- Avoid contractions (can’t, won’t, etc) unless in a quotation.
- Don’t use slang or common words (thing, stuff, etc), unless in a quotation.
- Write only in third person. Don’t use “you” or “I.”
- Underline the title of major works (novels, plays); use quotation marks for shorter works that can be published in an anthology (short stories, poems).
- Use sentence variety (simple, compound, complex).
- Use specific, vivid, and detailed incidents and examples to support your arguments.
- Use transitions/coherence links to introduce ideas (first, second, furthermore, in addition, finally, in conclusion, however)
- Fix all comma splice errors, run-ons, and sentence fragments.
- When typing, run spell check, but remember that it won’t catch the wrong use of words (hear/here).
- Write in all present tense. Books never “end” – they continue on for a new reader.
- Make sure all paragraphs are indented a half an inch.
- Do not use “get” or “got.” Use stronger verbs!
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