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Poetic Articles:

The Correct Layout of
Rhyming Poetry on the Page

By Josie Whitehead

A lady wrote to me today and she had a question to ask.  It may be the same question as you may ask if you come to my website:  'Why do you lay out your poetry on the page as you do?'

Well, perhaps you may also have noticed my good typewriting and, hopefully, good English.  hmmm  I hope so.  

I have taught secretarial subjects in Colleges of Further Education for many years of my working life, as well  as having worked outside in the world of work in about as many different offices as you can imagine.  You can't teach other people how to do things if you have never worked in the world of work yourself, can you?  No, you can't.

English language was one of my main subjects.  You know yourself how dreadful it is to receive a letter in which it is clear that the writer had no idea how to write well in our English language.

The examinations which my students took were mainly those of The Royal Society of Arts, which was an examining board of a very high standard.  The layout of poetry came in the RSA III examination which, I was told, was higher than A levels.  This is how the students had to lay out poetry on the page:

Poetry must be typed in single line spacing and each line, new sentence or not, should start with a capital letter and there should be a double space between the verses.


Your teacher will explain to you exactly why we use punctuation when we are trying to explain something to another person in writing, but here are some links that you make like to go to and read: 


The Basics of Punctuation Skills

2   Correct Punctuation

 The Importance of Punctuation

Having read the above articles, I'm quite sure that other teachers of the English language will agree that teaching children how to read, write and speak with good English is so important in life, and sadly many of you agree with me that texting, as they do, doesn't help.

Lastly, the layout of poetry is as follows:

The rhyming lines of a poem should start approximately under the third letter from the line above.

Other than this, let your students/pupils listen to good poetry first of all several times.  Then let them read it, noting that words that sound alike are not necessarily spelled the same.  

With any skill subject, and reading is one of them, there is a magic number in THREE.  If your children read something that is correctly written three times, there is little chance that they will make mistakes with any of the words when they write them in future.  They will have built up for themselves a good skill.  Those of you who teach will know this.


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