express yourself
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The Personal Essay

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What is a personal essay? YWP defines it as a piece that focuses on an insight, realization or belief about life that is significant to the writer. We believe that all good personal essays should include narrative, that is a story about a significant event -- this is what draws the reader in -- and can include what is called memoir, that is discussion of a significant relationship between the writer and an object, person or place....
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Academy: College Essay Tips

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Do a search on "college essay tips" and you will be inundated with advice. Here are some highlights:

1. Brainstorm. Think. Give yourself time and space to consider what you want to write.

2. Make a list of all ideas, good and not-so-good. Think again. Consider which ones you should hang on to and which ones you should toss. Toss freely. Only the strong survive this exercise.

3. Don't cram, so there's no reason to panic...
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FAQ

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Do you have questions? We have answers!
(If there is a question you do not see answered here, contact GG at [email protected] or send him a private message OR, put a comment to the right.)


THE COMMUNITY

Who...
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2017 Community Leaders

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Young Writers Project is proud to share with you the Community Leaders of this site, youngwritersproject.org.

These artists have been selected because of the energy and effort they put into this community, the quality of their work, the quality and quantity of their commenting and their expertise. We also look at the number of Community Points these users have. Most are long-time members. While we don't identify them by their real names, many of you may...
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Grammar Resources

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People are more likely to hold onto grammar rules if they learned them in a fun, easy to comprehend way. Here are some fun and creative grammar resources.

Websites

The Yuniversity 
This website is a treasure trove. It has grammar rules covering punctuation, syntax, spelling, and more. They even have essay writing resources. Plus, they post SAT words everyday with easy to...
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Editing Process

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Editing and revising a piece can be one of the hardest parts of writing. Yet, it is one of the most important stages of writing. Here is a suggested process to help you organize yourself when editing. 

1. Read your piece to yourself to find big problems. 
       When editing, let yourself be the first set of eyes. ONLY look at big picture items. Things such as topic/theme consistency, relevancy, clarity, voice, tone, imagery, order, message, and length are often...
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Basic Grammar: Punctuation

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Most people avoid learning about grammar like it's a 2:00pm test on a Friday. Yet, grammar is not only important for making your work polished and professional, but it's important in terms of comprehension as well. Here are five basic punctuation rules you should know. 
  1. The apostrophe. The common mistake people make with the apostrophe is that they use it to show that something is plural. The apostrophe should actual be used to show possession in a...
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Commenting -- Overview

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Commenting -- or exchanging feedback -- is an important part of the Young Writers Project community. This is where you can learn the strengths and flaws of your work or where you can get, simply, some affirmation. The exchange of feedback builds community and, frankly...

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Basic Recording Tips

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When recording someone, or yourself, there are a few tips that will make your experience go that much smoother. (NOTE: Check the ACADEMY to see if there are any audio workshops underway. You can jump in anytime.)

Renting. If you have a smartphone, you can easily record with that. And there are plenty of free apps for that. But if you want to have a slightly higher quality recording, many people opt to use an actual audio recorder. You can...
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Presenting

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Presenting can be scary. Whether you are giving a speech, doing stand-up, or reading a creative writing piece you wrote, it can be nerve-wracking. Almost everyone gets stage fright, even actors. But, knowing some helpful tips can get you through your presentation, and help you deliver it with a greater sense of confidence. 

Try these tips:
...
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Grammar Strategies

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The English language is complex, so it can be hard to keep all those rules in your head. You need a strategy.

Try these grammar strategies:
 
  • Catch phrases. People use odd phrases to help them memorize things. The phrase My Very Elderly Mother Just Sat on Uncle Ned can help you memorize the order of the planets. You can do the same to help you memorize grammar. For instance, F.A.N.B.O.Y.S stands for each word that can...
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Photojournalism

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Photography you use in newsmedia articles — plays by different rules than photography you do for artistic purposes. You have to be respectful, you need to respect the basic integrity of the photos (no dramatic altering of your photos via a photo editing software) and you need to be careful not to show a bias. 

Gathering Information. In any situation where you are gathering information from someone -- even if for a project that will only be seen in a private venue...
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Basic Grammar: Words

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An often very confusing part of writing is when to use what word and where to use it. More than once you've probably had someone tell you, "You said that wrong!" Here are a few common usage/grammar rules that often get mixed up by writers.

1. You and I vs. You and me. People have a hard time remembering which phrase you are supposed to say and when. To learn this rule, you just need to remember your subject pronouns and object pronouns. 

THE RULE...
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Details: Concrete vs. Abstract

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We want our writing to feel genuine, and to connect with our readers to the point where they can visualize our words in their heads. A great way to learn to connect to readers through writing is by understanding the difference between concrete and abstract details. A concrete detail/image, most of the time, will engage your reader, and make them have that visual and deep reaction to your writing. 

Concrete vs Abstract. A concrete detail/image is one that is grounded...
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Free Write -- Rationale

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Writing is like panning for gold or hunting for diamonds. If you get good at it, you gain a skill needed to succeed, to gain confidence, to fully participate in any learning activity and to be active in community life -- If you can express yourself, you are more apt to participate. Simple as that.

But learning to write well takes practice.

Your YWP digital classroom platform is a great space for students to practice -- to experiment, to play, to focus. Just about...
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Questions for Editing

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Editing your piece of writing is not about making sure the grammar or spelling is correct (save that for when you proofead the draft that for you is final); it's about making sure that the content is at its full potential.

In your first big edit of a piece of work, you want to make sure that you know -- and are conveying -- the main point, as in why you're writing this piece. It may take a few revisions to fully unearth the main concept. (Remember: The secret to...
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Free Write -- Tips

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A note from Geoffrey Gevalt, YWP Founder and award-winning journalist:

Sometimes, when you sit down to write, you can't see the trees for the forest. When, in fact, you're looking for the light. That one sparkling idea.

And it doesn't come. 

And that's why Young Writers Project has long believed that challenges, or prompts, offer you, the writer, a safety net. Can't think of something to write about? No burning issue? No startling...
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Setting -- Examples

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Photo of Toni Morrison, The Guardian, 2009

Sometimes, the best resource is to see how others do it. Notice how the following passages (from a couple of GG's favorite books) help evoke mood and tone and provide important details for the story -- all through setting. They also show how easily the setting floats into character development and/or  storytelling:
 

Beloved by Toni Morrison

124 was...