EDIT: Authors Bio parameters are: 50-400 words. 3rd person, provide facts, belong somewhere, use a hook, write tight.
Rafini writes on a variety of subjects in several different genres. She began with a high school assignment on how Paul Bunyon and his ox Babe created the Grand Canyon – a story which her teacher submitted to a writing contest, and she eventually received a third place prize for, in the form of a poster, through the mail. She then went on to write her first poem at the age of 16, but didn’t begin writing seriously until after she’d been writing in a journal for 10 years, and two of her three children were adults. Since February 2010, Rafini has maintained an online writing presence at HubPages.com, where she engages in communicating with other members through the forums and by reading and leaving comments on other member's articles. When Rafini isn’t writing, she most likely can be found in a contemplative state, spending time with her family, learning something new, reading, listening to music, or writing in her personal journal.
We're supposed to 'belong somewhere' so I included HP. We're supposed to include any relevant experience, so I included my beginnings. Provide facts and use a hook - I thought the 'contemplative state' would make a good hook, yes/no? lol
Why are you saying she instead of I or me? I do not understand, sorry.
I broke it into paragraphs for easier reading, and deleted a few non-vital words. However, these things rely heavily on a person's own taste; it's almost inevitable that you may not agree with all - or even any! - of those choices.
This is not meant to be overly picky, because I think it's great, but
"ox Babe" would be a lot clearer if it was "ox, "Babe"" would it not? Any other thoughts from writers more capable than me??
yeah, Daniel, I think you are supposed to put commas somewhere near pronouns. Looks right to me...but I am not really 'capable' I just got good grades in English for no real reason. I never understood the rules, but somehow go them right.
(no idea what a pronoun is...I just need to relearn academic writing.)
a word that replaces a noun. Like...Tom is a noun, he is a pronoun. But like I said before, I have no clue what is realy the proper accepted rules of grammar. I am just guessing.
And what is a hook?
Thanks Daniel. I'm soo out of practice with punctuation! I had someone proof my final paper from my summer class and most of her suggestions were punctuation! Like, at least 20 commas per double spaced page. lol
It should be: ... and his ox, Babe, created...
And, because the trend has begun, and I'm bored (lol), here's my go at editing:
Rafini writes on a variety of subjects in several genres. Her interest in writing began with a high school assignment on how Paul Bunyon and his ox created the Grand Canyon. Her teacher submitted the story to a writing contest where it won third prize.
Rafini went on to write her first poem at age sixteen, but didn’t begin writing seriously until ten years of journal writing and twenty years spent raising children honed her perspective and her craft.
Since February 2010, Rafini has maintained an online writing presence at HubPages.com, where she communicates with members through forums and by reading and leaving comments on articles. When Rafini isn’t writing, she can be found contemplating life, spending time with her family, learning something new, reading, listening to music, or writing in her ever-present journal.
Absolutely beautiful, thank you Shadesbreath! Wow...it looks so real, like it belongs on the back cover of a book!! ...now I gotta put it into my own words...
Feel free to use as is, if you want to. You have my permission to own the rights to those edits of your bio forever, completely and with all claims relinquished by me.
A hook is supposed to come at the very beginning to catch the reader's attention.
E.g.: "Want to meet a new writer whose literary aspirations are almost as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon?"
Or (to make it a full circle, so "contemplative state" becomes a conclusion): "Want to meet a thoughtful new writer whose literary aspirations are almost as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon?"
I think the I/she choice is the choice between autobiography and biography. It depends on what the assignment is. If the prof has framed it as "autobiography," then it should be in first person, but it could still start with the third person in a contemplative state, then move into first person to tell the story of how "I" became "Rafini," or how "Rafini" developed from who "I" began as.
I like this opening in general. What are the outlines of the assignment? What size project? a few brief paragraphs or a detailed, multi-chapter tome?
In terms of contemplation - there might be ways to make it clearer to the reader that that is what you are doing. The first time I read it, I didn't actually catch the mood of musing about the past. Knowing that, I see it now. But you might be able to add a little here and there to make it clear that you are remembering how Rafini started out.
Aficionada, I added the requirements in my OP. (sorry, for some reason I thought I'd already stated it)
Thanks, that helps!
Since I've browsed through some of your Hubs, I know that you write on some very interesting topics. In this assignment of yours, I would love to see you mention some specific topics you address and maybe also some of the various genres you note at the beginning of the bio. Perhaps an explanation of your upgrade from journal writing to serious writing - was there any specific trigger that shifted your career into higher gear?
"...Engaged readers from a variety of backgrounds demonstrably find Rafini's essays and articles on HubPages intellectually stimulating and praiseworthy..."
You're so sweet! Now, to find a way to insert it without copying.....lol
I hereby grant Rafini an exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, and irrevocable license to use the abovementioned text for whatever purposes suit her needs, current or future.
That should do the job.
"Bio Critique....please? lol Nervous...."
Hello. (No criteria intended.).
Commas with one-word appositives are not always necessary. For details, check this out:
Correction (edit): "One-word appositives do not need commas." (quote from the linked site)
There are, have been, and will be some very good suggestions about editing.
But the commas around Babe do not belong. I repeat and restate: commas should not be used to set off Babe, the one-word appositive to the noun ox. [The phrase following Babe in this post is also an appositive; being longer and being unnecessary, that appositive does require commas, or in this case a comma.]
The rule you are saying "do not belong" is based on clarity.
It has to do with whether or not "Babe" is essential for clarity.
The fact that Paul Bunyan and his ox created the canyon is the essential information. The ox having a name is NOT essential information and therefore using commas is perfectly acceptable. Plus, as a side benefit to doing so prevents the reader from connecting ox to Babe as an adjective, creating "ox-babe" as it reads in the mind.
I agree, it should have commas - I had to read that sentence several times because I kept reading ox-babe together. Putting commas clarifies the writing and makes it flow better, in my opinion.
Grammar isn't so much about "rules" as it is about being clear. Too many folks get all caught up in debating the "rules" when in fact there really aren't any. Grammar books are collections of precedents. There is no governing grammatical body (despite how desperately some people and institutions clamor to get such distinction), and there certainly are no grammatical enforcement agencies other than the voices of reason and of pedantry--one being far more useful than the other.
I will totally agree that everyone should learn those precedents and the meaning behind them as well as they possibly can. That way, writers can break them as needed for clarity, or, even better, for style.
Shadesbreath, we are on the same side! I know and I agree that the so-called rules are intended for clarity, and real grammarians are descriptive, not normative, in stating what is and isn't "right." There are no literal grammar police.
"The voices of reason and of pedantry" - you and I would probably disagree about which one of us represents which .
Your words were:
You were the one who used the "s" word. Is that not the word used by pedants and grammar police? Daniel, in his original post, at least made the comma comment in the form of a suggestion:
One other option for clarity, along with those I mentioned in a previous post, would be:
Bunyon and his ox "Babe" created....;
Bunyon and his ox Babe created....
The point is, there are numerous ways to create clarity and style in writing. Saying that commas should go around something, when the commas are optional and not actually preferred, seems to me to be the pedantic point of view. And as far as style goes, the current style of writing generally prefers to avoid commas as much as possible - too often, in my opinion. But avoiding unnecessary commas does create a cleaner, leaner look and often a smoother flow. It's a good practice always to question our punctuation along with word choice and sentence structure, to see whether it can be better and to decide which of several options communicates best.
Finally, I'm not so sure that I would go along with the idea that style is better than clarity. Doesn't that depend on the genre?
(And about those unnecessary commas...... Well, have you ever heard the expression "it's snowing down South"?)
We are on the same side. And lol @ who's on which side of the pedant thing. That was funny, but I don't think you are a pedant. So I hope you didn't take it that way, and if you did, I apologize, that was not my intent, particularly not at you for sure.
As for my use of the "s" word (lol).... I said "should" not "must," and I will stand by that still. And I only say should because, if we follow the reasoning behind the "rules" regarding appositives they do make enough sense to be applied here, as I don't see any stylistic or genre-based benefit to skipping them.
"Paul Bunyan and his ox made the canyon" is about an ox that is owned by Paul. The name of the ox is not necessary, but additional information.
It's the HIS that changes the issue of clarity. I'm not seeing how the name of his ox is essential, and especially since I pointed out, and Polly C confirmed, it is an awkward assembly having "ox Babe" as it is. It is an unexpected arrangement. I believe it is made so because the appositive is not being separated out, so a necessary noun, ox, is being jammed up against the unnecessary addition of its name.
Dropping the "his" is another option. If that gets dropped, then you can have perfect clarity without the commas: "Paul Bunyan and ox Babe made the canyon." In this instance, you DON'T want the commas, because the name of the ox is essential to knowing what ox we are talking about.
I'm not trying to be a pedant, truly. I'm only trying to point out what I believe is an important and admittedly nuanced element of clarity that relates to why there is a "rule" that should definitely be recognized first, then debated as to whether it should be followed or not. I think that right now, the debate is what the rule is, not whether to follow it or not.
I hope that makes sense, and again, I mean no disrespect. I love grammar and admit to coming off an ass sometimes, but I don't mean too. Writing stirs up my passion and sometimes my filters fail.
No, Shadesbreath, the rule I am stating is based on its being a one-word appositive. More-than-one-word appositives use the clarity "rule." I agree that there can be confusion because of the sound of the name (ox-babe). Sometimes we have to revise our sentences for clarity. People do use commas for that purpose sometimes, but often we throw in unnecessary commas too. Other options could be: Paul Bunyon and Babe, his ox, created the Grand Canyon; Paul Bunyon and his ox named Babe created the Grand Canyon.
I have a screenshot of the "rule," but I don't know how to post it. It's a jpeg on the hard drive of this computer. Any ideas?
My strong reaction comes from the fact that I hear and see too many people, too often adding commas around essential appositives, and it really riles me! This is not the same case, I know, I know, I know. But in my opinion it is important to check our "shoulds" before acting on them.
I did overstate my case. Instead of saying "commas do not belong," it might have been more helpful for me to say, "commas are not required" or "it is preferred not to use commas" in this case.
Thanks everyone, for your wonderful ideas! I have until 9/6 to get it written, but had no idea how to write about myself or what to say. I sincerely thank everyone for posting your thoughts and ideas - I appreciate the help.
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