All posts by kiddcicero

No one is too busy to learn grammar and writing skills when its fun

Greetings,

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Would you please examine an idea for helping ordinary people communicate more effectively?
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Newspapers and magazines could teach grammar and writing skills to both grade school dropouts and college graduates by changing short stories into grammar puzzles. After all, people love good stories and clever puzzles,,,  when they can solve them.  Hopefully the following instructions will entice some short story writers into becoming a teacher with no students to discipline.  (If you are a short story writer, you may want to turn my idea into a career by writing a never ending series of weekly short stories about the same group of characters.  Sort of like the lovable characters in a daily comic strip.)  But I will need help from newspaper and magazine customers to convince the newspaper and magazine editors that the demand curve will be big enough to make the supply curve profitable.  To show how much fun and educational the puzzles can be, a small grammar puzzle has been included at the end of this webpage.  The puzzle will explain how non-fiction writers can make studying more enjoyable than learning. 
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The first three sections in a short story-grammar puzzle won’t have any capitalization, punctuation, or paragraph indentations.  Correcting these mistakes will be enjoyable to do because it will be so easy to do.  Which should make people feel intelligent and inspire them to do the much more difficult fourth section.  However, the first three sections will also force people to look at words and sentences more carefully than they normally do.  And that kind of studying is very similar to the studying that real writers do when they edit their work.  And when someone has learned how to edit their own writing, they have also learned how to write.   
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The second section will also have some words and phrases misplaced in some sentences.  This mixture of good and bad sentences will make readers more alert when they find a sentence with no errors.  They won’t believe their eyes and they will have to reread the sentence very carefully.   More important though, the learning curve is never completed until people have learned from their mistakes.  The mistakes seem to produce stronger connections in their brains.  And even though people will probably learn more form correcting their own mistakes, they may make the same mistake a thousand times or more before realizing that they are making a mistake/  So they will need this section to help them learn faster with someone else’s mistakes.  
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The third section won’t have any misplaced words or phrases but some sentences in most paragraphs will be misplaced.  Naturally, the second and third sections could be made more enjoyable with a simple rule of never misplacing the first word of a sentence or the first sentence of a paragraph.  These rules will give readers clues for learning how to edit someone else’s writing.   In fact, the grammar puzzles could also serve as an experiment for how grade schools and high schools should teach writing and grammar.  Teachers could develop their own supply of age appropriate grammar puzzles by saving some of their previous students’ essays.  Or they could buy scientifically selected samples of writing that needs to be rewritten from a textbook publisher.  
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The fourth section will have all of the capitalization, punctuation, and paragraphs put back in.  Most people will be very excited to look at real sentences after three sections of tedious editing.  And this section can be twice as large as any one of the previous sections because it will be the most important section.  That is because some of the sentences in most paragraphs will have grammatical errors or just be badly written.  These mistakes shouldn’t be hard for the author to create because they could come from his earlier drafts of the story.  But the errors will be much harder to fix than the errors from the other sections.  Therefore the reader will learn much more from this penultimate section.  For extra profit, or more cruelty, some words will be misspelled.  
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The fifth section will be a movie script for the short story’s climax.  That will change the final section into a happy ending for most people because they won’t have to do any work.  Instead of trying to write an original prose version of the script, the other sections should be hard enough for most people, they will dream about how they can become a writer and make millions of dollars with just one novel or movie script.  True, this will almost never happen.  But as part time students of grammar and writing, they will become connoisseurs of the short story and will enjoy reading short stories in many other formats.  Moreover, their dreams about making a lot of money should make them want to buy another newspaper or magazine with the next grammar puzzle.  
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Then for another extra profit, a newspaper or magazine could publish booklets with grammar puzzles in five chapters.  The stories in these novellas will be printed in two versions.  The first version will be printed on the odd numbered pages with the same sequence of errors for a newspaper grammar puzzle and the second error free version will be printed upside down on the even numbered pages.  This second version should be entertaining for children because learning how to read upside down could improve their spelling.  In addition, the format for the booklets can be used for publishing non-fiction booklets.  These mini-books could make boring topics like American History very entertaining for children and adults because fifth section will actually make studying more enjoyable than learning.  But instead of a movie script for American History, the readers will be given a comprehensive outline for each chapter.  Why this will be more entertaining than a movie script will be explained in the final paragraph of the following grammar puzzle.  
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Stanley Krauter  
Lincoln, Nebraska  68508  
stanleykrauter @ yahoo dot com
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  • Two paragraphs with no capitalization, punctuation, or paragraph indentation
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good students take notes during class and highlight important words and sections in their textbooks so every textbook and non fiction book should include blank pages in the back that can be used for taking notes while reading then next to the blank pages there should be a one page outline for each chapter so everyone can study the simulated notes that the author took while writing the book or textbook and because most people are right handed the blank pages should be on the even numbered pages and the outlines on the odd numbered pages this notebook workbook chapter will enable everyone to study more effectively while people with a reading problem will be able to read more effectively as for the highlights and notes that good students are currently putting in their textbooks these will be much less effective than the notes written in the back of a textbook or a non fiction book because their highlights and marginalia are spread out over hundreds of pages and are hard to study with everything for a chapter put on a single page on the other hand students and ordinary readers will be able to concentrate much longer at connecting the dots while looking at their notes or the authors outlines during this staring contest they can repeatedly refresh their minds by alternately connecting the chapters dots and thinking absentmindedly which will be a very good studying technique because memories grow stronger when intense concentration is repeatedly combined with contemplative rest its also better for creative thinking 
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  • Two paragraphs with misplaced words in some sentences — the first word of a sentence will never be misplaced
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and even though it might sound irrational sentences are essential for learning but notes and outlines are better for studying this why is taking notes in the back of a book combined with each chapter a one page outline for will be more effective than taking notes with one page summaries for each chapter if someone feels like he is rereading a book when he is looking at his notes or an outline he will be creating sentences in his mind that is a much more active form of rereading than studying someone else’s sentences the ability to take notes while reading is also going to make people stay alert more it takes very little effort to quickly highlight some words or sentences it takes more time and thinking to select the words or best phrases for writing notes that will accurately represent a fact or concept to be specific students and readers have to understand what they are reading before they can write notes about it a process that will make it easier for them to remember what are they learning moreover people with a reading problem may be helped the most with a notebook workbook in non fiction books and textbooks normal people read multiple can chapters or even an entire book in sitting a single but reading a single chapter can be an exhausting struggle for other people and reading an entire book will be similar to climbing a mountain with no rest to places but writing notes on the blank pages will give them places to rest their minds while climbing the mountain and the time spent memorizing facts and concepts from the outlines or their notes will give them more resting places however if a chapter outline starts on one page and finishes on another, this will make it harder to concentrate on all the important concepts for that chapter so a non fiction book or textbook with twenty should have twenty with twenty chapters blank pages pages of outlines or it can have ten blank pages and ten pages of outlines then if the table of contents is printed both in the front of the book and on just one page in the back of the book and the author uses subtitles or pavlovian nouns in the chapters they will be able to concentrate on studying an entire book in a single sitting     
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  • two paragraphs with misplaced sentences — the first sentence of a paragraph will never be misplaced
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in addition bad students could be stimulated to do more learning and studying with blank pages and outlines in the back of their textbooks for their first reading they can quickly highlight the important concepts with their third reading they can compare their highlights and their notes with the authors outlines and then write on very large sticky notes a first draft essay on just one topic in the chapter during their second reading they will casually review what they highlighted and write notes on the blank pages it may take several sticky notes because the essay should be as large as an essay for a final exam question and the sticky notes should be saved for the fourth step by pasting them on top on the notes on the blank pages all of these steps would be very compatible with the bad study habits of many students with blank pages and outlines on the other hand a student can study in steps that are small enough to be done in short periods of time they usually dont study long enough or often enough to be successful each step will also be different enough to make repetition easier to do any class attendance and note taking would surely reinforce their improved study habits as for the fourth step reviewing the first draft essays right before the final exam even if a student wrote essays for only two or three chapters will make both a bad student and a good student become better writers furthermore even good students could increase how much they learn in their literature classes if colleges would use fiction books that had blank pages and outlines in the back some supposedly great works of literature are so incredibly boring that they can only be read by changing the book into a speech that is read aloud with no one listening while this may also sound crazy it will still be more productive than not reading the book and by writing notes during or after his speech a reader can be stimulated to reread selected passages in the normal fashion then he will learn much more than what he learned while reading the book as a speech then the reader can concentrate on reading the words without trying to understand the concepts if a student also wants to practice giving a real speech by reading the fiction book aloud he can create a podium by buying a music stand and use it once a month to pretend that he is giving a speech with real people listening so it can be done if a person wants to do it before the invention of radio and television people used to entertain themselves by reading literature aloud in front of their friends and families reading aloud is also a studying technique that parents can inspire their children to imitate by doing at home when their children can hear them    
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  • three paragraphs with badly written sentences and grammatical errors and misspelled words  
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Readers could also be stimulated by subtitles in a non-fiction book to take more notes if the subtitles for a chapter are also printed in a blurb at the start of the chapter and in the table of contents in the back of the book and in the chapter outlines.  Readers will be motivated subconsciously by the blurb at the start of the next chapter to go quickly to the back of the book to thoroughly review the table of contents in the back of the book and/or the chapter outline.  There they can review both the subtitles and other facts and concepts that are related to the subtitles.  And seeing the blank space on the opposite page should create an opportunity to write some notes.  The more opportunities they have to write notes, or to just look at the outlines, the more likely they will be to study.  But if a writer or his editor don’t like subtitles, the first sentence of each section in a chapter should start with a noun or noun phrase.  (just like this paragraph started with the noun Readers)  These pavlovian nouns can serve as substitutes for subtitles.  They will also be shorter than most subtitles and therefore easier to include in the table of contents in the back of the book and in the chapter outlines.  Naturally, the first sentence of a chapter should never start with a noun.  This will enable the name of the chapter to become the Pavlovian Noun for the chapter.

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For an improvement in the front of non-fiction books, the introduction should be written in only five or six pages and in columns narrow as columns in newspaper.  This will make the introduction short enough for potential customers reading when they are standing in a book store or sitting at their computer.  Which is the real reason why the introduction is called the Introduction.  Narrow columns will waste a lot of space but they are necessary to force writers to write short introductions with only one Big Idea.  And large white space will be a strong visual remender to readers that the author wrote a short introduction.  Then several years later, people be stimulated by a weak impulse to reread the Big Idea in the short introduction.  After rereading the five or six pages, many people will be inspired to reread the entire book.  And reading a book a second time, or even a third time, is better than reading it only one time. 
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And finally, studying can become more enjoyable than learning because learning is harder than studying.  If learning was easy, we wouldn’t have to hire teachers to make it less hard.  But we wouldn’t punish so many students if studying was enjoyable.  Like people with reading problem, students and ordinary readers need places to rest their mind when they are learning and studying.  They need blank pages and chapter outlines in the back of their books.  They also need to be able to review an entire book just by looking at the table of contents in the back of the book.  Study could become even easier and therefore more enjoyable if authors would simply weave memonic tricks into their tables of contents and outlines.  Also, a book immediately becomes more valuable to a reader when he writes a single note on a blank page.  And studying his note or notes can be more enjoyable than studying the author’s table of contents and outlines because the note(s) were created by him.  It can be very exciting to create new ideas.  With blank pages, most readers will be stimulated to write more notes and create new ideas.
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