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Thread: Making your post legible-Punctuation, Sentences, Paragraph Structure, and Line Breaks

  1. #1
    Prophet of Telara Sneezer's Avatar
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    Default Making your post legible-Punctuation, Sentences, Paragraph Structure, and Line Breaks

    I would like to have a discussion with some of the forum poster here. Presumably, those forum posters who have missed school grades 2-12.

    This discussion is about making your posts LEGIBLE through the usage of punctuation, sentences, paragraph structure, and line breaks.

    Note: No one expects perfect grammar or spelling in every instance. People do make mistakes. This discussion is simply about structuring your post so that other people have at least a snow ball's chance in he11 of reading it.

    First, lets get a little bit of vocabulary out there, just in case you don't know what some of these words mean.

    punc·tu·a·tion
    n.
    1.
    a. The use of standard marks and signs in writing and printing to separate words into sentences, clauses, and phrases in order to clarify meaning.
    b. The marks so used.

    sen·tence
    n.
    1. A grammatical unit that is syntactically independent and has a subject that is expressed or, as in imperative sentences, understood and a predicate that contains at least one finite verb

    par·a·graph
    n.
    1. A distinct division of written or printed matter that begins on a new, usually indented line, consists of one or more sentences, and typically deals with a single thought or topic or quotes one speaker's continuous words.

    line break
    n.
    1. The operation that prepares for the next character to be printed or displayed as the first character on the next line

    Now that we have vocabulary out of the way, lets talk about how to make a LINE BREAK.
    Press the "ENTER" or "RETURN" button on your keyboard.
    Yes, it really is that SIMPLE.


    Now that we know how to make a line break, let's talk about when to use the line break to start a new PARAGRAPH.
    • Start a new paragraph when beginning a new idea, a new topic or a new point. One idea per paragraph is the ideal grouping to make sure you don’t overwhelm your reader and maximize retention. As such, you should always create a new paragraph when introducing a new one into the material.
    • Start a new paragraph when contrasting ideas. Let’s say you have one idea in paragraph one and another in paragraph two. Where do you add the part that you pit them against each other? On a new paragraph, that’s where.
    • Start a new paragraph when you need to offer your reader a short break. Some ideas can be too heavy to parlay in one paragraph. If you force it, you can end up with a paragraph that runs through pages, which is hardly the most ideal way to present your thoughts. Give the readers a break and break the uninterrupted flow of words – just make sure to put in a good transition from one paragraph to another.
    • It is also a good practice to keep paragraphs to a length of 3-5 sentences.

    To conclude our lesson, let's look at a couple of examples!

    Here is an example of a post that uses line breaks and paragraph structure. Do you see how easy it is to read?

    The River of Souls reeks with the foul stench of Death. Alsbeth the Discordant, bride of Regulos, sows her evil will into the soulstream that binds Telara with the afterlife. Dark magic corrupts the spirits within, transforming them into lifeless husks eager to serve the Devourer.

    Alsbeth is determined to crush Telara under the tread of the Endless Court, and tear down the Ward to make way for a massive invasion. It now falls to you, Ascended, to beat back the darkness before the world is snuffed out!

    Update 1.1 brings a host of changes and new features, and to prepare for its worldwide debut, we are calling on everyone willing to assist in testing the River of Souls World Event. This event introduces the next phase in RIFT’s saga, and will rage across all Telara, culminating in an unforgettable battle with Alsbeth’s forces in Stillmoor... should you survive that long.

    Join us tonight (while you still draw breath), Wednesday, March 23, 2011, for a special sneak peek of the event at 5:00PM PST. You will witness the grand finale of the world event and see what’s in store when 1.1 is unleashed. Leveling merchants will be available in Merdian and Sanctum to help you take part in all the action.

    Be sure you don’t miss out by grabbing the Alpha client early. Simply follow these instructions and you’ll be ready to go. Remember: any previous characters you had on Alpha will still be available to play, but no live-to-Alpha character copies will be available for this event.

    We look forward to welcoming you all to RIFT’s first massive world event. We can’t wait for your feedback, and we’ll see you on Alpha!
    Here is an example of the typical "wall of text" that occurs through lack of proper line breaks. Can you see how difficult it is to read?

    I am preparing this discourse concerning pvp/pve in response to countless views not only from the Rift community, but as a holistic view the MMO community has on pvp/pve interaction. Primarily, this post originates from the conflicting views traditional pvpers have when contrasted to traditional pvers and I endeavour to focus on constructive criticism of the elitist mentality expressed by the majority of classic world pvpers. Ultimately, this discourse is a wholly subjective view of the situation according to my personal experience and i welcome input from others that differs from mine.I will use many examples throughout this post but none seems more pertinent of an example with respect to the issue in question than to draw upon the experiences of Ultima Online before the end of the T2A era. UO had in my opinion three distinct categories of gamers: Pvpers whom were primarily focused on engaging other players, Pvers whom were primarily concerned with amassing wealth and fame from mobs, and hybrid players whom equally focused on both aspects of the game. I have not included crafters in their own category as I view them as a form of PvE - just not combat-oriented. Classical PvPers viewed pvers as weak, fragile and merely a source of free food, so to speak. Pvers in contrast tended to view pvpers as nothing more than player-killers: griefers intent on ruining 'their' game. Hybrids accepted both forms of interaction as integral parts of UO: pkers were a welcome risk as they added an element of urgency and suprise - even if the hybrid gamer in question was engaging in pve content at the time.Having established these categories I now will progress into the point of this discussion: criticizing the elitism of the pvper. Pvpers nowadays are grouped into two followings: instanced and world pvpers. Instanced pvp was idealistically created as an effort to bring pvpers together in a single battleground devoted to like-minded gamers. Contemporarily however, I myself view instanced pvp as a way of shunting pvers into the realm of player-versus-player. The atttraction for the pver to engage in instanced pvp is quite blatant: to engage in pvp content without the risk of losing pve-oriented goods/status. Pvers joining battlegrounds and the like do so for a specific reason: they actively want to participate in pvp at that precise moment in time. They know what they are getting into and in a way form a social contract with other players admitting themselves to pvp content. World pvpers tend to be almost wholly diametrically opposed to instanced pvp - they see instanced pvp as an escape mechanism for softcore pvpers whom cannot handle the realities of harshness in a persistent-state world that is open to all manner of possibilities, including theft and murder. They abscond any form of a contractural agreement and adopt a winner-takes-all approach.Moving forward, with respect to recent changes such as the difficulty of raiding towns which was intended as a game aspect and promoted as such, world pvpers are quite the malcontents now and more vocal than ever in expressing such animosity. Rightfully so, they express their dissatifaction with losing an element of previously promised world pvp content. However, here's where the elitism of world pvpers comes into play: they see it as their right to engage in pvp and that it should be virtually uncondtitional: guards have no role in a pvp oriented game, especially a game that is so focused on pvp interaction.I question the veracity of the world-pvper mindset that is so expressed in the current era of MMOS. Classical MMO players from the days of M59 and UO seem to have an idealistic view of their era. Perhaps owing to nostalgia, or to fond memories of an era not only attatched to their gaming life but existentially as a meta-analysis of good times long past, pvpers of such an era view open-world pvp as a paragon of gaming philosophy, one that exemplified true freedom and risk/reward based interactionsim. Old-timers of MMOs view nothing wrong with their era of gaming and dub all characters that wanted freedom to engage in pve content exclusively and engage in pvp only when flagged as the etymological 'carebears'. I argue that such old-timers are engaging in idealistic views of their time long gone and fail to objectively examine the situation their games in their prime actually were in. There was nothing 'fun' or engaging in being pked in some remote area and having to run back to a healer/find a wandering one (good luck) and then attempting a corpse recovery (assuming you werent looted - which you would be so this point is admittedly moot) and in the end grudingly had to trek back to town. Sure you could find a friend but this wasnt exactly an easy process. No in-game messaging system was around back in those days - ICQ was your best bet. If you had no friends online at the moment, you were proverbially **** out of luck. Pvpers considered this 'realism' - pvers considered it 'griefing'. Ultimately, though I'm myself a pvper at heart I must admit that stiff penalties such as these in the end resort to griefing being the proper terminology for killing another player 9 times out of ten. Just try and mine the mountains around Britain/Minoc back in the day. Better have recall preloaded after every strike of your pick. World pvpers dub griefing realism, philiologically justifying it as an inevitability, just as in the 'real world'. Yet this argument holds absolutely no merit to this day: none of us play games to be immersed in a real world, we play them to get away from the real thing. Besides, i doubt many of us stand in line at the bank watching for others trying to steal our bags or walk down the street paranoid that we'll get jumped every time we leave the house. Real life requires a shred of ignorance to live reasonably comfortable - we cant worry about dying all the time because we wouldn't ever get actual work done. Same holds true in a game: people engaging in pve content are doing so because their naturally fixated on a certain goal and must exercise a certain ignorance in order to complete such goals.Pkers just cause grief when they ambush one person engaged with mobs or are on downtime. World pvp thus is ultimately a form of griefing. You cannot jump another person engaged with a mob and proclaim your victory as sourced exclusively from skill - yet this is overwhelmingly what world pvpers tend to do. But world pvp is not necessarily an invention of Satan. Turning to another pvp-centric MMO that in my mind was on the right path, DAoC in my opinion, melded pvp and pve content into a harmonious mix. World pvp existed, but only when players mutually agreed to it. If you went to a frontier zone you know just what was in store for you - no complaints. If you went to a realm zone you also knew what you were looking for: pve. No grieifing existed as you knowingly entered intoa binding contract as soon as you left the fortress walls.Of course, I am not ignorant to the counter argument to the above: by playing Rift you automatically agree to the terms of almost unconditional pvp. The problem is that this way of thinking is self-destructive. Even hardcore pvpers need a time to rest and get away from things, so to speak, to socialize and relaxingly engage in the metagame without worrying about being jumped every second of their game time. To put it bluntly : pvp and pve dont mix and never have. Although Trammel may be quoted as the downfall of UO caused by the weak minority of gamers, it is a complete fallacy to assume this position. Trammel was a response to a significant user base pleading to allow uninterrupted pve content and selective pvp - thats why Felucca was maintained. Honestly, imo pvp was better during these days. Pvp shifted from griefing and murdering to primarily guild-based and highly organized warfare. Much more engaging than ambushing that tamer trying to get his next white wyrm. I digress however and accept that my view is in no ways binding on the MMO community as a whole. The point I think remains: those demanding unrestricted world pvp are delusional in their views on their past and this leads to an elitest mindset. I used the term `old-timer`` purposefully as I beleive those demanding unrestricted pvp are classical mmoers that want to relive their glory days. New and younger gamers simply do not have these grandiose depictions of pvp as they were fostered upon a restricted model of pvp. Even on pvp servers, nothing`s come close to the ``glory`` days of games like UO and Asheron`s Call where carnage reigned supreme. Simply put, new-age gamers do not share the experiences old-timers do because they weren`t. Note however I do not claim all gamers unaccustomed to old mmos are opposed to unrestricted pvp but I must adamantly maintain that the vast majority of those seeking unrestricted pvp are those that were brought up on such a model of gaming. To this end, I must cushion the blow of this post by stating firmly that i am among those whom accepts world pvp as not a small, but an integral part of this game and accoringly I`m prepared for all consequences of such a game world. However, i must furthermore reiterate that pvpers and need to come off their high-horses. Unrestricted world pvp is challenging - griefing is not. MMO gamers as a whole must learn to accept that unrestricted pvp is not an ideal model. But for those that desire it given the circumstance, as I do, more power to you and us. Just retain a modicum of humility and accept that though such activity is engaging and rewarding, it is not without its drawbacks.
    *Note: Line breaks were intentionally removed from the above post in order to make it into the "bad" example. The actual post uses paragraph structure, and while very long is readable.
    Last edited by Sneezer; 03-30-2011 at 11:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Rift Disciple
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    Keep subject lines 3 words or less.

  3. #3
    Plane Touched
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    This is funny.

    P.S. No one is going to read that.
    This signature guaranteed to be less than two lines or it's free*.

    * By "free" I mean "shut up". Yes, you.

  4. #4
    Champion of Telara
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    Don't forget

    Posts like this

    That have to split every sentence

    Onto a separate double-spaced line

    Because the writer has no reading ability, and therefor has to structure their ideas in a horrid fashion.

    It's so irritating, especially when the post gets very long.

    Sort of like this, but much longer.


    -----------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sneezer View Post
    I would like to have a discussion with some of the forum poster here. Presumably, those forum posters who have missed school grades 2-12.
    forum posters

    ---
    plu·ral
       [ploor-uhl] Show IPA
    –adjective
    1.
    consisting of, containing, or pertaining to more than one.

    Last edited by Txzeenath; 03-30-2011 at 12:07 PM.
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  5. #5
    Soulwalker
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    tl, dr.

    but who cares about punctuation? this here be the internets.

  6. #6
    Prophet of Telara Sneezer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khazaam View Post
    This is funny.

    P.S. No one is going to read that.
    I realize that.

    But after all of the forum posts I have seen today that look like they were written by 4-year olds, I felt compelled.

    Thanks for the comments!

  7. #7
    Shadowlander 4straea's Avatar
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    +1 to this post.

    You know, it's a lost cause though, right?

  8. #8
    Plane Touched Blackard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sneezer View Post
    I would like to have a discussion with some of the forum poster here. Presumably, those forum posters who have missed school grades 2-12.

    This discussion is about making your posts LEGIBLE through the usage of punctuation, sentences, paragraph structure, and line breaks.

    Note: No one expects perfect grammar or spelling in every instance. People do make mistakes. This discussion is simply about structuring your post so that other people have at least a snow ball's chance in he11 of reading it.

    First, lets get a little bit of vocabulary out there, just in case you don't know what some of these words mean.

    punc·tu·a·tion
    n.
    1.
    a. The use of standard marks and signs in writing and printing to separate words into sentences, clauses, and phrases in order to clarify meaning.
    b. The marks so used.

    sen·tence
    n.
    1. A grammatical unit that is syntactically independent and has a subject that is expressed or, as in imperative sentences, understood and a predicate that contains at least one finite verb

    par·a·graph
    n.
    1. A distinct division of written or printed matter that begins on a new, usually indented line, consists of one or more sentences, and typically deals with a single thought or topic or quotes one speaker's continuous words.

    line break
    n.
    1. The operation that prepares for the next character to be printed or displayed as the first character on the next line

    Now that we have vocabulary out of the way, lets talk about how to make a LINE BREAK.
    Press the "ENTER" or "RETURN" button on your keyboard.
    Yes, it really is that SIMPLE.


    Now that we know how to make a line break, let's talk about when to use the line break to start a new PARAGRAPH.
    • Start a new paragraph when beginning a new idea, a new topic or a new point. One idea per paragraph is the ideal grouping to make sure you don’t overwhelm your reader and maximize retention. As such, you should always create a new paragraph when introducing a new one into the material.
    • Start a new paragraph when contrasting ideas. Let’s say you have one idea in paragraph one and another in paragraph two. Where do you add the part that you pit them against each other? On a new paragraph, that’s where.
    • Start a new paragraph when you need to offer your reader a short break. Some ideas can be too heavy to parlay in one paragraph. If you force it, you can end up with a paragraph that runs through pages, which is hardly the most ideal way to present your thoughts. Give the readers a break and break the uninterrupted flow of words – just make sure to put in a good transition from one paragraph to another.
    • It is also a good practice to keep paragraphs to a length of 3-5 sentences.

    To conclude our lesson, let's look at a couple of examples!

    Here is an example of a post that uses line breaks and paragraph structure. Do you see how easy it is to read?



    Here is an example of the typical "wall of text" that occurs through lack of proper line breaks. Can you see how difficult it is to read?



    *Note: Line breaks were intentionally removed from the above post in order to make it into the "bad" example. The actual post uses paragraph structure, and while very long is readable.
    No that's just crazy talk, Sneezer! ;p

  9. #9
    Rift Disciple Nizran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Txzeenath View Post
    Don't forget

    Posts like this

    That have to split every sentence

    Onto a separate double-spaced line

    Because the writer has no reading ability, and therefor has to structure their ideas in a horrid fashion.

    It's so irritating, especially when the post gets very long.

    Sort of like this, but much longer.


    -----------------



    forum posters

    ---
    plu·ral
       [ploor-uhl] Show IPA
    –adjective
    1.
    consisting of, containing, or pertaining to more than one.

    OMG....I think I just went cross-eyed.

    I agree, everyone should keep each separate thought to different paragraphs instead of WOTing us.

    Sometimes when people use paragraphs though, it can be single line thoughts like these.

    The End.
    Me: Stop whining and have fun!
    Them: But WoW tells me I can has everything I wants as long as I act my age. (pouts)
    Me: This is not WoW!
    Them: Whaaaat? I thought it was Wow's newest expansion
    /facepalm
    Me: The devs will not change everything to how you want it. What the &$*@ is your problem.
    Them: I wouldn't has a problem if everyone just agrees with ME....ME, ME, ME!!!
    /cry

    For those who do not think that the devs are listening to all your complaining:
    http://forums.riftgame.com/showthrea...1.01-update%29
    http://forums.riftgame.com/showthrea...afting-Updates
    http://forums.riftgame.com/showthrea...5th-March-2011
    http://forums.riftgame.com/showthrea...2-Dungeon-Gear

  10. #10
    Plane Touched Qoojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sneezer View Post
    I would like to have a discussion with some of the forum poster here. Presumably, those forum posters who have missed school grades 2-12.

    This discussion is about making your posts LEGIBLE through the usage of punctuation, sentences, paragraph structure, and line breaks.
    Did this last sentence really deserve its own paragraph? I am no English wiz at this point in my life, but I think this important matter deserves some discussion. You have a topic sentence with no support in the second paragraph, and the first sentence is wordy babble, like who else are you going to have a conversation with here?

    Last edited by Qoojo; 03-30-2011 at 12:13 PM.

  11. #11
    Rift Master Bostish's Avatar
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    tem teacherz nvr learnt m3 notin n sk00l.

  12. #12
    Rift Chaser LittleGee's Avatar
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    TLDR (actually I did read)

    If they sat in school for, oh say 12 years and missed the boat, do you really think they took the time to read your well written post outlining the do's and don'ts of forum posting?

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  13. #13
    Prophet of Telara Sneezer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qoojo View Post
    Did this last sentence really deserve its own paragraph? I am no English wiz at this point in my life, but I think this important matter deserves some discussion. You have a topic sentence with no support in the second paragraph, and the first sentence is wordy babble, like who else are you going to have a conversation with here?

    You are correct. Thank you for your feedback.

    Like I said, I'm not looking for perfection; just an effort in the right direction. I know that even my own writing is not perfect, nor deserving of any literary awards. However, the key here is making the effort to write a LEGIBLE post.

  14. #14
    Soulwalker
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    I read the whole thing.

    I agree that some people need to make posts a bit more legible. It would be a lot easier to read if there was some sort of break in the post. I have problems with my eyes sometimes and it makes it a bit hard to read a wall of text, just the line breaks help me keep track of where I am at in a post.

    But, that probably won't happen. So I will just not read the wall of text posts, just like I've always done.
    There is no consolation in the ambiguous language of the prophets;
    it leads the mind into confusion, darkness and doubt

  15. #15
    Telaran Zapetta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sneezer View Post
    I would like to have a discussion with some of the forum poster here.
    I find it hilarious when posts like this contain mistakes in the very first sentence.

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