Hi everybody, Only recently have I learned what verbs are. That's how limited my knowledge of writing is. Now I need to become a competent writer, to prepare myself for future philosophy classes. I need to clarify my half-formed thoughts through writing, get rid of any ambiguity, say what I mean and say it as well as I can. Maybe even learn parallel construction...(I should actually start applying what I learned no?) My lack of writing skills might be attributed to my dropping out of highschool a few years ago. So far I've read about 2/3 of "A grammar book for you and I, Oops Me" and bits and pieces of "On Writing Well". Soon I will quickly finish "A grammar book" and promptly start "Elements of Style". Of the books on writing I've read so far I prefer A grammar book. It's so much more rigorous and clearly presented than "On writing well". From it I've learned what nouns, verbs, prepositions etc. are and what purpose they serve, more general principles like swatting Be-verbs, preferring leaner phrases over clauses, and even more fundamental things like basic sentence construction, subordination and parallel construction. Not that "On Writing Well" didn't have its share of useful advice, choose your unities, write your lead well, narrow focus, warmth and humanity etc. I have had trouble applying all this theory though. It's a bit overwhelming cycling through everything I've learned and applying it to every sentence I write. What I've started doing is analyzing and taking apart random paragraphs of author's whose writing I think is well written. So I then make an outline on scratch paper: Preposition+adverb, preposition+adverb, preposition+ adverb, etc. And I try to write something about myself through that structure. It's very tedious. Right now I'm planning to buy Winston Churchill's "My Early Life", and cobbling together, based on his writing, a generic structure I can work with for the time being. Well I'm sure I've violated most of the kernels of writing that I've learned so far. ESPECIALLY the "re-writing is the essence of writing" one. Type type semd. Any tips and or pointers would be appreciated. Nice to meet you.