Table of ContentsIntroduction
The organization of this handbook
Chapter One: Making Your Draft Fit Your Situation and Purpose
- What do want to accomplish with your writing?
- Who are your readers, and how do you relate to them?
- What method and style of language will best communicate your message?
- What do readers expect in writing like yours?
- What kinds of information should you include?
- Have you started a draft?
- Have you taken time for systematic thinking?
- Are you efficiently planning and organizing any necessary library research?
- Are you using effective persuasive techniques?
- Have you introduced readers to what you have to say?
- Have you organized effective paragraphs?
- Have you structured your draft to stand alone?
- Does every statement have a core of a subject and a verb that a tag question can identify?
- Are core sentences either separated with punctuation or connected properly?
- Do the beginnings of sentences organize the flow of information about your topic?
- Is everything you name sufficiently identified or described?
- Are circumstances and details placed where they fit best?
- Do your verbs report what you intend: doing, thinking, or being?
- Have you indicated appropriately any action completed in the past?
- Do the verb forms tell whether the action is usual and done by a single actor?
- Do the verbs distinguish any action going on at a particular time rather than always?
- Do the verbs indicate any past action that you want to relate to past or present time?
- Have you adjusted any verbs that are not already true?
- Have you commanded, asked, emphasized, or denied smoothly and effectively?
- Do you recognize any words that name or describe but look like verbs?
Is there a good reason whenever the actor is omitted or named after the verb?
- Have you used irregular verb forms appropriately?
- Does the form of each verb fit its patterns, and do any changes match changes in meaning?
- Do sentences flow from a recognizable start to a newsworthy point at the end?
- Have you chosen appropriate wording to control the flow of information?
- Does your wording show the transitions between sentences?
- Do pronouns have clear references and appropriate forms and numbers?
- Do you relate best to your readers by referring to them, yourself, or only the topic?
- Have you avoided exclusive and offensive terms?
- Have you shown the right degree of formality?
- Is your wording as brief and precise as your readers want it to be?
- Have you distinguished confusing words?
- Have you chosen the most appropriate type of words for processes and actions?
- Have you described clearly with or without adding –LY?
- Are comparisons and lists organized, clear, complete, and worded with similar forms?
- Have you taken notes and quoted properly?
- Have you specified your sources?
- Does the physical appearance of your writing attract readers?
- Does every sentence end with the proper punctuation: period, question mark, exclamation point, semicolon (or maybe a colon)?
- Do commas set off movable and optional parts of a sentence?
- Is every word spelled correctly?
- Are capitals used conventionally?
- Have you used the apostrophe and the letter S correctly?
- Are any hyphens, dashes, or parentheses appropriately placed?
- Can you make further improvements during a final editing?
Index of Topics
Index of Words