(Numbers 2-5 assume you are using MLA formatting)
1. Place a comma before F A N B O Y S (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So).
2. When typing, leave one space after commas and semicolons.
3. When typing, leave two spaces after periods, colons, question marks, and exclamation points.
4. Title page: Place title in the center of the page. Place your name, the date, the teacher's name and the course name in the lower right corner of the page as follows:
5. Bibliography Example:
Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Dear Benjamin Banneker. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1994.
The Rules of Writing
1. Verbs HAVE to agree with their subjects.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat)
6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
7. Be more or less specific.
8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
10. No sentence fragments.
11. Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.
12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
14. One should NEVER generalize.
15. Comparisons are as bad as clich�s.
16. Don't use no double negatives.
17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
20. The passive voice is to be ignored.
21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
22. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
23. Kill all exclamation points!!!
24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
25. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth shaking ideas.
26. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.
27. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
28. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
30. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
31. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
32. Who needs rhetorical questions?
33. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
34. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
Other helpfu writing tips are included in:
Rules of Thumb, A Guide for Writers, Fourth Edition
Silverman, Jay. Elaine Hughes. Diana Roberts Wienbroer. Rules of Thumb, A Guide for Writers, Fourth Edition. The McGraw-Hill Companies, 1998.
The book is good for 16 to 90 years. It is a good reference for parents when helping their children with reports or with their own writing. I found the Third Edition to be helpful in college.