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How to Keep Your Readers as a Writer

How to Keep Your Readers as a Writer
Dear writer,

Turgidity doesn't make sense all the time: the same way this paragraph doesn't make sense if you don't immediately understand the word "turgidity".

Readers are scarce on the market these days. The few who read are always trying to find reasons to dump one writer for another, so when you do find some loyal readers, do well to keep them with all your might.

Instead of using "big big" words ALL THE TIME, rather come to the level of your readers (even the unintended readers) because you write not only to please yourself or display flamboyance of language but to win their hearts and their acceptance. You write for and on their behalf because of the shared beliefs and reasons for which they read you.

Don't make your language inaccessible for the sake of being perceived as "a difficult writer to read". It is a turnoff for many readers, especially "floating" readers. Because our readers play the crucial role as end-users of your rhetorical act of writing, think more about them and less about yourself. Don't lose your identity in the process either. Create a balance! It is better to have a good number of readers with your simple language than to have only few readers with your sophisticated language. Readers are the feathers that clothe, protect, and beautify the author, the bird.

As a writer, always remember the KISS rule -- Keep it simple and short. (Don't remind me that I am guilty of the last "S"; I am still working on it.)

Next time, I will tell you more about what I mean by simple language and sophisticated language.

PS: "Turgidity" means "overly complex and difficult to understand; bombastic".

© Eric Nuamah Korankye

How to Structure a Good Lesson

A teacher is the example of what learning stands for. If you have been a teacher for many years, you have certainly gathered a wealth of experience during your career. If you are a newly qualified teacher, it is because of your knowledge that you graduated to become a teacher. In both cases, you will agree that teaching can sometimes feel like an impossible task; a tough challenge. Sometimes, students do not easily understand what is being taught. This is why teachers must make lessons clear and stimulating.
How to Structure a Good Lesson

A well-structured plan is important for a good lesson
Every lesson needs a structure that outlines the plan and strategy for a good delivery and for good understanding. A good lesson must also meet the needs and abilities of all pupils. The learning objectives (what the lesson is about) and the learning outcomes (what will be known as a result of the lesson) must be clear at the beginning of the lesson for all students to understand. A good lesson has:
i. A Start

ii. A Middle

iii. An End
The Starter
The Starter is an activity to settle your students so they are ready for the lesson. This can be an activity to quieten your students down, so, allow them to sit down and reflect on a task. Examples of these include:
i. Unjumbling words.

ii. Putting sentences in the correct order.

iii. Matching up words to pictures.

iv. Correcting mistakes from a task.
A starter activity can also get your students in the mood and ready to learn. Examples of these include:

i. Asking students to recall what they learnt in a previous lesson.

ii. Asking students to describe a picture in detail.

iii. Giving students an answer and asking them to provide the question (e.g. Answer: iv. Wednesday – Question: what is the day before Thursday?)
For lesson starters to be effective, every student must be involved in the thinking or working out of answers. The teacher must avoid leaving some students uninvolved and unengaged. The teacher must also ensure that the starter is not too long so as to take too much of the time of the lesson itself.

The Middle
The Middle is the key part of the lesson. The Middle should start as soon as the class has settled and is ready to take in new learning or new knowledge. The teacher must always model or demonstrate what the students are going to learn. It is important that each student understands what they are learning. It is also important that the learning is challenging enough for each student to develop their skills. It is a good idea to set tasks for students to work in pairs or in small groups, this will give them confidence. For an inclusive lesson where every student is included, the teacher must apply differentiation.

The End
Throughout the Middle part of the lesson, it is important to give the students the opportunity to recall and reflect on what they are learning. Doing this means that the teacher is carrying out ‘mini plenaries’. It also enables the teacher to see how the lesson is going and what needs changing or addressing. Successful plenaries involve all of the students recalling and reflecting on their learning. Some examples of plenaries include:

i. Summarising what has been learnt to enable the students to understand and remember.

ii. Checking that students understand a key element of the lesson and its importance.

iii. Allowing students to evaluate their own and each other’s work.
It will be stimulating for your students to know what they are learning and what they will be able to do as a result of their learning. It is therefore important to make the learning objectives and learning outcomes clear to students at the start of each lesson.


Why You Should Say IT WAS I, not IT WAS ME

Why You Should Say IT WAS I, not IT WAS ME

Although most persons say 'It was me.' when speaking, the correct expression is 'It was I.' Where the verb to be is accompanied by a personal pronoun forming the object of a sentence or clause, the personal pronoun must be in its subjective case. Subject personal pronouns include Iheshewe, they. Read more about pronouns here.

It is also important to state that the verb to be (or the BE verb) has eight variants: beamisarewaswerebeing and been. And where any of these variants is accompanied by a personal pronoun forming the object of a sentence or clause, the subjective form of the personal pronoun should be used. It is wrong to use an object pronoun in this regard. Object personal pronouns include mehimherus, and them.

Please, note that you and it are personal pronouns which appear the same in both their subjective and objective forms. Thus they can function as subjects and objects in sentences. Let's look at some examples of the wrong and correct use of personal pronouns in relation to our subject matter.

Wrong Usage
1. This is him (or her).
2. It was me.
3. I am him (or her).
4. The people you saw were us.
5. Those are them.

Correct Usage
1. This is he (or she).
2. It was I.
3. I am he (or she).
4. The people you saw were we.
5. Those are they.

However, this rule has changed. It is not surprising because English, as a language, is dynamic. Most English dictionaries now endorse the use of “It was me” only in an informal setting or context, and the use of “It was I” only in a formal setting or context. Therefore, you should feel free to use them accordingly. 

Informal Usage 
1. This is him (or her).
2. It was me.
3. I am him (or her).
4. The people you saw were us.
5. Those are them.

Formal Usage 
1. This is he (or she).
2. It was I.
3. I am he (or she).
4. The people you saw were we.
5. Those are they.

NOTE: The fact that this rule is often broken in conversation and in an informal setting is no excuse for breaking it in writing unless dialogue is being quoted.

How to Get 300% Bonus and 150MB when You Recharge Your MTN Line with Any Amount

How to Get 300% Bonus and 150MB when You Recharge Your MTN Line with Any Amount

MTN is here again with another mind-blowing offer that keeps you smart and active during the weekend. You can call it WEEKEND OFFER if you like. This offer gives you 300% bonus on every recharge you make and an additional TGIF 150MB data bonus to call your friends and surf the net respectively. Everyone should be eligible for this offer. 

Dial *131*66#, select 1 to opt in. Customers will enjoy this offer for just 3 months, after which the bonus offer will be discontinued on their SIM cards.

Get 1GB and 3 Hours Streaming for N200 on 9mobile Network

9mobile wakes up from its slumber, gives its customers 1GB data plus 3 hours to stream videos for just N200. This is coming few weeks after Airtel introduced 6GB for N1500 to its customers.
Get 1GB and 3 Hours Streaming for N200 on 9mobile Network

Comparing this package to similar packages in other networks, one will definitely applaud 9mobile for the additional three hours given to customers to stream videos free of charge. This is a rare commodity in other networks and is a manipulative technique employed by 9mobile to bring back its lost customers. Well, let's enjoy the offer while it lasts.

How to Get 1GB and 3 Hours Streaming for N200
1. Get a new 9mobile SIM card. You may ignore this if your 9moble SIM card is not more than three months. In other words, you can use an existing 9mobile SIM card if it is not more than three months.

2. Recharge it with N200 airtime.

3. Dial *253*20# to subscribe to the package.

4. Once your subscription is successful, you will be given 1GB data plus 3 hours of free streaming, valid for 48 hours, that is, two days. You will also get 900% bonus on every recharge you make. This will continue for 90 days. 

5. Dial *228# for data balance.

MTN Dash Me Data: How to Send Data to and Receive Data from Your Friends

Did you know you can transfer data to your loved ones, friends and family and also receive data from them using MTN’s Dash-Me-Data service? Yes, you can!
MTN Dash Me Data: How to Send Data to and Receive Data from Your Friends
MTN’s Dash Me Data is a newly-introduced service which allows MTN customers to send data to their friends, loved ones and family who are on the MTN network. With this service, customers can also receive data from their loved ones, family and friends by requesting them to do so. This is interesting. Isn't it? It is obvious MTN is doing everything possible to get back its lost customers. Kudos to MTN!

How to Request Data from Your Friends Using MTN's Dash-Me-Data Service

1. To activate this service, dial *131*7*3#

2. Enter the number you want to request data from.
MTN Dash Me Data: How to Send Data to and Receive Data from Your Friends

3. Click on SEND. That's all!

To view your pending request, dial *131*7*4#

How to Send Data to Your Friends
You can use any of the options listed below if you want to send data to your friends.

1. Dial *131*7*1# on your phone and follow the prompt.

2. Dial *131*Phone number*Data amount#

3. Log into MyMTN App, select ‘bundle’ and select ‘data transfer’.

4. Text Transfer (space) Phone Number (space) Data Volume and to 131.

READ: How to Borrow Data from MTN, Glo, Airtel and 9mobile

Common English Errors (2019): A Compilation of Tammy's Online English Tutorials

Common English Errors (2019): A Compilation of Tammy's Online English Tutorials
1. The correct idiom is LAST BUT NOT LEAST, not “LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST.” The definite article “the” is not needed. Remember, idioms are fixed expressions.

2. The correct phrase is DREAM COME TRUE, not “DREAM COME THROUGH.” When something which has long been desired or hoped for has finally happened, it becomes a DREAM COME TRUE.

3. The word “far-fetched” does not mean “hard to find.” It simply means “unlikely.”  Therefore, saying “the reason is not far-fetched” is the same thing as “the reason is not unlikely,” which is a meaningless negative.

4. The word “equipment” doesn't accept an ‘s’ because it's an uncountable noun. Thus you should never say/write "equipments."

5. Some of you have ignorantly deviated. Who taught you how to spell STRENGTH as “STRENGHT”?

6. How have you been pronouncing the name FELIX?


7. Stop using LOOSE (to untie) to mean LOSE! You don't LOOSE your valuables or loved ones except you tied them somewhere. Use ‘lose’ instead.

8.       This is a good news.
This is good news.

"News" is an uncountable noun. Thus it cannot be preceded by “a/an.”

9. When U feel embarrassed for someone's action(s), it is called SECONDHAND EMBARRASSMENT.

10. The name of the State is KATSINA, not KASTINA.

11. How have you been writing this?

In as much as
Inasmuch as

12.     He/She is a corps member.
He/She is a corp member.

Don't ever remove the "s" in "corps."

13. POLLING UNIT is pronounced POLE-ING unit, not POOL-ING unit.
14. How do you pronounce 'NAHUM' when reading your bible?


15. A close or cherished relation is a LOVED ONE, not a LOVE ONE.
16. It is called BOTTLED WATER, not BOTTLE WATER.

17. How have you been writing this?


Hard work

18. It is MARCH-PAST, not MATCH PAST. I mean a parade or procession, especially of troops past a reviewing stand.

19.     Tammy is a godsent.
Tammy is a godsend.

Tammy is godsent.

“Godsent” shouldn't be preceded by an article because it is an adjective.

20.     I'm following your footsteps...
I'm following in your footsteps...

You FOLLOW IN one's footsteps; you don't FOLLOW.

21. You know what PTA stands for, but how have you been writing/saying it?

Parent-Teacher Association
Parents Teachers Association

22.     I (really) appreciate.
I (really) appreciate it.

Here, ‘appreciate’ is a transitive verb. Thus it must take a direct object.

23. Always remember that SILENCE is also a verb. It's the verbal form of SILENCE. As such, you don't SILENT someone; you SILENCE them.

24. How have you been writing this?



Well being

25.     The rich also cries.
The rich also cry.

Collective adjectives (adjectives referring to a group of people) take plural verbs.

26. If you are in this type of relationship but don't know how to write it, WHAT DO YOU GAIN?
Long-distance relationship
Long distance relationship
Long distant relationship   

27. If you still say “prospone” instead of POSTPONE, you are not qualified to laugh at an Anambra girl for saying LICE instead of RICE.

28.     To date, you are my best friend.
Till date, you are my best friend.

The correct phrase to use is TO DATE, not TILL DATE.

29. You don't contest FOR an election; you contest an election. When “contest” is used as a verb, you don't need the preposition "for."

30. You don't request FOR something; you request something. When request is used as a verb, you don't need the preposition "FOR."

31. IN ALL RAMIFICATIONS does not mean IN ALL ASPECTS except you are metaphorically extending the literal meaning of ‘ramification’.

32.     The MINUTES of the meeting WAS read by ...
The MINUTES of the meeting WERE read by ...

“Minutes” is a plural noun.

33. It is called EGG YOLK, not EGG YOKE.

34. Do I have friends here who pronounce “appetite” as “apartheid”? Come let's take a trip to South Africa.

35. Dear secretaries, avoid the use of double negatives.

In the absence of no other business.
In the absence of any other business.

36. In case you visit a hospital and the need arises,

SAY: A PINT of blood.
DON'T SAY: Pounds of blood.

37. ENVELOP (verb) vs ENVELOPE (noun)

HINT: You ENVELOP your letter in an ENVELOPE.

38. “Happy birthday to me in ADDY.” Does “addy” really mean “advance”? To the best of my knowledge, “addy” means ADDRESS.

39. How have you been pronouncing MARIJUANA?


40. You don't get A FEEDBACK; you get FEEDBACK. FEEDBACK is an uncountable noun; thus it doesn't accept the indefinite article "a."

41.     Tammy is a green snake in/under a green grass.

This idiom neither has GREEN nor UNDER.

42. Did you know that the correct idiom is HALF A LOAF IS BETTER THAN NONE, not “Half bread is better than none”?


HINT: If your hair is not well combed, it is UNKEMPT, not UNKEPT. However, promises can be UNKEPT (broken).


If you CHEER someone ON, you encourage/support them. If you CHEER someone UP, you make them feel less sad.

45.     She is a mother, and a good one AT THAT.
She is a mother, and a good one FOR THAT MATTER.

Here, “at that” is more appropriate.


Right angle triangle.
Right-angled triangle or right triangle.

47. “Who's” does not mean WHOSE. “Who's” is the shortened form of WHO IS.
For example, Who is going home with me? OR Who's going home with me?


49. PARK vs. PACK
You PARK your car but PACK your bag by putting clothes into it. We have an amusement PARK, but a PACK of cigarettes.

50.     COUPLE: A husband and a wife.
COUPLES: Husbands and wives.

Don't call two married people ‘COUPLES’.

51.     To be forewarned is to be forearmed
Forewarned is forearmed

Remember, idioms are fixed expressions.

52. WAVE vs. WAIVE

You WAVE your hand(s), but a university may decide to WAIVE failed courses for final year students.