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“I also turn down work because of my stand on honesty, integrity, and quality.
Authenticity and originality are my primary goals in everything I do.
To do less is to diminish me as a person, and brand. ”
—- Robert Medak
There are many job boards and opportunities for academic writers. I have chosen to never write academic articles.
You would probably ask me why?
For me, it is about a moral code I developed decades ago. I believe strongly in honesty, integrity, and quality.
If I were to write an academic paper and a student were to turn it in as an assignment: He/She has plagiarized. It isn’t his work.
He/She hasn’t learned anything. This is the purpose of an academic paper. Research and fact finding thus gaining experience and knowledge.
He/She has not learned how to rely on themselves.
He/She is taking the easy way out by cutting corners.
Even the possibility of academic articles being used for this purpose is enough for me to have no desire to write academic articles.
A number of years ago while in college, I wrote a paper on Microwave Vaccum Tubes. I designed an electronic schematic showing all formulas concerning the parts list and how I derived the values for the components.
There were reasons that this work was assigned. What would I have learned if I had ordered an academic paper?
I also did a review of a book for a political science course taken for my major.
These were for separate courses that showcased my work, not someone else, the grades received were earned my me.
By doing the work I proved that I am not part of the almost 50 percent of today’s freshmen applying to community college must be remediated because they are unable to perform college-level work.
Businesses are spending 3.1 billion dollars a year remediating employees because colleges students do not have adequate communication and math skills for today’s businesses.
Being an old-school grammarian, there are times when visiting websites, readers should be appalled by the grammar and punctuation errors, verb-subject agreement, and poor writing.
Granted, that typos are impossible to catch everyone. The point is, that before anything is posted to the internet or any media it should be thoroughly edited and proofread.
Read and you will find words being used that show a lack of the basic understanding of English.
Where have native English speakers learned that it is okay to use learnt when they mean learned?
Just because a word has been added to a lexicon doesn’t mean it should be used instead of the proper word.
Social media and texting is the downfall of proper English, I can’t speak for other languages since I don’t speak any.
How are your communication and math skills?
Do you read?
Do you practice your communication and math skills?
Do you spend time expanding your vocabulary?
Through the use of judicious use of proper English for verbal and written communication will help in clear and concise communication to establish what the communicator is trying to say and have it understood whoever hears or reads it.
© 10/24/2016 All Rights Reserved
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader,and Reviewer
Are Tomorrow’s Leaders of Business, Journalism, and Politics Ready to Communicate Effectively. What about Tomorrow’s Authors?
Think about this, the students in middle school today will be tomorrow’s leaders. Shouldn’t we prepare them for the world ahead?
You only need to visit the Internet and most social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others to recognize that command of written English is losing ground. There are typos, shorthand, and errors on sites that offer us news, educational and technical information for consumers, hobbyists, and the general public. Would you trust someone whose communication skills are lacking?
US News and World Report, “How to Fix America’s College Remediation Issue – More than half of community college freshmen are told they aren’t ready for college-level work.”
An Inc.com article about remediation, “Report shows more than $3.1 billion is being spent annually on remedial writing training.”
The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy’s article by John Maguire, “Why Many College Students Never Learn How to Write Sentences.”
There is a movement, if it is, I choose to be a hoax, or not to eliminate the teaching of cursive writing being taught in schools. Parents should check their child’s curriculum and verify that cursive handwriting is being taught to their child or take it upon themselves to request it of the school district. If that fails, it is the parents’ duty to teach their child cursive handwriting.
Check out this article by about cursive handwriting in The Washington Post’s article, “Cursive handwriting is disappearing from public schools.
Are college standards being dumbed down to accommodate students as this article states? Remediation and the Dumbing Down of Campus Standards article by Paul Trout, English MSU-Bozeman.
Who is at Fault for the high need of Remediation of High School Graduates?
There is more than enough blame to go around from parents who don’t look at their child’s homework, teachers who are over-worked and underpaid, bilingual education which exacerbates not assimilating into English, core standards, the government’s no child left behind report sent to President Regan and the Department of Education to the rewriting of books that the far right in America is trying to do to the point of ignoring history so as to not offend someone. There are some that still deny some history like the holocaust and genocide conducted by governments to various religions. There is an old quote, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Originally attributed to George Santayana.
Another thought, The United States of America stands as the only industrialized nation without a designated language. That’s right, although English is taught in schools, the United States Congress has never passed a bill to make English the designated language. There have been many bills generated to create a designated language, no bill has ever made it to the desk of the President of the United States for signature.
The dumbing down of standards actually began in the 1960s with the emphasis on test scores rather than actual learning how to study, writing, reading, math and science. There was more emphasis on test scores than learning what students need for the real world like learning how to comprehend what they read in their textbooks and basic computation and communication skills.
With both parents required to work to survive the new economic reality, some have scant time to make parent teachers meetings that were held in the 1940s and 1950s when one parent could afford to stay home. Parents not checking the curriculum of their children and involved in what was being taught to their child.
The statistics about reading are abysmal, most parents and children do not read other than what is required for a class and nothing more, the loss of reading comprehension and reading level is one reason for remediation of college freshmen. How can one develop reading comprehension if they don’t read to gain both comprehension and vocabulary expansion?
How can parents who don’t read expect their children read?
In the 1940s and 50s
Students were held to higher academic standards for extra-curricular activities. There were dress codes, children showed respect to teachers and administrators. Misbehavior was dealt with swiftly. Parents were kept abreast of their children’s discipline and behavior misdeeds.
This does not mean corporal punishment but sent to a separate classroom allowing the class to continue learning. The use of school detention with a note to the parents was the rule of the day.
Parents were more involved with their child’s education.
Is your child’s school offering parent-teacher conferences and do you attend?
All schools should hold parent-teacher conferences. Parents should demand to speak to their child’s teacher(s) and work at helping their child with core knowledge in reading comprehension, writing, math, and science. If their child is lacking in a specific area, asking the teacher for more work or requesting how a parent can help their child is in order.
Ultimately, the concept of solid core education is what will help the child in the future when they are ready for college to not have to be remediated to handle college-level textbooks and writing assignments. Some courses require blue book tests where the student must write a short essay dealing with the question on a test while others may require a term paper.
In college, part of a student’s grade is how well they can communicate in writing to explain a position or concept related to the course matter.
Written and oral communication is important for everyday intercourse but more so in the college environment.
A person’s command of writing and vocabulary strength are requirements for their ability to clearly express and explain their meaning at work or in classroom discussions with their college professor.
You or your child can build a larger vocabulary by the simple act of reading and use of a lexicon for words that are unclear, unknown or unusual to find their meaning and proper usage.
Reading not only helps you and your child, you also help authors by purchasing their book, checking out a book at your local library and posting a review. If you enjoy a specific book, please be kind enough to tell your friends why you liked it and recommend that they read the book. They might recommend a book for you to read that they enjoyed reading. Spreading the word at the office is an excellent way to practice oral communication skills and public speaking albeit one-on-one building interpersonal skills comfort.
We all need to practice or upgrade our basic communication skills unless we begin to backtrack on our abilities and failing to maintain our written and oral communication with others. Practicing also helps the continual growth of our vocabulary to make our meaning clear and concise to the person you are communicating with to understand your meaning as clearly as you think you are presenting the information in your mind.
Practice and preparation are the two main ingredients in communicating your thoughts to readers and through interpersonal intercourse among friends, teachers, and business associates. This also leads to being comfortability when communicating orally and in your writing.
Nathaniel Hawthorne said it best about written communication, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”
There is no substitute for learning the basic core skills of reading, writing, math and science to create a will rounded intelligent person able to communicate with others and not be misunderstood.
Think about it and share your opinion in the comments.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning branding and marketing.
The Otolaryngologist that made the diagnoses called it and idiopathic syndrome rather than a disease.
Whatever name you assign, Meniere’s is what it is, and the associated symptoms are there and easy to recognized for a specialist.
There are four symptoms present themselves to reach the diagnoses of Meniere’s. They may not all occur unless you are unfortunate to have all four present as I did at the time.
There is no cure for Meniere’s, only learning to live with it.
The four symptoms of Meniere’s are as follows:
- Spinning vertigo – The sensation of the world trying to spin or rotate which is how it looks through one’s eyes and being unable to orient the horizon. The sensation of being unable to hold balance standing or walking, nausea and vomiting are also possible during a spinning vertigo attack connected to Meniere’s.
- A feeling of fullness in the ear – This is a sensation of one’s ear having something like an abundance of wax or as through someone poured a compound into the ear to make a mold of the inner ear.
- Hearing loss – Usually the lower frequencies and the rest garbled to the point of being unintelligible. The hearing loss may be temporary or permanent. Hearing aids are a waste of money because all they do is increase volume not replace the frequencies lost.
- Tinnitus – Commonly called ringing in the ear affected. Tinnitus level may be soft to loud depending on factors such as diet, overall health, and proper rest. Most medications for tinnitus may work for some but not everyone is the same.
Items like caffeine and aspartame can aggravate Meniere’s as well as some foods. It is up to each individual to create a lifestyle meal plan to reduce the frequency of symptom occurrence.
Meniere’s is a life sentence without a cure but management comes from taking responsibility for and accepting that lifestyle is the only way to manage any diagnoses of conditions such as B12 deficient anemia, Diabetes, Gout, Meniere’s, Neuropathy or supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). Along with diet medications to control symptomology of these conditions, any medication prescribed taken as directed by the prescribing physician.
Don’t think that since you are taking medication that you don’t need to alter your present lifestyle. You need to follow your doctor’s orders and chose to live a healthy lifestyle consisting of diet, exercise, lose weight if necessary, quit smoking, moderate alcohol and caffeine use, and rest.
Take it from one living with many medical conditions that have cropped up with age and an unhealthy lifestyle for more years than I should have.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing
Being retired and living on a fixed income I don’t have the funds for other than DIY learning. One can read all the books in the world and practice but not learn the nuances of writing for readers, according to Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Easy reading is damn hard writing”. I am willing to put in the time to learn but some feedback in a course would be immense help in furthering my passion for the written word and possibly helping others in their writing journey, as I believe in paying it forward and do not believe that age should be a factor in one’s desire to be a writer.
I write reviews, blog, and answer any questions about freelancing or writing that I can and resource for what I don’t know all in an effort to pay it forward.
I like editing and reading. I would love to be a better writer, suffer from the dreaded inner critic, and build confidence in what I write with the goal on capturing the reader’s attention for a blog post, article, or daring to dream of the possibility of writing a story someday.
The real question is “Why do I Want to Write?”
For me, it is not a question of why, it is more that fact that I need to write for my own sanity. Something special calms the inner beast when the creative muse visits and allows me to exercise the mind and the creative juices deep within the recesses of the soul. When I am out driving, putting out the trash, lying in bed, or just about anywhere I am, thoughts of lines or plots just seem to come out of nowhere. When I am out running errands or just out with my wife, I notice people, places, and things that may be something to focus on for a story or poem.
I feel the need to write just as we need to breathe to live. Writing is life, life is writing; they cannot be separated. When I am not writing, I get depressed. There something about the solitude of being at one with nothing but language and how to use it to elicit emotions and thoughts by how the words are used that the reader can relate to and experience from the words on a page as they read the story created by the author.
To be able to write something that is like a child in a way, and share the joy, sorrow, place and time of the story. To give the reader an escape from their life for a few minutes or hours, where they are transported via the magic carpet of words on a page is what I as a writer hope happens.
The poems I write are a slice of life as I see it through creative eyes. I wrote a poem about a specific thing, yet readers saw different concepts of what the poem was about for them. I feel I did my job. They each got something out of it as their life experiences led them to an emotion. That is what a poem should do as far as I am concerned. To put into words life experiences and have the reader relate in some way that makes them feel something. The same goes for prose.
It is by writing that the authors fulfill some inner sense of themselves. At least for me, I find a sense of calmness that nothing else brings quite the same feeling. When I am writing, the rest of the world disappears and a unique place and time enters in its place. It is this strange sense of calmness that rejuvenates the inner grounding of the soul. I have literally spent hours editing, reading or writing without any sense of time passing.
There are stories to entertain, cause discussions, escape the pressures of real life, and more that comes from reading the works of authors. In the fast-paced world we live in, there is nothing better than to take some time to read a good book. Being a voracious reader myself, I may be slightly biased.
I write, therefore I am a writer. I had a short story published in a local weekly the “Osborne Joy” in Osborne, Kansas. Does this make me a writer?
If you have read to this point, I appreciate your time and hope my writing has engaged you.
Why People Should Care about Net Neutrality
- In the United States, the loss of net neutrality is looming and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), which oversees licenses and regulations for technicians operating television stations, radio, cell phones, and armature radio technicians. The FCC is presently in the process of determining whether the Internet shall remain free (neutrality); or end users of the Internet should pay a fee to use it to the various Internet Service Providers (ISP).
- In the worst do nothing congress and house in history who seems to work on the demise of what was termed “middle class”. To allow politicians to dictate that end users of the Internet should have their Internet connection speeds determined by how much they are willing to pay the ISPs, is to reduce the quality of Internet to subscribers and what type of content they will receive depending strictly on dollars is idiotic. Mark Cuban (Of Shark Tank) has come out against allowing the government to control the Internet.
- If you are a cable subscriber, it does not take long to realize that there is no competition, but you must deal with a monopoly that supplies the cable service you must subscribe to if you desire digital services in your home, television, telephone, and Internet.
- Some companies are under legal action because their Internet speed is not what subscribers are paying for. Under net neutrality loss, ISPs could charge more for less, which means the subscriber gets the shaft while the ISP gets the money.
- More and more companies are buying other companies creating conglomerates, which offer the end user few options for ISPs than currently available. Mergers of companies into larger companies will make it harder as they vie for control of cable offerings and charging producing companies a higher percentage to carry their product and pass on more costs to the end user since they will have a monopoly in certain areas just as phone companies have for close to a century, monopoly by address.
- For other than large corporations and 1 percenters, the potential costs to the consumer could possibly price the solopreneur and small business out of the market to the point of losing out to corporations with their Internet speed and content. Web content in general might change the landscape of what the average consumer has access to, and thereby stifle entrepreneurship and the growth of small business that require the Internet for social media, and search engine optimization (SEO). The loss of net neutrality could affect blogs.
- Loss of net neutrality has the potential to cost people with smart phone to pay a premium for access to the Web. How is fighting for the end of net neutrality? Cable companies for one. If net neutrality is lost, all ISPs can charge whatever they want for access to information and at whatever speed the consumer is willing to pay. Loss of neutrality means that working poor, on a fixed income, an entrepreneur, or a small business will pay significantly higher rates to have adequate Internet for the speed.
Anyone that accesses the Internet should watch the FCC loosely about the subject of net neutrality. Also, contact your local and national representative and let them know how you feel about net neutrality.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing
“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne
There are numerous writing style guides, which writers must follow for specific writing assignments.
What type of writing assignment are you working on?
- Term Paper
These are only a few assignments freelance writer might be working on. Each has their own unique writing style.
Most journalists use the Associated Press and Briefing on Media Law (AP) style guide, but some newspapers have their own in-house style.
Book authors lean toward The Chicago Manual of Style.
Business and speechwriters would follow the American Management Association (AMA) style guide.
Most magazines have a style that can be determined by reading the specific magazine.
Style guides also have a preferred dictionary.
- Associated Press Style Guide uses the Webster’s New World College Dictionary as its reference.
- Council of Science Editors in Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers for sciences.
- The Chicago Manual of Style uses the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as its reference.
- Academic style uses the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers and does not specify a reference dictionary.
- Science style uses the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as its reference, also use the CSE.
- Technical writing would also use the APA style guide.
Today, there are almost as many style guides as there are disciplines:
- English and the Humanities (MLA)
- Government Documents
- History (Chicago)
- In-House Style
- Journalism (AP)
- Political Science
- Psychology and other Social Sciences (APA)
- Science and Technical Writing
- Social Work
- Web Writing (Google has a style it prefers.)
Can you think of others?
As you can see, depending on the writing assignment, a trip to the local library or bookstore might be in your future to obtain the proper style guide, or some search engine time finding style guides to assist you with your assignment.
If you are working with a client, what do they want could be something completely different.
If you have the bookcase shelf space, how many style guides do you need to write?
For most of what I do as a freelance writer, I use the Chicago style because it is the one I trained with. All writers are welcome to use any style guide, but will your writing work for specific purposes.
If you would like help making your copy better, a review of your copy, or have any questions about working with a freelancer, please use the contact form.
People often ask the question, “Can you reliably make a living freelance writing?”
The answer depends on many factors, and individual client needs.
First, freelance writers must educate clients what freelance writing is.
Some clients equate freelance writers with web designers wanting various languages such as Perl, Drupal, Joomla, building shopping carts, and more, this is programming, not freelance writing.
Other clients may request knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Adobe Pro, Quark, CRM, and CMS software, to name a few.
Newcomers to freelance writing will find it hard to acquire clients if they are not up to date on the various software programs listed above, and the software clients may be using in their business.
Freelance writers must have a working knowledge of copyright infringement, plagiarism, and the latest FTC rules if they work in the United States.
The quote below posted with permission from Tim McGuinness during a discussion about the question, “Can you reliably make a living freelance writing?”
”As a business that hires writers, you all need to understand the nature of the business models that now exist. When content became universal, it also lowered its value – not to me, but to the ultimate publishers of that content. In retail for example, the norm is to scrape content from other websites – retailers who consume vast amounts of content are not willing to pay much for it. If they can get duplicated content put up for $1 they will, until they get in trouble. What you all also need to understand it that a writer is just a part of a process – content production requires coordination, production management, quality assurance, and delivery mechanisms. These are all fixed costs, thus the writer makes less. There are still boutique projects out there, but increasingly, writing is a commodity job. You make as much as you produce. Sorry for the bad news, but this is the reality of the job now.” ~ Tim McGuinness, Ph.D.
Second, some clients specify work for writers in India, Philippines, and other non-native English countries around the world if you attempt to find jobs on the various job boards, which are content mills and can hurt reputations.
Competing against non-native English countries accepting low wages for assignments, do not quit your day job until you can continue living the lifestyle you are currently living.
It could take decades for you to become an overnight success as a newcomer to freelance writing and establishing a reputation as a quality writer.
Established writers have spent years building their reputation, many while working a day job and writing part-time until their writing could pay for their lifestyle. Established writers have credentials newcomers do not have, and must build by writing.
Building a portfolio of work takes time, hard work, education, writing, and patience.
Call me harsh, pessimistic, or overly critical, I prefer realist learning daily, while working on my PhD from the University of Hard Knocks.
Freelance writers must commit themselves to writing daily, learning new software, applying the rules of perfect grammar and punctuation in their writing to establish themselves as quality writers.
Freelance writers are entrepreneurs who must embody honesty, integrity, and quality along with transparency and authenticity in all they do.
A new form of marketing is building a business platform, networking, and building a following.
Writing is a business! One must spend the time and energy required to grow it into a successful enterprise. There are no short cuts if writers desire acceptance as serious writers of quality.
If you need help making your writing better or have any writing questions, please use my contact form and we will work together making your writing the best it can be.
The University of Hard Knocks teaches many lessons if one is open to learning.
At this stage of life, I have come to realize I just do not have the money needed to allow me to reach some of the goals I have set for myself. Therefore, I have made the decision to continue my writing journey while putting my services on the back burner; since I am not willing to create debt, I cannot afford to see what might happen, if anything does. It has not yet.
If I can help someone with my knowledge so their copy is the best it can be, I am more than happy to do so. There is no free lunch though, my services as editor writer will be available after proving how I might help a manuscript, or web copy.
I have always been inexpensive. For me, it is not about the money, but in helping someone to improve copy where needed.
I have edited manuscripts, worked as a copyeditor for Celebrity Café, written SEO web copy, ghostwritten articles, edited and written PR (Press Release).
Since my money is tight, DIY is the way I have been learning the intricacies of PR, marketing, book promotion, and freelancing from startup. The posts on this blog are about some of the lessons learned.
The posts are about being a freelancer, and running a business with limited funds. Unfortunately, my funds are limited to the point that I must apply my energy and time to the pursuit of my own writing.
I have writing projects that need my attention:
- A book about freelancing
- A book of quotes for writers
- A book of resources for writers
- A Sci-Fi with a hint of paranormal
- My four blogs
- Other subjects floating in my head
- Getting back to free verse
This post is neither a rant nor sour grapes about my life as you might think; it is a reality check by the person that is Robert Medak Freelance Writer, who tries to live a life of honesty, integrity, and a unique moral code, unique to me.
I try to live a life that has meaning for me, for I am the person that sees his reflection in the mirror every morning, faced with one provocative question, “Am I satisfied that I did my best the day before?”
Each day is a day to pay it forward and to help people rather than chase the “almighty buck.”
Can I improve my writing with each piece I write?
When I began writing, I would compare myself to other writers. That was a huge mistake on my part. I am an individual, and my writing will never be like someone else. That does however; mean that I should not strive to improve every time I put my posterior anatomy in the chair.
I can only compare me to myself, and I can demand I improve daily as a writer and a person.
Therefore, I shall move my writing to the front burner and work on my WIPs (Works In Progress).
If you need help making your copy better or have any questions, please use my contact form and we will work together.