ComWriter is the only writing platform to provide the breadth of functionality actually needed to write to academic standards (see diagram).
ComWriter functionality outstrips the competitors
While Microsoft suggests they support the education market, all they do is provide discounted licenses to an old product. Even their new cloud-based subscriptions (MS365) are a cutdown (and clumsy) version of their tired product. Microsoft’s real target is large corporates.
Likewise Google also suggests it supports the education market. But, realistically Google Docs is not different to MS Word, except that it is a stripped down version that is cloud-based and free. Google’s primary target is small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals they can advertise to.
Neither of these suppliers/products actually delivers the functionality required by students and academics to meet academic standards. All the word processors that we have investigated, all seem to work much the same as MS Word. So there has been no real innovation in writing products since the inception of referencing software about 10 years ago!
We think it’s time to change that scenario. And, our mapping of ComWriter’s functionality against these two giant word processors, suggest we have hit the mark.
The Pyramid Principle is an excellent method for developing a logical structure for your writing, whether it is a short essay, a book or an entire dissertation.
And others (et al.)
- The latin is et alli, abbreviated to et al.
- Et al. is used to indicate a list of authors in a reference; for example, Glassop, et al.
- Generally, always list all authors the first time, after that you can use the first author and et al.
- Always consult your official reference style guide to check the requirements
The same place (ibid.)
- The latin is ibidem, abbreviated to ibid.
- When repeating a citation consecutively, you can put ibid. to indicate that the reference is exactly same as the previous one
- For example, (ibid.)
- If ibid. is used in a footnote, use a capital I: Ibid.
In the place cited (loc. cit.)
- The latin is loco citato, abbreviated to loc. cit.
- An alternative meaning is: in the same location
- When repeating a citation, you can put loc. cit. to indicate that the reference is the same resource (author/s and date) and the same citation location (i.e., page number or paragraph) as the previous one
- For example, “Smith (loc. cit.), also claims that…”
- The latin is opere citato, abbreviated to op. cit.
- When repeating a citation, you can put op. cit. to indicate that the reference is the same resource (author/s and date) as the previous one (but the citation location, i.e., page or paragraph number, is different)
- For example (op. cit., p.3)
ComWriter Update – March, 2013
An update on the development of ComWriter Beta, our forums, and other news.
- Place a colon (:) before you add a list things: bread, butter, milk
- A semi-colon (;) is like a comma, but joins two part sentences together or appends a phrase to a sentence; for example, when you provide examples
- Place a comma (,) where you would pause when reading text aloud, or to separate items in a list.
- If the list is provided in bullet form, then you don’t need to use a comma at the end
This is what the dashboard will look like for ComWriter: start new writing projects, monitor existing projects, collaborate with others. Beta due out in May, 2013
Em dash (–), or elongated hyphen
- An em dash (–), or double hyphen, is used to highlight a phase; for example, “I went to the market–in Petersburg–to see what the fuss was about.” In this case, you are wanting the reader to clearly understand that Petersburg is important.
- If read aloud, the reader would read the phrase ‘in Petersburg’ with a highlighted tone from the rest of the sentence, to draw attention to the phrase.
- A double em dash (or four single hyphens) can be used to obscure an obscene word; for example, “It was a d___ shame.”
- An alternative, is to use brackets (); “I went to the market (in Petersburg) to see what the fuss was about.” In this case, you are not so concerned about the reader understanding where the market was.
- If read aloud, the reader would read the phrase ‘in Petersburg’ with the same tone as the rest of the sentence.
- To place emphasis on a specific word or phrase (e.g., make it emotive) you can italicize it; for example, “Justin went crazy when he heard about the event.”
- Underlining a word or phrase also draws the readers attention to the emphasis added. However, today, underlining tends not to be preferred in academic writing.
- Check your official style guide before using underlining; if in doubt, don’t use it.
- Use exclamations (!) sparingly in academic writing to highlight emotion (academic work is meant to be objective, and, therefore, emotion free). For example, “Finally!”
When you quote work from other people there are a few rules:
- If you leave a word/s out, replace it/them with ellipses (…) “…when you leave a word out of a quoted sentence insert three dots…”
- If you change any word/s in a quote (sometimes to make it easier to read), then put the new word/s in square brackets “…when you leave a word out of a quoted sentence [make sure you include] three dots…”
- Always include the reference source, with the page number (if appropriate)
A paraphrase is a quote that you re-state in your own words, so you need to include the reference source.
Whether you are writing a paragraph, an essay or an entire book, PREP holds the key to writing a logical and coherent message.
PREP is an acronym for Point, Reason, Example and Point. These four keys enable a writer to construct logical prose. Without a logical method, writing is a hit-and-miss affair. PREP ensures that your listener will take notice of what you have to say.
Every time you want to make a point, you need to:
- Describe the Point (P) you wish to make (e.g., business students need to learn how to conduct research).
- Explain the Reason (R) why your point is important so the reader knows why they need to know the point (e.g., proper research generates reliable and objective data on which management can base their decisions).
- Provide an Example (E) that illustrates your point (e.g., incorrect information about a competitor can lead to a costly and inappropriate advertising campaign).
- Describe the Point (P) you have made (e.g., research that is accurate and up-to-date ensures that management decisions are successful).
To provide a point without a reason is an assertion. An assertion does not justify the point or provide any basis upon which the listener should take notice of your point. To provide a point and a reason without an example might make your listener take notice, but makes it difficult to understand how it might relate to the situation being discussed. A point-reason-example (PRE) provides a logical and coherent argument that people must take notice of. The final point acts to meld the PRE into a conclusion that reinforces what it is you are trying to convey.