I have a question on writing submissions. Is the goal that you write something as best you can, without using dictionaries, looking up a point of grammar, etc., or is the idea that you use those tools and the writing correction helps you with phrasing, grammar, etc., that you couldn’t find on your own?
You should try and write as well as you can which means you can use external resources. We do want you to try and use your new vocabulary. When you write you can take more time to try and say things correctly. Our correctors are there to help you with phrasing and grammar as well. I guess I’m saying a little of both in answer to your question.
I would echo what Mark said. When I write Russian I tend to use a dictionary. I do not look up case endings or verb forms in a grammar book. I wait to get my correction back. I have a spell checker and I use it. I know some people prefer to write with a grammar book by their side. I think it is up to you. I prefer to treat it as a place to simply express myself with a little more time to prepare than when I speak, without getting too concerned about making mistakes, since that would slow me down. In fact I learn from my mistakes. I record my corrected writing and have even had native speakers record it for me so I can listen over and over. Good luck.
This is good to know! I think I had it the other way round myself…
As previously I’ve made a few posts in my target language (just casually) on the LingQ forums but I’ve just “winged” it off the top of my head. I was going to do the same for writing submissions but I guess when the time comes for me to write I’ll be taking more care and use dictionaries and some other online tools to help.