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General Rules for Writers

  1. Verbs HAS 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 clich├ęs like the plague. (They're old hat.)

  6. Be more or less specific.

  7. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

  8. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

  9. No sentence fragments.

  10. Don't use no double negatives.

  11. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out or mispeld something.

  12. Eschew obfuscation.

More General Writing and Grammar Tips

  1. Write out numbers that are ten and below unless you are using units or other numbers in the sentence/paragraph are written numerically. Use numerals for numbers above ten (i.e., 11 and up).

  2. Always give a table or figure a number and a title.

  3. Always refer to tables and figures in your text. For example, "Table 1 shows..." or "the results indicate...(Table 1)."

  4. Periods and commas go inside quote marks.

  5. Paragraphs are three or more sentences.

  6. Refrain from using many bulleted or numbered lists within your text. Consider if the information can be included in the narrative or should be put in a table.

  7. When using bulleted or numbered lists, indent the list and keep the format of each item consistent, i.e., use all phrases or all complete sentences and start with a verb or noun. If using phrases, do not capitalize each bullet or number, and do not put a period at the end of each phrase; put a period after the last phrase only.

  8. Always cite your references.

  9. Never plagiarize. Put the information in quotes or reword it. In either case, always cite the reference.

General Presentation Tips

  • Look at the audience, not the screen or board.

  • Speak loud enough so everyone can hear you clearly.

  • Use phrases rather than complete sentences.

  • Leave some blank space on your slide.

  • If possible, use relevant photos, clipart, or schematics.

  • Make font sizes large enough so everyone can see the words or numbers clearly.

  • Make graphs large enough so everyone can read them easily.

  • Use a color scheme that does not detract from your presentation or make it difficult to read.

  • Do not simply read your slides. Add information.

  • Start with a title slide; end with a conclusion or summary slide. Tell your audience what you're going to say, say it, and tell them what you told them.

  • Make sure to give some background information.

  • Do not include a list of your references.

  • Ask if there are any questions.

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