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Make the paragraph your basis of writing a larger work, and limit each paragraph to a specific topic. In fact, begin each paragraph with your topic sentence, thereby avoiding a succession of loose sentences. Choose a method of organizing your thoughts in advance, which will allow you to complete an essay or writing assignment with flair and a readable style.

Narration is normally presented in chronological order (through time). However, a good narrative contains more than just listing events in the order that they happened. Narration develops characters, describes a setting, entertains via a conflict, and ultimately a resolution. You don't just throw your story onto the page, you must have a point to the story.

Exposition is explanatory writing, presented with clarity, and credibility, often relying on a source for factual information, citing authorities who have good credentials or are experts in the subject. Meaning is found in the world, not in the dictionary. Bring the world into your story and use it to define your terms.

Descriptive paragraphs must avoid flat-out telling something. Adopt a strategy that makes your description into a story: move from far to near, left to right, old to new, or along any other natural flow. Try dropping in a dramatic revelation along the way, like you were watching a movie unfold. The main difficulty in description is that people can take in a scene almost instantly, but they read sequentially, in a series of small pieces.

Comparisons can be made easier by drawing out a 't-chart' on a blank piece of paper, to make certain you have enough elements to compare and contrast. List the two items being compared at the top, and all the differences and similarities you can think of that will be compared, on the left and right sides of your page. Finally, choose among your options to put together a decent comparison.

Process Analysis explains how to perform a series of actions, breaking the process down into a series of steps. Then, you arrange the steps into some sort of meaningful sequence. Perhaps ask a friend to read your analysis out loud to see if they can follow your directions easily.

Persuasion is the art of letting people make up their minds. More is required than just your opinion or personal sense of conviction. You need to equip the reader with information, analysis, and context, so they can form their own opinions, make judgments, and perhaps take action. Readers are primarily interested in their own opinions, so if you can help them formulate and deepen their understanding, they'll likely enjoy reading your article.

Word Roots

Learning the following word roots and prefixes are a fast way to strengthen your vocabulary. Given that a fluent English speaker must learn over 5,000 words, combining word-parts is a smart approach. Even if you don't know the meaning of a new word straight off, you can make an 'educated guess' if you only had a clue to the word root or prefix within the word.

Prefix or Word RootMeaningExample
a, ab/sfrom, away, offabstract
ambi, amphiboth, on both sides, aroundamphibian
ambulwalk, moveambulance
animlife, spiritanimal
antiagainst, opposite ofantibody
arch/a/iprimitive, ancientarchaeology
astro, asterstar, stars, outer spaceastronaut
autoself, same, oneautomatic
benegood, wellbenefactor
bi/ntwo, twice, once in every twobiweekly
biolife, living matterbiology
capt, cept, ceivetake, holdintercept, perceive
carn/iflesh, meatcarnivorous
cede, ceed, cessgo, yieldexceed
cent/ihundred, hundredthcentennial
chrom/o chromat/o, chroscolor, pigmentchromatic
circumaround, aboutcircumnavigate
claim, clamshout, speak outclamor
cowith, together, jointcoauthor
conwith, jointlyconcur
contra/oagainst, oppositecontradict
counteropposite, contrary, opposingcounteract
cryptohidden, secretencryption
cyclcircle, ringbicycle
dec/a, dekatendecade, decathalon
dent, donttoothdentist
diathrough, between, apart, acrossdiagonal
dyn/a/ampower, energy, strengthdynamic
dysabnormal, baddyslexia
e-out, awayevaporate
em, eninto, cover with, causeempathy
endowithin, insideendotherm
ethnorace, peopleethnic
exfrom, out,excavate
extra, extrooutside, beyondextraordinary
fac/tmake, domanufacture
flor/a, fleurflowerflorist
forein front of, previous, earlierforefront
fract, fragbreakfracture
functperform, workfunction
gen/o/e/birth, production, genealogy
geoearth, soil, globalgeography
gigaa billiongigabyte
gramletter, writtendiagram
graph/ywriting, recording, writtengraphics
hect/o, hecathundredhectare
helic/ospiral, circularhelicopter
hemihalf, partialhemicycle
herbigrass, plantherbs
heterodifferent, otherheterogeneous
homo, homeolike, alike, samehomogeneous
hydr/oliquid, waterhydroelectric
hypertoo much, over, beyondhyperactive
il, inin, intoilluminate
ig, il, im, in, irnot, withoutillegal, irrespective
infrabeneath, belowinfrastructure
interbetween, among, jointlyinternational
intra, introwithin, insideintrastate
lingulanguage, tonguelinguistics
macrolarge, greatmacroeconomics
magn/a/igreat, largemagnify
mal/ebad, ill, wrongmalcontent
maniamadness, excessive desiremaniac
mater, matr/imothermaternal
megagreat, large, millionmegastore
metachange, after, beyond, betweenmetaphysics
meter, metrmeasureaudiometer
microvery small, short, minutemicrometer
min/ismall, lessminiskirt
mis/obad, badly, wrong, wrongly, misbehave
multimany, more than one or twomulticolored
neonew, recentneolithic
parabeside, beyondparanormal
perthrough, throughoutpermit
periaround, enclosingperiscope
polymany, more than onepolygraph
postafter, behindpostdated
preearlier, before, in front ofprevention
probefore, in front of, foreproactive
psych/omind, mentalpsychology
reagain, back, backwardrebound
retrobackward, backretroactive
ruptbreak, burstbankrupt
scop/e/ysee, examine, observemicroscope
scrib, scriptwrite, writtenscribble, inscription
selfof, for, or by itselfself-respect
semihalf, partialsemiannual
sphereballspherical, biosphere
spirbreatheinspire, spirit
structbuildconstruction, structure
subunder, lower than, inferior tosubmarine
super, suprahigher in quality or quantitysuperimposed
technotechnique, skilltechnology
tel/e/ofar, distant, completetelephone
term/inaend, limitterminus
transacross,beyond, throughtransfer
trithree, once in every three, triangle
ultrabeyond, extreme, more thanultralight
unnot,opposite of, lackingunavailable
unione, singleunicycle
vis, vidseevision
viv/I, vitlive, liferevival
voc/ivoice, calladvocate

- ablecapable of, worthy ofnoticeable
- adeaction or process, persons actingrenegade
- agestate of being, or quality, pertaining tomarriage
- alstate of being, or quality, state ofmarital, causal
- ancystate, quality, act or conditionagency
- antone who actsregistrant
- archyrule, governmentmonarchy
- ardone who actssteward
- arypertaining to, connected withelementary
- cedmove, yieldrecede, secede
- cidekilling, act ofhomoicide
- ciouscapable ofcapacious
- cithaving the quality, or callincite
- clamcall, cry outexclamation
- clinoleandecline, incline
- cludshutseclude, preclude
- cracyruledemocracy
- cratruler, member of ruling bodyautocrat
- ennialyearlycentennial, perennial
- ent, erone who actsstudent, teacher
- eryoccupation, business, or conditionarchery grocery
- ettesmall or diminutivedinette, statuette
- ficof, bringing, yieldingpacific, soporific
- gonangled, angularpolygon, pentagon
- gradestepretrograde
- hoodfull of abounding in, to make, belong tochildhood
- iblecapable of, worth of, tending to, or having the quality ofcredible
- ic, icalof, pertaining to, similar or likehistorical
- ierpossessing or being, one who actscarrier
- ifyfull of, abounding in, to make state of, move, dotestify
- il, ileact, quality or state, like one who actscivil, servile
- ineact, quality or state, pertaining to, like one who actsheroine
- ingexpressing actionrunning, growing
- ionstate, condition or act ofvolition
- ishacting like, in the nature of, or similar toimpish, mannish
- ismart of, philosophy of, practice ofliberalism, Buddhism
- istone who actsphilanthropist, artist
- itepossessing or being, one who actsfavorite
- ivehaving the nature of, tending towardimaginative, collective
- izeto make into, to practicemesmerize, familiarize
- jecthurl or throwprojectile
- lateralsideunilateral, multilateral
- lentfull of, abounding insucculent
- lesswithout, beyond thefearless, useless
- likeresemblingchildlike
- lithstonemonolith
- logyknowledge, termination in writingpsychology
- lysimilar in mannerfully, carefully
- mentstate, quality, or act ofentanglement
- metrymeasuregeometry
- nesscondition, or stateconsciousness
- ologyscience or branch of knowledgetechnology
- ora person or thing that actsactor, elevator
- oryof, pertaining to, place ofauditory
- ousstate or qualityfurious
- parmake readyprepare
- pathysuffering, feelingsympathy, telepathy
- philiaabnormal liking or tending towardhemophilia
- phobiafear, dreadacrophobia, hydrophobia
- phonesoundtelephone
- pon, posplace, putpostpone, position
- pterwing, featherhelicopter
- scopeseemicroscope
- sectcutintersect, section
- shipstate or quality, art of skillpartnership
- sisaction, process, statethesis
- somelike or samebothersome
- sophyscience ofphilosophy
- spherelayerhemisphere
- statstanding, stationary, setthermostat
- sterone who actsteamster
- tomya cuttingappendectomy
- tortto twistdistort
- tractdraw, draw from, pullextract, tractor
- tronan instrumentcyclotron
- tryart or profession of, state or qualityforestry, ministry
- tudeart or profession of, state or qualityaptitude
- ulediminutive forceminiscule
- ulentabounding infraudulent
- ureact or process, result ofadventure, tenure
- urgyworkdramaturgy, metallurgy
- ven, ventcomeconvention
- vore, vorouseatingcarnivore

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