I need an online class to learn more about how to write narratives

I need an online class to learn more about how to write narratives for Mystery shops.
It has cost me a shop for having bad grammar and spelling mistakes and not enough detail to get paid.

This has been edited with the help of the Grammarly app

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2021 10:53PM by bmttinman.

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You might try to type the narrative in Microsoft Word. It has a spelling AND grammar checker built in. Or at least it used to years ago when my daughter was in school. A quick Google search resulted in this which might help.

[www.howtogeek.com]
@bmttinman wrote:

I am needing an online class to learn more about how to write narratives for Mystery shops.
It has cost me a shop for having bad grammar and spell mistakes and not enough detail to get paid.
I do this. But it seems that it's not working for me enough to get by the editor
B, you write like perhaps English isn't your first language? If so, kudos to you -- I could never ever master a second language as you have English.

Meanwhile, I suggest confining yourself to those shops NOT requiring narrative (or at least, the absolute minimum, such as Marketforce shops). Sure, the pay is not as high -- but better to be paid, than spend all that effort and not get paid because your writing isn't up to the task.

And don't try to report on your phone!
@ceasesmith wrote:

B, you write like perhaps English isn't your first language? If so, kudos to you -- I could never ever master a second language as you have English.

Meanwhile, I suggest confining yourself to those shops NOT requiring narrative (or at least, the absolute minimum, such as Marketforce shops). Sure, the pay is not as high -- but better to be paid, than spend all that effort and not get paid because your writing isn't up to the task.

And don't try to report on your phone!
@bmttinman wrote:

@ceasesmith wrote:

B, you write like perhaps English isn't your first language? If so, kudos to you -- I could never ever master a second language as you have English.

Meanwhile, I suggest confining yourself to those shops NOT requiring narrative (or at least, the absolute minimum, such as Marketforce shops). Sure, the pay is not as high -- but better to be paid, than spend all that effort and not get paid because your writing isn't up to the task.

And don't try to report on your phone!
Let us see. I was born in CA. I have a high school diploma but it seems that English is something I have trouble with.
Ah. Well, sometimes I think California IS a foreign country, LOL.

I hope you forgive me my misstep; no disrespect intended.

One of the requirements is "simple declarative sentences".

I would have written your posting as "I need an online class to learn how to write narratives for mystery shops. Poor grammar and spelling mistakes cost me a shop."

I find I make many, many mistakes when I type on my phone.

You can Google "How to write a declarative sentence".

Many books are available for Remedial English. You might just try working through some of them. I prefer books, because you can write in them, mark them, make notes, etc -- all very difficult to do with....well, with words on a computer. You don't have to be an English major (or maven) to master basic grammar.

smiling smiley

Also, a study proved that actually READING 45 minutes a day will improve one's English. You kind of just absorb it, as long as what you read is well written.

You know, skip the local newspaper with the headlines screaming "Tractor Trailer Reeks Havoc in I-80 accident".

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2021 02:06AM by ceasesmith.
Don't overcomplicate. Post a sample of the shop that was rejected. Maybe it's the editor. Maybe it's you.
@sparklesthekitty wrote:

Don't overcomplicate. Post a sample of the shop that was rejected. Maybe it's the editor. Maybe it's you.
No it is my fault. I have stayed with simple shops but now that Ipsos has changed it's platform I am having to go back to companies that do narratives to keep up the money flow. As you can read improvment is needed.
Caught between a rock and a hard place -- you can't keep up the money flow without the narratives.

I believe someone mentioned Grammarly, and I believe it is free. They absolutely will take complex sentences and restructure them. They'll make things "agree", verbs and stuff. They'll fix awkward.

However, when they are done, absolutely proof read. Changing complex sentences into simple sentences sometimes results in changing the meaning of what you say.

I have a friend who really, really wanted to mystery shop. So he got started with some grocery shops. I do not find grocery shops that easy or simple. However, he simply could not write a short paragraph of 3 or 4 sentences. And this guy is intelligent and college educated! After not being paid for several shops, he gave it up.

Another friend wrote a book. I'm an editor, so she sent it to me to edit. I could not. This woman has a PhD degree, and cannot write a paragraph that makes any sense whatsoever. How she earned a PhD is incomprehensible. Thank God we've been friends for over 50 years, so she eventually got over it. But it took her a few years. I sent it back with a note: "Polish, polish, and polish some more. Take one chapter and turn it into an article. I'll send you a list of publishers that might accept your articles."

She didn't speak to me for years.

smiling smiley

So don't beat yourself up -- just tackle it. I'm sure you can master it.

At least, in your posts, I understand what you're saying, so you've got it all over at least one person with a PhD!
Libraries? They may have online classes and/or digital books and audio books that you could learn from. I'm not sure how those things, like Overdrive, work but I have read that there is a lot of free info that can be had at the library. Whether in person or online. It may sound stupid, and I don't mean it to be, but what about children's workbooks for spelling or grammar? When I wanted to learn another language I got children's books and school workbooks in that language which helped.

sestrahelena
@sparklesthekitty wrote:

Don't overcomplicate. Post a sample of the shop that was rejected. Maybe it's the editor. Maybe it's you.
Here is the report
The build was in good shape as I drove into an empty parking lot with 8 vehicles that where on the front of the property. A four door model of the Deleted was on display on a raise portion of the property. The Deleted was present on the front of the building. As I walked thru the door you saw a parts counter directly in front of me with two persons behind the counter. To the right there were model on display and to the left were several desks for the sales personal. I did not see anything that gave me a bad impression.

As I entered the store I was greeted with a hello that did not show any enthusiasm and in to my responds of “High Guys”
I was asked what you would like to talk about after I had asked for a salesman to whom I was told he was not in today. The person that helped was a counter man that also did sales. I told him what I was looking at to which he stated that he had one in stock and gave me a price of the unit. This whole conversation was minimal and less I asked questions nothing was volunteered.
He had no card but the person I had talked to the day before and I was hand his card when I asked for his. I had him to write down his name on paper as that have something.
I can see immediately that's an unusable report. The parking lot was empty, but had 8 vehicles? Were the 8 vehicles display models for sale?

Spell check is worthless if the word you type is a real word. Like you typed "where" when you meant "were" -- spell check won't catch that.

Why not try Grammarly, run the report right through it, and see what Grammarly corrects it to?

"Responds" should be "response"; "High Guys" should be "Hi, guys".

"As I walked thru the door you saw a parts counter directly in front of me with two persons behind the counter. To the right there were model on display and to the left were several desks for the sales personal."

I don't know how to underline, but I would have written that: "As I entered, I saw the parts counter directly in front of me. Two persons were behind the counter. To the right were display models, and to the left were several desks for the sales personnel."

"I asked for a salesman. I was told he was not in today. Mr. X, the parts person, offered to help me. Mr. X did not have a business card. When I asked for a card, Mr. X got one off the salesman's desk and gave it to me."

One fact or idea per sentence. Short, complete sentences.

I'm absolutely not jumping on you. English challenges you; tech challenges me, horribly. I ask for help all the time here, mostly regarding tech stuff, and I always do get help -- even if I can't understand what they are telling me!
@ceasesmith thank you but it is still not a fix. I am like the guy in the movies that see himself is doing everything right but the truth is I am falling down and look worse than a two year old walking.
Yes, it's not a fix.

Have you tried reading your report out loud to yourself before submitting? I'll bet if you read the above paragraphs out loud, you'll hear some of your mistakes.

Do you have anyone you can take with you on shops, who could take over the report-writing tasks?

The only other real suggestion I can make is keep to non-narrative shops until you have the chance to work on this.

And try merchandising. They don't much care if you can't write. The most I have to write on most of those reports is "Explain what steps this location is taking to ensure the health and safety of customers and staff" -- to which I type in, "masks, distancing". That's it, don't have to worry about sentence structure, etc.

Or maybe your cell phone has an option where you can speak your report? I'll bet your speech is much more concise than your writing.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2021 06:34PM by ceasesmith.
@ceasesmith wrote:

Yes, it's not a fix.

Have you tried reading your report out loud to yourself before submitting? I'll bet if you read the above paragraphs out loud, you'll hear some of your mistakes.

Do you have anyone you can take with you on shops, who could take over the report-writing tasks?

The only other real suggestion I can make is keep to non-narrative shops until you have the chance to work on this.

And try merchandising. They don't much care if you can't write. The most I have to write on most of those reports is "Explain what steps this location is taking to ensure the health and safety of customers and staff" -- to which I type in, "masks, distancing". That's it, don't have to worry about sentence structure, etc.

Or maybe your cell phone has an option where you can speak your report? I'll bet your speech is much more concise than your writing.

LOL I have been accused of being a Texan but never lived there. Albuquerque is a fair distance from Dallas.
I use my phone only for writing when my computer is not available. As you read this I am using the Grammarly extension for chrome.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2021 06:56PM by bmttinman.
Bmttinman, Just reading what you sent in I am immediately struck by the thought that you were so finished with the report writing that you really never read it over before sending it. For me there is always a temptation not to re read when I write something long. Many of the mistakes are ones that will not be caught by spellcheck as you used real words. Just in the first sentence you said, "the build was in good shape". Had you read that over aloud as was suggested, I think you certainly would have noticed that you meant building, not build.
I do think practice, practice, practice with a grammar book will help. You might even find some adult education classes through the school district where you live. Many of the classes are free. For some people an in person class is more helpful. You might need to wait until schools open again after Covid.
In the meantime you can do the jobs without long writing requirements. Being able to write correctly will be helpful in much more of your life than just mystery shopping and once you are able to master grammar you will find many other options will open up to you.

@sparklesthekitty wrote:

Don't overcomplicate. Post a sample of the shop that was rejected. Maybe it's the editor. Maybe it's you.
Here is the report
The build was in good shape as I drove into an empty parking lot with 8 vehicles that where on the front of the property. A four door model of the Deleted was on display on a raise portion of the property. The Deleted was present on the front of the building. As I walked thru the door you saw a parts counter directly in front of me with two persons behind the counter. To the right there were model on display and to the left were several desks for the sales personal. I did not see anything that gave me a bad impression.

As I entered the store I was greeted with a hello that did not show any enthusiasm and in to my responds of “High Guys”
I was asked what you would like to talk about after I had asked for a salesman to whom I was told he was not in today. The person that helped was a counter man that also did sales. I told him what I was looking at to which he stated that he had one in stock and gave me a price of the unit. This whole conversation was minimal and less I asked questions nothing was volunteered.
He had no card but the person I had talked to the day before and I was hand his card when I asked for his. I had him to write down his name on paper as that have something.[/quote]
Not gonna lie, it's impressive that you want to learn. A lot of people limit themselves because they want to avoid feeling humiliated. I think you'll find it's not so difficult. The major thing to focus on is that your answers are consistent. The spelling and punctuation will be a pain to the editor, but still results in a usable report. Even if you get a low score, the goal is to keep getting paid as you grow.
MSPA offers a writing course that is focused on mystery shopping. I haven't taken it in over a decade, so perhaps someone else can chime in on the value of it. I would recommend going for it after you gain what you can from free resources.

[www.mspa-americas.org]
@1cent wrote:

MSPA offers a writing course that is focused on mystery shopping. I haven't taken it in over a decade, so perhaps someone else can chime in on the value of it. I would recommend going for it after you gain what you can from free resources.

[www.mspa-americas.org]

Beat me to it! This was what I was going to recommend although I haven't taken this course. I've taken others over the years.
There is a lot of good advice posted. I really like the reading out loud suggestion. There is a big difference between reading silently and reading out loud. You will hear yourself and realize when something does not sound right.
Have you ever used an app that takes audio and converts it to written text?
What if you 'dictated' the report to yourself using your phone to record your responses one narrative section at a time and then type out the responses?
Can you do a simple audio report with fluid word choice, clear concise facts, and descriptors in a simple narrative style and then type out the report?
If you heard your voice speaking with proper grammar, would that help you get more grammatically correct words down on paper, making Grammarly more effective at correcting your writing style?
Your written voice seems uncertain and I detect real struggles with the whole writing process beyond not being a good writer or remembering rules of grammar.
I have a family of non-neurotypical types. With variants in audio and visual processing, focus, integration of tasks, I would have to wonder if you had some marginal learning disability that went unnoticed, depending on your age, because so much more is understood now about cognition, learning styles, and neurodevelopment.
Are you a strong auditory and/or kinesthetic learner? How are your verbal skills, gross and/or fine motor skills (not necessarily with pen or pencil, think woodworker, painting, sewing, etc.)?
Most people think of their strengths along classic lines of visual, auditory or kinesthetic learning, but I think in Australia in recent decades they also came up with one more element, VARK, to address that reading and writing piece as an integrated component of understanding learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses.
My kids are older, but one of my middles child's classmates was not diagnosed with dyslexia until she was in fourth grade, after her third-grade teacher recognized that something was definitely off. Other things came up in a neuropsychological evaluation that only a highly trained specialist would ever notice or could explain. They are now freshmen in high school. I have known that family for nearly ten years. She always struggled compared to her fraternal twin sister since kindergarten. Even today, in a good district, good resources, the differences took some time to recognize as that atypical beyond needing more supports.
I have a house full of sensory processing challenged and bright (the oldest had As when he was in eighth grade math without doing homework all year) but atypical learners and am hyper-analytical in thinking about the possibilities.
Even really bright people can have exceptional challenges with things that others find so simple. You are not alone.
Think about your strengths and how to find resources to maximize your strengths and support your weaknesses.
Do not get discouraged.
Look at this link-
[www.wordstream.com]

You might find merchandising jobs easier to complete. Also, try Market Force. Their shops have easy narratives.
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