For many, Labor Day represents the beginning of a new school year. Although some states are in full session prior to the holiday, many districts start the next day. A number of colleges and universities begin classes at the same time. Writing skills are an imperative part of most academic programs. For that reason, we have developed our own set of written “commandments”, which we consider fundamental tools:
- I am a Proper Noun. Whenever you identify a person, place, or thing by a name, please be sure to use capital letters.
- Thou shalt not use a preposition to end a sentence. If you are unsure how to identify a preposition, check this resource.
- Thou shalt not use dangling modifiers without discretion. A dangling modifier does not clearly identify the term or subject it intends to describe. It somewhat “conveniently” excludes the word. For example, “Having fished all day, the boat returned to the dock.” The boat did not throw out the fishing lines and bait. A better way of saying this same sentence would be “After the fishermen were done for the day, the boat returned to the dock”.
- Thou shalt not use a semicolon in vain. Semicolons have a specific purpose; they divide two thoughts that are comparable, but distinct. Do not use a semicolon to replace a comma, or to complete a sentence.
- Remember to keep straight the words “that” and “which”. The word “that” is considered restrictive and refers to the noun it follows: “that boy”. It is not preceded by a comma. The term “which” is more open-ended and often follows a comma. For example, “The address is on Sunny Lane, which is in Mountainside.”
- Honor the difference between “bring” and “take”. You “bring” something somewhere and you “take” something away. “Take away” may be the best way to remember the correct use of these words.
- Thou shalt not have run-on sentences. Do not be afraid to end thoughts. It may be necessary to recite your copy aloud to see if you can amply breathe.
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s words. Plagiarism is not only unethical and illegal. It does not teach you anything constructive.
- Thou shalt understand the differences between these words: “they’re” “there” and “their”. “They’re” is the conjunction for they are. “There” is the term used to reflect a place or destination. “Their” represents ownership. Remember this with a sentence, which includes all three words. There is the place where they’re planning on having their party.”
- Thou shalt not rely on word processing programs as the absolute correctors of spelling and grammatical errors. Although some mistakes will likely be caught, make sure to proofread your work.
Writefully Inspired offers professional writing services. We believe in academics ethics and excellence and do not author student papers. However, we do offer proofreading services to those who have completed their assigned tasks. Please feel free to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 908 925-0167.