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10 websites to help improve your grammar

Grammar is an essential part of writing, as it helps to convey the message or idea you are trying to get across. That being said, most writers might agree that their grammar skills could use a little freshening up from time to time. Luckily there are various websites that exist strictly for the purpose of improving one’s grammar. If you are a writer looking to improve your grammar, be sure to check out the following sites.

WritingForward – This blog, which was created by a passionate writer, offers tons of posts on creative writing, grammar, and more. It helps writers of all kinds get ideas flowing so they always perform their best. This site also has exercises that help you brush up on your grammar and writing skills.

GrammarBook – Looking for a great site that will help you improve your grammar? Look no further than this informative site, which offers free grammar rules, fun quizzes, and a blog with lots of tips on all things writing.

Grammarly – This innovative website acts as an automated proofreader and professional grammar coach. It checks your writing for spelling and grammar errors, as well as plagiarism, so you are always sure to create the best work possible. Writers of all kinds can definitely benefit from this site.

PurdueOnlineWritingLab – The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a helpful site that features over 200 free resources. Advance your knowledge in areas such as grammar and mechanics and learn about various writing styles. If you are interested in improving your grammar, this site can help.

GrammarBlog – If you are looking for a refreshing take on grammar, this site is perfect for you. It pokes fun of common grammar mistakes that people make every day, which can instantly put a smile on any writer’s face. Although this site doesn’t necessarily teach grammar, it does show you what not to do when you are writing.

LousyWriter – This cool site has tons of tips that will help you become a better writer. It features sections on grammar, writing styles, parts of speech, misused words, punctuation, capitalization, and more. You can also find blog posts, podcasts, and video tutorials that help you improve your grammar.

DailyGrammar – Anyone looking to brush up on their grammar skills should visit this site. It offers lots of simplified lessons and quizzes that make it easy to improve your grammar in many different ways.

ChicagoManualOfStyle – If you work with words, you may want to take some time to check out this helpful site. It features a forum where writers can correspond with one another and ask questions. You can also use several tools that help you proofread and polish your work.

GrammarGirl – Looking for an easy-to-use website that offers tips and tricks on all things writing? If so, you need to explore this site. It helps with grammar, word usage, punctuation, and more. In addition to all the helpful writing hints, there is also a free newsletter that you can subscribe to.

Dr.Grammar – This website, which was created by the University of Northern Iowa’s Department of Languages and Literature, is an excellent resource for writers looking to improve their grammar. With lots of frequently asked questions and helpful tips in many areas, you are sure to find some help on this site.

Improving your grammar is easy if you take the time to visit these sites. They all offer helpful ideas, tips, and tricks that are sure to make you a better writer in no time at all.

Guest post from Sam Landon. Sam writes for CarInsurance.org

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The 7 Cs of Communication A Checklist for Clear Communication

Think of how often you communicate with people during your day.

You write emails, facilitate meetings, participate in conference calls, create reports, devise presentations, debate with your colleagues… the list goes on.

We can spend almost our entire day communicating.

So, how can we provide a huge boost to our productivity? We can make sure that we communicate in the clearest, most effective way possible.

This is why the 7 Cs of Communication are helpful. The 7 Cs provide a checklist for making sure that your meetings  , emails  , conference calls  , reports  , and presentations   are well constructed and clear – so your audience gets your message.


According to the 7 Cs, communication needs to be:

In this article, we look at each of the 7 Cs of Communication, and we’ll illustrate each element with both good and bad examples.

  1. Clear

When writing or speaking to someone, be clear about your goal or message. What is your purpose in communicating with this person? If you’re not sure, then your audience won’t be sure either.

To be clear, try to minimize the number of ideas in each sentence. Make sure that it’s easy for your reader to understand your meaning. People shouldn’t have to “read between the lines” and make assumptions on their own to understand what you’re trying to say.

Bad Example

Hi John,

I wanted to write you a quick note about Daniel, who’s working in your department. He’s a great asset, and I’d like to talk to you more about him when you have time.

Best,

Skip

What is this email about? Well, we’re not sure. First, if there are multiple Daniels in John’s department, John won’t know who Skip is talking about.

Next, what is Daniel doing, specifically, that’s so great? We don’t know that either. It’s so vague that John will definitely have to write back for more information.

Last, what is the purpose of this email? Does Skip simply want to have an idle chat about Daniel, or is there some more specific goal here? There’s no sense of purpose to this message, so it’s a bit confusing.

Good Example

Hi John,

I wanted to write you a quick note about Daniel Kedar, who’s working in your department. In recent weeks, he’s helped the IT department through several pressing deadlines on his own time.

We’ve got a tough upgrade project due to run over the next three months, and his knowledge and skills would prove invaluable. Could we please have his help with this work?

I’d appreciate speaking with you about this. When is it best to call you to discuss this further?

Best wishes,

Skip

This second message is much clearer, because the reader has the information he needs to take action.


  1. Concise

When you’re concise in your communication, you stick to the point and keep it brief. Your audience doesn’t want to read six sentences when you could communicate your message in three.

  • Are there any adjectives or “filler words” that you can delete? You can often eliminate words like “for instance,” “you see,” “definitely,” “kind of,” “literally,” “basically,” or “I mean.”
  • Are there any unnecessary sentences?
  • Have you repeated the point several times, in different ways?

Bad Example

Hi Matt,

I wanted to touch base with you about the email marketing campaign we kind of sketched out last Thursday. I really think that our target market is definitely going to want to see the company’s philanthropic efforts. I think that could make a big impact, and it would stay in their minds longer than a sales pitch.

For instance, if we talk about the company’s efforts to become sustainable, as well as the charity work we’re doing in local schools, then the people that we want to attract are going to remember our message longer. The impact will just be greater.

What do you think?

Jessica

This email is too long! There’s repetition, and there’s plenty of “filler” taking up space.

Good Example

Watch what happens when we’re concise and take out the filler words:

Hi Matt,

I wanted to quickly discuss the email marketing campaign that we analyzed last Thursday. Our target market will want to know about the company’s philanthropic efforts, especially our goals to become sustainable and help local schools.

This would make a far greater impact, and it would stay in their minds longer than a traditional sales pitch.

What do you think?

Jessica


  1. Concrete

When your message is concrete, then your audience has a clear picture of what you’re telling them. There are details (but not too many!) and vivid facts, and there’s laser-like focus. Your message is solid.

Bad Example

Consider this advertising copy:

The Lunchbox Wizard will save you time every day.

A statement like this probably won’t sell many of these products. There’s no passion, no vivid detail, nothing that creates emotion, and nothing that tells people in the audience why they should care. This message isn’t concrete enough to make a difference.

Good Example

How much time do you spend every day packing your kids’ lunches? No more! Just take a complete Lunchbox Wizard from your refrigerator each day to give your kids a healthy lunch and have more time to play or read with them!

This copy is better because there are vivid images. The audience can picture spending quality time with their kids – and what parent could argue with that? And mentioning that the product is stored in the refrigerator explains how the idea is practical. The message has come alive through these details.


  1. Correct

When your communication is correct, it fits your audience. And correct communication is also error-free communication.

  • Do the technical terms you use fit your audience’s level of education or knowledge?
  • Have you checked your writing for grammatical errors? Remember, spell checkers won’t catch everything.
  • Are all names and titles spelled correctly?

Bad Example

Hi Daniel,

Thanks so much for meeting me at lunch today! I enjoyed our conservation, and I’m looking forward to moving ahead on our project. I’m sure that the two-weak deadline won’t be an issue.

Thanks again, and I’ll speak to you soon!

Best,

Jack Miller

If you read that example fast, then you might not have caught any errors. But on closer inspection, you’ll find two. Can you see them?

The first error is that the writer accidentally typed conservation instead of conversation. This common error can happen when you’re typing too fast. The other error is using weak instead of week.

Again, spell checkers won’t catch word errors like this, which is why it’s so important to proofread everything!


  1. Coherent

When your communication is coherent, it’s logical. All points are connected and relevant to the main topic, and the tone and flow of the text is consistent.

Bad Example

Traci,

I wanted to write you a quick note about the report you finished last week. I gave it to Michelle to proof, and she wanted to make sure you knew about the department meeting we’re having this Friday. We’ll be creating an outline for the new employee handbook.

Thanks,

Michelle

As you can see, this email doesn’t communicate its point very well. Where is Michelle’s feedback on Traci’s report? She started to mention it, but then she changed the topic to Friday’s meeting.

Good Example

Hi Traci,

I wanted to write you a quick note about the report you finished last week. I gave it to Michelle to proof, and she let me know that there are a few changes that you’ll need to make. She’ll email you her detailed comments later this afternoon.

Thanks,

Michelle

Notice that in the good example, Michelle does not mention Friday’s meeting. This is because the meeting reminder should be an entirely separate email. This way, Traci can delete the report feedback email after she makes her changes, but save the email about the meeting as her reminder to attend. Each email has only one main topic.


  1. Complete

In a complete message, the audience has everything they need to be informed and, if applicable, take action.

  • Does your message include a “call to action,” so that your audience clearly knows what you want them to do?
  • Have you included all relevant information – contact names, dates, times, locations, and so on?

Bad Example

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to send you all a reminder about the meeting we’re having tomorrow!

See you then,

Chris

This message is not complete, for obvious reasons. What meeting? When is it? Where? Chris has left his team without the necessary information.

Good Example

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to remind you about tomorrow’s meeting on the new telecommuting policies. The meeting will be at 10:00 a.m. in the second-level conference room. Please let me know if you can’t attend.

See you then,

Chris


  1. Courteous

Courteous communication is friendly, open, and honest. There are no hidden insults or passive-aggressive tones. You keep your reader’s viewpoint in mind, and you’re empathetic to their needs.

Bad Example

Jeff,

I wanted to let you know that I don’t appreciate how your team always monopolizes the discussion at our weekly meetings. I have a lot of projects, and I really need time to get my team’s progress discussed as well. So far, thanks to your department, I haven’t been able to do that. Can you make sure they make time for me and my team next week?

Thanks,

Phil

Well, that’s hardly courteous! Messages like this can potentially start office-wide fights. And this email does nothing but create bad feelings, and lower productivity and morale. A little bit of courtesy, even in difficult situations, can go a long way.

Good Example

Hi Jeff,

I wanted to write you a quick note to ask a favor. During our weekly meetings, your team does an excellent job of highlighting their progress. But this uses some of the time available for my team to highlight theirs. I’d really appreciate it if you could give my team a little extra time each week to fully cover their progress reports.

Thanks so much, and please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you!

Best,

Phil

What a difference! This email is courteous and friendly, and it has little chance of spreading bad feelings around the office.

Note:

There are a few variations of the 7 Cs of Communication:

  • Credible– Does your message improve or highlight your credibility  ? This is especially important when communicating with an audience that doesn’t know much about you.
  • Creative– Does your message communicate creatively? Creative communication helps keep your audience engaged.

Key Points

All of us communicate every day. The better we communicate, the more credibility we’ll have with our clients, our boss, and our colleagues.

Use the 7 Cs of Communication as a checklist for all of your communication. By doing this, you’ll stay clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete, and courteous.

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Rights and responsibilities at work

Just starting a job? Here are some useful words and phrases to describe your rights and responsibilities at work.

Most employees and employers will sign a contract, which sets out terms and conditions, salary and holiday entitlements, along with procedures forgrievances or dismissal. As contracts are legally binding, both sides should comply with these procedures and with the terms of the contract.

In some countries there is minimum wage legislation (meaning workers cannot be paid under this limit), as well as health and safety laws to protect employees from industrial and workplace accidents. Many workers (though often not those in “sensitive” sectors) can join a union, which (in return for an annual membership fee) will help to protect the workers’ rights and will negotiate pay increases for its members, or ballot (organise) strikes.

Over the last 100 years or so, workers, unions and politicians have fought for an increasing number of rights, such asanti-discrimination (making it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers on the basis of their gender, religion, sexuality or disability); maternity (and paternity) leavesick leave, and pension contributions. Some practices (such as child labour) are illegal in many countries, although the fight against exploitation still continues. A big issue now in the UK is that of unpaid internships (where graduates work for nothing except the chance to gain experience).

If employers fall foul of employment law (i.e. break the law), employees can take their employers to court to win damages. For example, this could occur for cases of unfair dismissal (illegally sacking someone), or constructive dismissal (where the employee is forced to resign).

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Unique and Funny Multitasking

Multitasking is several vims which are done simultaneously. It may save your time, increase productivity and prevents procrastination; in some cases, save your money. But not all multitasking is good to accomplish. It sometimes impairs your concentration as based on research, a human brain can do one thing in a time. Doing multitasking sometimes can be unique and funny, for instance:

Cat’s multitasking

This innocent cat seemed happy with his activities as it ate and defecated in the same time. It didn’t worry its environment at all, and kept focus on his cute actions.

cute cat

5 activities in the same time

If you notice this picture. I bet you can guess easily what was happening. Yes! He was driving a bus, smoking a cigarette, drinking a cup of coffee, calling through cell phone and serving passengers. Two thumbs up for this versatile steersman.

naughy driver

Parenting

While naughty sister was being ordered to take care of her small relative. She was preoccupied playing game with her tablet. As she did not want to abandon hers, she used her foot to manage the bottle of milk. Her parents would have been angry and laugh seeing this funny occurrence.

Parenting

Hula hoop

Admittedly, Hula hoop can solve fat problem especially on belly’s part. While he prickled on his nose, picking his nose should be done. The bravo boy seemed so straightforward that he did not notice what was he doing.

Hula hoop

Playing Game

Most of us love to play consoles to diminish exhaustion and replenish our happiness. It is sometimes sucks to receive a call when we are eager playing game (in fact I feel the same, lol). As he did not want to leave both of these vigours, this dude kept continuing two hustles at the same time. Well, With a little help of his foot, he could ensure his cell phone stick on his ear.

Playing Game

Multitasking Damages Your Brain and Your Career, New Studies Suggest

Multitasking

You’ve likely heard that multitasking is problematic, but new studies show that it kills your performance and may even damage your brain. Research conducted at Standford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers also found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.

A Special Skill?

But what if some people have a special gift for multitasking? The Stanford researchers compared groups of people based on their tendency to multitask and their belief that it helps their performance. They found that heavy multitaskers—those who multitask a lot and feel that it boosts their performance—were actuallyworse at multitasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. The frequent multitaskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another. Ouch.

Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.

Multitasking Lowers IQ

Research also shows that, in addition to slowing you down, multitasking lowers your IQ. A study at the University of London found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they’d expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child.

So the next time you’re writing your boss an email during a meeting, remember that your cognitive capacity is being diminished to the point that you might as well let an 8-year-old write it for you.

Brain Damage From Multitasking

It was long believed that cognitive impairment from multitasking was temporary, but new research suggests otherwise. Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK compared the amount of time people spend on multiple devices (such as texting while watching TV) to MRI scans of their brains. They found that high multitaskers had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region responsible for empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control.

While more research is needed to determine if multitasking is physically damaging the brain (versus existing brain damage that predisposes people to multitask), it’s clear that multitasking has negative effects. Neuroscientist Kep Kee Loh, the study’s lead author, explained the implications: “I feel that it is important to create an awareness that the way we are interacting with the devices might be changing the way we think and these changes might be occurring at the level of brain structure.”

Learning From Multitasking

If you’re prone to multitasking, this is not a habit you’ll want to indulge—it clearly slows you down and decreases the quality of your work. Even if it doesn’t cause brain damage, allowing yourself to multitask will fuel any existing difficulties you have with concentration, organization, and attention to detail.

Multitasking in meetings and other social settings indicates low Self- and Social Awareness, two emotional intelligence (EQ) skills that are critical to success at work. TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that 90% of top performers have high EQs. If multitasking does indeed damage the anterior cingulate cortex (a key brain region for EQ) as current research suggests, it will lower your EQ in the process.

So every time you multitask you aren’t just harming your performance in the moment; you may very well be damaging an area of your brain that’s critical to your future success at work.

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Animal right in Indonesia

Animals should live happily in the nature. They’re the gift from God, which we must preserve their existence carefully. We often find animal abused on TV News, newspaper or even internet. Burning dogs, killing small powerless cats only for happiness or even nurturing monkeys to be tortured later. Here are some animal fights, which often happens in Indonesia. They are used as real amusement. Legal or not? However, some of them are parts of culture which held periodically. With weak laws, Indonesia is a heaven for animal fight lovers.

1. Dog
It is not curious to see dog fight. Many people like to watch this attraction, since it’s entertaining and tensive. Two poor dogs fight each other in the cirque until they meet their limits. It often happens when the fight ends with death. The lost dogs will absolutely die. In fact, the winner will be alive only for a short time. Sooner or later, it will die too due to infection and great injury. `Bali Bloody Summer` can be a good example for this matter. At first, they take care of dogs, train them regularly to get a great performance as a result. Before fighting. They usually don’t feed them to make the animals hungry and aggressive. This attraction spurs audience, which sometimes gamble to make the attraction more pleasure

2. Horse
It is one of South-East Sulawesi culture to conduct horse rivalry. It is held regularly in a year: In the independent day (17 August), Eid-Mubarak or even when the inhabitants host important guests. The local occupants call this attraction “Pogeraha Adara”, which means “horse power compete”. They select big and powerful horses to fight. This attraction is a legacy from the home-grown empire when they received important visitors. The horse must win to get a group of female horses as gift.

3. Rooster
One of the most famous animal fight is “Adu Ayam Jago” (Rooster’s fight). The owner installs irons to rooster’s paws. Base on the folklore, two kingdoms speculated two cocks as heroes. As one rooster failed, they had to give a half of property to the opposite kingdom. Nowadays, “Adu Ayam Jago” is held only for a luxuriant recital to replenish boredom. The owner always praises to his hero as it produces a lot of money.

4. Sheep
Fighting Sheep is held with accompaniment as a ceremonial in certain months of June, August and December in Garut, West Java. The history began from the government era in about 1815 – 1829. When a functionary used to come to his friends to see his sheeps. He put an interest to incite sheeps in a fight. The winner was trusted as a supreme sheep, which had to be proliferated to get excellent ancestries. Many people come to the area only to watch this addictive presentment.

5. Dogs VS wild boar (Crazy Cross Over Animal Fight)
Many people in certain places love to watch the fight between dogs and a wild boar. Since an adult wild boar has a bigger body and stronger power. It must come together with two or three dogs. All in all, for the residents, gambling a great amount of money is a shortcut, which can fix one’s financial problem and reduce stressed coincidentally.