Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Ultimate Writing Guide for Students

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

As I journey into the second full week of the New Year, I am still as motivated and excited about all my writing goals for 2013.  I believe when we are passionate about something, that in itself keeps us full of high-octane fuel to keep moving forward each day as we work towards our goals.

I have several writing goals for this year including finishing my first novel, getting published in a national magazine, tightening my finished written pieces so they read sharper and fresher, improving my blogging skills, in addition to writing every day for at least an hour or so on anything that strikes my fancy.  Throw in a handful of invigorating, fun-filled, and inspired literary adventures with my amazing blogging partner, Kate, and my year will be beyond complete!

I get up each morning (well, most!) excited and determined which definitely helps to guide my days with joy and purpose.  Not only do I have writing goals for myself, I also have some for my newspaper club students.  I have been the adviser of The Mariners’ Catch Pier Middle School newspaper for five years now, and it is one of the most wonderfully, challenging writing jobs I’ve ever had.

There are many components that go into publishing a successful student newspaper, but the most important is having a group of students who are dedicated to the process of bringing the best paper possible to their student body and teachers.  We have to be a well-oiled machine to ensure that everyone meets deadline, something that is hard enough for adult writers, never mind 12-year-old kids!

Deadlines are a work in progress for our student staff, and probably always will be, but another area that our roving reporters are always trying to improve upon is their grammar and basic understanding of the do’s and don’ts of all those confusing rules about punctuation, parts of speech, adjectives and adverbs and so on and so on.

Luckily for them (and me) we have a fantastic resource that we rely on when writing stories, columns, essays and anything else that is associated with The Mariners’ Catch.  The Ultimate Writing Guide for Students written by my Macmillan Publishers Quick and Dirty Tips colleague, Grammar Girl (Mignon Fogarty), a New York Times Best Selling Author.

This book is not only easy to understand, Grammar Girl makes it fun for the students!  They each have a copy and we refer to it as their “bible”!  To be honest, I have found this book extremely helpful when I’ve come across a grammatical situation I wasn’t sure about, so it’s not just for kids!

I’m looking forward to enjoying all of my writing goals for the remainder of the year, and I hope if you’ve made any in regards to writing that you stay the course as well.

Do you have a favorite writing reference book that you consider your bible?  Please let me know in the comment section.

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