Gentle Writing Advice…

If you like this presentation – show it...

Slide 0

Gentle Writing Advice… Academic Writing Do’s

Slide 1

Note: This presentation is animated. Please use “Slide Show” to view these notes. Click for next ?

Slide 2


Slide 3

CDo: Use Active Voice subject verb subject verb Active voice = the subject does the action: The cat shredded the toilet paper. The students planned the ceremony. Tonya cooked dinner.

Slide 4

CDo: Use Active Voice Passive voice = the subject receives action: The toilet paper was shredded by the cat. The ceremony was planned by the students . Dinner was cooked by Tonya.

Slide 5

Appeal to the audience Do:

Slide 6

CDo: Appeal to the audience Comedians make everyday topics appealing to an audience. Anticipate the reader’s reactions to each section of your essay.

Slide 7

Proofread your work Do:

Slide 8

CDo: Proofread for errors Errors hurt communication of ideas.

Slide 9

Run spell-check to catch typographical errors. Poor grammar will hurt your grade in most classes. CDo: Proofread for errors

Slide 10

C Do: Write Concise Sentences

Slide 11

CDo: Write concise sentences Use fewer prepositions (to, of, in, from, for) to of in from for

Slide 12

CDo: Write concise sentences Use fewer be-verbs (is, are, was, were) is are was were

Slide 13

CDo: Write concise sentences No? The type of student in ENG 112 class is one who writes essays that are formal and academic. Yes? An ENG 112 student writes formal, academic essays.

Slide 14

C Do: Vary Sentence Length

Slide 15

C Do: Vary your sentence length Use short sentences to emphasize important ideas. Long long long long long long long long long long long long long; long, long long long long. Short short short short. Long long long long long long long long long long long long. Give your audience occasional breaks from long sentences.

Slide 16

C Do: Follow Assignment Guidelines

Slide 17

CDo: Follow all assignment guidelines Instructors expect students to follow all assignment guidelines. I think I’ll just make up my own assignment! Bad idea!!

Slide 18

C Do: Use concrete, vivid descriptions

Slide 19

CDo: Use concrete, vivid descriptions The pigsty example…

Slide 20

CDo: Use concrete, vivid descriptions Imagine someone saying, “Wow, your place is a real pigsty!”

Slide 21

CDo: Use concrete, vivid descriptions Pigsty? What does that mean?

Slide 22

CDo: Use concrete, vivid descriptions People have different concepts of what a “pigsty” is.

Slide 23

CDo: Use concrete, vivid descriptions When writing, merely saying, “The room was a pigsty” is not enough to convince your audience that you do indeed have a true pigsty on your hands.

Slide 24

CDo: Use concrete, vivid descriptions Pigsty = the room had not been vacuumed or dusted in a week. Pigsty = 3 rumpled outfits on the bed and a spilled make-up bag on the dresser FACT: Not all pigsties are created equal.

Slide 25

Pigsty = Ten years of brittle, yellowed papers were piled on the floor. Pizza boxes created makeshift tables for stacks of moldy fried chicken bones. The furniture dancing with insects, and each drawer had a beard of dust. CDo: Use concrete, vivid descriptions

Slide 26

Academic Writing Don’ts Gentle Writing Advice…

Slide 27

D Do not: Use cliches

Slide 28

DDo not: Use cliches “Beating around the bush”

Slide 29

DDo not: Use cliches “Everything happens for a reason”

Slide 30

DDo not: Use cliches “Dead as a doornail”

Slide 31

DDo not: Use cliches Don’t judge a book by its cover Last but not least What goes around comes around Sick as a dog Sweet as honey Old as the hills (Many cliches exist… these are just examples)

Slide 32

D Do not: Make announcements to the reader

Slide 33

DDo not: Make announcements “In this essay I will…”

Slide 34

D Do not: Address the reader as “YOU”

Slide 35

D Do not: Use “you” Q: What’s wrong with “YOU”? A: It does not apply to everyone, and therefore writers exclude many of their readers.

Slide 36

D Do not: Use “you” Who, ME? When you put on your fluffy wings, you feel at peace. The snowflakes hitting your body make you feel pretty and sparkly.

Slide 37

D Do not: Use “you” Who, ME? Seeing a sign like this makes you wonder why people would dislike you just because you are a shaven head child pick pocket. Perhaps you should wear a disguise so you don’t look like the picture on the sign.

Slide 38

D Do not: Use “you” Who, ME? When you pose for a family portrait in Winnie the Pooh costumes, you may be surprised at the reactions people have to your photo….

Slide 39

YOU D Do not: Use “you”

Slide 40

D Do not: Use “There are”/ “There is”

Slide 41

DDo not: Use Weak Fillers Weak Fillers= There are There were There is There was This is This was It is It was

Slide 42

No? There are many different classes offered at TCC. Yes? TCC offers many different classes. DDo not: Use Weak Fillers

Slide 43

No? It is necessary for employees to lock their desks. Yes? Employees must lock their desks. DDo not: Use Weak Fillers It is

Slide 44

D Do not: Say “I think” or “I feel” or “in my opinion”

Slide 45

DDo Not: Say “I think” or “I feel” or “in my opinion” If your name is on the paper, your reader knows that any opinions expressed in it are yours.

Slide 46

DDo Not: Say “I think” or “I feel” or “in my opinion” No need to say? I think iguanas make great pets. Just say? Iguanas make great pets.

Slide 47

D Do not: Use 5th grade words

Slide 48

DDo not: Use 5th grade words AVOID the word: thing(s) (use a noun/say what you mean)

Slide 49

Thing / Things Many things in the room look dirty. I studied the wrong thing for the test. We learned many things in class. items information for the facts new ideas

Slide 50

AVOID the words: get /got (received, arrived, became) DDo not: Use 5th grade words

Slide 51

Get / Got John got many gifts for Christmas. The ambulance got here quickly. When I get back, we should talk. Sophia got her shoes online. received many arrived return, bought

Slide 52

AVOID the word: hard (difficult, frustrating, confusing…) DDo not: Use 5th grade words

Slide 53

Hard The final exam was hard. Algebra is a hard subject for me difficult. challenging subject for me. frustrating, perplexing, complicated

Slide 54

AVOID the words: alot (a lot) till (until) DDo not: Use 5th grade words

Slide 55

AVOID the words: stuff (possessions, boxes etc…) mad (angry, upset, enraged) DDo not: Use 5th grade words

Slide 56

D Do not: Use “very”

Slide 57

DDo not: Use “very” “Very” adds nothing to a description. In order to show intensity, use stronger words or figures of speech.

Slide 58

His skin was very dry. His skin was so dry that he looked like a shedding snake. dry skin very very DDo not: Use “very”

Slide 59

If someone is confused, he/she is confused. (Adding “very” does not change anything!) DDo not: Use “very”

Slide 60

Use a stronger word and avoid “very” Very tired Exhausted DDo not: Use “very”

Slide 61

And finally, avoid the worst opening line ever written… (unless your goal is to present yourself as a dull, unsophisticated writer…)

Slide 62

This one line will destroy any hope for impressing a college professor with your essay… It’s DOOM for any essay…

Slide 63

Ready…? (I had to force my fingers to type these words...cringe…)

Slide 64

In today’s society, …

Slide 65

Or worse… “In today’s society, there are many reasons why…”

Slide 66

Remember to apply these Do’s & Don’ts to your writing… Start today! End of presentation