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Level 4 Tips

Many authors have asked, “What's the difference between a 4 and a 5?” There is no room for error for 5-star authors. We need to trust our authors to deliver error-free work. On top of all the previous items, what writing skills can 4-star authors improve on?

Many authors have asked, “What's the difference between a 4 and a 5?” There is no room for error for 5-star authors. We need to trust our authors to deliver error-free work. On top of all the previous items, what writing skills can 4-star authors improve on?

1. Overblown Style and Vocabulary
Using a 10-point word every once in a while is not a problem. When your entire article on farming is five-syllable words, you've lost your audience. Your writing comes off as overdone. There's also a high likelihood that you've chosen words with an inappropriate connotation for the context. See George Orwell's 5 Rules for Effective Writing.

2. Hyphenation
Compound adjectives, like well-written, well-dressed and under-staffed, are hyphenated. A lack of a hyphen can lead to confusion on what is being described.

3. Use punctuation to enhance your message, not to distract readers from it. 
-Using parentheses distances you from the things you're saying. They are extremely distracting to the reader and can cause grammar errors. Is what you're saying pertinent to the article? If so, incorporate it into the sentence normally. 85% of the time, this can be done with our friend the comma. If the information is not pertinent, remove it.
-Dashes are strong breaks for readers. Use them sparingly to give emphasis when it's truly needed. 
-Advanced writers tend to use “marketing” capitalization. Words in all capitals are read as a shout. If your words and phrasing are proper and tight, you won't need all-caps to carry your meaning. A sentence doesn't POP – that's screaming. A sentence pops, just like popcorn. 
Only capitalize the first letter of a word if it is the first word in the sentence, a proper noun or required by the client. If the client's keyword is “Lawnmower Services,” then the sentence should be “Greg's Lawnmower Repair offers speedy Lawnmower Services.” If the keyword is “Greg's Lawnmower Repair,” leave “lawnmower services” lower case. Refer to the AP Stylebook for capitalization of official bodies, titles and other capitalization questions.

4. Sentence flow and consistency
Check your articles for awkward phrasing, introductions that don't match the main clause of the sentence and inconsistent lists. Inconsistent means that your phrasing changes for at least one item in your list. Here's an example of an inconsistent list: I use my office for writing articles, studying grammar, and to check my e-mail. “Etc.” is usually superfluous at the end of a list. Adding it changes the tone of the sentence, so avoid it where possible.

5. Meaningful content and no fluff
One selling point for a 5-star order is that the author can manipulate the language so well that their writing compels readers to take action, whether it's signing up for a newsletter or buying a product. Your articles should have structure, minimal fluff and a strong conclusion. The definition of fluff is the subject of another post.


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Comments

2187285 23. August 2014 - 17:53

Does this plugin still work?

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5193 27. February 2015 - 5:30

Very useful information. Thank you.

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