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January 19, 2009

Finishing Your Paper

Posted in: style

Final Details

•    Title: Create a good title for your paper. Your title should give your reader a clue about the main idea of your paper. The name of the book is the author’s title not yours.
•    Do not forget to have your name on your paper. Obvious, but some students really do forget.
•    Learn how to number your pages. Hint: check out the “Insert” menu in MSWord.

Style Tips

Avoid the following. They weigh down your paper, and make it tedious to read. Use strong, vital verbs, and specific, precise examples to bolster your points.

•    Code Words (important, significant, etc.) allow you to avoid making a specific point.
•    “Be” verbs (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been) prevent you from using strong, active verbs that liven your writing.
•    Passive voice (has been noted) keeps you from taking responsibility for your arguments.
•    Nominalizations (“investigation” rather than ”investigate”) weigh down your paper and encourage professorial naps.

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