Make Your Voice Heard: Express Your Ideas Effectively

Instructed by Fran Santoro Hamilton

Improve the effectiveness of your writing at the same time that you learn to write with greater ease. “Make Your Voice Heard” will show you how to break the writing process into manageable steps: determining your purpose, appealing to your audience, writing your first draft, polishing content. Some aspects of editing, including usage, punctuation, and conciseness, will also be addressed. Finally, you will learn how to package or deliver your message so that it receives the attention you desire. While the course will focus on written communication, many of its points can be applied to spoken messages as well. Assignments over the seven-week period will help you to express your ideas on a topic of your choice ranging from a letter designed to change public policy to a memoir for your descendants. The course is appropriate for students (junior high or older) and for adults.


I. Overview of the Writing Process: Breaking it into manageable steps; conferring

II. Planning: Determining your purpose; appealing to your audience

III. The First Draft: Getting ideas down quickly; evaluating effectiveness; polishing content

IV. Editing I:  Usage

V. Editing II:  Punctuation

VI. Editing III:  Conciseness

VII. “Packaging” Your Message

Prerequisites: None

Objectives: To write with greater effectiveness and with greater ease.

Course materials:

In addition to a dictionary, students should have an English handbook or style book that includes information about sentence structure, usage, capitalization, and punctuation. Hands-On English, written by Fran Santoro Hamilton, the course instructor, provides quick access to basic information about English. Although it is not as comprehensive as some other handbooks, information is easy to find and easy to understand. If you already have a handbook that you like, consider getting a copy of Hands-On English for younger students or for adults wanting to improve basic English skills.

If you want to practice the rules governing sentence structure, usage, capitalization, and punctuation, The Activity Book has exercises to help master concepts presented in Hands-On English. The Home School Edition would meet your needs unless you want to reproduce pages, in which case you would need the Teacher’s Edition.

Another valuable resource is “Acu-Write,” a FREE weekly e-mail tip sheet also published by Fran Santoro Hamilton. “Acu-Write” is intended for “anyone whose writing is read by others.” Each issue addresses two errors commonly made with English. To subscribe, click on the link below:
mailto:[email protected]

If you are a connoisseur of English, you might also enjoy “LinguaPhile,” a FREE monthly e-mail newsletter targeted at people who “teach and/or enjoy English.” “LinguaPhile” includes Q & A about English, vocabulary expanders, inspiring quotations, book reviews, etc. To subscribe, click on the link below:
mailto:[email protected]

If you subscribe to one of the newsletters above, please enter Fran Hamilton’s e-mail address ([email protected]) in your address book so that the newsletter will get through the filtering system now used by some Internet Service Providers.

Contact info:

Web site:
e-mail address: [email protected]

Fran Hamilton
Author of _Hands-On English_
Providing Quick Access to English Fundamentals
mailto:[email protected]
mailto:[email protected]

Lecture 1 The Writing Process (Overview)
Lecture 2 Planning
Lecture 3 Writing and Polishing the First Draft
Lecture 4 Editing I: Usage
Lecture 5 Editing II: Punctuation
Lecture 6 Editing III: Conciseness
Lecture 7 “Packaging” Your Message