Erik's Quick Style Sheet: Better Writing In Only Twenty Minutes a Day! Big Important Note: This page doesn't even come close to saying everything that can be said about writing. It simply addresses some of the most common problems in student papers. First, I ll separate the single most important thing I can tell you about editing your own work: read your papers aloud before you turn them in. Read slowly and clearly, as if you are giving a speech. Your roommate will think you a tad batty, but you will find oodles of ways to make the paper flow more smoothly. 1. The passive voice should not be used. Use the active voice. 2. "To be" constructions are weak and often unnecessary. Using "to be" verbs (including the use of "there is" or "there are" to begin sentences) will weaken most sentences. Find ways to rephrase such constructions. 3. Spell correcly. Use a spell-checker, but don't only use a spell-checker. Edit your work. 4.
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