How to Write Non-fiction: Essays, web copy, and more | Mike Manz | Skillshare

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How to Write Non-fiction: Essays, web copy, and more

teacher avatar Mike Manz, What do I teach? Students, mostly.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (2h 1m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:57
    • 2. Class Project

      2:03
    • 3. Writing Process Overview

      4:47
    • 4. Pre-Writing Introduction

      1:51
    • 5. Idea Generation

      9:19
    • 6. Idea Selection

      6:53
    • 7. Plotting Vs Pantsing

      3:11
    • 8. Outlining

      23:09
    • 9. First Draft

      31:38
    • 10. Revision Overview

      5:22
    • 11. Structural Edit

      10:40
    • 12. Line And Copy Edit

      14:10
    • 13. Publishing

      2:59
    • 14. Final Thoughts

      2:10
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About This Class

The course introduces and explores a 6-part writing process suitable for any type of non-fiction writing. This process breaks the complex and often intimidating task of writing into smaller, much more manageable pieces, giving would-be writers a solid framework to guide them while maintaining complete creative freedom.

In this class, I use two pieces of free, open source software: Freeplane and LibreOffice.

Freeplane can be found at https://www.freeplane.org/wiki/index.php/Home
Libreoffice can be found at https://www.libreoffice.org/

**Note** The two longer lessons, Outlining and First Draft are effectively a real-time writing session. The writing parts of them can be comfortably viewed at 2x speed, though, if you start to feel impatient. I didn't edit the video to be sped up by default because I didn't want to make that choice for you.

Meet Your Teacher

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Mike Manz

What do I teach? Students, mostly.

Teacher

Hello, I'm Mike. I'm a Canadian who has been living in China since 2004. Professionally, I'm a writer (science fiction and horror), a voiceover artist/narrator (my storytelling podcast is at https://stories4masses.com), and a teacher (IGCSE/A-level English, writing, literature). I have been an actor, a chef/baker, and a musician (drums and vocals, currently learning keyboard, ukulele, and guitar). 

Non-professionally, my hobbies include computer programming (a few flavours of C, and Python mostly), game design, learning languages (I'm reasonably fluent in English, Chinese, and French), and anything to do with STEAM and Making.

I'm also fond of parenthetical statements.

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Question for you, how confident are you in your writing skills? For most people, the answer tends to be not very, which is shocking when you think about how much writing we all do each day and how important much of that writing is. My name is Mike and I've been an English teacher for more than 20 years. I'm also the author of a handful of published short stories, and I've worked as a freelance content writer for more than 15 years. The process I'm going to show you in this course is what is allowed me to write 1,500-3,000 words of solid professional prose on a wide range of topics day after day for many years. Now you may have no interest in turning out written content as a job. It's certainly not everyone's cup of tea or coffee, but it's surprising how much writing every one of us actually does on a regular basis. Students write essays and the like in every class, every subject from junior high all the way through university or a trade school. If you work in an office, you're dealing with emails, memos, proposals, reports, most professional communication happens in writing. For creatives, if you hope to make a living from your work, you'll need to do marketing, communicate with clients, and manage your social media accounts. We are always writing something. Writing anything important can seem like a daunting task. There are very few things in life more intimidating than a blank page and sitting down to write can feel like sitting down to try and eat an elephant. You know how to eat an elephant. One bite at a time. Luckily, the writing process is made up of several bite-sized steps that moved from start to finish in a more or less straight line. Regardless of the type of writing, those steps are largely the same. We start by generating as many ideas as possible and selecting the best ones to use. We organize those ideas into some sort outline and then turn each item in the outline into a sentence or two, making the first draft almost effortless to create. Once we have a first draft, all that's left is revision and then formatting. In this course, I'll show you each of those steps from start to finish, and you'll put them to use in the class project by writing a short essay. Don't worry, I'll be right there doing the same steps and writing my own essay alongside you. By the time we're done, you'll be comfortable writing pretty much anything you'll ever need to write. Learning these steps will help you to write more efficiently and more effectively using less time to express your ideas more accurately and clearly than ever before. Let's get started. 2. Class Project: Your project in this course will be to get your hands dirty and practice each of the steps by writing an essay of about 500 words on the topic of your choice. You can write any type of essay you like. I've provided a list of various suggested topics arranged by essay type in the course materials PDF, which you can find in the Resources section. You can use one of those topics if you'd like or if none of them appeals to you, feel free to choose your own. There's also a brief description of some key elements of several types of essay to help you choose a topic. Your finished project should be your outline, your first draft, and your final revised version of your essay, all in one PDF or Microsoft Word document; PDF is better. As I mentioned in the course introduction, I'll be right there with you the whole way, writing my own essay and demonstrating each step in real-time and as realistically as possible. I randomly generated an essay topic to work with so that I had to come up with my ideas on the spot the same way you will. I made my outline, first draft, and revisions in real-time without editing anything out of the lesson videos; that's why the outlining and first draft lessons are as long as they are. That's how long it took me to make my outline and write my first draft, and it's probably about how long it's going to take you as well. I really think showing you the real organic writing process is much more valuable than showing you a cleaned-up, sanitized version. Once you've gone through the lessons, I'm pretty confident you'll agree. You can also find my finished project in the Class Resources section. 3. Writing Process Overview: Before we get into the steps of the writing process, maybe we should talk about why we need a process at all. Why not just jump in and start writing? Well, if you think about what your brain is doing when you write something, you'll quickly realize that the act of writing is actually made up of a lot of moving parts. This wouldn't be a problem, except for one tiny detail about the way the human brain works. It can only do one thing at a time. The human brain is effectively a single-core, single-thread processor. There's really no such thing as multitasking. What we can do, and some people are better at this than others, is switch quickly from one task to the other, giving the illusion of multitasking. But it's really just an illusion. Every time you switch tasks, there's a cost in time and energy while your brain adjusts to the new job at hand. But by breaking a complicated task into separate steps and doing one thing at a time, rather than switching back and forth and trying to do everything at once, we can do each thing better and actually save time and energy. Now that you know why a writing process is helpful, let's take a quick look at what the steps of the writing process actually are, and briefly describe each one. There are a lot of ways you might divide up the writing process into steps. In this course, we'll use a good general purposed one one well suited for nonfiction writing. Once you're comfortable with this one, feel free to customize it to suit your needs and the ways you work best. You might also want to look online for other ways of doing it. In this model, there are six steps and they each serve a different but equally important purpose. The six steps are; idea generation, idea selection, outlining, the first draft, revision, and publishing. Idea generation, as the name implies, is where we generate all of our ideas. Idea selection is where we choose the best ideas to use in our writing. Both of these steps together are often referred to as brainstorming. But I've separated them here into individual steps for reasons we'll go into in the next lesson. Once you've chosen your ideas, you organize them into an outline. This is the shape your essay will take. I should explain something here. Throughout this course, I'll be talking about writing an essay. The course project is to write an essay. But this process really applies to any nonfiction writing, essays sure, but also business communications, marketing materials, ad copy, personal introductions on your website, social media posts, and discussions, and anywhere you want to be sure to express yourself clearly and effectively in writing. Whenever I say essay in the course, you can change that in your head to whatever you see yourself writing most often. Okay. As I was saying, the outline is the shape of your essay. This is where you organize the ideas into some order that makes sense. You can also fill in some details and add some information or related ideas if it makes sense to do so. Once your outline is done, we use that to write the first draft. Now, writing to an outline can be a bit tricky for some people to get the hang of, but once you're comfortable with it, it makes life so much easier. After writing your first draft, it's a good idea to put your essay aside for a while, for as long as you can reasonably do before starting your revisions. This allows you to read through your writing with fresh eyes and makes it easier to spot mistakes you might otherwise miss. After revisions comes publishing. Don't panic. I'm not talking about submitting your writing to some publishing house so you can become a full-time professional writer and wear pajamas all day, but I wouldn't judge you if that was your goal. But when you write something, it's written for an audience and for a purpose. Until your writing has been received by its audience, its job isn't done. That's the thing we'll talk about in the publishing section, how to format and deliver you're writing to its audience for the best effect. That's the writing process in a nutshell. In the next lesson, we'll take a closer look at the first three steps which are collectively called pre-writing. See you there. 4. Pre-Writing Introduction: In this lesson, we'll talk about pre-writing. Pre-writing consists of the three steps before we write our first draft. These are: idea generation, idea selection, and outlining. Now, I've made a point of separating idea generation and idea selection into two very distinct steps. Generating ideas is a creative process and selecting ideas is a judging or evaluative process. These two types of thinking are polar opposites and jumping back and forth between them is so inefficient that it's downright impossible for most people to do it all well. The goal of the first step is to think of as many ideas as possible, ideally, many more ideas than you'll actually need, without judging any of them. Once you have a bunch of ideas, you go through them and choose out the best ones or the ones that will work best together depending on your purpose for writing. Then, as mentioned in the previous lesson, you organize them into an outline which you will use to write the first draft. By doing all of this planning work, the thinking of selecting and organizing ideas up front, you remove the need to do it while trying to also put words to the page. This frees you up to focus on other things, things like choosing the best words to express your ideas and forming good sentences. In the next lesson, we'll get into the specific details of generating ideas, and I'll show you how to use a mind-map to keep track of everything and to help you come up with more ideas than you could possibly use. 5. Idea Generation: In this lesson, I'll introduce you to mindmaps and a piece of software called Freeplane, we'll also cover how to figure out how many ideas you need for a specific number of words. Freeplane is an open-source mind mapping software. It's created and maintained by volunteers and you can download it and use it for free. You'll find a link to it in the lesson notes and in the course materials PDF. You don't need software to make a mind map, of course, a piece of paper and a writing stick will do just fine. But software makes it a little bit easier to do some things. When you start Freeplane, you should have something like this, a new blank mind map with only one oval that says new mindmap. The first time you run the program, it will show you a mindmap with lots and lots of stuff on it, that just demonstrates all of the different formatting and structural stuff you can do in the program, which can be interesting to look at when you have the time, but for now, we have other things to do. If you don't have this oval with new mindmap in it, then you go up to the File menu, create a New Map, standard 1.6mm, that's fine, mm is the extension for mindmaps, and you end up with this default blank mindmap. Now, every idea in Freeplane is called a node. This new mindmap node is called the root node, it's the root of everything else that happens in the mindmap. All other ideas are connected eventually to the root node, sometimes through each other. There are two keyboard commands that we will use, well three actually, when navigating a mindmap in Freeplane. Enter, Insert, and if you need to remove an idea, Delete, but we won't use that for now. Enter and Insert. Enter creates a new node on the same level as the node you were on, its a new node with the same parent node is how it's referred to. We'll call this New Node. That's Enter. Insert creates a new node with the current node as the parent, so that's a child node of the new node. That's basically all we need for now. There's a lot of other things you can do with this program, but for now, that's most of what we need. This is a way of organizing our ideas as we come up with them, putting them down, and generating new ideas. Now, before we start generating ideas, it might be useful to talk about how many ideas we're actually going to need. Now, the idea in this course is to write an essay of about 500 words. But how many ideas should that cover? Well, the average paragraph in English is between 80 and 120 words, so we can use 100 as a rough guideline. You'll want to adjust that to suit your own style as you get more comfortable and familiar with how you write, as some people tend to write longer than average and some shorter. If you have 500 words and a paragraph is 100 words, well, that gives us about five paragraphs to work with. We'll want an introduction and a conclusion, so we're left with three body paragraphs. Now, I'm rushing through the essay format stuff because this course is about the writing process, not about specific essay formats. I'm working on an essay-specific class where we'll go over this stuff in more detail but for now, the writing process. Each paragraph should deal with only one main idea, which means that for a 500-word essay, we'll want three or possibly four ideas to work with. That means we'll likely want to come up with 10 or more, so we have some good ones to choose from. Armed with that knowledge, let's go back to the mindmap and get going. Back in the mindmap, I'm going to want to enter my topic inside this root node. I'll double-click on the node to get a cursor so I can change the text, select all of it so that I can remove it, and put my topic in. Now, I was originally planning to use something like, why writing is so important as a topic? But I wanted to demonstrate the whole process, start to finish, using a new topic I hadn't thought a great deal about, and I've certainly thought about that one quite a bit. I also didn't want to use any of the project topics I've provided, those are for you, not for me. I went to a random essay topic generator on some random corner of the Internet and it gave me this one. Why do friendships fail? I should mention as well, if you hold down the Control key and scroll your wheel mouse, you zoom in and out, that's just easy navigation stuff, and if you click anywhere outside of a node, you can move your mouse around to move where you are on the page like so. Why do friendships fail? Happy thoughts, yeah, not terribly cheerful as a topic, but it'll do the job. I type my topic into the root node and I'm going to create a child node with Insert. This is where my first idea is going to go. Now, I just have to come up with some ideas related to why friendships fail. Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that people change, that happens sometimes. I'm just going to use Enter to keep everything on the same level for now. You might also have a false friend, someone who was pretending to be your friend but wasn't really, and that might cause a friendship to fail, I would imagine. It could be some outside influences, just things outside of your control, maybe like a natural disaster. If you have a node highlighted and you start typing, it'll overwrite, so you need to make sure you create a new node. Outside influences, natural disasters, false friend, people change, sometimes people move away, some people are lazy, too lazy to maintain a friendship; friendships take work. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, six ideas. Well, so we want 10 or so for sure. Maybe turns out you have unsuitable personalities and you don't realize it until later in the friendship. Oh, what if you have two friends who hate each other? Or I suppose one friend who hates your other friend. Oh, what if your spouse hates your friend? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, One more, I'll get one more, and then that should be enough for what we need. You find out something you didn't know about your friend. You'd think I'd be a better typist but I'm not. Yeah, maybe you find out something you didn't know what your friend that makes it so you don't want to be their friend anymore, I guess. That's 10, we've got 10 ideas. I might be able to think of a few more if I really try, but that's enough to work with. We've generated our ideas. Now, before you move on to the next lesson, I'd like you to choose your topic either from the list provided in the course or come up with your own and generate as many ideas as you can related to your topic. You can use Freeplane if you like, and I recommend doing so, it makes some things a lot easier, or a piece of paper, whatever. Either way, have fun, and I'll see you in the next lesson. 6. Idea Selection: In the last lesson, I introduced you to Freeplane, an open-source mind-mapping software, and I generated a bunch of ideas related to the topic, Why do friendships fail? I asked you to take some time and come up with a similar list of ideas for your topic. In this lesson, we'll look at how to choose which ideas from that list to use in the essay. Right off the bat, I noticed that we can divide these ideas up into, I guess, internal and external problems. People change is an internal problem, it's internal to the friendship, and natural disasters is definitely external to a friendship, that might cause a friendship to fail. What I can do is come over here and make two new nodes for my categories. I can move them around with little handles there, and I can take these ideas and move them into one or the other of these categories. People change is an internal problem. Now, instead of getting my handle to move it around to adjust where it shows up, I will just click and hold on the node and drag my cursor over to where I want to put it. Notice that the shading moves depending on where on the node you go. I want it to be on the end here. There, people change is now an internal problem. I can go through natural disasters is an external one. False friend, well, that's internal to the friendship. Your friend is the problem. Outside influences is external. People moving away, that's external, I guess. It's not something inherent to your friend or yourself. Some people are lazy, that's an internal one. Unsuitable personalities, that's internal. Two friends who hate each other, well, that's external to the friendship, I suppose. Spouse hates your friend, that's external to your relationship with your friend. Finding out something you didn't know about your friend, well, that's something to do with your friend, so we'll call that internal. We've got them all sorted into their two categories. Now that they're sorted, I can see that I've got a couple of ideas that are effectively the same. Two friends hating each other, and your spouse hating your friend are the same problem really. Someone who's not you doesn't like your friend and that causes the friendship to fail. You only need one of those, and spouses are more important than friends usually. I think we'll get rid of this one and leave spouse hates your friend. I've also got natural disasters, which is a little bit silly. Not that natural disasters are silly, but I don't think it's a very common cause of a failed friendship, so I think we'll get rid of that one as well. Outside influences is the same thing as saying external problems. We don't really need that, it's not saying anything new. We have two external ones and five internal ones. That gives me an idea. We said in the last lesson that in a 500 word essay, we'd want three or four ideas to work within the body of the essay. Well, if we go with four ideas, we could pick two from each category, which would make for a nice balance. Of the internal factors, I think probably people changing, and I guess finding out something you didn't know about a friend are probably the strongest. With the external ones, we've got two and that's the two we'll use, of course. All of these problems I'm choosing them mostly because they're fairly common, I think, causes of a failed friendship. Finding out that your friend isn't really your friend, a false friend, someone pretending to like you, I guess that's a subcategory of the finding out something you didn't know about your friend. These two, they don't really seem reasonable to me or seem very believable. Some people are lazy. I guess that being too lazy to maintain a friendship is an unsuitable personality. If someone's got an unsuitable personality to be your friend, you're probably going to figure that out pretty quickly. No, I think people change and find out something you didn't know about a friend, people moving away, and your spouse hates your friend are likely the four most common of our reasons here. Common is good because it means the reader will be able to relate more easily to your ideas. I think we'll go with those four ideas. Now, I don't really want to delete these three in the middle. I'm not going to use them probably, but they might come in handy, so I don't want to get rid of them for now. What I can do is I can select a node and go up here to the node background color button, and I can highlight the node I'm going to use. We'll do that and that. There's a faster way to do it. If you hold down shift and click, you can click multiple nodes and then apply things to both of them at once. There. We've got our four ideas highlighted, they stand out now, and we're good to go. There we go. We have four ideas to work with. Now, the next step is making an outline. But before we get to that, I'd like to take a few moments in the next lesson to talk about plotting versus pantsing. That is, planning out your writing like we're doing here, versus figuring it out as you go along. I'd also like you to take a few moments and go through your list of ideas and choose the ones you want to use in your essay. Remember that pretty much any ideas will work as long as you have a reason for choosing them. 7. Plotting Vs Pantsing: Plotting versus pantsing. This framing comes from the world of aspiring novelists, but it's a useful thing to get our heads around, even if we never plan to write a novel. The world of aspiring novelists can largely be divided into two camps, pantsers and plotters. Many people have very strong opinions about which one of these they are, and why everyone else is horribly misguided and wrong. Plotters are the people who plot out their story ahead of time. They do some character bios and some setting descriptions, and then plan out the events of their story often very meticulously. Pantsers, on the other hand, jump right in and just start writing. They might have a vague notion of who their main character is or where the story takes place and what happens in it, but not much more and not necessarily even that much. You can probably hazard a guess, which camp I fall into. The difference for me is that I don't think the other camp is wrong per se. I think they're often not being completely honest with themselves though, and here's why. If you just jump in and start writing, you'll still end up doing all of the things that the plotters do. You'll make decisions about the ideas you'll use, you'll organize those ideas, you'll write and revise, and, yes, you'll even do an outline. I'll say that again. Pantsers who jump right in and start writing will still make an outline. It's just that where a plotter's outline is in the form of a bullet list and takes very little time to make, a pantser's outline is in the form of a first draft, which takes much longer to make and is often much less useful. Once the pantser has finished their outline draft, and in the case of novel writers, we should probably say, if they finish their outline draft because a lot of them get bogged down in the middle and never finish, they then have to comb through their prose to find the meat of the thing and develop a real focus. By planning out your writing in the form of a true outline, you save yourself a lot of headache and a lot of extra work. Now, earlier I said, I didn't think that pantsers are wrong and I don't. A lot of pantsers truly enjoy the process of discovering their story as they write. One of the most famous of these is Stephen King. If that's the case for you, then have at it. If you enjoy the process and you can get done what you need to get done, there's nothing at all wrong with how you do it. The reason I offer this writing process course even to the pantsers among you is that even those of you who enjoy wandering around your topic in prose rather than bullet points, can make use of some of these tools and can benefit from slightly more organization. Coming up with a sketch rather than an outline, can help your discovery process go more smoothly. Anyway, enough about that. We have our ideas generated and selected, so now, let's move on to the outline. See you in the next lesson. 8. Outlining: Hi. Welcome to the lesson on outlining. I'm going to let you in on a little secret. The outlining part of writing seems like a simple little step that isn't worth much thought, but in reality, this is the heart of the whole thing, the hinge pin that keeps the whole thing working. Outlining is the cheat code that puts you into God mode and makes everything else almost effortless. No, really, I'm not joking. Let me explain. For this, we're going to move from free plane to a word processor for reasons that will become clear over the next few lessons. I'm using LibreOffice, another free open-source software package that includes everything you'd find in Microsoft Word, for example. If you'd like to check it out, you'll find links in the course materials wherever all the links ended up being put. I've taken the liberty of putting the ideas I selected in the previous lesson in here already just so we can see them. Normally, I would just split screen the two programs so I could see the mind map in Freeplane while I'm making the outline here in writer, but that gets confusing in the video. Actually, full transparency, I normally do all my pre-writing with pen and paper. I think more creatively and analog, I guess. I do use Freeplane for project planning and for larger writing projects, and I certainly didn't want to force my students to try and read my handwriting, so I opted to do all the demonstrations electronically. It's also just plain easier to film. Anyway, the outlining stage happens in the word processor or if you do your outline on paper, you transfer it to the word processor once it's done. We have our ideas here, but they aren't in any order and they're lacking in detail. Let's fix that. First of all, the bullet list is your friend. Here is the bullet list button in writer. There's something similar in every word processing software and it's usually in more or less the same place. Clicking on that starts a bullet list. These dots are called bullets. An outline is the shape of our essay, it's the outside line as it were. Our essay is definitely going to have an introduction and a conclusion. We can put those in the outline before we do anything else. Let's put intro, enter to make a new line which continues the bullet list, conclusion. Use my arrow keys to go back up. There will be stuff in-between the intro and conclusion, so let's make some space. The body is the part in between the intro and conclusion, and that's where our ideas are going to go. But in what order? Well, when we were selecting our ideas, we identified internal and external reasons for failed friendships. Now, that's an organizing principle we can keep in use. I think I want to put external reasons first and internal reasons second. The internal reasons seem to have more emotional weight to them. I think that we should build towards that. I should point out here that, while some ways of arranging your ideas might be more or less effective for a given purpose, there isn't really a wrong way to organize your ideas. As long as you have a reason for putting this idea here and that idea there, you're fine. We also want to try and identify connections between ideas here and arrange them to make use of that. For our external reasons, here, a friend moving away is something that I associate with childhood friendships more than anything else. I suppose hating your friend is certainly an adult problem, not a childhood problem. I think I'll arrange them chronologically in this order. Knowing why I've arranged them this way will make it easier for me to go from one idea to the other, my first draft, by the way, so that's good. I think we're going to take that. We can just drag that over there and drag that there. Those are our two ideas. You know what? I'm going to put external here. Here's the neat thing about bullet lists, if you're not familiar with them. I assume most people are, but I shouldn't assume. You can move lines in a bullet list in or out in the hierarchical structure by using the Tab or Shift Tab keystrokes. Tab moves it over to the right one, Shift Tab moves it back one. I can take those and put them there, and then I can move back here and go internal, just so that it's easy to see which ones are where. With the internal reasons, we don't really have such a clear division between childhood and adulthood. I would think that people changing as time passes is a more common issue than suddenly finding out some unsavory thing about a friend. Maybe I'll put them in order from least common to most common. Let me move them and then I'll explain myself. There we go. People change. There we are. We want the last idea to be the most important idea. People tend to remember best the last thing they read. The more common and emotionally impactful an idea is, well, that's the one that'll make the strongest connection with the reader. That's the one we should put in last place in our essay. Now this is a good time to fill in some details, supporting ideas, that kind of thing. With a bullet list that's pretty easy to do, you can add stuff and move things around pretty easily. We'll do the intro and conclusion last. Let's fill in some stuff first. People move away. What are some details for that or elements for that? It's a common thing most people have moved or have had a friend move away at some point in their life. Hold on. I accidentally changed that. There we go. It's the plot of several movies, mostly romantic comedies, I suppose. It's the plot of several Chinese and Korean movies, I know that, maybe not so much in North America, but the old childhood friend moves back to the neighborhood. Anyway. That's a counterargument. Sometimes people tried to maintain a long distance friendship. Of course, we know how that goes with most relationships. That's a bigger idea. I want some smaller things in their likely to fail. I suppose it's easier with the Internet. Those of us who are old enough will remember the days before the Internet where if a friend moved away, then you just never saw them or heard from them again, but still likely to fail. That's lots of details about that one. What if your spouse hates your friend? As a married person, I can attest to the idea that this is a pretty common problem, friends compete with spouse for time and attention. I'll put a space in there. If it comes to a choice. You'll notice this over the course of adolescence, my typing is terrible. I transpose letters a lot. Given that I write professionally, you'd think I'd be better than I am, but some bad habits never change. If it comes to a choice between your spouse and your friend. I'm going to say probably, I don't know, some people have very close friends on earth. Divorce is pretty common too. Moving on to the next one. I wouldn't imagine it comes to a choice that often. In this situation, you're not really deciding between your wife or your friend, or your husband or your friend. If your spouse hates your friend, making plans with friend has built in resistance. Over time, the friendship just wears down. I'm going to include the idea here is not usually a conscious choice. There we go. That's probably lots of ideas for that one too. For internal problems, finding out something you didn't know about a friend, probably doesn't. Not very common. It doesn't happen very often. I think maybe I want to address that in my essay that it's not really a common problem, but it might happen. Not uncommon to find out something surprising about your friend. Imagine you find out surprising things about your friends quite a lot. This particular word processor does that. It auto suggests, I need to turn that off. It is uncommon or that thing to end the friendship. There we go. We can do some examples. I think actually that would be on the same level, then that is [inaudible]. That's where our false friend. Caps lock. Caps lock is not your friend. Our false friend idea can come in there. No, I don't want that. If one friend is an ex of a new friend, that could cause a friendship to fail, the friction there. Possibly, how do I want to word that. Find out your friend has strong moral or political views that you can't accept. Although, I mean again, you're probably going to pick up on that fairly early on in a friendship. But this is an essay. It doesn't have to be completely realistic, I guess. People change over time. Well, everyone changes over time. I hope you don't want to stay the same for your whole life. Everyone changes over time. The longer you are friends the more likely you'll change in incompatible ways. Now, I don't know how much more likely you are to change in incompatible ways versus compatible. But, we'll go with that. What else? I was thinking that the closer the friendship is, the tighter the relationship, the more likely you'll change in similar ways. But that's not very healthy either, and that's not a guarantee. Not even very close friendships are immune. But more shared experience equals more resistance. That's how you spell resistance. You think you could be better at spelling too. Good news, if you have changed as a person, you'll now be compatible with new people that you might not have been able to be friends with before. If you lose your friend you might be able to gain a friend. I don't know if that's really terribly useful but it's amusing to me anyway. Now we just have our intro and our conclusion. Now, intros and conclusions in essays do very specific jobs. Once you've filled in your body, it's pretty easy to get to where you need to be for the intro and the conclusion. We won't really get into that here because different types of essays have different types of intros and conclusions within certain bounds. This isn't really the place for that anyway. But in general, an intro should introduce the main ideas of the essay and give the reader a feeling for the style of your writing. What's the overall idea that all of these, touch on there, many reasons for failed friendships. That's the angle we're taking on why do friendships fail thing, there are many reasons. Both internal and external that's the division we set up, the way of organizing our ideas or our organizing principle, you could call it. What's our takeaway going to be? The intro and sooner the conclusion but it's good to mention in the introduction as well, the essay should answer the question, so what? Who cares? Why is this important? We need to figure out our answer for that and we should do that as soon as possible in the process, which means now. Well, we can go this way here. It's always sad when a friendship fails, but understanding why and help us deal with it better. There we go. So that's what we'll do for our intro and conclusion. Same idea. Conclusion, we want to do a couple of different things from the introduction, we want to summarize the main ideas again. In a normal, this type of essay, persuasive essays in particular, but in a normal essay you'll go over the main ideas of the essay three times. Once in the introduction, once in more detail in the body, and then once again in the conclusion in a summary. External reasons like moving away or a spouse that hates your friend. No, there. Internal reasons like shocking revelations or just changing with the times. Not with the times changing with time I think, it's a better way to say that. We'll go back to our main takeaway here, understanding the reasons for a failed friendship can help us deal with the loss. We want to add a little twist or something to that. We've mentioned that part in the introduction. In the conclusion you aren't supposed to, it's a bad idea, you should avoid introducing new information. Everything new should happen in the body. It should have been, I guess, signaled in the introduction. Well, maybe if we say that knowing what could, in bold that, go wrong ahead of time might help us avoid in the first place. Okay. Now, a couple of small things to point out. Your outline should just be the ideas. You're not writing full sentences, you're just using a couple of words or a phrase to illustrate what the idea is, to remind you when you're writing your first draft. I personally tend to write longer points than I probably should and almost to the point where I'm writing sentences, I'm making sentences as I do this. As I've mentioned previously, and I'll probably mention again, this whole writing process is meant to be very customizable. You adapt it to suit your style and what works for you. For me, I tend to think in sentences, so I tend to plan in sentences. It's important to know that you don't need to. Okay. Now I have a full and complete outline. Before you move on to the next lesson, I'd like you to go through this process with your selected ideas and make your own outline. Remember that almost any order you choose to put your ideas in will work as long as you have a reason for the choice. Also, when filling in details and examples, keep in mind that this is probably the most time-consuming step of the process. No really it is. It can feel difficult at first, but it gets easier with practice. Now in the next lesson, we'll turn our outlines into reasonably solid first drafts. See you there. 9. First Draft: In the last lesson, we made a nice neat outline out of our list of ideas. Now it's time to move from outline to first draft. Now there are a couple of things to keep in mind when writing your first draft. The first thing is to remember what Hemingway said about first drafts. The first draft of everything is poop. You're under no pressure to make this version of your essay good. If you put in the work with your outline though, I think you'll be surprised at how solid it will be anyway. But if it isn't, you can fix it easily enough in the revision step. The other thing to keep in mind is that you've already done most of the hard work. The stuff that causes most people the most problems. You've already done, the heavy lifting and to thoroughly mix my metaphors, now all that remains is plain sailing. When you look at the outline, the structure of the essay it represents should stand out pretty clearly. Each main idea is a paragraph made up of smaller ideas, which are sentences. If we take each of those ideas and turn it into a nice neat sentence, we'll find that we've written an essay. Let's do that together now. Now you don't have to follow the outline religiously. If you have an idea while writing your draft or if you decide you don't like something you came up with earlier, you can add it in or take it out. It's important though, to trust in the work you've already done. Don't think too much about the ideas you already chose. Instead, focus on just writing those ideas into sentences. Now, because we're doing this for a class project, I want to keep my outline as an outline. What I'm going to do is copy this. If you hit "Enter" twice, it gets you out of the bullet list, by the way. Holding "Control" and "Enter" on most word processing programs will give you a forced page break. It'll give you a new page to start with. I'm just going to copy my outline to a new page and I'm going to start there. So we know that this is the intro, we can get rid of that. Many reasons for failed relationships. There are many reasons that a friendship might fail. I can see that I've got both internal and external. Here's the next idea. I think I'm going to stick that on to this sentence and make it a longer sentence so that it combines both of those. There are many reasons. Some are internal some are external, in fact. Are internal to the friendship while others are external. So that is both of those ideas. Now, we're going to need to fill in some extra space in this introduction because we've taken two of the three ideas already and we've only got the last one left. It's always sad when a friendship fails, but understanding why can help us deal with it better. I think we're going to add some detail to this idea and expand it a little bit. We'll go with, it's always sad when a friendship fails. It's even more sad when you don't know why. Was it your fault? Was it destined to fail from the start? I think we need one more. I like to work in threes personally. There are three questions here, was it your fault? Was it destined to fail from the start? Was there anything you could have done? We're establishing the self recriminations that comes with losing a friend for whatever reason. Well, losing a friend can be painful and confusing experience, but understanding why it happened can help us to deal with it better. That is our introduction. I'm going to leave a space in between my paragraphs and not indent them because that's what I prefer. We'll talk about formatting in the last lesson. Now we have external problems. Many times when a friendship fails, the cause is external. That is, the problem doesn't come from within. I'm going to change that to relationship because I've been using the word friendship entirely too much. The problem doesn't come from within the relationships we've just explained what we mean by an external cause or an external problem. I think we're going to jump right to the first example of people moving with their first sub idea. Most people have moved or have had a friend move away. Most of us have either moved as children or had a childhood friend move away. I think now would be a good time to bring in the Internet. How am I going to bring that in? That's a good question. Thanks to the Internet, we often fool ourselves into thinking that we can maintain the friendship over a long distance. This is seldom actually possible. Still likely to fail. I've decided I'm going to leave it out the idea that it's the plot of several movies that doesn't really fit with the other ones, and it feels like too much work to make it go in there. Let's do a quick word count check 137 words, two paragraphs. We've got four more paragraphs to go, we seem to be pretty on track. So I'll get rid of that. The first external example was childhood, and then we want to bring it up to adulthood. As adults, a more common situation is when your spouse, for some reason I always want to spell spouse with a C even though it's obviously not. A more common situation is when your a spouse, I think maybe it'll be a little bit sarcastic here, for absolutely no reason whatsoever decides to hate one of your friends. Because of course there's usually a reason your spouse hates one of your friends. It's probably because that particular friend is not a very good person or something. We all have a friend like that. Some of us are the friend like that. As adults, a more common situation is when your spouse, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, decides to heat one of your friends. Maybe we can't say most of us can relate to that because not everyone is married or has friends, I guess. Let's see. That pretty cause more common about that. This is perhaps understandable. Let's bring in understanding again. When you consider that the friend is competing with your spouse for your time and attention. They probably also have personality quirks that might rub your spouse the wrong way. Let's bring in the choosing between your spouse and your friend idea. Choose there. I think we will skip this one or at least, well it's implied by this. So we'll go right to that. It's not even that we are forced to choose between our friend or our spouse, but rather that there is enough built-in resistance whenever we try to make plans with the hated friend that it wears down the friendship over time. Now, you'll notice that a lot of the wording of these sentences, the core of it is already there in the phrase in the idea that I've written down when I was coming up with the idea. Not always exactly the same. I don't always use it exactly the same way that I wrote it down initially, but the kernel is the same, the key phrase or the keywords I usually keep because I don't want to have to think too hard. So done. We're done with that one. Now, our three paragraphs sitting at 235 words. We're in good shape. We've got three paragraphs left that'll bring us to 470 words, which is right bang on close to our 500. Amazing. Now we need to jump from external problems to internal problems. We probably want to compare them in some way. Draw some sort or a contrast between them. Well, external forces, I guess, are easier to deal with because they're not your fault. When you're dealing with the internal ones, there's a pretty good chance that it's at least partly your fault. "More difficult to deal with are the internal," mainly I deal with, I'm going to change the other one, "Internal reasons a friendship might fail." Maybe cope with? Yeah, cope with. "More difficult to cope with are the internal reasons of friendship might fail, partly because we always have the nagging suspicion that we might be at least partially to blame." There's my fantastic typing on display again. I think we're going to try and suspend that idea. The idea of we might be partially to blame. We'll come back to that in the second reason where people change. How did we get from here to finding out something terrible about your friend? One internal reason for a failed friendship, that isn't your fault, I would say that is definitely not your fault, is when you find out something horrible. Two of those, I don't need two of those. Something you didn't know about your friend. Something terrible. I think we're going to make a new paragraph here. I know it's not in our outline, but I feel like we want to separate that little bridge between internal and external from our specific discussion of the actual reasons. I'll go with this. This is probably not very common, like that. I was thinking it's probably not very common not that it's not common. Yeah, no it's just too awkward if we're going to split the two things up like that. The not uncommon to find out something surprising about your friend, but it is uncommon that it ends the friendship. I think maybe we'll just do that in one sentence instead of trying to introduce it with a little. I was hoping for a short punchy little sentence to start off that paragraph and get into this new idea, but I don't think that's going to work. So while we're setting up a comparison here, a contrast ahead of time. While it's not uncommon to find out things you didn't know about your friend, it's quite unusual. We don't want to use common and uncommon again in this sentence, it's quite unusual for that surprising thing to end the friendship. There we go. Your periods, we don't need those. We don't want to just list a bunch of examples, that's a bit boring. If you were to find out that your friend doesn't actually like you, though, that more or less guaranteed to end a friendship. There we go. The blue squiggly line went away, but we've got an extra y here. We'll talk about this later as well, but as you're typing, if you're using a modern word processing software program, if you're using Word or Pages or Open Office like I am, as you type, it's checking your grammar and your spelling, and it'll let you know with a little squiggly underlined, red for spelling and blue for grammar. If you've done something it doesn't understand or doesn't like. As you're writing, you can pick those out and fix them as you go without too much brain space being taken up by it. If you were to find out that your friend doesn't actually like you, though, that's more or less guaranteed to end the friendship. You might also find out that your friend used to date another of your friends, or maybe even your spouse. That would be very surprising. I changed my sentence halfway through that. This would be a surprising thing to find out, and would likely end a friendship. It wouldn't necessarily end a friendship, but if you found out that this friend of yours used to date your wife or your husband back in high school or something, it would be very awkward, at least. We're going to bring back some humor and bring back a little bit of sarcasm here, a little bit of snark. You might even find out that your otherwise normal seeming friend holds some strong moral or political views that you find repugnant. Such a great word. Repugnant. You might even find out that your otherwise normal seeming friend holds some strong moral or political views that you find repugnant. Friendship over. Now I'm taking a slightly casual tone with this essay. If you were writing an academic essay in school, this would not be the right register or tone to take. I guess I didn't actually specify what the purpose of this essay was for, other than just to write an essay, but I'm thinking of this as maybe a long-form blog post or something, something along those lines, where a casual tone, a joking tongue in cheek line here or there is not out of place. That's done, we're done with that. We've got two paragraphs left. We should have almost 150 words left, so 350, give or take, and we're at 400, so we're about 50 words long. Now, I do tend to write long. That's a cross I have to pair I guess. I write longer than I planned almost always, but there are ways to deal with that. We'll probably end up cutting one or two of the sentences out later. The most common reason of all for friendship to fail, though, is that people tend to change over time, and quite often can change in ways that can cause them to have less and less in common. There we go. The insidious part of this reason for a failed friendship, so types better when I don't think about it, that's good to know. The insidious part of this reason for a failed friendship is that the longer you've been friends, the more likely you'll grow apart. It's a common phrase used to describe that thing. Maybe I should zoom in a little bit more, that's easier to read on the screen. Luckily, the closer the friendship, the more shared experiences you'll have. That's a plural, you, hopefully that comes through, more chared experiences, no shared experiences you'll have, and the more resistance your friendship will have to failure. So awkward, we'll fix that later. There's more good news, even if you do lose a friend, because you've changed, you'll now be compatible with new people. I want to use the lose a friend make a friend thing somehow, that structure, it makes me grin. The best I can come up with is God doesn't close a friend without opening a friend. I think I'm going to leave that out. I'm just going to skip that. It doesn't fit. Conclusion. Whether you've lost a friend due to external reasons such as moving away or a spouse that doesn't like your friend. This is going to be a long sentence. No, I don't want friendship. Thank you. Whether you've lost a friend due to external reasons such as moving away, or a spouse that doesn't like your friend, or due to internal reasons like a shocking revelation, or simply growing apart over time. It's not exactly what we were talking about, but it'll do. I'm going to take this you've lost a friend, whether because of, [inaudible] internal reasons, time, losing a friend is a sad. I want two adjectives here, not just a sad experience, a sad, depressing experience. I think that'll work. No, sad and depressing are too similar, a sad possibly crushing experience. Oh yeah, terrible. We don't like to be crushed. Understanding the reasons for the loss can certainly help in dealing with the emotional fallout, radioactivity. More importantly, knowing what could go wrong ahead of time might even help us to avoid losing that friend in the first place. Done, done, and done. We have now written an essay. There we go. One essay from outline. I want to highlight it all and get my word count, 578 words. So it's a bit long. That's fine. Some of you will find that your first draft is a bit long. You'll find that your first draft is always a bit long, like me, or you might find that your first draft is always a bit short, you end up having to fill in some gaps or some detail at some point. The wonderful thing about writing is that we all do it differently. There we go. A first draft of an essay. It's probably a bit stiff and clunky, and there are certainly errors to fix, but that comes later. In the next lesson, I'll give you an overview of revision, including the different types of editing, and why it's important not to skip this step. Before you move on to that lesson though, I'd like you to go through your outline and write a solid sentence for each of your ideas, just like I've done here. Make sure to leave your outline at the top of your document. The two pieces are both going to be part of your project, so we'll keep them there. When you're finished with that, you can move on to the revision overview lesson. See you there. 10. Revision Overview: Last lesson we wrote our first draft. Before we move on to revising that draft, let's take some time to look at the different kinds of editing, why it's so important to follow through and revise what you've written and also some of the key things to look out for when revising. Now, if I seem to be dwelling on the, make sure you actually revise idea, it's because 20 years in the classroom has taught me that this is the one step that the vast majority of people skip. Fairly often, that's because of a lack of time before a deadline. Procrastination is a bugbear for a lot of us but a lot of the time it seems to come down to people not thinking that revision is particularly important. It seemed pretty good when you were writing it, how much room could there possibly be for improvement? Well, sometimes there could be quite a lot. Even if there isn't anything seriously wrong with what you've written, there's bound to be something that could be better. If you've gone to the effort of making a decent outline and writing to that, revision shouldn't take very long anyway. Now, when it comes to revision, there are three main types of editing, a structural edit, a line edit, and a copy edit. A structural edit is concerned with the way your essay is put together. Now, if you are satisfied with your outline, your essay structure should be pretty solid but it's a good idea to read through your essay with structure in mind. Do the ideas actually work well in the order you have them? Have you connected one idea to the next in a useful way? The answer is most likely yes, but it's a good idea to check. We do this type of edit first because if there is a problem and we have to make changes, they tend to be pretty significant changes. The line edit looks at the sentence level. Is each sentence well formed and satisfying? Does each sentence do its job well? As you go through line by line, you'll be looking for things like repeated words, not just typos where you type the same word twice, but sentences or a series of sentences where you unintentionally use the same word too many times and it stands out as awkward. Are you beginning many of your sentences the same way? Do many of your sentences follow the same pattern? If so, look for ways to fix that. A copy edit is the last stage of editing. This is where you look for typing spelling and punctuation errors. Personally, I tend to combine a copy edit with a line edit and do both at the same time. With modern word processing software, finding spelling errors is trivial anyway. Run a spell check and look for squiggly underlines, it's important that you go through and check everything that the software flags though. Spellcheck is pretty good, but it isn't infallible and accepting all changes is a sure-fire way to end up with some very strange sentences. The longer you can leave between writing your first draft and revising it, the better. Leaving space in between those steps makes it easier to read your own work with fresh eyes and that's important. When you've just finished writing something and it's still fresh in your mind, it can be very difficult to notice some mistakes. Our brains may be terrible at multitasking, but they are very good at filling in missing information and making things make sense even when they really don't. With your writing still fresh in your mind, you might read an explanation that doesn't quite explain or a paragraph that leaves out some important detail and miss it because your brain automatically fills it in for you. After all, you know what you meant. By leaving it alone for awhile, you have a chance to forget what you meant. If you've left something out or explained something poorly, you're more likely to notice. Now, this is one of the things that gives most people some trouble. In order to read your own writing critically, it's sometimes helps to read it as if somebody else wrote it. You have to be willing to acknowledge when something isn't as good as it could be, otherwise you'll be unable to fix it. The hardest part of this actually isn't being critical of yourself, most people are overly critical of themselves to begin with. The hardest part is what Faulkner and pretty much everyone else since called killing your darlings. In the course of writing, we sometimes come up with a turn of phrase or an idea that we really like but that turns out not to work well in the context of the thing we're writing. When that happens, you need to get rid of it, you need to kill your darling. That's something even very experienced writers sometimes struggle with. There we have an overview of the revision step and some of the key things to watch out for when revising. In the next lesson, we'll take a closer look at the structural edit. see you there. 11. Structural Edit: Last lesson, we went over some of the key ideas when revising. Now that some time has passed, we can start to revise. What I'm going to do is read through the whole essay carefully but loosely. I'm looking for ideas that are out of place, ideas that don't connect well, and I'm making sure that everything works okay in the order I put it in and that it wouldn't work better in some other order. Now, if I spot something that I don't like or that I think could be better, I'll make a note of it and keep going. I only make changes once I've gone through the whole thing and have a full view of what needs to be done. This is to make sure that I change the right things and don't make any unnecessary changes. Changing that thing further down might make this change unnecessary, so it's a good idea to hold off until after going through the whole thing. Another thing I'm going to do this time, and when you revise your essay, I'd like you to do the same, is to copy the entire text of the first draft and paste it to a new page in the same document. Same thing we did with the outline. Select it, control C to copy, and then control enter for a new page, control V to paste. There we go. The keyword, shortcuts for the win. Now, I've got two copies. I got my first draft and I've got my editing version, editing draft. I'm not sure what to call it. I suppose we should probably have a title. Why friendships, friend shops, retail therapy. Why friendships fail and what we can do about it. No, we don't really get into what we can do about it, so let's call it, why friendships fail. Good enough. This should have a title too. Cool. The reason I'm making a copy and editing the copy is because for the project, you want to have your outline, you want to have your first draft. I'm going to actually label this first draft just in case there's any confusion and then the final version. Leave a space in between the title and the text. Now, we can zoom in so we can see it better, there. I'm going to edit the second version of the essay, leaving the first draft there as a reference and for my project. As I said, we read through the essay carefully but loosely, if that makes any sense at all. Just thinking about how it's put together and the order the ideas are in, basically double-checking our outline. There are many reasons that a friendship might fail, some are internal to the friendship, while others are external. It's always sad when a friendship fails. It's even more sad when you don't know why. Was it your fault? Was it destined to fail from the start? Was there anything you could have done? Losing a friend can be a painful and confusing experience, but understanding why it happened can help us to deal with it better. Now, I'm pretty happy with that, it does the job. It mentions all of the main ideas without getting into any details and teases the conclusion, the end, so what good at the end? Now, that's good. Many times when a friendship fails, the cause is external. That is, the problem doesn't come from within the relationship. Most of us have either moved as children or had a childhood friend move away. Thanks to the Internet, we often fool ourselves into thinking that we can maintain the friendship over a long distance. This is seldom actually possible. That's awkward. There is a problem there. The first sentence doesn't match the second sentence. It's a very jarring transition from sometimes the cause is external to, we've all had a friend move away when we were kids. Well, that's an easy fix actually. A common example of this type of problem is having a friend move away. Most of us have either moved as children or had a childhood friend move away. Well, that solves that problem nicely. Just one one extra sentence in there. Now, we had too many words already and this doesn't help that problem, but that might be a losing battle. Many times when a friendship fails, the cause is external, that is, the problem doesn't come from within the relationship. A common example of this type of problem is having a friend move away. Most of us have either moved as children or had a childhood friend move away. Move away. Well, that's for the line edit, but I'll leave it for now. Thanks to the Internet, we often fool ourselves into thinking that we can maintain the friendship over a long distance. This is seldom actually possible. I've just realized that what I'm doing is really a line edit. That jarring transition. Again, I'm going to be harping on this till the end of the course. This is a very customizable process. A set of steps that needs to be adjusted to fit how you work. For me personally, I'm pretty comfortable with my outlining, so I tend to skim over the structural edit most of the time anyway and combine processes when I'm editing. I shouldn't, I really, really shouldn't, most of us shouldn't, but I do. What I'm going to do is for the rest of this lesson, I'm going to stick entirely to structural issues. I don't anticipate finding any, to be honest. The outline was very solid and well thought out. This is seldom actually possible. As adults, a more common situation is when your spouse, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, decides to hate one of your friends. This is perhaps understandable when you consider that the friend is competing with your spouse for your time and attention. They probably also have personality quirks that might rub your spouse the wrong way. That's the real reason of course, but whatever. It's not even that we are forced to choose between our friend or a spouse, that's a bit awkward of a transition too but rather that there is enough built-in resistance whenever we try to make plans with the hated friend, that it wears down the friendship over time. Yes, that's fine. More difficult to cope with. We're linking our ideas together fairly well from paragraph to paragraph, and that's what we're concerned with right now. There's some sentence to sentence issues, we'll get those later. I'll tell you this, outside of this course, when you're writing something, if you see a problem, like a sentence to sentence problem while you're doing a structural edit, go ahead and fix it. If you want to fix it now, fix it now. At least you won't forget to fix it later. But I'll keep things separated for now. More difficult to cope with are the internal reasons. We're going childhood to adulthood and then we're going from internal reasons to external reasons. We've got our paragraphs linked in sensible ways. More difficult to cope with are the internal reasons a friendship might fail, partly because we always have the nagging suspicion that we might at least be partially to blame. One internal reason for a failed friendship that is definitely not your fault, is when you find out something you didn't know about your friend, something terrible. Now, that's solid. When we lead into this idea, well, it's not uncommon to find out things you didn't know you might find out. The best way for me to not end up doing a line edit is to not really read every line. I'm just going to look at the first and last lines of each paragraph to see how they connect to each other. I know what the ideas are. Something terrible. Well, it's not uncommon to find out things. That transitions nicely. We go from introducing the concept of finding out something terrible about your friend, to discussing the finding out, and then you might find out. These are the examples, and then friendship over. That's final. Nice short sentence to end the friendship there. Then the most common reason of all for your friendship to fail though. Now, this is an important piece of verbiage here of all. That ties it into all of the previous problems we've identified. That's good. I'm going to keep that. Make sure I keep that. More good news. We're on an upbeat, positive vibe here. Adding some good news. Then conclusion summarizes all of the four main ideas and answers the question of why it matters, why we care. The structure of the essay is fine. I don't feel like moving anything around is going to help the essay. Going adult to child, I don't think would be very good. It works better this way. Uncommon to common is good. I think that works well. Our transitions between the two main sections are solid, our transition rather. No, it's good. I'm happy with it. There we go. The structural edit is done and all that's left is to go through a line and copy edit to catch any typos and spelling errors that might have slipped through. Before you move on to the next lesson, please go through your essay and make sure there are no big-picture structural issues and fix them if there are. When you've done that, you can move on to the next lesson. See you there. 12. Line And Copy Edit: Hi, and welcome to the line edit and copy edit lesson. Now, I probably could have combined this lesson with the structural edit lesson, but a lot of people try to do all the different kinds of edits at the same time. I think it's pretty important to do them in at least two passes, at least this one time. The difference between the big picture thinking of a structural edit and the very detail oriented nature of looking for typos and spelling errors means that if you do them both at once, you won't likely do either of them very well at all. This is the part of the revision where we start to read our essay very, very carefully, one sentence at a time. This time we're looking for clumsy sentences, grammar mistakes, repetitive phrases, and over use of particular words. Now you'll almost certainly have more work to do here than you did in the structural edit. This is what most of us think of when we think of revision. We're going to edit the same copy of the essay that we did the structural edit on. This is our editable version and all of our edits will happen here. Again, we're going to go through line by line, more or less like I started did the last time, but then stop myself. We've already done the first paragraph so we can probably skip that, I was pretty happy with that. The second one was okay, no, there was something we wanted to change. See, this is why when you see a problem, you fix a problem, except if it's a structural problem. You don't pull a beam out of a house. If you have a warped beam in your house, you don't just pull it out without having a new beam in place already. Many times when a friendship fails, the cause is external, that is, the problem doesn't come from within the relationship. A common example of this type of problem is having a friend move away. That was the change I think I was thinking of. Most of us have either moved as children or had a childhood friend move away. Thanks to the internet, we often fool ourselves into thinking that we can maintain the friendship over a long distance. This is seldom actually possible. Yeah, no, I think I'm okay with that. Yeah, I think that's probably fine, we've worked that one already. All right, so this paragraph here. As adults, a more common situation is when your spouse, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, decides to hate one of your friends. This is perhaps understandable when you consider that the friend is competing with your spouse for your time and attention. They probably also have personality quirks that might rub your spouse the wrong way. Oh no, here's the one that I was thinking of. It's not even that we are forced to choose between our friend or our spouse, but rather that there is enough built in resistance whenever we try to make plans with the hated friend that it wears down the friendship over time. Now, in academic writing, you would absolutely want to avoid beginning a sentence with and or but; those are conjunctions, and they connect two ideas together on either side of themselves. You generally shouldn't do this, but given the conversational tone of this particular essay, this is how people speak. We end the sentence and then we continue the next sentence as if it was a part of the previous sentence. See what I did there. So because of the conversational tone of this essay, I can get away with doing this. In a more formal register, in a more formal context, you wouldn't do this at all, it would be jarring. Here, it's okay. They probably also have personality quirks that might rub your suppose the wrong way, and it's not even that we are forced to choose between our friend or our spouse. Yeah, I know that works, that ties it together nicely, just that little change. Friendship over time. I should point out that we're mentioning time here as well, which will come in later with the changing over time. More difficult to cope with are the internal reasons a friendship might fail, partly because we always have the nagging suspicion that we might be at least partially to blame. Partly impartially, I don't like that. They're too similar and it feels a bit repetitive to me. A little bit, there we go. I don't want to change the partly, partly because that's really the only word that occurs to me that fits there nicely. Partly because we always have, okay, I don't like the we always have. We're left with the nagging suspicion. That works better for me. We're left with the nagging suspicion that we might be at least a little bit to blame. Yeah. One internal reason for a failed friendship that is definitely not your fault is when you find out something you didn't know about your friend, something terrible. Good. We've introduced the idea of us being at fault and the guilt that comes with the internal reasons for a failing friendship, and then we've bypassed them, or at least deflected our guilt, leading into the next reason. Good. Now we'll get to this paragraph here. While it's not uncommon, sorry, I'm going to move that while I'm reading it. While it's not uncommon to find out things you didn't know about your friend, it's quite unusual for that surprising thing to end the friendship. If you were to find out that your friend doesn't actually like you though, that's more or less guaranteed to end a friendship. You might also find out that your friend used to date another of your friends, or maybe even your spouse. This would be a surprising thing to find out, and would likely end a friendship. You might even find out that your otherwise normal seeming friend holds some strong moral or political views that you find repugnant. Friendship over. Normal seeming is awkward and doesn't work and it's probably grammatically incorrect. Your otherwise seemingly normal friend, there we go. Seemingly normal friend holds some strong moral or political views that you find repugnant. Friendship over. That works better for me, I like that better. Next paragraph. The most common reason of all for a friendship to fail. Now here's little sort that I follow. If I have trouble reading it out loud, it's probably too awkward. The most common reason of all. Now, I don't have statistics or research to back up the idea that this is the most common reason. Probably the most common reason I'm going to take of all. I know I said in the last lesson that that was a very important pair of words and that it tied it in with everything else, but probably the most common reason for a friendship to fail though. How convenient. It's a darling that I have to kill. Interesting. Yeah, it doesn't work in hindsight. It's making this sentence a bit awkward to read, and I don't like that, so it has to go. The connection to all of the reasons can be made through most. It's implied. It's more subtle, but it works. Probably the most common reason for a friendship to fail though, is that people tend to change over time and quite often can change in ways that cause them to have less and less in common. It's a bit long, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The parts of the sentence are separated appropriately and the ideas are clear and don't get in each other's way. No, it's fine. A little side note on long sentences. I know your Grade 4 teacher would probably disagree with me, but he or she was wrong. There's nothing wrong with long sentences, not inherently wrong with long sentences. There can be things that are wrong with a long sentence, but being long is not one of them. The entire first page of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, is one sentence. There you go. It's a grammatically correct sentence as well. A funnier example, Douglas Adams at one point in one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books has a sentence that is exceptionally long, and then the following sentence addresses the reader and invites the reader to go back and read that sentence again and assures them that it is grammatically correct. No, a long sentence isn't in on itself, a bad thing, as long as it's clear and understandable, that's the key. The insidious part of this reason for a failed relationship is that the longer you've been friends, the more likely you'll grow apart. That is insidious. Luckily, the closer the friendship, the more shared experiences you'll have and the more resistance your friendship will have to failure. That's good news. There's more good news. Even if you do lose a friend because you've changed, you'll now be compatible with new people. I think I want to hammer this point home a little more directly. I'm going to add here. This is a great opportunity to make a new friend! Because we're excited. Okay, there. I think that's great. Whether because of external reasons such as moving away or a spouse that doesn't like your friend or internal reason. I have to admit I want to stick the word for in here. Let's try that. Whether because of external reasons such as moving away or a spouse that doesn't like your friend. I don't know. There's not enough action going on there. A spouse hating your friend. Let's be punchy and aggressive. It's hate. It's strong dislike, whether because of external reasons such as moving away or a spouse hating your friend or for internal reasons like a shocking revelation or simply growing apart over time. A subtle thing that I just noticed. Didn't do it on purpose, but it works. We've got a longer phrase here. External reasons such as moving away and we've got a spouse hating your friend. Much shorter, punchier. External two syllables. Two syllables. A lot of multi-syllable words there, a spouse hating your friend. Hating is technically two syllables, but it feels like a one syllable word. So very punchy short sentence, so longer flowy too short, or for internal reasons like a shocking revelation. Then we've got those hard consonants. The 'ck and shocking revelation. Two words, nice and brief, multi-syllabic, but two words are simply growing apart over time, many words in that phrase. We've got an inverse pattern going on there. I like that. Losing a friend is a sad, possibly crushing experience. There we go. Understanding the reasons for the loss can certainly help in dealing with the emotional fallout. Here's the real lesson to be learned here. More importantly, knowing what could go wrong ahead of time might even help us to avoid losing that friend in the first place. It's us now. It's not just you, it's us. I think I'm happy with that. It's as good as it's going to get. More or less finished at this point. The only thing left is publishing, which in this course is all of the things you can do to make sure your writing is received the way you want it to be received by your audience. Before you move on to the final lesson though, please go through your essay and do a line edit and a copy edit. Feel free to combine them the way I've done here if you're comfortable doing so. But if you have any doubts at all, go ahead and do it in two separate passes. I like to combine them, but I'll tell you for me personally, the more important the thing I'm writing is, the more likely I am to do a separate copy edit pass. If someone's paying me to write something, it is 100 percent guaranteed to be a separate pass. Once you've done a line edit and a copy edit, however you decide to go about that, you can move on to the final lesson on publishing, and I'll see you there. 13. Publishing: You finished your revisions and you're now as happy as you'll ever be with what you've written. It's time to look at the publishing side of things, primarily formatting, but with a few other wrinkles. At first glance, formatting might only seem important if you're writing to someone else's specifications, like in school. This isn't entirely true though. No matter what you're writing or for whom, it's important to think about how the reader will receive what you've written. If you are writing an academic paper or an essay for school, you will be asked to follow a specific style guide. There are many style guides and which one you are required to use will depend on what area you are studying and what school you go to. Some teachers even have their own preferences that they'll ask you to follow. Some of the more common style guides are APA, Chicago Manual of Style, and MLA. If you're interested in them, you can find lots of information online for each. The types of things a style guide will specify are things like margin sizes, fonts and font size, how to deal with headings and when you should and shouldn't use them, and how to deal with paragraph breaks. Usually you either indent a new paragraph or leave a blank line between paragraphs, but never to my knowledge, both. If you've been told to follow a style guide, your job is simple. Look up the details you need in the style guide and do what it says. If the style guide calls for headings in 18 point Comic Sans, guess who's going to be using 18 point Comic Sans? No style guide has ever called for Comic Sans. These issues are also important in other situations though. Let's say you are writing copy for your professional website, which you use to attract future clients or to make sales, you want to pay attention to design elements such as font and formatting and keep things consistent across all your communications. Another issue to keep in mind is that of register. Register is how formal or informal a text is. You need to make sure your registered is appropriate to the situation. Social media post in proper paragraphs with no contractions in 12 point Times New Roman is probably going to seem very out of place. In some situations it would actually be more appropriate to write sentences that look like Prince song titles, changing Y-O-U to a single U for example. Know your audience, know your context and format and style your writing appropriately. Next, let's wrap things up with some final thoughts. 14. Final Thoughts: There you go. The elephant has been eaten and the essay has been written. Now, it may seem like a lot to follow all the steps as they're laid out like this, but as you do more and more writing, the steps become more and more automatic. Also, as you gain more experience with this process, you get a much firmer understanding of how useful each of the steps is for you. The answer may range from indispensable to not terribly useful, and will probably be different from one step to the next. Once you develop that feel, you can go ahead and customize the process to suit your needs and your style. You will need to adapt this process to suit different types of writing. Now, I tend to plan on paper, for example, and write electronically. I also frequently combine my line and copy, edit into one pass. I sometimes also omit the structural edit completely because I'm pretty confident in my outlining. For my fiction writing, I use a special word processor called Scrivener that has some built-in outlining and notes features that I find useful. Everybody writes differently. You may be fairly comfortable combining idea generation and idea selection together, for example. You may decide that you're confident enough in your outlining skills that a structural edit is not usually necessary. Whatever the case is, you now have all of these tools in your writing toolbox and you can pull them out whenever you think you need to use them. I look forward to reading your essays in the project gallery, so make sure to share them there. I'd strongly recommend saving your document as a PDF and sharing that rather than sharing the DOCX, OTT, or PAGES file. PDF is easier for web browsers to display. Thanks for joining me in the course, I hope you got as much out of it as you expected, and I also hope to see you in some of my other courses. Bye for now.