs AmE ( -ck). e.g.:
    • cheque (BrE) vs check (AmE)
  10. BrE (-gramme) vs AmE (-gram). e.g. :
    • programme (BrE) vs program (AmE)
    • kilogramme (BrE) vs kilogram (AmE)

So, which one do you prefer? BrE or AmE?

 

Compiled and written by @iisumarni at @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, September 19, 2012

 


RELATED POST(S):

 

^MQ

#GrammarTrivia: Comparative forms – ‘healthier’ or ‘more healthy’?

Hello, fellas. I’d like to start the article with a little story.

So, the admin happens to be working as a copywriter in an advertising agency. Writing and editing texts are part of my daily task.

Recently, I had to face an assignment which triggered an interesting debate even among my co-workers. That problem is: Should we use  ‘healthier’ or ‘more healthy’? Which one is the correct answer?

I personally noticed that both forms are common. Some texts use ‘healthier,’ while some other use ‘more healthy.’ My boss – an Australian who is a native English speaker – thinks that ‘healthier’ should be the way to go. But another co-worker thinks that ‘more healthy’ has a more comfortable feel to it. It gets even crazier as my client thinks there should always be a ‘more’ to every comparative forms! Torn between different opinion, I decided to do a small research. Turns out that there is a controversy on how to use it.

If we are referring to dictionaries like Oxford or Collins, ‘healthier’ is the way to do it. We are also familiar with the rule that stated that words with single syllable uses ‘-er.’

Does this mean that ‘more healthy’ is simply a common mistake that everyone had accustomed to? I remember an opinion stating “English is a language of exception” – because there are always exceptions in every rule. GMAT exercise books such as one published by Manhattan stated that ‘more healthy’ is the correct form. (Yes, this is the part where my head feels like exploding).

In the end, I found an interesting conclusion stating that both are actually correct. We use ‘more healthy’ when we try to add emphasis to the context. Example:

  • “Milk is healthy, skim milk is healthier, and soya milk is even more healthy.”

‘Healthier’ also tends to show up in conversational instead of written English.

Now what to do? To play it safe, I decided to go with ‘healthier.’ But we must keep in mind that language develops. Especially in oral language where the rule tends to be more fluid.

Extra

“In that case, which one is correct: funner, or more fun?” – @catwomanizer

6XpHc

The word ‘fun’ itself has an informal tone in it. For formal use, ‘pleasure’ is more common.

Phew, language learning can often get a little complicated. When in doubt, refer to dictionary. But remember that sometimes there is an exception to a rule. Just like how the British had started to embrace ‘realize.’

Sources: Oxford Learners Dictionary

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, September 21, 2014

Related post(s):

^MQ

#EngClass: Thesis Statement

Fellas, what do you think is the most difficult part in working on a TOEFL/IELTS test?

“I think ‘listening’ test is most difficult for me.” – @asepnovrian

“Listening section.” – @lianawdsr

“Reading section.” – @ranavirgie

Hm. Plenty of you answered ‘listening.’ All right, we can figure that out next time. Today we are discussing Reading and Writing!

Reading and Writing play crucial role in Academic English. In fact, universities in US often have a Writing Center to assist the students. (So, fear not. Even many native speakers are struggling!) Our topic today is Thesis Statement. How to use it, and how to identify it in a text.

So, what is exactly a thesis statement? Why is it important to understand?

Thesis statement is a sentence (or two) in an essay that contains the focus of the essay itself. Thesis statement helps tell reader what an essay is all about. A well-written essay makes it easier for readers to understand. Many writers think of thesis statement as an ‘umbrella’: everything you carry along should be able to fit this umbrella.

Thesis statement is usually the first sentence in a paragraph – though it is not always the case! In TOEFL/IELTS test, we are often being asked to identify the main focus/idea of a certain paragraph. It can be a bit difficult.

Understanding how thesis statement works can help you identify main ideas in a text better. This is an example of a text with a thesis statement in the first sentence: ow.ly/i/6SEQP

As you can see, the sentences following the first are all explaining in more detail the idea in first sentence. The thesis statement becomes the basic idea, the main topic discussed. The other part of the paragraph are helping to explain it. Meanwhile, this is an example of a thesis statement located in the end of a paragraph (in blue): http://ow.ly/i/6SEVO

The first sentence was only a rhetoric. A question to trigger the interest of the readers. The main idea was in the last sentence. Because it was the one that serves as the ‘umbrella’.

How the umbrella works. I like to use this method when writing or reading an essay: ow.ly/i/6SF0e

So when you are reading a text, imagine the umbrella. Which part is above, which one is under it? :D

Hope that answers your concern in reading. Keep your questions coming!

Source: The Guide to Grammar

Compiled and written by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 14 Sept 2014.


RELATED POST(S):

^MD

#EngTips: Writing formal letters and emails

In this post, well focus on how to write formal letters and emails. If you missed our last discussion on basic etiquette in writing emails & letters, check out #EngTips: Basic etiquette in writing letters and emails

Letter writing is an important life skill. It is even more important for your study, career or business. The kind of formal letters you might write could range from cover letters for job applications, inquiry to college or scholarship institutions, complaint to your bank or insurance company, to cover letter for proposals to be sent to clients.

A lot of people tend to feel intimidated and overwhelmed whenever there’s a need to write formal letters. Worry not. It really is not that hard. Just follow these #EngTips on how to write formal letters:

1. Write in the correct format.

The basic format includes:

  • subject,
  • salutation,
  • clear and concise body, and
  • complementary close.

Read more about the basic etiquette here ~> #EngTips: Basic Etiquette in Writing Letters & Emails

2. Keep the letter short and to the point.

Get straight to the point, stick to it and don’t include any unnecessary information.

There’s a good chance that the person you’re writing to has tons of letters to read, and yours is merely one of them. Your letter should take seconds to read rather than minutes, otherwise it is more likely to end up in the bin.

In the case of cover letters for job application, don’t use any flowery language or long words just to show off, and don’t repeat too much information which may already be included in a CV.

3. Start by alerting recipient’s attention to the subject and purpose of the letter.

State the purpose of your formal letter in the first paragraph and don’t veer from the subject. Try to avoid flowery language or long words. Keep the letter short and to the point.

4. Introduce your main point as early as possible in a clear, concise way.

Once you have done this, you may want to give more details, perhaps adding further background or relevant facts.

  • If you’re replying an inquiry, you can start by saying: “In reply to your question concerning…”
  • Or if you’re writing to follow up a previous email, you can start by saying: “I recently wrote to you about…”

5. Provide a brief summary of your expectations.

Before the end of a business letter, it’s usual to provide a brief summary of your expectations.

For example:

  • “I look forward to hearing from you” or
  • “I hope we can discuss the issue…”, etc.

6. Vigorous writing is concise.

A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences. Writer need not make all sentences short, avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but make sure that every word tells.

7. Check your letter and make sure it’s free of any grammatical or spelling mistake.

Mistakes will create a bad impression, lessen the effect of what you’re saying and if you’re applying for a job, they could be the cause it’s sent to the bin. Use the spell-checker if you’re using a computer or a smart phone. Check your grammar & punctuation.

8. Be polite, even if you’re complaining.

One way of doing this in English, which is common in formal letter writing, is to use ‘modal verbs’ such as would, could and should.

9. Be formal, but not overly so.

‘Formal’ doesn’t mean pompous or obscure.

10. Use words with which you are familiar and which you can reasonably expect the letter’s recipient to understand.

  • Avoid technical phrases or jargon, particularly abbreviations, unless you are certain that the person you are writing to will understand them.
  • Avoid everyday, colloquial language; slang or jargon.
  • Avoid contractions (I’m, it’s, etc).

Compiled and written by @Miss_Qiak at @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, September 11, 2014

RELATED POST(S):

^MQ