The ABC’s of Writing
by Writing Lab Assistants
A Allow plenty of time for revision.
B Be firm in your convictions! Take a stand, and stick to it. A thesis statement should uncompromisingly assert your opinion. However, make sure you back it up with supporting FACTS.
C Care about your topic.
D Designate time for editing and revision.
E Examine every element for accuracy and clarity.
F Find credible sources. Though a site might not advertise itself as “Joe Bob’s Homepage,” you should be able to judge its credibility by carefully examining the page for editors and academic sponsors.
G Grade your paper from your instructor’s perspective; consider what things he or she would count off for.
H Have the writing assignment nearby, and follow it explicitly.
I Identify your thesis and topic sentences. Arrange them in order to make sure that your argument is complete.
J “Jiggy wid it”: avoid slang expressions like this in a formal essay.
K Keep a dictionary with you when you write.
L Let your passions guide you when selecting a paper topic.
M Make a paper reading appointment.
N Never write comma splices or run-on sentences.
O Omit the obvious.
P Punctuate correctly.
Q Quit using non-words such as alot, alright, its’, theirs, hisseslf, her’s, and irregardless.
R Read your paper, but don’t focus on counting the words.
S Seek advice if you are unsure of the grammar, the content, r the format of your paper.
T Take time to read your paper before you turn it in.
U Underline the title of novels, books, movies, and newspapers. Use quotation marks for the titles of poems, short stories, articles, and songs.
V Vary your sentence construction to avoid repetition.
W When in doubt, call the Grammar Hotline.
X Xerox your paper so that you and your instructor will have copies.
Y “Yell” your informed opinion by stating it argumentatively in your thesis.
Z Zealously brainstorm as many ideas as you can before you begin to write your paper.