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Writing Analyses: Common Writing Errors

Discussion in 'Sixth Generation Contributions' started by piikachuu, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. piikachuu

    piikachuu now with a scarf
    is a Contributor to Smogon

    Jun 17, 2013
    Writing Analyses: Common Writing Errors

    After about a month and a half of GP checking, I've noticed a few widespread problems in the analyses that I've read. I've compiled them and written a short piece on why they're a problem and how they can be corrected. Enjoy, and I hope this helps all the future writers!

    1. Repetitiveness

    This is one of the simplest problems, both to find and to fix. The idea is that using an unnecessary amount of words will really slow down reading, especially if it is the same word. This happens a lot with Pokemon names:
    The second use of "Beautifly" is completely unnecessary. It's ugly, but easily fixed. Several solutions are always readily available, such as merging the two sentences or using a pronoun.

    2. Concision

    The issue with concision is similar to the issue with repetitiveness. Simply put, unnecessary wordiness makes it hard to concentrate on the subject at hand and also takes longer to read. Using multiple sentences where one is sufficient (see Repetitiveness) and being unnecessarily wordy are both problems with concision. How can wordiness be cut down? Combining sentences, deleting unnecessary words, and using shorter expressions are all effective ways to do so. One seemingly universal issue on Smogon is the use of "the crux of the set." Not only is it completely wordy, it is often redundant as well. For example, the Calm Mind Duosion set states:
    As the set is literally called "Calm Mind", it should be no surprise that Calm Mind is the most important move of the set. The sentence can be shortened to: "Calm Mind enables Duosion to boost its already stellar Special Attack alongside its mediocre Special Defense." Small improvements like this really do improve the quality of the analysis.

    3. Subject-Verb Agreement

    This is simple enough. If the subject is a singular subject, use the singular form of the verb. If the subject is a plural subject, use the plural form of the verb. For example: He has Pokemon X. They have Pokemon Y. It's easily noticeable, but very simple to fix.

    4. Clarity

    This is a big issue. Weak sentence structure can muddle the intended meaning of the sentence. For example:
    In the way that it is written, it sounds as if Rock-types pose a threat to Zapdos with their Ground-type STAB, which is obviously not true. The use of "their" combined with the placement of the word in this situation is just too vague. To make the sentence flow and make sense logically, it should be changed to: "In return, their Ground-type STAB allows the aforementioned Pokemon to handle the Rock-types that pose a problem for Zapdos." With this rephrasing, it becomes clear that it is the Pokemon such as Excadrill, Landorus, and Garchomp that are threatening Rock-types with their Ground-type STABs.

    5. Commas

    To be fair, commas are not misused very badly; the main issue is that people too many. While there are not many real grammatical issues with it, using too many commas does have its issues. Using too many commas slows reading and often makes the sentence awkwardly clunky. What exactly do I mean by this? Well, take the following sentence:
    There's nothing wrong with this, but it doesn't flow well. By removing the comma, the entire sentence becomes much easier to read.

    And of course, don't forget the Oxford (serial) comma. It happens all the time, with people making lists of Pokemon and not adding that final comma.

    6. Spacing

    This is very Smogon-specific. It seems like the spacing between the heading tags ([Overview], [SET], [SET COMMENTS], etc.) tends to be a little arbitrary. To clear this up, I've written it out: the paragraphs following each tag should have a line break between the preceding and trailing tags. For example, it should be: [SET COMMENTS](line break)blah blah blah(line break)[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]. The only exception to this is between the [SET] tag and the set itself; there's no space there.

    Of course, there's still more. These are simply the problems that stand out the most, all of which are very simple to fix. Many other issues can be fixed by familiarizing yourself with Smogon's Spelling and Grammar Standards.

    And finally, nobody is perfect. That's why we have a Grammar and Prose team, to catch the problems that you don't. However, a little attention towards detail can go a long way in becoming a better writer, as well as making our lives just a little bit easier.

    *If people have other common issues to contribute, please do!
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  2. Berserker Lord

    Berserker Lord unreliable analysis writer.

    Dec 18, 2009
    Concerning point 2, it would be a good idea to give more examples of "fluffy" sentences and phrases that add nothing to analysis' and just pad the length of it. An example would be this common sentence:
    This tells readers absolutley nothing as it doesn't give any evidence that running this nature will help achieve any relevent OHKOes or 2HKOes. This post from Oglemi lists more examples of what I'm talking about,
  3. mikel

    mikel frizy will carry ocn
    is a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnus

    Jun 26, 2011
    please never ever ever use any of "the crux of this set", "aforementioned", or other clichéd phrases. that and egregiously misusing seemingly intelligent-sounding words are painful to see when reading analyses.
    Frizy and tennisace like this.
  4. tennisace

    tennisace brock you like a hurricane
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a CAP Contributor Alumnus
    Twitter Head

    Dec 16, 2007
    adding "physical/special side of the spectrum", "gets roasted by fire-types", "nabs the ko", and "at the dawn of the generation" to that list

    if you use any of them ill sentence you to 10 years ~hard labor~ in Oglemi's sex dungeon
    Jukain likes this.
  5. GatoDelFuego

    GatoDelFuego Living in a world gone plastic
    is a Smogon Media Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon

    May 29, 2011
    Thanks to its resistance to the ubiquitous stealth rock, garchomp can switch in with impunity and proceed to fire off powerful outrages, netting the KO on Blissey, a crux of many defensive teams.

    fire off

    pls do not use
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
    Redew likes this.
  6. Jukain

    Jukain fuck redew
    is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon

    Feb 25, 2011
    um we can use 'fire off'

    what is this :o
  7. Spirit

    is a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus

    Mar 3, 2013
    If I may ask, what exactly is wrong with "ubiquitous"?
  8. tennisace

    tennisace brock you like a hurricane
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a CAP Contributor Alumnus
    Twitter Head

    Dec 16, 2007
    Because it is ubiquitous.
    Ender likes this.

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