Please follow this list carefully, and check you have observed all the points after you finish each paper.
Grammar, punctuation, syntax
Do not use first person plural (we, us).Make only one space after commas, periods, semi-colons and colons.Understand the meaning and use of the definite article (the) and the indefinite article (a, an).Do not use exclamation marks.Do not use first person singular (I) or personal opinions, except in personal statement or admission papers.Do not capitalize common nouns.Avoid all forms of questions, including rhetorical questions.Do not use colloquial terms or expressions.Do not use empty adverbs such as basically, actually, really.Do not use hyperbole (great exaggeration) or hyperbolic words such as enormous, huge, magnificent, glorious or other superlatives such as most obnoxious.Make sure all verbs agree with their subject in number (singular and plural).Make sure all prepositions agree with the verb (in English, most verbs have only one or two prepositions that can be used (results in, not results to).Check all spellings.Check that all adverbs are in the right place (you cannot put an adverb inside an infinitive verb like this: He tried to neatly write his name.)Do NOT use archaic words or terms. Young native English-speakers do not use these words. Some are hence, whereby, nevertheless, henceforth, hereunder, abovementioned, therefore, thus. Nowadays, these words are only used in certain forms of Colonial English.Do not use meaningless words as transitions just for their own sake.Use the present tense. Never use the future tense (will be), unless you intend to suggest the future.Do not use the present continuous tense as the main tense of the paper (is writing, are thinking). Use the present: writes, think.Check punctuation: do not leave out any commas.Write short sentences: only one sentence for each concept.Do not start a sentence with a conjunction (and, but)Do not write useless words to make sentences appear grander or more complicated.Make sure each sentence makes perfect, clear and logical sense.Use a hyphen for compound words such as stress-free.Do not repeat words frequently within the same paragraph. Use a pronoun or a synonym to vary the syntax.Do not repeat the same concept, idea or thought.Do not use gender-specific words for general meaning (man, mankind, men, manhood, gentleman)Do not write lady when you mean woman. – Do not use Latin abbreviations such as etc., i.e., e.g.; use what they mean in English: and so forth, that is, for example.When paraphrasing, make sure the „synonyms‟ you use mean exactly the same as the word you wish to replace.Do not start a sentence with „As such.‟Never write „so as to‟ when you mean „to‟.
FormattingDo not label paragraphs with Introduction, Conclusion or any other subtitle.Use the correct form and punctuation for in-text citations, according to the style choice.Make sure the thesis sentence appears in the first paragraph.Write a new, original title of less than nine words for each essay.Write the lecturer‟s question on the coversheet. Center your new title on top of the essay.Do not justify the text. Align it to the left only.Do not identify any keywords.Make sure you understand how to write and format a reference list.Understand the difference between an author‟s first and last names.You must state date of retrieval from the Internet.Always remove hyperlinks from URLs.Support each fact with an in-text citation.“Number of sources” means number of books, online texts or articles you need to reference. A paper always needs many more in-text citations from the sources than just two or three.There is no need for page numbers for essays less than four pages.Headers are not necessary for short essays.Do not include an abstract for an essay shorter than five pages, or for an essay without sub-headings.
If you do not know the meaning of some of the words used here, such as rhetorical, common nouns, articles or hyperbole, look them up: you need to know what they are.
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