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10 Resources To Upgrade Your Grammar And Writing Skills

10 Resources To Upgrade Your Grammar And Writing Skills

English grammar is something that is treasured by everyone. We all want to improve on our grammar skills so that we are able to communicate with some level of mastery. Being able to construct grammatically correct sentences is not only seen as a skill but as a treasure that everyone yearns for. It is because of this that grammar lovers have created online channels that can help an individual enhance their English grammar skills so that they can be fluent when they speak the language. In addition to improving your grammar, the websites can also assist you while improving on your writing skills, so that you can dazzle people with your accurate and correctly constructed sentences.

So here’s a list of ten free online resources that can help an individual improve their English grammar and writing skills.

1. EssayMama’s Essay Writing Guide

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    The writing guide is perfectly suited for young writers and the students. The user community of this site is made up of persons who are just at the beginning of their writing experience and are most likely looking to get some basic information about English grammar and writing.

    With EssayMama’s Essay Writing Guide you can expect to gain a lot of tips and advice that is designed to ultimately help you improve both your grammar and writing skills. You’ll get practical pieces of advice that can help to boost your writing in a structural and grammatical sense. Despite the fact that the advice given is centred on essays, you can use it in any other writing and it will still work wonders.

    2. Grammar Monster

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    Grammar monster

      From the name itself, you cannot expect anything less than exquisite grammar lessons. With this website, the grammar lessons are broken down into easy-to-use chunks so that an individual can be able to digest the content. Are you someone with a smattering of English writing and grammar knowledge and are looking forward to improving on the same? If so, then this is the ideal website that will answer all your needs.

      Even if you are well advanced in your skills, you can still use this website as a platform where you can check your skills to see if indeed you are on the right track. The resource also offers users an opportunity where they get to remind themselves of some concepts that may have slipped them. The best part about this online resource is that it is available for free and can be used by both adults and children.

      3. Guide to Grammar and Writing

      guide to grammar and writing

        The resource material that is available here is great. If you are looking for a much more detailed approach to your English grammar, then you need to use this particular online resource. It guarantees you accurate and helpful information on your grammar and writing skills.

        The most disappointing thing about the resource is that it somehow presents individuals with difficulties in as far as navigation is concerned. This feature has only limited the usage of this resource to only the experienced learners. The fact that it is more or less like reading a book on grammar means that some people may have quite a hard time reading through. However, if you have a few hours within a week to dedicate to this online resource, you are likely to gain a lot more than by using other resources.

        4. The Writing Centre for Writing Studies

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        center for writing studies

          As one of the most advanced online resource available for learners, The Writing Centre for Writing Studies is an ideal match for individuals who are into studying specific English styles and functions. The resource is very detailed and contains materials that are also applicable to the beginners or rather the inexperienced young writers. The resource can allow you to conduct some in-depth research about English concepts, read on the basics of speech, writing and how you can relate the two.

          5. Using English

          usingenglish

            Individuals who have English as their second language are best advised to make the most of this online resource. The resource is particularly ideal when it comes to helping learners test their own skills.

            Perhaps the most standout section in this entire online resource is the English reference section. The resource comes equipped with a list of English Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, Grammar Glossary, and English Irregular Verbs. For someone who is not a native speaker, these reference sections are very important when they are introduced into the language. With Using English, you get an opportunity to learn about things that your tutors are not going to teach you.

            6. Exam Time

            examtime

              The range of quizzes is what makes this website amazing for learners. Apart from that, the rest of the website can be quite annoying. Exam Time was designed for individuals who are known to be good at revising content using quizzes. The website is designed in such a way that most of the problems found in the web page revolve around website loading and sketchy content. In case you are more of a research person, Exam Time will not cut it for you. To make the most of this website, you may opt to use it as a supplementary resource.

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              7. Get Revising

              getrevising

                This website offers assistance to both the young and the older learners. The website is designed in such a way that it starts by providing information and advice to the younger students and the inexperienced group who are known to have limited English skills. From here, it goes all the way up to the persons who are studying English in college and university. The website is a hub in as far as finding new studying ways is concerned and also goes a long way in helping both the young and the old improve their English skills.

                8. Study Guides and Strategies

                studygs

                  Beginners don’t have to bother themselves with this website. Study Guides and Strategies is specifically designed for individuals who are known to have plenty of English writing skills and are now looking to further improve on their skills. The website does not only focus on raw knowledge, it goes a step further and provides the learner with amazing concepts that will ultimately help them improve their learning skills.

                  You can learn a lot form this website which includes providing you with studying help, and helping you with classroom learning. What this resource will do for you is that it will help you become a better learner and a better writer at the same time. It adapts an unusual approach to learning which turns out to be very effective to individuals looking to succeed.

                  9. English Practice

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                  english practice

                    The name itself suggests that you can expect to learn a lot from this website. What this website will do for you is that it will grant you full access to all the English exercises that are ideal when practicing. This is not a place where you get to learn your basic English skills; instead you can use the platform to test and improve them. Only look at this website when you are in a position where you feel like you have learned enough and are ready to get on with the exams or are in a better position of making your first novel totally correct. Use this website to identify your weak spots by testing yourself so that you can be able to improve your grammar.

                    10. A Research Guide

                    a research guide

                      This website is perfectly suited for individuals who know how to write essays and are looking to earn some extra points on the same. The website explains to you the different sections found in an essay and shows you how you can correctly create the different sections. With A Research Guide, you are rest assured that the content you’ll be creating will be in line with what your professor expects from you. In addition to that, the website also contains literature guides that normally have to be paid for.

                      English grammar is something that is cherished and therefore the matter should be addressed with the much needed serious level. Remember that it is only through practice that an individual can be able to perfect their English skills.

                      Featured photo credit: Girl Writing in a Diary via picjumbo.com

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                      The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                      The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                      It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

                      Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

                      “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

                      In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

                      New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

                      There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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                      So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

                      What is the productivity paradox?

                      There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

                      In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

                      He wrote in his conclusion:

                      “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

                      Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

                      How do we measure productivity anyway?

                      And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

                      In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

                      But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

                      In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

                      But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

                      Possible causes of the productivity paradox

                      Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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                      • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
                      • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
                      • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
                      • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

                      There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

                      According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

                      Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

                      The paradox and the recession

                      The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

                      “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

                      This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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                      According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

                      Looking forward

                      A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

                      “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

                      Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

                      “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

                      On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

                      Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

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