Top Ten Writing Conventions

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Top Ten Writing Conventions

1. Use clear and distinct sentence boundaries.

NO: Writing is important to me, it makes me feel more alive.
YES: Writing is important to me; it makes me feel more alive.

2. Make verbs agree with their subjects in number.

NO:. The writers in our class works hard on their papers.
YES: The writers in our class work hard on their papers.

3. Choose pronouns correctly.

NO: Just between you and I, writing is more important than many things.
YES: Just between you and me, writing is more important than many things.

4. Place modifiers near what they modify in a sentence.

NO: My car was on the way to the mechanic with rear-end trouble when the joint gave way.
YES: My car with rear-end trouble was on the way to the mechanic when the joint gave way.

5. Use parallel grammatical forms when joining items in a series.

NO: She's intelligent, unselfish, and always does the kind thing.
YES: She's intelligent, unselfish, and thoughtful.

6. Use conventional spellings, especially for sound-alikes.

NO: The committee work had it's affect on me.
YES: The committee work had its effect on me.

7. Use the single comma and the pair of commas appropriately.

NO: When all is said and done a lot more is said than done.
YES: When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done.

8. Use quotation marks with other punctuation according to convention.

NO: The poem highlighted the mind's way of "exchanging shape for shade".
YES: The poem highlighted the mind's way of "exchanging shape for shade."

9. Use apostrophes to show contracted form and for possession.

NO: Originally, the cuffs' of mens pants were used for cigar ashes.
YES: Originally, the cuffs of men's pants were used for cigar ashes.

10. Capitalize proper nouns and words derived from them.

NO: Her Winter schedule includes Anthropology and english.
YES: Her winter schedule includes anthropology and English.